This post isn’t going to be as researched as the previous two, but will reflect thoughts I’ve had.
Traditional dating in part involves males giving gifts to women who interest them with the object being to curry her favor. This is promoted by alleged behavioral experts to be a display to her of his value as a provider, which was once a factor of her acceptance of him as a mate.
If his pursuit of her is successful, he remains obligated to provide gifts along with support while she was once expected to maintain his home in a neat and orderly fashion in return. Gifts from her to him weren’t necessarily expected, unless she chose to actually make him something by hand in addition to maintaining her side of the societal bargain. She generally couldn’t buy one with her own money.
Many complaints regarding how this exchange broke down revolve around feminism, and there is some merit to this. But the real culprit in my opinion is consumerist technological advance.
Electricity eliminated replacing burned-down candles or refilling the lamp oil reservoirs. Natural gas heating put an end to hauling in the cut timber or having to go out to the coal shed for another bucket of lumps while pouring out the ashes onto the snow to prevent slippage. Old National Geographic Magazines contained ads for the latest gadgets intended to lighten the heavy burden of domestic engineering, including things like the press roller to do a more efficient job of wringing water out of clothing to speed drying. And so on. She ended up needing less time to achieve as much productivity.
As more and more “labor-saving” devices entered into the life of the average housewife, she had more time to read books and magazines, of which there were dozens devoted exclusively to her interests (and of course supported by manufacturer ads to pique her desire for more of their products). They were cheap enough that she could find a bargain on the grocery shelf to afford the price.
Women used to get together in groups to discuss topics they read about in such publications, but out of the earshot of their working men, who wouldn’t have approved of them “worrying their simple little minds” with issues “too important” to be left to them to work out solutions. They were a man’s prerogative, and she should return to her place where he can care for her properly.
I understand the kind of reaction such a dismissive attitude would foment, for -not being an insider myself- I heard similar things all the time from those who didn’t see any value in me -both male and female- except as an object of ridicule. It made me want to strike back in any manner I could, only I didn’t have the opportunity to burn the roast and claim it was due to it being “that time of the month” to engender sympathy, go out to dinner, and avoid outraged anger.
It was into this environment that the ideas of Friedan and Greer found avid audience. Gloria Steinem showing that pretty women can express disdain of men like their husbands and inspire them to want to look like her, even though few could. And so on.
[Side note regarding Steinem: I would love to have been a fly buzzing about during her “dates” with Henry Kissinger. I can’t see what he had going for him other than his lofty role in making the world a much more dangerous place for the majority of us while he dates a feminist icon. Just WHAT did they talk about?]
Women tend to pay closer attention to pretty women than they do to Vampire Bats. Otherwise, how would the Kardashian/Jenner coven have become so wealthy? Where would Taylor Swift now be if she resembled Sinead O’Conner as she now looks?
You’d tap that, wouldn’t you, Mr. HornDog?
So where am I dragging you with such visual abuse? Toward the idea which spawned (sorry, Boss! It kinda slipped out!) this post. Somewhere in this process, women lost any interest in treating men well. They tend to hold no desire to please us, nor to satisfy our desires of any kind, and not just sexually. All we have to do to remain in their good graces (and maybe get a little if we’re good enough) is to provide the means for her to have the life she desires at the expense of our own.
Is that worth it? I say no.
It was asked in a previous post comment thread about where are men to go. Certainly, heading off into the wilderness and knifing 300 pound boars will appeal to some, and the likelihood of encountering there a human female in any emotional state is highly unlikely. But for those of us who are past being able to hunt in such a manner, we have to have other strategies.
I’ve said before that I want to have ideas to offer for those men who need inspiration. I’ve advocated not getting involved with women in the first place, but the realist in me knows that few will be able to adhere to such a philosophy in the face of femininity demonstrating her wiles. Seeing ripe peaches tends to make the hungry man want to shake the tree.
So what to do instead? Don’t give gifts just because she wants something; give one instead if she deserves one. Don’t give her your time if she’s only going to make you wish you were elsewhere doing something fun. Don’t lavish her with praise hoping that her panties will fall off. And definitely don’t spend all your money on her; it will never be enough.
Don’t give her all of your attention. Instead, give her just as much as she gives you. If you really interest her, she will increase her effort toward attracting you. If not, she will fade away like the lost cause she is. And you will live without becoming the emotional wreckage that women can make of men.
Learn to use the Friend Zone to your advantage. It will weed out the ones only looking to use you for her own benefit. Just be careful when you think you might have a friend to promote to More Than A Friend, as she can literally change faster than you can follow. And you end up lost.
So don’t go where she expects you to go, and let her feel as disappointed as she would make you if she could. If she’s a big girl, she’ll figure out how to change her behavior for the better if she really desires a man. Watch your own back, because you probably can’t trust anyone else in most cases to defend you.
And, lastly, as Polonius advised, to thine own self be true. Only you can save you – and you are all you have.