The Misogynist for the New Century
Those who know me well already understand I do not have a particularly high opinion about women. According to the dictionary definitions, a misanthrope with a particularly ill feeling toward women can be considered a misogynist. For a portrait of an individual afflicted with this particular syndrome, see Moliere's "The Misanthrope."
I am probably a misogynist -- even though I happen to be married. Having said this I do not feel as if a woman should be stoned to death (Taliban-style) for a minor infraction (in their culture), but I'm just not fond of their basic priorities in the American way of life.
Throughout this piece I will be speaking in the vernacular, so please bear this in mind.
Primary Drives and Motivations of Woman
Women under 50 have two basic drives: (1) living as high up the hog as possible; and (2) having babies, if they should be so inclined. Women enjoy a handsome-looking man but would dump him in a second for a sugar daddy that can dress them in diamonds. Even women who are "in love" wouldn't shed a genuine tear over dropping someone if a better (richer) offer were to come along.
Most women have two primary motivations: (1) nest-building (i.e., building the biggest, most lavish and safest nest they can manage to obtain; and (2) securing a provider who can treat them like queens.
My Home, My Castle
No Chopin, no Rachmaninov
It isn't just by accident or social protocols that throughout our history the greatest poets, novelists, musical composers and screenwriters have all been men. I do not disagree with women who like to bring up the double-standards that has existed, but as a response I have to say that (over the course of centuries) this inequality of the sexes is a really a lame excuse.
We're all familiar with the fact that Mozart died a pauper, but who would we compare him to on the side of the female gender? Where do we go to read the literary comparatives to Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky Dickens, Hemingway, Joyce? Where are the female equivalents of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Franz List, Bruckner, Wagner, J.S. Bach, or Gustav Mahler? Nowhere is there the equivalent of a Renoir, Degas, Monet, Botticelli, Van Gogh. Nowhere is there the equivalent of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Plato, Aristotle, or a Pythagoras, Archimedes, Newton, Galileo.
But, strangely, long after the Renaissance we find actresses who are as fine in their performances as any male actor. Female operatic singers could make a name for themselves. So, why this disparity? Can it truly all be put aside due to social mores?
Would it be fair to say that men have an overpowering romantic streak whereas women have a weak one? While a man is lost in the sparkle of a woman's eye, the object of his enchantment is assessing his attire, the cut of his hair, the color of his teeth, his automobile, the value of his apartment or house. While a man can be consumed with the desire to kiss the object of his attraction, she will be estimating his net worth after taxes.
On an evolutionary level, both levels of evaluation serve their purpose. While Wilma Flintstone may spend four minutes assessing whether the male specimen before her is physically worthy of contributing the genetic material for a child, she is spending the rest of the time mulling practical matters like a prenuptial agreement and whether she would feel secure with the provisions that this potential partner may have to offer. Meanwhile Fred is still fixated on such fundamentals as how to get Wilma in the sack (assuming he is attracted to her).
And so the dance of life has gone on for at least the last 20,000 years.
Although I can see the necessity of at least one member of the couple to focus on practical matters such as nest building and having someone provide for the family, we see that this basic instinct has gotten out of hand. I have seen so many gold-diggers and sugar daddies that I'd like to regurgitate. I'm not any kind of prude, but I see the whole arrangement as a kind of whoring. The males use their wealth to essentially buy a trophy wife/girlfriend. The females use their sex appeal to draw the moth to the flame. They use their bodies to draw in the biggest moths possible. They care little or nothing about the male himself, as long as he possesses all the accoutrements to make his counterpart feel as if she is living in Eden.
Do Women Even Know How to Love?
I sometimes wonder if women even have the capacity of selfless love. When a man loses his wife, he is devastated because he is forced to go forward without the love he thought he was obtaining. When a woman loses a husband, she is devastated because she is forced to go forward wondering how she can maintain her standard of living minus $100K (or whatever). While the male's grief is centered around the object of his loss, the female's grief is centered around a materialistic loss. While I fully understand the practical value of what a woman experiences, it is also revolting to me.
A man becomes attached to his partner in a physical way -- her arms, her legs, her face, her neck, even the sound of her breath. On the other side of the coin we have women who are attached to their material possessions. At the funeral she will be thinking "If I sell all my jewelry, how long will that support me and my son, Tubby?" Perhaps, you think, women love one way toward their husbands and differently toward their children. I don't think there is a great difference. A previous wife of mine said that she felt our children were "appendages" of herself. I shivered when I heard this.
I am, of course, interested in any and all feedback, but I do not need to be reminded that there are exceptions to the stereotypes I've drawn. Both genders are far too varied and complex to lump either of them under a single tent and proclaim them to be all the same.
I recognize the contributions that women have made to the arts, science and philosophy -- even if they seem to be the exception, not the norm. Other than recognizing that there are significant evolutionary advantages to having this disparity of qualifying/disqualifying a potential mate, I haven't a clue why the genders should use such different measuring sticks.
I believe the disparity in summing up the value of him/her is a rather sad feature. On the male side, he is programmed to link up with the most good looking mate as possible. This is sad because there are many women who would enjoy a relationship but don't get one based solely on their appearance. On the female side, she is programmed to link up with the most prosperous male possible. This is sad because there are many men would enjoy a relationship but don't get one based solely on their lack of wealth.
Naturally, being male, I side with the male's perspective.
Percy Sledge summed it up very neatly in his song "When a Man Loves a Woman."
When a man loves a woman
Can't keep his mind on nothing else
He'll trade the world
For the good thing he's found
If she's bad he can't see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put her down
When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
Tryin' to hold on to what he needs
He'd give up all his comfort
Sleep out in the rain
If she said that's the way it ought to be
Well, this man loves a woman
I gave you everything I had
Tryin' to hold on to your precious love
Baby, please don't treat me bad
When a man loves a woman
Down deep in his soul
She can bring him such misery
If she plays him for a fool
He's the last one to know
Lovin' eyes can't ever see
When a man loves a woman
He can do no wrong
He can never own some other girl
Yes when a man loves a woman
I know exactly how he feels
'Cause baby, baby, baby, you're my world...