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Culture War Roundup for the week of March 6, 2023

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How is it that so many people who are in favor of criminal penalties for recreational drugs use also came to believe that the covid lockdowns were bad because they were an assault on liberty? I think that an authoritarian argument such as "we like small businesses but we do not like drug users" at least is logically consistent although I find it disagreeable. But how is it that so many people who think of themselves as fans of liberty do not notice the contradiction? I believe that even here on The Motte there are some people who make libertarian-ish arguments against the lockdowns yet support the criminalization of recreational drugs.

In general much of the non-authoritarian right's attitudes toward recreational drugs make no sense to me. I dislike the authoritarians but again, at their arguments are consistent. Is this largely a matter of conservatism still being dominated by older people who have a learned-long-ago and now reflexive dislike of the idea of recreational drug use? A reaction against the hippies, some sort of view that drug use in general is politically left-coded and/or linked to sexual promiscuity? As a new generation of currently-young conservatives becomes dominant in the movement will we see the right become more accepting of recreational drug use? Given that so many on the right now enjoy thinking of themselves as dissidents against establishment orthodoxy, perhaps they will at least begin view psychedelics more favorably given that those drugs have at least some power to liberate people's mental attitudes from orthodoxy.

My argument against legalizing marijuana(yes, I know, you mean all drugs, but I’m arguing against the most politically favorable interpretation) rests on the following points-

1: occasional pot use by adults is probably not that bad. But daily use- which tracks way up under legalization- and adolescent use both appear very bad. With alcohol, we accept some frequency of both daily use and adolescent use(even if it’s de jure illegal) as the price for legalizing; I’m not in favor of doing the same for pot.

2: occasional pot use by adults is not that bad, but it’s still not a good thing that should be encouraged except perhaps by people suffering from incurable pain or something like that.

3: marijuana culture is bad and I don’t like it, and like it or not the aesthetics of a society really do influence it’s values and priorities. Other societies- including some which I neighbor- have proven entirely unable to prevent marijuana culture and it’s aesthetics from running rampant and taking over absolutely everything in environments of more permissive pot laws.

4: it smells bad and places like Colorado or NYC which have permissive regimes seem unable to moderate its use.

5: with the society we have, laws are rarely enforced to their maximum extent. Legalizing marijuana even with tight restrictions to curtail undesired/problem use is likely to result in those tight restrictions being ignored or evaded at very high rates because laws are not typically enforced maximally. Additionally, with marijuana in particular, we can expect big city prosecutors(that is, those in the sorts of places where most people live) to be highly sympathetic to marijuana use in a way that creates even more room to evade regulations.

Yes, a lot of them are individually rather weak reasons, but that’s why I listed five of them. To my conservative view authoritarianism isn’t an intrinsic evil; it’s something societies need less or more of depending on how they normally behave. 50’s America would have been fine with legal weed, modern day America isn’t.

Conservatives are not libertarians.

When I am weaker than you I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.

-Frank Herbert

Except neither the left or the right are really the principled parties of individual freedom and when the other can gain the levers of power they're going to start pushing authoritarianism if not in general at least on their pet issues justified either with deontology or consequentialism.

If I put on my Antivax hat, there is a very simple argument that covers both: "don't put chemicals in people's bodies that are bad for them."

Finnish culture continues to be fairly strongly against the legalization of any recreational drugs, including cannabis, even if it is probably not quite as strongly as before. Meanwhile, many strong opponents of cannabis legalization or even decriminalization advocate for loosening alcohol laws (including having been against bar restrictions during the Covid era), something that cannabis legalization activists have pointed out as an inconsistency numerous times. Sometimes the cannabis restrictionists basically respond by - and I'm only slightly paraphrasing - that of course cannabis cannot be legalized, because it's a drug, and drugs are criminal.

Without a strong opinion on this topic myself, I've resolved that there is a strong correlation - in Finnish society, but probably also in others - between legality and morality, in the sense that something being illegal automatically takes it into the immoral territory and if something is immoral, well, that is already enough argument for not legalizing it. 'course, if the illegal thing is legalized, it pretty soon also becomes not-immoral, and there's no further argument needed for keeping it legal, and indeed proposing illegalizing it now becomes an onerous restriction on freedom.

Drug restrictions for lost people is a sort of disgust/purity issue, as a holdover from Christianity and other various religions. In my experience when pressed people don’t have good reasons against it.

People will bring up ODs of course but then if you point out that legalizing/decriminalizing heroin and allowing use in supervised scenarios will decrease ODs (like they did in Switzerland) you get the whole “I ain’t gonna pay for those people’s heroin!!”

So your saying someone is “lost” if they don’t want to fund someone elses drug use? Seems reasonable to me.

Besides the giant issue that not many drug addicts want to do their drugs in an institutionalized setting.

I’m saying someone is “lost” if they care more about arbitrary standards of purity than actually solving the horrific problem our society has with drug use. They’re going to pay either way, but the status quo means a lot of people are going to die for their foolish beliefs.

Whats the foolish belief ? Heroin is bad for you? That feels simplistic to me but it doesn’t feel like that bad of steelman to me.

Dope fiends are going to do fentanyl if it’s available. I don’t see a solution than lock a lot of people up. Some burnt out dope fiends will use your treatment centers but not most.

Afghanistan solved their drug issues since the US left by locking everyone up and forcing cold turkey quitting. Believing in that doesn’t feel “lost” to me.

The foolish belief is a standard chemical model of addiction, and the idea that it’s a failing of willpower. Drug addiction is caused by a society wide lack of purpose, meaning, etc.

Blaming addicts is foolish and unscientific, doesn’t solve the problem in fact it makes things worse. Again look to how Switzerland dealt with their heroin problem.

So your just going to ignore the Afghanistan model? Which has worked unlike say San Francisco?

So your just going to ignore the Afghanistan model?

Yes, I think the efficacy of the Afghan government in such that dismissing its methods out of hand is more then warrented.

More comments

I would largely put it down to severity of the imposition. It's not exactly positive restrictions versus negative restrictions, but that is a component of it.

To adhere to all Covid regulations and suggestions, you had to

1: Wear a mask whenever you go outside. This requires you to buy a mask, remember the mask exists, have this thing on your face restricting your breating and constantly reminding you of its existence, be unable to see the faces of the people you interact with, and have your adherence be publicly displayed.

2: Not travel to places or spend time with friends and family as much as usual. Not go to work for several months, possibly having severe repercussions on your finances. Change your entire daily routine, and that of your family. Watch your kids miss several months of proper schooling. Have you and your family potentially suffer negative mental health effects.

3: Inject yourself with a newly invented vaccine that may or may not work or be safe (it does work and is probably safe, but that's hard for a 100 IQ person to know when everyone is lying constantly). Multiple times, because apparently the first one isn't good enough.

This was a huge deal. The entire country changed, for years. The economy took a huge blow leading to supply chain issues and massive inflation that it still hasn't recovered from (though part of that is that it rolled into the Russia sanctions, but the bulk of it was Covid). And the rules kept changing every week and people had to keep paying attention and changing their behavior in response. The Covid lockdowns were a big deal. You can argue that Covid itself was a big deal and therefore it was worth the cost, but it was a huge cost.

Meanwhile, to adhere to recreational drug restrictions I have to.... do nothing. I can literally do nothing, go about my daily life, and be in compliance with the restrictions. I can not damage my health by inhaling or injecting foreign substances, and not spend my money on a thing that I don't need or want. People who don't know that recreational drugs exist are in compliance with these restrictions, because it's a restriction against doing something, not requiring you to do something, and it's not something most people want to do anyway. It has literally no impact on the majority of people, so they don't care. You might compare it to if the government outlawed Skiing or something. People would get upset and protest that the restriction was stupid, pointless, authoritarian and evil. But they would be less upset than the Covid lockdowns, because most of them would not be impacted and could comply by simply going about their daily lives not Skiing. And if Skiing had already been illegal for decades then people probably wouldn't get that upset about it, because they wouldn't have made it into a hobby they enjoy or bought equipment for it in the first place.

The ability to use recreational drugs is just not a big deal for most people.

I am a firm proponent of legalization, but I'd say this makes some sense. I am personally much more upset about the consequences of the drug bans (and the horrible "War on Drugs") and the theoretical loss of freedom aspect of it than by actual hardships involved in being personally unable to consume drugs (which for marijuana in the US is none anyway, you can get it practically anywhere easily, even if it's not legal there), especially since I never had any desire to consume any (besides alcohol). This does not apply to medical marijuana though - the fact that marijuana is still officially considered by Federal government as Schedule I - i.e. having zero medical uses - is a colossal idiocy. Everybody knows it's a lie and it harms a lot of people, and still this persists. But for recreational purposes - yes, I'd say the direct effect of such a ban on me is pretty much zero. I still oppose it on the other grounds, but probably I'd feel much less upset than about something that involved personally infringing my freedom and making my personal life worse. Such as COVID lockdowns, for example, which did insane, totally infuriating amount of harm.

A utilitarian frame is logically consistent. Recreational drug use kills a lot of people. In terms of preventable life years lost I would say it’s equal or higher than COVID. Weren’t we around 120k overdose deaths per year and the average death is probably about 40 years old? So you are talking about 40 life years losts per drug death versus like 5 years from COVID death (and mostly late life).

I believe a quant would have no problem making this distinction. Someone whose base a view from “libertarianism” I guess wouldn’t.

A lot of it probably is just tribal but I do think the math makes it rational to have those opinions. And you can probably make a religious argument for those positions too - COVID being natural deaths versus drugs being ungodly etc.

Those 120k deaths happened under a regime of prohibition, so how are they supposed to be evidence in its favor? Of course you can say drug deaths would be way more without prohibition, but that requires further argument (e.g. comparison with places or time periods that had fewer restrictions), which you haven’t given.

We prohibit drug use in the US?

I see needle exchanges in San Francisco and gift packs. I don’t see drug users getting 6 months in an institution to clean up when they use.

Yes, we do, and we spend an enormous amount of money and time enforcing that. Also, it's illegal to federally fund needle exchanges, they're all state or privately run and have to be authorized by state law, and almost all states have extensive laws against drug paraphernalia. And cherry-picking the city with the laxest policies on public drug use in the country, which actively encourages homeless junkies to come there, says next to nothing about what the rest of the US is like. Not to mention that in 2020 (the peak of ODs this decade) San Francisco's rate of OD deaths was about the same as that of Kentucky or Ohio, which are not exactly famous for their state governments' lax attitudes toward drug use.

I’ve never met someone in jail for drugs. Everyone I know has used them. And have known a few ODs. Doesn’t seem enforced in practice.

The plural of anecdote is not data. With that said, I'm not sure how that is even in principle supposed to show drug laws aren't enforced. It isn't per se illegal to be high, what is illegal is being noticeably high in public or possessing drugs/drug paraphernalia. And cops obviously can't just conduct random searches of people's houses to see if they're getting high/possessing drugs in private (without probable cause). So what laws did everyone you know break, or give authorities probable cause to think they were breaking, such that there would have even been an opportunity to enforce them against them?

It could also be that drug laws are being enforced, but they just aren't effective at curbing drug use, and that would produce the same outcomes you're describing. Since whether drug laws are effective is exactly the point at issue here, to treat these instances as proof that drug laws aren't enforced is question-begging.

Honestly think your just being argumentative or don’t go into the party scene. It’s not hard to buy drugs in a club. You could run a sting and find a bunch any night of the week.

And for probably cause. It’s standard for all services to carry narcan in a lot of places. That’s probable cause right there. Those people aren’t getting arrested.

Police departments already spend lots of time doing drug busts, because they get to seize the cash (and much of the other property) that they find, so it's often a major source of revenue. What evidence do you have that stepping up stings would actually make it hard to buy drugs in clubs and the like in the US?

I don't understand what you're saying. Why would it provide probable cause if someone is carrying narcan? And probable cause for what crime? Narcan is legal with a prescription in most if not all states, and half the time the person carrying it is doing so for use on others.

I highly doubt that most OD’s would otherwise be living til 80. Another 20-30 is probably reasonable, though.

I'm not opposed to recreation, I'm opposed to face-eating, overdose deaths, addiction-derived desperation, and the other negative consequences of drug use. Calling the substances in question "recreational drugs" is assuming the conclusion.

Lockdowns were a larger imposition with more missteps and less justification IMO.

Marijuana, at least, is not a big issue along these metrics. AFAIK it doesn't cause "face eating" or overdoses and from a pure addiction standpoint (let alone the direct health consequences) it's no worse than alcohol and substantially better than tobacco.

Yup, which is why I didn't oppose marijuana legalization back when it passed.

How is it that so many people who are in favor of criminal penalties for recreational drugs use also came to believe that the covid lockdowns were bad because they were an assault on liberty?

There's probably a way to square that circle and make the two positions cohere, but the better explanation of incoherent Covid stances on both the right and left is that it's just political tribes picking a side and circling the wagons. In March 2020 there were right wingers who were gungho on pandemic restrictions and left wingers who were blithe to the danger and also were anti-bigpharma vaccine skeptics. But a variety of factors pushed the median left winger to be pro-restrictions and the median right winger to be anti-restrictions. After that both sides rallied around the flag.

Time for some good old fashioned gender politics seethe:

https://old.reddit.com/r/BestofRedditorUpdates/comments/11of65g/i_21m_asked_my_friend_21f_to_be_fwb_and_now_she/?sort=confidence

A clearly very socially awkward nerdy literal virgin (despite being 21 years old) guy thinks a cute girl in his study group is flirting with him. He takes her aside privately after a study session and asks her… does she want to be his FWB (friends with benefits)? He reasons that he wants to have fun like many young men and isn’t looking for a relationship right now.

The girl is shocked and taken aback. She turns him down flat and appears uncomfortable. He feels uncomfortable too and apologizes to her and leaves.

Over the next few weeks, she doesn’t say anything to him at study sessions. He tries to make contact again, not to proposition her, but just to resume their friendly acquaintanceship. She tells him directly that she doesn’t want to speak to him. He is hurt but understands and leaves her be. Soon enough, he learns that she has told her friends and extended social circle what happened, and he is widely reviled as a creep. He feels hurt and violated. He laments that he has lost a friend, and now feels like he’s being lambasted for an innocent error, and he wishes the whole thing would just end and go away.

My take on OP is sympathetic. He comes off as extremely awkward and clearly isn’t well versed in the endless myriad of opaque and seemingly contradictory rules of modern dating. He wanted an FWB, and he didn’t understand that the socially acceptable way to get one is to ask a girl out on a date (usually through Tinder), then hook up with her, then either stay as vague as possible for as long as possible about your intentions while continuing to periodically fuck, or to sort of half way shrug after a fuck session and say, “yeah, I’m just really not looking for anything serious right now.” OP genuinely thought he was being upfront and honest with another person, and assumed that he was proposing something mutually beneficial.

Yes, it’s not a good idea to outright proposition a girl to be an FWB in a library. It’s awkward and weird and I can see how it made her feel uncomfortable. But all signs point to OP making an innocent error. He didn’t know any better. When he became aware of his mistake, he immediately apologized, gave the offended party space, and only later attempted to reestablish contact in a friendly, non-threatening manner. He made an innocent mistake and responded in the best possible way.

And Reddit’s response to OP is… calling him a massive piece of shit in every conceivable way.

What I find interesting about the overwhelming criticisms of OP is that they split in two completely opposite directions, but seemingly from the same critics.

On the one hand, OP is relentlessly slut shamed. He is accused of treating this woman like a “flesh light,” of feeling “entitled” to sex, of creepily trying to fuck an acquaintance, of pursuing sex with a girl instead of trying to date thine lady like a proper Victorian gentleman.

On the other hand, OP is relentlessly virgin shamed. He’s an incel, a fool, a creepy moron. He’s daring to try to have casual sex when he hasn’t even lost his virginity because he is SUCH A MASSIVE FUCKING LOSER. OP doesn’t understand that casual sex is only for chads who have fucked a bunch of girls, FWBs are an unlockable perk, not a privilege of the sexually unworthy.

Fortunately, there is a minority of Reddit commenters backing OP up, but it is a small minority. Meanwhile, many more posters are saying that OP is well on the way to becoming an incel or Andrew Tate fan, and unfortunately, they’re right, just not in the way they think they are.

I don’t have a larger point for this post, only that it’s incredibly frustrating that a significant portion of mainstream culture has erected these standards for the dating marketplace where one false step not only does, but should result in social and moral annihilation.

Men of The Motte:

If your daughter comes home one day and says that a guy in her class who she sometimes speaks to came up to her and said “I want to fuck you casually without commitment, you up for it?” and she says she felt uncomfortable and walked away, what would you tell her? Would you tell her not to tell her friends because it might embarrass the guy? Would you feel sympathy with the guy who propositioned your daughter?

If your daughter comes home one day and says that a guy in her class who she sometimes speaks to came up to her and said “I want to fuck you casually without commitment, you up for it?” and she says she felt uncomfortable and walked away, what would you tell her? Would you tell her not to tell her friends because it might embarrass the guy? Would you feel sympathy with the guy who propositioned your daughter?

I would seek him out and look him in the eye. If he's a fuckboy he'd get a warning to stay away from my daughter. If he's a social retard, he'd get a primer on dating including a warning about second chances.

The traditional perspective of the father on his daughter's sexuality is extremely protective, anachronistic, and colored by psychosexual status games, with incestual overtones. He's the last guy I would trust to have a fair opinion on the topic, like a mother-in-law's view of her daughter-in-law, although probably even more so.

Only a universalist could ask this. I can simultaneously believe that capital punishment is a bad policy that often unfairly harms the undeserving AND that anybody who so much as lays a finger on my loved ones should die in agony. The emphasis is on my here.

It’s not about universalism, it’s about empathy. In this case about whether you see yourself more in the shoes of the father of the girl, or the father (or friend) of, or indeed the OP.

I just think that it is not a very good exercise, because for some, fatherly duties override almost all other moral concerns. The answer will therefore always be maximally protective of the daughter and maximally hostile to any perceived threats or slights. Regardless of the sympathy the threat may deserve in the abstract.

Not a man, but my tweens do sometimes come home with stories about socially inappropriate behavior from classmates. This has ranged from odd or invasive personal questions to much more serious and concerning stuff.

Every single time, I have made it very clear that, "That's a very personal question, and you don't have to answer it. You can say X instead," or "Those comments are not acceptable, and if they keep happening, you need to tell the teacher." I have never suggested they keep quiet among their friends. In fact, I've said, "I'm glad you guys compared notes and figured out you were all having the same issues with this boy."

But this is coupled this with things like, "This kid sounds like she might not be neurotypical, and she's just awkwardly trying to make conversation. You don't have to be her best friend, but she probably doesn't mean any harm," or, "From what you describe, that boy comes from a very different background than you do. Talking to and about women that way might be perfectly normal where he grew up. That doesn't mean you have to tolerate it! And you're under no obligation to feel sorry for him. But if he knocks it off after he's been warned it's not acceptable here, I hope you can find a way to be comfortable still sharing a classroom with him." I have tried to point out that this is what true diversity will look like in practice. People are going to show up with brains that work very differently from yours or manners that feel absolutely atrocious to you. Enforce your boundaries! But most people who violate them will just be people, not disgusting moral mutants who deserve banishment to the outer darkness.

Tell her to cut him off completely and avoid him wherever possible. Followed by a lecture on Western degeneracy and how we (as a group of people) have our own culture and proud history and most importantly are absolutely not like them at all. Finally ending in a promise that if she desires we (our family) will happily find her a good man from a stable family and a similar belief system to us that she will with high probability be happy with (but first, finish your studies and graduate with good marks).

I'm going to say something perhaps inflammatory: If I had a daughter and that happened, yes, I would feel some sympathy for the guy who propositioned her, and I would expect her to understand that. In order to explain my position, I'm going to relay a personal experience of mine.

Many guys tend to not have the experience of being approached since they are the ones typically expected to initiate and take on all risk. However, I'm a guy who's had an experience of being propositioned by another guy, and though granted his advance was less direct than "do you want to be FWB" it was done by a random dude in a park who I had never met before (and I was admittedly a bit flustered by it and politely rejected him). My initial reaction wasn't really "What an asshole, fuck that guy", instead it was worry about the fact that perhaps I could've cushioned the blow of rejection a little further. My primary emotion was in fact a feeling of sympathy (and a bit of confusion about how he figured out my orientation on sight alone).

I did not think I should be offended simply because he suggested to me something we might both enjoy, and I did not envy his position. Being the one who initiates is terrifying, opens you up to the inherent humiliation of rejection and could end up with you on the receiving end of a claim of harassment. I felt an obligation to respect that. And while I did tell some people I knew about what happened (which I felt comfortable doing because we definitely did not hang out in the same social circles and in fact would likely never see each other again), I never provided any identifying information that would have reasonably allowed anyone even in his social circles to know who he was off my account alone. I certainly did not go blabbering about how terrible he was and in fact made it a point to stress to people I told that I did not think of him as a creep.

I would expect from any daughter of mine the same conduct I expect from myself. No amount of "but physical strength differences, though" works here, because I am unusually small and thin (I barely weigh 100 pounds) and the guy propositioning me was much larger. Furthermore, any claim that the consequences of unwanted sex for women is greater than it is for me also has to contend with the fact that women now have a huge amount of control over their sexuality even after the act has occurred as they have access to things like the morning after pill. As an aside, it is easier for women to escape the consequences of PIV sex than it is for men (whose financial obligations will be enforced even if the sex was against his will).

And yes, women have a different instinctual reaction to these things than men do because of the historic reproductive risks and costs of sex for women which no longer holds up under modernity. Humans are full of evolutionary baggage that isn't necessarily rational under modern circumstances. However, I expect women to deal with their feelings in a way that doesn't blow back on others who have according to all objective criteria done nothing wrong. Managing your emotions and not capriciously doing things that would cause others harm simply for offending your sensibilities is part and parcel of mature behaviour.

If I'd found out my hypothetical daughter had gone and told people about it, and found out it had blown back on the guy to the point he was being treated like a predator, I would definitely at least be telling her that her actions matter, and that she should have thought twice before badmouthing him in a social group where it could result in actual consequences for him.

EDIT: added more

I would unironically tell her to cut all contact with him and not do anything to piss him off too much. Things such as gossiping about it.

Not out of sympathy for him but because there are crazy motherfuckers out there and you dont want to be on the wrong side of someone with nothing to lose all the while being the reason he lost everything, justified or not. Not making unnecessary enemies is usually a good policy regardless of who you are. At the very least Id tell her to tell her friends to keep their mouths shut.

Complete social suicide like this makes rapists and school shooters and assaulters.

what would you tell her?

That he's an incompetent ass, and if she's uncomfortable, get a study group without him in it.

Would you tell her not to tell her friends because it might embarrass the guy?

Not because it would be embarrass him, exactly. but because there's minimal value in it. In the extreme case, mockery invites retribution. More normally, it's petty and hateful to mock someone for being incompetent, and I wouldn't want my daughter being a petty and hateful person.

Then again, maybe her friends ask why she doesn't want him in the study group anymore, and lying about it could make matters worse in some way. And at that point, it's hard to stop the creepy accusation from leaking.

Would you feel sympathy with the guy who propositioned your daughter?

If she describes him as a shy nerd? There but for the grace of God go I and all that. I'd be annoyed, but a little sympathetic. Being a fool doesn't make him a monster.

This is a leading question because the obvious answer that you want to get ("fuck that dude, you are right to shame him sweetie") is obviously going to conflate people who think OP is wrong because he is not conforming to traditional sexual norms (no casual sex, period), with those who think OP is wrong because he didn't play the game properly (casual sex is fine, OP just went about it the wrong way).

The issue is that if you accept a sexually liberal or libertine culture, OP didn't really do anything morally wrong he just committed a massive faux pas so he doesn't deserved to be permanently ostracised and labelled a dangerous incel. After all, all he did was believe the advice liberal society gave him to be honest and treat women like men.

Most people sympathetic to OP are addressing the fact he is operating in this sexually liberal environment, and judging it on that basis (and finding it hypocritical and treating OP unfairly on its own terms).

This does not mean I think a sexually liberal culture is a good thing. If it were up to me, all these young adults would be pulled away from casual sex. OP would an idiot lecher trying to defile a maiden with premarital sex, and the girl would rightfully scold and shame him for trying to take away her chastity (and I presumably would be the father with a shotgun threatening OP). But that's not the cultural environment this is taking place in, and the girl isn't shaming OP for trying to take her chastity, but for being an incel creep loser.

Absolutely based. Under my ideal belief system this dude did a lot wrong and deserves to be punished, but the reasons for that punishment aren't the reasons he's being punished for under modern western sexual degeneracy where Women Can Do No Wrong.

Leaving aside everything else, can you explain to me the appeal of "seethe" and why someone would want to engage in a "good old fashioned" variety there of?

I think it's human nature to want to vent about injustice and annoyances. Plus I'm interested in what people here think about the many facets of OP's story, Reddit's reaction, and what it does or doesn't mean about modern culture. Two birds with one stone.

I think that there are rdramanauts among us. Not that I would be one of them or anything... umm... just saying.

Even so, can someone explain the appeal?

Well, it can feel good to imagine that one is an emotionally tough and rational person who from a distance is poking fun at the roiling masses of sensitive people who are seething about issues that the emotionally tough and rational person calmly and amusedly regards from on high while poking his majestic and very rational chin out to the horizon. Not that this is a very charitable feeling to have I guess but it is a thing.

I think that Reddit is a pretty bad sample of the overall human population. It tends to attract overly sensitive people, would-be moral crusaders, and people who are overly confident about being right despite having limited experience with what they are talking about. When I put it that way, I guess it is kind of like The Motte, although without the typical Motteizen's extreme verbosity. However, people on The Motte at least tend to be much more aware that they could possibly be wrong about things than people on Reddit are, and people on The Motte at least tend to not have their thoughts completely dominated by the conventional wisdom of the day. I would not base my opinions of humans in general on Redditors.

This guy sounds like an absolute sperg, and actually discouraging this behavior is a sign of a functioning society.

"Hello, would you like to have sex with me?" is not an appropriate thing to say to a woman unless you are in a relationship with her. "Hello, would you like to have sex with me and then have me absolutely ignore you emotionally and treat you like free prostitute" doubly so.

Do not behave this way. "Friends with benefits" is not a thing for people who are asking reddit if they are autistic or not.

"Hello, would you like to have sex with me?" is not an appropriate thing to say to a woman unless you are in a relationship with her.

Maybe it should be. Right now, I feel like a lot women are under the impression that most of their male friends do not want to have sex with them. I don't know the exact numbers, and I can't think of a way to find out the exact numbers, but I'm pretty sure a lot of men would be happy to fuck their female friends if given a no-strings-attached opportunity. Especially the single males but even a decent amount of guys in a relationship. But I constantly see stories like this, where a woman finds out a man wants to have sex with her, and she's disgusted. But why is she surprised? I understand that she doesn't want the sexual attention, but that doesn't change the fact that it exists, and women should be aware of just how common it is. Just because being aware of true facts is good. Lots of woman are friends with lots of men who sexually desire them, but the men just keep it a secret- would it be that much of a disaster if it wasn't a secret, if women were aware their friends desired them?

Maybe our current equilibrium is better. Maybe putting immense pressure on men not to let women know that they're sexually desired is good and prevents women from being pressured into sex they don't want. Maybe this equilibrium has to exist otherwise women would only make friends with the portion of men who genuinely don't want to have sex with them, so other men need to fake not having desire to make female friends. But it still just leaves me scratching my head when I see the degree to which women are shocked and disgusted when they learn that they're desired, since it shows that their mental model of the world was pretty damn off.

Women know this and have always known this. But it’s never been socially acceptable in the vast majority of circumstances to ask women for some fuk out of the blue.

Because the idea that a low status male thinks he has a chance with her implies she is low status.

Society is built on certain salutary myths. In Plato's Republic, commoners are taught that citizens are brothers, and that everyone is born with the tools that indicate their role in society. These noble lies are foundational to the polis. In the organizational meme we call society, members must be brainwashed into believing (a) morality is for all citizens, not just your blood relatives, (b) some people must do unpleasant, dangerous, and degrading work for the benefit of the superstructure.

Of course, some societies require many more and more rigorously-indoctrinated lies than others. But for sure societies where women have a public and gender-integrated role require the polite fiction that males aren't lusting after them around the clock.

The problem is, when you enforce a social fiction for long enough, people start to believe it. This is okay and society functions as long as the noble lies pay their keep for the cost of people doing insane things because they believe lies. Children's crusades, flagellants, etc were the price medieval christendom paid for Catholic doctrine. Lysenkoism, collective farms, etc were the price the USSR paid for Leninism. Social friction and loneliness are part of the price we pay for modern gender ideology and a bigger workforce.

One noble lie paid its keep for a thousand years, the second for a few decades, the third, we'll see.

I would agree that (a) is a foundational lie of larger societies. (b), though, is not quite right. It’s not self-sacrifice, but self-interest, that shores up the superstructure.

Not that self-sacrifice isn’t valuable! It adds slack to the society by incentivizing the least fortunate (or competent) to hold firm instead of snapping. It’s just not sufficient. Christian ideals never eliminated theft and sloth among the worst-off. And when a society tries to rely on people to choose their own sacrifices, it works great until the first defection. Soviet communism was a series of increasingly desperate attempts to patch this prisoner’s dilemma. No, sacrificial collectivism loses out to personal incentives.

Women weren’t martyring themselves for God and country by having children. They were performing the most socially valuable role. When the bottleneck was individual brute strength, men had a dominant competitive advantage in farming and mining and war. Technological advances made women’s labor more valuable just as the cotton gin added value to slave labor. This is enough to explain the development of women’s rights without relying on attitudes about male lust.

The game has changed.

But it still just leaves me scratching my head when I see the degree to which women are shocked and disgusted when they learn that they're desired, since it shows that their mental model of the world was pretty damn off.

The women already know they're desired. They are shocked and disgusted by the social faux pas of men confronting them with that desire when they aren't themselves interested.

Maybe. Whenever I hear stories from friends or online, it definitely seems a lot more that they didn't imagine that so many male friends wanted to fuck them. Pretty much every woman I know in real life or seen stories from have been shocked when they go on dating apps for the first time and realize they have hundreds or thousands of likes from men who want to fuck them.

Whenever I hear

I think this is the critical part. You are under a selection effect of "Anecdotes that women think it will be socially advantageous to publicize", so those are the ones you hear about. Other adjacent anecdotes, you don't.

One therefore ends up only hearing the scenarios that women want to humblebrag about. And she can humblebrag about "I'm so hot that X wanted to fuck me but I'm too good for him so I said "Eww, no, nerd" lol", but she can't humblebrag about "I'm so hot that X wanted to fuck me and so we fucked", because that would make her a slut.

The difficulty with the current social mores is that you have to determine the truth values of contradicting advice, and act on it in a sociopathic manner:

-women are just like men, they deserve the same respect, plain speaking, no need to take kiddie-gloves for them (mainstream media feminism/women page articles)

-women are fragile animals full of emotion, that, similarly to children, you can trick into buying your products (the ads running on the side or intersped with the content of the aforementioned articles)

To date successfully, a man has to claim to genuinely believe the former, to the grave, while in practice behaving ruthlessly like the latter (marketing/ad professional), and make it seem effortless, as if there was never any contradiction to resolve.

Once this premise is begrudgingly somewhat internalized, the main obstacle becomes a combination of idealism/integrity and ego.

We want to believe Hollywood lies about the poor, unattractive nerd getting a love story with the girl next door, after he stopped believing in incel conspiracies or started showering or what not.

We want to believe that women will just give the average man a fair chance.

And more than anything we want to believe that we are great as we are and we shouldn't change anything to attract a woman.

I think the greatest tragedy in all of this is how much effort smart men end up deploying before they can secure one wife. For the 50-80% of men who cannot effortlessly attract women they are attracted to, securing a long-term partner becomes a long-term hobby, or a second career. How many of the nerds on this website have dating sites statistics memorized, like Scott Adams with FBI crime statistics?

But but but I just can't believe in God, it doesn't make sense, cries the atheist, before spending the next decade crying about the unfairness of the dating market generated by his elders' criminal apostasy.

I think that there is nothing inappropriate about being forward, but being forward in a way that is geeky and needy is pretty unlikely to work. I speculate that this guy, if the story is real, probably suggested sex while projecting a logical vibe rather than a playful or seductive vibe and that he might have projected more of a "this is super important to me" energy rather than a "I can take it or leave it" energy. Such neediness can be creepy. I think that the fact that he was crushed by what happened lends credence to my theory. Every day loads of guys are even more forward than this guy without provoking the same kinds of negative reactions from women. And it is not because of the "be attractive / don't be unattractive" meme, although I am sure that plays a role, but because they are forward with a playful and seductive vibe rather than with a hyper-logical or needy vibe.

I am geeky and nerdy. This level of asking a woman to be a prostitute for you is not geeky or nerdy, it's sexual harassment.

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Your premise assumes that the women won't enjoy having a FWB ever. This is true in this case, but it's not "prostitution" if both parties benefit from it.

This is true in this case, but it's not "prostitution" if both parties benefit from it.

But using this as the premise, "prostitution" as a concept itself is a fiction, yes?

But you do know that FWB are a thing, right?

And there are men that successfully proposition women for sex point blank.

And the women not only accept, but feel flattered and tell their friends to make them jealous.

The rule is to be attractive, not unattractive.

Also the men that are successful at this are also probably aware whether or not the women are interested before asking, as they are aware of their sexual worth.

The issue is with generally unattractive men. Any kind of sexual approach will fail for them. They could spend 6 months courting the one lady and it would still fail if she decided in the first minute that she is not attracted to them.

Their failure is not for using the wrong magic words or behavior, but for improperly assessing their sexual attractiveness.

The issue when being an unattractive man is that you see other people successfully dating, so while interacting in a variety of ways with a variety of women, you misinterpret a variety of subtle rejections in different ways.

'she's not immediately wincing at me and politely smiles at me so she must like me'.

If a woman rejects the unattractive man in a polite manner, he gets to imagine that he did better than with the other woman that was having a bad day and rudely put him down for imagining he had a chance with her. 'This rejection went better, I should tweak what I did today and next time it will work.'

What they need to do is actually something along of working out a lot to appear more attractive, getting a lot of money and power to signal status, or fame, or just a lot of drugs and finding the women that are into that.

Or becoming a violent man that can signal spilling blood, that works too with some women (see the ones sending love letters to convicted serial killers).

A friend with benefits is not a prostitute and I do not see how an invitation to be friends with benefits is sexual harassment unless the person doing it persists despite having been rebuffed.

Edit: Also, something that I just noticed. You might have misread me when I wrote "geeky and needy" and thought that I wrote "geeky and nerdy".

Even somebody who's looking for casual sex may still be insulted by this. That's why it's called a "friend" with benefits.

Maybe not a "Prostitute" but certainly not someone you're looking at as proper relationship material, and to that end I think @firmamenti's point holds.

At the risk of sounding like a giga-autist, why does this standard seem to only apply to sex? If OP asked the girl to be a regular tennis partner, no one would accuse him of treating her like a "wall to bounce a ball off of." If he asked her to play video games with him, no one would accuse him of treating her like an "ally NPC."

I don't get why if a guy wants to have sex with a girl but doesn't want a relationship, it's taken to be demeaning and cold, while engaging in any other activity without some sort of grander emotional engagement is fine. Yes, I understand that sex and relationships are traditionally paired, but I also assumed that all but the most trad among us have moved on from that strict coupling in every possible circumstance, especially for college students who are still trying to figure out their dating and sex lives.

Well, from the person's report about what happened:

Recently, she's been more open than usual, getting closer to me when we're working on a problem together and being more chatty/flirty. She and I are both single and have been for a while. I thought that she was interested in me and I decided to take a shot in the dark. I pulled her aside after a study session last week and once everyone else had left I brought up how we're both single and asked if she wanted to be friends with benefits.

It could actually be inferred that she MIGHT possibly have been interested in this guy if he'd just...asked her to go on a date instead of proposing this no-strings sex arrangement.

As a woman, it would imply, to me, that 1.) the guy only wanted me for sex and didn't want to do romantic stuff because...? 2.) he's embarrassed to be seen with me or something?

It comes off like he regarded her as good enough for sex but not good enough to actually be his girlfriend. I'm not sure why the guy thought she'd be more amenable to banging him than to dating him.

See, this is my takeaway. It's possible this girl was indeed attracted to the guy and would have said yes to a date. If that was the case, I don't think what happened is that she immediately decided she hated the guy and wanted to destroy his life, my guess is she went home and cried because she's been single for a while and a guy she thought was cute thought she wasn't good enough to date.

I really don't understand what the motivation for not actually asking this girl out was and I consider that a bewildering mistake.

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It comes off like he regarded her as good enough for sex but not good enough to actually be his girlfriend. I'm not sure why the guy thought she'd be more amenable to banging him than to dating him.

Exactly.

It makes sense if promiscuous women are judged as lower value. Asking someone to be FWB means you thought there was a possibility she would say yes, which is essentially an accusation of being "easy". Having a reputation of being easy means lowering your chances of a long term relationship with desirable men and increasing your chances of getting propositioned by undesirable men. You would suffer all the downsides of having low social value. A harsh rejection would be necessary to clearly deny such an accusation.

I can see how someone learning about sex and relationships from reading feminist leaning sources would mistakenly think its okay to ask to be FWB. Feminists push for a world where women are not judged for their sexual choices. If there's nothing wrong with being easy then there's nothing wrong with just asking politely as long as you calmly accept a "no". In fact it would be asking for consent, which is the only acceptable thing to do before any kind of sexual escalation.

It doesn't only apply to sex, sex just happens to be the biggest and most obvious example, and the answer is that "because relationships are, by nature, anti-inductive" No relationship is ever going to be about just what you want because the other party always gets a vote, and that vote might very well be "to hell with this".

You ask why it's considered cold and demeaning to want something from someone without making an offer in exchange and I reply that the answer is in the question.

I agree that relationships have an anti-inductive component (even a significant one), but:

You ask why it's considered cold and demeaning to want something from someone without making an offer in exchange and I reply that the answer is in the question.

The answer is... sex. The girl gets sex in exchange for sex. I think most people, or at least most men, see that as a fair trade as long as both parties are attracted to one another.

The obvious, but often unstated retort is that men and women value sex differently. Both enjoy it on a physical level, but women tend to attach more emotional significance to the act, while men generally take a more casual approach and seem to desire the purely physical aspect more.

Ok, that's fine. It is what it is. But to wrap back around to one of the overriding aspects of my original post and many of the comments... why is the female perspective on sex not only seen as the default, but the male perspective on sex is seen as immoral, at least to the Reddit crowd? Isn't that what happened to the OP? He made a (very clumsy) sexual offer based on the male perspective of sex, but the girl had the female perspective, and shamed him for his error.

Traditional Judeo-Christian morality had an answer to this discrepancy. But I don't think modern sexual mores do. The sensible approach to me is for people to be aware of both the male and female perspectives on sex, and to exercise empathy in negotiations over sex. The Redditor perspective (which I think you are sympathetic to based on what you're saying, feel free to correct me) is that the female perspective should be privileged, and the male perspective should be punished, even if it's touted innocently and ignorantly.

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The Redditor was not asking the lab partner girl for something without making an offer in exchange. He was offering sex - in exchange for sex! A perfectly even trade!

To certain personalities who have read too much about how women are “just people no different from you,” this would make decent sense.

Except, of course, that it’s not how anything works.

True, I guess as someone who is looking for casual sex rather than for a romantic relationship I can sometimes fail to realize that people who are looking for a romantic relationship might be offended when they fight out that someone else wants only casual sex from them. They might be offended even if that person does not want a romantic relationship with them not because they don't measure up to some preferences but simply because the person just does not want a romantic relationship with anyone at the moment.

Trigger warning: entitlement, obliviousness

Really? People deserve a trigger warning for that? I was cringing slightly as I read the whole scenario but really! At least the trigger warning statement lets me know that I'm about to read something I find disagreeable, which is an ironic fulfillment of the original purpose.

And why do redditors then write up a big, well-linked 'retrospective' post about it like it's some big event? I suppose we're now commenting on the third level and it's somewhat interesting. But we're mostly talking about the social dynamic on the second level, not the first level of 'oh this guy's a creepy repulsive loser'.

Who places the trigger warning, the OP or the subreddit mods?

https://old.reddit.com/r/BestofRedditorUpdates/wiki/postrules

Apparently it's a requirement to have trigger warnings and 'mood spoilers' so people don't get too emotionally invested in a reddit story. I'd love to see how these people react to a gore thread or something properly disturbing. It's more perverse than that because people go to these places because there are weird sad and unfair stories! It's like walking into a pornography store and asking for the genitals to be blurred.

I'd love to see how these people react to a gore thread or something properly disturbing.

I mean, if they could handle it just fine, they'd probably be somewhere like 4chan instead.

How does our civilization fail so manifestly that it produces so-called adults who can't cope with a sad story unless they get warned the good guy might not prevail? They should be ashamed to even come up with such an idea. It's pathetic.

I'm reminded of a recent viral story about OpenAI's use of Kenyan labor to train ChatGPT to avoid generating offensive content: https://time.com/6247678/openai-chatgpt-kenya-workers/

I thought about making a top-level post at the time because the "outrage" was actually infuriating to read. Somehow we live in a society where paying people to read some vulgar words is conflated with literal slavery. I couldn't summon the necessary restraint to write a neutral summary so I refrained from posting at the time, but man, I want off this ride where it is apparently commonly accepted that written words are equivocal (or, you know, in some cases, worse) than actual violence.

When the sensitivity readers first emerged in the YA lit culture, I knew we were dealing with (Wo)Manchildren the great mayority of times controversy happens.

I wonder if that trigger warning is actually taking the piss and mocking trigger warnings. Usually, trigger warnings in that subreddit are for super cereal things like adultery, self-harm, incest, abuse, sexual assault, homophobia, sexism, racism (where the last five could be in quotes)—things that are heckin unwholesome and might make the reader feel uncomfortable.

The participants in the Reddit BoRU and RA threads are unwittingly putting on an illustration of our threads that discuss male vs. (lack of) female approaching, the Women are Wonderful Effect, the societal eagerness to vilify men.

The elephant in the room there, an elephant that Reddit women will generally avoid (or whose existence they will deny, as the elephant makes them feel less like strong independent #GirlBosses), is that women are extremely passive when it comes to approaching and will not take initiative to… initiate. Men have the burden of performance. It’s up to men to read women's minds as to know when/how to approach or risk making women “uncomfortable,” since nothing is worse than the sin of being a man and making a woman feel “uncomfortable.”

Not that the slightest of fucks is given to a man’s comfort—like hypothetically, gossiping to turn his classmates against him, confronting him about asking a girl to hook up (when it’s none of your business), or texting him from an unfamiliar number to insult him.

How dare Study Session Guy look for a friend with benefits when he’s a stupid low-status virgin? Ugh, the male entitlement. Who does he think he is? Doesn't he know he's a low-level character who lacks the EXP to unlock that part of the map yet, much less pursue that quest? He should be grateful for her friendship, know his place and patiently stay in the friendzone, slowly orbit and monkey dance and maybe one day the friendship evolves into a relationship if he’s lucky she so deigns.

It’s also amusing how young women sometimes act like spoiled children—especially when it comes to courtship and dating—and we pretend it doesn’t happen, provide an “oh dear, dear, gorgeous” like the Ramsay meme, or actively condone and encourage them. Study Session Girl could had just said “no thanks” and discontinued the friendship. She could had even said “no thanks” and continued the friendship. Either way, a level-headed response that might befit an adult. Yet, she had to poison the well, start a gossip mill, sink his reputation, and essentially create a hostile work study session environment for affronting the Lady's honor, for having the audacity as to be insufficiently attractive while thinking she might be That Kind of Girl (which she likely is, just not for him). The crowd had to be set upon him, in name of her honor. Slay, queen! He had it coming.

Obviously, this is not to say directly asking a girl to be your friend with benefits is wise, tactically. Quite the opposite, as it takes away her plausible deniability and ability to dodge accountability, her ability to tell herself and others “we were just talking and hanging out; somehow one thing led to another and omg it just like happened!” If a younger brother, male cousin, nephew, etc. recounted me a story like Study Session Guy's, I'd shake my head and be like "Did we not teach you anything? Let's review the ways that could had gone better..."

@Quantumfreakonomics remarked earlier this week that he would in the past think:

"oh, I'm just too honest for the dirty, lying, backstabbing tricks required for success in the dating market." I typically dismiss this as egoistic rationalization, but I am again starting to wonder if it is true.

I wouldn’t say dirty, lying, backstabbing tricks are necessary for success; I certainly wouldn't like deploying dirty, lying, backstabbing tricks (Russell Conjugation, perhaps: “Others might deploy dirty, lying, backstabbing tricks, but I deploy subtle, creative, smooth maneuvers”). However, I would say a large degree of social engineering and maintaining kayfabe is certainly needed for consistent success. Asking a girl if she wants to be your friend with benefits breaks kayfabe.

"Yes means yes” comes to mind and how it can be construed as an intentional or unintentional civilisational-level shit-test. The nice feminist guys who take it slow and overcommunicate every step of the way will fumble their chances away and remain pussless, whereas the toxic inconsiderate chauvinists who go full steam ahead all gas no brakes will see many more touchdowns. It separates the socially savvy from the non-socially savvy (and in the case of “yes means yes,” helpfully gives women another way to retrospectively claim non-consensuality if they so feel like it).

Decades of gender egalitarianism and mainstream feminist propaganda certainly don’t prepare young men for navigating sex and dating. Men and women are the same, except for when women are more Wonderful but sometimes more vulnerable—and when men are shittier and more toxic.

If you believe their pretty lies about women, the same cultural forces will only blame you for believing their lies. Study Session Guy paid the price for believing that male and female sexuality are similar, that men and women have a similar disposition toward honesty. As @erwgv3g34 commented on the Motte subreddit back in the day:

>Television: *lies to you about women all your life*

>School: *lies to you about women all your life*

>Women: *lie to you about women all your life*

>You: *believes lies about women*

>Society: "Haha, you actually believed the lies we told you about women? FUCKIN' AUTIST".

This is why I hate normies.

If you aggregate up Reddit women’s reactions to threads like these (about men bungling initiation attempts)—and their dating advice (more like “advice”) in general on approaching—it shakes out to something like this:

  • Don’t cold approach women. What kind of creep pesters women he doesn’t know? Women don’t date strangers.

  • Don’t ask out women from class or work. What kind of creep exploits school or work to pester women who are a captive audience?

  • Don’t ask out women from your social circle. What kind of creep takes advantage of his friendships or social circle to pester women?

  • Don’t ask out women that you meet through hobbies like dancing or sports. What kind of creep takes advantage of hobbies to pester women? Women are there for their interest in the hobby, not to meet men.

  • Oh and don’t message girls on online dating or social media. There’s already too many creepy losers in online dating (like you) and what kind of creep pesters women on their social media accounts? Ugh, just because her profile is inundated with bikini pics and lingerie shots doesn’t mean she’s looking for sexual attention.

Of which, Study Session Guy violated the second (while being insufficiently attractive and sufficiently unattractive, of course). However, a man who dutifully and obediently follows these commandments will find himself with no options to improve his dating prospects. Reminds me of that hilarious Motte thread: “Just tell me where you think white people are supposed to live” started by @knob. A confused, frustrated, or indifferent man reading Reddit women’s advice might ask: “Just tell me where you think men are supposed to meet women.”

Nowhere. In the eyes of women, if you’re the type of man who deliberates about where and how to ask out women, you’re unworthy. Women generally view men who approach courtship strategically or opportunistically as inherently creepy or suspicious. They want naturals—not some imposter who, by some combination of the numbers game and clever strategery, managed to punch above his weight. After all, for women, courtship and romance are just magical things that happen to them serendipitously like Acts of God, so what’s wrong with these men who need to bombard women with messages, plot to join hobbies to meet women, or bother innocent study session classmates? So gross and unromantic.

An obvious solution for men, naturally, is to ignore women’s dating advice for men, ignore sanctimonious vilification of men who approach courtship the “wrong way,” strive toward being attractive and not unattractive, and keep a cost/benefit analysis in mind to see what trade-offs of risk and reward might work for you. My approach in recent years is to aggressively DM on social media/online dating (preselection and female mate-choice copying for the win) when I foresee having lots of free time in the near future, but be very conservative in approaching through social circle or the workplace (lest an errant attempt gets my social credit points knocked out Sonic’s-rings-style like what happened to Señor Study Session).

I'm not sure that I necessarily agree with your opinion, but the way you expressed it was very entertaining.

I don’t think that this guy is even necessarily ugly or ‘low status’, although I guess being a sperg puts him in the latter category to some extent. I just think he doesn’t have social skills. Most women would be somewhat offended by even a hot male acquaintance asking for sex (especially with zero commitment) sober, in a library, directly and explicitly, with zero flirting.

Yes, perhaps there’s a hypothetical world where he’s the sexiest, most charming man she’s ever met and she says yes, but if that was the case they’d already have flirted anyway and that kind of guy doesn’t usually go in with that kind of line (he invites her for a drink after class).

I created an account, after years of lurking, just now to respond to this thread As A Woman. And not only that, As A Liberal, Cisgendered Woman. I supposed I have strong feelings about reading all these sentiments about folks of my sex and gender and couldn’t help myself from chiming in, as I think most of the advice and ideas in this thread are useless for the lurking men reading here who actually want to date a woman.

I have seen tons of absolute and negative statements about my personality (since I am a woman and am therefore lumped in) with little evidence, and am wondering; do you, and folks in this thread who agree with you, actually want to date a woman? Because it doesn’t seem like you fundamentally respect them. It seems to me the general sentiment is that all women are emotionally immature children (without objective evidence to prove it). My subjective observation would be that that attitude - women are liars, women are picky, etc. - about women leaks out into interactions with them, and, understandably, they, or I supposed “we”, do not want to get romantically or sexually involved with someone who thinks so poorly of “us”. Well, I suppose some of “us” do, but that’s a kink lol. I would recommend that loveless men consider one solution to their lack of success in the dating market is to re-examine their overall attitude about women and see if that isn’t playing a part as to why women are not responding the way you want them to.

My subjective observation would be that that attitude - women are liars, women are picky, etc. - about women leaks out into interactions with them, and, understandably, they, or I supposed “we”, do not want to get romantically or sexually involved with someone who thinks so poorly of “us”.

I hope you don't feel like you're being dogpiled, but this hypothesis of yours is not new (in fact, it's at least a decade old), greatly lacks for predictive power, and I'm tired of seeing this half-baked hypothesis being trotted out every time the topic comes up.

For most of the last 10+ years, this theory has taken the form of "Nice Guys™/incels don't realise that their misogyny is the very thing preventing them from getting laid. If they just stopped hating women and became feminist, they would have no trouble getting girls to go out with them." Sounds intuitively plausible. I can understand why Alice wouldn't want to date Bob if she gets the impression that he hates her because of her sex.

But on the other hand, the people making this argument tend to argue that the following people are also misogynists: Donald Trump (married 3 times, five children), Ben Shapiro (happily married, three children), every PUA, every man who beats his wife/girlfriend.

I'm not claiming that these characterisations are inaccurate, and I pretty much endorse the idea that a man who beats his wife probably doesn't respect women as a group. My point is, the hypothesis "incels are incels because they're misogynistic" is incompatible with the hypothesis "Donald Trump is a misogynist who has no trouble attracting women" or the hypothesis "men who beat their wives are misogynistic". Misogyny alone cannot explain both "men who are pathologically lonely, who no woman wants to date" and "men who marry a woman in a non-arranged marriage, and go on to beat her": this is a panchreston. Either one of the groups in question isn't misogynistic, or there must be some other factor(s) influencing the outcomes.

Are incels misogynists? Some of them, sure. Are the people on this site misogynists? Some of them, sure, maybe. But don't give me the pat answer "if you just started respecting women then women would be falling over themselves to date you" when this argument has been hashed out a thousand times in the last ten years, and we both know full well that there are innumerable men who have far less enlightened views on women than the average poster on this site who have absolutely no trouble attracting women.

Probably unnecessary clarification: I don't consider myself a feminist, and the typical Western feminist would probably accuse me of being misogynistic. In spite of this, I haven't had any trouble attracting women at any point in the last ~five years, have had an unusually high number of female sexual partners (including several women who explicitly told me that they disagreed with many of my opinions on gender politics), and I'm currently in a relationship with a woman I respect.

My anecdotal experience would tend towards men who are feminist having a harder time getting women to date them than men who aren't. Consider a group of four male friends. The first is me; the second is quite conservative and paid money to see Jordan Peterson live; the third admits that he finds Andrew Tate's content amusing; the fourth is rabidly feminist, who has argued with me at length that female underrepresentation in STEM is principally caused by misogyny among the men who work in those fields, and that any appeals to biological sex differences to explain differing career outcomes is sexist pseudoscience. Three of these men are in relationships with attractive women; one of them had a dry spell lasting at least two and a half years - no prizes for guessing which is which. I know I refer to it a lot, but Tony Tulathimutte's short story "The Feminist" rang incredibly true for me.

"Donald Trump is a misogynist who has no trouble attracting women" is quite a subjective statement in my opinion. As I said below, no sane, healthy person wants to be in a relationship with someone who fundamentally does not see them as equal. The women who date misogynists likely have a lot of self-hatred, or are not very emotionally intelligence, or all of the other various reasons why people get into abusive relationships.

To use the fisherman metaphor that seems to be popular here; is a man really a good fisher when the fish he catches are sickly? I'd say no. Those men you say are successful with women I'd say are not successful, just good at finding insecure people with low self-esteem.

My anecdotal experience is every single conservative man I know in my life who is in a relationship is miserable. My father and mother's relationship is full of vicious, childish fighting, and so is my boyfriend's parents to the extent my boyfriend is afraid they will shoot eachother with their many illegal guns. My brother's girlfriend is obsessive and controlling and forced him to move in with her. My boss admitted to me she only married her husband because he caught her in a moment of weakness when giving birth, my other boss is telling strangers at work about her husband's various failures, and my boyfriend's ex-best friend's girlfriend threatened to cheat on him regularly. Both of my roommates' girlfriends fight with them about menial things like going to get fast food together to the point they are slamming doors and screaming, my roommates' mother is begging her husband for cocaine, and the lady I met at my job the other day mentioned her husband bought her clothes to encourage her to lose the baby weight and she was secretly returning them because she didn't want him to know she hadn't lost it.

All of these people, though, would be adamant that they are in love, that their relationship is fine, they're happily married, etc. And yet is it so further from the truth, and I feel quite sorry for them that they don't know how to leave these toxic relationships and find people who actually make them happy. I think if you think Donald Trump's relationships are the definition of happiness and success in relationships, then it shows. So, my personal response to your anecdote is that your three conservative men are dating attractive but unsatisfied and unhappy women, and your feminist friend is not dating the first neurotic, self-hating girl he finds, so understandably he will have "less success". Or, to be more charitable, your three conservative men are very good liars, and may have landed self-respecting women, but that will fall apart when their disrespect inevitably shows, and they will end up like all the other conservative men I've witnessed, and your feminist friend has bad luck. I firmly believe no sane, healthy person wants to be in a relationship with someone who considers them lesser or who they consider to be lesser.

Additionally, I didn't say, "if you just started respecting women then women would be falling over themselves to date you". I said, "I would recommend that loveless men consider one solution to their lack of success in the dating market is to re-examine their overall attitude about women and see if that isn’t playing a part as to why women are not responding the way you want them to." Certainly not the absolute statement you make it out to be. I cannot speak for the context of every man, but I can say that, in general, finding women lesser than you is going to lead to lesser relationships.

Where to begin.

"Donald Trump is a misogynist who has no trouble attracting women" is quite a subjective statement in my opinion.

I don't know what's subjective about it. It's a matter of public record that Donald Trump has been married three times and has had multiple extra-marital affairs: whatever else you want to say about the man, he's not an "incel". Some people might not characterise him as a misogynist, but I highly doubt you fall into that category. Therefore you must agree with every component of that assertion.

Those men you say are successful with women I'd say are not successful, just good at finding insecure people with low self-esteem.

Which puts them head and shoulders above incels/Nice Guys™ etc., who aren't even able to find insecure people with low self-esteem.

I think if you think Donald Trump's relationships are the definition of happiness and success in relationships

I don't. My point was not that Donald Trump has had many happy successful fulfilling relationships. My point is that, unlike sexually and romantically frustrated incels, attracting women is not a problem for Donald Trump. Perhaps he's only able to attract insecure women with low self-esteem, but, again, that puts him head and shoulders above incels who can't even do that.

So, my personal response to your anecdote is that your three conservative men are dating attractive but unsatisfied and unhappy women

That would come as news to them. I have to say, your comment comes off as extraordinarily condescending to women. "Any woman who dates a man who doesn't share my political worldview must secretly hate herself and be miserable, without knowing it" is quite the blistering take. And how, exactly, can this hypothesis be falsified? "Any woman dating a non-feminist man must be insecure and miserable. If by all accounts she appears happy, satisfied and fulfilled, she's just in denial." What would it take for you to consider the possibility that the apparently happy and fulfilled woman dating a non-feminist man actually is happy and fulfilled?

Or, to be more charitable, your three conservative men are very good liars

What, precisely, do you think we are lying about?

I firmly believe no sane, healthy person wants to be in a relationship with someone who considers them lesser or who they consider to be lesser.

If you're using such an expansive definition of "someone who considers them lesser", then most of the human race isn't sane or healthy.

"I would recommend that loveless men consider one solution to their lack of success in the dating market is to re-examine their overall attitude about women and see if that isn’t playing a part as to why women are not responding the way you want them to."

Fair enough, I was misrepresenting your opinion somewhat. I just want you to appreciate that this suggestion isn't new: internet feminists have been bandying it about for over a decade. Sexually/romantically frustrated men hear the suggestion "if you can't get a date, try respecting women more". They look at themselves and notice that they respect women (in many cases they're just as well-acquainted with feminist theory and vocabulary, if not more so, as anyone else in their social circle, including many women). They look around and notice that there is no shortage of men in their vicinity who are able to attract women despite being unacquainted with feminist theory, or even treating the women in their lives inconsiderately or disrespectfully. They (quite reasonably) surmise that, while respecting women is a good thing, it seems to be orthogonal to one's ability to attract women. "But the only women those guys are attracting are neurotic self-hating women with poor self-esteem" OKAY, but a sufficiently sexually/romantically frustrated man is not going to turn up his nose at a woman just because she's neurotic or self-hating, and you're still left with the question of why a non-feminist but attractive man is able to attract (allegedly neurotic and self-hating) women, but an incel can't even do that. There must be some factor other than misogyny/disrespect for women which explains why these two men have such disparate outcomes in the sexual/romantic marketplace. (Hint: it's that adjective "attractive".)

I don't know if being able marry is the baseline for "success" in a relationship. I don't think men dating people they find to be less funnier, less empathetic, less intelligent and less capable than them are head and shoulders above people who are single.

I didn't say "Any woman who dates a man who doesn't share my political worldview must secretly hate herself and be miserable, without knowing it." But I do believe anyone who is with someone that fundamentally disrespects them and thinks they should be subservient has low self esteem, and could be happier.

There is nothing that would make be believe a woman dating a sexist man is happy and fulfilled, any more than what it would take to convince me a man dating a sexist woman is happy and fufilled. It doesn't help I have anecdotally seen dozens of women with sexist husbands who claim they have a wonderful marriage while behind closed doors their husbands are calling them whores in screaming matches or badmouthing them to their children, and dozens of men who claim their girlfriends are wonderful while secretly their girlfriends are threatening to cheat on them with their friends.

I think you are lying about how much you respect the women you are dating. I think, assuming they are healthy, if they knew the full extent of how the three of you felt, they would leave ya'll out of self respect. If they do know the full extent of ya'll feelings, then I'd say they have very low self esteem to stay with someone who sees them as lesser.

I know my suggestion isn't new, but neither is making broad generalization about women based on anecdotal bad experiences. Women are not a monolithic them any more than men are. And yes, I think a sexually frustrated man should not have sex with the first woman who wants to have sex with him if he thinks she is dumber than him and more emotional than him. I would find that would lead to a toxic attitude about sexual relationships.

The other factor I would say is bad luck. Unsatisfying, yes, but success in the dating sphere largely depends on finding someone compatible romantically, and that is as guaranteed as finding someone compatible platonically. If I were to renounce making friendships with other women because I had some bad fallouts in my past, my friends would tease me rightfully for thinking all people are the same.

I don't know if being able marry is the baseline for "success" in a relationship.

Good, me neither, never said that. I don't know how I can make my point any clearer. I'm not saying that every man who gets married is in a successful relationship. My first comment directly mentioned men who beat their wives - surely you don't think a physically abusive marriage is my idea of "success"? My point is that incels and romantically frustrated men are complaining about a chronic inability to attract women, and this is not a problem which married men suffer from.

There is nothing that would make be believe a woman dating a sexist man is happy and fulfilled

Okay well if there's literally nothing that could convince you, then we're dealing with a religious belief, not a political or philosophical one.

I think you are lying about how much you respect the women you are dating.

What does "respect" look like to you? I think ultimately what you're doing is falling for the oldest logical fallacy in feminism. The normative belief "I believe that women should have the same rights as men" does not presuppose the factual belief "I think men and women's brains are alike in every way (and any observed differences in behaviour, temperament or personality traits are solely attributable to social influence)". So when you're asserting that I don't "respect" my girlfriend, I think what you're really asserting is that I don't believe male and female brains are alike in every way. Cards on the table: I don't (although I do believe women should have the same rights as men). If a precondition of genuinely respecting women means believing (or pretending to believe) that female brains are exactly the same as male, then I guess I don't respect women, although I don't really understand why. No one thinks that a precondition of respecting Japanese people means pretending that Japanese people are exactly as tall as Swedes.

"So you're saying female brains are worse than male" - nope, never said that. I said different. There are certain traits in which I think men tend to perform better than women, and other traits in which I think women tend to perform better than men. There are other differences which can't really be mapped onto a "better" or "worse" hierarchy: men tend to be more interested in abstract systems and women tend to be more interested in interpersonal relationships, and I wouldn't say that one of these is "better" or "worse" than the other.

And let's leave gender aside from this for a minute: you keep talking about a partner that "sees them as lesser" or similar phrasing. Are you claiming that a mutually respectful relationship is one in which the two partners believe that they are equally skilled in all domains? Such a relationship doesn't exist and never has: it's a category with zero members. In every relationship, one person will be the better cook, or be funnier, or have better social skills, or be better with money, or will be more even-tempered. If you're conflating "a relationship in which one person believes they are better than the other in certain respects" with "abusive relationship", then I'm sorry to say that all romantic relationships in all of human history have been, are and will be abusive.

Women are not a monolithic them any more than men are.

True, but the fact that every member of a set is different doesn't mean that it's impossible to make accurate generalisations about that set, and it's weird that you get so offended when people do so. For example: men are all different, we are not a monolith. Nonetheless, the statement "men are more aggressive than women" (or "men tend to be more aggressive than women" or "men are more prone to aggression than women") is inarguably true. I am not insulted by this statement, even though it's a generalisation about a set of which I am (through no fault of my own) a member. I know that the generalisation isn't true of me personally, even though it is true of the set of which I am a member. In this thread you've repeatedly made the non sequitur that a man who says "women aren't as funny as men" therefore believes that he, personally, is funnier than you personally. But that logic doesn't follow: the statement doesn't imply that interpretation. Hell, the statement "men are more aggressive than women" is true even if asserted by a violent woman (say, Aileen Wuornos) to a non-violent man.

[As an aside: I expect I'm likely to be misinterpreted here, so I'm emphatically not claiming that "men are funnier than women" is as obviously true an assertion as "men are more aggressive than women". My point is that the statement "men are funnier than women" does not imply that literally every man is funnier than literally every woman, or that every man is funny, or that no woman is funny. Those readings of the original statement are just as much non sequiturs as interpreting the statement "men are more aggressive than women" to mean "literally every man is more aggressive than every woman" or "every man is violent" or "no woman is violent".)

Now: is a woman who (accurately) asserts "men are more prone to aggression than women" therefore a "sexist" who "sees her husband as lesser"? Is she obliged to believe (or pretend to believe) that men and women are equally aggressive, in order to protect her husband's feelings? I don't think so. If a man got really bent out of shape every time his wife made this inarguably true assertion and interpreted it to mean that his wife was accusing him personally of being aggressive, I would think he was a thin-skinned numerically illiterate narcissist.

The resentment may be visible, but you reverse cause and effect. All babies are born starry eyed and optimistic, full of love and joy. Only after being burned does the imp come out. Perhaps by then all hope is lost. But you have to answer why that happened.

Men here are indeed often resentful of women, because they think women have unearned privilege. Unfairness, or perceived unfairness rather, is the root of all resentment, and men here believe (modern, Western) women have some unfair advantages over men in various spheres. Claiming that the attitude displayed below isn’t largely resentment toward women is pure gaslighting, it’s so ridiculous it’s absurd. It may be justified or not, but it is resentful. At least conservatives typically admit they resent leftists, and leftists admit they resent capitalists (at least in their own company).

Does resenting women affect one’s attitude toward them? I’d say it may. You might still get laid, but I’d guess you’re probably less happy in a relationship.

It can feel like a bit of a mirror of feminist spaces. "I don't hate men. I just think that under patriarchy they're socialized to do bad things to women." "When I make throwaway comments about how 'Men are such trash,' I obviously don't mean my son." Etc. There is usually a compelling combination of data and anecdata to support these attitudes, and it's rare that they're entirely wrong about the social dynamics at work. But it gets very one-sided.

It's implausible that this resentment would have no real interpersonal consequences. It would be really weird if a loose group of women got together and had an evolving conversation over several years about how men are unfairly privileged, and not one of them ever carried that sense of grievance into her personal life. I know that's not what happens; I've personally witnessed women using feminism to justify literal abuse. It would be similarly weird if a group of men agreed amongst themselves that women were socialized to behave like irrational children, and then not one of them ever e.g. talked down to his date.

women are picky

their overall attitude about women

Both these statements can be true though. Most loveless men don't turn out like Elliot Rodger. For all the vitriol online, they tend to be very non-confrontational in real life (and perhaps this inability to express themselves explains their online activity, since it has no checks and balances). You see nearly nothing about their personality and mentality, except that they're very anxious. Flouting even a single minor social norm by accident would send them into panic. The mentality is certainly a problem, but imo the problem lies in how they see themselves, not how they see others.

What am I, being a women, inherently picky about?

  • -11

While I mostly agree with the model of women's behavior of the posters here, I also agree that it's often presented in a bitter and uncharitable way. I'm not really convinced that men can't hide these attitudes for the short term, but I think it would make it much harder to have a healthy long term relationship. To some extent, human nature when it comes to sex and dating is just unflattering, and that includes men's. Personally I try to stay aware those realities without anger or judgement.

Welcome aboard! Good to have you, and I mean that sincerely.

couldn’t help myself from chiming in, as I think most of the advice and ideas in this thread are useless for the lurking men reading here who actually want to date a woman.

No discussion about fishing would be complete without a fish's perspective of course, but do consider that you might not be the best source of actionable and effective advice here.

And quite honestly, I don't really see how you chiding men for not only failing at being attractive to women but also having the audacity to feel destitute about it is really that much helpful either. "Have you considered that you're a piece of shit and that's why you suck?" might be a suitable wake-up call for some people in some situations but I am not yet convinced this is one of those.

do you, and folks in this thread who agree with you, actually want to date a woman?

No. I think that might jeopardize my very happy marriage to a wonderful woman.

It seems to me the general sentiment is that all women are emotionally immature children (without objective evidence to prove it).

No. The general sentiment is that our Soicety (TM) is structured in such a way that women not only get away with being emotionally immature children, they are often rewarded for it.

Because it doesn’t seem like you fundamentally respect them.

What does that have to do with anything? I respect individual women because they have proven that they deserve it. Just like with men. At the same time, I very much do believe that the social dynamics of Current Year are giving women as a class every incentive to behave like narcissists. That is bad for everyone. Feminism hurts women, too!

I would recommend that loveless men consider one solution to their lack of success in the dating market is to re-examine their overall attitude about women and see if that isn’t playing a part as to why women are not responding the way you want them to.

Consider that you might have gotten the direction of causality wrong here and that there is a possibility that bad feelings about women, no matter how much we're trying to insinuate that only a villain could ever develop them, are a result of bad interactions with women.

But did I say, "Have you considered that you're a piece of shit and that's why you suck?" No. I said, "I would recommend that loveless men consider one solution to their lack of success in the dating market is to re-examine their overall attitude about women and see if that isn’t playing a part as to why women are not responding the way you want them to." I'm not too sure where I called anyone pieces of shit or told them they sucked in that sentence, nor where I chided men for failing at being attractive (?) and feeling destitute.

Bad interactions with an individual don't justify vilifications of the collective. A similar argument I've seen is that Germany's economic destitution did not justify their genocide of the Jews as a "common response to being poor", because there are people every day who lose money and become despite and don't resort to racism. Similarly, having bad experiences with women and the resorting to villainizing all women as children is more of a "you" problem than a "society" problem.

The consensus explanation of any and all gender issues in progressive spaces (and therefore: most of academia, education, the media, and entertainment) is that women must never be blamed for the consequences of their actions (in fact, any and all negative outcomes for women are by definition results of an oppressive patriarchy) and that the fault for any undesirable situation must be placed at the feet of men. You see this in a lot of discussions about male issues. Men are not doing so well? Well, the patriarchy hurts men, too! Which means that the solution is more feminism. How about yet another female quota? I bet that would solve men's woes somehow.

Likewise, men growing resentful of sexual dynamics must be a them problem. They must be defective somehow. If only they were more feminist and respected women, their troubles would go away.

You coming in here reads very much as an attempt to enforce that consensus and you are using a very light version of the debate tactics discussed here, here and in subsequent replies.

Your main argument so far has been that you are a woman and that you feel bad when you see positions that don't toe the party line. That is usually enough to win an argument, especially if peppered with shaming tactics. I.e. the men disagreeing with you are resentful and that's why they can't get laid, they don't care about a maiden's distress, they are attacking you personally, their relationships must secretly be unhappy etc. Your dig about Jew-hating Nazis above might just be a reductio to illustrate a point, but it certainly serves other rhetorical purposes as well.

I am not saying you necessarily do this, but this is what I and others might pattern-match your reactions to. I am mentioning this mostly to explain the severe immune reaction you are getting.

But did I say, "Have you considered that you're a piece of shit and that's why you suck?" No. I said, "I would recommend that loveless men consider one solution to their lack of success in the dating market is to re-examine their overall attitude about women and see if that isn’t playing a part as to why women are not responding the way you want them to." I'm not too sure where I called anyone pieces of shit or told them they sucked in that sentence, nor where I chided men for failing at being attractive (?) and feeling destitute.

You engaged in something that would be considered victim-blaming if it were directed at any other demographic. Mainly, you are confusing cause and effect. Some men encounter a landscape of sexual and romantic interaction that leaves them in the dust. They grow resentful because of that. The resentment is not causing that landscape, but it might increase the problem.

Edit: I see that you clarified this in another comment and describe the above as one possible exacerbating factor. We are in agreement then.

Bad interactions with an individual don't justify vilifications of the collective.

That's why I said that the problem lies in the way we structure the landscape of incentives for men and women.

Where on earth did someone in my university tell me I must never be blamed for the consequences of my actions? I certianly, as a progressive feminist active in those spaces, disagree with that. Removing consequences for all women out of some effort to protect their fragile psyche is benevolent sexism, and women who espouse that have internalized misogyny, in the same way the "divine feminine" is benevolent sexism.

What you see as "discussions about male issues" I see as "discussions about why all women are unfunny and shouldn't go to college".

My main argument has been that I think broad generalizations of women are untrue and harmful for men who want to date them? Where did I say "I feel bad" and where did I even mention "party"?

What does "structure the landscape of incentives" mean?

I honestly think the gemmaem thread is an unfair pile-on, of the kind so prevalent in large subs. Sort-of outsider comes in, gets tons of criticism, if he or she reacts with even a fraction of the hostility shown to them, it's proof of bad faith, moral failings, deliberate refusal to accept the oh-so-clear-and-popular truth, and the gloves come completely off. I mean gemmaem's constantly reiterating that she's here in good faith, basically begging for charity, and she's not even a real outsider for us!

Any human slip from robotic, highest-decoupling arguing is interpreted as 'female shaming tactics' and the like. That doesn't mean there isn't a some truth to those things, but people really underestimate how difficult it is to argue cleanly in unfamiliar enemy territory, and with so many hostile judges. Out of charity, we should be the ones to decouple: outside, female shaming tactics exist, but in here, an argument is just right or wrong.

I honestly think the gemmaem thread is an unfair pile-on, of the kind so prevalent in large subs.

I somewhat agree. And I do have some sympathy for her position. Although it is the kind of sympathy I wouldn't have if she were a man - and therein lies the problem.

"I am a woman" shouldn't be considered a very good argument.

"Certain viewpoints make me feel uncomfortable" shouldn't be considered a very good argument.

"I am a woman and those viewpoints make me feel uncomfortable" shouldn't be considered a very good argument. And yet, it is an absolute showstopper almost anywhere. It is the kind of superweapon that trumps all others.

Female shaming tactics are, in fact, so, well, not persuasive, but effective, that virtually any forum that accepts them eventually turns into.... well, Reddit. Or tumblr, if you want a more extreme example.

Do you know that old ridiculously charitable interpretation of 4chan's propensity to reply "tits or gtfo" to any anon identifying themselves as a woman? That anybody who de-anonymises themselves thus only does it because they expect special treatment and that turn of phrase is an effective antidote against that?

Now, I don't think gemmaem was doing that. I have seen her around for ages and never found out she was a woman until very recently. And as I said in a reply to that pile-on, I do think her identity was relevant to the discussion. She very much is one of us, although I am not sure how much of a compliment that is.

And as someone else commented, the antibody reaction to female shaming tactics ironically looks very much like the kind of pile-on you would get for not doing the feminist party line on tumblr. I know no way around it. All I know is that I have seen one too many discussion communities doomed by letting female hall monitors run the show.

I mean what is the appropriate response to/argument against "I think you should have rights revoked because it's inconvenient for my political agenda".At that point in society the 100000 word speeches tend to stop and it's knives out as there is nothing left to talk about.

More comments

This is unfortunately a very sad pattern of discourse and I don't see any solution to it at all other than the high (HD) decoupler taking on an infinite amount of charity on his shoulders.

It's sad because the HD is a superset of the LD. His arguments are better, his thinking is better, his logic is better, but there is just about no way to (losslessly) communicate with the LD who is often incapable of understanding the HD. (I have a theory that LD is a manifestation of sufficiently lacking verbal IQ, but that's a whole other post, Jordan Peterson thinks as much as well).

Understandably the LD misconstrues the HDs arguments enough times for him to lose any patience and take the gloves off. The LD didn't intend to do this, but at one point you run into JJ's razor and stupidity becomes indistinguishable from malice. There is nothing the LD can do, for it is outside their scope. All responsibility falls on the HD.

I'm very attuned to this dynamic because my mom and dad are a mirror of this. My dad is a HD and can argue around her in circles, she misunderstands nonattacks as attacks and retaliates. Both I and my dad try to keep a lot of patience for it and accommodate her a whole lot, but it really puts a drain on us. We know she means no ill, but it's just an unstable equilibrium and someone has to bear the load. And its a serious amount of load.

Because it doesn’t seem like you fundamentally respect them.

What does that have to do with anything?

Actually, I talked this over with my wife who told me that being able to respect one's partner is pretty high on the list of criteria for suitable mates. She explained it in terms that my proto-autistic brain translates to "assertiveness" and "social status".

This might be another example of typically-minding the other sex, just in the other direction. Assertiveness and social status are not very high on most men's lists. So when women see discussions like that, they are rightfully surprised. Why would men try to sleep with a class of people they find so unattractive? It's the mirror image of men hearing straight women talk about how little aesthetic appeal the male body has to them.

Why would men try to sleep with a class of people they find so unattractive?

Men don't sleep with a class of people though, but with individual women.

And I don't see why you'd need to respect the intellect or such of a person to be able to engage in an activity that is fun regardless of how smart the other person is, whether that is tennis or sex. I also think that the entire argument is in bad faith, as plenty of women have complaints about their partner and talk about them in disrespectful ways. So why is this presented as something that men do?

It seems more like a feminist post-hoc justification than a fair argument. Men are upset at how women behave in dating -> can't actually be any truth to the complaint as then women wouldn't be wonderful -> if we claim that complaining is evidence of misogyny, then every complaint can be dismissed.

However, this argument completely falls apart when you notice that many women complain about men and male dating strategies. By the same logic, these women should then fail at dating and their arguments should be dismissed as evidence of them being man-hating.

No discussion about fishing would be complete without a fish's perspective of course,

Did you originate this turn of phrase? It's brilliant.

I was assuming it was in reference to the saying/joke about fish not recognizing the fact that they swim in water.

No, I've seen this phrase thrown around quite a lot. Even in this thread, I believe.

It's a twist on the phrase "You don't ask a fish how to catch fish, you ask a fisherman", i.e Women be giving contradictory/ineffective advice, consult the proven experts instead.

women are liars

Women are liars in one way but this is not something that is being blamed here. The one way they are generally liar is that they rarely tell a man to their face that they find him repulsive, disgusting, or creepy.

So these low-value men don't often get the feedback needed to reconsider they way before going and interacting with women.

Which makes sense and I would not blame women for, as being too honest (perceived as harsh) with a man [with poor social skills] could lead to violence.

What I think most men here could call women is delusional.

Women will give advice to the population of men who date as if they were only speaking to the men that they have dated (the attractive ones).

They find the attractive men in their life too casual, too promiscuous, too impolite or callous, so they tell all men to be more 'romantic'. Autistic nerds read that advice -the actual target, attractive men don't need to read the fish's advice on fishing- and think they need to do more romantic gestures to get a woman, while being more aggressive would make them closer to a fisherman.

“we”, do not want to get romantically or sexually involved with someone who thinks so poorly of “us”. Well, I suppose some of “us” do, but that’s a kink lol.

“we”, do not want to get romantically or sexually involved with someone who thinks so poorly of “us”. well, i suppose some of “us” do, but that’s a kink lol.

Rape is a kink. Ladies love serial killers. There's all kind of kinks out there.

I've never heard of the kink of 'unassuming nerd that nobody respects who let women tell him how to live his life'. Only as a character in a Jewish comedy.

I quite like Scott's analogy of dating dynamics and being a well-dressed white tourist in Varanasi, India. In this parable, "street beggars" (males) and "tourists" (females) both have unflattering but mostly accurate insights into the psychology of the other. Game theory determines the shape of their interactions, more than the pre-existing personality of both parties. Any street beggar who is too reticent or tourist who is too open handed is sabotaging themselves. (The one flaw in the analogy is of course that our "tourist" is actually looking for a particular "street beggar", and the tourist:beggar ratio is more balanced, but I quibble.)

It's a failure of rationality, though, to be unwilling to concede that negative generalizations of both sides do, in fact, have a basis in reality. This goes for both the beggars and the tourists.

I believe generalizations about gender are useless, as outliers in other cultures prove that the behaviors are arbitrary. Personally, I've also found that every single person I know in real life who follows strict beliefs in gender roles is either in an unequal, aggressive and unhappy marriage/relationship, or is single/divorced. I would personally hate to look at my partner as someone who wants to lie and cheat me out like a street beggar in Varansai, India.

I believe generalizations about gender are useless, as outliers in other cultures prove that the behaviors are arbitrary.

Do you believe the generalisation that men are stronger and larger than women to be useless, and outliers prove them arbitrary?

Do you believe there are no innate social/psychological differences between men and women, and it's all just socially/culturally contingent?

The one flaw in the analogy is of course that our "tourist" is actually looking for a particular "street beggar", and the tourist:beggar ratio is more balanced, but I quibble.

Not a flaw at all. The fated street beggar is actually a guru who will give you Enlightenment, and not so long ago spiritually famished Brits went on entire crusades to India in search of The One, much like overworked middle-aged Western women go to Jamaica in hopes that some beach boy will give them true Rasta love.

The dirty secret of course is that all gurus are more or less street beggars.

(Successful gurus move to the West and build a sex cult with a personal harem within their school, naturally).

The ratio is just a bit more hypergamous than in normal heterosexual relations, but the market provides. India is a big place.

do you, and folks in this thread who agree with you, actually want to date a woman? Because it doesn’t seem like you fundamentally respect them.

Suppose there is an 18-year-old guy. He respects women. He cares about their wellbeing, and he cares about not making them uncomfortable. He also has basic reasoning capabilities. He notices that every time he hits on or asks out a women, the response is at best neutral. The overwhelming majority are straight rejection (n = 10-20 or so). He knows (or at least thinks) that hitting on women and getting turned down is not only embarrassing for him, but deeply uncomfortable for the women. He reasons that because the probability of success on any further attempts is so low, the expected discomfort he will almost certainly cause to the woman cannot be ethically justified. He thus decides to stop approaching women in person.

That person was me. This was, without exaggeration, the worst decision I have ever made in my life. I don't harbor resentment for any of these women. They were all well within their rights to reject me if they so wanted. Nobody made me stop approaching women. I made the decision myself.

Tell me, what was my mistake? Did I respect women not enough, or too much? Or was this in fact the right decision? Maybe there are inherently adversarial aspects of dating such that maxing out the "Respect Women™ " parameter zeroes out actual romantic prospects.

IMO, thinking about this in terms of "respect" is the wrong perspective. That concept doesn't map coherently onto human sexuality.

Your mistake was making generalization of all women based on the individual experiences you had which prevented you from interacting with any women. Assuming all women are deeply uncomfortable with men asking them out assumes all women share the same preferences of who, what and where they want to be asked out. There are women who do not feel terribly uncomfortable with men, friend or not, asking them out. There are women who do. There are women who you should care about making uncomfortable because they are your friends, and women who you don't need to worry too much about making uncomfortable because they are a stranger you just met. You may have been in an area that literally just didn't have someone who wanted to date you.

Assuming that you "probably" were going to fail again assumes all women have the same preferences and reactions. You should have continued to meet women, get rejected, meet more women, and eventually you would have found someone who got along with you through luck. It would have been painful to be rejected so many times, but you would have gotten used to it to the point it wouldn't be so painful it would prevent you from achieving your goals. It is not any different than making friends; would it be reasonable for me, someone who wants friends, to stop talking to other girls to try to be their friend because I have had many girls in my past who rejected my friendship with them? No. I would be told that there are so many people out there I can find at least one who wants to be my friend, if not friendly. Respecting women starts with respecting that they, like men, are not a monolithic "them" who can be controlled with a grand theory of behavior.

I probably should make a more substantial reply.

There's nothing wrong with what you're saying, by itself. Men should respect women, but respecting women doesn't mean "do all you can to see that they're not uncomfortable". Someone who is too worried about whether women feel uncomfortable isn't respecting women at all.

But then consider: this whole thread started with an example (though maybe fake) of someone whose big crime was that he made a woman feel uncomfortable. If all you mean by "respect" is to treat women like people, asking a woman for sex--something that he himself, also a person, wants, is treating women like people. So he misunderstood this particular woman. He made a mistake. But he's human; that happens. The woman can just say no. She didn't need to shame him. The idea that women are supposed to shame people like this is based around the idea that yes, respecting women does mean "don't ever make a woman feel uncomfortable" and that someone who might sometimes make a woman feel uncomfortable is a dangerous creep.

I suppose the disconnect is that where you see shame, I don't. If my study buddy randomly asked me to have sex with him with no basis of platonic or romantic intimacy, I would totally tell my friends about it, because I like to tell my friends about weird things that happen in my day, not because I have this notion I must socially shame my study buddy so he doesn't make other girls uncomfortable. There are some girls out there who don't feel the need to tell their friends about things like this, and so in another world OP's example wouldn't even be complaining. OP's example and the stud