Men And Women, What Else?
You know, for me this forum works best when it involves itself in the relationships between men and women. There are great issues being examined that have to do with differing attitudes between the generations, cultural collisions, and morality, all of this in turn being wound around the separate biology, experience, and outlook of men and women. Your column shows there are few topics beyond these that arouse such passion. And, as one of your correspondents mentioned in passing, I love how people reveal themselves unintentionally through their writing (BKKSW).
It amazes me sometimes how little men know about women and how little credit they give them for their intelligence, behaviour and, yes, their guile. It often seems that men are so consumed with what they want from women and, indeed, what they want to give to women that they never stop to ask themselves what women want and expect from them – they assume the two things are the same. It is, perhaps, Nature’s way for if men looked at women as women looked at men, a lot fewer babies would be born.
I have been trying to figure women out for at least 30 years after being in screwed up relationships for most of my youth before that. I used up 20 years of that time in the West but it was only after I had spent the first five years of my life in Thailand that things began to make sense. And in the second five years, my interest began to turn to men’s behaviour with women. That’s when the meaning really became clear. In the course of it all, I slept with loads of women and spent countless hours in the bars talking to foreigners and even more sitting by myself watching the human parade.
But I did something that perhaps few of your readers did. I began to read just about everything I could find in the (mainly British) papers about relationships and I began to write down and interpret what was said when I saw the patterns emerge. The first thing one notices is that men write virtually nothing about relationships in the daily press-the reason might be that they aren’t published (I’ll get to that later) but it is more likely they are afraid to confront women. The second is that reading what is on women’s minds displays how they rationalize things, how changeable they are, how there is no contradiction to them in moving from one position to another about their social lives as long as they benefit from it. What fascinates me, too, is that when women write about their social lives, whether they be dyed in the wool old school Feminists or just modern essayists, the meaning of what they say is often a question of interpretation and usually requires further investigation. For example, women cite equal pay constantly as an issue but strangely never have an example of the same job being paid at different rates where experience is the same. The real issue is equal earnings-just a different word but with a world of difference in meaning and causes. The trouble is, the causes of inequality show women generally less willing to put the hours in and thus the word does not have the same emotional impact to serve the Feminist cause.
To be sure you can find many a male who is a con man and a bare faced liar but this is not the same thing as the presentation practised by women. You might say that women’s presentation of themselves from the beginning of their awareness of boys/men is about illusions (deception used by some is too strong a word in my view). There is no parallel activity whereby men present an image of themselves as a sex. Women, and this is a high art in the West, by dint of their collegiality, actually control the image of themselves as a sex. They have allies in this: organized religion, the various levels of government, their domination of the print media, and strange to say, men’s own guilt laden, romantic and fearful (of women) nature. There are valid reasons for this behaviour but to understand them a man has to be a big picture guy and step back from his own desire and particular experiences.
Anyway, let me describe a few things I have learned over the years about women and myself:
· Probably the greatest illusion ever presented to men by Feminist rhetoric is the equality of the sexes. Now, I have never met a man who complained about any woman holding any particular job as not entitled to it by reason of her sex. Nor have I ever heard from a man that women should not have equal legal rights in any matter. But the real truth is the sexes are not equal in the matter of intimate relationships between them. Women are superior. Men must ask and women may agree to intimacy if they wish-this is true even in relationships founded on mutual love such as marriage. When men are physically in control of intimacy, against a woman’s wishes, a transgression, often a crime, is committed-both men and women know this. But a woman in control of a man’s sexual satisfaction commits no sin if she refuses to be cooperative. Men should never delude themselves that by refusing intimacy they are somehow equal, because women know that unlike men they can get another partner in the blink of an eye. Accepting one’s secondary status is the key to diminishing frustration and anger for men.
· The sexes are also not equal in the matter of sexual drive, interest in sexual intimacy, or biological function. Males can have children pretty well until the time they get into the pine box. Women’s biology to have children, on the other hand, has deadlines. Men’s orgasm is virtually guaranteed as long as nothing like fatigue or medication interferes with it. Women’s orgasm is always in doubt. Recent clinical research in the UK has revealed the fabled G Spot to be just that-it doesn’t exist. Unless men say it does based on the performance of their partner. Other medical research indicates that perhaps as many as 30% of women never or rarely experience orgasm and research continues to find out why. Deep penetration does not find an orgasmic location in the vagina. So, for those men who believe the size of the equipment makes them great lovers, think again. Also, having an erection is evidence of desire in a man, not ability as a lover. The technique of making a woman feel she is desired is quite another thing. You will notice in submissions many men like to talk about the size of their equipment but not one that I can remember ever has written about what he does to please his partner. Hmmm, maybe a focus issue.
· The foregoing two factors produce a classic sexual bargaining situation with one partner being something of the beggar, the other the benefactor for sexual relief. The sex with the least to gain through pleasure decides if the intimacy will happen in the first place and what the compensation will be, never the man. She also decides the nature of the encounter. It might be a short term relationship during a vacation; it might be a one night stand for the price of dinner; it might involve no money whatsoever just hope or expectations for the future. But women decide. Even if a man makes plain his offer, even if he makes it to a known prostitute, it may be repudiated as unwanted or insufficient. This is not cynicism-it is merely intimate relationships stripped bare. And if men think about it, it is the proper way of things for the survival of the tribe. The sex that carries the child to term must be the decision maker whether the encounter at the time is designed to produce a pregnancy or not. When a man understands this he will also understand that in matters of intimacy, the rule is the same for the hi-so girl and the girl from Isaan. The rule is women control the social/sexual dance. This is why men try to be charming or present sufficient assets in order to be accepted. But even if we are chosen we never really know why the woman agreed to it. Asking her will only elicit an answer, not necessarily the truth. She, on the other hand, always knows why we want her.
· Cultures change by millimetres but what changes depends upon what is at stake. The ages of exploration, reason, and the industrial revolution were led by men because the tasks were either dangerous, risky, or appealed to men’s nature. The rule is men build and maintain the world for both sexes and offspring. But the most significant social change since the industrial revolution in Western culture has been Feminism. At its heart Feminism is essentially sexual/relationship politics and it is based on a rather imprecise notion that the sexes are, indeed, equal. Personally, I never had a lot of trouble with the general philosophy, at least in the early years. There were a lot of grievances that needed to be aired and redressed, things like sexual assault or child abuse, and for providing women choices in their lives apart from being wives and mothers. But the power is not easily given up even after the big problems have been largely solved-there are always improvements and refinements that can be made. Some women decided that true equality with men meant more than just income and a measure of power before the courts. They sought behavioural equality with men.
· But it wasn’t long before unintended consequences began to creep into Western society as the meaning of equality began to reveal itself. In the West divorce rates rose (mainly initiated by women), and then marriage rates began to fall, and now a recent study in America has shown that the fertility rate is falling, especially amongst white women, and women are having their babies later. In Britain, concern about the rise in female violent crimes and assaults and ‘yobbish’ binge drinking in pubs by young women has been raised in the House of Commons. Women began to acquire more ‘size’ and, in turn, this caused many to make war on male standards of female attractiveness, but it did not result in more relationships being formed. As Western society shifted into overdrive consumption and sped into the Age of Entitlement, many men, especially the ‘manly’ men began to boycott long term relationships with women.
· Women, interestingly, while in control of their and men’s social lives accept no responsibility for it. Here is the rule. Whatever is wrong with women’s lives, it is men’s fault. Men are responsible for women’s lack of sexual pleasure. They are responsible through their callow nature for not accepting unattractive women because they always think with their genitalia and some men even fear the competition from accomplished and ‘strong’ women of today. Men are responsible for prostitution, for luring the innocent into exploitative relationship. After years of reading what women have to say about themselves I have yet to read a single word of the need for women to change. Not only that, because they control the publishing industry they have almost sole rights to interpret the meaning of events, as I mentioned above. For example, the falling birthrate amongst white middle class women, they say, is due to women deciding to focus on their careers and choosing to have their children later. Really? That interpretation says women are the only deciders about having children. I say the destruction of Western femininity has driven men away and women, in desperation, settle for who they can get once approaching or past ideal fertility..
· I have to say I just love this complexity about women, the way they can shift the blame to men no matter what the obvious intent of their own actions. Western women know they can whip the buttocks of felines posing as men who stand in their way from getting into the boardroom through the glass ceiling, yet just as easily they ignore equality in the dirty infrastructure and maintenance jobs that keep the world running. And then there is the sex industry. Last night I watched an attractive female MSNBC reporter interview a top porn star about the way she is developing her brand image (yeah, her brand image) in the $13 billion American porn industry. There was not a word of reproach about her making women into sex objects. In daily life there are evangelical Christians of both sexes outside red light districts but no women preach against the sisters. The men don’t preach against the sisters. In the UK, a woman who wrote a book about being a call girl and paid her way through her PhD studies became a celebrity and got a mini-series out of it. Because when women exercise their sexual power over men they are always right, no matter what the circumstances.
· But there is a problem with prostitution and other low cost sexual gratification. The problem is not about disease or corrupting the innocent or sin. Low cost sexual satisfaction dilutes the pool from which women may choose their mates to have their children. You have to keep in mind that women have a very brief timeframe to get this job done whereas men can take a lifetime to participate in accepting responsibility. And what is worse in the West is that if a woman cannot get a man to the altar, she cannot get access to a virtual fail proof support regime whether the relationship lasts or not. Prostitution leads to a lack of containment of men’s loneliness, and if it is cheap?-well I think you get the point. Love might die.
The great irony of the sex worker industry is that Feminism, by seeking to extend control over male behaviour in the West, is actually fuelling pornography, prostitution, and sex tourism. Men’s sexual nature is, in fact, natural and not the work of the Devil and one of men’s burdens in this life is to have to satisfy it. Men need a pool of women who they feel will accept and respect them and if they cannot find such women they will seek satisfaction elsewhere. They will even allow themselves to be exploited for money if need be as long as there is sufficient illusion provided that the prostitute actually wants the encounter.
There are a number of possible solutions to Western women’s problem with men’s nature, but I leave it to readers to decide which are likely to happen:
A. Women could offer themselves as freely as men would offer themselves to women as an expression of concern about men’s sexual frustration and without expectation. There is nothing in either the natural or the civil law against this.
B. Women could press legislatures to make sex work illegal and prosecute the providers of service; they could demonstrate outside any venues that offer sexual services of any type (as with the illegal drug trade this would focus the remedy on suppliers, not users and because users in this case suffer no harmful effects by satisfying their needs, it would be humane and beneficial); they could name and shame in the media women successfully prosecuted.
C. Western women could re-learn the lessons of femininity, dress in a feminine fashion by rejecting slutwear, lose their coarse language, and practice the art and illusion of their Eastern sisters in making men feel respected and wanted.
D. Women could demand the abolition of marriage thereby eliminating all the issues connected with possessiveness, infidelity, divorce, and the distinction between married and unmarried status; they could live alone or with their children apart from men thus eliminating domestic violence
E. Women could urge legislatures to legalize sex work and thus eliminate any distinction between virtue and sin, and satisfy their sexual needs as required at the same time eliminating any stigma attached to men seeking the sexual satisfaction demanded by their nature
F. Women could pursue the current course of blaming men for what is wrong with their lives
You see, when I read comments from HCG (whether a male or female they reflect a seam of Western female attitudes) or Blue in Bangkok, I always see the rule whatever is wrong with women’s lives it is men’s fault and its corollary women take no responsibility for their actions pop up in my brain. They feel entitled to dictate men’s lives in general, not just their own intimate encounters. They want to be the empowered women Feminists are always talking about but they know, in fact, that Nature is far crueller to women than men. Their beauty, such as it is, will not last long. Their fertility will last far shorter a time than men’s potency. In their hearts they know the next generation of competitive women is hot on their heels. They know, too, that they cannot tell their sisters not to sell out cheaply, to losers. They fear that one day they will have to settle if they want other things to happen – they see this every day, maybe in their own fathers. Their power in this life is short lived. This will gladden the hearts of some men, those who now live their lives as an act of revenge against Feminized women but I have great sympathy for women. They didn’t invent the dance between the sexes and its imbalance and they didn’t invent the cultures they grew up in, any more than men. And they, as a forty year old Australian women who must have been a stunner when younger, told me in Udon Thani 'everything that was supposed to come true for me, everything my mother said, was a lie.'
I have paid my dues in my youth and been taken to the cleaners but it really came down to my own fault. I was unaware of my own social conditioning and the existence of my romantic heart but like I said near the beginning of this piece, if I knew what I know now I wouldn’t have two lovely children. But now that I know what I know I would never live with a woman again. I can be their lover, but I can’t be a couple. And in Bangkok, we can be what we want to be with each other.
This is a long piece but it is only a tiny bit of the whole story. Thirty years has produced about 300 pages of writing and even that doesn’t say it all. That is what makes the topic the challenge of a lifetime.
There is oh so much wisdom here and I love the balance with which you write, no anger or hatred, just cool, calm, clear explanations. Very nice indeed!