The Thorniest Subject Of All?! On Men and Women (gulp...)

Written by: Miri
June 6, 2022

As I spend a lot of time in particularly far-flung outposts of the Wild West Web (e.g., delving deeply into comments' threads on contentious posts), I often see a comment that intrigues my interest, and warrants a more comprehensive response than can be delivered via an FB comment on a phone (not least because my dire eyesight means I always make typos when I type on a phone, and recognising these later prompts something quite close to a full-blown existential crisis, as I am confronted with the notion that I am an illiterate fraud with no business plying any sort of a trade as a writer... what's the meaning of it all... life is so full of irresolvable, senseless suffering! Yes, all that because I wrote "theee" rather than "these" in a recent comment).

Anyway: I wrote a post recently mentioning I had received a new book, a treatise against the sexual revolution, not written by a stuffy old reactionary, but by a 30-year-old feminist. I explained that, while I agreed with much of what this author was saying, in terms of the harms done by an overly "pornified" culture, there was nevertheless an obvious "Handmaid's Tale" style agenda behind it (remember the book written by Serena Joy, shortly before the formation of Gilead).

Although I wasn't really making an argument for or against the sexual revolution (I was just focusing on the agenda of the book), a regular commentator wrote to defend it, and to say that it had in general improved things for women. I said that was so in some cases, but not in others, especially more recently, and linked to an excerpt from the author's book to corroborate what I meant. The author of the original comment replied:

"It’s always been the same. It’s a meat market out there and men want what they cannot have. This is the true banality of reality. By the time women have understood male psychology, it’s too late. Marriage is a trap for women and they are still being fed the same romantic bullshit in spite of the reality of porn and men’s sexual nature. I no longer believe love exists between men and women, it so quickly evaporates under stress. There are financial and domestic, and sexual arrangements. Love is what we feel for our children and trees and flowers and the beauty of the universe."

I feel there's a lot to unpack here, so we will address the various assertions one by one.

Well, I think the first point to address is the notion that "it's always been the same". In fact, it hasn't, and multiple very varying and diverse approaches to male-female relationships have been tried historically and all over the world. They still are today. Some societies are very rigid and conservative, and believe women should only have relationships with men they are related to (husbands, fathers, brothers, sons), and even cover themselves up from head to toe whilst out in public, lest they attract the attention of any other men. Some other societies are very liberal, and believe there should be no particular rules about how the sexes interact, and everyone should just do what is right for them.

We can argue the toss all day about the benefits or disadvantages of such arrangements, but what we can agree on is that these approaches to relationships are not the same, and so the people who engage in them are not the same, either. A Western, liberal man is a VERY different creature to an Afghani, conservative one, even if they might have some overall similarities (as all human beings do).

Women often say "men are all the same". Well, in some respects, yes. Just as in some respects "women are all the same" (but I guess that's fighting talk these days, as it means defining what a woman is).

All men have XY chromosomes. All men are not women.

However, beyond that, there is no sweeping generalisation you can make about 3.5 billion people.

You cannot use a small minority of toxic men as a standard by which to judge all men, nor to insinuate there is something fundamentally evil - and oppressive to women - about male psychology. In a sexually dimorphous species such as ours, the sexes are designed to complement each other, not to mortally threaten or oppress each other, because that would make no sense and doom the species to extinction. There are oppressive relationships. There are oppressive people (an equal proportion of male and female ones, in my experience). But neither sex is fundamentally wired to behave in a way that is overtly hostile or destructive to the other. As with any other species that pair-bonds, we are designed to help each other. To support each other. To do what the other cannot.

Very evolved societies have recognised this, but ours, unfortunately, is not one of them. Rather, our modern, liberal society has pitted the sexes against each other, because this is the ultimate in divide and conquer - to turn the world's most natural allies, men and women, into warring factions out to destroy each other. What could be better for cackling psychopaths and radical depopulationists, than a war that severs the most fundamental union and building block of society - the relationship between men and women?

So now we have MGTOW and MRAs, versus rad fems and #MeToos, outlining all the multiple and myriad ways in which the other sex is toxic and evil, thus giving the ruling classes exactly what they want: war, disharmony, and division. Of course, both men and women are capable of behaving in appalling, destructive ways, and of course - given various physiological and neurological differences - they tend to express their destructive sides in different ways. Men are more likely to be physically abusive. Women are more likely to be psychologically abusive. Abusive men are more likely to abuse women. Abusive women are more likely to abuse children. There are no heroes or winners here. Abuse is abuse, and abusive women are no better than abusive men (and there are just as many of each). I'm not interested in any soundbites or statistics trying to paint one as worse than the other, as all stats can be cherry-picked to confirm existing biases. Anybody who has lived in the world and is honest with themselves knows there are just as many toxic women as toxic men, and vice versa,

The problem is not any inherent, inborn problem with men or women, rather, it's that modern culture has been designed in such a way as to sponsor and encourage some of the worst gender-based behaviours in both sexes, and - it seems hardly worth clarifying, so obvious it is, but - this is by design. There are ways to structure a society that bring out the best in both sexes, and ways to do the opposite. Our social controllers know this. If you're committed to total social annihilation and mass depopulation, as of course they are, the first thing you strike at is loving, supportive, committed relationships between men and women.

The comment I quoted stated that the author "does not believe love exists" between men and women.

Of course, I don't agree with this, but at the same time, it depends what you mean by 'love'. In the modern age, we have been conditioned to conflate it with romantic infatuation and lust. That's what all the "love songs" are about. That's what "waiting for the one" refers to. That fairly short-lived, but very compelling, burst of attraction human beings are designed to feel when they first meet someone they are genetically compatible with. I'm sorry to reduce it to that, which I know isn't too "romantic", but that's often what those powerful feelings of overwhelming attraction come down to - your very clever body registering that this person is a good genetic and immunological match: that you would be likely to conceive strong, healthy children with a high chance of survival. That's why these feelings tend to be the strongest when you are younger and more fertile, and gradually become less intense as you age.

This may not apply to everyone, but it does to most. Yes, of course people sometimes develop these feelings for others when there is no possibility of reproduction occurring, but to extrapolate from this that reproductive potential plays no role in sexual attraction at all, would be a colossal misnomer. To underscore this, there is compelling evidence to show, for instance, that being on the pill - making a woman effectively infertile - profoundly changes her attraction patterns to men - and that men in strip clubs tip less generously women taking the pill, and women who are in less fertile stages of their cycle. The ethics of strip clubs aside, this shows us just how intensely we are influenced by hormones and fertility, whether or not we know it.

So we can conclude that this kind of powerful chemical attraction is real and it's important: that strong romantic feelings ("in love") are an important stage in a relationship, as they powerfully propel people towards each other and help to create a strong bond. But on their own, they're not enough. If that's all a relationship is based on, it is doomed to fail after these feelings wear off, which they always inevitably do (they are designed to). These strong feelings, which have a clear neurological and hormonal basis, are designed to last around three years, give or take - which, from an evolutionary perspective, is enough time for a couple to meet, mate, produce a child, and get it through the most dangerous period of early infancy.

With no social restraints or cultural cues, then most human beings, left to their own devices, would split up at the 3-5 year mark, and go off to find another partner to recreate those strong, intoxicating early bonding hormones with. Evidence suggests this is what happened in very early human societies, where humans were nomads, wandering from place to place to find food, and with no coherent culture or ideas of "civilisation".

So you might say that kind of approach to relationships is "natural". But you might also say, so is being nomadic, dressing in leaves, being illiterate, and living in a cave. "Natural" doesn't always equal optimal or desirable. What distinguishes human beings from other animals is that we are able to harness and overcome various aspects of our "nature", if we perceive there is some wider or higher benefit to doing so. While you can never "cure" a cat of its nature to hunt mice, no matter how many hearty meals you feed it, human beings are different: we can and we do rise above certain aspects of our nature - our 'animal instincts', if you will - to attain higher goals or purposes.

So this begs the question of, why did monogamous, long-term relationships develop, if they are not "natural"? It's pretty simple: social architects discovered that they are by far the best model for stabilising a society and allowing that society to advance as far as possible. Every other possible permutation of male-female relationships has been tried (polygamy, polyandry, etc.), and none work nearly as well in terms of social outcomes. Societies that are based on long-term, monogamous relationships are more prosperous, more productive, happier, and have less in the way of crime and disorder. (Need I really qualify that, by observing these trends, I'm not saying EVERY long-term, monogamous relationship is wonderful, nor that EVERY person must engage in one. I'm simply observing general. evidence-based, sociological trends, and for that, you have to speak in generalities, not exceptions.)

This has been found again and again, in all societies across the world, both liberal and conservative, secular and religious. There is a misnomer about long-term monogamy, that it is a religious superstition forced by the Church, but in fact, monogamous relationships existed before the Church did - religions simply saw the immense social benefits monogamy afforded, and therefore adopted it as a central tenet.

The point here, then, is what makes long-term monogamy possible, if the "in love" feelings wear off fairly rapidly? What makes it possible is being, not just a genetic and immunological match with someone, but being a character match as well. That doesn't mean you must have similar "interests" - it's not a problem if he's a football fanatic and she can't stand sport - it means that you have compatible moral preferences and values: that you agree on what's really important in life. That you get on and enjoy one another's company, and that - even if you weren't attracted to this person - you would still want to be friends. A *lot* of couples quite clearly aren't friends and never were - they would not have had anything to do with each other were it not for the physical attraction, and that is not the basis for a lasting, fulfilling relationship.

Obviously, though, it can be hard to determine all of the above when you're under the influence of the heady hormonal cocktail that characterises "in love" (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin), and so, modern culture has weaponised that, by encouraging people to concentrate solely on these powerful, yet transient, feelings ("listen to your heart" etc.), and to put little or no emphasis on "unromantic" practicalities, such as, "what does this person really believe in? What do they think about the most profound issues that are really important to me? How would they react in such-and-such challenging situation?"

It's amazing how many people will go so far as to move in together or even get married, without addressing such fundamental questions as, does the other person what children? If not, what would we do in the event of an unplanned pregnancy? What is their attitude to shared finances and who has responsibility for what? What contribution do they want to make to cooking and cleaning? And so on. "Love" (romantic infatuation) is supposed to conquer all, and of course, it doesn't.

The love crooned about in the love songs is only about one type of, pretty short-lived, emotional state, and the modern approach to forming relationships fails to take into account all the other stages that follow it. There's nothing wrong with valuing and appreciating the "in love" stage, just as there's nothing wrong with valuing and appreciating how cute babies are - but we don't expect them to stay babies for long, or abandon them once they become toddlers, children, teenagers. It's the same with a relationship - it goes through stages, and each is different to the last, not better than or worse than.

If people are genuinely committed to each other, want the best for each other, and value each other as friends and allies, then isn't that love, every bit as much as powerful and valuable as "in love" is? I think the answer is obvious, and I know of several long-term couples who clearly adore and appreciate each other in this way = despite some of them having been through some of the worst challenges imaginable, such as the death of a child. Many relationships may crumble under such extreme stress, but not all do - it depends on the level of commitment: some people pledge "for better or for worse" and mean it.

"Well, I did mean it," some might say. "And my partner left me." That is sad and unfortunately, these days, common - but that doesn't mean every member of the gender in question is like that.

I really don't like any attitude that demonises whole groups of people based on factors beyond their control (such as whether they are a man or a woman), and creates an "apex fallacy" based around the worst behaviour of a toxic minority, and then applies that to all members of that group. Both men and women are capable of doing this about the opposite sex.

Men, we are told, are "only interested in one thing". They are liars. They are cheats. They're all the same.

Well, obviously, the same could be said for women, and by their critics, it is. Women are all gold-diggers. They're backstabbers. They trick men into pregnancy to trap them. They're all the same.

Does either of those descriptions ring true for all men / women you know? Men, does that accurately describe your daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, female friends? Women, does that accurately describe your sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, male friends?

Obviously not. It's an absurd assault to tar billions of people with the same brush because of the poor behaviour of a minority few. I understand that people who mischaracterise the opposite sex in this way have been badly hurt by them and I'm genuinely sympathetic to that (since, as I say, this culture enables and applauds some of the worst sex-based behaviours in both genders) - but imagine if I was badly hurt by a black person or a Muslim person, and used that as a basis for a prejudice against all several billion of them? It's just the same.

Another rather obvious problem with demonising the opposite sex is that, if you have children, there's a 50% chance your child will be of the opposite sex. So what are you going to tell them: that they are 'born evil' because of their chromosomal arrangements?

There's nothing fundamentally bad or devious or evil about either male OR female psychology. There are just toxic people, and their gender can influence how that toxicity is expressed.

The central issue, I think is that modern culture encourages us to dramatically overestimate inborn traits - the whole "born this way" movement - when, in fact, the evidence for genetic determinism (that your genes 'make' you behave a certain way) is effectively zero. Your genes can predispose you to certain things, but in almost all cases, you must have the environmental trigger for it to be expressed.

Human babies are born with, at best, 25% of their brains formed. The brain has not finished development until around the age of 25, and determining someone's adult character is profoundly dependent on what happens to them in early childhood - the first seven years, and especially the first three. Many pathologies and disorders can be traced back to those first three years, and the traumas and neglects the infant might have experienced.

So, extrapolating from this, can you have an "evil baby"? The answer is no. Even though there is some biological basis for psychopathy that appears to be inborn, to express in socially destructive ways (violence, abuse), it must be triggered by environment. There was a very interesting study done several years ago, where researchers studied the brains of incarcerated psychopaths, and found a similar anomaly in all of them. Keen to show this was the biological, "born this way" basis for psychopathy, they asked a few fellow academic researchers to volunteer their own brain scans, as control "normal" brains. Whilst 9 out of 10 of their colleagues brains were indeed "normal", one was not. He displayed the same abnormality as the convicted psychopaths.

Yet this man was an accomplished pillar of the community, with a great job and loving wife and family. He had no criminal record or evidence of anti-social behaviour.

Intrigued by these findings, the man in question presented them to his family and asked them what they thought.

"In the nicest possible way, darling," said his wife. "I'm not surprised."

"Nor are we," agreed the children vigorously.

Because although this man had never acted abusively towards them and had done his best to provide a stable, nurturing environment, all his family felt there was something 'off' about him, a certain detachment and empathy deficit that was tangible.

When his parents were consulted, they said the same thing. That they had noticed in his earliest childhood that he wasn't as sociable and friendly as their other children. Worried that something might be amiss, they were as careful as possible to give him an optimally loving, stable childhood, and he was lucky enough to have experienced no significant dramas or traumas in his upbringing.

The researchers behind the study concluded that was the key. All the convicted, violent psychopaths they'd studied had had horrific, abusive childhoods, which had triggered their psychopathy to thrive. Whereas the man with the same fundamental wiring, but who had enjoyed a loving, nurturing childhood, didn't go on to be destructive. This demonstrates that, even if we are born with certain tendencies or predispositions, environment and nurture are so powerful, they can effectively override them. Indeed, the brains of abused children and non-abused children look distinctly different, and one would no doubt find the same, if you looked at abusive and non-abusive adults. That's not evidence they were "born" with abusive brains, rather that early abuse they experienced themselves changed the way their brains worked and predisposed them to being abusive themselves (the phenomenon known as the cycle of abuse). Neuroplasticity is a real, and very powerful phenomenon, with the brains of growing children being particularly "plastic". Hence the well-known (Aristotelian) quote, "give me the child until the age of seven, and I will give you the man".

The point here is that, early environment is so powerful and important that, if you wanted to create a society full of healthy, sane, non-abusive men and women, then - regardless of any gene or gender based predispositions they might have - there are tried and tested, time-honoured ways of doing that.

If, conversely, you wanted a society of destructive, lost, potentially abusive degenerates, there are ways of doing that, too - and our society has become the past master. With the kind of ubiquitous indoctrination and harmful messaging children are targeted with from the day they are born and then every other day of their lives, via the media, schools, peers, and cultural institutions ("welcome to the world, baby! Here, let me inject you with a boatload of black-box toxins [the so-called "vitamin K shot" given to new-borns] and rub poison in your eyes!"), the surprising thing isn't that there are a lot of deeply destructive people - it's that there are any at all who are not.

But there are - a lot of them! And that is testimony to the fortitude of the human character; that even under immense pressure, many people are strong enough to remain decent, caring, well-meaning people (of course, nobody is perfect, and no relationship is perfect: we all hurt others at some point, and they will hurt us, too. It's how we respond to and resolve these hurts that is the ultimate determinant of a relationship's longevity. Some are irresolvable. Many are not).

Supposedly radical sex wars and demonising the opposite sex has got tired and old. Want to be really radical, really subversive, and really give the establishment what they don't want? Then start promoting unification and understanding between the sexes, and yes, even (I'm slightly prejudiced against this word because of its, "... and light" connotations, but) - actual, genuine, love.

Wow, maybe I'm a hippy at heart, after all... (I do like flares...).

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3 comments on “The Thorniest Subject Of All?! On Men and Women (gulp...)”

  1. This piece is such a splendidly perceptive thesis outlining the reality of male and female psychology! You seem to be consistently very good at that Miri. I love your work.

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