Vox Day responds to Susan Walsh’s skepticism of female solipsism in his current post at Alpha Game. Susan poses the question:
What evidence can you offer that “female solipsism” is not just another manosphere circle jerk?
A bit later she elaborates:
I have made a habit of digging into the source of certain claims in the ‘sphere, and what I usually find is a complete absence of intellectual rigor. Instead, there is a sort of high-fiving among male bloggers on principles that are completely unsubstantiated.
Unless someone can offer me some rational explanation for saying that women are especially solipsistic, I don’t accept it.
I can empathize with Susan wanting to see hard data on this, and I would be very interested in seeing a rigorous study on this question. Unfortunately I’m not aware of any, and a quick web search didn’t help. If you know of one, please share it. Susan, Vox, and I will all be in your debt.
I see two areas where female solipsism is most obvious. The first is the tendency of women to think anything being discussed is about them personally. This can be truly ridiculous, as occurred in an exchange between my wife and another woman a few years ago at a gathering of Christian mothers. My wife mentioned reading about a school assigning inappropriate books to middle schoolers, and the other mother was very concerned about this until my wife mentioned one of the titles. It was The Electric Koolaid Acid Test, and when my wife mentioned the title the woman became very upset and said:
But I read that in college!
The woman responded emotionally as if my wife was judging her for having read the book years ago (how could my wife even have known?), and physically recoiled away from my wife. She simply couldn’t process that it wasn’t about what she personally had read 20 years ago in college and was about what schools were assigning to Jr High students today. This was in a group of women who filtered everything through whether it was “Christian” enough. Once a field trip to the local opera was discussed and deemed inappropriate because the opera didn’t have an explicitly Christian message.
The other example I see very often is the amazing lack of empathy women have for men. I’ll use an example many here are familiar with. No fault divorce and the accompanying family court process is designed to punish men who egregiously break their marriage vows. Academics admit that it is designed as a punishment for men meant to be used as a threatpoint to give wives power. Women acknowledge this at one level, because whenever a husband misbehaves the instant chorus is Take his kids and his money. That will teach him! Yet when men point out how unfair this is given that the system treats all men as if they abused/abandoned/cheated, women want proof that this isn’t fair. They can’t understand that a system which always punishes a man as if he committed something egregious is inherently unfair. Because of this, they demand proof that the amount of child support is excessive, and that the men complaining about the process don’t really deserve to be punished.
This is especially noteworthy given the differing opportunities for men and women to commit divorce theft and how our society has responded. Everyone knows the male version: Use up her youth and then divorce her and marry a younger woman. Alternately he could take on a mistress when his wife is older, making his wife the one to file for divorce. Either way the wife is most vulnerable when she is older and her husband’s SMV/MMV is relatively higher. The preferred model for women is to use a man for status (get the wedding), legitimacy (get knocked up within wedlock), and early parenting help (get the kids weaned and out of diapers), and then kick him out to collect cash and prizes while she is still young and attractive.
Given the differing strategies for men and women to commit divorce theft the timing of divorce tells us much about who is really sticking it to whom. If men are sticking it to women, we we would expect divorce rates to rise as wives entered and passed middle age. If women are sticking it to men, we would expect divorce rates to be highest when the wife has the best remarriage opportunities and to drop with her chances to remarry. We might even see a spike in divorce 5-10 years after the wedding, leaving just enough time to get junior born and out of diapers. If both men and women are sticking it to each other, we would expect to see indications of both patterns, with divorce rates dropping through a woman’s thirties before climbing again starting around age 40 or so.
The actual stats in the US and UK show that divorce is highest when the wife is young and declines the older the wife gets. Women are clearly taking advantage of their opportunity to commit divorce theft in large numbers, but almost no men are. Looking at the UK historical data, while divorce rates have exploded across the board this age based pattern was as true in the 1960s as it is today:
A somewhat different data pull demonstrates the same basic pattern for the US. While the US data in the chart below includes marriages ending due to death of the wife as well as divorce and doesn’t show the age of wife, obviously the wives are getting older as the marriage progresses (see this post for a full explanation of the chart):
Note that in the US marriage endings are most common in the second five year period. This leaves just enough time to have the kids, get them weaned and out of diapers, and discover she isn’t haaapy while she still has as much of her youth as possible. We see a similar bump in the UK divorce rate data by age above, although US divorce rates by age drop continuously both now and in 1990.
Putting this in perspective, women complained about men committing divorce theft (trading an older wife in for a younger model). Even though statistically it was extremely rare, men empathized and reworked the entire divorce process to counter just that risk. Now that men are being brutalized by that process with great regularity men are complaining to women. But women in general don’t care; if you raise the issue, all they can think of is how a man might one day do something to them. They respond emotionally, demanding proof that the men being punished don’t deserve it:
Provide stats for this or shut up. Men cheat more than women do. How do you account for that in divorces initiated by women? He breaks the contract, she files. Sounds fair to me. Yes, there are frivolous divorces, but I’d like to know what percentage of female-initiated divorces they are. I think this theme is exaggerated and overblown in the manosphere echo chamber.