Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Women and losers

An ever recurring theme on message boards on relations is that women call any man a loser (or similar) who does not behave like they want him to. Usually, the statement is entirely unfounded, often even caused by his showing signs of higher (!) rationality and maturity. Consider:

  1. A man does not insist on paying for a date—he is a loser (or not a real man, or just a boy who needs to grow up, or a cheapskate, or does not treat “her” like she deserves to be treated). The inherent hypocrisy and inequality of this seems to entirely lost on many female posters.

    In my eyes, a man who needs to pay women (directly or indirectly) for their company is the true loser.

  2. A man states that he does not get the point of Valentines Day, that it is just another attempt of big companies to make money, that it is more sensible to just have an ordinary date on another day of the week (instead of waiting in line for a table on the V-Day itself), or similar—he is a loser. That he is actually right seems to be irrelevant.

    The only thing “loser” about this, is not understanding women enough and, as a result, losing good-will that could have been used for better purposes.

  3. A man does not want to deepen a relationship (e.g. go from FWB to dating, move in with “her”, propose)—he is a loser. Yet, his decision is probably rational, seeing that he is usually content with the situation, and she would be the one receiving the benefits from the escalation.

    Rationally speaking, is not the man who supplicates by turning a relationship to something less advantageous the true loser? (Not to be confused with the man who escalates because he foresees a net-advantage for himself, or the man who is driven by love.)


    Particularly annoying, not to say offensive, is the common opinion that men who do not want to “take the next step” have commitment issues, lack in maturity, and/or somehow need to be helped to overcome some problem or other. Men simply have other priorities than women: Some never want to get married, others want to get married when they feel that they have reached the right stage of their lives (which may well be five, ten or even twenty years into the future), others yet want to marry when they find the right woman (who is usually not the current girl-friend). Commitment issues do exist, but for most men they will not be what is holding them back.

  4. A man fails to ask “her” out, despite her having “sent every sign in the book”—he is a loser. That he may not actually be interested in pursuing her, that her signs may be ambiguous to him, or that she could grow a pair of ovaries and ask him out, does not matter.

    Depending on his interest level, the man may or may not be wasting an opportunity, which could arguably make him suboptimal—but hardly a loser, and certainly no more a loser than a woman who is both cowardly and lacking in communications skills... Further, he may simply take the view that equality between the sexes should go both ways, which I cannot see as anything but common sense.

I have seen the above representative examples many times with slight variations; many others can be found by browsing relationship forums. (Note that the majority of the posters is usually US-American, which implies that e.g. V-Day and getting married will be more important issues than in a German or Swedish context.)

In effect, a woman’s main criterion for when a man is a loser is that he is not treating her the way she wants to be treated—often expressed with the rhetorical and border-line offensive formulation “deserves to be treated”.


At least some cases can be explained by women trying to comfort or “pep-talk” other women (notably, the derogatory statements are often not made by the OP, but by answering posters): It is well-known that women are usually more interested in emotional support than advice when they appear to be asking for advice, and other women will tend to answer in matching way. However, the extent of this problem is too large to reasonably exist without an underlying problem in perception.

Further, even if the explanation was just comfort, I would consider this type of writing offensive: It is demeaning to men and can help foster an incorrect, negative, and destructive attitude in women. Assume by analogy that someone were to write a post about being mistreated by a black person, and that the answers would include statements like “What a bloody nigger!”: On most forums, this would lead to a well-deserved ban. Certainly, there are many statements made about men that would lead to loud cries about misogyny if they were made, m.m., about women.

TODO: Expand on the more general principle that most women (and many men) tend to interpret events, intentions of others, and similar, in a manner that makes themselves come off with a positive self-image, e.g. in that they believe (irrespective of reality) that they are guiltless, intelligent, likable, etc. (Not always physically attractive, though.)


A highly conjectural explanation for this phenomenon could be that women often define themselves by how good they are at “being women”, and that they, as a result, apply similar criteria to men. In effect, they assume that men would be targeted at being good boy-friends; and that those who are not, thus, have failed to reach their self-set targets. This would arguably be an indication of “loserhood”—except that the premise is entirely incorrect for the typical man.

To expand on “being women”: The most obvious example is the common obsession with being physically attractive. Looking further, relationships, children, etc. make up much more of the life and interest of the average woman than for the average man; correspondingly, they have a larger interest in “being a good girl-friend” or “being a good mother” than does (m.m.) a man.

In an addendum to the addendum: During my later study of feminism, I encountered this phenomenon on a very large scale. Notably, there are entire catalogues of common “shaming language”e assembled by anti-feminists. While I suspect that this is primarly a woman’s issue, rather that a feminist issue, it is clear from these that the problem is very wide-spread, and that shaming language is at the very core of women’s “debate” tactics. At the same time, the above explanation is obviously insufficient in its explanatory power. Partly, this can be amended by generalization, in that women base their understanding on female values in general; however, more likely is the explanation that women simply want to hurt their opponents, according to the principle that whoever inflicts the greater pain wins. See e.g. my discussion of women and aggression for more on this.