on being a woman
Stopped by FreeRadical.com this evening, to check out the Solo site, and ended up writing more than I planned. So I saved it.
What a fun coincidence. I just wrote in my online journal the last couple of days about the implications of speed seduction a la Ross Jeffries. And I stumble upon you all here theorizing about women! I'm responding to all the posts so far, though I've attached it to the first post; I'm afraid of what I might say if I try to respond individually to each note. :-)
It would be helpful to the discussion, posters' relationship prospects, and the culture at large, if sense-of-lifers at least would be as precise as possible with their terms. What, exactly, do you mean by 'reason'? 'Abstract thinking'? 'Rational'? I contend that men on average are just as bad as women on average at the activities _I_ denote by these terms, and that women engage in them as often as men do. But in my experience, men tend to puff themselves up about the importance of their abstractions a lot more than women do: if they are the kinds of abstract discussions they've heard women engage in, then they are woman-things, and not as important, rational, interesting, or even abstract, as the kinds of discussions men have. Few things, for example, are themselves more concrete, or concrete-intensive, than watching a 4-hour baseball game and then following it up with lengthy recitations of the named individuals who threw the ball in certain ways at particular moments; and yet I have been entertained for hours at a time listening to men attempt to portray this as one of the most importantly abstract activities that someone can engage in! The very essence of all life on earth, a microcosm of the universe in a baseball diamond! "A thinking man's game" I have heard over and over. Naturally, I believe that one can think abstractly about a baseball game or its components. I also believe that one can think abstractly about any subject about which one may also think concretely.
I think that the reason that you don't find as many women posting here is that women have always had a comfortable, accepting, fully-human outlet for what men seem to be seeking in organizations like freeradical. Women have always had each other. We've always been permitted to sit around and talk to each other, and theorize, and abstract, and speculate. Men have actually _laughed at_ us for it, characterizing what we are doing as "chatting" or "gossiping". If you only knew, my potential male friends, what we are doing when we go shopping, you would have to reconfigure your entire world-view. We are exercising our minds, our reasoning skills, our abstraction and conceptualization and categorization skills, almost every single time two of us are in a room together.
Women are _allowed_ to do this to a much greater extent than men are, from birth. Some of what we theorize and speculate about is our own emotions and those of others; this happens not because we are more emotional, but because emotions are part of the human mental reality and are simply one more thing to discuss. Men are strongly discouraged from even recognizing that they have emotions. If you're discouraged from talking about your emotions, talking about other things that are on your mind are going to be more difficult especially when you are young and can't tell the difference between a thought and an emotion until you express it and someone beats you up or calls you a fag (meaning that you are like a female).
This kind of punishment-for-thought rarely happens to women; generally, we're only criticized for putting our thoughts into words by...men! Other than those rare occasions, we get to live natural human lives, whereas men have to look for it in organizations devoted to what women are doing all the time; there, it's safe to be human. These organizations tend to have official themes, so it _looks_ more sophisticated and cool than two women speculating as to the motivations of a boyfriend. I swear to you: This conversation we're having here? Women have these kinds of conversations while shopping for jeans and going to the toilet. This is how we _live_.
That's just a working theory. It's not based on evolutionary psychology (I think most of that is a crock, and is largely used as a defense of very conservatively old-fashioned behavior), but rather on my observations of boys and girls and men and women in my relationships. (By the way: in the logic and ethics classes I taught, the women _always_ far outstripped the men in ability to grasp and master concepts and logical connections; and sorority women, to my initial surprise, were always the sharpest knives in the drawer.)
I'm writing a small book intended to assist males with their understanding of and relations with females, inspired by my own experiences. Some of my journal notes will be incorporated. I would be happy to get tough questions!
Specific suggestion for you right now: if you would like to meet women through this forum, maybe you should be a little less insulting and condescending. This discussion so far has been very uninviting, and you have no way of knowing how many beautiful, intelligent, abstractly-thinking, fun women are listening without speaking, hoping to find a rational man for fun times + possibly more.
Also, to help you understand why most _public_, _visible_ innovators have been male, consult some history texts regarding the social status of women since we all slithered out of the primordial slime. Take a quick glance at the little box'o'facts on the first page at http://www.gate.net/~liz/SUFFRAGE.HTM. Very often men (and conservative women) suddenly get very bored and dismissive when these kinds of facts are brought up, which may be why so many people are turning to evolutionary psychology to explain the obvious. If one is careful, one can almost talk oneself into believing that no sort of oppression or discrimination between the sexes (or the races) has ever occurred, and that the current lack of women in the places you, as emancipated males, would like to find them is due some genetic difference that it is beyond the hope of free will to overcome.
I really do mean all this with the best will. I know most of you don't intend to insult. You have simply been handed some really bad premises and theoretical frameworks which have some initial plausibility, and I'm asking you to question them.
Phone conversation with Farsam last night:
Caro: Farsam!? Hey! Glad you called, cuz I remembered what I called you about last night. I just really wanted to tell you that Brain Guy is just the funniest thing! He is a 'way better Crow than Dr. Forrester!
Fars: Whuh?! Caro! Why do you even want to go there?! That is so not true! Have you even seen one of the old ones recently?
Caro: Yes, I just saw an old one last week, and I'm telling you, Brain Guy is just out of Forrester's league. He is hilarious! His timing is better, his delivery is better. Look, he's even funnier than Tom Servo, I swear. He kills me.
Fars: OK, he's funny, yes. But I just think the whole Bobo thing, and Pearl, bring it all down....
Caro: Oh, no, I like Bobo and Pearl. I used to hate Bobo but I changed my mind. They're funny. I just watched a tape during dinner and I didn't stop laughing once during the entire last 45 minutes. My stomach hurts!
Fars: Hey, that's the litmus test, man, right there. It's just, I mean, I was...we were ALL raised on Joel and Frank and Forrester...
Caro: Nawp, this is better...
(Surreal note: I realized how valuable an addition Bobo was to the cast, when, decked out in ship captain's full dress uniform, he thrust his bowl under the stream of cereal being poured for someone else and then began eating it with his hands...)