By Rod Van Mechelen
Every maiden's weak and willin'/When she meets the proper villain. -- Clarence Day, Thoughts without words
Most serial killers may be men, but most women are serial wounders. -- P.C. Seldom, 1994
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - It's Friday night, and you're hurting inside. You've been dumped. Not only that, but for most of your life the opposite sex has been telling you you're sexually undesirable. Plying injury to insult, the last few members of that gender have told you they would rather wake up the victim of a gang-rape with AIDS than be seen in the most expensive restaurant with you.
Meanwhile, the women back at the office today spent the afternoon complaining because they haven't had a date in almost two weeks, and here you are, six months since your last date and a week since the last time you asked one of them to insult you, and you need to paste an I'm-a-loving-warm-hearted-guy-with-a-great-sense-of-humor look on your face and ask that woman over there to dance with you. You ask, receive the usual dour look, and turn away, the smile on your face a little lopsided but still hanging in there as you overhear her mutter to one of her girlfriends, "Can you imagine that geek thinking I would dance with him?"
Another Friday night, another insult. At the bar you buy yourself another beer and contemplate the scene as you sip your sour brew. Women, dressed to arouse lustful thoughts, posture for a favored few while playing a game on the side where they score points by deflating the already punctured egos of men whose style or average "bottom line" emasculate them in the eyes of these gold-digging gals. Not a pretty sight. Not like it was supposed to be. Not the way you expected it to be. Women weren't supposed to be mean.
Looking for love or its copulatory cousin
You turn away from the crowd, catching a glimpse of your face in the mirrored wall. The smile is gone, replaced by a face like marble that masks a terrible longing for intimacy. There was a time, you recall, when you could share your terrible pain with your buddies. But finally it got to be too much, even for that. So you buried the hurt; buried it, hid it, pretended it's not there. And now you pretend you can't feel anything, anymore.
Grimly determined to find love or its copulatory cousin, sexual affection, you fold your face into a whisper of a smile, get up and ask another woman to dance. Your heart fills with hope as she smiles back at you, her eyes twinkling. "I liked your entrance," she giggles, "now let me see your exit." With a gleeful toss of her hair, she turns away. As she does, you wonder at the coldness that seems to seep through your bones, replacing the hope for intimacy with a lust-linked desire to get even. Eyes narrowed, a knowing leer giving you an expression of false congeniality, you begin to hunt new game. A victim for a "grudge fuck."
Though many men experience such pain, most are too fine, too decent to allow such a chill nature to consume their hearts. Instead, they bank the embers of hope deep within a crucible carved hard as marble, safe and invulnerable. Pop-feminists know about this because it happens to women, too: "Women sometimes harden themselves after being hurt in love, fighting against being so vulnerable in the future." (Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress, St. Martin's Press mass market edition, 1989, Shere Hite, p 5) Incommunicative men, men with an expression like chiseled stone, often have one thing in common: they have been emotionally abused by women. Not mom, not a weak or absent father, but women their own age. And some want revenge for the games women play.
Hit and Run Lovers: The games people play
Many women play games. Like the one called "playing hard to get":
"In dealing with men, I find putting up a front works beautifully. Men still have internalized the woman as 'object of desire' that should be conquered. Keeping one step sideways of their gaze encourages pursuit, heightens the desire, the theater. If you're ready to throw it all away too soon, it's underselling yourself. Funny, but I don't mean sexually, either! Which was the commodity not long ago. When I say giving yourself away I mean psychologically, emotionally, and intellectually as well as/or sexually." -- Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress, St. Martin's Press mass market edition, 1989, Shere Hite, p 223
Women just donít get it. Dishonesty encourages dishonesty. Using "theater" to attract men encourages men not to take them seriously, but to participate in the "game," or "conquest."
The kind of men who do are those whom Carolyn Bushong, author of The Seven Dumbest Relationship Mistakes Smart People Make, calls "Hit and Run Lovers." (Woman Magazine, November 1989)
Hit and run lovers are adept at the game of romance. They have learned all the rules, know all the signals, and can rattle off line after line with a glib sincerity that makes each a monument to spontaneity as they seek to score.
Women do this too, scoring by deflating male egos. Sexual gunslingers shooting it out among themselves, never caring how many innocent bystanders they wound in the process of objectifying the opposite sex.
Rod Van Mechelen