Saturday, March 29, 2014

What DO women want, anyway?

It confused the hell out of Freud, and he hated to admit not knowing stuff. Despite a lot of silly rhetoric to the contrary, they certainly don't want what men want. They mostly don't want beer, or NASCAR, or great big sandwiches with a lot of cheese on them. And, unless the feminists have really gotten to them, they don't want other women, not really. But that's an exaggeration. Women actually want some of the things that men want, and vice-versa, but definitely not in the same proportions or in the same order, or in the same way. Men and women both want status, of course, but they usually get it in quite different ways. Men get it by some kind of accomplishment — gaining power over, and/or respect from, other men, from their strength, leadership abilities, wealth, etc. Women, traditionally, derive status first from their fathers, and then from their husbands. And they enhance the status of their men in some ways, by being attractive or fertile, thus making other men envious or admiring. And they can also prove that their husband or father is powerful by being conspicuously unproductive and thereby showing he doesn't need any help. Scarlette O'Hara was considered a desirable, status-enhancing mate because she went around in a hoop skirt unable to do any work, acted giddy and idiotic, thereby demonstrating inability to do any mental work, and was pretty.

So the instincts for being Scarlette-like developed, till a woman's status was enhanced by being that way even if she didn't have a man.

All this is in introduction to an amazing post by Vulture of Critique, which shows that many kinds of female behavior that seem completely different and unrelated are in fact the exact same thing. He begins:

Richard Ford on self-crippling


More than a year ago, Richard Ford wrote:
Throughout history upper class women have demonstrated their status through self mutilation- either physical or mental as a means of demonstrating their superior status. This is always most marked in societies where a sizable minority were able to live without doing any sort of productive work. Self crippling ‘works’ as a status symbol because it demonstrates that the women who engages upon it is one of the few in her society who can make it through life in this crippled state because no work will ever be required of her.
One of the best known examples of this is the binding of women’s feet in China. This was only found among upper class women and was a way of telling the world that she would never have to do any work.
(Lots more to come, with the punch I hinted at, HERE.)
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Quibcag: The illustration is the delightful Hinagiku Katsura (桂 ヒナギク Katsura Hinagiku) from Hayate the Combat Butler (ハヤテのごとく! Hayate no Gotoku!), a wonderful girl, who demonstrates that she has healthy, attractive, non-feminist feet. I was going to use this illustration here, but I can't find out who the girl is, and besides, I decided it was just too disturbing.

3 comments:

  1. I was once told that upper-class women used arsenic to kill blood cells and make themselves pale. Later, I found it was an urban legend, but even then I understood the point: useless fluffy lapdogs.

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  2. Scrappy Scarlett was the last "man" standing among her kin, dude.

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    1. Indeed. One of the major themes of the book was her _becoming_ that person in contrast to the useless ditz she was brought up to bel.

      "Dude"? Really?

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