White Knighting for Students

Remember this guy?

Before I married my wife two years ago, she had huge amounts of debt to her name, including large amounts of student loans. After we married, we diligently almost paid everything off, helped by my salary being three times that of my wife.

 

She recently asked for a divorce, saying she was taking the house and my retirement.

We’ve only been married a few years, and frankly I can’t help feeling taken advantage of. The only advice I can find discusses whose responsibility the student loans would be, but now it just seems that she got me to pay all of her debts, and got some new stuff, while I threw away years of my life.

Well, he’s not alone:

I supported my girlfriend during her recent studies. We are not married. She took 3 years from the inception of the program to finish, pass her board exams, and get her license to practice dental hygiene, despite the fact that it’s only supposed to be a 26-month program.

During this time, I paid the rent, utilities, food, entertainment, vacations, some medical expenses, toiletries, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Her mother covered some things for her, and her ability to take loans was restricted by previous undergraduate loans as well as lack of availability of federal loans due to use of grants in undergraduate.

Our relationship is unwinding. I have sacrificed greatly in order to provide for her. I could have paid for the remainder of my student loans, advanced my career by investing in continuing education and, of course, increasing my portfolio and retirement accounts.

Is there any legal recourse I can take when we break up, to receive reimbursement for my contributions to her living expenses? Despite me not paying a cent towards her actual degree, her living was majority financed by me (80% at a minimum). Her income is going to quadruple with her new job.

There’s a pattern here, isn’t there? It’s time men got a bit smarter.

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Freezing eggs won’t help you, ma’am

A reader sends me a link to this article which begins thusly:

Today is my birthday – I’m 36. I’m celebrating, since you ask, with an outing to Richmond Deer Park, followed by champagne and pizza in the garden. I know: so civilised and mature.

This is to let you know she’s a middle class wannabe posho. If only single women in their mid-thirties knew how unoriginal stuff like this is, and how shallow it makes them look, they’d quit doing it in a heartbeat.

Anyway, just over a year ago, heading for 35, I was sitting in a pub with my father in central London…

You just knew it wasn’t going to be in a shopping centre in Wolverhampton, didn’t you?

…and I asked him a favour. With his coolly quantitative analytical skills – he studied physics as a young man – could he please help me decide whether I should freeze my eggs before I turned 35?

And he thought he was going for a quiet pint. Of all the topics to discuss with your dad, this is an odd one indeed. And all because he studied physics in his youth.

I didn’t think too hard about whether the ‘right’ man to do it with would appear. In fact, I have always thought the desire to be a mother must trump romantic uncertainty. If need be, I’d find a male friend (or try to find one) to co-parent. If I really wanted a child and nothing else offered itself I could always go the sperm bank route.

After which you could carve out a career writing articles on how hard it is to raise a child alone, and how the government should do more for people like you.

It turns out that in this respect I’m a bit different from my peers. A report last week found that women are freezing their eggs not because of their careers as has been commonly assumed but to give themselves more time to find a good partner with whom to start a family.

Oh yes, their failure to settle down with a suitable partner in a decade and a half is because they’ve not had quite enough time.

The Yale University study, which analysed the egg freezing motivations of 150 Israeli and American women, found that women “weren’t freezing to advance, they were facing the overarching problem of partnership”.

Well, yes and no. Most will have prioritised their careers such that they’re now too old to find a decent partner. So while it’s true they may not want to advance further, the root cause is their careers took priority at a time when there was an abundance of suitable men.

Thanks to the internet, women may have more romantic and sexual options than ever before, but the quality of options is downright depressing.

Whereas 35 year old women who don’t know what they want and turn to their fathers for advice on egg-freezing is just what every guy dreams of. Every woman I speak to or read on the subject of online dating complains about the quality of men as if they’re the catch of the year. They don’t seem to realise the men they’re meeting on the internet are their peers, counterparts in the same dating pool.

Clearly, many women freezing their eggs think it’s possible that the right man can eventually be found with a few extra years’ searching.

It’s amazing what desperate people will believe, isn’t it?

Have you ever scrolled through the male options on the dating apps Tinder, OkCupid, or Bumble? Try it. It’s not pretty: man after man gurning from a cringingly contrived mirror selfie, big black sunglasses on, too much hair gel, leering or vacant expressions and an incoherent word or two by way of ‘profile’ description.

Because the women on Tinder and OkCupid just exemplify marriage material, don’t they? The duck-faced pouting, the cleavage shots, the list of demands in the profile, the sense of entitlement that accompanies every description, the empty references to travel, food, and “having fun”. And leering expressions, you say? Here’s a photo of the author:

Be still my beating heart.

Often the man is posing, topless, with some kind of animal. (I don’t know why that’s a thing, but it is). There’s very little boyfriend – let alone father – material about.

This woman has been writing about dating and relationships for 20 years, yet here she is, single, asking her dad for advice, and sneering at the men she finds online.

When one does manage to find anyone halfway nice looking and able to hang a sentence together, good luck actually arranging a satisfactory meeting with them.

I imagine they make a beeline for the door the moment they discover you’re a feminist.

My friend Katrina, 37, who happens to have just completed three rounds of egg freezing, is a case in point. Like the women in the study, she froze her eggs not for the purposes of her (extremely successful) career but in the hopes of finding a partner.

In her attempt to do so, she has doggedly trawled a number of dating sites and apps, and tried speed dating events for hipsters and posh people. She’ll often be chatting with several men at once. But when it comes to actually meeting up, they simply vanish into thin air – or, like one mysteriously-occupied “entrepreneur”, keep ignoring the fact that she has a demanding day job, and suggesting impromptu coffees at one in the afternoon instead of the evening drinks she offered.

Firstly, men don’t care she has a demanding day job: after all, that is likely what landed her in this position in the first place. If she is still prioritising her work, chances are she’s not going to make a very good partner. Secondly, a quick coffee at 1pm is much better for a first date than evening drinks. There is no pressure, no expense, you’re in a public place so it’s quite safe, and if you don’t like one another you can leave easily. It sounds as though this Katrina expects to be romanticised over expensive cocktails she won’t be paying for, and is unwilling to compromise. Little wonder she’s single.

It’s all very frustrating and leads me to think that women who want to be mothers should go a non-traditional route, be that sperm bank or something else, rather than waiting around for a Mr Right that may well never appear.

Notice it never seems to occur to these women that they might be the problem? What if Mr Right can’t do evening drinks but only a quick coffee during the day? Oh well too bad, better go freeze my eggs.

Some posit that the mismatch between successful women in their 30s and their male counterparts comes down to women being now the more educated sex. Certainly, my single friends and I all feel that as the quantity of options facing women in their 30s has soared, the quality of the options has dropped off a cliff.

There’s that complaint about quality again, as if Maria Sharapova is writing this column rather than some haggard old feminist. And I’ve written before about how women are so self-absorbed they refuse to date men they believe are intellectually inferior to them. I feel sorry for some single women, but not those who treat men with such utter disdain as the author and her friends seemingly do.

Education may be partly to do with it. But perhaps it’s just that women – trained from an early age to be self-aware, emotionally astute and good at multi-tasking – reach a peak of all-pistons-firing personhood in their 30s and 40s that men simply can’t match.

You really believe that? That you’re so brilliant men simply can’t match you? Or could it be you’re not very nice, you’d make a lousy partner, and men simply aren’t interested?

Whatever the underlying cause, as long as egg freezing brings women relief from stress I’m all for it.

Alas, freezing eggs is so far removed from a solution to your problems it’s a category error, akin to Googling for misplaced car keys. Hell’s bells, feminism has wrought some damage, hasn’t it?

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Single Women: checklists are not romantic

Via an email from a reader and Hector Drummond on Twitter, I find this article:

Alice Judge-Talbot married her university sweetheart at 23 and had two children, before their happily-ever after crumbled and she found herself a divorced single mother on the dating scene.

She describes the collapse of her marriage in this article, and to be honest she doesn’t seem to have done much wrong and she’s taken it quite well. I know enough single mothers to know that sometimes things don’t work out, and it isn’t anyone’s fault in particular. At any rate, she’s not using her column inches to justify selfish and unacceptable behaviour on her part, nor to bad-mouth her husband (with whom she still maintains cordial relations); that this is unusual for articles of this nature says quite a lot. So I don’t think this woman is a deranged nutter, but as the article will show, she’s not being very realistic when it comes to finding future romance:

As a married person, I always enjoyed meeting new people and discovering new things, so I reckoned my dating life should be no different.

One often hears the friends of single women say “but she’s such a great person” as if the criteria for friendship is the same as that for a romantic partner. It’s not, and the two are very different. Your friend Lucy who you’ve known since college and is “unlucky in love” might be have been great on your holiday to Mykonos and a riot on a night out in Leeds, but that doesn’t mean a thing in the eyes of a man who’s looking for someone to share a chunk of his life with. People – including successful, handsome men – might have been happy to meet the author in a social setting, but that’s a whole different prospect from getting involved with her romantically. For a start, a lot of these people might already be in a relationship.

I expected glittering conversation over bottles of wine, interesting individuals who would change my perspective on life and love, and I figured that as an approaching-30 mum of two with only two evenings off a fortnight my spare time was precious: I didn’t want to spend it with men who didn’t fit my idea of perfection – or, at least, who didn’t get close to it.

There’s something strange about single women over a certain age in that they seem to only begrudgingly make time in their busy schedules to meet prospective partners. Okay, this lady is a single mother so she’s probably run off her feet, but you also see this with childless women. They pack their calendars full of guff like spinning classes and brunches during which they moan and bitch about the dearth of suitable men. But when one asks her out on a date her immediate response is to say “Oh, I’m really busy right now” and after a minute or two of face-pulling she’ll say “Maybe we can do Tuesday week, if I can get away from work easily.” Firstly, what’s this saying about her priorities? And secondly, what message is he going to take away from this? I’ve said this to women before: if you’re genuinely interested in a guy, and you want a relationship to work, you need to give him your time, not excuses. If you can’t do that, you’re not being serious.

Also, note the casual assumption that two evenings per fortnight is sufficient time for a single man looking for a serious relationship. Why would a man settle for that if he can find someone who’s free every weekend and one evening in the week? She’s acting as if she holds all the cards, and it only gets worse:

So focused was I in my quest for the perfect man that I decided to draw up a list of things I wanted in one. My thought was that, if they didn’t tick off at least half of the things on my list, then they probably weren’t going to be the one for me.

Ah yes, the the modern woman’s 277 bullet-point list of requirements every partner must satisfy. Thankfully this lady narrowed it down to a mere 18:

1. Intelligent, or at least well-educated.

2. Tall, preferably taller than 6 foot.

3. Older than me, probably between the ages of 32 and 40.

4. Doesn’t live at home with his parents.

5. Lives near me.

6. Likes music, but not bad music.

7. Has a challenging career that he loves and is passionate about.

8. Likes fancy food and to be cooked for. And cheeseburgers.

9. Respects and encourages my career.

10. Likes children, maybe has some – but doesn’t advertise them to the weirdos stalking their profile.

11. Has a great sense of humour (by which I mean ‘laughs at my jokes’).

12. Hot (duh).

13. Plays some sort of sport or at least goes to the gym.

14. Is fairly cultured, or at least likes to pretend to be.

15. Looks good in a suit.

16. Looks good out of a suit.

17. Understands the value of a nice pair of shoes.

18. Believes in chivalry.

As some wag on Twitter pointed out, I’d fail on No. 6 alone. But the question the authors of such lists never seem to ask themselves is why would a man with all those qualities be single? Because he hasn’t met the right woman yet? Yeah, right.

The other thing which is obvious is that these aren’t necessarily things she wants in a man, but things which her friends will approve of. Look at No. 14: who cares if he’s fairly cultured, provided he’s a good man and loves her? Well she does, because she doesn’t want her friends sniggering at her for being with a “low status” man according to their criteria of social ranking. This is a good half of the problem single women have: faced  with a shortage of men to begin with, they dismiss a huge chunk of them as unworthy because of what their social peers might think.

And so I set about my dating game. I went out with investment bankers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, 25-year-olds (I KNOW), journalists, comedians, marketing executives, academics . . . you name them, I’ve dated them (probably). I sat through endless hours of strangers regaling me with stories of their ‘colourful’ lives (I’ll be the judge of that, pal).

Note the long list of “respectable” professions of which her friends would approve, along with the in-joke about dating younger men. This is an attempt to show there was nothing wrong with the men she was dating on paper, hence she cannot be blamed for the subsequent failures.

I drank red wine in at least four different counties and in front of 16 different open fires, and the only reason I didn’t start a blog about all these awful dates was because my mum told me it would have been mean.

Why, it’s almost as if job titles have little to do with character and suitability as a partner.

It’s amazing how sterile and calculated the process started to feel. I’d meet someone and immediately assess them for the points I was looking for. If they didn’t fit? Game over.

Going dating with an 18-point checklist felt sterile? Who would have thought? I’d love to get the blokes’ feedback, but we never do, do we?

In the course of my dating I met many 30 and 40-somethings who were just desperate to settle down with a woman who’d happily cook for them and massage their egos for the rest of their lives and, I have to tell you, as lonely as I was I just wasn’t quite down for that.

A familiar lament. There are actually plenty of men who are ready to give these women everything they want; the problem is, the women find them repulsive.

To be honest, I had my own ego to take care of and there really wasn’t going to be time to look after anyone else’s.

There’s that time thing again. And it’s amazing how many women say they want a relationship but don’t want to massage someone’s ego. Isn’t the mutual massaging of egos and giving affirmations and assurances one of the fundamental bases of a relationship? Allow me to quote from my book:

Compliments are important to men, same as they are to women; we all need our egos massaged sometimes, and praise from a partner is a big part of it. Despite her bravado, Katya needed assurances, same as the rest of us. If I’d never told her how pretty she was or remarked on her wit or let her know I found her intriguing, she’d wouldn’t have slept well at night. It’s true that actions speak louder than words, but that doesn’t mean that words don’t matter at all.

A man or woman who thinks they have no obligation to massage their partner’s ego from time to time shouldn’t be in a relationship. And I’ve written before about women who think relationships involve no sacrifice or mutual obligations whatsoever.

I started to understand my single girlfriends’ wails when they’d come to me complaining about how they couldn’t find a boyfriend.

Understand, no. Relate to, yes.

Granted, the dates seemed to be easy to come by, it was just the quality of them that was a bit dubious.

As the saying goes, you can find a man who is smart, handsome, and single: pick any two.

Really, I just wanted to meet someone with whom I’d share a bit of chemistry and perhaps some interests and hobbies.

Which is what blokes look for, and when they find it they get married.

When I first became single I hadn’t thought that was a huge ask but, as I got deeper into my experiences of dating, I started to feel more and more envious of the 18-year-old me who’d met her perfect match in the most innocent of ways.

Now this lady didn’t initiate her divorce so I’ll not say anything mean, but I wonder how many women who did, and subsequently ran into the realities of dating past 30, now feel the same way? A lot, would be my guess.

I understood that I was an adult now, a mother, and had different thresholds and expectations when it came to the opposite sex, but why was this finding-a-man thing so freaking hard? I was a good person:

You might be a good person, but it’s not your place to say it. You sound like my Dad’s roofer. We need feedback from the blokes.

where was my Prince Charming, Mark II?

Married, oblivious to your existence. Predictably, there’s a book to be flogged:

Copy extracted from The Back-Up Plan by Alice Judge-Talbot(published by Coronet £18,99 and out now).

£19 for this? Lordy.

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An Autopsy of a Relationship

Once again Natalia Antonova provides a thread on her marriage which is worth looking at more closely. Key points:

There are two ways to look at this. Either this person was, as Antonova claims, a religious nut who is somehow benefiting personally from this intervention; or she is disappointed that she left her husband and is concerned for the future of her child. Before I go any further, here’s how the kid is getting on with his now-single mother:

No cause for concern there obviously, especially anything which could be linked to a lack of father in his life.

Now it’s never nice to have someone poke their beak into your personal affairs, especially over emotional issues such as relationship breakdowns, but on the other hand it can be extremely useful to have someone tell you what you might not want to hear. I am fortunate enough to have always had close friends who have no qualms about telling me what I don’t want to hear, although happily they rarely have to these days. However, one thing I’ve noticed about many women is they don’t take blunt honesty well, and in my experience they choose their friends based on their co-opting the narrative of the woman in question; anyone who queries it is cast into the wilderness forever. This is especially the case following the breakdown of a friendship or romantic relationship.

So someone who witnessed the breakdown of Antonova’s relationship expresses disappointment in her actions and suggests she may be doing the wrong thing. At this  point I’m left with a choice between this person being a psychopath who wants to see Antonova abused some more, or Antonova’s situation being less extreme than she’s making out. Which is more likely, do you think? And is “very skillfully shamed me” simply another way of saying “she told some uncomfortable home truths”? At the very least, unless this woman is a complete nutter (who Antonova was happy to have in her life before the breakup), one would think this would give her pause for thought. But no: the modern feminist way is to adhere to the narrative at all costs, amplifying it in public while purging all dissenters from their lives.

Now when a couple split up there is always fault on both sides. It might be heavily stacked on one or the other, but there is always some on each side. Always. I know a fair few single mothers, and when I speak to them about their separations they are generally quite even-handed about it. Much of the time they say there were compatibility issues, and while they always say their ex-husbands had faults they never deny the situation was “complicated”, and took some time to develop. Even those who have reason to be angry and bitter remain reasonably objective, preferring to concentrate on their futures and those of their children than dwell on the past. On the other hand, I’ve met divorced women who even years later described their ex-husband as a monster who made her life a living hell, and you wonder how on earth they entered into a relationship with such a person if even half of what they’re saying is true. For example:

On one occasion I happened to get an ex-husband’s side of the story and unsurprisingly it was rather different. Now I couldn’t be sure who was telling the truth, but if you have one person saying they’re completely innocent and the other saying there was fault on both sides, who do you believe? However, any suggestion that perhaps there was fault on both sides, or there are several perspectives on the situation, was met with howls of outrage that I was blaming them or saying they deserved what happened. Again, any dissent cannot be tolerated by women whose entire life depends on the narrative being upheld.

Yes, there’s no room for self-reflection or listening to third-party views on what went down: the important thing is to surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear. If the goal is to ensure you’ll never enjoy a lasting relationship in future, this is a good approach.

The only thing which will survive such “solidarity” is whatever delusions these women are labouring under. As advice goes, it’s pretty self-serving.

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Power Balance

A reader sends me a link to this article discussing sex and consent in the modern era. The author is making the case that the sexual revolution has been a failure for women and, in their own words, made them less safe. It’s an interesting hypothesis, but undermined considerably by this statement:

Most importantly, we have learned that men almost always hold power in sexual situations with women and the subsequent narratives about those situations.

Anyone who thinks women don’t hold power in sexual situations probably shouldn’t be writing on the subject.

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One Side of the Story

Something I’ve noticed about articles in which polyamorists tell their stories is they are all written by women. Here’s another, which I shall summarise thusly:

My husband Rob and I were together for twelve years before I decided to start shagging a guy called Mike who I knew in my twenties. Pretty soon he moved in with us, but Rob’s other women didn’t because reasons. Then Mike moved into my room and Rob took the shitty spare room downstairs for reasons that were entirely practical, oh yes. Our two young kids were completely unaffected by all this, and both men did the housework while I ordered them around. Mike and Rob got on well but for reasons I won’t explain Rob and I have now divorced, he’s moved out, and Mike and I are getting married.

I imagine Rob’s version would go something like this:

My wife stopped putting out years ago and announced one day she’d started seeing some guy called Mario, but she wanted me to stick around to pay the bills. I thought it might be a passing phase and my only other option was to lose the house and kids in an expensive divorce, so I reluctantly agreed. This Mario guy turned up and quickly moved in, and then the bitch told me I had to sleep in the basement. I’m now so pissed off I’ve filed for divorce and moved out, but I’m still paying for the house and there’s a strange man sleeping in the same room as my kids. Now I hear they’re getting married. Man, did I fuck up or what?

This, apparently, is a lifestyle we’re supposed to treat as positive. Just have a read of that article and bask in the sheer amorality of it.

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Polyamorous Families in Canada

This was only a matter of time:

In the first decision of its kind in Canada, all three adult members of a polyamorous family have been recognized as parents of a child.

Two months ago, Justice Robert Fowler of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court (Family Division) in the case of Re C.C., decided the adults would be named as parents of the child born within their three-way relationship.

I predict a full-on campaign to bring all aspects of polyamorous relationships on a legal par with monogamous marriages before too long. Those puff-pieces have been buttering us up for something, you know.

In the introduction to his decision, Justice Fowler described the unconventional St. John’s household:

“J.M. And J.E. are the two male partners in a polyamorous relationship with C.C., the mother of A., a child born of the three-way relationship in 2017. The relationship has been a stable one and has been ongoing since June 2015. None of the partners in this relationship is married and, while the identity of the mother is clear, the biological father of the child is unknown.”

The three adults brought a court proceeding asking to be recognized as the parents of A. after the Newfoundland Ministry of Service refused to designate them as parents, saying that the Vital Statistics Act allowed only two parents on the child’s birth certificate.

What always surprises me about these stories is how short the timescales are. Quite often middle aged women write about finally finding the love of their life two months ago. In this case, the kid is less than two years old, the relationship only three, yet it’s described unequivocally as “stable” by a judge. In terms of marriage and a family, that’s a blink of an eye.

In his ruling, Fowler observed that “the child, A., has been born into what is believed to be a stable and loving family relationship which, although outside the traditional family model, provides a safe and nurturing environment…. I can find nothing to disparage that relationship from the best interests of the child’s point of view…. To deny this child the dual paternal parentage would not be in his best interests.

Why? How is it in his interests to create future ambiguity? What, exactly, is the threat to his interests which arise from having the biological father on the birth certificate and the live-in boyfriend excluded? And does the child not have the right to find out who his biological father is?

It must be remembered that this is about the best interests of the child and not the best interest of the parents.”

The fact the judge has to labour this point suggests it’s a lot less obvious than he thinks. From where I’m sat, the birth certificate is being used more to describe the romantic arrangements of the mother at the time of conception than provide useful information as to who the child’s parents are.

Unlike bigamy and polygamy — which involve marriage ceremonies between the participating parties — polyamorous relationships are not prohibited by the Criminal Code.

At this point one wonders why polygamy is still illegal.

Boyd’s research found that people who identify as polyamorous, typically “reject the view that sexual and relationship exclusivity is necessary for deep, committed, long term relationships with more than one person on mutually agreeable grounds, with sex as only on aspect of their relationships.”

Similarly, second-hand car salesmen think they’re honest, journalists think they’re brave, and BBC comedians think they’re funny.

There is little doubt the recognition of three parents will be the least legally complex aspect of polyamorous relationships. Family law legislation across Canada now recognizes only one spouse’s obligation to the other. Current legislation will be difficult to apply in polyamorous relationships, especially if new partners become involved in the relationship and the relationship later breaks down.

All the more work for lawyers and judges, then. Kerr-ching!

(H/T: Fay)

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Polyfuckery

Via reader Robert Harries, the world’s most pathetic male has written to The Guardian asking for advice:

My girlfriend and I have been together for more than a year. She told me that she wants a polysexual relationship because she feels something is missing from ours. Every time I say that I don’t want this, she gets upset. I love her and she loves me, but she also loves another person and he loves her back. She said that the only reason she loves this other person is because he reminds her of me. I want it to just be her and me​. ​What should I/we do?

No doubt his girlfriend has been reading endless media articles promoting polyamory, but tragically neither discovered this blog. The time he spent writing his letter should have been used to end the relationship; even The Guardian writer can see that:

Tell her to make up her mind. She may be genuinely polyamorous, but you clearly are not – so this situation is untenable.

It would be better to be clear about this now and avoid prolonged pain. Give her a choice: either monogamy with you or both of you move on.

I’d not be at all surprised if this whole thing is just a shit-test which the boyfriend has failed miserably. He’s probably wetter than a weekend in Wales and she’s been trying everything she can to get him to show some balls. Or maybe  he’s funding her lifestyle in some way and she doesn’t want to cut him out of her life? Either way the contempt she has for him is extraordinary; I’d be willing to bet he’s not had sex in six months, whereas she’s getting plenty, including while he was writing the letter.

The comments under the article are worth reading, and give me some hope that testosterone still lingers among British men, even those who read The Guardian.

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Sex and the City didn’t air on Discovery

I often remark on here that rather too many women thought Sex and the City was a documentary. I’ve now found an article that shows I wasn’t exaggerating:

When the last episode of “Sex and the City” aired in February 2004, I hosted a viewing party for 200 guests. It was my swan song as well: Eight months later, I would move to New York, where, armed with my “Sex and the City” DVDs, my transformation really began.

Based on what I knew from “SATC,” I expected the city to sweep me off my feet. I envisioned nonstop brunching and shopping.

What always surprises me about these stories is the lack of friends and family who try to talk some sense into them.

I lived on food bought for me on dates and the occasional bodega tuna sandwich. For clothes, it was wrap dresses from Diane von Furstenberg sample sales combined with loans from designers who took pity on me — like Betsey Johnson, whom I’d interviewed at Fashion Week. Different men I dated gave me YSL shoes and status purses, just like Big did for Carrie on “SATC.”

She’s relying on “dates” for food and clothes. Yay for female empowerment!

I also subscribed to Carrie’s ethos when it came to men. There was no such thing as a bad date — only a good date or a good brunch story. In my writing, I gave my boyfriends nicknames (one was “Prom King”) just like Carrie and her friends did.

I went out with a prince: Lorenzo Borghese from “The Bachelor.” I even dated the British ex-boyfriend of “Sex and the City” creator Candace Bushnell — the original Carrie. He was one of a few men who comprised the composite character Mr. Big.

A common feature among women who spent a decade sleeping around is their belief that anyone is in the slightest bit interested in their exploits. Seriously, does anyone care who she was shagging in New York a decade ago? She didn’t even manage to screw a household name.

Between 2004 and 2011, I filmed nine TV pilots — many of which were reality shows, and all of which were a derivation of some kind of “SATC” role for me. I was always the Carrie. In one pilot, I hosted for Animal Planet; the premise was that your dog would choose whom you’d go out with.

One can’t honestly say at this point that getting the dog’s input is a bad idea.

Their core complaint about me was that I was a quote-unquote “fame whore.”

I suspect many of your female contemporaries thought that description contained one word too many.

Finally, I cut my ties to New York and moved to San Francisco full-time in 2013. I tried being a tech columnist and writing a personal-growth book called “Experiments in Happiness.”

Which sits on my shelf beside Paul Gascoigne’s book “Experiments in Sobriety”.

These days I work as a change activist, mounting summits for world leaders and serving as an adviser to startups and entrepreneurs looking to better the planet.

So she’s found religion. Sadly she’s not locked herself away in a convent.

I’m finally living a life of integrity, and I’m attuned to my values. I never heard about values on “Sex and the City.”

Well, no.

I dated a woman for a while, a beautiful entrepreneur who was also jilted by New York — that’s definitely not something you saw Carrie do.

How edgy. No sign of mental disorder here at all, oh no.

But dating is not front and center in my life anymore, although it was all I talked about in my 20s. That’s pretty one-dimensional.

You think?

Last year, I ended a two-year relationship with a man who ultimately couldn’t commit and wanted to be polyamorous.

Heh! I suspect he could commit, only not with someone who spent a decade shagging random men in New York in return for food and clothes. And why wait two years? Desperation much?

Again, “SATC” and the “lessons” it taught me is the culprit.

It wasn’t supposed to be a lifestyle manual. And as Daniel Ream often points out, the book was far more realistic in its portrayal of single life in New York than the TV series was, and ought to have served as a warning.

The show wasn’t a rubric on how to find a lifelong partnership.

You don’t say!

If I was more grounded and had honestly assessed whether this man was a good partner for me, I don’t think we ever would have dated.

So it’s the fault of a TV show which concluded in her early twenties that she dated an unsuitable man in her mid-thirties? For all the talk of female empowerment, a lot of these modern women don’t seem to have quite grasped the whole personal responsibility thing, have they? Nor do they seem to understand that the choices you make in your twenties stay with you for life.

Crushed and needing to regroup, I took a sabbatical and lived in Bali for eight months on a healing journey.

Heh.

I was also celibate during my time there.

Much to the disappointment of knuckle-dragging Australian youths in beer singlets.

I do wonder what my life would have looked like if “Sex and the City” had never come across my consciousness.

I don’t know, but I’m confident if you got lost in the Arctic wilderness you’d blame Ice Road Truckers.

Perhaps I’d be married with children now?

Given your appalling judgement, immaturity, and lack of impulse control I’d say that’s highly unlikely.

Who knows, but I can say for sure that, as clever and aesthetically pleasing as the show was — and, as much as I agree with its value of female friendships — it showed too much consumerism and fear of intimacy disguised as empowerment.

Modern feminism is rather good at disguising all manner of vices and self-destructive behaviour as empowerment.

Whom you’re dating, what you’re wearing, or how good you look at that premiere — none of that s–t matters unless you genuinely love yourself. Solid relationships are what really matter.

Who knew?

Truth be told, I wish I had never heard of “SATC.” I’m sure there are worse role models but, for me, it did permanent and measurable damage to my psyche that I’m still cleaning up.

As useful a description of the effects of modern feminism as you’re likely to find.

Two months ago, I started seeing someone I never would have dated 10 years earlier.

A whole two months? How long to you think she can hide the disgust?

Back then, I wasn’t looking to get married or seek a lifelong partner, and that was a mistake. This man is a very reasonable choice, and I’m at a place in my life where reasonable is very sexy.

Two. Months.

Now, I feel like genuine me — I’m no longer a Carrie Bradshaw knockoff.

No, you’re now Samantha. Congratulations!

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Campaigning for Attention

Via Simon Cooke, continuing a current trend:

Parliamentary candidate Zoe O’Connell, 37, is bidding to be Britain’s first polyamorous MP – which means she lives in a three-way lesbian ­relationship with her two canvassers Sarah Brown, 41, and Sylvia Knight, 39.

And if that seems to be as far fetched as a Tory manifesto, then consider this: Zoe and Sarah used to be MEN. And Sarah and Sylvia were once a straight married couple before her sex change.

But of course.

The complex personal life and happiness of her and her lovers is at the forefront of her campaign.

Because this is what matters to constituents.

She says: “We’re content together and that is what matters to us. I’m running for office to change things. Twenty years ago this would never have happened.

“I’m standing up because I don’t think anyone should be treated differently because of gender or sexuality or the way they choose to live their private lives. We live together.

“We’re in a relationship and we’re not ashamed of that.”

So running for office is simply a way to publicise your relationship? And why would you want to do that?

But they’ve all been on a long and difficult journey to reach their unorthodox domestic bliss.

Okay, but as the following paragraphs show, the difficulty mainly lay within their own heads over who they were and what they wanted to be. Nowhere is it suggested they were prevented from doing as they pleased, as they might have been a generation or two ago. So what are they publicising it for?

Zoe is more concerned that increased attention will be levelled at [her chidren] on a national scale if she becomes an MP.

Then maybe don’t do it?

She says it is “inevitable” that she will become a flagbearer for gay and transgender issues if elected, and will fight to have them included in any equalities legislation that is passed during the next parliament.

What legislation? You have a woman and two trans-men living together in a polyamorous relationship, one of whom is running for elected national office. Isn’t this proof of how open and tolerant Britain is, why do we need single-issue lunatics campaigning for more legislation? Do they want to make it compulsory?

But while Zoe likes to think the best of everybody, Sarah says she fears national politics will expose her partner to abuse from bigots online.

“There are people who will go for you if you’re transgender and you stick your head above the parapet,” says Sarah. “They’re not very nice people.

Then why’s she running for office? She doesn’t seem interested in representing her constituents, only in being a “flagbearer” for gay and transgender issues.

But Zoe, who is contesting her family home constituency of Maldon, Essex, against sitting Tory MP John Whittingdale – certainly isn’t frightened of how people react to their relationship.

I expect what terrifies her most is that people will roll their eyes and largely ignore it. This whole thing looks to me like an exercise in attention-seeking which, as it happens, is a useful description of most polyamorous relationships.

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