I don’t know if I do satirical well.
Or, when I try to be modestly satirical, I have even worse doubts.
For instance, the other day, my Plain Jane post was a rough approximation of satire, and in the spirit of satire, I did my best to indict a general attitude that seems prevalent in the Roissysphere and all the blogospheric satellites it has spawned.
I might not have thought twice of the post if I hadn’t come across a couple of items which reinvigorated my caustic sensibilities when examining what I perceive as a herd mentality and judgmental cultishness on the part of many of these guys who appear intent on solidifying their viewpoint as the standard operating model by which all men should abide (if they want to lead glamorous and pussy-filled lives, of course). It would seem a dereliction on my part if I don’t now revisit the Plain Jane post in the spirit of regurgitating these 2 items that share a synchronous sense of existence to my post.
The first item is a feature story from “msn relationships” called Dating Down, a femicentric diatribe presented as vaguely scientific proof that women who marry men who are less physically attractive than they, are usually happier and more “emotionally satisfied” than women whose husbands are of equal or greater physical attractiveness.
The article rehashes much of the evopsych wisdom that gets bandied about regularly, which in this story, is disguised behind the female perspective with its unacknowledged motive of making marriage and relationships more amenable to the female interests. The article surmises:
A recent study published in the Journal of Family Psychology suggests that for women, dating a less attractive man may result in a happier, more emotionally satisfying relationship.
The story spouts some common sense and popular wisdom which is nothing new in these parts. I believe having such a perspective and pre-knowledge helped me read between the lines. Reading Citizen Renegade and the like has given me an awareness and knowledge that has given me a glimpse into the evolutionary world the article alludes to and grants me the ability to dissect the proposed findings of the author, Elise Nersesian-Solé.
Nersesian-Solé really is just drawing out the simple idea of the economics of marriage and relationships that dictate both parties are involved in an ongoing cost/benefit analysis in which they appraise the other through the self-interested lens of utility and worth (to themselves). She cites a university study in which couples are filmed and their interactions detailed as well as measurements made of their relative “attraction” levels.
After analyzing the tapes, researchers discovered that in couples where the man was more attractive than the woman, he said often things such as, “This is your problem, you deal with it” whereas the unattractive hubbies were more apt to say things like, “I’m here for you — what do you want me to do? How can I help you?'”
In other words, couples in which the man assumes the symbolically subservient role by virtue of of inferior physical attractiveness (in relation to his girlfriend or wife) are those that experience “success” and “health”…that is, from the self-interested vantage point of the female. Hell with the man. Women are defining a relationship as “ideal” one in which they possess superior strength and options over a weak puppy dog husband who is obediently grateful that his wife has inconvenienced herself by choosing his raggedy ass. A physically inferior male mate, lacking a strategic sense of masculinity and the power that ensues, will commit himself to the consumptive chore of selflessly sacrificing his manhood in order to comply to his wife’s desires in the desperate pursuit of maintaining his unlikely hold of her. All the attendant traits of a self-perceived weak man are at play here…fear, insecurity, excessive gratefulness. Which comes first…the unattractive or the Beta? The dynamic is alive and well in the world of television sitcoms, ever notice that?
In a tremendous understatement, she continues
It’s possible that a man who is less attractive than his partner feels so grateful to be with her that he works harder to maintain the relationship, amping up the amount of emotional support and kindness he provides,” says Benjamin R. Karney, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at UCLA. “Yet a man who is better looking than his partner knows he has lots of other options besides his mate, so he’s less committed to providing the emotional support long term relationships need to thrive.”
And we need social scientists to tell us this?
The most striking portion of the article is the degree to which the author twists (ie, manipulates) the logic of evolutionary psychology to justify the mentality of the self-absorbed female whose desire to be placed on a throne trumps all other healthy facets of a complementary male/female relationship. This reminds me of the elephant and the blind men. Everyone sees something different, and in this case the woman defines a helpless, weak mate as emotionally giving and cooperative for he obediently feeds the feminized claptrap of what a marriage “should” be. Whereas a man perceives his beautiful mate as a glorious and miraculous gift from heaven and immediately the relationship embarks on a radically asymmetrical power-sharing dynamic. His dignity is willingly sacrificed as he tenaciously digs his hole deeper and deeper while he basks in her self-righteous and entitled spotlight.
And later I discovered a post titled Why Game Is Worth More Than A Billion Dollars over on Citizen Renegade.
It involved a photograph of Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire founder of Facebook, taken as he walked to an unnamed event or location with several people, including his girlfriend.
The comments which followed degenerated into an all too familiar, predictable shitfest in which just about every guy who participated joined in a communal trouncing of Zuckerberg who appears to shamelessly persist in dating this girl who apparently pre-dated his billion-dollar fortune (I’m relaying what I learned in reading the comments, I don’t usually keep abreast of this chick fodder, unlike a lot of guys who have the time), a girl who incidentally looks to easily land in the “Plain Jane” category I spoke of.
The wrath and ridicule that was leveled at Zuckerberg was stupefying. There was the predictable chortling and accompanying “if I were that rich, I wouldn’t be dating that hog” sentiments. I suppose this is all in good “fun” and is generally harmless. However I can’t discount this piranha-like bloodlust I witness as guys circle the object of their pseudo-Alpha derision who really has done nothing wrong. Yes, it’s only a bunch of anonymous commentators feasting on the purported Betaness of a public figure, but it is representative of an underlying modern male attitude that rejoices in petty judgments infused with short-sighted gratification and soulless torpor. Lost amidst the sea of male cynicism was the possibility that maybe Zuckerberg really likes this chick. What a concept.
I’m not romantic idealist (hardly) but how can such a wide swath of men instinctively condemn a man who has chosen to remain with his girlfriend through the temptations of wealth?
I’m not praising Zuckerberg, but neither am I ridiculing him. I don’t know the guy, I have no idea what goes on in his life or his girlfriend’s. I refuse to invest much of my analytical thought in deconstructing the guy’s motives. To do so is misguided squandering of the intellect and personal energy. The commentators symbolize much of what I decried in my post when it comes to men and the Woman they elicit in this society: men living enormously outside themselves, enmeshed in private social circles they know nothing about and involved in all this bullshit that serves no purpose or reason. To denigrate this dude because his girlfriend doesn’t match his income level? And besides, where exactly the fuck is the reference manual which spells out just how “hot” your girlfriend should be based on your annual income (I’d like to know where I fall on that continuum, and let me tell you, it won’t be pretty)? This rampant cynicism demonstrates a lagging helplessness and disabling ennui on the part of modern man who has bought into feminized culture’s reliance on the art of prattling on like a bunch of high school girls talking shit about people behind their backs in the absence of constructive self-enhancement tempered with a good dose of humility.
So yeah, undoubtedly, while Zuckerberg is raking in astronomical amounts of income and dating his Plain Jane, some abrasive PUA with only a copy of The Mystery Method to his name will be hooking up with an illiterate Barbie Doll. Tonight, or maybe as I type away here, the shameless keyboard jockey that I am.
Whose shoes would you rather be in?