Friday, March 30, 2012

The End Of Hypergamy? Not So Fast . . .

One of the things that sucks about blogging is that there are often too many subjects about which to expound going on at one time.  You simply can't write about everything.  Thankfully, the Manosphere is a a gloriously churning maelstrom of vigilance, and you can count on one of your Manosphere brethren to watch your back on important issues.  And, in this case, one of the Manosphere sisteren.

Honorary Manosphere pundit Susan Walsh over at Hooking Up Smart had a lovely piece today examining Liza Munday's contentions in her new book, The Richer Sex.  I encourage you to check it out.  Susan dissected the overtly feminist work with admirable Red Pill perspicacity, and in particular recognized something that Ms. Mundy apparently has not: Men aren't terribly thrilled with what they have lost due to the rise of female earning power.

I want you to read the whole post, but of particular note is this astute observation Susan makes:

Apparently, Mundy describes the cheerful male helpmeet greeting his frazzled wife with a glass of wine at the end of the day at least half a dozen times in the book. It sounds more like Mad Men in reverse than a plausible scenario for American married couples. I also find the reference to manly pursuits extremely patronizing and hypocritical – is this the enlightened version of the 1950s sewing circle?

Why no, no it is not.  Thank you, Susan.

The Red Pill truth of the matter is that women who "marry down", whether you use income, class, or education as your metric, take a very real hit to their social status by doing so.   Women in aggregate are highly judgmental, and as they continuously seek to establish their place in the social hierarchy of women, after determination of marital status and childbearing status, the status of the woman's husband is often factored in even before her own professional success is taken into account.

I happen to have grown up in a very science, technology, and medically-oriented burgh, and I spent most of my 20s, as I was hacking my way painfully through college, working in offices because I have more sense that to work construction.  I was a male clerical worker (mostly temp jobs) for nearly ten years.  I got to work in every kind of office a major metro area has to offer, from insurance to medical to computer to pharma to the local public school system.  I was a regular cubicle hound for years.   So I got to witness the female social network in action, up close and personal, over and over again.

I was fortunate enough to work under some crackerjack female managers, as well as some real screachtards.  But as I evaluated the power centers of each new job (a vital step for a young male in the minority) I began to notice some interesting patterns.

For example, I once worked in one of the medical departments for a university hospital, directly under one of the most competent managers I've ever had.  Dr. X had two advanced degrees, loads of professional accolades, and a generous salary, not to mention perks and honors that come with such a position.   But Dr. X was married to a very intelligent man who was pursuing a MFA in creative writing . . . and had been for over a decade.  He had also yet to publish anything.  

Now Mr. X's non-existent teaching salary was about what Dr. X made in her first quarter.   He was a "house husband", even though they employed a housekeeper.  I met the dude at two different functions, and he was the consummate Beta: intelligent, caring, deeply concerned for community affairs and very supportive of his wife's career . . . but behind his back the line of shit that got talked about him was impressive.  "Golddigger", "Gigolo" (the first time I've ever heard that term used to refer to a husband that way) and other epithets were whispered, and sympathy for "Poor Dr. X" about her loser hubby who wouldn't get off his ass and get a real job were gossip-fodder all night long.  

He was just the kind of sensitive house-husband Liza Mundy was speaking of when she was talking about the new "acceptance" by men of their new roles.  Mr. X was viciously emasculated, and Dr. X was professionally damaged by that.  And with no children involved, the level of loathing by these women was intense.  Despite their sympathy for the good Doctor X, the other women who controlled the department severely discounted Dr. X's leadership abilities based almost solely on her (to them) poor skill in selecting a mate.  She "married down", and that put a negative spin on what was an otherwise robust career.  Mr. X was "holding her back", "dragging her down", and she was "carrying him".  There was even open speculation as to whether or not she would be open to the possibility of an affair.

Let's contrast that to Ms. Y, another mid-level manager I worked for in the private sector.  With two masters degrees and a decade and a half of experience in her industry she was at about the same professional level as Dr. X, but Mrs. Y was married to an entrepreneur and developer.  He had even used her money to start his company and get his first few projects going.  He was just shy of a bachelor's degree, but his high-profile projects pushed him into social circles he likely wouldn't have been privy to, otherwise.  Ms. Y repeatedly used Mr. Y's company to look for sales prospects, and vice versa.  When Ms. Y needed sponsors for charity events or promotions, Mr. Y's company was there, and when Mr. Y's company needed corporate sponsorship for something, she made sure her company got behind it.  

Add in one terribly cute adopted baby and you have a real Power Couple.   And that's the only way a woman can survive the stench of "marrying down" on her career.

I put up with this myself, from time to time.  Yes, Ms. Ironwood out-earns me, even at her state job, and has limitless potential to pile up dough in the private sector some day.  Me, I've about maxed out my salary potential as a copywriter, and the only way I can increase my income is through freelance or writing books.  Since that's an option, I'm not intimidated by my wife's success -- I've been telling her for years I'm worth tens of millions in potential intellectual property rights.  But if I hadn't had my very first submission get published and hit the New York Times Best Seller's list, making me a by-gods Author instead of a poor college student with a day-job, it would have been a different story.   That was enough of a status-boost in my community to make us a "power couple", not a career woman with a husband who did something creative or something while he took care of the kids.

Look at the reaction to Demi Moore's highly-popularized union with Ashton Kutcher, compared to the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie couple.   Demi's image was hurt (except among cougars who were hungry for some validation of their own middle-aged lusts for young flesh) by her pairing, whereas minstrels wrote epics about Brangelina's relationship.  Being a Power Couple energized both of them, whereas Demi was brought down in status while Ashton went up.  

I know, I know, comparing celebrities to real people is just wrong.  But it illustrates my point: not only have men not accepted their "new role", neither have women.   Because in the judgment of the female social matrix women who cannot attract a superior mate to themselves are themselves downgraded, regardless of their accomplishments.  
Women now account for the majority
of higher-educated workers.

And that doesn't even get into the profound alienation that men feel about the whole idea.  

Understand first that men naturally compete -- with other men.   That's been the gold standard since the Time Before Writing.  What we competed for wasn't important -- it was the competition that mattered.  That spirit has been enshrined in competitive sports and other endeavors in every human culture.  Men compete.  Against each other.

But with industrialization and a flood of women entering the workforce back in the 1960s and 1970s, and then the next wave of professionals and information-class female workers in the 1980s and1990s, men were faced with the uncomfortable prospect of competing with women for jobs, not men.  And they considered the competition unfair.  While three decades of corporate culture in which women were not only involved, but were actively working to promote and advance other women (when they weren't sabotaging them to get ahead) has given us a fairly workable set of social and legal rules regarding the workplace, that doesn't mean that men have embraced the idea.  Hell, some barely accept it, and others refuse to work with women at all, becoming self-employed rather than deal with a female superior.

Women have made significant gains in the workplace,
particularly in middle management.  This has not translated
into higher feminine happiness.  Nor into attractive mating

Indeed, men have not embraced the idea of women in the workplace the way that feminists wanted them to.  Not at all.  Feminist ideology stated that once there was legal and cultural parity between men and women in the workplace, then both could compete for the same jobs based on merit, from a level playing-ground.  Once women started moving into positions of power, men would naturally come to respect them for their leadership abilities and follow them just as well as they would follow a man.  

In the Feminist Utopia, a strong, independent woman was valued by the men who were her subordinates.  And if they didn't have respect for her, then that was due to their sexism and chauvinism, not due to the faults or flaws in the female executive in question.  Laws and cultural diversity classes would be brought to bear, forcing men to acknowledge and support the superiority of their female superiors, while a sisterhood of career women mutual supported and mentored each other to break the glass ceiling, take control of the corporate state, and eventually re-shape the world in their image with the happy obedience and willing cooperation of their re-educated male colleagues.

Women have long complained about men not doing
a fair share of housework.  Now that housework parity has
been achieved, professional women are finding that they are
not as attracted to a domestic house-husband as they would
have thought.

Didn't quite work out that way.

Feminism missed a lot about this.  And one of the big things that they missed was the fact that men don't like competing with women -- and when they are forced to, they rebel.  Since the law and corporate culture prohibit an active rebellion without retribution, men take the road of the Puerarchy, and go subversive.

It's not an organized subversion as some feminist speculate -- there is no vast, right-wing anti-feminist cabal who has a 10 year plan to put every woman in the world back into dependence on a man.  Or if there is, no one has invited me to it yet.  No, resistance to female authority and female competitors happens because when placed in a competition with both men and women, men often discount the women out of the equation.  They can justify this because of the "advantages" that just being female grants their colleagues.  

And this helps explain one of the reasons why young men are so reluctant to marry: they no longer view women as equal partners or even potential subordinates in a relationship.  Faced with highly-competitive females at work who are operating aggressively in competition, these Guys (hard to call them Men until they get made Men) it becomes that much harder to drop the competitive nature of intergender relations long enough to do more than hook up -- and certainly not enough to wed.  

Women are scary to these guys. 

They often have power over them (middle management seems replete with single women in their late-30s and early-40s who have devoted so much to their careers that they're still single -- and will likely die that way), they always have the power to hurt them just by suggesting you said something inappropriate, and they can use unfair advantages of flirtation and even affairs with senior management to advance their careers . . . while being publicly appalled about such things.  After being challenged at work all day, forced to compete against women, the allure of a "dude's apartment" complete with beer signs, videogames, and non-stop internet porn seems like Valhalla.   

Anecdotal evidence tends to suggest that men with female superiors feel
less compelled to achieve, and are over-all less ambitious than their
male-led peers.  Some ambitious men studiously avoid female-led positions
due to the unlikelihood of getting a future raise or promotion
and the higher likelihood of sexual harassment charges.

Consider the raunchy Comedy Central show Workoholics, focused on three stoner loser roommates who work in a cube farm for a ball-busting bitch of a (pointedly single) female executive who regularly dominates, emasculates, and berates them.  It's a paen to the Puerarchy.

Do they respect their successful and aggressive female manager?  They fear her -- but any loyalty due her is purely based on her very low  expectations of their performance, not because she has earned it in their eyes.  The Workoholic Guys endure work, they tolerate their boss, but they have no ambition to achieve because they know such ambition is often singled out and punished.  Besides, why go to all that trouble if you're just going to get your legs cut out from under you again?  Better to go home and grind on Halo 3 for nine hours straight before whacking off to porn, passing out, and then getting up and doing it again the next day.  They rarely even make the effort to meet girls, much less pursue them.   And trying to impress them with false expectations of future potential is just too damn hard to do convincingly.

Relationships?  They get enough of that shit at work.

The Guys are certainly not eager to jump into a marriage with a woman -- they saw what happened to their fathers' generation, and things are looking even less rosy now.  They're content to pursue their personal interests at home, keep their damn mouth shut at work, and most don't have more ambition than to stay employed for the next decade.

Meanwhile, the Girls (the Guys' female contemporaries) are discovering that the same dudes they eagerly compete with at work have zero respect for them "as women".  That is, they don't want to date.  They want to have sex, sure, but the Guys don't want to invest anything into a relationship with a Girl from work.  That's just asking for trouble.  

At first that works out fine for both, as both are fully immersed in hookup culture, complete with friends-with-benefits and booty calls.  But as a few years go by and the early 20s become the mid-20s, the Girls quickly get tired of the hookups and start to pursue "real" relationships.  Only they are being frustrated by the utter disinterest that's being shown in them.

That's highly frustrating to a generation of women who were taught -- incorrectly -- that the road to masculine respect and admiration was through career success.  And it is -- for other men.  But while a dude will certainly look at a woman's career and earning prospects as a plus, in most cases, if they are too much over his own then he's going to loose interest quick -- we know what happens when you go down that road.  No one wants to have to ask his sugar mama for beer money.  Past a certain point, career success actually starts hurting a woman's prospects of finding a marriageable mate.  And without one, her future in the increasingly female-dominate workforce is very limited.  She might break the glass ceiling, but if she doesn't have a husband then despite four decades of feminist propaganda the female social matrix discounts the woman's status dramatically.

So how does the Feminist Utopia deal with marriage, then?

According to standard feminist ideology, marriage, when entered into at all (it being an essentially oppressive custom of the fallen Patriarchy, after all) is to be no less than the perfect union of equals . . . though in practice any marriage where the man actually takes any leadership role is usually condemned in feminist circles as atavistic.  Despite that, feminists are themselves locked into the female social matrix.  If they don't "marry up", then they get accused of bagging a "Nigel" (as in "men are horrid creatures who have oppressed women for centuries, using their superior strength and position to dominate us -- but Nigel doesn't believe in all of that, do you dear?")-- what the Manosphere refers to as a White Knight or a Manigina.   Nigels are the epitome of the sexless submissive Beta male -- just the perfect kind of mate, according to feminist ideology.  

Only feminists despise Nigels.  It comes across in every post about them in feminist discussion groups.  They betray their own ideology with their loins, and often leave poor Nigel by the side of the road after a few years in pursuit of the Alpha cock they've starved themselves for.  Feminists may say they love Betas, but they're voting with their vaginas . . . and eventually some of those dudes, embittered by their rejection, find themselves in the Manosphere.

From a feminist perspective hypergamy isn't a problem -- it's a solution.  Rejecting inadequate males after using them for resources (emotional support, sperm, additional revenue) in favor of a higher-status male is in itself status-building in feminist circles -- basically what that horrid Eat, Pray, Love woman did.  Hypergamy proves their personal superiority to their first husbands, and even to their second husbands.  

So the idea that Hypergamy is going to vanish now that women earn more than men is just bullshit, any more than the idea that men stopped objectifying women in the workplace just because of sexual harassment laws.  No matter how many happy, smiling Manginas Ms. Mundy exhibits as proof that men have "embraced" their new testicle-light role, the rest of us know it's Blue Pill bullshit.   Men, as Men, are rejecting that role and going their own way, marrying down themselves or not marrying at all, or marrying third-world brides with more traditionally Agricultural Age concepts of matrimony.    That's the factor that Ms. Mundy hasn't examined.   The rejection of the American Working Woman by the American Working Man, unless the matter of children is involved.

Some feminists see this as a plus -- the idea that a man and woman should need to be married in order to support each other flies in the face of feminist rhetoric about independence.   Dr. Emily Nagoski, noted Sex Nerd, has proudly trumpeted the fact that she and her romantic interest don't "need" each other (which makes any talk of marriage just seem silly), they stay together because they "want" to.  They love each other, and love alone should be enough to establish and maintain a relationship, independent of economic concerns.  Or, as one sarcastic feminist commented, 

Yeah, God forbid she actually stick around because she LIKES the dude or anything. Can’t have that.

Well, no.  No, we can't.  Why not?  Because men, in aggregate, don't want that kind of marriage.  Its one based on their ability to be entertaining, and once that stops, the relationship is OVER and they know it.  Or, as I responded to the above-sarcastic feminist:

Well, that is kind of the point. 
Most men view marriage as a life-long commitment that may possibly include reproductive rights, certainly involves combining finances and financial security, implies certain legal and ethical obligations, certainly includes a sexual component, not to mention establishing an entirely new family built around the compromises of blending your individual family cultures. His wife will be what socially defines him and will be how other men in his masculine culture will judge him. 
And you think that a man should make a decision and establish a commitment that weighty based on your willingness to “like a dude”? 
What happens if you stop “liking” him? You leave? Take his kids? Half his stuff? Because you “just aren’t happy” or “I love you, but I’m not in love with you”, and “I settled prematurely (!)” or any other EatPrayLove rationalization? Because you met another dude you like a little bit better? I mean, is it any wonder that older women are discovering that men in their brackets are more than a little “commitmentphobic” . . . because actual commitment to a marriage has been pretty thin on the ground for the last forty years. 
Yeah, Goddess forbid she stick around because she actually made a COMMITMENT to a dude or anything. Can’t have that.

To which she replied, basically, 

Why turn down money in the family because it’s got girl cooties on it?

Because it's not about the fucking money.  That's what they don't understand.  They want to think it's about the money, so they're the first to say it's NOT about the money, that the money doesn't matter.  And it doesn't, but not for the reasons they suspect.

Men look at resources and wages and earning and success very differently than women.   Women feel that they should enjoy the same prestige among men that a man would get for that level of success -- but men aren't giving it to them, and they're not getting much more from other women.  Why?  Men see wages and income and professional success as a means to an end: to attract a high-quality mate.  Women see wages and income and professional success the same way . . . only men aren't attracted to security issues the way women are.  

It's like the metrosexual dudes who think if they look pretty enough and smell good enough and lack hair in all the right places, they'll find Ms. Right.  The problem is that as much as women enjoy good-smelling dudes who look pretty, good looks are not the primary motivator of their sexual attraction cues.  Money and security is.  That includes emotional security, of course, so a successful career woman may indeed find a man who fulfills that emotional need (she doesn't have a financial need) . . . but the moment she marries him, the power and sex balance has been broken.  He needs her for financial security and she needs him for emotional security, but emotional security isn't a recognized metric among the female social matrix.  

But the sarcastic feminist won't recognize that.  She maintains "There’s nothing about economic security that makes people have to act like jerks." Of course, the caveat is that she means that "there's nothing about economic security that makes MEN have to act like jerks" -- no doubt if it's a woman who is suddenly demanding economic security from a man in the process of divorce, she's entitled to whatever she can squeeze out of him, as per standard feminist practice.   

If a woman happens to be a SAHM and wants more control over the household income, her husband will be labeled a "jerk" or worse if he doesn't grant it by feminists.  But if a SAHD wanted to control the finances of the household, assuming a much wealthier wife, then he's labeled a "controlling loser jerk" and conventional wisdom says "she can do better".  Hypergamy, alive and well.  

There is one bright bit of sunshine from this gloomy picture, though.  Thanks to the new economic parity between men and women, I think we'll see some punitively unfair divorce laws overturned a more and more high-profile wives get divorced by their less-well-earning husbands.  After we see a few female execs get taken to the cleaners by their boy-toys, we'll see a feminist cry about further divorce reform to "protect the right of a woman to generate and control her own capital" or something like that.  Predatory husbands who Game these old broads and then dump them a few years later for half their fortunes will change a few tunes.  Perhaps enough to even begin to approach fairness in divorce laws.

But as far as Liza Mundy's contention that men are learning to accept and embrace their new roles, despite the implicit emasculation involved?
"Oh, shut up about your 'lost masculinity' . . . it's not like I was going
to let you use it anymore, anyway!"

Don't count on it, Cupcake.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Male Birth Control: It's Here, And It's A Game Changer

Oh, my.

I stumbled across this link today, and after I read it the world wobbled the way it does when my relatively straight-forward idea of how the future is going to play out gets challenged.  Like this.

Quite simply, it is a male birth-control procedure, essentially a temporary (10 years) vasectomy that can be easily and cheaply administered and easily and cheaply removed.

And it's going to change everything.

Most people don't realize just how profound the change was when a large segment of society got access to reliable birth control the first time.  Simply put, this wonderful biochemical gift enabled female hypergamy and plenty of lusty evenings without worrying about the possibility of pregnancy.  That allowed married couples to limit the number of kids they had and devote more resources per capita, thus improving the next generation's socio-economic circumstances.  Or it allowed your wife to go sleep with that dude with the 12" pecker next door and not get knocked up.  Either way, it was an official Game Changer, like industrialization, digital technology, or liberalized divorce laws.

Of course, with the assumption that the woman you were doing was, indeed, on birth control and took it like a responsible adult has led to many unplanned pregnancies.  Indeed, it's always been the ambitious girl's fall-back plan: find some rich dude, fuck him, get pregnant, let him support her and the kid so she doesn't have to work so hard.  Sure, it sounds shallow and conniving, but I've heard plenty of women (and some die-hard feminists -- I shit you not) declare that as their plan.  And with abortion legal, it really puts the male in question in an unenviable and untenable spot.  Sure, a woman has a right to choose to become a parent -- and I'll support that to my dying breath -- but if a dude wanted to skip that part, he was pretty much at the mercy of the mother in question, and had to live with the result of her decision no matter what his opinion was. As a dude, your best cover is a condom, and they are not (as my brother discovered) 100% effective.  Especially not if the woman in question is deceitful enough to "slip one past the goalie".

But no more.

With this procedure, you could get your 15 year old testosterone-poisoned son "temporarily fixed", teach him Game, and turn him loose on the unsuspecting female public with a box of condoms and you don't have to worry about grandchildren until he's 25.  Hilarity ensues.

What happens when every dude in High School is suddenly shooting blanks?  A drop in teenage pregnancy, for certain, but a sharp rise in pump-and-dump spectaculars.  And girls won't even have the pregnancy scare to fall back on.  They're going to have to work and compete for male attention among the boys, who won't be nearly as terrified of sex anymore -- and dudes who know Game will know how to exploit that.

As soon as this clears clinical trials, I'm looking into it for my sons.  If I can get them the HPV vaccine, then this seems a no-brainer.  I want grandkids, of course, but I want them in the proper time when my kids can properly support them.  This way, I can ensure that won't be until they have decent jobs and have played their way through the Puerarchy.

But it's not the teenage girls who are going to have it the worst.  This is going to hit the 30-something-and-only-five-eggs-left women who use one-night-stands as a last-ditch effort to get pregnant.  I know two such who went that route.  In the future, no more.

The other group this will hurt, in the long run, are feminists.  If men can ensure that they are infertile until they desire to have kids, then the onus of reproduction AND relationships suddenly goes back to the male, in a startling shift of power.  You'll see wives begging their husbands to get un-fixed so that they can have a baby, and men deciding to wait until they're ready.  That's going to put some stress on some relationships, of course,  but it's also going to remove the power of women to dictate to men when, where and how they are going to have kids, and who pays for them.  And feminists (at least the current Fourth Wave crop) are going to go fucking bananas about this, when they realize that.

It should be fun to watch.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Alpha Move: The Cold Cash Move

This one is a little different.

Most Red Pill dudes understand implicitly the role that money (security) plays in courtship.  It's the simplest way for a man to buff his Sex Rank -- billionaires get some play.  Now most women will insist that it isn't actually the money, per se, it's money a a sign of success, ambition, yadda yadda yadda, whatever their Hamster tells them to say to keep from being perceived as a money-grubbing goldigging bitch -- fair enough.  The fact is, most women aren't money-grubbing golddigging bitches, far from it.  Money is just a simple metric to measure potential security in a mate.  But that doesn't mean that money doesn't play a role in their sexuality.

Mrs. Ironwood is a case in point.  She was raised in relative affluence, thanks to an ancestor of hers inventing a popular over-the-counter drug and cashing in.  She lived in the "Old Money" part of town (although to be fair, since her family's fortune was post-Civil War and pre-Depression, it's technically counted as "New Old Money" -- that's just life in the South) and went to a private middle school and was a debutante and did other affluent things the extravagance of which now embarrass her.  I count myself fortunate among husbands in that my wife actively dislikes jewelry, thanks to a father who gave her far too much far too early to make up for being . . . well, her dad.  The only jewelry I've ever given her was her wedding ring.  Her ears aren't even pierced.

Of course, after her parents' divorce and subsequent financial implosion, the money went away, not that she really missed it.  I met her a few years later when she had just turned 19 and was living in a student slum and working as a receptionist, donating plasma to make rent.  Good times.

But thanks to her upbringing, she has no desire for ostentation or status symbols or any of the other crap her peers seem to be invested in.  Money doesn't impress her, save as resources to be devoted to her children and her family.  I found that intensely arousing, and an important quality in a wife.  Better, people with money don't impress her, and I've seen her snub millionaires and corporate CEOs to have a chance to speak with an Auschwitz survivor.  Money, as an abstract construct, just doesn't impress her.  One of the many things I love about her.

However . . . 

A year after we had moved in together (around 1992), while I was still in college, I sold my first published piece.  To be fair, I'd sold it three years before, it was just taking forever to run through the process.  But in early 1992 my first book came out, right after I met her.  Much to my delight it did well -- in fact, it hit the New York Times Best Seller's list.  And after riding that particular DHV for all it's worth ("Yes, Mom, he isn't just a loser Liberal Arts major -- he's a New York Times Best Selling Author!"  = GOLD) a month or so afterwards I caught a second wave.  My royalty check came.

Now, understand that in 1992 I was making about $15,000 a year in temp jobs, waiting tables and under-the-table stuff while I struggled to finish up my two bullshit majors that had no hope of finding me a job.  I had lived with my parents through most of that to save money, and I was driving a crappy old Vega station wagon (the first vehicle John Delorean ever designed, BTW).

Suddenly I had a check in my hands for a sizable portion of my annual income . . . and I had earned it with the power of my brain.  Mrs. Ironwood was certainly impressed.  And she was 19.  Do you know how an impressed, in-love 19 year old woman expresses herself?  Physically.  Noisily.  And with great eagerness.  

Yeah, it was like that.

But here's where it gets interesting.  After arranging to buy a new-to-me Mustang (another story, and a lot more sex) I secretly took out $2500 from my account in cash.  In $100 bills.

That money was destined to be spent -- I had bills to pay.  But I wanted to try an experiment, perhaps one of the earliest Red Pill experiments I ever did.  I went home to find the future Mrs. Ironwood doing something or other, and I pulled her into the bedroom.  And then without a word I stripped her naked.  Then I reclined her on the bed.  Then I started laying $100 bills across her skin, all over her naked body.

I was testing a theory of one of my all-time favorite sci-fi authors, Robert Heinlein, who had mentioned in the Notebooks of Lazarus Long that "Money is the best aphrodisiac, but flowers work almost as well."  I was young, goofy, and had just written a NYTBS novel -- I was at the apex of my mid-20s cockiness.  And I wanted to see if the future Mrs. Ironwood, considering her affluent upbringing, would respond with anything other than "Ick!  You don't know where that's been!", which is what I expected.

What actually happened was very different.  I witnessed the incredible sight of her rolling around in $100 bills in a state of sexual excitement that I had, at that point, never before seen in a woman.  She was a lusty babe when I met her, but put her on a bed of $100 bills and she writhed like a slut in heat with the fleet in town.  Minstrels will one day write songs about the intensity of that crazy afternoon of sex.  At least one neighbor complained of the noise.

Afterwards, when we talked about it, she revealed that yes, indeed, the sight (and smell) of that much cash had a quite unexpected erotic effect on her, one that had embarrassed her, but one which she understood in part because of her affluent upbringing.

She explained that the boldness of the move -- "It was pure Bull Alpha!" -- combined with the fact that I had made the money out of my own talent and skill and imagination (also, she admits 20 years later, combined with the fact that she was a super-horny 19 year old girl with a nerd fetish) had taken the usual excitement about a visible sign of security like the cash and magnified it in her brain.  It was the ballsiest, nerdiest power-move she'd ever seen.  Damp panties, natch.

I wasn't just demonstrating my ability to provide security, she explained, I was doing it in a bold and deliberate display of nerd power, as primal as beating my chest.  This was MY money that I had earned . . . and of all the women in the world I wanted to writhe around naked in it with, I had chosen her.  She was aroused because even though she knew the money wasn't hers, the fact that I trusted her enough to roll around naked in a pile of my dough was just too hot to resist.  This was me waving my intellectual dick around, she explained, as dominant a move as I've ever done.  She still has fantasies about that afternoon, she tells me.  Hell, so do I.

A friend of mine (single, successful player) has a similar trick, a move he plays when he's on the road sarging for fresh poon in states he doesn't live in.  He sits at a bar and orders a drink and just starts playing around with five $100 bills -- oragami, bar tricks, etc.  He doesn't spend it, he just plays with it.  And before the night is over, he's gotten huge attention (doesn't hurt that he's not bad looking, either) from women.  I've watched him fan out his money and lightly trail it over a girl's face, and then follow it with the line "Have you ever had  five hundred bucks rubbed on your nipples?" with an innocent expression on his face.  One of the best closings I've ever seen.  He's occasionally lost a hundred or so, but considering how many times it's paid off, the Hooker Math is more than adequate.  The thing is, he's not even giving the money to the chick -- he's just showing it off in a cocky, playful, masculine way . . . the kind of thing that drops panties.

So if you want a quick, surprise Alpha buff, and you can afford it, consider this move.  It's best if the money is something you earned or won with your manly skill-set (it doesn't work as well when she knows you just took it out of savings) but any naked display of wealth like that, particularly with an aggressive and cocky presentation, is a serious DHV.  If you can't afford $100s, then consider $50s or even $20s (NOTE: a big pile of change on the bed DOES NOT WORK FOR THIS and it can get pennies stuck in unusual places.  You've been warned.).

Oh, and before you ask, I asked Mrs. Ironwood's permission to share this with y'all.  She hopes you won't think less of her for it.

And what she doesn't know is that I'm planning a reprise of this move in a few months when I get a big pay-out from one of my successful Kindle books.  Only this time I'm thinking 50 $100 bills instead of 25.

It's been twenty years, after all.  Inflation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"It was on SALE!": The Myth of the Vagina Tax

I swear sometimes this blog just writes itself.

Over at Jezebel this morning there was an article entitled "Turns Out Being Born a Woman Is a Major Financial Mistake", by Cassie Murdoch.  She points out some of the differences between how much it costs to be a girl, compared to a boy, and she is outraged -- outraged, I say! -- that in this enlightened age of equality, equity, and fairness it still costs more to be a women.  Despite having twice as much underwear.

This is hysterical.  Literally.

Oh, I'll grant that outrageous gender pricing in healthcare needs to be reformed, and there are other institutional inequities in our system -- but I'll start paying more attention to that when my daughter has to register for selective service.

But as to the rest . . .

I'm a professional marketer.  You want to know why women pay more for everything?

They insist on it.

"I got mine for only $59.95, marked down from $100.00!"

"You lucky bitch!  I only paid $12.95 for mine at the discount store!"

Female buying habits are so predictable as to be formulaic.  When given a choice between two products of rough equivalence, female buyers will almost always choose the higher-priced product based on the notion that a higher cost means higher value.  It's the same impulse that convinces you that the sweater that was originally $70 but sold on sale for $25 was actually WORTH $70 . . . and not the $12.50 it will be at the end of the season.

Women are the perfect consumers -- men won't put up with higher prices for anything but baseball cards and sports cars, but one of the surest ways to increase sales for women is to mark it up and mark it down.
"I don't mind paying extra if the box
says it's worth it!  Boxes don't lie!
And gosh darn it . . . I'm worth the extra expense!"

Consider feminine hygiene products.  Given a choice of the exact same product in two different presentations at two different price points, women will consistently select the product with the prettier box and the higher price.  It's like a dog and a bell.

Ms. Murdoch wants to know if pink ink is just more expensive.  It's not.  It's profitable.

And who is spearheading all of this nasty gender-based consumerism?  You can blame . . . women.  

How Pink Tires Were Born
Once there was one household product for both men and women -- deodorant, razors, etc.  But in the 1970s feminism insisted that women needed special consumer treatment, since women made the majority of the purchasing decisions in the family.  And since women are far more brand loyal (that is, they will continue to purchase a brand  of product even when a comparable product is available at a cheaper price) the corporations ate it up.

Whole divisions arose to cater to women's specific consumer needs.  Women are a marketer's wet dream.  In advertising you have to convince men that a purchase is both prudent and thrifty. With women, you merely have to invoke anxiety about social ostracization ("Your girlfriends will talk about you if you don't buy this"), their innate craving to feel desired ("People will like you and want you more if you buy this") or change the packaging ("New!  Same Great Sponges . . . Six NEW Colors!).

Anytime you have to run two campaigns for the same product, that costs money.  And of course because they were marketing to women, advertisers and marketers naturally employed women to interpret and create the campaigns -- and of course almost all of these women had been forged in the feminist tradition.  Surely they had entered the industry with a mind of changing popular perceptions about women and advertising, back in the 1970s, addressing the needs of the modern woman, not the anxieties that had motivated her mother.  But did these female marketing execs try to cut women a break?  No.  Marketing is about making money, not enacting meaningful cultural change.  A marketer, male or female, who can't sell a product at a profit is a pointless expense.  And these ladies knew their market.  Knew it enough to brutally exploit it.  Since women will pay and pay and pay beyond all reason, if you hit the right buttons, it was profitable -- and a lot of feminist female marketing executives in the mainstream were as happy to fleece their sisters as the cosmetic industry was.

So all of this crap about a "Vagina Tax" is hysterical.  It's one of the biggest examples of the Rationalization Hamster at work I've ever seen.  Seriously, ladies, take some responsibility.  Do your due diligence the way male consumers do.  Buy generics.  Do without if it's not sold at a discount.  Forget about style and fashion and fad and stick to the basics.  Refuse to accept a higher price or a lesser-quality product . . . if you dare.

"I looked in her purse in the lady's room
generic tampons!  I wonder what other kind of
twisted character deficits she's hiding?" 
Apple proved how much women are suckers for slick marketing.  Sales slump, no one wants their computers . . . so make them pretty.  Put them out in colors.  Same computer, same software . . . but it's in PINK!  It's so CUTE!  I couldn't RESIST!  And it was 10% OFF so I saved a bunch!

So when it comes to the issue of the Vagina Tax, and why it isn't women's fault at all that they are being so unfairly treated, I have but one thing to say:

Ladies, on behalf of the entire Sales, Marketing, and Advertising industries, I humbly thank you.

Ian Ironwood, Esquire

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If women don't 'need' a man these days, how come all I hear is "Where have all the good men gone?" from feminists and single mommies?

I was intrigued by venerable OMGBadger’s post over at the Badger Hut today, looking at the intriguing andoft-touted meme that Women Don’t Need Male Providers anymore.  While I encourage you to examine his analysis yourself, I did have a few thoughts about it, vis-à-vis feminism.

The fact is, this is one of those “both yes and no” questions.  Yes, women can, technically, exist in our society without a male provider assisting them – and I think that it’s only proper that they can.  In a post-industrial society there is no valid reason for any adult human being with a basic education to not be able to support themselves.  As a matter of fact, I’ve stated this over and over recently to my 18 year-old niece who hasn’t quite bought into the concept.

But there is a difference between being able to support yourself at a subsistence level and actually thriving in our society.  As Badger points out, women tend to do better, personally, in two-income households.  As a single woman in a blue or pink collar job, the cost of basic living expenses and the “feminine supplies” implicit in being a girl (cosmetics, health-and-beauty, twice as much underwear, birth control, feminine hygiene supplies, 8.2 assloads of shoes), there is precious little left with which to advance either the poor girl’s education and training or her standard of living.  Call this the “Laverne and Shirley” mode.  As a young single woman you have a job that pays for your basement apartment and food, and you work part time for pizza-and-beer-and-gossip-mags money.  This is “subsistence living, industrial style”.

Add even a single child to this equation and suddenly you’re in poverty.

Luckily (for women) there are plenty of service jobs that pay slightly more than the blue/pink collar jobs out there.  As long as a young woman pays for all of her necessities and is thoughtful and careful about her spending, she should be able not just support herself, but to gradually improve her standard of living and/or invest in her education.  

Of course the number of young women who understand budgeting and saving and investment – not to mention thoughtful and careful spending – is so statistically small so that what usually happens (according to a veteran financial planner friend of mine – I got nerds) is that the young lady in question racks up a lot of debt early on and ends up using up most of her expendable income in finance charges. 

Add a kid to this equation without a second income, and you’re back to the Laverne and Shirley subsistence-level, or worse. 

For dudes, it’s a little easier.  For one thing, our basic living costs are lower.  Not only do we not have all of the expenses associated with having a vagina, listed above, but we also don’t tend to indulge in the kind of shopping that breaks a lot of our female contemporaries.  A 25 year old dude will often have a quarter of the wardrobe that a woman the same age does.  In addition, according to my financial planner pal, dudes are more likely to start saving earlier, and tend to hold a lower debt threshold.  It helps that after their main expenses are paid their capital tends to go towards consumables, technology, and transportation (beer, videogames, cars).  

This is the Puerarchy, that happy land where you work hard, come home, drink beer, and play videogames with your buds all week, and then sarge the bars on the weekends -- Valhalla, in other words.  The occasional addition of a girlfriend will reduce a dude’s expendable income, of course, but thanks to hook-up culture the cost of dating without a commitment has gone down dramatically.  Saving and financial planning is also more important to a dude than, say, a 70% off sale at Lane Bryan. Of course he might turn around and spend $300 on comic books, but . . . hey, some of those are worth something.

I know a dude I went to High School with who skipped college, turned his tech skills into a full-time data management job at a hospital, and by the time the rest of us were struggling to graduate and living at home, he had moved out of his shitty apartment and bought a house.  At 23.  By 25 he cashed in his equity and appreciation and upgraded.  I don’t know of a single female peer who showed as much financial initiative.  Indeed, three of my wife’s friends from HS had filed for bankruptcy by the time they were 25.

So being a woman who can make her own money is great . . . as long as she doesn’t care about her own future or want children.  You go, girl!

Of course, if you do want kids . . . well, without a dude in the picture, it’s gonna get expensive.  Even with a dude, it's expensive.  But without one, the problems become more than just things you can throw money at.  A woman in my neighborhood tired of not finding Mr. Right and ended up adopting a little girl from overseas to fulfill her maternal urges. Without additional assistance she has to pay for a housekeeper, before and after school care, yard crew, home maintenance and repair service and a part-time nanny . . . and sees her precious bundle of joy about nine hours a week, because she has to work plenty of overtime to afford her lifestyle.

Sure, it’s a personal choice.  That’s fine.  But a woman who has a child without a second income (much less a second parent) not only suffers economically, she also affects the development of the child.  I’m not going to argue that a one-parent household can’t produce competent, capable adults, because I know that it can.  But the penalty paid by these families is steep, and the kids are the ones who suffer with that legacy.  I see all sorts of kids in my community, from school to scouts to my children’s friends.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize, once you’ve been interacting with them for a while, that there is a definite difference between how the two-parent kids act and how the one-parent kids act.  I’d even go so far as to say that socially and culturally, all other things being equal, the two-parent kids tend to perform better. 

But what about the feminist dream of the strong, hyper-capable woman who can be a full-time career woman who is also a successful mother and (possibly, if she feels like it) wife?  Do these women exist?

Yes.  I’m married to one.  And she couldn’t do half of the shit she does if it wasn’t for my support and income. 

My wife makes good money, and on paper she should be able to afford to care for all three of the Ironwood kids without any help from me – she’s brilliant and very, very good at what she does.  However, despite her high earning potential, she could not manage the children and the household at their current level without me.  Or at least not at our present standard of living.  That second income is a substantial factor in our budgeting.  And that second pair of hands is vital in the rearing of high-quality, championship free-range children.

I’ve seen the Mommies who try to do it all without a man in the picture.  It’s sad.  Divorced or never-married, it doesn’t matter what kind of career these women have or how successful they are, even if they get Susie to soccer on time and manage to pay for camp they are often unhappy, miserable wretches who end up taking out their frustrations on their kids.  They should be enjoying the rich bounty of endless  horizons and personal fulfillment through their careers while effortlessly raising non-violent, non-sexist, productive little members of society untainted by the evils of patriarchy, according to feminist ideology.  Take the bicycle away from the fish, and it will swim just fine, right?  

Only that isn't what's happening.  If I was a betting man, I'd say that in nine out of ten cases these single mommies -- divorced or never married -- would prefer to have both financial and practical assistance in raising their kids, even if it meant putting up with lackluster sex and a few annoying habits to do it.  Hell, most of these women would walk over hot coals at the possibility of a reasonably decent date, let alone a marriage proposal.  The gilt of feminism has worn off of the prospect of a professional career, and these women -- capable, intelligent women -- are seeing the stark reality underneath.  Feminism isn't empowering anymore.  In the Middle East and Africa, perhaps, it's about women's civil and human rights, but in the West?  Feminism is what persuaded them that they didn't need the men who (in many cases) would have been happy to have a larger role in their kids' lives (in those cases where the father was identifiable . . . Ecstasy is, apparently, a hell of a drug).

Men were supposed to respect their career aspirations and factor their career goals into their own, equally, according to feminism.  Not drop you after a second date when they realize that you have to work 70 hours a week to afford your condo and your crappy car.  Feminism said that men were supposed to value you as a colleague at work (eventually) and respect you for your contributions, not see you alternately as a  hateful bitch in competition with them or a potentially easy lay. Feminism told them that the sisterhood of women everywhere is a powerful force that should help propel them from languishing at the bottom of the corporate ladder to the top with their mentorship and assistance.  It didn't mention the part about female subordinates using the power of their position to socially bully your entire department, claim credit for your ideas and continuously sabotage your own efforts at success.  That was supposed to be what men did.

They struggle through and suffer on because they have kids who depend on them and they are good moms, despite their issues.  And each, not surprisingly, will rise to defend feminism if you dare attack it as a potential source of their problems.  Feminism, to them, means never having to take any shit from a man . . . while the rest of their life shits on them in giant bucketloads.  

It means they never have to go back to cooking and cleaning for a man (although they do enough of it for themselves and their kids), never having to ask a man's permission to buy anything (although there's precious little money left over to buy anything) and never having to have sex with a man if they don't want to (although quite a few of them will admit that they'll have sex with a date out of sheer boredom, even if they don't like him much, because to do otherwise would imply that they aren't sexually-active adult women who can make their own choices about their bodies).  It means never having to worry about their father hitting her kids (although she desperately wishes someone would straighten them out, because they sure as hell aren't listening to her).  It means never having to bow to her husbands wishes about where the family goes on vacation, which neighborhood to live in, or what car to buy (although vacations are nearly non-existent, they live where they can afford to on one salary, and they drive whatever car they can afford to keep alive -- especially since NOT ONE of them to my knowledge knows anything about automotive repair, so they go to expensive mechanics for even simple repairs or routine maintenance).   

They are, in other words, by-god FREE from the tyranny of male oppression!  They have slipped from the surely bonds of the Patriarchy and have created loving families on their own, without a man!  They are living the feminist dream of being a professional career woman AND a mother, with no good-for-nothing-but-child-support father around.  

That doesn't mean they don't have complaints.  Their top complaint?  It’s not about the glass ceiling or how hard it is to be a woman in a male-dominated workplace, or any of the traditional feminist memes, as you would expect.  

It’s “Where have all the good men gone?”  

They ask me constantly, anxiously, rhetorically and practically, because I know a lot of dudes. 

Unfortunately, I don't know a lot of dudes interested in a middle-aged mother of two who works 70 hours a week and pays for a gym membership but never goes.  I mean, why would they be?  But these single mommies keep asking me, and if I don't have a specific answer ("Oh, there's one over there!  Careful . . . don't move to quickly.  And be careful how you handle him.  If his wife smells you on him, she'll reject him from the nest.") then they ask me in general terms.  "Where have all the good men gone?" they ask, relentlessly, like I'm hiding the answer.  They want to think that there's a secret cave where the good men get lured, and there are thousands of big-dicked billionaire Alphas  just waiting to be freed from their underground prison, or something.  They don't want to heart the truth, at all:

"Where have all the good men gone?"   

"Feminism chased them away.  And now they don't want to have anything to do with you anymore."

"Where have all the good men gone?"  

"They got tired of getting divorced every time you thought you could do better."

"Where have all the good men gone?"   

"Feminism taught them that 'good' and 'man' were mutually exclusive, so they bugged out."

"Where have all the good men gone?"   

"They're marrying girls from the Ukraine and Korea and Argentina and Poland now, because those women don't get divorced because they're 'not haaaaaaapy'.  In fact, some are just happy -- and grateful -- because they have a husband and a chance to raise kids here.  Aren't you happy for your international sisters for fleeing their repressive cultures?"

"Where have all the good men gone?"   

"They see what a desperate, self-delusional red hot mess you are a mile away, and they throw their loser drinking buddies at you in an act of supreme sacrifice while they spirit themselves away."

"Where have all the good men gone?"   

"They want to start their own families, not inherit someone else's mess.  They certainly don't want to be step-dad to a brood who has never had a father present before, nor do they want their fatherhood constantly over-ruled by your motherhood."

"Where have all the good men gone?"   

"They're all around you, you're just too convinced of your own value to accept anything other than perfection, and any man so equipped would be smart enough to avoid the tar pit that is your life."

"Where have all the good men gone?"   

I could answer it over and over a hundred different ways and never repeat myself.  The litany of feminism's cultural violence against men and masculinity is impressive.  No matter what you tell them, however, they won't believe you, not if the answer has anything to do with them -- because they are never the problem.  It's always the fault of men.  Men don't like older women, men don't like single moms, men don't want to commit, men don't want to be supportive, men, men, men, blah blah blah.  Men suck, if you're a single mom.  Just ask one.  She'll tell you in gory detail why men are just awful, patriarchy is bad, and how all anyone wants is youth and beauty and sex, sex, sex.  If you can find anyone willing to even try to get that far.

But curiously the glorious feeling of fulfillment she gets from having a J-O-B and being able to support herself without being dependent on a man is, somehow, just not filling the hole in their lives they need filled.  For whatever reason the envy that 1960s-era feminist held for men who seemed happy in important executive positions -- "running things" -- just doesn't seem to be all it was cracked up to be.  Women are in executive positions now.  "Running things".  Yet they never seem to have the same level of satisfaction or security in their work that comparable men do.  The power and importance that feminism said women could just reach out and grasp turned out instead to be responsibility and obligation.  They're making the big paycheck, now -- so why aren't they happy?

"Where have all the good men gone?"   

You've heard the question yourself.  Someone else will ask you again, out of desperation, disgust, or genuine confusion. When they do, choose any of the answers above, or try this one: "They prefer a woman who needs a husband more than a fish needs a bicycle."

Just don't be a smart-ass and answer “To go live with the few good women”.  Take my word for it.