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IvyInFlorida

Male perception of women in relationships

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This is a slight spin off of the Joe Rogan thing.  I was listening to his podcast with Jordan Peterson.  They were discussing incels and potential solutions for this phenomenon (which they both agreed comes from sick and wrong ideas) when basically one of them says, women choose mates by basically picking several men who are above them in status, letting them compete, and choosing the winner.  The other affirms this, saying, yep, that's just established fact rooted in biology and evolution.

I was astounded by this exchange for several reasons.  First, these 2 men come from different places politicially, morally, and culturally, but agree on this perception to the extent that they state it as obvious fact.  Second, this belief is foundational to the incel philosophy--the idea that women only pick tall, sexually superior men with chiseled jaw lines.  This is clearly viewing women as beings not capable of rising above animal instincts or even desiring to (another reason why incels learn to view women as subhuman and eventually causes deep hatred of women).  Third, this does not match my experience of my own relationships or the ones of people in my life.  AT ALL.

It does match what I see a lot of younger people discussing on the internet, thanks to things like Tinder where women are often very up front about the physical requirements of the men they're willing to hook up with.  As the mom of young sons, this is really disturbing to me.  How can two people have an intimate, loving relationship when deep down the man believes the woman only chose him for cold-hearted reasons?

I'd love for y'all to weigh in.  Do you think this is a prevalent perception of how women are with regard to relationships?  Have you seen this play out often in real life?

I'll start--like I said, I had already thought this was more of a younger male perception, which is why I was shocked to hear these 2 men state it so emphatically.  My own experience doesn't bear it out at all.  The dominant thing I see is men expressing the idea that women are emotionally needy and impossible to please.  What's that phenomenon where the wife tries hard to get her distant husband to be close to her but after years of no change, quietly prepares to leave, and the husband is (bizarrely) blindsided when it happens?  I can't remember what it's called.

Anyways, would love to her the Hive's thoughts.

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I think that this comes from men that have an inflated sense of their worth in relationships.    One giant clue is "several men who are above them in status".    If you look at that from the other perspective they are saying that the girls willing to date them are lower status (according to them).  Many studies have shown that relationships are with people of equal status.   If one is higher on one ranking, e.g. Wealth, the other will be higher in another ranking, e.g. Looks.    

Reminds me of a guy from a former beer drinking group.  His personality sucked, in fact my internal nickname for him was "Mr. Bitter".   He was short and bald and not very physically attractive generally.  He ranted one day about how really attractive women won't date him.  I was trying to be gentle and I asked if he ever asked out a woman that was about as attractive as him.  He shocked that I should think that he would stoop that low.  Continued discussion showed that he honestly thought that women shouldn't be able to say No.  That we should just be thrilled that any guy asked us out.  I didn't know him well enough to know for certain but I suspect that he was warped by a lot of p----.    The word wasn't invented yet, but I think Mr. Bitter would have classified himself as an incel.   
 

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It doesn't match my experience, either. None of my female friends have a movie-star-esque partner, or tried to get one. 

I have a male friend who is on a mission to find a girlfriend. The problem is, his standards are impossible to reach - he wants someone that ticks ALL of his requirements, from looks to age to job to hobbies...  He uses Tinder ALL the time. I've watched him swiping left and right, and it's really strange. Women that I would consider pretty, cute, beautiful... all got rejected. This is a very smart guy, NOT in his 20s, and he was acting totally opposite to the way he acts in real life. With the phone in his hand, he wouldn't even consider the idea that a less pretty woman could be his perfect match. In actual conversations about relationships, he comes across as mature and understanding.

I don't think young women are more obsessed with the looks of a potential partner than young men are... and hopefully it's something that many young people outgrow. In my circle of friends, nobody, male or female, put looks above personality - or if they did, they didn't admit it!

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Agreeing with you that that's absurd. I'm not saying that never happens, but it doesn't match my experience either.

It also assumes that status, desirability, and attraction are along a single axis, which is nuts. There are uneducated, no ambition, totally broke men who are super conventionally hot. There are rich guys who are dull conversationalists and generally rude, unkind people. There are smart, giving, wealthy guys who are not conventionally attractive at all. And then there are different cultural norms about what what even makes a person attractive. It's nonsense.

I totally agree that it inflates men's importance as the ones determining the value in the relationship. As if men don't also sometimes try to "marry up" in terms of looks, wealth, education, connections, etc.

I don't know if that's the pervasive perspective. I know single women, but I honestly don't know any single, straight men well at this point in my life.

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Um, no.
I met my husband because my roommate had gone out on a date with him, hated it, and pointed him out to me in a crowd while telling me how awful it had been.  Which doesn't sound like a glowing recommendation 😄 but the things that annoyed her were absolutely ones that I thought were sweet or thoughtful (a major complaint was that he had brought her flowers he bought at a grocery store rather than a custom bouquet from a florist). 
I did have physical requirements for guys I was interested in, though.  I wanted to be with a person that was fit and muscular, because that was what I was physically attracted to.  Oh, and taller than me.  Plus, if I ever had kids I wanted to marry someone with blue eyes so that I would definitely pass on that recessive gene.  But I don't consider that to be out of line.  Since physical features are often the first to respond to, it's very easy to take them into consideration.  DH didn't match the vision I had in my head, but I did find him attractive enough to dig deeper into finding out who he was.

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I’m older but lots of men I know think that women choose men for their money or their earning potential.  I’m not sure how prevalent that idea is in the age group you are discussing, but I can tell you for sure—that wasn’t even in my head when I was single.  It was shocking to me the extent to which that was how a ‘good catch’ was defined.  I married for love and fun and strong attraction and to be a team.  I was so relieved not to be competing with my husband, unlike with most guys in related fields to mine.  We had different skills and capabilities and each respected the other’s a lot.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I think it can be a mistake to conflate wealth or attractiveness with status - in some cases, they go together, but in others, they don't.  In religious circles, a pastor, associate pastor, or laity leader would have a lot of status.  In academic circles, intelligence and being a clear thinker/explainer are valued.  In a particular community, being generous with time or money  (the supervolunteer, the donor who helps fund the yearly school play and playground improvements), or being a great athlete, or being musically talented, might all be high-status positions.  Being the highly competent go-to guy at a job can be high-status in that field.   I won't address the mate selection aspect other than to say that, in my experience, guys who are well respected for any of those things tend to find a partner if they choose. 

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1 minute ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I’m older but lots of men I know think that women choose men for their money or their earning potential.  I’m not sure how prevalent that idea is in the age group you are discussing, but I can tell you for sure—that wasn’t even in my head when I was single.  It was shocking to me the extent to which that was how a ‘good catch’ was defined.  I married for love and fun and to be a team.  I was so relieved not to be competing with my husband, unlike with most guys in related fields to mine.  We had different skills and capabilities and each respected the other’s a lot.

I remember being shocked years ago when a student of mine voiced the opinion that all women married for money.  He was dead serious about it - at 14 - and actually argued with me when I disagreed.  It made me wonder which one of his (divorced) parents had given him that idea....  

 

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I think that you need to talk to more men.  None of the men that I hang out with think that way.  (Obviously some in the world do but they don't sound like the kind of men that I would want to be around anyway.) 

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That’s a fairly common opinion in secular circles I run in, but not religious.  I could make much of the correlation.

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2 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

That’s a fairly common opinion in secular circles I run in, but not religious.  I could make much of the correlation.

I run in secular circles only, and this is not at all my experience. Never encountered this view.

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So, I didn't know anything about these guys. I knew Rogan was a comedian and podcast guy but that's pretty much it and I'd never heard of Peterson, so I looked up the two second summary of him online.

Oy. The really messed up part of this is that they're on there complaining about incels without seeing all the ways that their own vision of masculinity and relationships are part of the problem. They're convinced that the things women want in men now are "wrong" (like, say, men who can be emotionally aware or men who are willing to be the primary childcarer sometimes or men who are interested in things that aren't "masculine" like the arts) and therefore that women are making men too feminine. That's such crap. You can be masculine and be the primary childcarer or an educator or a nurse. You can be masculine and be into the arts or gardening or cooking or whatever "feminine" thing is supposedly off limits for men. Or be masculine and be willing to talk about your emotions with a partner. And if women now want those things in men, it's not destroying masculinity.

Men being more willing to be themselves and not some stereotype is not what is creating incels. A narrow vision of what masculinity absolutely must be is the problem (along with other things maybe about our culture's general isolation, education, social media, etc.).

I actually think this has gotten worse. Like, I think about my father, who was about as conservative (politically, socially) as they come. Loved hunting and poker and... cooking. Like, I joke that the reason he and my mother had to get divorced is that only one person can really be the cook and they both wanted to be. But if you were to hear from these folks today about a woman who was interested in finding a man who cooks, I think you'd get pushback from the Jordan Petersons of the world saying that was feminizing men and to let men be men. But then that's what's not letting men be men. And, of course, in some parts of the US, it would be fine. But in parts that find the idea that men aren't manly enough threatening, they might not think it's fine anymore whereas they would have a generation ago.

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I have known men who would say they are wrong, and men who would say they are right.  I have known women who were looking to marry "up" in various ways (looks, or money, or status, or 2 or 3 of those).  I've known women who have refused to even befriend or try to get to know a man because one of the items on their list wasn't there. I have also known women who were much more open to looking outside specific parameters for a partner.  

When I was single (in the 90s) I had many women friends who bitched incessantly about not having a boyfriend, or having one who was a loser, but refused to even consider "good" men who didn't tick off all their boxes.  

That’s a fairly common opinion in secular circles I run in, but not religious.  I could make much of the correlation.

\

I think in general there is something to this. The men I know who are involved in a religious community have very different views of women than do men I know who are not. Again, generally speaking.  In my experience, men in religious community treat women with much more respect than those who are not.  Or at least the religious communities I have been involved in.

 

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I think their statements are ridiculous and the fact that they said it while also complaining about incels is even more ridiculous. 

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48 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I think that you need to talk to more men.  None of the men that I hang out with think that way.  (Obviously some in the world do but they don't sound like the kind of men that I would want to be around anyway.) 

 

I have plenty of men in my social circle, but we all live in TinySouthernTown USA where what men look for in women is fidelity and the ability to make good biscuits.  I obv don't know men who think women are like this or I wouldn't have been shocked.  The whole point is that certainty with which they expressed this opinion made me wonder if a large segment of the male population in general felt like this.

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Just now, hjffkj said:

 and the fact that they said it while also complaining about incels is even more ridiculous. 

 

Isn't that bizarre?!

 

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I watched that episode a while ago, and what I remember (which could be wrong--if someone could tell me when this part occurred, I'll listen again) is that the point was that women tend to go for men who have a higher status than themselves, which wasn't really referring to how the men looked, but more an aggregate of qualities that may include appearance but doesn't have to. 

I remember agreeing that this was a good point--it is the reason, or one reason, that women tend to marry men who are older than they are--that if it is generally the case that women go for high(er) status men then a lot of men are going to be left out.  And that was the reason to have monogamy, to give lower status men a chance.

Peterson is a social scientist, and thus, speaks in generalities.  So this is about the average behavior of the population and not about what happens with specific individuals.  So being able to think of examples of the opposite occurring is not really indicative of anything.  Or, as my FIL used to say, "for example is not proof."

Again, if someone can tell me when they discussed this in the video, I'd be happy to revisit what I've said here.

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16 minutes ago, EKS said:

I watched that episode a while ago, and what I remember (which could be wrong--if someone could tell me when this part occurred, I'll listen again) is that the point was that women tend to go for men who have a higher status than themselves, which wasn't really referring to how the men looked, but more an aggregate of qualities that may include appearance but doesn't have to. 

I remember agreeing that this was a good point--it is the reason, or one reason, that women tend to marry men who are older than they are--that if it is generally the case that women go for high(er) status men then a lot of men are going to be left out.  And that was the reason to have monogamy, to give lower status men a chance.

Peterson is a social scientist, and thus, speaks in generalities.  So this is about the average behavior of the population and not about what happens with specific individuals.  So being able to think of examples of the opposite occurring is not really indicative of anything.  Or, as my FIL used to say, "for example is not proof."

Again, if someone can tell me when they discussed this in the video, I'd be happy to revisit what I've said here.

 

They probably did mean status as an aggregate of qualities, but they spent a ton of time emphasizing height and sexual attractiveness.  I have always thought that the reason women marry older men in general is that older men are more likely to put marriage on the table in a timely manner and in general exhibit more emotional maturity.  Not status as in farther along in a career or something.

That was indeed his point about "enforced monogamy," to give lower status men a chance.  I think what really does happen in a society that emphasizes monogamy is that young men are more likely to exert effort to make themselves attractive to young women instead of languishing unwashed in the basement, or whatever incels characterize themselves as doing.

I will argue a little bit with you, just for fun 🙂 .  If a man looks at statistics and draws conclusions about what women are thinking when they choose partners (not sure how accurate that can be), and those conclusions are basically that deep down women are like animals waiting for the rutting males to sort themselves out, doesn't that warp the man's ability to have a deep, intimate, trusting relationship with a woman?  And then if he has a platform for broadcasting those conclusions, won't they affect other men?  I think I was amazed at how casually they tossed that opinion out there as gospel.

Edited by IvyInFlorida

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Um, how exactly do we get these theoretical men to compete for us anyway? Like, jousting? 

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This reminds me of how psychology teachers teach about the oedipal complex.  In lay terms, every dad's 3 year old daughter is sexually attracted to him and competing against her mother to win him.  I mean do psychologists [those who take Freud seriously] actually believe this about their own 3yo daughters?  How perverted is that!  But I don't really think they believe it.  I think they consider it some sort of remote instinctive thing that is doesn't really manifest in real life.

So here's two guys theorizing about something that happens to "other people," and they are saying what they read somewhere, without actually considering it a thing that happens in their real life.

As far as the whole "incel" thing, I think it is rather silly to treat it as a "thing" or focus time on it.  I also think that about a lot of things people seem to need labels for.  I think giving these folks a serious label and all this air time legitimizes them for no good purpose.  The frustrated male is nothing new; there are many examples in history which I will not honor with my time.  It's like some people hate school because they weren't successful there - and they hate dressing up because they don't have looks and money - and they hate their job because they aren't good at it  - and it's everyone else's fault, always.

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

I run in secular circles only, and this is not at all my experience. Never encountered this view.

Nor I. I met my husband when he accidentally gatecrashed a party that I was holding with some friends, which then turned rowdy and a pot of paint was thrown through the window (not by him). He was unemployed at the time. I don't think I was impressed by his superior status. He was just really good to talk to.  

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8 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Um, how exactly do we get these theoretical men to compete for us anyway? Like, jousting? 

Make them solve math puzzles?

(I was attracted to the smartest guy in my class of physics majors. He also was kind and interesting.)

Edited by regentrude
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4 minutes ago, IvyInFlorida said:

 

They probably did mean status as an aggregate of qualities, but they spent a ton of time emphasizing height and sexual attractiveness.  I have always thought that the reason women marry older men in general is that older men are more likely to put marriage on the table in a timely manner and in general exhibit more emotional maturity.  Not status as in farther along in a career or something.

 

Yes this.  There's some pretty compelling science that says male brains mature slower than female brains.  When I was dating, men that were older just felt more of a fit in terms of ready to settle down and more of a fit "academically" if that makes sense.  I'm a geek.  I was hoping to marry a geek.   It worked out.  He is 8 years older.  

I personally think the original statement is pretty ridiculous.  I haven't seen game playing behavior like that since I graduated college.  To me that's less normal and just immature courting ritual that some might play.  Guys can play dumb games too.  I didn't marry until I was 29 so I was in the dating scene for a while.  Even having preference for something like specific eye color or height seems odd to me for a mature adult.  

And I think there can be narcissists from all walks of life, but the statement about secular people doesn't ring true to me at all either.  At least in secular urban highly educated circles that I tend to walk in.  

As far as incels go, I'd like to see some data on how much unsupervised internet time these young men got when they should have been out developing interpersonal skills during their teen years and getting sucked into online communities.  I saw this story recently (here maybe?) about someone's 13 year old joining the alt right.  The parent put up with the kid dropping out of stuff and hiding in their room on the internet for hours.  That is NOT at all acceptable parenting to me.  We are a high tech family.  My kids would have suddenly had WAY more structure in their lives and no private time on their technology.  

https://www.washingtonian.com/2019/05/05/what-happened-after-my-13-year-old-son-joined-the-alt-right/

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But let's be real - we do get attracted to certain things, be it wealth or looks or physique.  Then we may try to get to know them better (if we aren't too shy), and decide the next step based on more intangible characteristics.

Maybe I'm just too ugly, but I've never been in a position to have multiple hot men compete for me, LOL.  Perhaps they are talking about those rare women who "have it all" and really can play that game if they want to ... and who are also immature enough to want to.

Even young, beautiful women of my acquaintance are rarely like that though.  However, it might give any woman a little thrill to know that men are competing for her.  Enjoying a thrill is a lot different from making a life choice though.

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I don’t think the men are entirely wrong. I don’t think most women are looking “just” at physical characteristics like chiseled abs or “just” at bank statements.  But do they in some manner consider provider ability, financial or otherwise? Sure they usually do. 

It’s the other side of the coin to many men viewing women as having expiration dates, usually by age 35.

Do all men or women think like this in a literal sense, going about analytically evaluating potential candidates for sex? Probably not. Doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it in many subtle or overt ways they never think much about. 

And our society is very much set up this way oherwise Tinder and media exploits and other such sex businesses wouldn’t be thriving. 

Somehow in theory love is manageable despite all this. Or a semblance of it that’s enough for many people. Humans seem to often be okay with being deeply shallow. 

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2 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

 But do they in some manner consider provider ability, financial or otherwise? Sure they usually do. 

I didn't

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My husband tries to be romantic insinuating he loved me at first sight. I’ve never had much patience for it. I try to laugh but seriously I respond every time for 26 yrs, “That’s right! He looked across that room at that 16 year old skinny blue-eyed blond and thought, “My God, that gal’s got a beautiful brain! I’ve got to learn her name so I can have witty conversations with her!”

I’ve got nothing against romance. But that wasn’t romance.   It’s maybe what romance can be built on though. 

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1 hour ago, Mainer said:

I have a male friend who is on a mission to find a girlfriend. The problem is, his standards are impossible to reach - he wants someone that ticks ALL of his requirements, from looks to age to job to hobbies...  He uses Tinder ALL the time. I've watched him swiping left and right, and it's really strange. Women that I would consider pretty, cute, beautiful... all got rejected. This is a very smart guy, NOT in his 20s, and he was acting totally opposite to the way he acts in real life. With the phone in his hand, he wouldn't even consider the idea that a less pretty woman could be his perfect match. In actual conversations about relationships, he comes across as mature and understanding.

I was talking to a recently divorced male relative who was telling me that "all the hot girls on tinder" got so much attention from guys that they basically wouldn't respond to any guy. It was obvious that he was not interested in any woman who was less than "hot." I was pretty stunned by how shallow he sounded. This relative, while a hobby body builder, I wouldn't consider super attractive either. He's a nice enough guy. But you would think that just having divorced a very attractive woman he'd realize that maybe the qualities that make for a good marriage are a little less superficial. Or not.... 

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4 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

I didn't

 

Okay. I said most, there’s always exceptions eventually. But there’s a reason most parents wouldn’t be happy if their kid got engaged to an unemployed beach bum. And it’s not an entirely shallow reason. 

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I don't think they need to mean competing in an obvious way but I know plenty of women who have had more than one man attracted to them at a time.  My best friend is a prime example.  She is what most people would consider average, attractive but not drop dead gorgeous.  She has a great personality and a lot of her interests meshed well with many men.  She was also clueless to the fact that most of the guys she met didn't just want to be friends with her.  So, she would invite them to hang out and they would assume it was a date while she just thought it was a friendship hang out.  This created an atmosphere where many men were seeking her as relationship worthy at the same time.  So, in a sense it was a competition, who could get win my friend over.  It was all really strange.

Even when dh and I started dating I had another guy who was interested in me.  He was a perfectly nice guy who I had known for years because he was friend with my brother.  He was NEVER on my radar because I generally focused on school and didn't date.  He had apparently like me for years but was too shy to say anything and I was too uninterested in guys to notice.  Dh and I became friends through hanging out at a restaurant with other friends after our martial arts classes.  This guy was one of the people who would come.  He saw how close dh and I were getting as friends and that is when he finally spoke up and asked me out because he viewed dh as competition.  Unfortunately for him and fortunately for me he was too late. I was already incredibly interested in dh since he was assertive and found a way for me to only pay attention to him when we were in a room full of people I knew better.  If you wrote down characteristics of the two guys with no picture of them provided they would have been very similar.  The key differences,  dh was confident, more out going, and knew how to relate to people better.  They had ALL the same interests that were compatible with me and they were both nice guys who respected women.  Now if you take into account their looks, dh was certainly more attractive but that isn't why I chose him. It likely helped with his confidence which was incredibly attractive to me.

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31 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Make them solve math puzzles?

(I was attracted to the smartest guy in my class of physics majors. He also was kind and interesting.)

Dh was my Greek Study Buddy.  It must have been his superior skills in conjugating Greek verbs. . .   

Seriously though, I did want someone who was my intellectual equal, who I could discuss things with, even though we also have different interests.  So having similar values and at least some interests in common were important as well.  I wanted someone who could be my PARTNER.   I am short and dh is my height so that wasn't it. . .

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15 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

I didn't

Huh.  Even if I were independently wealthy it would be a consideration for me.  It surely made my top ten list...I don't remember the number...but it wasn't number one or two  or three I don't think.

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Just now, Murphy101 said:

 

Okay. I said most, there’s always exceptions eventually. But there’s a reason most parents wouldn’t be happy if their kid got engaged to an unemployed beach bum. And it’s not an entirely shallow reason. 

Sometimes you can see potential. I fell in love with DH because he was a genuinely nice guy. We'd had enough shared experiences that I knew that about him, but not much else. He hadn't started college yet and when we started dating he didn't have a job. He was everything my brother and SIL advised against. Lol. But he did go to college and has been a fantastic provider for our family and he is still such a nice guy that I couldn't be happier with. 🙂

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29 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

I didn't

 me neither.  I married dh fully knowing he would likely always struggle with money to a certain degree.  I admired that he chose a career he was passionate about fully knowing it wasn't necessarily a huge money maker. My earning potential is actually significantly higher than his but he admired the fact that I wanted to stay at home with our children if I had the choice.

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27 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

 

Okay. I said most, there’s always exceptions eventually. But there’s a reason most parents wouldn’t be happy if their kid got engaged to an unemployed beach bum. And it’s not an entirely shallow reason. 

Yup. After I got divorced and was dating online I pretty much ruled out anyone who was a struggling musician or artist. Because to me, that was code for "unemployed" and "want you to support me". Possibly unfair, but I was a single mom, and wanted someone more practical, and capable of contributing. My DH was living on a sofa when I met him, with tons of debt, working a not great job, when I met him - but he was in college, working toward a degree that would mean he'd have lots of employment options. I had no clue what kind of salary he'd have, but I knew he'd be employable and that was important to me. 

16 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Huh.  Even if I were independently wealthy it would be a consideration for me.  It surely made my top ten list...I don't remember the number...but it wasn't number one or two  or three I don't think.

Yup. Has their own car (we live in an area without good or even mediocre public transit), has a job, has a place to live...those were non negotiable when we were young adults and dating. 

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53 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Nor I. I met my husband when he accidentally gatecrashed a party that I was holding with some friends, which then turned rowdy and a pot of paint was thrown through the window (not by him). He was unemployed at the time. I don't think I was impressed by his superior status. He was just really good to talk to.  

That’s not what I’m referring to.

Rather, when you get into an idea that your current existence is the pinnacle of your life and the thing that only ever drives anyone is reproduction, like an animal, social Darwinism and a cold, transactional view of the landscape of potential mates is not an illogical leap.  Especially for a person who is looking for a reason they haven’t paired up in anything but their own choices and decisions.  It’s just that they can’t attract a top shelf mate and it’s not their fault they’re beta material or a 4 on the scale.  Etc etc.

This really isn’t uncommon in some form or another, nor is the companion view - I’m attractive and talented and *deserve* a better girl than all of these, and I have one shot at this so I’m going to sort and pick through and wait until I get the one I deem the very best, because this is important and I’m not settling.

*Plenty* of people don’t choose mates based on physical criteria, or even as the ‘top’ of the pool of people they could court.  Of course.  That’s my experience as well.  But this reduction of human sexuality to drive and competition and best or nothing isn’t something I encounter in religious circles by and large, even faith traditions that are not my own.  It’s a lot more prevalent in the groups I run in where they sleep less religious and philosophical, more ‘none’ or ‘lapsed’.  And I do think much of the reason could be traced to religious systems serving to expand the purpose of mankind beyond just basic reproductive mandate and ‘getting my slice of that pie’ of life.

That isn’t to say there aren’t whack ideas and mysogyny in religious circles too, but they’re of a generally different etiology and vein than the incel thing. Their main board and MGTOW communities skew hard in the non-religious-observing direction.

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

Make them solve math puzzles?

(I was attracted to the smartest guy in my class of physics majors. He also was kind and interesting.)

I married that guy, pretty sure 🤣

But the incel crowd would say I picked the top cream of the crop too, just with different parameters.  Intellect and earning potential and strong work ethic are just as much sorting criteria as physical appearance, to them.

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28 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

Even when dh and I started dating I had another guy who was interested in me.  He was a perfectly nice guy who I had known for years because he was friend with my brother.  He was NEVER on my radar because I generally focused on school and didn't date.  He had apparently like me for years but was too shy to say anything and I was too uninterested in guys to notice.  Dh and I became friends through hanging out at a restaurant with other friends after our martial arts classes.  This guy was one of the people who would come.  He saw how close dh and I were getting as friends and that is when he finally spoke up and asked me out because he viewed dh as competition.  Unfortunately for him and fortunately for me he was too late. I was already incredibly interested in dh since he was assertive and found a way for me to only pay attention to him when we were in a room full of people I knew better.  If you wrote down characteristics of the two guys with no picture of them provided they would have been very similar.  The key differences,  dh was confident, more out going, and knew how to relate to people better.  They had ALL the same interests that were compatible with me and they were both nice guys who respected women.  Now if you take into account their looks, dh was certainly more attractive but that isn't why I chose him. It likely helped with his confidence which was incredibly attractive to me.

 

My mom has a similar story ... dashing guy had his eye on her but never did anything about it, until he came back from a trip and learned my mom was engaged to my dad.  Then he made his feelings known, but - too late!  That said, my folks have been together for 60 years, so I guess it was a good thing that guy went on a trip ....

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2 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

That’s a fairly common opinion in secular circles I run in, but not religious.  I could make much of the correlation.

 

2 hours ago, regentrude said:

I run in secular circles only, and this is not at all my experience. Never encountered this view.

It doesn't match my experience either and I run in pretty much only secular circles. Ds as a 21 yo male doesn't have this attitude either (nor do his friends) and he too runs in mostly secular circles. He has one group of D&D friends that includes a few liberal Christians but most of his friends are mainly atheist like himself. 

When I was single (more than a quarter century ago) my friends and I looked for men who were gainfully employed. It didn't matter if they were better educated (though most of us were teachers so we wanted them to be intelligent even if not traditionally educated) or if they made more money than us. We just stayed away from the type who spent more time in between jobs than actually on the job. That was more about work ethic though, than about wanting a wealthy man. 

I don't know who either of those men are but I don't think they're correct. Then again, I'm an old lady who only has one young male through which I learn about such things.

Edited by Lady Florida.
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I think there's a massive difference between recognizing that everyone, of course, is choosing a partner based on some scale of worthiness and compatibility and purposefully engaging in that behavior and reducing one's romantic partnerships to that level. Of course if people have the opportunity to compare partners, that they will compare them. I mean, duh. And yeah, there's an evolutionary element at play here to some extent, especially on a massive scale, if not an individual one. And of course, again, on a societal scale not an individual one, people are choosing partners that can protect them and are getting something out of it from each other - sex, kids, financial security, etc.

But recognizing that in a sociological way is not the same as treating your own relationships this way in practicality. I think there's a confusion here between knowing that secular folks don't necessarily have a belief in a higher purpose to marrying and having kids or don't believe that they're called by a higher power to have a monogamous partnership that is run a certain way - and thinking that therefore secular folks must see their own relationships as grounded solely in these sociological forces or must be in relationships only for selfish reasons. This is a bit like the belief that because atheists don't believe in God who tells them how to live an ethical life, that they therefore won't live particularly ethical lives, something that has been disproven in multiple studies at this point.

From where I sit, people in religious communities have a wide mix of healthy and unhealthy attitudes toward relationships. I'm sure it's the same in secular circles. Around me, in my pretty secular, liberal bubble, the views explained in the OP would not be seen as healthy or okay. And, I feel compelled to point out that Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan, despite the OP's assertion that they're radically different in terms of their political views, are, to my thinking, super similar. They're both successful upper middle class white dudes with conservative leaning viewpoints. Rogan is basically a libertarian, though he's agnostic. Peterson is a religious conservative leaning social critic. That's hardly two ends of the spectrum.

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Notice above I said it correlated, not that it was causative.  I don’t believe it is causative at all, but the associations and implication of worldview play into dating end marriage for sure.  Is that even actually debatable? The way one intrinsically views human beings and existence also factors in, which is why it isn’t monolithic.  Because of course there are individuals who hold no particular religious worldview but also hold that dignity, respect, and worth are conveyed to all people, and selecting mates comes down to compatibility because all people are equally ‘valuable’ otherwise.

(Also Peterson isn’t widely respected in my circles, because he spouts tons of nonsense, if we want to pick at exceptions to sweeping discussions)

Edited by Arctic Mama

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I've seen these types of comments in other places.  I think it says a lot about these men as people, and *where they go to meet/pick-up women*.

 I say the same thing to women who screech about how all men are horrible.   (they're out there too.)

 

eta: most of these remarks I find on other chat groups.  I've met very few in real life like this - and the all tended to be bitter than the opposite sex didn't think they were marvelous and walked on water.  

most of the men (and women) I know in real life - are more attracted by quality of person.   

Edited by gardenmom5

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35 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

That isn’t to say there aren’t whack ideas and mysogyny in religious circles too, but they’re of a generally different etiology and vein than the incel thing. Their main board and MGTOW communities skew hard in the non-religious-observing direction.

I would say they're feeling alienated from both mainstream American religious life, which demands things of them that they refuse to do AND mainstream liberal leaning secular American life, which rejects their vision of masculinity and the things they want from relationships.

The way you're saying it implies that secularism is part of what has led them to have these unhealthy beliefs. What I'm saying is I don't buy it. I think rejection of their beliefs by the mainstream of secular folks. As well as their own rejection of religion. They have put themselves into an untenable, isolated place. And secularism does not lead to this view. It's their own warped vision of relationships and women.

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29 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

...  and *where they go to meet/pick-up women*.  ....


I think that there is a lot to that.  You shouldn't go looking for someone in a meat market, and then be shocked that you are treated (and maybe rejected) like meat.  

I used to work with a nice guy that always dated gold diggers.  I was talking to him once, and he exclusively looked for dates who worked in a job that I would classify as a Waiting-To-Get-Married job.  Then he would impress them with his good job/wealth/status.   Then in a few months he wondered why they were gold diggers who wanted to get married yesterday. 


I just thought of something else.   If a guy is looking at this from a hook-up perspective that status difference might be true just on a supply-demand perspective.   The quantity of men seeking a hook-up has to be much more than women seeking the same thing.  So, say there is a 10-1 ratio.   The women looking for a hook-up could afford to be MUCH more picky.  

 

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1 hour ago, Arctic Mama said:

That’s not what I’m referring to.

Rather, when you get into an idea that your current existence is the pinnacle of your life and the thing that only ever drives anyone is reproduction, like an animal, social Darwinism and a cold, transactional view of the landscape of potential mates is not an illogical leap.  Especially for a person who is looking for a reason they haven’t paired up in anything but their own choices and decisions.  It’s just that they can’t attract a top shelf mate and it’s not their fault they’re beta material or a 4 on the scale.  Etc etc.

This really isn’t uncommon in some form or another, nor is the companion view - I’m attractive and talented and *deserve* a better girl than all of these, and I have one shot at this so I’m going to sort and pick through and wait until I get the one I deem the very best, because this is important and I’m not settling.

*Plenty* of people don’t choose mates based on physical criteria, or even as the ‘top’ of the pool of people they could court.  Of course.  That’s my experience as well.  But this reduction of human sexuality to drive and competition and best or nothing isn’t something I encounter in religious circles by and large, even faith traditions that are not my own.  

Honestly, I've not personally encountered anything similar to this description. I don't know any atheists who think of life in terms of being driven by reproduction alone. I am driven by companionship, love, fellow feeling, fun, charity, human kindness.  Therefore life as competition for the best mate just doesn't arise.

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4 hours ago, Farrar said:

Oy. The really messed up part of this is that they're on there complaining about incels without seeing all the ways that their own vision of masculinity and relationships are part of the problem. They're convinced that the things women want in men now are "wrong" (like, say, men who can be emotionally aware or men who are willing to be the primary childcarer sometimes or men who are interested in things that aren't "masculine" like the arts) and therefore that women are making men too feminine. That's such crap. You can be masculine and be the primary childcarer or an educator or a nurse. You can be masculine and be into the arts or gardening or cooking or whatever "feminine" thing is supposedly off limits for men. Or be masculine and be willing to talk about your emotions with a partner. And if women now want those things in men, it's not destroying masculinity.

 

I think this view (that the problem with relationships today is that women are trying to strip men of their masculinity and "feminize" them) and the incel view (the problem with relationships is that women are cold and shallow and unreasonably picky) are rooted in the exact same sense of entitlement and laziness. 

Complaining that it is de-masculinizing to be asked to contribute to the upkeep of the house they live in, help shop for and cook the food they eat, help care for the children they fathered, reciprocate the emotional support they receive, and take on an equal share of the "emotional labor" involved in managing their family, is a pretty blatant attempt to reframe laziness as victimhood. It's like on the one hand they are saying they should not have to contribute anything more to a relationship than a paycheck, and then they turn around and complain that women choose men for money and status.

Men: We're providers, that's our job as men, don't ask us to do sissy women's work!
Also men: Women are so shallow, they only care about the size of a guy's paycheck!

I mean, if that's all you plan to bring to the relationship, what else are they supposed to base their choice on?

Same with incels, who complain that "Staceys" will only pick good-looking, successful "Chads" and won't give non-Chads a second look, when they themselves won't give non-Staceys a second look, or do anything whatsoever to make themselves more interesting and less... repellent. Like the only possible explanation for why women don't want to date lazy, bitter, mysogynistic pricks who spend all their time on the internet is because women are so evil and shallow.

Edited by Corraleno
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2 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

 

It

When I was single (more than a quarter century ago) my friends and I looked for men who were gainfully employed. It didn't matter if they were better educated (though most of us were teachers so we wanted them to be intelligent even if not traditionally educated) or if they made more money than us. We just stayed away from the type who spent more time in between jobs than actually on the job. That was more about work ethic though, than about wanting a wealthy man. 

I don't know who either of those men are but I don't think they're correct. Then again, I'm an old lady who only has one young male through which I learn about such things.

 

This.  Work ethic.   That was the thing I was interested in - earning potential didn't cross my mind, but someone who worked hard and wanted to be good at whatever he did - that was important.

Anne

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7 hours ago, regentrude said:

I run in secular circles only, and this is not at all my experience. Never encountered this view.

 

Same here.  None of the men I know well think like this or express this view.  It sounds like pseudoscientific bullshit at the very best.  

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6 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

I didn't

Neither did I.  I had worked from the time I was 12 and just took my financial self reliance for granted.  I found someone funny and artsy and exceptionally smart and patient with no dealbreakers (smoking, criminal, addict, misogynistic or otherwise seriously bigoted) and fell in love.  There was no competition.  I dropped another guy like a hot potato when I started seeing my now husband.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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I do not buy the idea that MGTOW is a byproduct of secularism.  Honestly, a lot of those guys wish for the sort of arrangement that is actually proscribed by some religious groups- submissive woman who tends to everything at home and is available sexually whenever he wants and who won’t challenge him in the least bit.  I’ve known too many women who have left that behind to believe that religious groups are exempt from this brand of misogyny.  What’s the difference between a Bill Gothard and an incel with a blog who rants about how women have violated the natural order?  I sat through BLP with Bill Gothard in the flesh and a lot of that stuff sounds similar to the ideology I hear incels spewing.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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