Featured this Friday is an article about a woman (lesbian) journalist who takes on the disguise of a man to try to “see what life was like on the other side of the gender divide.” The results literally wrecked her. Needless to say, nearly all of her preconceptions were utterly destroyed. This starts with the undeniable observation that women in Western society are trained to identify males as dangerous, competition, or just plain creepy. I’m going to touch on three points that stuck out to me from this article.
1. Men are not pigs/ (Western) Women are not angels. Her experience with these men turned some of her long-held perceptions about men being harsh and rejecting and women being warm and welcoming upside down. Throughout the article she mentions having to realign her thinking when it comes to the nature of men. She mentions how warm, generous and welcoming they are, even after she reveals that she is a woman. “They really showed me up as being the one who was really judgmental…”
I want to point out that it’s old hat to the men in regards to what women think about them. Jim in the article states, “I think she expected to find like a bunch of guys just talking about women’s private parts and a bunch of racists and, you know. I think, kind of, that’s what she came into this thinking.” Don’t be modest Jim.
2. Westernized dating sucks. “In fact, [women] sit there and with just one word, ‘no,’ will crush someone,” she said. “[Women] don’t have to do the part where you cross the room and you go up to a stranger that you’ve never met in the middle of a room full of people and say the first words. And those first words are so hard to say without sounding like a cheeseball or sounding like a jerk.” I could write a thousand Manly Monday’s on this topic alone, but I’ll just leave it at the reaffirmation that it is -women- who decide who they shack up with, which men produce progeny and which men reap the rewards of sexual fulfillment.
So she tried online dating. “...the dates were rarely fun and that the pressure of “Ned” having to prove himself was grueling. She was surprised that many women had no interest in a soft, vulnerable man. ((Seth’s note: No shit.)) “My prejudice was that the ideal man is a woman in a man’s body. And I learned, no, that’s really not. There are a lot of women out there who really want a manly man, and they want his stoicism.” All women (even Western ones) are looking for a manly man. You should do your best to be that man, but not for these silly ringside clowns who want you to jump through hoops to meet their petty expectations.
3. Western Men are undersexed. She went to strip clubs. She describes the experience as hellish — demeaning for the strippers and even worse for the men. “I saw the men there. I saw the looks on their faces. This is not about appreciation of women, of course. It’s not about appreciation of their own sexuality. It’s about an urge and … that’s not always that pleasurable, really.” If these men had a loving wife at home and were getting some, how many of them do you think would be there at all?
In today’s hypersexualized society, men are surrounded by beautiful women in media, from advertisements, free porn on the internet and twerking dancers on TV. Even at the club, though, it’s all look and no touch and for men, who find emotional acceptance and validation through their sexual release, it cannot be anything else but “hellish” to be so close, but so far away.
“I really ran smack up against the difference between male and female sexuality. It’s that female sexuality is mental. … For a man, it’s an urge. At its core, it’s a bodily function. It’s a necessity. It’s such a powerful drive and I think because [women] don’t have testosterone in our systems, we don’t understand how hard it is. But Western women DEFINITELY have it figured out that even the sniff of a hatchet-wound will turn up droves of desperate Western men. Legendary is the promise/threat of access/denial that will keep a Western husband a subservient slave. I think that Western women definitely know “how hard it is.”
For what it’s worth, I have to applaud her on the amount of effort and candidity she shows throughout the article. It is worth reading in entirity, as there are several of her observations I could not get to for the sake of brevity. I will leave with this last, and possibly most important observation: The experience of being a Western man broke her mind.
[At the end, she] checked in to a hospital with severe depression. Identity, she concluded, was not something to play around with. She may claim it was her identity, but Dr. Seth is going to assert that it mattered more about -WHO’S- identity she was taking on rather than the fact that she was doing it at all. I can’t imagine that all of the 150 times in 18 months (about twice a week) caused her to totally lose it without identifying the totally obvious. I’m sure if she were trying to emulate a straight woman she would still be oblivious to all of the epiphanies she gleaned from her time spent in the “Man Zone”.
Ironically, Vincent said, it took experiencing life as a man for her to appreciate being a woman. “I really like being a woman. … I like it more now because I think it’s more of a privilege.”
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