The real problem with contemporary male-female relationships that the Judith Regan's of the world will never understand is not so much men but the unrealistic expectations of women. Women constantly pursue male paragons of narcissism and irresponsibility with a pathological My Fair Lady fantasy of remaking them into civilized, caring, responsible men.She goes on to write:
Only the female mind could conceive such a jaw-dropping insanity. But utterly undaunted, our female Pygmalions don blinders, marry the hunk, have one or two children with him (like Carmela), and then sometime in their mid 30s (if that early) finally give up the ghost.Like Dr. Laura and so many others, she points out that women really have the power in relationships:
Contrary to some New Age mystic feminist nonsense, women have no collective historical consciousness, otherwise they would have learned something by now. They haven’t and instead go on to, again and again, repeat the same foolishness.
Women have always held far greater potential power in relationships than men because it is women who give the ultimate "Yes" or "No" and control the timing of every critical juncture of a developing relationship, from acceptance of a first date to the date of the wedding day. All women know this yet we have the nerve to cry, complain, and sulk when we don’t exercise this power wisely and responsibly. Sadly, it seems to be a rare exception when we exercise it in our favor.That is exactly why being a jerk "works" to get guys more sex with less hassle.
Quiet, reliable, well-mannered, intelligent men who make a decent living (not necessarily rich, but not living at mommy and daddy’s house either) may rate only a six, seven, or eight on the hunk or excitement scale but are a much better long-run bet than the Jackie Apriles. The almost ineluctable fate of contemporary women is to fail to understand this until they’re in their mid thirties to forties, twice-divorced with children, and with half their looks gone.These men aren't afraid of commitment. They are rightly refusing to commit to women with baggage and habits and mindsets that make them lousy wife material, especially when our legal system will reward such women should they decide to leave the marriage or should the man realize he can't stay in such a situation. (She is more likely to be the one to file for divorce, however.)
The many decent, single, professional men I know who have pined away for a wife for decades are not attracted to these used-up women and they shouldn't be.
She restates her point:
Yet is it really that much different when women spend the youth, beauty, slim waistlines, and virginity of their teens and twenties chasing after handsome jerks and then, after decades of getting burned, hit up "the nerds" for college tuition for two or three of another man’s children? In other words, we had a great party, didn’t invite you, but we'd like you to pick up the tab.Ouch. The truth hurts.
Yet I know so many attractive yet bitter, cynical women (fiercely angry over their string of Pygmalion failures) in their 30s with kids (male-hating Judith Regans all) who believe that since they’re now willing to go out with the guys who wear glasses, these never-been-married men their age should be forming lines to date them. Of course these programmers, engineers, accountants, and even MDs – men who spent their 20s working hard in college and graduate school instead of partying and "shagging" surfers, lifeguards, and other sundry misfits with no futures – aren’t stupid. Many of them have chosen to remain single and who can blame them. It sure beats dealing with O.J. ex-husbands and other men’s snotty kids who view you as nothing more than a piggy bank.
The writer got a lot of angry feedback, so she wrote a follow-up.
You better believe women will tolerate (though not necessarily accept) cheating if it's part of their Pygmalion project; i.e., if it's one more shortcoming from which they're going to redeem the jerk. This was no generational change. Women have pursued jerks since time immemorial. They've catered to them, had their babies, cleaned their homes, cooked their dinners, and wasted decades of their lives with them. And then one day they suddenly decide they've Finally Had Enough! and (flying to the other extreme) join the Rosie O'Donnell Resentful Dike & Bitter Soccer Mom Brigade. (On so many relational fronts many women so seldom ever find the rational middle ground.)Ladies, If you were bright enough to choose a good man, why not reward yourself and thank him for being good with an extra lovemaking session that you initiate today or tomorrow? Even if it is just a quickie.
My point was precisely that jerks come in all varieties and women will probably never tire of pursuing them. They provide a real life soap-opera drama of tension, mind games, and histrionics that women seem to be hopelessly addicted to.
I'm convinced that if women were the tit-for-tat recipients of just half of the petty, prima donna antics they dish out to men, there would be a seismic shift in today's relationships. Most men today are just too kowtowed and addicted to sex to ever take a principled stand on anything for long. They're putty in the hands of women wielding the threat of sexual deprivation.Some guys would be jerks in any environment. But plenty are jerks because they can be, because plenty of women don't demand anything more.
She restates a point she made in the earlier piece:
As I said before and will say again (and women will agree with me as long as it's off the record), women hold far greater potential power in relationships because their consent makes possible every crucial juncture, from the first date, to engagement, to the wedding day. Female consent also controls the timing of these events as well as the nature of the man with which the woman chooses to spend her life. Yet this phenomenal power is continually used in such an irresponsible way and the end results are either a blanket hatred of men or a perplexity as to why they "won't commit."More and more guys see marriage, given our culture and the women they meet, as a bad deal for them.
Today marriage is increasingly seen as a bad deal for responsible men like my brothers who spent their 20s earning degrees and building their careers as opposed to participating in Spring Break orgies. Sold on the lie that most women desired stable, faithful providers, they have no interest in trading away their standard of living for psychological baggage and numerous financial burdens not of their own making. Why would anyone be flattered to be someone else's last resort?When a man speaks or writes these truths, he's slapped with negative labels (such as sexist or misogynist) and assaulted with shaming tactics. But some women see these truths, too. Read both of her commentaries in full. They are still relevant.
As far as the jerks go, men who get the benefits of marriage without marriage don't find marriage very appealing. It's not much more complicated than that. If women are really interested in getting men to commit, for starters they should put their pants back on.