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Is she really going out with him?

This is a bit of a rant inspired by some of the discussions of my recent post on Susan Walsh.

Let’s say you’re a young, horny, lonely heterosexual guy. You’re walking to the store to buy some, I dunno, pretzels, and you see the woman of your dreams walking arm in arm with some hideous toad of a man. You say to yourself: how is it that a nice guy like me can’t find any girl who will return my phone calls, while ugly boy here seems to have won the girlfriend jackpot? If you’re Joe Jackson, you write a song about it:

Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street

From my window I’m staring while my coffee grows cold

Look over there! (Where?)

There’s a lady that I used to know

She’s married now or engaged or something so I’m told

Is she really going out with him?

Is she really gonna take him home tonight?

Is she really going out with him?

‘Cause if my eyes don’t deceive me,

There’s something going wrong around here

A lot about the world seems desperately wrong when you’re young, horny and alone. But maybe in this case there is something that you’re missing. Maybe the ugly dude is charming as fuck. Maybe he’s a brilliant thinker. Maybe he’s awesome in bed. Maybe she’s shallow and materialistic, and she likes him just because he’s rich. Or maybe there’s nothing redeeming about the guy – intellectually, sexually or financially — and the woman in question simply has horrendous taste in men. It could be any of these things.

But here’s the thing: no matter how wounded you feel, whom this woman goes out with is really none of your business. She doesn’t have to have a good reason to be going out with him. It’s not your call. The world doesn’t owe you a hot girlfriend, and this particular woman has the inalienable right to go out with whoever she chooses, even if you personally feel ill at the thought of them doing it. Women you find attractive aren’t obliged to date men you think are appropriate for them.

A lot of guys in the manosphere seem to have hung on to this young-man’s anger and sexual jealousy. But instead of somehow turning their resentment into a catchy song, and then moving away from the rock world to a more jazz-inflected sound, these men cultivate their resentments. And talk about them endlessly.

Soon they’ve developed the uncanny ability to demonize any woman who makes any romantic choice – other than picking them. If a “hot” women is dating an ugly dude, well,

He must be rich! All women are filthy golddigging whores! She’d never give a decent, hardworking beta like me a second look!

If the same woman is dating  a conventionally handsome man, the reaction can be just as strong:

She’s a shallow bitch!  They always go for the alphas! She’d never give a decent, hardworking beta like me a second look!

Weirdly, a lot of manosphere dudes also get angry about the sexual and romantic choices of women they aren’t interested in at all. If a woman they don’t think is all that hot is with a conventionally handsome man, it’s still the woman to blame:

Ha! She’s punching above her weight class, looks-wise. I guess any bitch can get laid, while a hard-working beta like me doesn’t even rate a second look. But eventually he’ll dump her and I will laugh and laugh. Live it up now, bitch, because you’re going to end up alone with a bunch of cats!

This is the thing that’s weirdest to me. Getting worked up about a woman you like who’s dating a loser? I can understand that. I did that, a lot, in my twenties. But quite a few manosphere dudes – and women like Susan Walsh who are manosphere-adjacent – seem somehow deeply affronted by the notion that any women could hook up with a man either lower or higher on that universal 10-point hotness scale so beloved by PUAs and other manosphere dudes.

Walsh speaks of “equilibrium” in the “sexual marketplace” (or SMP as she and her fans like to abbreviate it), and seems to consider any deviation from it to be a moral failing – of the women involved. (The slut-shaming is strong with this one.) Her idea of “equilibrium,” as I mentioned in my last post on her, is one in which fives date fives, tens date tens, and female sixes and sevens know better than to try to get the attention of male eights and nines by wearing low-cut dresses and “slutting it up.”

But here’s the thing. If you’re going to try to mix economic terminology into your dating advice, it helps to actually know what the terms mean. Market equilibrium, as Wikipedia handily summarizes it,

refers to a condition where a market price is established through competition such that the amount of goods or services sought by buyers is equal to the amount of goods or services produced by sellers. This price is often called the equilibrium price or market clearing price and will tend not to change unless demand or supply change.

Guess what? Insofar as the dating world is a marketplace, it’s already at equilibrium. Potential daters size up their prospects, and make a guess as to who is and who isn’t “in their league.” Those who are aiming too high (setting their price too high) and not hooking up with anyone (selling themselves) may end up lowering their standards (lowering their price) to make a sale (get laid).  Some products (people) appeal to a wide demographic; others to a nice market. Some have better marketing then others. Some products look good at first glance, but turn out to need a lot of repairs. All this is mighty familiar to students of economics. This is how markets work.

Of course, the dating world is even more complicated and messy than economic marketplaces. But in a lot of ways it really does act like one.

The interesting thing here is that Walsh and her followers aren’t thinking like capitalists at all. Essentially, they’ve decided that they know better than the SMP they so love to talk about, that their imaginary 10-point scale should predict who chooses whom better than those who are actually doing the choosing. That’s not capitalism; that’s a Soviet style command economy. It’s not the way marketplaces work, and it’s not the way the dating world works.

Guys: if no one is buying what you’re selling, you could try to change what you’re selling so that it appeals to buyers more. Or if you are confident in your product you can simply wait until a more discerning buyer shows up.

Or you could sit by yourself stewing  in your own bitterness and blaming everything on the bitches. Much like the jealous narrator of David Bowie’s classic Queen Bitch, only much less sexually ambiguous. And, frankly, much less appealing. In this song, Bowie manages to make sexual resentment somehow glamorous.

I would like to apologize for talking about this song and bitter manosphere dudes in the same sentence. But I’m still posting the video. This is Bowie, in 1972, performing it live, and fucking killing it:

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Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
9 years ago

It would be easier to take the Nice Guys more seriously if they didn’t seem to be only interested in dating “hot” women. It’s purely anecdotal, but every “Nice Guy” I’ve ever met who complained about not being able to get a girlfriend was doing their complaining while not getting anywhere with a pretty attractive woman.

theLaplaceDemon
theLaplaceDemon
9 years ago

It would be easier to take Susan Walsh seriously if she bothered with facts.

Theresa (@BooBooMatrix)

Yes, I have found that when I hear some men complain about “women like this and women like that” they are referring to the women that get all kinds of attention and can be very choosy, and chose their passions, their whims, etc. HOWEVER. I have to say, I do hear from women that men like Bimbos over more authentic women, and I have to say, i see the same pattern. Who are these “men”. Plenty of men love me, and I’m not anyway close to being all that. Not just me, but I see lots of different guys like any type of different woman. I think if you separate men by intelligence, you’ll find a variety of partners among those with the highest intellect. What I really mean, whether I have phrased it well or not, is… it’s a mixed bag for both genders. It’s probably not equal, but the shallow complaints go both ways for sure. Oh and Joe Jackson is awesome. Great post.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

The flip side of this sexual entitlement complex (or maybe just another permutation) is guys who judge feminism entirely on whether it’ll get them laid.

“Treat women like people, hmmm. Interesting technique. I’ll incorporate it into my Game on a test run, but if it doesn’t get me some pussy, it’s out!”

magdelyn
9 years ago

Sulky celibacy breeds self-hatred contempt. So they lash out. Truth be told, when every message given a guy, every commercial for guys stuff, involving a model draped over some phallic symbology, maybe their view of the world isn’t all their fault. Maybe we’ve accepted too much propoganda in selling our culture.

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

David, you spelled niche as nice. Though I suppose it kind of works in context. I like to think I appeal to nice demographic. =3

Magdelyn, yeah. We have this super weird culture that sells super hot women to men. It’s demeaning and wrong to everyone.

no more mr nice guy
9 years ago

The idea that if a woman has sex with a guy, another guy is deprived of sex is widespread among MRAs. That’s why these guys constantly bitch against other guys and against women. Basically they cannot tolerate that other people have sex and they believe they are entitled to a woman. It’s the reason they want a socialist dating system were women are assigned to a man.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
9 years ago

For some reason that part about the stewing makes me think of the Beau Brummels, not David Bowie.

darksidecat
9 years ago

@magdelyn, accepting the misogynistic messages of a misogynistic culture still makes one a misogynist, and it is still one’s fault for doing so.

@no more mr. nice guy, socialism does not view people as products or items. In fact, that’s pretty much the anti-thesis of socialist thinking. Monetarizing the value of a human is a very capitalist thing to do. The notion of people being forced to date others of their respective hotness/value class is much more like a caste system.

Zair
Zair
9 years ago

Maybe it’s none of their business; but it is immoral to force men like them to subsidize these females’ lifestyles through a bloated public sector, affirmative action, and welfare.

joel_EF
joel_EF
9 years ago

So do all MRA’s think of themselves as Betas (as in not an Alpha) and is this a central point in their inferior, victimized conception of self?

Wouldn’t MRA’s think of themselves as Alpha? Seems that their whole identity may be based on their feelings of resentment at not seeing THEMSELVES as an Alpha. This just labels all men who aren’t like them Alphas. I’ve never felt more important to be a male feminist in a committed relationship. That makes me an Alpha, wow!

captainbathrobe
9 years ago

DSC, I can’t speak for NMMNG, but I’ve been using sexual socialism in a satirical sense, as a way of making fun of the MRAs’ tendency to frame dating as a sexual marketplace. Essentially, accusing them of being sexual socialists is calculated to infuriate them by trading on their own misconceptions about socialism. I realize, however, that this tends to perpetuate these misconceptions.

Zair
Zair
9 years ago

Why isn’t my comment getting through? I didn’t post anything crazy.

MarniJane
MarniJane
9 years ago

I’ve been lurking for a while sans comments but i just wanted to say, as someone with a degree in econ, her definitions are offensively wrong. Just, no. That is all.

Tru
Tru
9 years ago

First, let me say that as a longtime lurker and first-time poster, I love what you’re doing with this blog. I think I first ran into the species known as the MRA very early in my Internet wanderings, and was pretty damn horrified. At the time, I was an adult female who had known from personal experience what it was like to be abandoned both emotionally and financially by my father as a result of my parents’ separation and eventual divorce, but had not yet experienced my father’s remorse or difficult, but sincere, attempts to make it up to me later. Therefore, my position was that of a daughter (and feminist since about age 12) who could not believe that there was in the world a large group of men whose primary interest in life seemed to be getting the world to understand how screwed over they’d been by their wives and, as a result, how unfair it was that they should have to contribute a dime toward the upkeep of their own children. I once made the mistake of trying to get some of these men to see things by way by explaining to them the rather painful emotional effect of discovering as a child that your father sees no reason he should have anything to do with you once his marriage to your mother is over. Of course, I soon learned my lesson; there’s no changing these fellas, and as a woman, I was, of course, just another one amongst The Enemy. The irony of it all is that to some extent, my own father has changed–he’s finally trying, in his awkward way, to be a father to me. He is 80 years old. I suspect that a great deal of his regret about his past behavior may have to do with his own intimations of mortality–that and the fact that his second wife (NOT the same woman as he left us for) actually turned out to be a decent woman with a conscience, who hated seeing her husband have no relationship with his children. I don’t know, maybe that’s the only cure for these MRAs and other MGTOWs who think they want nothing to do with women or any kids they’ve had–old age and loneliness. They smirk all the time about how the mean, nasty women who turned them down will be left with nothing someday but their cats. Well, at least our cats will never sleep with someone else, steal our money, beat us up, or spend time explaining why violence against us is justified.

Now, about this particular post. Interesting that you should post a Joe Jackson song as an explanation of the thought process going through the heads of the MRAs. Funny, what those guys never seem to get, in addition to the points you made, is that WOMEN have had these feelings about men’s choices in female companionship at least as often as men have about the guys women choose to go out with. I know I can’t claim to never have seen what I thought was an attractive, desirable man with his arm around some woman of whom I am intensely envious and thought “But why her? She isn’t even pretty!” (As if it would matter if she were. Then I’d just descend into another round of self-loathing over my looks.)

That said, though, if this particular example of the lyrical work of Mr. Jackson is not one that reflects the better angels of either men’s or women’s natures, there is one that, to my mind, serves as Exhibit A of precisely what the MRA guys’ problem is: “Real Men.”

There’s the story, right there. After 30 years, the message of this song and this video still hold true. The MGTOW “don’t know how to treat a lady, don’t know how to be a man.” And the moral at the end is all too true as well…even if they don’t know it.

So, give Joe Jackson credit. He’s an astute observer of human nature who, in “Is She Really Going Out With Him?,” dared to give voice to the petty judgments we make of other couples we see, and they way we sometimes project (oft-times mistaken) messages about our own desirability or lack thereof on those couples, and become sad and angry when we do. (If we’re neurotic, anyway.) Which means that when some people listen to the song, they regard it as some kind of validation of those feelings as noble, fair and actionable, rather than as, well, just unpleasantly human feelings we need to cope with like mature human beings. But sadly, that’s what happens sometimes when dumb people get exposed to good stuff.

Some readers of Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” think of it as the warning he intended it to be; others seem to regard it as a handbook. Joe Jackson may not be Orwell exactly, but he’s equally subject to misinterpretation by people who don’t ruminate very much.

no more mr nice guy
9 years ago

I should have said Communism instead of Socialism. In Communism there is no free market and the government decide everything. MRAs want a Communist system where women are
assigned to men and don’t choose their partners.

Andrea Vaughn
9 years ago

“MRAs want a Communist system where women are
assigned to men and don’t choose their partners.”

That’s not communism; it’s just the same old boring Patriarchy that human society has existed under for centuries.

Zair
Zair
9 years ago

No, you people are wrong. MRAs want to stop the coercive transfer of wealth from men to women. In a free market a lot of women (most likely a majority) would choose to marry since it’s a good deal.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

I think if there was a “everyone gets exactly the partner they deserve” system, these guys would be sorely disappointed.

I tend to get the impression they think Jessica Alba is about a 7, maybe a low 8.

It’s tough to say this without buying into the ridiculous attractiveness system, but I don’t think an average-looking MRA would be satisfied with a genuinely average-looking woman.

kilo
kilo
9 years ago

Tabby Lavalamp,
“It’s purely anecdotal, but every “Nice Guy” I’ve ever met who complained about not being able to get a girlfriend was doing their complaining while not getting anywhere with a pretty attractive woman.”

Sure, but most women in a reasonable age range (say plus minus 7 years or so) are pretty attractive, if not on the first look then on the second. Restricting oneself to women that are unattractive seriously restricts the pool, and I don’t think its fair to them anyway.

David,
this was an interesting post. In my case it was/is sadness rather than anger, as I rarely get angry. Also, I found it fascinating that you are acknowledging that a market-based model can help in understanding dating behavior, since I’ve seen a lot of people arguing against an economic metaphor recently.

Rutee
Rutee
9 years ago

“Also, I found it fascinating that you are acknowledging that a market-based model can help in understanding dating behavior, since I’ve seen a lot of people arguing against an economic metaphor recently.”
I find it interesting as well. interesting Fail, but interesting nonetheless.

“I should have said Communism instead of Socialism. In Communism there is no free market and the government decide everything. MRAs want a Communist system where women are
assigned to men and don’t choose their partners.”
No, because in communism women are people. This *IS* a command economy, which is a thing that the USSR and some other communistic societies have tried out, but it is not, in itself, communism. Communism is a set of philosophies, not all of which are based on a command economy, and which encompass substantially more than the use of a command economy.

darksidecat
9 years ago

Government deciding everything totalitarianism or authoritarianism, not communism per se. The Stalinist is model is a totalitarian model, but you can certainly have non-socialist/non-communist totalitarian states. Facism would be the prime example, and facists are fairly capitalist about many things.

Actually, “sexual facists” works well…

katz
9 years ago

But David Bowie is supposed to be for depressed teenaged girls.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
9 years ago

I think the bitter men described in this article have several problems.

1. They have set their standards too high. There aren’t that many 20 year old models out there for every man to have one.

2. Their anger and resentment at the world scares people away. Even Scott Bakula would seem unattractive if he spent all his time whining about how evil bitches are out to ruin his life.

3. Like David already said, they don’t realize that it’s none of their business if people are matched up oddly. What seems like an odd couple to everyone else might be the perfect match once you get to know the peoples’ personalities. Even if a couple is truly incompatible, it’s still their own business.

Thomas
Thomas
9 years ago

The model on the far right really has to work on his seductive gaze.

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
9 years ago

I think some people are taking “communist” and “socialist” too literally (and seriously) here. No, neither system sees people as commodities, but they can be used satirically (which I believe which is what those who are using those words here are doing) against people who are trying to equate human relationships with economic models.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
9 years ago

By “working on your product”, what are you talking about? Aside from developing an eating and/or exercise disorder in pursuing a Wahlberg physique, I mean. Since in my experience women don’t give a fuck about anything else- personality, intelligence, your job, your politics- that would seem to be the only option.

katz
9 years ago

Now I’m imagining Scott Bakula quantum leaping from year to year warning everyone about those stuck-up bitches.

katz
9 years ago

MRAL, in your case, it means toning down your repellent personality.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

What ARE your experiences MRAL? xD

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

MRAL none of the women here even KNOW what you look like and they’re not attracted to you and it has a LOT to do w/ your personality and politics xD

I am however v attracted to 4 ppl here and it also has to do w/ their personality and politics xD

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
9 years ago

MRAL, don’t you have three friends? None of whom are women?

What on earth makes you think you have any idea what any given woman cares about when it comes to dating?

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
9 years ago

By “working on your product”, what are you talking about? Aside from developing an eating and/or exercise disorder in pursuing a Wahlberg physique, I mean. Since in my experience women don’t give a fuck about anything else- personality, intelligence, your job, your politics- that would seem to be the only option.

Your experience no longer is solely what you see in the movies and on TV because hello MRAL you know us and most of us who identify as female on here have shown time and again that we are focus on a multitude of things outside of your narrow little mind.

So stop claiming you have experience that you no longer have.

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

“By “working on your product”, what are you talking about? Aside from developing an eating and/or exercise disorder in pursuing a Wahlberg physique, I mean. Since in my experience women don’t give a fuck about anything else- personality, intelligence, your job, your politics- that would seem to be the only option.”

See, that’s interesting, MRAL. I thought you said that alphas were based on much more than just looks. Personality, popularity, intelligence, status and stuff was factored into your model – for men, at least. You even said that assertiveness counted for women.

Has your Greek System changed yet again? If it’s such a shaky model that it changes every few days, perhaps you should reconsider putting so much faith in it.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
9 years ago

Well, I’ve said that if you’re very aggressive you can sort of cheat the system on occasion, basically breaking it through sheer tenaciousness. But no, I don’t think I ever said Sexual Greater Alpha status was based on anything other than looks.

And no one answered my question. What are you supposed to change about yourself?

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
9 years ago

Now, charisma can make you a Social Greater Alpha, but that’s an ENTIRELY different system.

katz
9 years ago

Dude, there’s no such thing as cheating a predictive model. It either works or it doesn’t.

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

Listen, MRAL, your system keeps getting more and more subspecies. I’m getting confused. How about you go draw up a chart, put it on your blog, and then drop a link here so we all know what you’re talking about?

Kindly include qualifications and definitions. And a quiz for determining your status for both genders would be great.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
9 years ago

MRAL, do yourself a favor -and improve your chances of ever getting laid ten-fold: stop buying into Roissy’s et. al, stupid fucking ranking system. If you feel the need to believe ins some sort of PUA guru, I guess I can understand that. It won’t help you, but I understand that.

But for the love of Pete, pick someone smarter who isn’t such an obvious, fuck up and charlatan. You’re too young to buy into a belief system that tells you that you’re shit.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

Now I need to know of all these systems…how many are there? xD

Also MRAL, there are billions of INDIVIDUALS out there xD there’s no ONE way to attract ppl… like what attracts me won’t necessarily attract summer snow, or Rutee or etc…

NWOslave
NWOslave
9 years ago

Strange. So many comments on how a man can become more acceptable to women. Seems like everyone has advice on how to fix MRAL. Women however are……..Hmmmm. What word best describes an entire gender that needs to do nothing but exist. Nothing is broken, nothing is wrong with them. Men must accept them for who they are lest men not see them as human. I’d say the only word that fits is……………perfect.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
9 years ago

First of all, dumbass, an ellipsis has three points. Three. I know you don’t believe in book learning and all, but please stop doing that.

Now, point out what anyone on this thread has said MRAL, or any other man SHOULD do to become more acceptable to women. You implied that multiple comments were giving MRAL advice. Provide the examples.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

Dude, there’s no such thing as cheating a predictive model.

Sure, for Betas and women like us there isn’t, but Alphas and hot guys do what they want, logic be damned! ;p

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
9 years ago

David, makeup is nothing more than women indulging our whorish, hypocritical natures. Trying to be attractive for men has nothing to do with it.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
9 years ago

David, I like it when he kind of learns a new word and tries to use it as an insult but can’t quite get it right. It’s adorable.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

So many comments on how a man can become more acceptable to women. Seems like everyone has advice on how to fix MRAL.

After all that whining and begging and blue balls it’d be a bit cruel to ignore him, wouldn’t it? When MRAs stop pouting about how women hate them I suspect they’ll stop getting told why women hate them. I have personally never advised a man on how to be more attractive to the opposite sex unprovoked (unlike the random male strangers who constantly see fit to tell me what I should wear/do/say in the middle of the street.)

And really, isn’t “stop hating women and saying misogynistic things about them” a really low bar? It’s not like we’re saying crazy stuff like “wash your shirts” or “comb your hair” or “learn to cook” or anything like that! :p

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