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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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redlocker
9 years ago

“For whoever mentioned Thom Yorke, I searched “Thom Yorke is” on Google, and the first of the “suggested searches” was “Thom Yorke is ugly”, so, yeah.”

Yet he helped make Ok Computer. And doesn’t act insecure about his looks.

Hell, it was rumored that Aesop, the man who created stories that have been read thousands of years after his death, wasn’t exactly Statue of David material.

Have you ever seen Mad Men? From what I’ve seen so far, Peggi has been moving forward (despite setbacks/being treated like shit by Peter), and she doesn’t look like Betty Draper at all.

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

Hey there, MRAL!

You’ve gotten a lot of dating advice from feminists on this thread.

What advice would you give to women? What should I do to improve myself? I’d like advice from all the MRAs.

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

I did a little searching, and the Internet is full of (presumably Her Holy Highnesses) loudly wondering if a woman of his comparative looks would be “allowed to make it”. Er, hello? Amy Winehouse (RIP) was ugly as hell. Karen O is no beauty. Even Lady Gaga is pretty ugly. But it’s interesting, I never see people using their looks to make snide comments about whether they “deserve to be there”. People talk about it, but it’s always in a strictly relevant context, when they’re talking about actual physical attractiveness. Thom Yorke is a legend, obviously, so he kind of rises above it, but a lesser person with his looks and wonky eye would be buried under BITCH negativity.

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

If you’re a woman, you really don’t need to do anything, unless you’re overweight, in which case, I would recommend that you stop being overweight.

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

No, seriously, MRAL.

You know that all women aren’t interchangeable. You know that there are some traits you value over others. Come on. Really. What advice do you have for me?

redlocker
9 years ago

“If you’re a woman, you really don’t need to do anything, unless you’re overweight, in which case, I would recommend that you stop being overweight.”

This again? Really?

Seriously, man, fat people aren’t doing anything to you. They just exist, doing whatever the fuck they want to do…and you take that as an offense, simply because YOU don’t consider them pretty. How spoiled and anal can you be?

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

Don’t be a Her Holy Highness.
Don’t be fat.
Wear flattering clothing.

Look, seriously, if you do those things, and you’re not deformed in some way, I cannot believe you will have trouble finding a partner. Actually, you really don’t even need to not be a Her Holy Highness, plenty of those do very well.

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

I was asked for tips to attract a partner. I think it’s not hateful to say that fat women have less choices than non fat women.

redlocker
9 years ago

“I did a little searching, and the Internet is full of (presumably Her Holy Highnesses) loudly wondering if a woman of his comparative looks would be “allowed to make it”. Er, hello? Amy Winehouse (RIP) was ugly as hell. Karen O is no beauty. Even Lady Gaga is pretty ugly. But it’s interesting, I never see people using their looks to make snide comments about whether they “deserve to be there”. People talk about it, but it’s always in a strictly relevant context, when they’re talking about actual physical attractiveness. Thom Yorke is a legend, obviously, so he kind of rises above it, but a lesser person with his looks and wonky eye would be buried under BITCH negativity.”

And what, exactly, are the objective circumstances in which a person’s looks are relevant?

redlocker
9 years ago

“Don’t be a Her Holy Highness.
Don’t be fat.
Wear flattering clothing.

Look, seriously, if you do those things, and you’re not deformed in some way, I cannot believe you will have trouble finding a partner. Actually, you really don’t even need to not be a Her Holy Highness, plenty of those do very well.”

So…now you’re giving OTHER PEOPLE advice?

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

Summer snow asked.

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

If you’re talking about “hot people” or “ugly people” or just a general discussion about looks, it’s okay to say “Thom Yorke is kinda ugly, IMO” or “Lady Gaga is kinda ugly, IMO” in a matter-of-fact tone. But when it seeps into discussions about their work, that’s bullshit. I’ve hardly ever seen that happen to average to ugly female musicians.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
9 years ago

MRAL, people talk shit about the looks of unconventional female singers and musicians all the time. I swear. And haven’t you noticed that there are a lot of famous female singers who can barely carry a tune but are still pretty famous?

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

Hey, I asked for advice. I’m glad he’s giving it.

Can you be a bit more specific, MRAL? Let’s assume I can get a partner. What could I do that would make my partner happy? What would make me a better girlfriend? What character traits and beauty routine would be optimal for my partner’s happiness in the relationship?

redlocker
9 years ago

“If you’re talking about “hot people” or “ugly people” or just a general discussion about looks, it’s okay to say “Thom Yorke is kinda ugly, IMO” or “Lady Gaga is kinda ugly, IMO” in a matter-of-fact tone. But when it seeps into discussions about their work, that’s bullshit. I’ve hardly ever seen that happen to average to ugly female musicians.”

You’re missing the point. People like Thom Yorke are mentioned to show that there’s more than just looks to a person. It doesn’t matter how “special” a person is or whether a person is famous. It’s to show that looks are nothing more than just ONE aspect out of HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS, of human attributes that make one attractive. It’s not just a tired aesop used in movies/tv shows/books (Ugly Betty, Hairspray, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), it’s also the way life works out.

If you rule people out based on looks, you’re missing out on A LOT. Attractiveness is just one of many features. It’s not the end all/be all for certain people, and to say so only digs one into a hole.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

okay, now I want in.. xD MRAL give me advice too! 😀

Don’t be a Her Holy Highness

What does that mean specifically? 😀 What sorts of things should I not do?

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

What’s considered fat? btw?

I’m 5’8 (same height as you xD)

What size would be too big?

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

Let’s say we go out on a date, and we go to a restaurant.. what are things I should not do to avoid being a “her holy highness”? :3

Nobby
9 years ago

Hmm, MRAL, can you give me advice, too? I’m about 5’9″ and 160 lb. Should I slim down more? or should I rely on my height?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

Oooh, ok, this should be fun!

MRAL, I want dating advice as well! How do I go about finding and going on a date? Keep in mind I’m 6’8″ and slightly flabby, but good-natured and intelligent.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

I liked a guy but I didn’t seem able to get him to like me… and I hung out w/ him a lot, and even asked him out for drinks, and I complimented him and etc….

what should I have done? :3

Given that I’m a woman, I can get any guy I want, what should I have done? :3

(he’s 5’7″, hardly an “alpha male” by your standards too)

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

@MRAL:

(make that 6’8″ and 250 pounds)

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

I’m 5’8.5, not 5’8.

Nobby
9 years ago

Soo.. advice?

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

Okay, now that that’s cleared up, can you give us advice, MRAL? Mostly me, though. I asked first. 😀

Magpie
Magpie
9 years ago

Give your height and weight in metric – it makes you sound taller and lighter 😉

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

Since any fucking idiot can “be nice” and “have a good personality”, that stuff is worthless. Be hot, and have very good social skills and/or humor (basically, charisma is what gets your foot in the door in the first place, and then you need to close by being hot). This is for the men by the way, the women get to pretty much do anything except be fat, and even then, you’ll probably still be okay.

Magpie
Magpie
9 years ago

What does ‘hot’ mean? (Seriously asking, it’s another of those words I didn’t hear growing up.)

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

What’s the definition of fat? xD

Again, what’s fat for me? xD What size would I have to be at my height? o_O

And if I can do nething how come I didn’t get that guy I liked?

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

MRAL, that’s not very helpful advice for me. I don’t want to know how to get into a relationship. I’d like to know what would make my hypothetical boyfriend happy in a relationship with me. Let’s try again.

Let’s assume I can get a partner. What could I do that would make my partner happy? What would make me a better girlfriend? What character traits and beauty routine would be optimal for my partner’s happiness in the relationship?

Assuming you were dating a non-fat woman, what next? What would you want her to be like?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

@MRAL

Erm, is being hot and having charisma something us guys have control over?

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

No, that’s my point.

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

Summer, for advice in a relationship you should probably ask someone who’s been in a relationship.

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

I’m not doing this bullshit “what’s fat” thing. It’s usually pretty clear. If not, well, you get to make the call.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

@MRAL:

So your advice for men who are dating is… be someone who you can’t be?

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

It’s okay, MRAL, I’m sure you have some ideas on what makes women more appealing as girlfriends. You have this whole system set up to describe people’s desirability. Surely you’ve got some ideas on how to apply it.

Any preferences in grooming and makeup? What hobbies and interests are best for women seeking boyfriends? How about personality traits? How should a girlfriend interact with her boyfriend? If you were dating someone, what could she do that would make you happy?

Nobby
9 years ago

Yeah, MRAL, you said you were making all these changes to change your status, and you know the whole greek system, so what stuff should we change to be more desirable? What character traits should we develop? What BMI should i shoot for? What fashions should I sport?

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

but you keep telling women not to be fat… you need some definition of what that means xD

Magpie
Magpie
9 years ago

I’m not fat, MRAL. How about it?

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

Since any fucking idiot can “be nice” and “have a good personality”, that stuff is worthless.

I can think of a fucking idiot or two who isn’t so great at those, actually…

Magpie
Magpie
9 years ago

Never had to wait this long for a reply to that question before 😉
Filled out the census while I was waiting XD

shaenon
9 years ago

Amy Winehouse (RIP) was ugly as hell. Karen O is no beauty. Even Lady Gaga is pretty ugly.

Aaand one post later…

If you’re a woman, you really don’t need to do anything, unless you’re overweight, in which case, I would recommend that you stop being overweight.

In the second post you say women are always fuckable as long as they aren’t fat, but in the first post you declare several women (all of whom are fairly attractive, just not model-gorgeous) out-and-out ugly. So which is it?

Thom Yorke looks pretty hot to me, but I have a thing for little skinny blond guys.

Personally, I think you should model yourself on Peter Falk. He was 5’6″ and had a glass eye, and he was the goddamn Columbo. You should watch Wings of Desire and follow all the good advice provided by Peter Falk in that movie. In college, I was so crazy about Peter Falk that I used to go around campus in a rumpled trench coat. It didn’t get me laid, but maybe you’ll have better luck.

katz
9 years ago

summer_snow: I’m blaming you for this. Why, why, why? You knew he was just going to rag on fat chicks, and even if he didn’t, we would just get a lot of advice on how to hook up with the last man in the universe that any sane person would ever want to hook up with.

Since any fucking idiot can “be nice” and “have a good personality”, that stuff is worthless.

Reeeeeeally. So what’s the term for someone who can’t even achieve the level of fucking idiocy? *steeples fingers*

Magpie
Magpie
9 years ago

Remember when someone here was pointing out that ‘are you safe’ can mean something different to someone who is being abused? I know a kid who was abused from the day he was born til he was nearly 16. To him “be nice” means “temporarily refrain from carrying out the violent things you are thinking of doing to someone” – because that’s what “be nice” meant in his family. He assumes it means the same thing to everyone else, too.

Magpie
Magpie
9 years ago

That wasn’t meant as a reply to katz, by the way. It’s just something I only found out recently, and it’s been on my mind.

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

Kirby, if I had advice to men for dating that worked, don’t you think I’d be using it?

Raoul
Raoul
9 years ago

My advice, NTYA:

1. Be yourself. Most people will not like you much, but being anyone else is a lie and not worth the trouble it brings.

2. The secret to meeting people – friends, dates, whoever – is the same secret to a lot of other things in life: doing it over and over until you want to puke.

Magical Laura (@_magical_laura)

@MRAL “Since any fucking idiot can “be nice” and “have a good personality”, that stuff is worthless.”

I dunno, you seem to struggle with it alot o_O

E.g. Try “I’m not rly attracted to fat ladies, but I’m still cool with them being around, and I acknowledge other guys are”

A step on the road to being nice!

Magical Laura (@_magical_laura)

Raoul you seem v. down on yourself, saying people probably won’t like you =/ That easily becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Why don’t you like meeting people? If you’re just not v. social, why should it be important to get a date? I think you already said you mostly want it for status reasons?

Raoul
Raoul
9 years ago

@Laura: It’s complicated. I’ve come to enjoy people’s company, but only in small doses. The rest of the time I’m lonely. It’s a part of my life that has never been in healthy balance. And I’m getting older, and the stats aren’t great for solitary guys past 40. But enough about me.