Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Various ideas relating to women

What this page is about

I have a lot of semi- or un-developed ideas on a variety of topics, including women. In order to bring a bit more order into these ideas, in particular to allow for a later combination of related ideas, joint evaluation, restructuring, whatnot, I have started to assemble ideas relating to women in this file. As time goes more ideas will be added, others rejected and removed, others yet developed and put on own pages, or experience other fates.

Beware that:

  1. The language, logic, and tone is often unpolished, with little diplomacy added.

  2. Not all of the below will make sense to readers in its undeveloped form.

  3. Many entries will reflect my opinion at the time of writing, possibly even a spur-of-the-moment idea, not necessarily my opinion today.

  4. Some entries indicate a direction which I consider worthy of investigation to judge its value, not a pre-formed opinion on that value.

  5. Many entries will, by their nature, be oversimplifications or only cover one particular aspect of an issue.

  6. At least some entries will be heavily influenced by statements by and opinions of US-American women. These do not necessarily always match my personal experiences; further, US-American men often remark that women in the rest of the world are less afflicted by e.g. the “princess syndrome”. Correspondingly, great care should be taken when generalizing.

  7. I occasionally make separate cautions in the entries themselves. These were typically there in the original draft of the idea, and do not imply that similar cautions do not apply to other entries. On the contrary, their absence elsewhere is often just an inconsistency in my writing.

  8. Some duplication with other texts may be present.

  9. The headings are only approximate indications of the contents.


Negative effects of being raised by women

Men who have been raised by women tend to later have problems dealing with women. Apart from the typically raised issue of lacking a male role-model, I suspect that this can largely be explained by the lack of self-perspective women have, in combination with the men not gaining a sense of what adult and normal behaviour (by a male standard) is—instead many of the idiocies women do come to be considered normal. A few of the core realizations a man needs to have had about women are that most are unfair, hypocritical, moody, over-emotional, prefer having a man in control (irrespective of own claims), are more easily won by a macho attitude than by being a nice guy, etc.—yet, very few mothers will actually tell their sons this. In contrast, they are likely to (directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously) try to push the sons into a female mind-set, world-view, etc. (Note that similar things may happen in other areas. It is e.g. reasonable to assume that a boy who spends a lot of time with women, but little with men, will copy parts of their body language, mannerisms, way of speech, and similar.)


Women tend to be more jealous than, in my impression up till recently, can be warranted. The key to understanding this is the realization that women communicate “officially” that they are much less interested in sex than men are; whereas they in reality have an interest fully comparable to, possibly even exceeding, that of men. Thus I, and many men with me, were stuck with a too low estimate of the probability that women would be involved in cheating (be it as the cheating party or as an “other woman”). Assuming a much higher probability, which the women obviously will, things fall into place.

TODO: Personal insecurity, fear of losing a partnership, etc. are likely other factors, and will affect women much more strongly than men.


It is “accepted wisdom” that men prefer women who are youthful, possibly even childlike. Usually this is explained by younger women making more suitable breeding partners. I have, however, been pondering a radically different take, namely that women, like e.g. dogs, display neotenyw—with the same purpose of increasing the chance of being taken care of, possibly in combination with a reduced risk of aggression.

This plays well into other observations, e.g. that women tend to prefer men that are older, or that some women seem to have a wish for men that have an almost paternal role in their mutual relationship. [TODO expand on this]

What it boils down to is that we have a hierarchy of maturity: men, women, children. (Note that based on my personal experiences, relationship literature, forum postings, and fictional presentations, I can but consider the common claim, made almost exclusively by women, that women are more mature than men completely disconnected with reality. TODO expand on this; in particular, how an earlier maturation correlates with a lower eventual level in animals, and women do mature faster, but to a lower level, than men.)

An alternate partial explanation (for both women and dogs) could be that their way of life simply implies that they have less need for the physical attributes of apes/wolves than men/wolves do, and that developing these attributes would cost resources that can be saved. Obviously, however, this does not explain their neotenous behavior.

TODO write (and reference) a more detailed article on how humans (in particular women) have a certain set of “built-in” reactions and wishes that need no be compatible with their intellectual wishes, and how going contrary to these may cause unhappiness or disharmony. Tie this in with damsels in distress in fiction and how this is something that appeals predominately to women, even though feminists are typically the greatest critics of the phenomenon. Arguably, the same phenomenon is behind the attraction to some basic forms of entertainment that lack in intellectual content, yet can hold an attraction even after the audience has reached a much higher degree of intellectual development (as in rice Burroughs, but note that other forms can be considered ridiculous or infantile); the main difference between an intellectual and a non-intellectual would then not be whether they appreciate a primitive form of entertainment, but to what degree more intellectual forms are appreciated and whether those are more appreciated than the lower forms.

Importance of sex/relationships to the teenage girl

One of the most interesting ways in which modern humans are caught between their evolutionary and modern roles, is the behaviour of teenagers with regard to sex and romance. Historically, the teenage years have been the time were women and, to a lesser degree, men find long-term partners, have their first children, etc. Today the situation is radically different, with a teenage pregnancy considered bad, sometimes disastrous, and teenage crushes viewed (possibly rightfully so) as the silly ideas of immature people. Obviously, this leads to conflicts between the teens and their parents, and within the teens themselves.

A specific example is the parent patronizingly explaining to a daughter that a particular event (or absence of that event) with a boy is not the end of the world, although it may seem so at the moment. The key issue here is to realize that for evolutionary reasons a very strong emotional reaction is to be expected when a teen (in particular a girl) has romantic problems. The same events (m.m.) a few thousand years ago could well have decided over who, if anyone, were to be the long-term partner. If a woman has to “settle” at sixteen today, it will only rarely determine who fathers her children—back then it did. Similarly, a woman who fails to win a partner before twenty still has plenty of chances today, but, in earlier times, could already have missed her best opportunities.

Men are and were obviously under less strict time-constraints, and are not quite as exposed to these anachronistic feelings as women are; in particular, as the building of a family is a less dominating part of their lives than in the lives of women.

Girl-friend’s code

Speculation on women with an unusually strong “code”:

I once read a forum thread where a responder went hysterical over the fact that the OP had had sex (or possibly considered having sex) with a former boyfriend of a (girl-)friend of the OP. Not only did the responder obviously consider it unethical, but absolutely, physically revulting. At the time, I did not understand her reaction at all—even for a woman it was completely exaggerated. My first speculation was that she, herself, had on some occasion been severely burned in a similar scenario; however, even this seemed to be insufficient. Pondering the issue, I came up with an alternate possible explanation: Women often have very strong (partially unconscious) feelings that other women are competition that has to be kept away from their men, but at the same time they have a strong need for female friends. This conflict between interest could be viewed as resolved for women who assume a much stronger “code” than men do. In effect, I speculate, some women make a very clear partition of other women into friends (who automatically are obligated to never touch any man she has any kind of interest, past or present, in) and non-friends (who are kept at a distance as potential threats). If the responder was one of these women, her behaviour is suddenly very easy to explain: If anyone violates her view of the “code”, then others can do so too, which implies that her friends are no longer safe—in turn, causing a massive problem for her.

Princess syndrome

Speculation: Could a part of the American “princess syndrome” be caused by over-cautiousness during the teenager years? If it is common that even the first kiss can take several months between young teenagers, then it seems reasonable that both parties get a distorted view of relationships: She believes that she only has to be pretty; and he is trained into fawning over her without any gain at all (besides the status of having a girl-friend). This pattern match rather well what later seems to play out among many post-teenage couples in the US. Additionally, this could strengthen the “jerks beat nice guys” phenomenon, because some sexual frustration will arise naturally on both sides, and when a “jerk” comes around and immediately puts the girl in a situation where she can have sex, she might well grasp the opportunity in order to satisfy her urges.


An interesting variation is a story told by a male poster on Women’s Health (http://www.womens-health.com/boards/47201-post3.htmle): In his youth he had a christian no-sex-until-marriage girl-friend, who actually told him that she would “not hold it against” him, if he raped her... (He did not.) Her reasons were not elaborated, but my speculation is that she saw this as a loop-hole which would allow her to have sex without upsetting God (the church, her family)—I doubt, however, that this interpretation would have stood up in a divine court.

Sex drive

There seems to be considerable circumstantial evidence that women actually have a higher sex-drive than men (although it can manifest itself differently, and actual arousal can have different causes): e.g. posts (by women) on Cosmo, Women’s Health; discussions in the pick-up communities (mostly between men); and my own experiences. The traditional opposite view is more supported by fictional portrayals, “accepted wisdom”, and feminist opinions. Notably, many women suppress their sex-drive for various reasons (e.g. shame, fear of being considered a slut, fear of “the first time”), which can skew the over-all perception to not reflect the natural state. Further, it is possible that, until comparatively recently, sex was an activity where the one-sided pleasuring of the man dominated, which would obviously have made women less prone to enjoy and pursue sex.

Another explanation behind the stereotype could be that men and women peak at different ages with regard to their sex-drive, with men gaining an unfair reputation as sexually aggressive in their teens and early twenties, with the tables turning in the mid- and late twenties without affecting the stereotype. (Notably, a woman is also more likely to engage in the suppressing behaviour discussed above when she is sexually inexperienced.) This would be compounded by long-term relationships being more common at higher ages, which would make the turned tables less obvious. (In addition there are signs that a woman’s sex drive could be targeted specifically to her partner to a much higher degree than a man’s.)

Later I have encountered http://www.womens-health.com/boards/sex/12326-womens-sex-drives-vs-mens.htmle which seems to solidly come down on the side of female sex-drive > male sex-drive. Interesting comments here include the (plausible sounding) claim that women may prefer masturbation to sex with “Mr. Wrong”, which could add to the misconception of women’s sex-drive being lower; and the hypothesis that this misconception was introduced mostly through actions of the early christian church, as a means to somehow oppress women. (The irony with the latter would be that in the modern world men suffer more from the misconception, because many lose out on sex and relationships during their youth through an underestimation of the female interest in sex, while being too “nice guy”-ey to be aggressive themselves. I, myself, am a typical case, who viewed sexual interest from a woman as a rare exception until my early to mid twenties.)


Unlike what e.g some feminists think, men too have standards and would skip sex with many women. However, the standards are different: A man would be far less likely to turn down sex with an attractive woman who happened to be “wrong” by criterias often (consciously or unconsciously) applied by women, e.g. being unemployed, than with the roles reversed. Even criteria that are strongly repulsive to men when it comes to relationships, e.g. a woman’s being too high maintenance, are often waived when it comes to casual sex. In contrast, “too old”, “too fat”, or “too ugly” can make many a man prefer his own company.

This falls in well with my hypothesis that women by nature have just the one role of procreation, whereas men have multiple roles as a procreator and an achiever. (Which, obviously, is not to say that women cannot adopt other roles by choice.)

Cliches and odd use of language/deserve

Women seem to be very prone to write in cliches, often even misapplying them. Very popular examples are “wants to have his cake and eat it too” and “why buy the cow when the milk is free”. The former, in particular, is misapplied more often than not, e.g when a man is having two sexual relationships in parallel. (A border-line correct use would be with his agreeing to be exclusive with one girl, yet continuing to have sex with the other; an entirely correct, his breaking up with a girl, yet expecting to continue to have sex with her.)

“Deserve” and “disrespect” (in various forms) are not cliches in general; however, on many message boards they are used so often and with such a lack of thought that they must be considered cliches in that context. For instance, I have seen boards (possible on loveshack) where the average occurrence of “disrespect” must have been close to the number of threads for periods of time: Basically, anything a man did that did not suit the ladies led to a “He soo disrespects you!!”, “If he keeps disrespecting you, you have to dump his ass!”. Often trivialities are concerned, “his” wanting to to take a night per week of to be with his friends without “her”—not only something perfectly reasonable, but something which I would consider unconscionable to deny. (Cf. also TODO)

The constant use of “deserve”, in turn, is something that not merely annoys me, but frankly pisses me off: “He does not treat you like you deserve.”, “You have to find someone who loves you like you deserve.”, “You deserve better.”, “You have to threaten to leave him, so you get the proposal you deserve.”, on and on ad nauseam.

I am not certain to what degree these statements are attempts to comfort and to what degree they are signs of the absurd entitlement mindset that is all-to-common among women. At any rate, the statements help spread that mindset, and can, depending on context, be demeaning or sexist against men. Further, they are entirely illogical: By what right do these women deserve what is claimed? Have they gathered particular amounts of good karma? Have they been exemplary girl-friends? Have they entered some kind of contract that entitles them to it in exchange for something else? If so, it is certainly not clear from their posts. If anything, many of them give an impression of being unusually undeserving, by being egotistical, narrow-minded, immature, or plain stupid—or by themselves having caused the problems they are in. (By no means, however, do I deny that there are many unfairly mistreated women among them.)

I found a much saner insight at http://www.theattractionforums.come (attributed to a user “Cedar”):

You don’t deserve SHIT in this world. Nothing. Nada. None of it. You DESERVE NOTHING. You EARN it.

I truly wish this insight would makes it way into the mind of the all female posters.


Obviously, the statement in this categorical form will depend on the exact meaning of “deserves”: In a typical sense of receiving something, it is valid; however, if extended to a much broader sense, exceptions will be present, e.g. in statements like ”deserves not to robbed”. Other exceptions can exist on similar grounds, e.g. in the question whether a child deserves his parents love—due to its extreme dependency and lack of intellect, it should certainly receive this love; however, it is a matter of opinion whether the word “deserves” is applicable. Notably, the above women typically complain about “deserving” to be pampered in some way (e.g. by a continual stream of gifts and complements, or by the SO going out of his way to arrange and pay for dates), and do not fall into the exceptions category.

Beauty and the beast

Possible basis for later article: The series “Beauty and the Beast”, in my vague recollection, was built on a comparatively simple concept: Beauty gets into trouble; Beast saves her. An added longer thread was Beauty growing to love Beast despite his unfortunate looks.

On the surface, this might seem to be the story of a woman overcoming superficialities for deeper values, and more primeval urges (get a handsome man) for more civilized (get a man who is good at heart); however, I suspect that we actually have the opposite: A primeval urge being overcome by an even more primeval one. The core of their relationship is effectively reduced to a pretty woman and her able (but not necessarily good-looking) protector and care-taker.

Similar principles would apply to the original fairy-tale of the same name, and a very large number of other fables where women appear to over-come the superficial. In the end, just self-flattering nonsense: They do, in fact, not follow an intellectual (or otherwise highly noble) path, but ancient core instincts which just make them short-circuit.

Note that I do not in anyway claim that the typical male characters would be nobler. However, the fact that when a male character goes by his most primeval instincts, he is deemed shallow, and a female character (m.m.) in the same situation is deemed as showing depth, points to a problem in perception worthy of being rectified.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Many of the problems women have (men to a much lesser degree) can be explained by them doing “reverse cbt” on themselves.

Sex and love

The view of women as sexual creatures (to a higher degree than men) has to be seen in the light of their common intertwining of sex and love. Further, this intertwining and the typical male separation of sex and love, can be a very valuable help in deciphering the behaviour of the opposite sex (irrespective of ones own sex).

Sexual attraction to non-SO

(Obviously, this is highly conjectural.) A repeated statement by women in forums is that they simply do not want to have sex with anyone but their SO, do not fantasize about anyone else, and similar. While this is obviously not valid for all women, it can help explain female cheating. Even a man in love will typically be sexually interested in other women than his SO; however, he abstains from pursuing them because it would be a “breach of contract” from his point of view. (Note that most other explanations, e.g. fear of hurting the SO will only play in when there is a risk of getting caught.) As a result, the likelihood that he will remain faithful is a reasonably constant factor (as long as other factors, like the SOs willingness to have sex, also remain constant). For a woman, OTOH, her main reason to remain faithful may not be a feeling of obligation, but of love and/or an exclusive interest induced by that love. The consequence is that if that love wanes, she will (possibly unconsciously) see herself as unhindered in cheating.

Interestingly, many women in forums express views of extreme dislike against the possibility that their men could be attracted to or fantasize about other women—to the point that they consider their men morally defective when this happen. (Unfortunately, as remarked elsewhere, women seem to have trouble grasping that thoughts and feeling are almost impossible to control, but that actions are comparatively easy.) This seems incredibly odd to a man, but is at least understandable using the above idea: If a woman does not feel bound by a contract, but by her feelings, then she will likely fail to see that her SO feels differently. Correspondingly, she could equate attraction and fantasy with the will and wish to cheat.

Processing information vs. processed by the information

A common family of statements about men and women go on the principle “men are visual; women emotional” (?) or “men get turned on by their sight; women by their brain”. Often this is combined with a woman’s opinion that the female way is superior. I would look at it differently, namely by stating more generally that men tend to process information and women tend to “be processed by information”. Effectively, what happens when a women is “turned on by her brain” is that she is manipulated by external stimuli in a manner that changes her emotional state, makes her less capable of individual thought, easier to manipulate, etc.; and in this state awaits someone else satisfying her. A man in the corresponding situation would be more prone to see the world as it is, and take steps to satisfy himself.

A similar phenomenon is empathy: Being able to recognize the feelings of others is a strength; however, what is typically described as empathy in the texts by women (and something they pride themselves of) that I have encountered amounts to emotional contagionw—a tendency to actually feel what someone else feels. There may certainly be times when this is an advantage; however, in almost all cases it will be a disadvantage. In particular, it makes women much more prone to irrational decisions, easier to manipulate, makes them misjudge situations, fall for commercials, etc. I have, for instance, noticed that the best way to get a woman’s support in a matter is not to present a clear case, but to display a considerable emotional low (e.g. being upset, angry; but above all hurt or despairing)—her empathy will kick in, she will feel similarly, extend her comfort and support, grow negative feelings about any opposing party in the matter, etc. Who actually is in the right will not matter, but who gets the earlier and stronger emotional influence.

Music, in particular classical music, is an area where both sexes can be manipulated in similar ways (but, in my experiences so far, always in a positive manner). I take the view of music that the performer does not play an instrument, but uses an instrument to play the audience. By hitting the right keys, in the right way, at the right time, a piano player can trigger and control emotions in the audience, which is ultimately what can make classical music such an intense experience. As I see it, this manner of “playing the audience” corresponds more or less exactly to the way women can be played by e.g. an emotional sympathy seeker, a pick-up artist, or similar. Notably, there is at least anecdotal evidence of women being brought to orgasm without physical contact, merely through reading or a similar means of playing them.

Misconceptions on women and sex in my youth

To exemplify the grossly incorrect picture of women and sexuality that I received during my Swedish youth:

Until my late teens I thought that the typical male interest in younger women was one-sided, and that women preferred men their own age. As I learned that women (on average) prefer men that are several years older, I was very surprised. I was surprised again a few years later, as I learned that many of the relationships between noticeably older men (> 10 years) where based on mutual attraction, not “gold digging”. Both facts go contrary to the image I was indoctrinated with, of the older men being lechers hunting after younger women who were often disgusted by them. (Which is not to say that all women would be interested in such relationships.)

Similarly, I was in my twenties as I finally realized that women actually had a very strong interest in sex; and in my thirties before I came to the conclusion that their sex-drive is actually (on average) stronger than men’s. Again something contrary to indoctrination.

Porn, in particular, was so repeatedly condemned by women and considered so shameful that I was shocked when I read a newspaper article claiming that roughly half of all porn rentals were by women. I was likely in my early twenties at the time.

(To identify the exact sources of the original misinformation is not possible without speculation, after so long time. However, it is notable that there are strong feminist groups in Sweden; and that the overall tone in media is often skewed in a feminist direction; further, “letters to the editor” and political messages often contain feminist propaganda. Additionally, it is clear that the opportunities women have to enjoy sex, have increased drastically since (possibly) the sixties—correspondingly, the attitude towards sex may actually have been much more negative among the grown-up women of my youth, compared to my generation of women. This may have been further worsened by women considering sex something shameful, even if they secretly enjoyed it, resulting in their displaying signs of disapproval when sex was somehow mentioned. (Notably, even just seeing a disapproving mimic on women when sex is mentioned would be enough to have this effect.) Lastly, the fact that I come from a religious family, and that many of the non-family adults I encountered were from the same circles, may have played in.)

Needless to say, these misguided views had negative effects on my own sexual opportunities. Worse, for a number of years I had problems reconciling these conflicting views of women (typical “madonna–whore” issues); and often unconsciously looked down on those women who actually displayed a healthy sexual attitude. This, in turn, is one reason why I had great problems with remaining in a relationship in my twenties (the others being the side-effects of my parents divorce and the considerable difficulty of finding women with whom I clicked mentally).

TODO Additional reasons for misconceptions of sex: Men are more likely to have sex with unattractive women than women/unattractive men (with different meanings for “attractive”), which reduces the risk for a woman being sexually frustrated. (The reverse, m.m., holds for long-term relationships.)


My impression from my readings on the women’s health boards (that may not be representative in this regard) is that almost all women are bisexual to a greater or lesser degree. This is evidenced, e.g., by the large number of ostensibly straight women who have or would contemplate a three-some including another woman (but more rarely two men), or even an all-girls three-some; or the large number who enjoy lesbian porn.

When we look at men, I have not seen anything near this amount of bisexuality (although this could be explained e.g. by men being less open about it); yet, I have often seen claims that (non-bisexual) homosexuality is noticeably more common among men than women.

This apparent paradox (if actually true) could be explained by the way sex pre-dominantly plays out: A man does things to the other party; a woman has things done to her. Now, from the POV of a man who is straight (gay), sex with a man (woman) would be off-putting. For a woman, OTOH, who does something to her will be of lesser importance, which would make straight (gay) women more willing to have sex with women (men). (Notably, this could explain the liking for lesbian porn too, because they can identify with the girl who is currently in the more receiving position.)

(I also have repeatedly heard the claim from women that they find female bodies more aesthetical than men’s, which could play in; however, because “beautiful” and “sexy” do not always co-incide, this may be of marginal importance.)

In effect, women are typically “a bit of both” and men “either or”.

Dawson’s diary

The words of Sarah Morgan Dawson in “A Confederate Girl’s Diary”e provide a woman’s (surprisingly insightful) view on how women tend to talk:

Then there was that rattle-brain Mr. T-t who, commencing one subject, never ceased speaking until he had touched on all. One evening he came in talking, and never paused even for a reply until he bowed himself out, talking still, when Mr. Bradford, who had been forced to silence as well as the rest, threw himself back with a sigh of relief and exclaimed, "This man talks like a woman!" I thought it the best description of Mr. T-t’s conversation I had ever heard. It was all on the surface, no pretensions to anything except to put the greatest possible number of words of no meaning in one sentence, while speaking of the most trivial thing.

Overall, this diary, of a woman in her early twenties during the American civil war, is a very interesting work, both from a historical and a psychological POV. Looking specifically at the workings of the female author’s mind, there are some conformations of what I have concluded about women, including the fact that they can be very blood-thirsty and vindictive—and extremely impressionable: Shortly after her wishing to be able to join the killing, a display of “Fine, noble-looking men ..., showing refinement and gentlemanly bearing in every motion.” leaves her seemingly on the verge of infatuation with the enemy’s officers. Her feelings are very mixed after that, but it is notable that she later condemns other women for having similarly heated and negative emotions that she herself once held. (Notably, there were few or no signs that this would be rooted in personal growth on her behalf, nor in new perspectives gained—both of which would put her criticism of others in another light.)

In fact, had the diary been a work of fiction, I would have suspected a male author deliberately writing a semi-caricature—so close comes the heroine to the typical stereotype of a young woman. (This may partly be explained by her not just being a young woman, but originally a very spoiled, upper-class, “lady”: “Ice-cream, lemonade, and sponge cake was my chief diet” as she writes when reminiscing about her pre-war life.)

Women as a privilege

Speculation: Part of the seeming tendency some women have to look upon themselves as a privilege (better word?) for their men, could be explained by a different phenomenon altogether: Many women bring both a considerable dedication and a considerable investment (in particular in form of foregoing chances with other men in their limited time for having children); and the “privilege” attitude could be explained by a misinterpretation (by men) of their natural stance that a relationship has to be worth that investment. In contrast, a man, typically with a much lower investment, will have a much lower threshold for when a relationship is worth his time.

Pragmatic attraction

It is my impression that women take a very pragmatic attitude to liking/attraction. A case in point is “Singing in the Rain”: As long as Gene Kelly’s character is mere stuntman, the snobby diva will not give him the time of day; but when he is given a major real part, she turns on a dime, within in a few seconds, and spends the rest of the musical pursuing him. This may have been an exaggeration, but I have read a number of accounts of women seeing their actual attraction change in a similar manner. (Examples include learning that someone had a good job or was a leading local athlete; as well as, with a diminishing attraction, merely hearing someone talk at the next table—apparently, the man turned out not to be as “cool” as the woman had thought from sight.)

The hitch here is that when men see something like this happen, they, understandably, assume that the woman is making a deliberate choice based on reason (something that almost certainly would have applied to a man, in the unlikely event that he changed his mind in a similar manner), e.g. “OK, he is not very pretty, but with all that money he could give me an easy life; so I will go for him anyway.”—shallow and greedy. For many women, however, this is an actual gut reaction (as I interpret the statements women have made): Learning that a man is successful or accomplished in some regard has the same effect on women, as a woman instantly going from brown to fake-blond hair would have on a man—minus the suspicion of witch-craft. (The correspondences include the fact that some men will be instantly attracted and others hardly notice, that it may make the difference between just below and just above the attractiveness limit, and that someone who has had poor experiences with fake blonds may actually have preferred the brown-haired version.)

Notably, this “women are overly impressionable” hypothesis has a lot of support in observations of phenomena such as groupies. Consider e.g. the thousands of young women who threw (or tried to throw) themselves at the Beatles: Going after a Beatle for the money would be useless, considering the competition. (Further, unlike with e.g. some athletes, it is highly unlikely that mere physical attractiveness could have been enough to explain their popularity with women—not to mention that the typical gather-in-a-big-crowd-and-scream approach would hardly have worked with getting a Beatle into bed. Note that even the women who proclaimed that they wanted to carry the child of e.g. Paul, likely fell into the “overly impressionable” category, not the “want to have sex with an attractive man” category, nor the “overly calculating” category—a cost/benefit/probability analysis of the situation would have shown attempts at impregnation to be a bad idea, unless the woman was both overly calculating and overly stupid.)

Whether the “overly calculating” or the “overly impressionable” interpretation is the least flattering can be disputed; however, it may still pay to bear both possibilities in mind. (Certainly, there are at least some women who are overly calculating.)

Pressure to marry

(Note: The issues below may be largely USanian.)

One common reason why women want to get married seems to be perceived pressure from peers and/or society, e.g. through the fear of being considered failures if they are not married (cf. e.g. “Sex and the City”). This goes well together with the following observations on women:

  1. Women are overly impressionable and too sensitive to what other people think of them.

  2. Women tend to put a value on relationships and success in relationships that cannot be justified for modern humans (although highly understandable considering evolutionary aspects of relationships and women).

  3. Many women enjoy putting others down (sometimes in a subtle manner). This worsens the problem by unnecessarily exposing single women to interactions where their status makes them feel bad, e.g. mock (or real...) pity during a high-school reunion.

Other reasons are obviously present, e.g. a wish to go through certain moments (proposal, wedding), incorrectly seeing marriage as a guarantee for the future, etc.

Media and stereotypes

TV and movies have incidentally contributed to the common image of women as the less desiring sex through a number of mechanisms, including that young males in sit-coms are often portrayed as AFC’s (while the “Fonzie” ideal of earlier years is considered sexist and archaic...). A particular issue is that men become attractive to the opposite sex at a later age than women, which means that an accurate portrayal of a group of, say, 15 year olds can give an impression that is severely biased when applied to other ages.

Sex monopoly

One contributing reason to the hatred some women have for e.g. porn and prostitution, is that they circumvent the “sex monopoly” that a woman has in a monogamous relationship (thus reducing her power in that relationship) and that the value for a man of having a relationship at all is diminished. The hitch is that outside of sex, women have noticeably less to offer men, than men women; and if the value of sex with a girl-friend/wife is reduced, the likelihood that men will be happy without long-term relationships increases—with unhappy women without long-term relationships as a consequence.

A particular issue is that with enough porn available (not even including physical sex), the “spare” male sex drive could fall noticeably below the female. Notably, I have the impression that sex (in various forms) tends to increase a woman’s interest in more sex—however, I could be wrong here.

Indirect approaches

The indirect approaches women take, in particular to pick-up, is a great source of confusion and missed opportunities.


A major contributor to the sometimes extreme reactions and opinions of women with regard to men watching porn or other women (and similar), is the insecurity that this causes/amplifies in women. This, in turn, leads to an unwarranted reaction of “fight”. Notably, extreme jealousy reactions in men, albeit far rarer, also correlate strongly with personal insecurity (and the greater prevalence of insecurity among women correlates nicely with the frequency of out-of-proportion jealousy. Similar statements apply, m.m., in other areas, e.g. the often very destructive reactions of incompetents when faced with even constructive feedback—they are often in fear of being exposed as incompetents, not being up to their responsibilities, etc., and treat any form of pointers to a sub-optimal behaviour as a major threat.

Brawny vs. brainy

At least some quotes and stereotypes have a clear message of “Men are brawny; women are brainy.”; in particular, in the mouths of women. This will obviously have an effect on how the sexes are perceived. In particular, a comparatively common phenomenon in books and TV shows intended for children and “young adults” is that each character fills a particular niche; and that male characters tend to take brawny, sporty, or heroic roles, with female characters filling the “brainy” niche. (Other niches include bully, bimbo, side-kick, tomboy, etc.) A good example is the “Harry Potter” books, with Harry as a hero and a sport’s star, Hermione as a brain with perfect grades and always knowing the right spell, and poor Ron as the not-too-bright, rather-clumsy side-kick. Considering how extraordinarily smart Hermione is, the characters would have been more realistic with her as a bimbo and Ron as the brain. (While still not, obviously, leaving the realms of the unrealistic: The degree of talent, heroism, nobleness, etc., displayed is almost never seen outside of fiction; the same applies, m.m., to the evil characters.)


Revisiting this idea, I am far from certain that my statements about Hermione et co. are fair to Rowling: From another perspective, she is spot on, with Hermione excelling in raw learning, but arguably being surpassed by a number of others in terms of actual ability and creation of new magics, even when measured at the same age. (Consider e.g. the gang around Harry’s father, Fred and George, and, very obviously, the young Voldemart.) Similarly, looking at the most powerful and accomplished adult wizards, they too were predominantly men.

Just this is something that well matches my own impressions from real life:

Women are good at learning existing knowledge, but rarely manage to create new knowledge—and the best of the best (in almost any field) are mostly men.

Education as an attractor

An interesting view into the female psyche is a comment of my mother’s (grandmother’s?) regarding my usual lack of girl-friend: Someone with my level of education should not have any problem finding women. To me, this is equally simplistic as a comment to a daughter that someone who works out so hard should not have a problem finding someone: Not only does it focus on just one of the many aspects that can be relevant, but on an aspect that is mostly interesting for its side-effects—none of which are actually guaranteed. Such side-effects could be a good salary, ability to carry a conversation, and the possibility of being a father-figure to a less educated woman; respectively, a slim body, a high chest, and good abilities in bed.

Interestingly, if we look at the ability to carry a conversation (probably the most important of the three to a woman), my mother really has seen no indication that I have this ability. True, when I put my mind to it, I can be both entertaining and interesting; however, with few exceptions, this takes a deliberate effort and some faking—and with her I have never bothered. Certainly, she has no seen no sign whatsoever that my education would have been beneficial in this regard.

An additional issue with such statements, although I have not reflected on this until now, is that they are potentially insulting: A possible implication is that without a good education/hard work-out schedule, the recipient would not be able to find a girl-/boy-friend—hardly motivational speaking.

Strong women as a threat

A common claim among women is that men are threatened by strong/independent/intelligent/successful women—typically made by women unlucky in love. I do not rule out that these factors can be a deterrent to many men; however, the use of “threatened” seems like yet another case of women distorting reality to make them seem innocent victims of men: There are a number of other possible reasons, including that some men do have a natural impulse to be the care-taker in a relationship. Further, the women I have met who have seen themselves in these categories, have often been naggy/bossy/bitchy or even belligerent in my eyes—all characteristics that rank high among the things that can send men running. Notably, the latter characteristics are often incompatible with the former: A women who is truly strong should not need or wish to nag, etc. Then, if a woman does nag, what would the conclusion be concerning her strength? (I further note that women who consider themselves intelligent are almost always wrong, in my experience; however, this applies to many men too.)


Since the original writing, I have encountered descriptions of how some (successful) career women forego long-term relationships and family until they hit their forties, decide that “now” would be a good time to find a man and settle down, and to their horror discover that no-one is interested...

This could be a major source of complaints concerning “strong women”—women blaming men for their lack of interest through an unfair accusation. (Cf. also TODO maturity for a good example of similar behaviour.) The real reason is simply that men tendentially prefer young and beautiful women—and that the type of man a successful woman is usually interested in (i.e. an even more successful man...) has a good chance of actually getting these women.

(Here another general principle is in play: By nature, we all tend to think that others function like we do. For example, women usually find successful men attractive, often despite a lack of youth and beauty, and it can be a nasty surprise that men feel otherwise. Similarly, with 15 I thought that my major chances with women would end around 25, due to passing youth—but in reality I was far better off in my early thirties than in my early twenties...)

Importance of looks

Speculation: One reason behind the common female complaint that men only care about looks, could be that men look at women mostly because they enjoy the sight, but that women often look at men in an attempt to deliberately indicate interest. Correspondingly, it could be that a man’s appreciation for a beautiful woman is misinterpreted as an interest in a relationship, where his interest would result from the one criterion of physical attractiveness. (Where the “mis-” would obviously not always apply.)

(Another reason is that men are more interested in sex than relationships; women the other way around.)

Women and aging

One thing about women that I have constantly misjudged over the years is how fast they age appearance-wise. I recall e.g. in high school estimating the age of a female teacher to be close to forty—she turned out to be in her late twenties. Similarly, almost every time I have reflected upon a woman being unusually well kept, she has turned out to be noticeably younger than I thought. A good example is Robia_La_Mortew in “Buffy”; who I originally thought was roughly mid-thirties, but turns out to have been around 27—no wonder that she could hold her own against the teenagers of the show... (That teenagers are often played by people in their twenties, OTOH, is very obvious.) In my defense, her romantic interest was played by a man, Anthony_Stewart_Headw, well into his forties at the time.

The following quote from The_Graduatew (retrieved 2009-05-07) is also interesting:

Dustin Hoffman was playing a 21-year-old college graduate, but was actually 29 during filming and 30 when the film was released. Anne Bancroft, whose character is in her early 40s, was only 6 years older than Hoffman in real life. Similarly, Katharine Ross, who played her daughter, was only 9 years younger than Bancroft.

Notably, while there are women who stay attractive noticeably past thirty, the vast majority of these shows very clear signs of aging (exceptions, e.g. Halle Berryw, exist)—certainly more so than men do.


Another striking example is Gillian Andersonw, who I thought was in her late twenties at the beginning of the “X-Files”, just a few years younger than Duchovny. In fact, I found it highly odd that two characters with so great a difference in reputation and experience were played by actors of so similar ages. As it turns out, she was born in 1968, he in 1960—making him roughly thirty percent older than she at the start of the series. Later in the series, I would actually have tended to consider her the older of the two...

Discrepancy in natural and current age of marriage

The long-ranging female obsession with looks, relationships, etc. could possibly be partially explained by the late forming of marriage-like arrangements in the modern world. It can well be argued that (possibly) 15 is the natural age for a marriage from a biological POV; and it could well be that a typical modern schedule leads both to an unnatural prolongation of courtship behaviours and increases the risk of mental problems (including anxieties about not being married).

A similar reasoning can obviously be applied to men, but would have less drastic effects, considering their more active role, longer reproductive age-span, and (likely) higher natural age of marriage.

Sexual vs. romantic frustration

From reading blog and forum entries by teenage girls I have the impression that sexual frustration is more common than romantic frustration—quite contrary to my a priori expectation. (Obviously, this impression is highly subjective and may well be caused by “misfiltering” of information. Still, it is quite clear that sexual frustration in teenage girls without a boy-friend can be a major issue.)

Female behaviour

An interesting thing about women is that many of them (all?) appear to be aware that certain behaviours they display are hysterical, irrational, over-aggressive, or immature or “uncivilized” in other regards; but they still operate on a principle of “blow-up know and be forgiven later” (or some other variation which does not prevent the initial blow-up).

(Examples of this awareness can be found e.g. from reading blogs.)

Women in stories

Many old stories and fairy tales have a moral, and, interestingly, many of them focus on aspects of women that are highly relevant today, reducing the probability that today’s women are a product of a changed environment. Examples including warnings against women being overly curious (Bluebeard), against men being strung along by beautiful women (physical luring in the stories, in the conventional sense in reality) as in e.g. skogsråw stories, etc. Many of the classics focus on women being vain, hateful against other women, or just plain evil—often contrasted against one single good heroine who serves as positive model. Of the “big three” when I grew up, Snow-white and Cinderella fall solidly in this category—the third, Sleeping Beauty, has an antagonist who is an overreacting and over-vindictive woman, who tries to kill the princess over not being invited to her christening... Hansel and Gretel, probably the most popular of the non-disneyfied stories in my childhood, contains not only an evil witch, but a step-mother (or even mother in some versions) who is willing to let her children die to save her self. (The recurring step-mother theme is interesting.)

TODO: Add the discussion of the Bible and the disproportionate number of “bad” women.

Quantity over quality in communication

The female quantity-over-quality approach to communication is more understandable in light of the theory that they talk mainly to bond, not to communicate. Similarly, their, rationally speaking, unfair irritation with men who do not engage them is equally understandable—they do not just see a “I have more interesting things to do than chat with you”, but may actually mis-interpret this as “I doubt that you are a worthy ally”.

Women are not interested in communicating, but in bonding. Communication is used as an excuse for bonding. (This is in stark contrast to me: I have an interest in communication, but very little in bonding. Typical men are somewhere in between.) This explains both their high noise-to-information ratio and the sheer quantity: Quality has a comparatively small effect on bonding, but quantity a noticeable. (This is also a strong contributor to e.g. mutual hair-braiding between women.)

Mental undressing

Women in fiction/blogs/whatnot occasionally talk about men undressing them with their eyes, imagining them naked, or similar. (Whether a woman considers this a good or bad thing seems to depend strongly on whether she, in turn, is attracted to the man in question.)

This usually strikes me as odd, because I never do: If I like what I see, there is no reason to imagine something else (in particular, as many women lose in attractiveness when their clothes come off); if I do not, I certainly have no incentive to imagine the woman naked.

If we assume that the statements represent the literal interpretation of the woman, then there are two possible conclusions to be drawn: Firstly, women themselves tend to mentally undress men (assumption that others share own behaviour). Secondly, they have a distorted or exaggerated view of how men think about and react to them (under the additional assumption that I am representative for men in general).


My own experiences indicate that women (even non-girlfriends) enjoy being looked at in a sexual manner (although this may depend on who is looking). I recall, in particular, the two instances where I found myself looking at a strange woman’s crotch in a highly conspicious manner.

In the one, I (early twenties) was sitting opposite two teenage girls on a train. As the better looking one noticed where I had my eyes, she started smiling and moved around in a manner that seemed to deliberately draw attention to her crotch.

In the other, I (around thirty) was standing about a two yards from mid-twenties woman in a tram. As she noticed that I stopped (!) looking to focus on my book, she began a suggestive hand-movement up-and-down the metal bar (better word, TODO) she was holding on to. (A stereotyped, exaggerated “hand-job” movement.)

In both cases, their responses included movements more typically seen in strip clubs than trains...

Disparate treatment of women

An error many men (including yours truly) often make is to give women leeway with regard to unacceptable behaviours, e.g. unjustified outbursts. Usually, this is done through a misguided “gentlemanness”. Women, in turn, often abuse this tolerance. It is important not to allow this, but to crack down immediately, to stomp out the problem before it is too late. Never accept a (negative) behaviour from a woman that you would not accept from a man. If in doubt, mentally replace the woman with the closest male correspondent, e.g.

girlfriend => best friend mother => father sister => brother.

(Female colleagues obviously translate to male colleagues, and so on.)

What the sexes want from each other

What women want from men (in terms of behaviour) seems to be active actions: Kisses, flowers, tokens of this-and-that, ... These need not always be strenuous, but they often do involve the man going out of his way; similarly, many of these wants involve money. (Note that even small amounts add up: If a man spends an average of ten Euros a week on flowers, chocolate, the odd bracelet, ..., then this amounts to 520–530 Euros p.a.—an amount that not all men can afford. Notably, this sum does not even include dates and similar that many women just assume are the man’s duty to pay for.)

Men, OTOH, seem to want mostly passive actions from women: Give me ten minutes alone with the paper, stop nagging, ... Whereas some of these may require self-control, they do not actually take time, do not cost money, or otherwise impose. If a woman wants to talk at a time where her man is unwilling, e.g., she can always call a girl-friend and chatter half-an-hour—by which time the man will be finished with the paper, be more relaxed, and more willing to engage her.

Interestingly, when men do not please women, they are considered “unappreciative bastards”; and when men try to get women to please them, they “never have time for her anymore” or “do not love her anymore”. Further, I see some strong parallels between what women want and what the typical child wants... (Attention, love, toys, attention, candy, love, attention,...)

Fictional depictions

For the young and inexperienced, it is important to be aware that fictional depictions of women, while often exaggerated, are rarely as exaggerated as the naive man thinks. A lot of trouble can be avoided by taking them more at face value.

A similar remark applies to much of fiction in general, but women’s behaviour is an area where the discrepancy between true level of exaggeration and perceived level of exaggeration is unusually large. (It is, obviously, quite possible that the same applies to depictions of men from a female POV.)


Unfortunately, many factually correct descriptions of women are not politically correct and are often condemned as sexist or stereotypical. In effect, writing a work of fiction containing realistic female behaviour is considered sexism... Similarly, I note that feminists often have a strong anti-stereotype agenda (based in the misconception that differences in behaviour and choice between men and women is almost exclusively a matter of being forced into a stereotype) that takes ridiculous forms.

Effects of fights

It has been noted that a physical fight between men typically defuse previous conflict; whereas physical fights (or fights, in general) between women have no such effect, and may even deepen their conflict. The former can be readily understood from an evolutionary perspective, if it is assumed that the conflict has been at least partially fueled by a wish to establish a hierarchy. The fight decides the issue (at least for the time being) and the fuel of the conflict is reduced. Further, again for evolutionary reasons, it makes great sense for the loser to unconsciously become more conflict-averse, which in turn can make him more forgiving. (The winner, obviously, is content after his victory.) [TODO: What happens in case of a tie?] For women, the fight may be an off-shot of a hierarchy dispute (although, IMO, this is not typically the case), but a physical fight does little to resolve such issues (hierarchy is more decided by status of husband/boy-friend, sexual attractiveness, material advantages, and similar). On the contrary, the fight may have led to one or both combatants being publicly humilated (loss of status, wish for revenge); and likely has involved severe mutual giving of pain (which deepens the conflict; note that men fight to win, women to cause pain).

The more selective sex

The fundamental paradox of women simultaneously being the more selective and more desperate-for-a-partner sex can be explained by their need for men in several different roles, most notably as a reproductive partner (the best possible genetic choice is preferred, picking poor genes can be a costly mistake) and a life-partner (genes are secondary to value as a care-taker). Notably, because their is intense competition for the limited pool of top genes, a hierarchy of “sexual value” arises with attractive men at the top followed by attractive women, unattractive women, and unattractive men. (While the “relationship value” hierarchy is men followed by women.) This hierarchy also explains many of the problems younger men can have in finding partners, as well as the distorted value scale (with women ahead of men) that many develop, and which does not always adjust in time for them to take full advantage. (If we compare a man and a woman at fifteen and thirty, the man will often move from the bottom of the scale to the top, whereas the woman will sink from upper-mid to lower-mid; however, if the man suffers from low self-confidence due to his experiences at fifteen, he may not be able to fully take advantage of the situation at thirty. Conversely, a woman who is to full of herself based on early experiences may be too picky at thirty, and lose out too.)