By Rod Van Mechelen
"I find women boring because they only talk about hair, makeup, and men." - one of the women quoted in Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress, St. Martin's Press mass market edition, 1989, Shere Hite
A Sexist Truth
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - If it's not sexist to criticize men who "only want one thing," then why is it sexist to criticize women who want men who "only want one thing"? Most men think most women are boring. Strip away the provocative clothing, wash off the warpaint, rinse away the perfume and often all that's left is a boring person.
Is that sexist? Can truth be sexist?
On the whole, women are as interesting and intelligent as men. Unfortunately, their mothers, teachers and peers teach them to hide that from men. Ironically, this prevents them from ever being really interesting to men outside the context of sex. If women are dumb, then why should men be interested in them for anything else?
Pop feminists blame this on men by parroting the worn lament that men are intimidated by intelligent women. If men weren't afraid of intelligent women, they insist, then men would find women interesting as people rather than sex objects. The problem with this is, many of them confuse belligerence with intelligence. A reflection of their limited perception of masculinity.
Exaggerating Peculiar Differences
When we think about others, we often focus on and exaggerate their peculiar differences. Cartoonists express this in terms of physical characteristics: Perot's ears, Bush's forehead, Clinton's jowls. Women and men do this to one another, too. When men act out feminine behaviors, for example, they tend to overdo the limp-wrist routine. Similarly, women who think they are emulating masculine intelligence are often being merely pugnacious and rude, acting like arrogant bullies.
Few men are intimidated by powerful, intelligent women. Given the nature of the women in the male-equivalents of women's trashy romance novels, this should be obvious: Lois Lane, for example, often needed rescuing, but only because she led a life of high adventure. Similarly, Mrs. Emma Peel, from the old Avengers series, was a tremendously talented but sensual sleuth who rescued John Steed many times. Contrary to the myth, men fantasize about powerful, intelligent women, idealizing them as jungle queens, randy rocket scientists, or, like the character Vasquez in Aliens II (the actress who played the role received more fan mail than Sogourney Weaver), fun-loving fighters.
Friends and Lovers
Regardless of their sex, however, bullies can intimidate anybody. To make matters worse, men are particularly vulnerable to female bullies because they are not taught to protect themselves against women. As many women confuse bellicosity with assertive intelligence, the result is that when men shy away from their arrogance, they deny their own culpability by pinning the blame on men.
Shirking responsibility for the consequences of their own behaviors, such women cut themselves off from the possibility of relationships with men who are both friends and lovers. But aren't men to blame for this? Aren't they interested in only one thing? Nothing could be further from the truth. Most men want for lovers women who are also their friends. (Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress, St. Martin's Press mass market edition, 1989, Shere Hite p 44)
This desire is so prevalent among men that, confusing psycho-therapy with friendship, pop feminists assert men already do marry their best friends. But feigned interest is no substitute for genuine communication. Nor is the pretense of stupidity a basis for authentic affinity. Consequently, men's hope for finding romantic love and friendship in the same person often fades into a fantasy that turns into infidelity.
Ironically, most women believe they share no responsibility for this, and that's sad because you can't solve a problem you refuse to acknowledge. It's like alcoholism -- as long as the alcoholic refuses to admit she has a problem, she will remain an alcoholic.
If women want to have men in their lives who find them interesting as more than just sex objects, then they need to become sexual with men who find them interesting as more than just sex objects. They need to start making lovers out of friends.
When most women become sexual with men who are friends, they will find more of their lovers appreciating them as much for what's between their ears as for what's between their legs. Until then, many men will continue to feel that, beyond the bed, most women are boring.
2012 Olympia, Wash. - Since writing this I have had several encounters with women in positions of authority who are bullies. They confuse assertiveness and personal authority with pounding down anybody who disagrees with them. They also respond to disagreement from men with accusations of bullying and abuse. As Herb Goldberg observed, "Males learn very early in life that psychologically they will lose any confrontation with a female, because win or lose they will be labeled 'bullies.'" (The Hazards of Being Male: Surviving the Myth of Masculine Privilege)
How do you deal with women like that? The mean girls, queen bees, passive-aggressive perma-victims, narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths and women with borderline personality disorder, all of whom hate being treated like equals? In the company of men, the most effective way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them. But that doesn't work with female bullies, because then they accuse their victim(s) of abuse. How do you deal with that?
A rational society would not put up with the false accusations. It would not pretend that women never do any wrong, but would recognize that we are all human and, regardless of our sex, gender or sexual orientation, everybody is subject to the same faults and foibles. Women are neither better nor worse than men. But we don't live in a rational society. Instead, we live in a culture that places women on pedestals while pretending not to.
How I deal with the female bullies is to disconnect from them. There is no room in my life for bullies, male or female. At the same time, I point the spotlight at them. Expose them. Bullies hate being exposed. Especially bullies in political office who are maneuvering to control multi-million dollar budgets.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.