Thursday, 29 December 2011

In The Ambulance

Not only are we waking up 
from 40 years of feminism, 
we're coming to 
in the ambulance
& all we can remember is 
some crazy bitch
called Solanas 
was driving.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Billion Wicked Thoughts

My book of the year. 
Two bold young neuroscientists have initiated a revolution in the scientific study of sexual attraction. Before Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, the only researcher to systematically investigate sexual desires was Alfred Kinsey, who surveyed 18,000 middle-class Caucasians in the 1950s. But Ogas and Gaddam have studied the secret sexual behavior of more than a hundred million men and women around the world. Their method?  They observed what people do within the anonymity of the Internet.

There is so much in this book I want to say to the world that it makes it impossible to give a decent synopsis: you really do have to read it all. It speaks to both sexes equally, is extremely funny, & there are no dull bits - every chapter is a highpoint. I only wish I had a crate of them so I could hand them out to everyone i met. I may post more about this in the future but for now just a tiny (& woefully inadequate) sample:

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Monday, 19 December 2011

A Girl Writes What?

Two amazing videos by a new youtuber by the name of girlwriteswhat. The first an introduction to her & her reasons for writing, the second a remarkable critique of our society's attitude of male disposability. They are both excellent, but the second one in particular is absolute gold. Her blog is worth checking out, too.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Education Gap in the UK

I have already written about how the education gap in America has widened every year since 1980 until now the number of college degrees being given out are 60/40 female to male (the exact reverse of the figures from 1970, which led to massive overhauls of the education system throughout that decade). Recently I got to wondering how the situation is closer to home. This turned out to be very easy to find out, thanks to an annual report published on the Universities UK website:

So at last count, there were approx. 800,000 full-time female enrollments to 650,000 male, & the gap between part-time enrollees is even greater, with more than half as many more females than males. Even 10 years has shown a marked increase in this gap, as the report itself points out. Not quite American levels yet but not far off & the trend is clear as to where this is heading.

Again I call out plaintively into the wilderness: if feminism really is about equality, why are they so silent over an issue they made such deafening noise about 40 years ago?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Biological Imperative Of Female Self-Preservation In Action Movies

Something I’ve been musing on lately is how all the ‘girls kick-ass!’ movies so common today are almost entirely created by men – Buffy, Dollhouse, Kick-Ass, Kill Bill, Salt, Sucker Punch (most misandric film of the year), all the superheroey ones... All are repeatedly sold to us as ‘empowering role models’ etc for girls & yet the strange thing is it’s not women that are writing & directing them, it’s men. These films are predominantly watched by males, too - women may like the propaganda that they can 'do everything as well as men' but for the most part would much rather be home watching Sex And The City & Twilight.

So I've been puzzling over why this should be & the conclusion I have come to is that, under the system we have had the past 30 years or so, which denigrates masculinity to such a horrific degree, male creators have resorted to using female protagonists to play out their heroic ideals, ideals which, in the real world women would not think to carry out - think of the differing expectations of women in the police, the army, the fire service, for instance.

In the classic Alien films, Ripley – the first real female action hero – sacrifices herself to save the human race in a very chivalric, Christ-like (greatest hero of western society) way. I find it hard to imagine a female author coming up with that, a woman laying down her life for strangers. It just wouldn’t occur to them. And in the past it would never have occurred to a male writer either. Women’s bodies are a precious rare resource to be protected at all costs by the men, even at the cost of the mens own lives. That sacrificial role is a male burden, & a male fantasy, but one is now rather strangely being projected onto a female canvas.

Feminism has really messed with our heads.

Although some women might be consumers of heroic violent action movies with female protagonists, they don’t choose to create them themselves. It’s not like Jane Campion or Miranda July (two directors I hold in some esteem, by the way) are working on writing & directing a female Die Hard.

I mentioned the military, fire service & police earlier not to say that no women serve in such capacity, only that they are not serving under the same expectation to sacrifice themselves in the way their male counterparts are. Around 20% of the US armed forces are female, yet 97% of the troops that died in Iraq were male, & of the 3% of the troops that died that were female, more than a third of them died from other causes than combat. It has been said (with only a little exaggeration) that serving in Iraq is one of the safest places for an American woman to work.

Same happens in the police force. Female police officers overwhelmingly take the safer day shifts & on the beat, particularly in less safe areas, are almost always accompanied by a male officer, who’s unspoken role is to protect her. This has been looked at with concern in the past as it doubles the danger for the male officer, who has no one along for the ride to protect him. Of the 4000 deaths of police officers in the UK, 3956 of them are male, while only 44 are female, even though women now make up 25% of police officers on the beat & 62% of staff.

In the fire service, again, there are female firefighters, but hardly any. In the U.S. it’s about 2%. Women are not attracted to dangerous work generally, jobs in which they daily run the risk of death. Which is why, even though women now hold the majority of all jobs in the USA today, over 95% of all deaths at work, across the board, are male.

To restate my point perhaps more clearly, I am not addressing ‘strong female characters’ but rather female characters carrying out the traditional male heroic role of willingly sacrificing themselves for the tribe, for the greater good, for everyone else.

These figures, to pretty much all intents & purposes, don’t exist (as I say, the only one I could think of was Alien's Ripley), but when they do they are written exclusively by men, who are, it seems to me, projecting their own innate set of heroic values & behaviour somewhere where they do not occur in real life. Women in the real world do not, as a very strictly observed rule, sacrifice themselves for a bunch of strangers.

There’s a case to be made about how this is because of the females greater biological imperative for self-preservation {"MustSaveMyself&MyChild"}. If there are any instances of a woman writer portraying her female protagonist sacrificing herself it will almost certainly be for an immediate family member, a younger sibling or child most likely, rarely for her husband or lover & never for the greater good of all, for wider society. This is not a condemnation, it’s just the way things are: Neither men or women see women as being expendable in that way.

The only exception to that rule I can think of is a Thelma & Louise type story where (spoiler!) two women would rather drive off a cliff than live in a world with men in it. This, however, is obviously ideologically driven & shows only how ideology can make us perform strange, unhinged, fanatical acts. Thelma & Louise’s actions are essentially self-serving – the best you could say is that they are a personal protest about how they feel about their situation in the world – they are not done to save anyone else, the people of their tribe or the world. Even their staunchest defenders would have to admit that Thelma & Louise are not sacrificing themselves to save the men of their community.

This seems to me a fundamental natural difference between the sexes, but one which, due most likely to present day PC teachings of the interchangeability of the sexes, is increasingly obscured, giving us wildly unrealistic expectations of each of the sexes roles, motives & capabilities that aren’t based upon anything in nature or our daily reality.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Two Utopias

An extract from an excellent essay by F. Roger Devlin, Sexual Utopia In Power. I recommend reading it in full, the text of which can be found here.

 Let us consider what a sexual utopia is, and let us begin with men, who are in every respect simpler.

Nature has played a trick on men: production of spermatozoa occurs at a rate several orders of magnitude greater than female ovulation (about 12 million per hour vs. 400 per lifetime). This is a natural, not a moral, fact. Among the lower animals also, the male is grossly oversupplied with something for which the female has only a limited demand. This means that the female has far greater control over mating. The universal law of nature is that males display and females choose. Male peacocks spread their tales, females choose. Male rams butt horns, females choose. Among humans, boys try to impress girls-and the girls choose. Nature dictates that in the mating dance, the male must wait to be chosen.

A man's sexual utopia is, accordingly, a world in which no such limit to female demand for him exists. It is not necessary to resort to pornography for examples. Consider only popular movies aimed at a male audience, such as the James Bond series. Women simply cannot resist James Bond. He does not have to propose marriage, or even request dates. He simply walks into the room and they swoon. The entertainment industry turns out endless unrealistic images such as this. Why, the male viewer eventually may ask, cannot life actually be so? To some, it is tempting to put the blame on the institution of marriage.

Marriage, after all, seems to restrict sex rather drastically. Certain men figure that if sex were permitted both inside and outside of marriage there would be twice as much of it as formerly. They imagined there existed a large, untapped reservoir of female desire hitherto repressed by monogamy. To release it, they sought, during the early postwar period, to replace the seventh commandment with an endorsement of all sexual activity between "consenting adults." Every man could have a harem. Sexual behavior in general, and not merely family life, was henceforward to be regarded as a private matter. Traditionalists who disagreed were said to want to "put a policeman in every bedroom." This was the age of the Kinsey Report and the first appearance of Playboy magazine. Idle male daydreams had become a social movement.

This characteristically male sexual utopianism was a forerunner of the sexual revolution but not the revolution itself. Men are incapable of bringing about fundamental changes in heterosexual relations without the cooperation-the famed "consent"-of women. But the original male would-be revolutionaries did not understand the nature of the female sex instinct. That is why things have not gone according to their plan.

What is the special character of feminine sexual desire that distinguishes it from that of men?

It is sometimes said that men are polygamous and women monogamous. Such a belief is often implicit in the writings of male conservatives: Women only want good husbands, but heartless men use and abandon them. Some evidence does appear, prima facie, to support such a view. One 1994 survey found that "while men projected they would ideally like six sex partners over the next year, and eight over the next two years, women responded that their ideal would be to have only one partner over the next year. And over two years? The answer, for women, was still one." Is this not evidence that women are naturally monogamous?

No it is not. Women know their own sexual urges are unruly, but traditionally have had enough sense to keep quiet about it. A husband's belief that his wife is naturally monogamous makes for his own peace of mind. It is not to a wife's advantage, either, that her husband understand her too well: Knowledge is power. In short, we have here a kind of Platonic "noble lie"-a belief which is salutary, although false.

It would be more accurate to say that the female sexual instinct is hypergamous. Men may have a tendency to seek sexual variety, but women have simple tastes in the manner of Oscar Wilde: They are always satisfied with the best. By definition, only one man can be the best. These different male and female "sexual orientations" are clearly seen among the lower primates, e.g., in a baboon pack. Females compete to mate at the top, males to get to the top.

Women, in fact, have a distinctive sexual utopia corresponding to their hypergamous instincts. In its purely utopian form, it has two parts: First, she mates with her incubus, the imaginary perfect man; and second, he "commits," or ceases mating with all other women. This is the formula of much pulp romance fiction. The fantasy is strictly utopian, partly because no perfect man exists, but partly also because even if he did, it is logically impossible for him to be the exclusive mate of all the women who desire him.

It is possible, however, to enable women to mate hypergamously, i.e., with the most sexually attractive (handsome or socially dominant) men. In the Ecclesiazusae of Aristophanes the women of Athens stage a coup d'état. They occupy the legislative assembly and barricade their husbands out. Then they proceed to enact a law by which the most attractive males of the city will be compelled to mate with each female in turn, beginning with the least attractive. That is the female sexual utopia in power. Aristophanes had a better understanding of the female mind than the average husband.

Hypergamy is not monogamy in the human sense. Although there may be only one "alpha male" at the top of the pack at any given time, which one it is changes over time. In human terms, this means the female is fickle, infatuated with no more than one man at any given time, but not naturally loyal to a husband over the course of a lifetime. In bygone days, it was permitted to point out natural female inconstancy. Consult, for example, Ring Lardner's humorous story "I Can't Breathe"- the private journal of an eighteen year old girl who wants to marry a different young man every week. If surveyed on her preferred number of "sex partners," she would presumably respond one; this does not mean she has any idea who it is.

An important aspect of hypergamy is that it implies the rejection of most males. Women are not so much naturally modest as naturally vain. They are inclined to believe that only the "best" (most sexually attractive) man is worthy of them. This is another common theme of popular romance (the beautiful princess, surrounded by panting suitors, pined away hopelessly for a "real" man-until, one day.etc.).

This cannot be objectively true, of course. An average man would seem to be good enough for the average woman by definition. If women were to mate with all the men "worthy" of them they would have little time for anything else. To repeat, hypergamy is distinct from monogamy. It is an irrational instinct, and the female sexual utopia is a consequence of that instinct.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Hogamus Higamus: Polyamorous Addendum

A part I realize I didn't fully address in the last post was polyamory, which I mentioned but didn't expand upon. Polyamory is another brave & respectable attempt to find a workable model for men & women to be together. If anything, I feel much closer in my personal life to that as an ideal than either polygamy or monogamy, as it is more thoughtful & open-ended, & actively looking for a better solution than just the accepted norm, but in its present form it is fundamentally flawed in that it refuses to acknowledge the differences between the sexes. The party line is still that both sexes are essentially the same, & whatever works for one will work for the other: if you don't agree you just need to work on yourself some more.

This leads to some obvious imbalances straight-off: men generally have greater need for sexual variety but also experience greater possessiveness & revulsion at their partners having sexual contact with other men. Women, on the other hand, feel more uncomfortable with their partners building emotional ties with someone else. In addition to that, encouraging women to be as promiscuous as men want to be is asking women to do something that will in the long run lower their SMV (sexual market value) & so their chances of getting what they more often want, a long-term committed relationship in which to raise a child. I don't see a way of making it work on a wider scale until these ideological positions are overhauled.

Still, as I say, I feel closer to that than what we have at present, & any system in which private morality is not driven by religious or political manipulation to be what you aren't seems to me a good thing.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Hogamus Higamus: Conclusion

Okay, let's wrap this up.

The story so far: Monogamy is not natural. It is something our particular society evolved in order to best  keep the peace between men & women & society as a whole. It doesn't work for everyone, & men, being naturally polygamous, struggle under it particularly. Women, too, lose out materially by the attractive minority of wealthy, high-status men being limited to supporting only one wife each. But institutionalized polygamy doesn't work well either, it stirs up jealousy in women & leaves the majority of men without partners.

So it's a compromise, an attempt to appease men's polygamy & women's hypergamy & still keep people from raping, pillaging & rioting in the streets. Monogamy increasingly appears to me like the kind of solution a communist state would dream up to keep the greatest number of workers docile - 'one partner per person'. Like the socialist dream itself, it deserves admiration for its generosity of spirit. But, also like socialism, it breaks down because it fails to address very real human needs that are not acknowledged under its particular ideology.

Having peered recently across the great smörgåsbord of human relationships, I find I've come away feeling a certain kind of admiration for all of them: monogamy, polygamy,  polyamory... Like most of the major political movements of the past, they are all attempts by individuals & societies to work out the best way of dealing with how to be in this world together, how to balance our own personal needs with the needs & demands of those around us. All have good things about them, all of them address some part of the puzzle, though clearly not the whole.

The central, fundamental reality underlying all of them is that men & women have to come together, one way or another, every generation, or else the human race dies off. How we do that is really just obsessing over details. What is bigger than any of those choices is that we will find each other, fuck each other silly & make some smaller versions of ourselves. Regardless of whatever pretty lies we fill our heads with, our bodies will still do what they need to do, chauffeuring our conscious minds along like passengers.

Bellita, who wrote the second post here, asked me after the last one what my solution was, & in truth, I have been trying to figure that one out myself. I'm not advocating a move to polygamy, at least not on a societal scale. And the situation we have at the moment, where men (& some women) profess to monogamy but engage secretly in promiscuity seems morally problematic & in the bigger picture just a waste of our time & energy, keeping our true wants & desires perpetually under wraps. As Gandhi famously said, "happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony" & clearly this is not possible if we are having to sneak around practicing something we are led to believe is shameful.

I think an answer of sorts begins to emerge the more we simply accept the previously stated models of basic natural 'hardwired' male & female behaviour. This requires us leaving behind the 'double standard' complaint often levelled at men by women, & particularly by feminists. But then that was based upon a fallacy, the notion that men & women are identical, entirely the same. Obviously, we're not. If we recognize that male & female behaviours are endlessly recurring & universal, then moral judgement upon those natural behaviours becomes unnecessary & foolish: We are what we are. Deal with it.

Perhaps what I've been writing here in these posts is more of an overview of our options than an advert for any one of them. I imagine that the final Answer, the final Truth, will necessarily appear paradoxical to our present way of thinking, as that is the nature of the universe. God, The Universe, The Everything - whatever you want to call it - contains everything; black & white, life & death, sunlight & shadow. Living vegetation grows out of death & waste. Good people can do terrible things. A person you hate can carry out acts of extraordinary kindness. A saint can be born from the belly of a murderer.

Rather than just putting forth another fixed position, another ideological stance, the answer, it seems to me, is much more to do with a paradigm shift in our perception of reality & our place within it.

There is REALITY - whatever this ever-unfolding phenomenon, ultimately beyond our comprehension but of which we are an intrinsic, inseparable part is - & then there are all our many little ways of interpreting & dealing with that reality. Beliefs are temporal, & they change. But the greater reality continues above & beyond whatever laws we pass, bibles we write & stories we make up about it. I guess if I'm putting any suggestion forth at all it is that we try move that underlying reality to the centre stage, make that the focus of our daily attention rather than the barely acknowledged wall we hang our (let's face it, largely delusory) beliefs upon.

This applies in every aspect of life. For example, music is a human constant: all human societies we know of have it, the form it takes is really of much less interest or importance than the fact that it exists at all, is unique to humanity & is universal. Whether it is nose-flutes or sitars, wah-wah guitars or flugelhorns, jungle drums or drum & bass, the bottom line is all the peoples of the world make music, & always have. That is the greater reality: the music is the constant, not the form the music takes. And we can understand & judge the meaning & worth of any music better from that higher vantage point than from any fixed position within it.

Religion too, is a human constant, & like music, is as old as humanity itself - older, in fact (neanderthal graves from 100,000 years ago show evidence of ritual burial & a belief in some sort of survival of the soul into an afterlife). In the widest sense it doesn't matter which one you choose, you are still following a unique & essentially human path by choosing it. Your resistance to that as an idea will be directly in proportion to how much you are invested in a particular brand of that religious experience. If you are deeply Christian, you will find that a hard pill to swallow, as will a Muslim, a Jew, or an Atheist.

Let's try apply this to a subject closer to the matter in hand, like the age of consent, an issue relating to men & women which often provokes heated debate &, more often than not, shaming language directed at men.

At 16, 17, years of age, girls bodies are, biologically speaking, at the height of their fertility, & in the best physical shape they will ever be in to give birth. Their bodies are still supple & elastic enough to spring back quickly after childbirth with the fewest health risks. As we know, men want youth & fertility. Nature wants them to want youth & fertility: most of what we universally regard as sign of female attractiveness are simply indicators of that. All the signals of health, youth, strength & vitality are nature's way of attracting males attention to indicate they are now ripe for childbearing.

So, that's the reality.  And if we look at all the thousands of human societies we know of, both now & in the past, we see that it is entirely universal: There is no society in which fortysomething women with a long & varied sexual history are the most highly sought after sexual partners. If we can calmly & dispassionately look at the situation we must accept that this is nature, this is simply how it is.

But, to have a society where all men are only involving themselves with 16-year old girls would be a nightmare, & terribly destructive to the infrastructure of society, of family, of the bonds that hold us all together. For a start, most girls at 16 really don't know poo from clay, & are in no position to make such enormous decisions about the future of themselves, their child or the boy or man they are with. In addition to that, it would leave the rest of the women - & even those same women - in a much worse position than they are now. It would also mean that all the men would be fighting over a tiny proportion of the available women. So we can look at that situation for what it is, & openly accept that reality, yet choose to work towards maintaining the infrastructure of a society where women are cared for & valued for something more than just breeding.

But doing that doesn't change the reality. And it doesn't obscure that reality for ideological reasons. It doesn't require us to lie to ourselves or each other, only to act responsibly in the face of it.

In Spain the age of consent is 13. Does this mean the Spanish people are a race of evil paedophiles? In Albania & Austria the age is 14, Germany too. And Hungary. And Italy. And Portugal. In Greece it's 15. In some parts of America it's as high as 18, though a hundred years or so ago it was as low as 12. In Mexico it's still 12. In Britain it used to be 12, way back in the day but was lowered to 10 in the 16th century...

Which of these is correct? Lined up like that, doesn't it become obvious that none of them are? And that, in fact, none of them could be?

The legality of sex is fluid, malleable. But in our search for truth, our personal morality has to be above the laws of the day. Just because something's against The Law doesn't mean, in the greater scheme of things, that it's wrong. And just because something's legal doesn't make it good & beneficial. Wouldn't it be better to simply accept that different people mature sexually at different speeds? Would it not be the most sensible & humane thing to try have that acknowledged to some degree in the eyes of the law?

A shared morality is essential for any human society to continue, but the details of morality are also changeable, depending on where (& when) you are living. It's hard for people with strong political or religious beliefs to understand this but it needs to be accepted if one is going to progress to any sort of wider understanding of the world & larger truths. After all, a polygamous society is no more or less moral than a monogamous one. And in the larger scheme of things they are barely different at all.

So thought  must be given to how we can arrive at a shared view of beneficial acts. We could attempt to work towards the development of a morality which acknowledges universally recurring constants as reality but seeks to choose the best, highest, noblest way of dealing with that reality for the greatest number of people, openly & above board. Then, if some of us fall short of that ideal - when some of us fall short of that ideal - we can hope to be treated with compassion rather than judgement & condemnation, because we know as a society that our 'flaws' are a simply a part of the way we are, & we are not enshrining fantasy into our moral beliefs.


Okay, another one:

Whenever I hear of women complaining 'why doesn't he want to commit? Why doesn't he want to settle down?' I always think the answer is actually blatantly obvious: it's because he's not a woman. A woman is driven to settle down & feather the nest. A man isn't. Again, this can be explained by simple biology, it doesn't require belief in any political ideology or holy book to make it make sense, we can verify it with our own eyes. We don't demonize women for this biological imperative. In fact we make it the basis of our society's sexual morality.

Likewise, a man is driven to briefly be with as many women as he can be. That is his role. It's been estimated that a man in his lifetime could father up to around 50,000 children, without necessarily ever meeting any of them. A woman, on the other hand, could have at the every most, what? Twenty? Thirty? (Ouch). And generally speaking women do know they've given birth.... This huge difference in the amount of investment makes women put far more consideration into their choice of sexual partner. Again, there is no good or bad here, this is simply nature - God, the universe, whatever - working through us.

You can't apply female biological imperatives to men. Because men don't have them. Men have different ones. A problem we have had in our society for a long time (even before feminism) is that men fulfilling their half of the equation & following their natural impulses are judged to be exhibiting not male behaviour, but bad behaviour. However, it must be said that there are more immediately obvious ill-effects accompanying unchecked male promiscuity than the female drive to settle down. Men created civilization, women created society. Women are the glue that holds the tribe together. Men are the architects, the builders of all the concrete things we see. Without either of these contributions we'd have nothing. The men would never have stopped fighting long enough to accomplish anything great, & the women would still be living in mud huts with leaky roofs & no plumbing.


As I said before, the difference between monogamy & polygamy, from a higher vantage point, is actually quite small. Monogamy & polygamy both entail marriage, after all - under both regimes the men do not just fuck & run, but stay around to support the woman through childbirth & beyond, even though there is far less immediate benefit for them than for women. For that, the countless men of the past deserve our respect & gratitude too, along with all the fathers out there still, doing what needs to be done with ever-decreasing reward in a world which punishes & demeans them at every turn.

The choice is not between polygamy & monogamy but between widespread societally responsible behaviour & serving only ones own interests. Women need to practice this just as much as men -  'personal empowerment' & entitled princess behaviours are just as much of a threat to society as men's unchecked promiscuity. And goddamn it, it would be nice to live in a world which points that out just once in awhile.

We're one big tribe, one big family. The banks & the governments & the high-street stores might not want you to remember that, but we are. And we need to look out for one another a little better than we often do.

I hope this has been an interesting journey of sorts. I guess if I had to restate the main point again it would be this: It is better to accept reality & build our moralities - sexual or otherwise - around acting responsibly in the face of it, rather than project ideologically-based fantasies onto the much bigger, messier, ever-changing living world of green vegetation & flesh & blood that we have always lived in & always will.

Here endeth the lesson.