Note: I don’t think I’ve ever reposted a previous blog post before, but with the Christian feminist outrage over Lori Alexander’s sensible advice to young Christian women on how to compete for the best husbands I think this post from April of 2011 is worth reposting. The post itself seems to have aged quite well, but I suspect this isn’t the case for some of the links.
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Paige commented on the Doomed Harlot is a slut! post that sex positive feminists harm less attractive women by pointing out that the prettiest women don’t pay a price for promiscuity:
Alte has mentioend several times here and at her blog a very important truth when it comes to feminists and the sex-positive.
Not all women are as genetically privileged as other women. Woman A. maybe very pretty, very smart, very charming, and very accomplished. She can 1. be relatively content as a single woman and 2. probably get a man regardless of her behavior.
Woman B. is not very attractive, not very smart, and not very accomplished. Her only hope of a life outside of poverty (because she can only get a job in the service industry) is having a man to help take care of her. If she makes many poor choices it will take her out of the marriage market for all but the lowest quality men.
This is an interesting point, but I think it is even worse. Even a very pretty woman is likely to pay a price for being known as promiscuous. Commenter J mentioned how she met her husband on Susan Walsh’s post The Importance of Location in Relationship Strategy:
I was introduced to my husband in a bar at the b’day party of a friend of a friend. It was really kismet as I had never been in the bar before and hadn’t really wanted to go to the party. My husband checked out my previous history at the bar (or rather my lack thereof) with some of the regulars BEFORE he manuevered an introduction to me.
I mentioned to J on that same thread that had her husband received a different answer, she could well be posting as an unmarried woman fully convinced that her promiscuity had nothing to do with her life’s outcome:
My point was you never know who you might turn away. Had your husband received a different answer, from what he told you you wouldn’t have ever met him. Instead of a happily married mother of two wonderful sons, you could theoretically be another single woman on this board telling young women that men don’t care about your number so they may as well slut while the slutting is good. And if we hooked this alternate universe you up to a lie detector she would pass because she would have no idea that the man of her dreams had joined into another conversation instead of approaching her that otherwise uneventful day all of those years ago.
This is a point that I think nearly all sex positive feminists miss. This same topic came up in another post by Susan Walsh titled I Earned a Denunciation from NOW. Sex positive feminist commenter switchintoglide declared that her promiscuity hadn’t factored in her relationships with men (emphasis mine):
I’ve been with the same man for four years now in a mostly monogamous relationship, and I can tell you that our relationship was built on a negotiation of dreams, goals, lifestyles, cohabiting, non-monogamy/monogamy, sexual orientation/bisexuality, and all sorts of other things that arise in a long term relationship between equals. I don’t however, remember haggling over the price of my sluthood.
To explain the issue to her, I offered the following analogy:
When we bought our house it had really tacky wallpaper in the kitchen and master bath. It had been on the market for a year despite being reduced to a very attractive price compared to similar homes. My wife wouldn’t consider it at first until I explained that we could do what we wanted with those two rooms. Finally she imagined the home how we would change it and she started to really like the house. We got a great deal on the house, but we never haggled on the price of the tacky wallpaper. That would have been unkind of us. A year on the market with no offers forced the seller to first come down on the price all on their own and then accept our offer of a somewhat lower price than asking.
Women who pay a price for being perceived as promiscuous are highly unlikely to recognize that this is even happening. Furthermore, the idea that really beautiful women can get away with taking a hit to their marriage and/or relationship value only makes sense from the point of view of a less attractive woman. No matter how pretty a woman is, she is going to want the most attractive man she can get. A man whom a really pretty woman finds attractive is by definition a man with options. And men with options can afford to be choosy. As we have seen across the manosphere, alpha men are some of the most reluctant to commit to a promiscuous woman. They won’t turn down a pump and dump, but they typically don’t see promiscuous women as marriage material. The problem will seem to her that men are “afraid to commit” and need to man up. Whatever her perceived reason, a pretty woman who can’t attract the kind of man she yearns for is no less unhappy than a woman of average attractiveness in the same boat.
Clouding the issue further is the widespread misunderstanding of what drives attraction for women. The promiscuous pretty woman may ultimately settle for a guy who on paper looks perfect. He might be tall, handsome, have a great job… and be very beta. The fact that her mother and aunts all think she found a great catch doesn’t make the fact that she isn’t attracted to him any less painful. Even worse, by riding the alpha carousel she raised her required threshold for alpha much higher than it would have been. Where greater beta might have been sufficient for a woman of her beauty, she now has developed a taste for full alpha.
I thought about the phenomenon of the perfect on paper only man when reading the WSJ piece My Perfect Honeymoon (That I Spent Alone) (H/T Welmer). In that article author and feminist Jennifer Belle smugly brags about leaving her husband behind on their honeymoon:
But my passport wasn’t missing. I had wedding money and an airplane ticket. So while he stayed home and called his mother to see if she had his birth certificate and made desperate plans to join me as soon as possible, I flew to Venice.
Doing just a bit of research, I found that Ms. Belle was writing about an event which occurred nine years ago when she was 34. On paper her husband would have seemed to be a perfect catch. He had a high status job as an entertainment lawyer. Their combined status as a couple lead to the New York Times writing a two page article about their wedding. Her mother and aunts must have been proud! However, Mr. Kent’s faults from an attractiveness point of view are featured prominently in that same wedding announcement. They open the piece by poking fun at his height. He’s 5-foot-4, even when he’s claiming to be an inch taller, which he sometimes does. Even Aunt Edna must have cringed at that one. But still, a short man can do quite well if he has good enough game.
This is where it gets worse; the wedding announcement goes into detail about how he failed her shit testing on their very first date:
But when a playwright came by and offered ”money” for her to kiss his ear, she negotiated for less money to kiss the writer’s neck — and did. ”To make Andy jealous,” she said.
Mr. Krents, who friends say has always acted 20 years older than his age, became slightly unglued. ”Here we were just getting to know each other,” he said, ”and you don’t know if you’re even going to get to a second date, and here are people doing unspeakable things that you do on the fourth or fifth dates.”
That can’t have done anything good for her tingle, but it would seem she didn’t have any better options. They continued dating and then she brought him into her world:
A year later, Mr. Krents moved into Ms. Belle’s Greenwich Village apartment, where she freed the child within him, the boy who always wanted his own bulldog. They bought Sammy, a French bulldog.
I’m sure if you asked Ms. Belle, she would swear neither her sluthood nor her bitchy feminism had cost her anything when it came time to marry.
I’m also guessing she would change the subject and plug her new novel, The Seven Year Bitch.