From whence the anger?

Today somebody actually replied to my question on Twitter as to whether the unpaid work done by men gets counted when declaring that women are suffering under the crippling burden of housework, which I wrote about here. Sadly, it wasn’t from the study’s author but a deranged feminist:

Can you imagine being in a relationship with such a person? I can’t, and I think it would be a safe bet that this woman has never had a stable, functioning relationship in her life. I post this because having spent a year or so exploring modern feminism, or third-wave feminism as it’s often called, I have reached the conclusion that much of it is driven by women whose personalities are too poisonous for them to build a relationship with a man of their choosing. That’s not to say all third-wave feminists are single, but a lot of them seem to despise their partners (e.g. Jessica Valenti) or show signs (e.g. Laurie Penny, and the woman in the tweet above) of being such unpleasant characters that no sane man would want anything to do with them.

Which leaves us with an interesting question. Is their obnoxious personality a result of their failing to find a decent partner, or is their failing to find a decent partner a result of their obnoxious personality? My guess is it starts with the latter, then forms a vicious circle.

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A Shambolic Study of Unpaid Work

Via Twitter I came across this report which attempts to tell us that women actually do more work than men:

Across all world regions, women spend more time on unpaid care work than men. On average, women spend between three and six hours on unpaid care work per day, while men spend between half an hour and two hours. If we consider the sum of paid and unpaid work, women tend to work more than men – on average, 2.6 extra hours per week across the OECD.

Women spend more time on unpaid care work than men. Okay, but what about other sorts of unpaid work? You know, stuff like mowing lawns, clearing gutters, painting sheds, unblocking drains, changing car batteries, assembling wardrobes, replacing loose slates, bleeding radiators? Or does the report only take into account care work when looking at unpaid work? Indeed it does. All that unpaid work done by men just gets ignored (incidentally, I raised this with the author on Twitter, and got no reply.)

It is therefore not surprising that the factors driving change in female labor supply – whether they are improvements in maternal health, reductions in the number of children, childcare provision, or gains in household technology – all affect unpaid care work. Because time allocation is gendered in this way, female participation in labor markets tends to increase when the time-cost of unpaid care work is reduced, shared equally with men, and/or made more compatible with market work.

So changes in technology, healthcare, and societal expectations have changed in ways that primarily benefit women, and they’ve used the spare time to go off and work. Yet somehow they’re still crushed under the patriarchal yoke.

With this said, an obvious question remains: why do women perform a disproportionate amount of unpaid care work in the first place?

Why do men spend a disproportionate amount of time doing unpaid maintenance work on the family home?

As we discuss below, although time-use should be a choice, evidence shows that social norms play a large part in determining gender roles and consequently, gendered time-use.

Men and women split the household tasks between them, each taking those they’re best at? Who knew?

In 1890, only 24% of US households had running water. In 1900, 98% of households in the US washed their clothes using a scrubboard and water heated on a wood or coal-burning stove. It is not hard to see then why in 1900, the average American household spent 58 hours per week on housework. By 1975, that figure had declined to 18. Progress in labor-saving consumer durables in the household has thus been another factor contributing to the rise in female labor force participation, especially in early-industrialized countries. Of course, this is feasible especially because women – both in 1900 and now – take on a disproportionate amount of unpaid domestic work.

Greenwood et al. (2005) present evidence for this by calibrating a quantitative economic model to show that the consumer goods revolution – which, as we can see in the chart below introduced washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and other time-saving products – can help explain the rise in married female labor force participation in the US.

So basically, women’s lives got one hell of a lot easier thanks to technological improvements. Rather than sitting back and enjoying their free time as any man would have done, they demanded to join men in the labour force. That’s fine, I have no problem with that: why shouldn’t women have careers? What I don’t understand is why they are now complaining about doing more work than men.

Some argue that there is a “natural” distribution of gender roles, with women being better suited to domestic and child-rearing responsibility and men to working outside of the home. Such assertions lack compelling evidence and more importantly, perpetuate a status quo that limits the choices available to both men and women.

Several thousand years of observing how household tasks are divvied up voluntarily between couples doesn’t constitute compelling evidence, I suppose. Or do these people think the man of the house orders his wife to feed the kid while he fixes the hole in the roof against against her will?

Instead, it is known that social norms and culture influence the way we see the world and our role in it. To this end, there is little doubt that the gender roles assigned to men and women are in no small part socially constructed.

Well, yes. Society being the result of humans interacting with each other over centuries or millenia, this is hardly surprising. A study of human behaviour which ignores societal norms and culture is of questionable value.

And while it is possible that socially-assigned gender roles emerged in the distant past, our recent and even current practices show that these roles persist with the help of institutional enforcement.

Presumably the millions of men and women in happy, cooperative partnerships are all under the influence of this “institutional enforcement”.

Social norms and culture are clearly important determinants of female labor force participation. So how can social norms be changed?

So western women, having suddenly found themselves with an abundance of free time, joined the labour force to work alongside men. If we take into account the unpaid care work women do at home, and ignore all the unpaid work men do, women work slightly more than men. Therefore we must change society.

In the context of ‘private’ family life, social norms across the world have long dictated that women should perform unpaid care work – taking care of children and elderly parents, making meals, doing laundry, maintaining family relations – while men engage in market work.

I’m beginning to see where the idiots who dreamed up this homework got their ideas from.

Rather, the hope is that with sustained social change, neither women nor men will be obliged to make decisions about time allocation on the basis of their sex.

Only when we have reshaped society will men and women be able to do the household tasks they want to.

If this is what passes for research at Oxford University these days, they might as well merge with the old poly.

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Polyamorists of Yore

Well, whaddya know? Another article – this time in The Guardian – telling us how perfectly normal and mainstream polyamory is (thanks to my research assistant for pointing me towards it. No, not that one. Nor the other one. This one is, erm, heavier.)

How movies brought polyamory into the mainstream

Why, it’s so mainstream you get a free extra partner with every third box of washing powder!

Non-monogamous relationships used to be portrayed as disastrous in film.

Thank goodness for audiences’ ability to suspend belief, eh?

Last week, a very different period drama hit cinemas. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women concerns a real-life love story between a professor and his academic wife – and their teaching student, Olive. From the late 1920s onwards, they begin sharing a workplace, a bed, a home and eventually a family.

Angela Robinson’s biopic of the creator of Wonder Woman, American psychologist William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), may be the most positive depiction of polyamory – the state of being in love with more than one person – in mainstream film to date. It posits that the comic-book superheroine was inspired by a happy, long-term union between the feminist Marston, his brilliant, acerbic wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and bright young student Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote), as well as their dalliances with S&M, a theme that worked its way into the comics. Despite the controversy the latter caused at the time, it is an accessible, occasionally moving film that treats the three-way relationship much like a typical movie coupling. This makes it decidedly atypical in the history of cinema.

Now I’ve had a brief look at the story behind this chap and his two lovers and unless what I could find online has been sanitised, it seems the three of them made a proper go of it. Well, good for them. I’ve never said polyamory can’t work, I’ve just said that it is very unusual and most examples I’ve heard of are based mainly in sex/shagging around and end in disaster after a very short time. In fact, I think it’s telling that in order to make a film about a polyamorous relationship that didn’t end in disaster they’ve had to go all the way back to 1930 to find an example of one. If this was so mainstream one would have thought they’d have used a more modern example – or not bothered to make a film of it at all.

Also, none of the accounts I have read of this particular case indicated there was any sex going on outside the trio, i.e. it was a locked-down version of polyamory. Most other accounts involved one or more of the partner being free to go off and have sex with someone else, provided the ground rules are followed (and they’re often not), which isn’t quite the same thing. The relationship depicted in this film seems to differ from contemporary accounts of polyamory by virtue of it not, at least on the surface, being centred wholly around sex and shagging around.

This line in the article amuses me somewhat:

It posits that the comic-book superheroine was inspired by a happy, long-term union between the feminist Marston, his brilliant, acerbic wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and bright young student Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote), as well as their dalliances with S&M, a theme that worked its way into the comics.

An alpha-male with a wife and a mistress who are into threesomes and S&M is a feminist, is he? Wikipedia goes further:

Marston had 2 children each with both his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and his live-in mistress Olive Byrne. Elizabeth supported the family financially while Byrne stayed home to take care of all four children. Both Olive and Elizabeth “embodied the feminism of the day.”

Now I have no reason to think this Marston chap was a bad ‘un, and his women appear to be happy with the arrangement so good for all three of them. But two women agreeing to be part of a harem is an embodiment of feminism? Are the multiple wives of Mormons feminists too?

In my previous post I wrote about how modern-day feminists seem happy to let all sorts of weirdos and scumbags into their circles provided they are on-message with the latest progressive pronouncements. We can add to that a bizarre habit of calling anyone a feminist if their lifestyle meets with their approval. No wonder so many of them come across as barking mad.

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The Feminists who Enable Sex-Pests

I’ve written before about my theory that many feminists take a dim view of men because those they choose to associate with are low-grade scumbags. Only recently we had a woman saying that all men were sex-pests and a few minutes later labelling men who weren’t sex-pests as “boring”, and I have written several posts on how Laurie Penny’s views of men tell us more about who she befriends than it does about men in general. Just in case one or two of you were thinking this theory doesn’t hold water, let me share this tweet from Laurie herself:

Now there’s a surprise, eh? But let’s just bask in the irony of someone who befriends and partners-up with a serial rapist presuming to lecture the world on the dangers of men and The Patriarchy.

So did our gal know what was going on? Did she cover for him? Alas, we don’t know and she isn’t saying:

Frankly, I’mm not surprised in the least that at least one of Laurie’s friends have turned out to be a rapist. She already told us this:

So, I’ve got this friend with a shady past. He’s a clever and conscientious person who grew up in the patriarchy, and he knows that he’s done things which may not have been criminal but have hurt people, and by people he means women. My friend has hurt women, and he doesn’t know what to do about that now, and from time to time we talk about it. That’s how it happened that, a few weeks ago, halfway through an effervescent confession in a coffee shop, the following words came out of his mouth: “Technically, I don’t think I’ve raped anyone.”

And as I said about another former friend of hers:

Why do I get the impression that this individual is not half as normal and decent as Penny is letting us believe. At a guess, I would say he is a slimy fucker of the first water who hangs around lefty circles hoping to get into the knickers of women, usually much younger and with low self-esteem and few morals, throwing out leftist and feminist platitudes to get himself accepted with no further scrutiny. Penny, at nineteen years of age, ought to have stayed well away from him even if she didn’t think he was a rapist.

For a self-declared feminist warrior who pops up in the national media to denounce misogyny and demonise men in general, she seems to befriend an awful lot of rapists and serial abusers. But as I say in the paragraph above, these types will gravitate towards people like her. Consider this tweet I read today:

Erika makes a good point. Abusive people deliberately target dysfunctional communities – such as hardcore leftists and polyamorists – knowing they won’t be turfed out on their ear. Instead, by spouting the right political platitudes, they’ll be liked and respected and can count on the support of the rest of the group if anyone lodges a complaint against them.

All of this is obvious, none of it should be a surprise. It seems a lot of these people complaining about sexually-abusive men are enabling and protecting them. For now I’ll charitably assume they are doing so unwittingly.

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An Update on Women’s Football

Remember the story from September about the England woman’s football coach being sacked after a string of allegations of racism coming mainly from one person, Nigerian-born Eniola Aluko?

Well, here’s the latest:

After three inquiries, former England manager Mark Sampson was found to have used discriminatory language to two players – Aluko and Drew Spence.

The Football Association has since apologised for its handling of the case, adding there was “much to learn from this episode”.

But England striker Aluko, who has won 102 caps and lost her place in the team after making unproven allegations of bullying in a 2016 FA cultural review, says she has had no communication from her international team-mates, except for those she plays with at Chelsea.

Why, it’s almost as if having a player accusing the coach of racism, pocketing £80,000 in settlement monies, then continuing with the complaint resulting in his sacking is detrimental to team spirit! I yearn for the day when the field of sports psychology is mature enough to properly understand these things.

This is despite the 30-year-old believing England players may “benefit” from improvements to the Football Association’s grievance process resulting from the case.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, but maybe her teammates don’t have grievances, and if they do, they sort them out among themselves.

Aluko has previously criticised the England players for running over to celebrate a goal with Sampson during their World Cup qualifier against Russia, which proved to be the 35-year-old’s last game in charge.

The problem isn’t one troublemaking individual, it’s everyone else.

She believes they need to adopt the policy of other international teams, who have fought equality issues as a “collective voice”.

Players should be forced to show solidarity.

She told BBC Sport: “Would there have been a different response if homophobic statements were made to players? I think there would be.

“Some of this is just a lack of appreciation of what racism is.

That race card is being waved with more enthusiasm than any English flag spotted at a woman’s football match.

A lot of this is, ‘it hasn’t happened to me, I can’t relate to that, so I’m not going to comment’. That, to me, can’t be a team.

“I’ve got to be able to put myself in your shoes and say, ‘even though I can’t understand what it may feel like, I’m going to try and understand and I’m going to support you regardless’. That is a team.

And there was me thinking teamwork was about putting the collective interests before your own petty grievances. Incidentally:

She chose to remain loyal to the English coaches who had given her the opportunity to play international football, but said: “The main thing for me is for people to understand that choosing to play for England doesn’t mean that I don’t support Nigeria. I’m as much Nigerian as I’m British. Of course Nigeria means a lot to me, it’s part of me, but I’ve been brought up by English coaches.”

Presumably the English coaches were easier to manipulate, shake down, and get fired.

Aluko has regrets about things she has said throughout the process, and apologised for criticising the players on Twitter when they ran over to celebrate with Sampson during the game against Russia.

“I think [the celebration] was naive and perhaps wasn’t the best thing to do for the players,” she said. “Some of them may have a special relationship with Mark Sampson and they have every right [to celebrate with him], but I think about the sensitivity at that time, and it wasn’t respectful.

Me me me me me me me! Five seconds later:

“We need to look at other examples and ask why this isn’t happening with a team ranked third in the world. Is the togetherness we keep banging on about actually being put into action or is it just a hashtag on Twitter?

Then:

“I’m not encouraging further discord between me and the players, not that I think there is any discord. As far as I’m concerned, last time I was in the team, everything was fine and nobody had any issues.

“So if anybody has any issues, they need to have specific examples, because what I’m not going to have are insinuations or stereotypes or perceptions to almost excuse what I’ve been through, because it doesn’t excuse it.”

Now it’s generally true that footballers aren’t very bright which could explain such a lack of self-awareness, but this woman has ambitions of becoming a lawyer:

She subsequently went to study Law at Brunel University, where she graduated with a First class degree in 2008. In July 2009 it was announced that Aluko would spend the 2009–10 US off-season studying for the New York bar exam before taking a similar exam in England, her aim being to have an entertainment law practice in both England and the United States.

So she’s not stupid, just highly manipulative and prepared to say absolutely anything to further her own interests. The sooner she gets out of football and into the legal profession where she’d be quite at home, the better for everyone.

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Why Some Women Take a Dim View of Men

As I was saying, gently mocking feminists can be fun:

This conversation was worthwhile – not because I expect this woman to change her mind – but because I got out of her a partial admission of what the root cause of the problem is.

She starts off by complaining that all men are abusive and have little concept of consent, seduction and respect. She ends by saying any men who attempt to demonstrate otherwise, or any women who try to find this out before sleeping with them, are “boring”.

Well, my friends and acquaintances might be boring, but the men aren’t sex-pests and the women aren’t routinely abused by people they are close to. My guess is in their quest for excitement over boredom, many women end up surrounded by low-grade men who, one way or another, hurt them. The reasons they do this are likely varied, but poor parenting is certainly one of them. It is also imperative for any man, when he meets a woman, to ascertain what sort of men she’s been hanging out with over the past few years because this will tell you a lot about the person. For the remaining few who are still interested in my blurb-less book, I cover this subject in quite some detail.

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When Feminists Set Homework

The following picture was posted on Twitter yesterday by a British dad who said his kid’s school had handed it out as homework:

This surprised me a little because the narrative last week was that men were all-powerful sex-predators who use their patriarchal powers to force women into submission, which is why The Handmaid’s Tale documentary was so popular. But if denigrating and undermining men using any means to hand is the goal, the first casualty will be consistency.

To begin with, I should point out that I have come across men who’ve been utterly feckless, loafing around and going to parties while their women do all the chores as well as take care of him and the children. But they didn’t look much like the chap in the picture. None of them wore a v-neck sweater, for example. In fact, the men who look like the chap in the picture generally spend their days working their arses off to provide a home and secure future for their wives and kids.

But don’t you just love it? The husband is a shambling man-child while the wife is an all-powerful superwoman who does things like unblocks sinks and builds sheds on top of her womanly chores. Because yeah, every woman is just like that. Does anyone know of any woman who’s built a shed on her own? Or unblocked a sink when there was a man around who could have done it? Shortly after I left university I sort of moved myself into a house of five girls, four of whom hated me on sight. I won them ’round in short order by stopping the doors squeaking, bleeding the radiators so the place warmed up, and taking off the sink-trap to remove a lump of rotting hair the size of a golf ball with an ear bud through its centre. One of them was so impressed she even reads my blog almost twenty years later (*waves*).

Also, I have a close friend who was recently widowed, leaving her to raise a couple of kids alone. Among the long list of things she misses about her late husband is the moral support: when told of a problem he would make cool-headed, pragmatic suggestions which cut through the emotional nonsense surrounding it, allowing her to see the issue more clearly and in a different light. This had a valuable calming effect, which she badly misses. She’s mentioned missing this aspect of their relationship more times than she has anything to do with fixing stuff or carrying heavy items about. Do you think this ludicrous cartoon captures this contribution to a woman’s well-being which men so often provide?

Whoever came up with it obviously doesn’t know much about men or relationship dynamics, and it is fun to speculate on the relationship status of the women (for it was surely women) who are responsible. Do they belong to:

Group 1: Young women who complain incessantly that men don’t want a relationship, they just want an easy shag off Tinder. All of them will have Tinder accounts, and all will have provided said easy shag more than once in the past six months.

Group 2: Bitter older women who look forward to reading the cat-buying guides with each new issue of Modern Spinster magazine?

Group 3: Middle-aged women who were busy shagging shitlords in their twenties when they should have been securing themselves a decent partner, and chose to settle with some bumbling omega male nobody else wanted to avoid joining the women in Group 2 (look at the body-language of the woman in the picture). The divorce papers will be served on him once she’s in possession of her anniversary diamonds, and the Group 2 sisterhood will welcome her with open arms and one of these.

Whatever the case, you can be damned sure the brainchild behind this was not a woman enjoying a functioning relationship with a man she loves and respects. I’m not too worried about this because rather than driving a wedge between men and women as they hope, I think these deranged feminists are only succeeding in driving a wedge between them and ordinary, sane men and women. The comments beneath the original tweet are encouraging, suggesting men are wise to the game being played:

The best way to deal with this is to mock it mercilessly. Feminists like a fight, but they don’t like being laughed at. If I had a kid who was handed homework like this, I’d complete the assignment myself being sure to include sentences like “Mummy is brilliant, she does everything, including bringing Daddy a beer when he calls out for one”.

What desirable outcome feminists hope to achieve with stuff like this is anyone’s guess.

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Sexism at Work

Some time ago I worked in an office with limited space, so the coffee machine was put in the same room as the printer. This meant you’d often find someone getting themselves coffee when you went to the printer and vice versa. The room was small so you’d have to squeeze past one another, which involved a bit of cooperation.

There were quite a few people on the floor: engineers, managers, admin staff, etc. with the last group being mainly middle-aged women. Usually when a dashing young man like me walked into this room, any women present would respectfully make way for me and say a polite “hello”. The men would too, but they’d move a fraction more slowly. I notice these things.

Then one day I walked in to pick something off the printer and I found the way blocked by three or four of the secretary/admin ladies. One of them saw me in her peripheral vision, glanced at me, and didn’t move. Nor did any of the others.

“Ey up,” I thought. “What’s going on here?”

I politely said “excuse me” and they shifted aside, just enough to let me past. As they did I saw they were all chatting with a man, who so happened to be one of the big bosses on the floor. As I waited for the printer to rumble into action I listened to them, clucking like hens around this high-status male in their midst. Had he not been there, I would have held the high status and they’d have stepped aside, but with this chap there I was just a pleb who could be ignored while they gave him their full attention. Once I’d worked out what was going on I couldn’t stop myself from grinning. If any of them noticed it on my way out, they ignored it.

I suspect the women’s behaviour was subconscious, and none would have had any recollection of it afterwards. In other words, it was quite natural. Now men arse-lick bosses all the time, more so than women in my experience, but this wasn’t quite arse-licking. It was more an adjustment of body-language to reflect the relative status of the two men in the room and if you weren’t looking for it you’d miss it.

I’ve been thinking of this incident in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations and the tidal wave of women who’ve come forward claiming they’ve been sexually harassed at work, usually by a man in a position of power over them. I turned on the news this morning to find the British Defence Secretary has resigned for having placed his hand on the knee of a journalist some 15 years ago, despite the woman in question not thinking it any big deal and appearing rather uhappy about what’s happened:

The resignation comes a day after a spokesman for Sir Michael confirmed that he was once rebuked by a journalist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, for putting his hand on her knee during a dinner in 2002.

The spokesman said Sir Michael apologised when it happened.

Ms Hartley-Brewer, a former political editor of the Sunday Express and regular political commentator, told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight: “If he has gone because he touched my knee 15 years ago, that is genuinely the most absurd reason for anyone to have lost their job in the history of the universe, so I hope it is not because of that.”

If a knee-touch 15 years ago is enough to bring down a cabinet minister, then we’re going to be in for interesting times. For while the world and its dog are demanding men change their behaviour in the workplace (or at boozy parties vaguely connected with work and, going off one example I heard on the BBC, company ski holidays), they are refusing to even discuss whether women’s behaviour plays any part in all this. A couple of months back I said:

It could be that when a woman acts like a “lad” and engages in alcohol-fuelled banter of an insulting or sexual nature – even in jest – it brings out the worst behaviour in the men around her.

So there’s that. Of course, there are plenty of women who’ve not behaved like this but nevertheless been sleazed over at work, because there is the odd lecherous man everywhere and these guys need to be thinned out. Then there is the vast majority of women who behave well and so do the men around them, but they don’t make good headlines.

But what’s interesting is at the margins you’re going to find men behaving well until, almost subconsciously, they make the wrong move or say the wrong thing. It might even be too subtle to notice, unless there is an entire HR and grievance industry forcing women to spot anything that may look like harassment and lodge an immediate complaint. If a bunch of women can subconsciously modify their body-language when a high-status male is in their presence, and change their approach to male co-workers depending on which other men are in the room, then it’s likely men are acting in similar fashion – only for now it’s just one party that’s getting in trouble for it.

What we’re seeing here, at the margins, is human nature working as it’s supposed to. Merely designating a territory a workplace is not going to eliminate all non-professional interactions between men and women, any more than you can stop men making fun of each other in the office. Was Weinstein acting at the margins? No he wasn’t. Was Fallon? Maybe not, but it’s less clear-cut. If things carry on like this, there is only one solution and it’s simple: segregate men and women in the workplace.

Now big companies won’t get on board with this, because the hardcore feminists have other plans, which is to take over the major organisations and ensure any men working in them are cowering with fear of the sexual harassment sword of Damocles hanging over them. But I can see a drift towards segregation in the overall job market. I’ve written before about how smart young men might begin to shun the major organisations and set up in bunches of twos and threes and scoop up the work the big players have rendered themselves incapable of doing. Men being branded sexist pigs from the outset by power-skirts in HR is only going to speed this process up, and with Tinder and other apps it’s not like they need to work among women to meet anyone anyway. Fast forward ten years and we’ll be seeing a lot of tiny outfits working the gig economy made up of men who treat women they meet online like disposable napkins, while women sit in giant organisations holding meetings to find new ways of torturing the grovelling betas who report to them. And complain bitterly they can’t meet any decent men who want to settle down.

How this is a future any sane woman wants is beyond me, but that’s what third-wave feminism will give them.

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A Profile of a Modern American Woman

Via Twitter I came across this charming story of a young woman who whored her way across Europe for the summer. There is an awful lot to say, so let’s begin:

This summer, just two days after my divorce, I left for a 10-week solo trip through Europe, visiting 11 countries and dating in most of them.

Note the use of the term “dating”. As we’ll soon find out, that’s not quite the word she’s looking for.

My ex and I eloped to Hawaii when we were 25. But shortly after we started arguing more, and with more intensity. Despite counseling, neither of us was happy, so I moved back in with my family. That was last winter.

So we’ve established she’s emotionally immature (eloping at 25?), makes rash decisions she’s unable to see through, and quite possibly unable to build a lasting relationship. Counseling? If you need that, the relationship is already doomed.

By summer, I was feeling like myself again, but I was falling for a guy I met on Tinder. Will* was a passionate, outgoing PhD student who wasn’t looking for commitment and who was leaving for a summer internship across the country.

Tinder. Classy.

So at 26, single for the first time in my adult life, I decided to spend the summer traveling.

As more evidence of her emotional immaturity, she deals with her marital failure by going traveling rather than engaging in serious self-reflection over her past choices and where her life is going.

And dating men abroad.

“Dating”.

In mid-June, I landed in Edinburgh and started swiping.

I matched with Nicholas* on Bumble, who was 29 and a pianist.

On my last day, we hiked to the top of Arthur’s Seat, a hill overlooking the city. I asked for his opinion about Will from home…Nicholas said Will sounded like a prolific dater who’s been moving through girls for years — and that I was too sensitive for quick, casual dating. He might be right about Will, but I didn’t agree with his assessment of me; I’ve dated other guys before and since Will, and I haven’t cared about anyone else.

Hang on. You were single for the first time in your adult life when you got divorced in the winter. You met Will in the summer, then you went traveling and met this Nicholas guy first up. Yet you dated other guys before and since Will? Again, her definition of “dating” is probably not the same as everyone else’s.

Will and I had an instant connection; we’d lie on the couch talking for hours and text daily. I couldn’t get enough of him, and it seemed like he felt the same way.

But when he left for the summer, I asked if he’d want to keep seeing each other in the fall. He responded: “The fall is a long way away, but I can’t immediately think of a reason I wouldn’t want to hang out again.” Ouch.

I’ll save you some time: he sees you as a fuck-buddy, not girlfriend material. At this point we get a pic of the author – one Elise Linscott, a freelance writer – in a bikini:

Okay, she’s young with a good body. Pretty much just the sort of girl anyone looking for a quick, meaningless shag on Tinder would go for, which explains her success. But anyone who thinks this is all that’s necessary to get a decent man to commit to a relationship is delusional.

I was in the city of Faro in the Algarve Region for one night and not expecting any dates. But on Tinder, a guy named João invited me for a motorcycle ride and coffee by the beach; we had a lot in common, and being with him felt easy.

After sunset, we went back to the city and hung out on the roof of my Airbnb apartment — until we got chased off by my host, who was furious I’d brought a strange man there (oops).

The host probably thought you were a prostitute. I’m being quite serious here. You might want to say a little more than “oops”.

Instead, we drove to his beach house and had sex for hours. (And, I learned that, in Portugal, they call spooning the “shell position.”)

We stayed in bed, playing guitar and singing until 6 A.M.

I was sad to leave João, but I couldn’t stop smiling. Those were the kinds of experiences I was hoping to have, and I thought about how much my life has changed over the past year, for the better.

She’s gone from being married to a long-term boyfriend to being shagged on the beach by random Portuguese blokes who ride motorbikes. Apparently this is change for the better.

I texted Will a picture of the view from my terrace and asked if he knew where I was — he guessed right. He said his internship was busy but good, and that he was enjoying Seattle. No sign that he was thinking about me as much as I was about him.

Which is fortunate for Will, given what you’re up to. Sounds as though he has some sense.

There wasn’t much activity on Bumble, but on Tinder I met Pablo*, a biologist from northern Spain with a beard and ponytail and sexy accent. He took me to a hidden “secret bar” for tinto verano (chilled red wine with lemon-lime soda) and vino de pasas (raisin wine) — both were surprisingly good.

That weekend, we went to a music festival with his friends and danced to DJs and bands. His friends were nice, but didn’t really English, and he made little effort to include me in their conversations.

Perhaps you had nothing interesting to say?

His friends seemed more willing to help me translate in restaurants than Pablo, who seemed more interested in flirting with the scantily-clad girl sitting next to him.

So having had sex with you a few times, he’s no longer interested and is giving you every sign he wants you to fuck off and leave him alone. You know, there is a branch of feminism that insists women having meaningless sex with strangers is empowering. Does this woman seem very empowered at this juncture?

My last week in Seville I dated Mario*, who was half Italian and half Spanish. He took me to a rooftop bar with a view of Seville Cathedral and said he’d bring me to the airport Monday morning when I flew to Paris.

Sunday, I texted him. He said he was stuck in Malaga, hours away.

I’m beginning to think this woman has rocks in her head. How dense do you need to be to firstly believe this guy will give you a lift to the airport, secondly actually believe he is stuck in Malaga, and thirdly write about it in a major magazine later?

I was starting to realize I shouldn’t count on men who know they’ll never see me again to keep their word.

This woman is 26 years old.

But, I was still enjoying traveling overall and spending my days sightseeing. And I was optimistic I’d meet more guys like João.

To be honest, they all sound alike to me.

I met Max*, a 28-year-old British Student (a Tinder match), for lunch. The very first thing I noticed was that he not as attractive as his photos.

Can we get Max’s opinion on you?

By dinner, I was out of cash (and the restaurant was cash-only)

Wait, this is in Paris. Where the hell were they eating, the Grand Istanbul Kebab House? Everywhere takes credit cards except the Turkish joints, and even half of them do. I think she’s been taken to dinner at a vending machine.

The next day, he texted, asking if I was free for coffee. I wasn’t interested and didn’t respond.

Because a simple “no thanks” is too much effort.

“We never settled the bill from dinner! And I can’t afford the 22 quid,” he texted. At first, I was confused, until I remembered he paid the bill.

He’s taken you out to dinner and paid the bill, but the next day you can’t even be bothered to respond to an invitation to coffee?

He then asked me to PayPal him the money from my half; I didn’t respond. Funny how he only wanted the money after he knew I wasn’t interested.

It’s equally funny how you only let him know you weren’t interested once he’d paid the bill.

He kept texting, so I blocked him.

Of course you did. I addressed that here.

A few days later, he found me on Facebook and sent me a message: “Is there something wrong with you, or are you just a c*nt? Hahahaha.”

Why, it’s almost as if shitty behaviour from one party brings out the worst in another, isn’t it?

I blocked him again, and started to wonder if the mix of good dates was worth the risk of bad ones.

From what I can tell, her definition of a good date is meaningless sex with a random Latino, and a bad date is when some guy gets understandably upset by being ignored after he’s bought her dinner.

I was in a terrible mood until that night, when I got a notification Will added me on Snapchat.

Obsessed with Will, yet sleeping her way around Europe. In my book there is a character who, separated from her fiance by the cruel demands of the US visa system, addresses her heartache by shagging someone else for several months. I say this because I’m sure there are elements which normal people will think unrealistic or exaggerated.

In Munich, I met Maddin* (from Bumble) near the Isar River. We sat in the grass and watched people wade in. He was 33 and chiseled. We sat with our feet in the water and he moved closer to me and kissed me. He said he had to leave for a wedding in his hometown that evening, but that he had a few hours, and asked if I wanted to go home with him.

Heh! If Maddin had to go for a wedding, I have a bridge to sell Miss Linscott. So did she go? What do you think?

Just as I expected, his apartment was huge and sleek and expensive-looking. And he was amazing in bed.

So, why is someone who is 33, chiseled, and lives in a huge apartment in Munich picking up women on hook-up apps? Answers on a postcard.

He said he’s never been in love and that he’s too picky, and that he finds one flaw and moves on (this seems to be a common pattern in today’s dating-app culture).

A major flaw being a woman’s readiness to go to bed with him almost immediately and falling for stories about weddings in his hometown. Note that her behaviour utterly typifies the dating-app culture, yet she’s too dim to realise it.

He said it was one of the nicest conversations he’d had with someone he just met. I smiled the whole walk back to my hotel, feeling revived and relaxed.

I’m beginning to like this Maddin chap. My guess is he’s made his money selling secondhand cars.

I took an overnight bus to Copenhagen. At a seafood restaurant near the city center, one of the waiters smiled every time he walked past, and I smiled back. I heard him talking to my waitress (in Danish), and shortly after, he took over as my waiter.

Can you imagine that conversation? “Hey Olaf, I’ve got another one of those American airheads on my table. She seems a lot like the one you shagged against the dumpster two nights ago, you want to swap tables?”

After dinner, he made me a cappuccino from the restaurant next door and got my number, then we went out for champagne. He said he was surprised I didn’t mind eating alone, “looking like I got stood up.”

I suspect what he meant was he’s surprised she didn’t mind eating alone and hooking up with the waiter.

I still don’t know what will happen with Will, but we’re seeing each other again. He asked me to come over his first night back in town, and it felt like we picked up right where we left off. We spent the whole night cuddling and telling each other about our summers, and have been seeing each other in the weeks since.

Prediction: Will is going to find someone else shortly and give you the heave-ho.

I think you can learn from every person and every relationship, no matter how brief (or awkward).

Every relationship? She’s only had one, followed by a summer of sex with random strangers.

I’m building a better picture of what I want in a partner, but I’m also learning that I don’t need one to be happy.

This is probably just as well; I see several cats in this woman’s future life.

Okay, this post is already long but I’m going to make it longer because there are some important points here, many of which I make in my book. The first is that feminists will tell you there is a double standard at play: if a man had written this, everyone would admire him for his sexual prowess. This is a myth, and I address it in my book thusly:

Amy took a step towards me. ‘You have such fucking double standards!’ she said, trying to control her anger. ‘If she was a man, nobody would say anything, but she’s a woman so you think you can judge her!’
‘What double standards? If a guy’s lurching from one low-grade woman to another, fucking anything that moves and failing to hold down a proper relationship, you think women won’t judge him?’
‘Not in the same way,’ said Tom.
‘Bullshit! No self-respecting woman would go near him, and rightly so. This whole double-standards thing might apply to young people, but there comes a time when men need to show maturity and restraint, just the same as women, and we’re all way past that point.’

There’s passage from my book which is relevant here, too:

‘Remember when you were younger,’ I said. ‘You’d always ask a girlfriend how many guys she’d been with? The answer would always bother you; if she said two or three you’d be disappointed. But that changes with age; when you’re with a woman over thirty you don’t care how many, but you want to see that they were decent, normal guys and she was with them for the right reasons. You don’t want to hear she’s had one-night stands, or been with a string of losers, or men twice her age. It’s not the number of guys a woman has slept with that matters, it’s the standards she’s kept.’
‘Yes, you need to see she’s applied some sort of filter.’
‘If she’s got no standards, it reflects badly on you. It means either she sees you on the same level, or she’s scoring out of her league – in which case you should probably aim higher yourself. Whereas if she’s maintained her standards, it shows she values you.’

Is this being judgemental? Perhaps, but I address that too:

‘It’s not so much judging as assessing, trying to work out if you’ll be compatible with that person. The thing is, I know guys can be judgemental about women, and sometimes they might react unreasonably to an aspect of their past. But it all depends on what that past looks like, doesn’t it? Where do you draw the line?

You know what? I should be judgemental! I don’t care what people do on their own, but if they try to enter my life I’m entitled to judge what I see of their behaviour and values. If they don’t like the process, it tells you something already.’

If women – or men – are going to behave like Miss Linscott, then they should at least shut up about it afterwards. As one character says to another in my book:

‘Everyone has a history at our age; I don’t expect the women I meet to be virgins, so they’ll have a past, ex-boyfriends, and so on. If an ex was important to them, or they were in a serious relationship, then I’d expect them to tell me about the guy and I’d be okay with it. But I don’t need to know everything. For example, if a girl went on holiday to Mexico and fucked a waiter, I don’t want to know about it. I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with it, but she should keep it to herself. This sort of thing isn’t my business.’

This is obviously difficult advice to follow if you’ve bragged about it in Cosmopolitan. Also, I think this point is crucial:

When you start dating someone you want to know the choices they’ve made, but more important is how they view those choices today.

At some point in future, Miss Linscott is going to meet a man who might be interested in forming a relationship with her and this summer of sex is going to come out. If she’s engaged in some self-reflection and is doing everything she can to hide this sordid episode due to the shame it now induces in her, she’ll have half a chance of convincing him to stick around. But if she hits him with a barrage of angry feminist mantra about how she was “empowered” and he’s being “judgemental”, he’ll be off like a shot. Of course, she may still meet someone, but:

‘The only guys who wouldn’t care are those who just wanted a fuck. Or maybe guys who are desperate.’

Finally, what the hell kind of job did her parents do on her? They must read this article and feel so very, very proud. That’s something else I address in my book, too.

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Amid the sexual abuse, how much consensual sex is there?

Yesterday someone wrote one of those lengthy threads on Twitter which made the point, over and over, that despite the dozens of celebrities spilling tales of sexual harassment in Hollywood, nobody is naming names other than Harvey Weinstein’s. Perhaps they are afraid of a libel charge, but I doubt it: could all those allegations against Weinstein be proved now? Unlikely.

Via Tim Worstall, I now see that Christie Turlington has come out and said the fashion industry is full of sexual predators who prey on vulnerable young wannabe models. Maybe next week Scott Quinnell will come out and say rugby clubs were full of large, boisterous males who liked drinking and singing, and we’ll be equally surprised.

I have no doubt that sexual harassment and abuse is rife in the film and fashion industries, but what is being overlooked is that consensual sex is also rife. If disgusting fat film producers can proposition women for a part, you can be sure a lot of women are putting out for parts – many of them doing so quite happily. My guess is nobody is naming names because it will blow the lid on just how much consensual sex goes on in Hollywood, and how much of it is directly related to actors and actresses getting parts in a film. The moral standing of the pompous, self-righteous arses who presume to lecture us plebs at award ceremonies is already shaky; imagine what it would be reduced to should full details emerge of who they shagged and when – and, as we’ll be able to work out for ourselves – why. The underlying assumption people make of those complaining about Weinstein is they rejected his advances – yet never had sex with anyone else in order to advance their careers. That’s probably a big assumption.

Here’s something for the feminists to consider: if you want to stop men abusing positions of power in order to have sex, you also need to stop women having consensual sex with powerful men to advance their careers. It’s a two-way street, and it’s no coincidence that sexual abuse is more prevalent in industries where both men and women are able to sleep their way up the greasy pole.

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