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"Why the modern woman is an unhappy woman"

[wrongspeak.net]

BlackoutNJ 7 July 26
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I agree with the basic premise of the article. I would however point out two things that I've been thinking about.

We who spend most of the time in the trenches of the culture war , in the Western nations in particular understand the nuanced language of men vs women, and that this article is more or less aimed at western audience, probably Americans more than anything else. So I understand what you mean when you write men and women etc.

But world is a large place and Internet allows us to read it from anywhere. In the global sense majority of the world is not in the same feminist trap or at this point we might even call it post feminist trap since movements like trans are attacking feminists.

If you go to Africa, parts of Europe, Asia, Japan, you might see feminist influence, but it would be far from complete disaster as it is in America. North America in particular.

Modernity and what some call post modernity is not equally distributed around the world. And there are good reasons for that. Its not that people in other countries are inherently smarter or better, its the historic, geographical and consequently, cultural developments that have created different world views.

I point this out, because looking from the outside I can't help to notice that even when you don't mean it, you use the feminist terminology.

You point out fairly in your article; "Over the past couple of years, I’ve been more interested in the social dynamics between men and women and trying to understand what makes most women tick. What are their motivations? What are their long-term relationship goals? Most importantly, what is the modern woman’s relationship strategy? This is a very complex topic that I can’t fully address in one article but I will give a summary analysis as to what I’ve noticed."

But continue to use terms like "The modern woman", "men and women". I know what you mean by it, but I'm sure you would agree that it is way to easy to get caught up in group think and identity politics.

Ever since that pop culture book came out.... Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992) the conversation has been trapped in the mode of "men vs women" and concept of individual men and women has been lost in the conversation. When I read your article, although I agree with you, I can't help to notice the legacy of that book and its impact on the American culture. Not sure if you realize it or not, but to me it seems that it has become so normalized to start conversation with "men this and women that" we lost the sight of individuals differnces among the groups. To some extent this has been export trough the pop culture in other countries, but I see it as being more harful than good, since it robs the conversations from its focus on the individuals.

Besides as they say: Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There’s just too much fraternizing with the enemy.

.................................

Any thoughts? Not on what you said in the article, I agree with it, but on the way framing these types of conversations have been used in culture today, Western Culture in particular.

For those not familiar with the book as quoted from wiki entry....

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992) a book written by American author and relationship counselor John Gray, after he had earned degrees in meditation and taken a correspondence course in psychology. The book states that most common relationship problems between men and women are a result of fundamental psychological differences between the sexes, which the author exemplifies by means of its eponymous metaphor: that men and women are from distinct planets—men from Mars and women from Venus—and that each sex is acclimated to its own planet's society and customs, but not to those of the other. One example is men's complaint that if they offer solutions to problems that women bring up in conversation, the women are not necessarily interested in solving those problems, but mainly want to talk about them. The book asserts each sex can be understood in terms of distinct ways they respond to stress and stressful situations.

The book has sold more than 15 million copies and, according to a CNN report, it was the "highest ranked work of non-fiction" of the 1990s, spending 121 weeks on the bestseller list.[clarification needed] The book and its central metaphor have become a part of popular culture and the foundation for the author's subsequent books, recordings, seminars, theme vacations, one-man Broadway show, TV sitcom, workout videos, a podcast, men's and ladies' apparel lines, fragrances, travel guides and his-and-hers salad dressings.

The book has been criticized for placing human psychology into stereotypes.

Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology at Stony Brook University, makes the assertion that men and women are not fundamentally different, contrary to what Gray suggests in his book. In Kimmel's 2008 lecture at Middlebury College in Vermont, titled "Venus, Mars, or Planet Earth? Women and Men in a New Millennium", Kimmel contends that the perceived differences between men and women are ultimately a social construction, and that socially and politically, men and women want the same things.

In 2002, author Julia T. Wood published a critical response to the portrayal of the genders in Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.

In the first chapter of 2003 book The Essential Difference, Simon Baron-Cohen compares with Gray's bestseller and states: "the view that men are from Mars and women Venus paints the differences between the two sexes as too extreme. The two sexes are different, but are not so different that we cannot understand each other." In 2004 Erina MacGeorge, a Purdue University communication professor, said that based on research she conducted using questionnaires and interviews, men and women are not so different and "books like John Gray's Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus and Deborah Tannen's You Just Don't Understand tell men that being masculine means dismissing feelings and downplaying problems (which many men themselves that read the book disagree with). That isn't what most men do, and it isn't good for either men or women."

A study by Bobbi Carothers and Harry Reis involving over 13,000 individuals found that on most psychological characteristics or tendencies, including the Big Five personality traits as well as sex-related questions like rating level of desire for casual sex, there was not a taxonomic difference between men and women on the vast majority of personality traits and preferences. Despite there being differences in averages by gender, the distributions overlapped so much that a taxonomy distinction was not meaningful.

"Thus, contrary to the assertions of pop psychology titles like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, it is untrue that men and women think about their relationships in qualitatively different ways." There were notable taxonomic differences on physical attributes and measurements of physical strength

Yes, you're correct, I'm speaking from an American perspective. I use the term "modern women" because they are separating themselves from the "traditional woman" like many other parts of the world.

As far as the framing, the conversation of men and women I believe is actually important to speak about the generalities, especially when it comes to dating. I think too many women operate on "what could happen" or asking for the rarity of a situation instead of looking at the statistic probability of them getting what they want. What is possible and what is likely to happen are 2 different things.

Generally speaking, men want certain things & generally women want certain things when it comes to dating because it is also linked to biology. Gender politics is political is not based on biology, matter of fact, it's based more on social constructs and reframing biological commonalities as being socially constructed.

@BlackoutNJ "Generally speaking, men want certain things & generally women want certain things when it comes to dating because it is also linked to biology."

That was the point I was trying to make , actually. In other words , in general, it's best to avoid generalizations because what is most personal, is most general.

I'm not an American, which means I have a perspective of an outsider, and looking at America its hard to escape the tenancy to make everything a binary choice, except number of genders off course.

Republican vs Democrat. Capitalism vs Socialism/communism. Liberal vs Conservative. Men vs Women.

I hate to say it, but it has dumped down the conversation to the point of primal tribalism. All the nuance is gone. No shades of gray and no individual thinking.

I know you have noticed this problem yourself because in your profile bellow the article you write: "Former Liberal, present day free thinker. Believer of equality of thought, free speech and open conversations. Proud American that prefers to be judged by character over skin."

And yes Ironically, you have chose to not extend the same curtsy to wide variety of individuals found in the groups of men and women, respectively.

Yes I agree with you that; "Gender politics is political is not based on biology, matter of fact, it's based more on social constructs and reframing biological commonalities as being socially constructed."

But instead of doing the same only in reverse by placing everything on biology, why not combine the both social, biological and personal choices of the individuals. I'm sure you are not like all men, and would not like to be only explained as a man, you are after all an individual who happens to be male.

When you write your article you generalize almost as a way to provide counter argument to the gender politics you reject, rather than to describe the nature of the problem in more realistic terms.

I'm not saying that stereotypes are wrong, on the contrary they are often correct because they draw on the averages observed by various people, but I think the complexities of the interpersonal relationships and romantic ones in particular are far more nuanced than your article suggests. And probably deserve more respect for the individuals involved, leaving gender politics to the feminists. After all what better way to pointed out the flaws of the so called gender politics than to point point out that we are individuals and we vary quite a bit between our respective genders as much as among them.

Hell, you take two brothers, both male and of the same parents, and just look how different they can be. Yes they are both males and even brothers, but its only one among many defining feature they posses. You give them both same kind of women, hypothetically, and I am willing to bet you would come out with different outcomes. Because , realistically they are not just two males, they are two individual males. Same biological needs, same emotional needs, but different psychologically in the way they try to fulfill them.

To me it seems part of the problem for why there is a crisis in American society is the lack of nuance and pressure to argue about everything in a binary way, leading to forced tribalism and consequential division on the society.

I agree with your basic premise, however personally, I would like to see more nuance in the conversation.

But that is just my 2 cents.

Cheers!

@Krunoslav I hear what you're saying but the problem is that when it comes to the topic of relationships & the dynamics between men and women, I think operating on the general leads people to better success. Think of it like "what is more likely" when it comes to dating & relationships.

If you're a man, by improving yourself, you'll have a higher likeliness of having a successful relationship versus hoping that you will find a hot woman that will accept a lower quality man. It's about increasing your probability for success and this is normal.

@BlackoutNJ "I hear what you're saying but the problem is that when it comes to the topic of relationships & the dynamics between men and women, I think operating on the general leads people to better success."

Does it have to be so exclusionary? Why does it have to be generalization or nothing. Can't it be generalization as rough guideline and individual approach for most of it.

", I think operating on the general leads people to better success."

Does it? As I've said, what is most general is the most personal.

To be fair, in a "traditional society" that is constructed on the needs you referring to, society that operates in all aspects of social life, from school., pop culture, religion etc to support those needs than yes, you can outsource lot of it, to society at large. Off course if you were living in a traditional society you would not be writing the article in the first place. There would be no need for it.

In a "modern society" which does not support those general needs you are referring to, trying to act "traditionally" means going against the new orthodoxy and trying to outsource the nuanced aspects of what does it mean to be a man, as it were, becomes a lot more difficult.

One is born a male, but one learns to become a man. If the society does not help in that process or the parents do not provide guidance and model for it, which is often not the case anymore in America, than one must ask oneself , what does it mean to be a man? Not a male, but a man? It is not an automatic answer and especially not when all the societal signals are opposite of what both of us think men need.

You know better than myself the problem of fatherless generation, especially among the black community in USA. Act like a man? Sounds nice, but is it really that obvious and automatic for boys who see strange and conflicting signals in the society and in their immediate surroundings? I don't think it is, and in order to cope with that many develop all kinds of ways to deal with it. Some more successful than others. This creates complicated individuals that are far from uniformed and same can be said for women trying to full fill their role in the society and still do it in their own way.

@Krunoslav I think you might be stuck on the word generalization. What I simply mean is that focusing on what is likely to happen.

If you want certain outcomes, let's talk about what is more likely to work out in their favor. The general, meaning the more likely, will work out for you than expecting the rarity to work in your favor. Human psychology is more predictable than you think and so is male to female dynamics when you really watch it. It's predictable because there are general understandings for them. Of course, everyone is different & if you're presented with the outlier, treat it that way but on the initial interaction for dating/relationships, it's important to understand what is more likely to happen & more likely to work to your advantage.

@BlackoutNJ Fair enough. Overall I think we agree on intentions, just not the methods of assessment.

As for predictability of human psychology, its a common attempt to once again generalize about people in order to "predict" outcomes, especially true in sales culture, but historically, it has been the case, that such predictions had a poor success rate long term. Mainly because once you change behaviors based on averages of the past, you often assume it will continue to remain stable and people won't adopt or change their behaviors. But people predictably, I would say, do change their behavior to meet the new challenges and that puts the whole "humans are predictable" model under stress. That is why central planing models , don't work so well.

Historically it has been the case that when society adopts itself to human nature, than people thrive and are most stable in their behavior. When society forces human nature to adopt to it, than all hell breaks lose because predictably humans are trying to get back to its roots. The unpredictable factor is how the individuals go about doing that. And that is why looking at people on individual level , as hard as it is, remains to be important.

Like I said, overall I think we agree on intentions, just not the methods of assessment.

Cheers!

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