I was instantly pissed-off. Thanks to my sports training, however, it having taught me to keep my emotions in-check and to conceal my feelings, I sat thinly grinning, as if the whole thing was lighthearted and funny, and a joke at my expense.
Only, it wasn’t a joke. It was a purposeful attack, a means to a desired end. Something you learn through experience, which, like most men, I have plenty of with the matter. And able to recognize the attack, I was pissed-off.
So what pissed me off?
In polite conversation with a group of women at dinner, I casually pointed out that the cheerleaders at the local high school had made the newspaper. I related the story briefly, then made the fatal mistake modern men make. I said the cheerleaders were all “cute.”
Not “really attractive.”
No sexy eye-brow shuffle.
No lewd inflection in my voice.
No sexual connotation at all.
Just a bright and sunny, “cute.”
As with every occasion this sort of thing occurs, which are plenteous in a man’s life, I wished I hadn’t used any descriptive at all. I wish I had just said, “The local cheerleaders made the newspaper—good for them.” And left it at that. Better still, I wish I hadn’t said anything at all. But then, not saying anything at all, I’m pissed off at the control over what I say, and my life.
Wishing aside, I had used a descriptive—cute. A term I had cautiously chosen for its implied innocence, and for it sounding complimentary and asexual, and for it seeming a wholesome word that wouldn’t invite a sexual criticism or accusation—all this a load of tactical and preventative cerebral work I severely resent having to do, by the way, and work that decent, upstanding men should not have to do.
Nevertheless. In my assumptions, I was wrong.
Immediately after the “cute” comment, it was said, “Um, those girls are, like, your daughter’s age.” The toney comment was accompanied by an expression of disgust, not to mention equally disgusted glares from every woman at the table, as if I were creepy for pointing out that high school cheerleaders were … “cute.”
“I just thought it was cool they made the paper,” I said thinly grinning, my athletic training demonstrating its long term value.
Skilled though I was at remaining cool in this particular situation, there is an implication when women say, “Um, those girls are, like, your daughter’s age.”
What are women saying?
Basically, they’re saying I’m some sort of old creeper taking inappropriate sexual notice of young, innocent high school girls. Although, from the stories I hear about young high school girls, and given the growing teen pregnancy rate, I’m not sure how innocent.
In fact, I have my own adolescent history with young teenage girls. When their fathers would give me the date talk about their daughter’s virtue, and about keeping my hands to myself, I often sat thinking, “Yeah, well. You ought to have this talk with Ms. Virtue!”
Pulling out of the neighborhood, those virtuous daughters were, well, not so virtuous.
“But you’re dad just said …” I’d say futilely, prying their respective hands from my crotch.
Such is life for men when they begin taking an interest in the opposite sex. It’s assumed they’re the immoral villains.
My traumatic experiences aside, the young cheerleaders I had spoken of were, indeed, all attractive—as are all cheerleaders, typically. Yet, I’d had no such implied sexual thoughts toward them.
So basically, the implication and subsequent accusation aren’t true. It is, in fact, an unsubstantiated charge based solely on an innocuous, wholesome, cautiously selected and assumed-to-be inoffensive term—cute.
Yet, when group of women all glare at you as if you’re disgustingly creepy, the accusation not only feels substantiated, but awful, too. Unprepared and accused, your thrust into an uncomfortable position of creepery from which only your sport’s training can rescue you.
The point is I resent such accusations; they piss me off. Although, I wasn’t always pissed-off by them. Inexperienced, such accusations initially unnerved me. Why? Because being called a pedophile, essentially, isn’t a characterization I or any man relishes. It was only when I realized I was being purposefully accused—by the equally guilty, no less! More on that shortly—that the unnerved feeling gave way to pissed-off irritation.
Hence, is it any wonder I don’t like talking to women? More to the point, is it any wonder men don’t like talking to women? I mean, as a man you’re but one cautiously selected descriptive from being unfairly criticized and accused, and from unnerving implications of creepery.
In controlling men in the modern era, criticism and accusation—one in the same, actually—are the female tools of both choice and convenience. And women, both at a friendly dinner, but particularly those in relationships with men, have no hesitations selectively and conveniently reaching into the man-control toolbox.
The fact is I used to enjoy talking to women, and was quite comfortable in female circles. Only, communication in those circles used to be different. One, women weren’t so angry and defensive and aggressive. And two, having yet to learn the power and convenient usefulness of criticism and accusation, they weren’t so quick to indict and condemn men, either.
Hence, men didn’t have to patrol what they said so closely in female circles, or work so hard at basic communication. Now it’s a nightmare of word-choice and impending accusation, and of wary unease and awkward discomfort. Either intended or unintended, men make one misstep and—
They’re low-life, pedophilic creepers for using the term “cute.”
Like I said, I resent such accusations, but especially so for them being issued by the equally guilty, no less. Oh yes. Women: the equally guilty.
Try this: A girl-friend, a mature woman with a husband and three adolescent children, was out running errands. Sharing the incident, she admitted noticing a group of muscular young men performing landscaping work. She confessed a sexual preference for brawny, muscular men and, indeed, to deliciously ogling the shirtless studs as she drove past.
Only, during her enchanted ogling, one of the young men turned to reveal the insignia of the local high school on his gym-shorts.
The young landscapers were on the high school wrestling team!
My mature girl-friend was ogling little boys—young, innocent, vulnerable little boys! And enjoying it!
Is she a pedophilic creeper?
Of course not. The young landscapers were buff and attractive, and it’s okay to both think and say so. The same as it’s okay to say young cheerleaders are “cute.”
So if men appreciate the attractiveness of young women, and women appreciate, er, deliciously ogle young landscapers! Then, what’s the difference?
The difference is men are accused of pedophilic creepery and women get to ogle young, innocent, buff landscapers deliciously without incident!
That’s the difference. And what a scam.
Again, women: the equally guilty. Yet, accusers of men.
Would women like being accused of pedophilia, and accused so routinely? Of course they wouldn’t. And were they accused, and accused as routinely, it wouldn’t take long for it to get old, and for women to become angry and defensive. Well, it doesn’t take long for it to get old to men, and for them to become angry and defensive, either.
Only, men don’t say anything. Relying on their sports training they just, deflect, and shut-up. Modern men are so used to being accused—by the equally guilty, no less!—about other women that they not only feel guilty. They act guilty.
Men. Eye-roll. What a bunch of suckers.
Anyway, here’s where I think strippers can help!
Strippers? You say. Yes, of course. I actually like the term erotic dancers better, but strippers has a certain, panache. A certain attractive quality I thought perhaps useful, particularly in the title.
Everything about the stripper experience is sexualized. Hence, men don’t have all the communication problems with strippers that they do with women who aren’t, um, of the pole, shall we say. Offering plenty of smiles and eye-contact, strippers make men feel good, and secure. Taking notice of men’s physiques and commenting on their fitness and appearance and attractiveness, strippers are effusively complimentary—if compensated to be so. Thus, men feel good, and are at ease with strippers. Secured by the arrangement’s warmth and acceptance, the conversation is thus easy and comforting.
No war-zone here. This is the green-zone, the safe-zone—full of friendlies!
The environment is so friendly that men can say, “Incidentally, I saw the local high school cheerleading team made the newspaper; they’re all so cute,” and strippers don’t take offense. No accusations of pedophilic creepiness, no disgusted glares. In fact, strippers advance the conversation:
“Oh, really? Cheerleaders in the paper?—that’s interesting. Do you know someone on the team?”
“No, no. I just saw them in the paper and was proud of them. Not everybody makes the paper, you know.”
“No, I guess they don’t. Nice of you to appreciate the achievements of young women, wink.”
“Why, thank you. More champagne?”
“Yes, of course. Aren’t you the gentlemen. I’m really enjoying our conversation.”
“As am I …”
See how well it works? See how easy, comfortable?
It’s a lot better than being accused and showered with disgusted creeper glares.
Women, um, not of the pole, miss the point of the stripper experience. They think it’s about the sex for men—scantily clad women accentuating their feminine assets, lap-dances in the Champagne Room, and whatnot.
It is about sex to an extent, admittedly. But it’s infinitely more about men being able to relax their guard with women and not having to be so wary. It’s about being able to think like a man, to talk like a man, to behave like a man, and about being treated like a man, and not having to work so hard at conversation. It’s about setting all the political baggage down and enjoying an open, complimentary, accusation- and glare-free exchange with the opposite sex.
The sexual aspect is actually incidental.
Here’s the point: strippers aren’t accusatory of men. They aren’t touchy about young cheerleaders or quick to condemn men of pedophilic creepery, either. And for their hospitality and understanding, strippers enjoy good, warm relations with men.
Thus, the obvious question: why don’t women take a cue from strippers and give their men the stripper treatment? Lap-dances optional, of course. Before addressing the question, let’s clear-up this cheerleader issue.
Women aren’t really touchy about younger women as it concerns men in general taking notice. Women couldn’t care less. Women are touchy about younger women as it concerns their individual men taking notice. And it isn’t just younger women that women are touchy about, either.
In regards to other women in general—whether they be old, young, cheerleaders, or strippers, the quicker women can accuse and shame their men into not taking notice of or talking about other women, the quicker women can, one, neutralize the emotional threat other women present. Two, the quicker women can assuage their sub-standard feelings of not-good-enough. And three, the quicker women can feel in control, secure, and at ease.
That’s what this cheerleader business is all about.
That’s the reasons for the creeper accusation, and for the accusations in regards to other women in general.
So now, the question: why don’t women take a cue from strippers and give their men the stripper treatment?
Answer: laziness. Relational laziness, actually.
Criticizing and accusing men, and using the tactic as a means of control, modern women have decided they don’t have to try relationally. Condemning and shaming men into compliance is much easier than actually trying to keep them through stripper-like warmth, understanding, and pleasant accommodation.
Thereto, what modern, feminist woman wants to be seen working to keep a man? What modern woman wants to be labeled a Stepford Wife, perceived as unequal and subservient and weak? And other than strippers, what modern woman wants to be seen catering to men and treating men how they like to be treated?
Why, that’s a job for those submissive, man-worshiping strippers.
Singer Janis Joplin doesn’t, er, didn’t agree. Through a rather detailed personal story, she rendered sound advice that modern women need to hear. Her rather unconventional message was: women need to try harder.
“If you’re ever gonna’ deserve it, you gotta’ work for it, baby,” she said. “What’d I tell ya’, honey, you better work your sweet ass for him.”
No doubt modern women would scoff at such ideas—performing so as to be deserving of men, working their sweet asses for them. But the fact is, strippers are doing it, and they get along with men rather well.
So instead sneering and rolling their eyes, and Hmph!-ing the ideas. Instead of reaching into the man-control toolbox and making yet another accusation—“Oh, so you’re comparing decent women to strippers?!”—and obscuring and avoiding the point. Perhaps “decent” women should study strippers and their technique.
Perhaps women should be warmer, more comforting, and try to put their men at ease more commonly.
Instead of getting themselves in a selective and pretend tizzy over the term “cute,” perhaps women should be a little less critical and accusatory.
And indeed, instead of lazily controlling men through criticism and accusation, perhaps women should try a little harder.
Relationship “experts” are prescribing date nights, the deeper expression of feelings, and journal keeping aimed at articulating those feelings so as they can be more deeply expressed.
Well, that’s not my prescription. Nor Janis’, either.
Those conventional remedies are a load of female-friendly malarkey of which neither I nor men want any part. Men only endure those sorts of things for being hostage to an unfriendly legal system that all-too-eagerly strips them of their finances and parental rights. A system presided over by a judge that only needs to hear, “He called high school cheerleaders cute, your honor,” to condemn men of creepery and to pillage the finances and deny the rights.
Hello journal keeping drudgery and the deeper expression of … feelings.
So forget the conventional therapy. Janis and I are prescribing something that works—women working their sweet asses for their men and trying harder. Not only would it solve a great many relationship problems. It would end the need for journal keeping and the deeper expression of … feelings. Ewww, yuck!
The point isn’t cheerleaders or strippers or accusatory control. It’s that women have exempted themselves from their role in making relationships work. Culturally coddled, and spoiled by the useful power of accusation, women have become relationally lazy.
It’s as if there’s a “no compete” clause written into relationships ensuring that women don’t have to compete to keep their men.
Snarling, “Well! We shouldn’t have to compete to keep our men!” is exactly what women would say, too. But, who’s responsible for that ridiculous, self-serving idea?
Oh wait, self-serving. Nevermind.
Contractually, women don’t have to cater to their men, or work to deserve them. They don’t have to be sexy or sexual. They don’t have to work their sweet asses, or seduce their men. They don’t have to be complimentary, or kindly and agreeable and interested in putting their men at ease, either.
In other words, once men are committed, women get to lay-up and don’t have to try—Um, it’s in the contract. See? Right there—paragraph B, subsection E. “No compete.” Now. If you say those cheerleaders are cute one more time, asshole …!
And the irony is women expect their men to make them feel like the Queen of the Nile.
Women don’t lose their sexual game; they abandon it. Because it’s easy to abandon it. Because their men make it easy to abandon it. And then the relationship goes south because women spend all their time jealous of other women and accusing their men—while women themselves ogle hunky landscapers!
I bet women could reclaim their sexual game and put on the charm for the hunky landscapers.
What? Don’t think it’s true? Why, never doubt me.
©JMW 2017 All Rights Reserved
New Rules: Relationship Logic for the Darkside