Readers' Submissions

Psychological Speculation or Spying Into the Speculum



It's been quite awhile, perhaps close to a year, since I've found the energy, time and desire to create another Stickman submission. As a four-year-retired-refugee in Thailand, I can state that the opposing forces of lethargy and women do keep me from all kinds of activity. And in line with the title of this submission, this is not an entertaining trip report or tale of woe regarding my interactions with Thai women. What it is is an attempt at providing some insight, if not an actual, factual answer as to why so many Western women are so consistently unpleasant to the men in their homelands. Readers at this site will find an ongoing, intermittent stream of submissions to Stickman regarding Western women and the dubious wisdom of engaging with them. On 12/1/2010 was the latest submission to address this topic. See HERE by Napster. I'd like to run with this topic but take the conversation in a direction previously unexplored on this website. In other words, why are so many women making so many men so miserable and what are the sociological and psychological implications for the Western man?

Since Western women in general tend to have more education and more income than most Thai go-go girls and bargirls, many of these women have exercised their option to tell their male counterpart to take a hike. And I've got to admit that I was amazed when living back in the West how many men I thought very little of as people had managed to bag themselves a spouse. Many of these women eventually had a change of heart and elected to opt out of their marriages. Choosing to part company is one thing; rubbing your ex-spouse's face in the mud is quite a different matter. As an observant male comedian once noted, why do so many Western women take such umbrage at being asked out by a man. Why do they feel such compulsion to put men down when a simple and even courteous 'no' would suffice? Instead we get comments such as "I wouldn't go out with you if were the last man on earth". Appropriately noted by this comedian, if he were the last man on earth, he'd be too busy for this woman anyhow.

In a 1950's sociological study, thousands of American teenagers were asked if they considered themselves an 'important person'. 12% said yes. In the late 1980's, thousands of teenagers were again asked the same question. 80% of the females and 77% of the males replied in the affirmative. In a culture so rancidly rank with narcissism, what can we realistically expect in terms of how people interact with each other? And even if the average Stick reader has been worn down and worn out by Western women, how does the average Western woman feel about the average Western man. Does she have a mirror image of how we view them?

The APA (American Psychiatric Association) delineates numerous criteria as comprising warning signs of having a narcissistic personality. One of them is "has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations". I believe that a lot of submissions to this site have described such a personality trait in many Western women. As a refugee from the USA, I've met more than enough of such people in the West, men or women. These narcissists have severely misguided expectations about life and their place in it.

Unfulfilled expectations, perhaps from a lack of job opportunities or other causes merely than a narcissistic personality is a well-worn pathway to unhappiness. It is my contention that in a dissatisfied culture, people are too busy trying to fill themselves up and they lack much capacity or capability for nurturing other people. It's a vicious circle full of unfulfilled and unhappy individuals. I'm a heterosexual male from the USA who found the women in America not to my liking. Perhaps the women feel similarly about the men?

One of the most naive things I did in my relationships with Western women was to assume responsibility for their happiness without even being asked to do so. (OK stupid, not naive.) But it seemed that I was incapable of generating such personality modifications. Granted, I wouldn't do anything requested for these women, but no matter how far I bent over metaphorically, it wasn't ever enough. It took me a long time to accept that no human being can truly understand another and that no one can arrange another's happiness. But I can certainly spend a lot of money and time making myself crazy trying to do so. Blessedly, those days are over for me. I'm grateful to no longer be attempting to fill the bottomless pit of unfulfilled expectations.

My last American girlfriend was a platonic friend for many years before we got involved. This woman had few nice things to say about her own mother and frankly, didn't like her own mother. One day we went for a long walk and she really let loose her feelings about her mother and how Mom was eternally dissatisfied and judgemental and it was an eye-opener for me. She did a fantastic job of describing herself as she talked about her mother but that was about the last thing she wanted to acknowledge or accept. Misery loves company but that wasn't a game I wanted to play anymore.

I attempt to create a meaningful or coherent vision for what I view and experience on this crazy planet. But I am certain that it is merely my conjecture and harbor no beliefs about its authenticity or usefulness for other people. There are many things I have decided to accept even if I cannot verify them as true. I'll accept that light from the sun takes 8 minutes to get to earth. I've accepted that light travels at 186,000 miles per second. I've accepted that the USA is warped and will not adopt the metric system in my lifetime. As humans, we all require some coherent attempt to understand and assimilate what occurs in our lives. Many people find that religion provides that refuge.

Frankly, I understand nothing about chemistry and less about electricity although these comprise an important part of my daily life. I've formally studied computers, numerous musical instruments, business and accounting and investing. But what I've really tried to master is other people. Not only are they endlessly fascinating, but as my species they are integral to my happiness. And I believe that living among unhappy people is infectious. And that we all have to determine what is important in our own life. The stereotype is that the French people seek pleasure whereas Americans pursue work.

I met a Frenchman in Pattaya who had opened a restaurant there. A lot of local French ex-pats were customers at his restaurant and he explained that as part of the French personality, many or most of them were hoping for his business failure. I queried the French people I knew about this aspect of the French personality. They resolutely confirmed it. The Germans have the distinction of having a word, schadenfreude, that expresses the pleasure you feel due to someone else's misfortune. Having the distinction of having a word like schadenfreude, what does this tell us about such a culture? (Five of the shortest books ever written: 500 Years of German Humor / Italian Book of War Heroes / Polish Who's Who / Irish Book of Etiquette / Jewish Book of Business Ethics).

Sure, the emotions of jealousy, greed, envy, avarice are not in short supply among the Thai natives. Everywhere I've ever been or heard of, there are good people and bad people. And I think that every individual is a blend of good and bad, happy and sad. What's life about and our purpose while we are alive? I think that we do a disservice to ourselves and our possibility for happiness in distancing ourselves from the animals we share the planet with. Don't discount the physical pleasures of life that Western religions and Islam frown upon. Like other mammals we devote a lot of energy and derive a lot of pleasure from the basics of eating, sleeping and mating. I consider the Thais much more prone to revel in these 'animal pleasures'.

One superb trait that humans possess that animals perhaps lack is a sense of humor. I have seen, on more than once instance, a seagull and a crow drop a load right on the back of a black-leather clad motorcyclist. Were I pressed to categorize these birds, I'd say they were more prone to acts of schadenfreude rather than humor. Admittedly, the two (humor and schedenfreude) may have significant overlap, but why belabor a trivial point. The real issue is that people in the West have seemingly lost their sense of humor and I postulate that women even more so than men. The human being is a tragically flawed animal but with some redeeming features. However, absent the sense of humor, they tend not to be creatures worthy of a social setting.

I am surprised at how avidly some of my acquaintances in Thailand have pursued their sexual agendas. Perhaps my testosterone has dropped too much in late middle-age but I'm more interested in the affection rather than the sex. In Thailand, I can have either or both with women I revel in being with. I'm just an animal who didn't really know how much I was missing all my life in the West. Now I know and I'm not going back.

Michelle Houellebecq is a French author who has written in his book "Platform" about Thailand. An excerpt: Offering your body as an object of pleasure, giving pleasure unselfishly: that's what Westerners don't know how to do anymore. They've completely lost the sense of giving. Try as they might, they no longer feel sex as something natural. Not only are they ashamed of their own bodies, which aren't up to porn standards, but for the same reasons they no longer feel truly attracted to the body of the other. It's impossible to make love without a certain abandon, without accepting, at least temporarily, the state of being in a state of dependency, of weakness. Sentimental adulation and sexual obsession have the same roots, both proceed from some degree of selflessness; it's not a domain in which you can find fulfillment without losing yourself. We have become cold, rational, acutely conscious of our individual existence and our rights; more than anything we want to avoid alienation and dependence; on top of that, we're obsessed with health and hygiene. These are hardly ideal conditions in which to make love. The way things stand, the commercialization of sex in the east has become inevitable. . . .

In summary, perhaps the Western nations are full of unhappy women and unhappy men and that they are mutually incapable of providing fulfillment to their partners. I've certainly never been anywhere near as happy as my years spent in Thailand. Yes, having escaped the burden of gainful employment is a major contributing factor. I now find myself rather devoid of schadenfreude wishes and instead find myself wanting happiness for every individual. Even people that I actively dislike. This doesn't mean that I choose to socialize with those I dislike, but I do wish them well.

Bon appetit. Happy grazing. . .


Stickman's thoughts:

There's some really powerful thoughts in there, and a lot of commonsense spoken.