Politics in America
Part 12: The Deteriorated Relationship Between Men and Women (Continued)
by Robert L. Kocher
Perhaps the description thus far has made it seem as though women are helpless souls who are preyed upon by men and society. However, they made their own contribution and brought much of it on themselves. Not long ago I purchased an old college “love, marriage and family” text at a used book sale. By the signature and date inside the cover I could see it had been used by a woman who had been a student in the course in 1962. The text had a self-test of sexual attitudes in one of the chapters, which the student could take, and this young woman had taken the test and written the answers in the book.
As one of her answers, she had written she objected to premarital sex with others because she didn’t think it was fair to her future mate. Her answer was very touching. At the same time, I was shocked and brought to some realizations. In recent years, it’s been hard to imagine any young woman who has that amount of foresight, empathy, sensitivity or consideration. It has nearly 35 years since anyone has heard a woman concerned about future plans and showing consideration for someone who would love her in the future as though he were a real person or as though he were important or worth sacrifice. Mostly, in the last 35 years woman have arrogantly decreed something they called “personal decisions.” Personal means “me, now,” and anyone else is under obligation to accept what they are given. The primary concern has been about what’s going to be fun that night or that weekend with secondary importance given to anything else. Often no importance is ever given to anything else.
Many of the personal decisions being made were not and are not personal decisions. They may be personally made at that moment, but the consequences exist after the moment. Those consequences affect other people at a later date and are expected to be imposed on other people as a matter of personal entitlement in which other people are to accept everything or anything unconditionally. For instance, if a man has fallen in love with a woman, then finds out one of her earlier personal decisions has left her with a case of herpes, that personal decision she made was one that she made for him to live through. She decided for him, not just her. Under New Woman’s proclamations, it’s his obligation to swallow it and like it. She may make personal decisions to enter into life styles which eventually leave her jaded, psychologically warped, embittered. Those decisions and that condition effect other people around her or who eventually care about her.
There are no personal decisions. There are only defiant perpetual spoiled teenagers living for the immediate present who don’t consider the future or care about other people.
Why Take Women Seriously?
Women were preyed upon. However, their styles of dress, their attitudes, their shallowness and behavior often did not suggest any seriousness or emotional depth. Men were not taking women or their emotions any less seriously than women were acting. Many women were not capable of, or worthy of, relationships incorporating any greater depth than what they were receiving and complaining about. Certain sets of attitudes, behavior, and value systems are mutually exclusive of other attitudes and values. In too many cases their values, their ethics, their sensitivity, were such that they were not trustworthy enough for intimacy, commitment, marriage, or any other serious considerations–and that is why their marriages subsequently failed and many of them are single today. Some of them did, and still do, take the attitude, “I’m screwing several other guys, but I can fit you in Monday at 3:00 for a serious relationship.” There was considerable apparent agreement with Helen Gurley Brown in her best-selling book, Having It All, which became the New Woman’s Bible. She said on page 227 she believes women can do quite a lot of sleeping with more than one man on the same day or the same week and still not be considered promiscuous.
Emotional intimacy with liberated women means swallow it or you’re a meany-poo.
Many women are cheering and laughing at what women of any seriousness and depth would not find very amusing or wouldn’t take lightly. Call it, if you will, an absence of emotional presence and integrity. Several examples come to mind. I remember seeing a preview of the motion picture Three Men and a Baby starring Tom Selleck and two other men some years ago. They played three bachelors in their 30s apparently bedding down with woman after woman. As a humorous line in the preview one of the bachelors says, “So many women, so little time!” At that point the women in the audience roared with laughter.
Apparently, one of the women the bachelors had toyed with had become pregnant and left the baby at their front door. The women in the audience also thought this was amusing.
Another instance was a Geraldo Rivera TV show in which he interviewed six or seven well-known “eligible bachelors” who appeared to range from age 27 to 50. They were leading the same active sex lives as the three in the Selleck movie to the cheering and whoopeeing of 150 single women in the audience. The women in the audience made it clear that they would like a night in bed with one of these characters.
Watching this brought up some questions. If the guffaws and the cheering can be put aside for a moment, How much fun would it really be to be one of the “so many women” and find yourself pregnant after one of these episodes? How easy would it be for a woman to abandon her baby to three strangers, even if one might be the father? Was it an act of desperation? If it were an act of desperation, what people, and women, are laughing about is a tragedy.
Suppose it weren’t an act of desperation. Suppose the woman in question found it easy to abandon her baby to three strangers almost as a joke. What does this suggest? If she doesn’t take abandoning her baby seriously, what does she take seriously? If the women in the audience don’t take it seriously, what do they take seriously? As a man, is this the woman you could trust as a prospective mother of your child in your family? How would you like to be the child who is dependent upon a mother who could abandon you at whim? As a man seriously interested in marriage, since this woman hasn’t shown any bond or commitment to her baby, does this give you serious cause to wonder whether she has the capability of bonding or commitment to you? Is she going to take you any more seriously than she is her own baby? Would it be wise to become emotionally involved with and committed to such a woman?
What are the implications of 150 screeching women saying they would like to get a so-called eligible bachelor athlete or actor in bed for a few hours or a night? What are their sexual values? Does this suggest sex is for them associated with serious relationships? Does it indicate sex and/or their bodies have been trivialized? Have they any credibility when they complain about being sex objects? If they look at it as a lark when they joke about wanting two hours in bed with a strange bozo as a passing no-holds-barred episode, do they then have any right to complain the next weekend when some other clown they meet looks at them as nothing more than a quick roll in bed and are they encouraging this attitude?
It’s no wonder these women are single if these hit-and-run clowns are what they consider attractive.
When they laugh at the line in Selleck’s movie or guffaw and whoopee at the free-wheeling sex life of Geraldo’s bachelors, do they stop to think about the reality of what it means? Are these eligible bachelors eligible for anything and what is their attitude toward women? These guys were bums. Do these women think it’s fun to be pushed out of bed and out the door the next morning to be replaced by someone else the next night? Do they want the men in America country to think they believe it’s funny or cute or acceptable? That is the impression men receive. It’s important to realize these are not hypothetical situations. These are real life situations being lived by millions of real women.
Whether women have thought about it or not, or whether they turn out to like it or not, they have convinced contemporary men that that’s their level of superficiality and that is their value system.
The point is, there has been progressively less about American women that suggests any depth, seriousness or credibility. They show little capacity and/or interest in thinking beyond shallow advertising imagery in their magazines or TV commercials to immediacy of consequences and what is real. Men have been given progressively little reason to view women or their emotions with any seriousness.
Americans have fallen into a too highly developed compliant silly sense of humor in recent decades. They have come to believe they are supposed to be sitting around laughing at everything as though life were a TV sit-com and they are to conform to professional laughers in the audience giggling. Life is more serious than that, and it’s time to stop laughing at tragedy.
There is typically no consideration of the whole or the entirety of life. The focus of concern is about humorous punch lines and immediate interest or impulse while the whole deteriorates.
Fresh Young Virgins
The original idea of sexual liberation was great as long as not very many men or women were engaging in it. The plan was to get a woman into bed, use her for a while, then palm her off on somebody else when you were done, whereupon you would head for fresh territory. Sexual liberation for men was the fantasy of an unending supply of fresh young virgins. The model was Hugh Hefner, liberal advocate of sexual liberation and owner of the Playboy magazine empire who has lived what his magazine has preached. His string of women has been well known and probably contributes to the appeal of the magazine image and lifestyle. But, but it’s important to note Hefner didn’t go out and get women who were used and banged up. He ran through a long succession of fresh sweet young things, most of whom looked to be barely out of high school.
In an August 4, 1986 Newsweek piece on Hefner and the Playboy empire, the 18-year-old Barbie Benton, then known as Barbara Klein, is described as having caught the then 42-year-old Hefner’s fancy. When Benton expressed some misgiving, saying she had never before dated anyone older than 24, Hefner’s reply was, “That’s OK, neither have I.” Concurrent with his affair with Benton, he was also having an affair with another 19-year-old girlfriend. That is the way it’s supposed to be in the Playboy fantasy.
Although he was supposedly a proponent of sexual freedom, Hefner did not permit any sexual liberation whatsoever in his personal life. Period. Absolutely none. Period. The women he toyed with were not permitted to engage in outside sex with other men. They were compliant private toys who were to restrict themselves to life in his own private toy box that was reserved for him alone until he was through with them.
On Dec. 12, 1999, there was a biography of Hefner’s life presented on one of the TV arts-and-history-type channels titled “Hefner.” It was done in the form of a dramatic presentation narrated from the point of view of one of Hefner’s early “special girls,” Bobby Ornstein. Apparently Ornstein expected some sort of serious or half-committed or exclusive relationship with Hefner. Like many of Hefner’s women, she wasn’t at all clear on what she wanted or how it would work out. She rapidly found herself living in a grotesque world where Hefner would openly engage in sexual affairs with numerous other women and expect her to accept it without any emotional reaction inconvenient to Hefner. It was a world where Hefner liked Virgins. Hefner’s purpose in living was to exist in a convenience store full of constantly restocked young virgins to hump and show off to impress the continually assembled crowd of sycophants at the Playboy mansion. It was a world in which Ornstein rapidly found herself to be the only one who aged to become obsoleted and sidelined at an early age relative to a continually replenished and replaced pool of transient female Hefner toys at the nearly high school level. It was a world in which Ornstein lived in a semi-distraught condition of emotionally depleted confused shock.
My primary impression over the years is that many women did not survive Hefner intact. Ornstein committed suicide. The biography accented the idea that Ornstein was under pressure from the DEA over vaguely described drug deals involving a high ranking character in the Hefner organization that she became entangled with as a substitute for Hefner. The further evaluation is that she was in a distraught confused nearly suicidal mental state from the Hefner involvement and environment such that she entered into a destructive affair with a similar substitute man in a situation that nobody functioning with competence would have become involved. The overwhelmingly primary factor in her suicide was a mental state in which the drug situation was marginally additive but an easily-blamed cop-out that could be employed by Playboy apologists to escape examination of more serious realities of the Playboy value system.
Sometime in the late 60s there was a magazine piece interviewing one of Hefner’s former special girls. She was spending what would be now over $1,000 a week on psychiatry. Her somewhat sarcastic and bitter comment was that when she got into the relationship with Hefner she didn’t understand what he wanted, but now, after extensive psychoanalysis she believed she had found out.
Kocher’s First Principle
There is a very famous psychoanalytic principle called Kocher’s first principle of human interrelationships: There is a class of people of such inherent nature that, fundamentally, if they can’t eat it, drink it, drive it, or screw it, they don’t understand it and don’t want any part of it for very long. It has no value to them. In some cases this can be subject to slight amendment such as, if they can’t eat it, drink it, drive it, screw it, or use it to impress others. But the condition is fundamentally the same. Don’t look for any more, don’t wish there is any more, don’t ask for any more, because that’s as much as there is to them and it’s as much as you are going to get.
There is a second class for whom things have greater significance.
Extended contact between members of the two classes, romantically, professionally, or even politically, is destructive and even lethal to members of the second class.
In interpersonal relationships, members of the first class, male and female, can routinely engage in activities impossible for the second class while demanding that members of the second class participate or adapt. For members of the second class, involvement or compliance is psychologically catastrophic.
Bobby Ornstein never understood that—up to the moment when it killed her. Hefner’s other ex-special girl was only beginning to understand and accept it under analysis.
The Playboy scene was a microcosm of what was taking place in American culture at large, with similar consequences including a rising suicide rate among young women.
But, under the almost hypnotic influence of the gatefolds and trendy women’s magazines nobody seemed to notice or care.
By the mid to mid-late 60s, the sexual revolution was roaring. Members of the first class had been theorizing, ripping and tearing and disposing of women, but men were running out of fresh territory. Women were hard and/or scarred and innocence was a thing of past. Most men wanted to marry virgins or women who had only sexual experience with them. They were getting disgruntled. There were sarcastic comments by men during that period saying that a virgin was a 12-year-old girl who could run faster than her brother. There was great resentment. In their sexual exploitation of women, men had been successful at something they really wanted to fail at. They secretly wished women had resisted. They were losing faith in women. Sex was losing its value and significance. Women were becoming hard, progressively warped and calloused and it hurt. There was also the unpleasant truth that the woman many a man was beginning to love was the same one whose body and emotions were writhing on a bed with some goof several weeks ago as a frivolous episode—or maybe that morning or afternoon as a frivolous episode prescribed by Helen Gurley Brown et al. Regardless of the theories which have been concocted, such activities can be quite painful for a man to visualize if he likes a woman. Even if it were not a frivolous episode, that might not help any and might even make it harder to accept. It’s been forgotten that in less emotionally repressive periods, men once fought each other to the death over such events. As it was, an massive amount of psychological repression was being required in American society to live with it.
People awoke to find everything was trivialized and devalued, with nothing to take the place of what had been lost. There was an existential void, bitterness, and meaninglessness. A subtle type of sadness and grief was beginning to diffuse through America which still exists.
Sartre the Satyr
Coordinate with this was another subtle, but powerful, influence in American culture. Some time earlier a 19 year old girl named Simone de Beauvior fell under the spell of a supposed intellectual philosopher dude, Jean-Paul Sartre, at the Sorbonne. In one respect, Sartre was the French equivalent of Hugh Hefner. After humping her bones a few times Sartre told Beauvior that what they had was an “essential love” in which it was necessary for him to hump other women. For those who are novices in the business, this is what intellectuals tell women when they are fundamentally through with them, but want to keep them on hold as a flattering convenience. Women intellectuals use the same line. Simone bought into the arrangement in order to show people she was smart like Sartre.
Simone traveled to America in the late 40s. In Chicago she met a young writer, Nelson Algren. Nelson, being a man of apparent poor personal taste, fell in love with her, and she with him. He eventually took her to bed where they engaged in sex that braided her toes. They should have gotten married and lived happily ever after. But, having been bent to dishonest neuroticism, Simone destroyed both her and Nelson’s lives by returning to France to be with Sartre. She and Nelson wrote love letters back and forth for many years. She managed to keep Nelson’s head messed up for the next several decades until he finally gave up on her in exasperation.
For his part, Sartre wrote philosophical books explaining how life was difficult, not because he was an arrogant self-centered jackass who screwed both himself and everybody around him up, but because somehow life was intrinsically so for abstract reasons, and it was life’s fault, not his. Beauvior began to write about how life was intrinsically a terrible experience of suffering for women. In her writing, she neglected so mention how she had had everything with a guy in Chicago, but had thrown it away so she could return to France, live with an idiot, and play the part of an intellectual nobly suffering for truth. Basically, she destroyed both her and Algren’s lives while writing books about her own, and women’s, suffering. She didn’t need to suffer, but she didn’t want to give it up because she was enjoying it too damned much. And besides, maybe ol’ Nelson Algren shook her tree a little too much and it scared her. A bloodless dud like Sartre was about as much as she had the guts to handle. Her writing sold and she was a center of attention. The twisted rationalizations she cooked up could be passed off to provide an illusion of depth.
Intellectual Roach Motel
She and Sartre created an escapist almost impenetrable circularly-reasoned language/conceptual system employing vague abstract expression without content that relieved people from serious examination of their lives on the concrete level. It became one of the pillars of French existentialism. It was a purposely adopted depressive mental disorder converted into an art form.
Morbidity started to become intellectually fashionable in America as the stuff was read over here. It produced the beatniks of the late 50s and early 60s, who in addition to living the same life styles as Beauvior and Sartre, began to involve themselves in the left-wing causes to justify and augment their desired feeling of oppression and suffering, as well as to use drugs in pursuit of higher truths.
This system of living and thought slowly began to diffuse out of the centers of pseudointellectuality and into the culture at large. In a few years at the high school level kids took a look and said, “We’ll take the sex and the drugs, and if left-wing causes can be used to justify it, what the hell, let’s go for it,” and become the hippie movement. Reading Sartre, Camus, or Beauvior became no longer a necessity and half of them couldn’t read anyway. But that’s another story.
To this day American intellectuality is still infected with the down-in-the-mouth morbidity. The optimism that existed in the America of 50 years ago has disappeared. The quirks and dishonesty in Beauvior’s conceptions have been incorporated into the psyche of American women enabling them, like Beauvior, to obtain the superior status of suffering victimhood without looking overly closely at their own responsibility in producing that state.
Getting back to the main path, men were, and are to this day, enraged and completely immobilized. An impossible teenager’s fantasy had caught up with them. Young women were doing what playboy men had been pressuring them to do. And for a new generation of women it hadn’t required much pressuring. Since men were espousing the sexual permissiveness in which women were now engaging, there was no way men could object to what women were doing and remain logically consistent. (That’s back in the days when people bothered to be logically consistent about anything.)
But, it feels a lot different to shoot at somebody else than it does to get shot at. And it feels a hell of a lot different to be in bed with somebody else’s girlfriend or wife than it does for somebody else to be in bed with a girl that you may either love or may love in the future. It’s a little like the hypocrisy of locker-room talk and locker-room jokes. In all my life I have never heard men brag and laugh about coming home for lunch one day as a surprise to their wife and finding her in bed with some character. They don’t take pride in describing someone else’s sexual exploits with their wife or girlfriend. However, they will recount their own sexual exploits with various other women. The joke is always supposed to be on somebody else.
By the end of the 60s the joke was no longer on someone else. The joke was on them and they weren’t happy about it.
The aim of the sexual revolution was not to get people in bed together who were married to each other and had commitments to each other. People already had that. The aim of the sexual revolution was to get people who didn’t have commitments to each other, and often didn’t want any, and who weren’t married to each other in bed together. For practical purposes, that meant you in bed with somebody else’s wife or future wife. The fun part is the key words “somebody else’s” in the previous sentence.
There was in the Playboy sexual fantasy underwriting the sexual revolution a secret agenda. Women were not supposed to be engaging in this nonsense. Only certain women were supposed to be believing in and engaging in it. The women who were supposed to be engaging in this were one of several classes. One class was a fantasy woman who appeared in magazine gatefolds and did not exist in real life. She was innocent and beautiful and existed only for a moment’s pleasure—an existential experience that could never exist in real life. Where she came from and where she went afterward was not real. It need not be real or of any concern because it was a fantasy. Fantasies aren’t required to be reasonable.
Another class of woman was someone else’s woman. Somebody else’s now or somebody else’s in the future.
Some people were supposed to have unlimited absolute privileges and this would last forever, and under the fantasy the situation would never be reversed. Somewhere there was one or two percent of the female population who were supposed to see all this action, accommodating the entire male population and they were supposed to be somehow renewable, soft, perpetually innocent. At the end of that time the male participants would go off with a chuckle to find somebody else who had passed the test of resisting the corrupt nonsense and who still had values.
The fantasy is reminiscent of a song from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical The King and I made famous by Yul Brenner. As king he demanded to have an unlimited number of beautiful young wives which were to be his, alone. The song went, “A woman is like a flower, with nectar for just one man. And a man must be like a honey bee and gather all he can.” The song ends with the king’s stern admonition, “But, the flower must not ever go from bee, to bee, to bee!”
The social implementation of this infantile fantasy is found to have profound errors in statistical methodological reasoning. At best this conception required an infinite number of flowers with a small number of active bees. Real life employed a greater number of active real female participants than was required by fantasy.
It was not supposed to be the woman you were in love with or would be in love with who was naked on a bed with her legs opened in complete vulnerability and willingness, giving herself to someone else. But, with ever greater frequency that’s the way it was getting to be. It comes with the territory. It’s part of sexual liberation.
The Pain of Sex
To decrease the pain and difficulty in acceptance of the situation, men adopted the defense of emotionally distancing themselves from women—and continue this emotional distance and isolation to this day. It is an inherent defense mechanism that is a consequence of permissive sexuality. Men were also being forced into emotionally distancing themselves from, or devaluing, sex. Emotional distance and devaluation produce a type of invulnerability.
Several months ago I had an exemplary dinner experience. One of the men with whom I was seated knew of a mutual acquaintance, who I’ll call Mark. He knew Mark and Mark’s wife socially and he worked with Mark. Smiling, or gloating, he began to recount how he had dated and spent time in bed with Mark’s wife before Mark married her. According to him, she really went through some paces in bed.
Mark has a type of emotional detachment or distance from his wife and treats her almost as he would an employee. It’s probably a good idea that he maintains this emotional detachment because if he saw two or three characters smirking when they looked at his wife, real emotions could produce an ugly confrontation. It’s difficult for a man to maintain pride in himself or his wife under those conditions.
Justifying hit-and-run sexual operations is one thing. However, when a man loves a woman, his emotions and values change rather quickly and he tends to look upon her body and emotions with a reverence. That is said with the realization that in recent years many women find this objectionable for a variety of reasons. These women have neither the character or emotional depth to live up to that reverence. It implies behavioral restraints and values on many women that they find an inconvenience and with which they don’t want to be bothered. While some women say they don’t want to be looked upon that way by men, they also complain quite bitterly when they aren’t looked upon that way.
As I write this, I am looking at a July, 1986 issue of Psychology Today which referred me to a piece of research by Jacoby and Williams in the Journal of Marriage and the Family (vol. 47, no 4) and which was reviewed under the heading of “The Selfish Sex Standard.” In a study of college students, the researchers studied the relationship between sexual experience and the level of desired sexual experience in people they would like to date or marry. The studies found that regardless of a person’s sexual experience, both men and women wanted virgins for dates or for marital partners. Even the most sexually experienced and active preferred to have involvements with people who were not sexually experienced. This was termed “the selfish sex standard.” What wasn’t specifically stated, but was obvious, was that given the consequence of type of sexual activity which was also being demanded, the inexperienced partners they wanted would be hard to find.
The use of the word “standard,” in fact the phrase employing it, is a euphemism. It’s nothing more than an unresolved adolescent conflict. There is nothing to indicate anything as highly developed as a standard involved. What the studies show is desire for and participation in sexual activity, but long term wishes or desires which are made impossible by that sexual activity. The people in question had two desires which they wanted, but acted as if the two were not related to each other, irrespective of reality. What is also a factor is that these kids were up against a well-established collective social pattern against which they had little individual power. In a case where everybody’s doing it, there is seemingly no effect if you, as a solitary individual, stop. Absence of coordinated effort leaves the individual feeling powerless in the face of an established pattern.
Looking for Inexperience
The conclusions of the 1986 study were not particularly novel. The figures point up some basic contradictions which have been a part of the sexual revolution and the sexual value system of recent decades. In the years since the sexual revolution, the ultimate desire for an inexperienced partner and a sense of specialness in a love relationship hasn’t changed, and never will. The basic issues have not changed.
One of those issues is a basic conflict between immediate sexual impulses and long term consequences, desires or values—a conflict that has been culturally intensified with saturated presentation of unrealistic fantasies in the media. Most conflicts imply having to give up something. Although it is today unimaginable, previous to the sexual revolution the conflict between sexuality and long term values was resolved by looking at the worth of the long-term goal values and taking responsibility for attainment of the long-term values while giving up the transient pleasures of immediate sexual impulses. After the sexual revolution, the attempt to resolve the conflict under borderline mental functioning took a more complicated and ultimately unsuccessful form. On the primary level, a large proportion of a generation elected to choose engaging in immediate sexual impulses while superficially giving up the long term values and desires. But, secondarily, they attempted to further reduce consciousness of the conflict through various dishonest psychological manipulations designed to deny the value or existence of those long term values. If they could invent arguments to deny they were giving up anything of value, then there was no apparent conflict and they could engage in immediate pleasure without consequences.
If they could deny that a person’s present or past sexual activity had any consequences or made any difference, then they could engage in permissive sex because there, supposedly, was no reason not to. Besides, under the sexual licentiousness that was occurring, they didn’t have a choice. They were in a trap. They needed to attempt to sell themselves on the assertion that the increasing experience and frivolous sexual values of their prospective partner made no difference. They denied and paid continuous lip service to the denial. They were also under great social pressure to participate in denial.
In reality, a generation, and later several generations, painted themselves into a corner. Although they did it to themselves, which leads one to be less than sympathetic, they found themselves in a situation where what they ended up with was not at all what they ultimately wanted. It is a situation implying disappointment, hurt, anger, and resentment. That’s what the above study ultimately suggests. While there was, and is, denial of resentment, there is resentment in wholesale quantities. Underneath the superficial individual and cultural denial, the resentment has been obvious for more than 30 years and has profoundly affected heterosexual relationships in a prohibitive manner.
In the early 90s at the athletic club where I played racquet ball, young women took aerobic dance classes. Many of them wore sheer nylon body stockings which left nothing to the imagination. In response to this a number of men in their twenties ruminated about their own sex lives. Many of them complained bitterly about the moral condition of women, but they carried on as active sex lives as possible.
I occasionally used to dig the guys in the ribs by telling them they were out to nail every woman they can get, but they wanted to marry virgins. One of the guys in the group countered, “There’s nothing wrong with that!” In practice, the guys chose the emotionally protective course where they did not allow themselves emotional involvement with women. One of them went through three women a month and wouldn’t trust or become involved with any of them.
The interaction became quite raw. In the mind of many men the most palatable option since they had increasingly less trust in or respect for women under the Helen Gurley Brown system of sexuality, was to use whoever or whatever as a temporary concession to the burdens of physical attraction. If women declared themselves to be sexually liberated, then as far as the men are concerned the bargain was made. The attitude became one of an impatient “let’s do it and get it over with” without sweet-talk or promises. This is the evolution of a psychological process and interaction begun more than 30 years ago.
The second phase of the sexual revolution was evolving—reality striking back and male anger.
Mooning, Naping, and Hogging
Men were becoming resentful and while their resentment was being denied though a bravado, it was at the same time being expressed. In the colleges during the mid to late 60s there was an increasing amount of strongly hostile male acting-out behavior sweeping the country. At fraternity and club parties there began to be social phenomena such as mooning, naping, and hogging which became increasingly confrontational and less humorous. Mooning consisted of dropping one’s pants and aiming one’s bare rear end at another person, often a woman. Naping consisted of unzipping one’s fly and dangling one’s testicles at a woman. Hogging consisted of unzipping one’s fly and pointing one’s penis at a woman.
The hostility was returned. In one instance a fellow at a fraternity party hogged a girl from Smith College, saying sarcastically, “Do you know what this is?” With equal sarcasm she nonchalantly scanned the situation and replied, “It looks like a penis, only smaller.” Hence the maxim, “Never hog a Smith Girl.” Women could moon. In another instance a woman mooned several men, bending far over and spreading everything as far as she could get it, revealing the dangling pull string on her tampon. This gave her mooning a certain feminine delicacy and class the men couldn’t match. The party was getting rough and was going to get a lot rougher.
Rape is an incremental extension of the type of angry acting-out behavior just mentioned and on a national level the country began to experience marked increases in forcible rape—up ten percent, 1972; up nine percent, 1973; up seventeen percent, 1968; and so on for various years. The number of forceable rapes in America tripled between 1963 and 1975, and quadrupled by 1980. In addition there evolved a phenomenon called social or date rape, a slightly less violent rape where there may be one or two formal dates involved before the rape takes place. A study several years ago of women at a major eastern university reported 17 percent of women at the school had been subjected to date rape and indications are that the phenomenon is increasing to more than 20 percent. In an October 1986 New Woman magazine poll 30 percent of women said they had been raped or forced into sex against their will. Fifteen percent did not answer and 55 percent had not undergone such experiences. Many psychological theorists consider rape as having a strong anger component rather than being a simple expression of sexual passion. It sometimes seems to be a form of angry protest over women’s values and morals.
A developing rage on the part of men toward women was expressed in behavior that then produced rage in women. There was an interactive cycle occurring that produced a downward spiral into progressive rage and bitterness.
Consequences of the Trivialization of Sex
When women come too far down from their so-called pedestals, when values are lost, sex and life become brutal. Women become nothing more than used raw meat. Everything gets cheap. There is no sense of significance or value that is to be respected, to be protected, or not to be violated. Neither is there any sense of value to be pursued or preserved. With the institutionalization of the sexual revolution and trivialization of the significance of sex, women no longer had morals, or a value system, or a respect, or an image as protection. The sense of respect and violation was weakened. Many men no longer felt they were violating a woman’s values or morals, or violating society’s values or morals any more than they were violating a urinal.
Women in American culture have trivialized the meaning of sex. They have trivialized their sexuality. They have trivialized their bodies. The consequences have run through the entire culture ranging from their internal psychology to their relationships with men. One facet is a trivialization of violation of themselves.
To approach an explanation from a collateral point of view, fundamental values and standards make up the foundation of civilized society. They are the bare minimum necessary to enable social institutions and long term relationships of any depth in a society.
The opposite of such values, a reduced amount of such values and standards, is the condition of psychopathic deviance. A major characteristic of psychopathic deviance is the capacity for unprovoked physical or emotional violation of other people without conscience. You can expect to be violated by individual psychopathic deviants. You can expect to be violated and expect this violation to be trivialized within a society which is adopting social standards characteristic of psychopathic deviance. As such, when women participated in a weakening of values, they underwrote an eventual trivialization of themselves and trivialization of violation of themselves. This trivialization ultimately increased their bitterness toward men. That’s the way it works. That revelation may cause temper tantrums, but that’s the way it works. Temper tantrums won’t change it. That was the bargain that was made.
In a conversation I held with a male co-worker in the late 60s which has been repeated many times since in other instances, he was talking about sex with a woman and whether it should be regarded seriously. He said, “It (referring to a woman’s vagina) doesn’t wear out. Why worry about it.” The idea that sex represented any significance or value other than being a mechanical act did not exist in his conception. There was a certain sense of cynical bitterness and bravado in his voice and attitude. Perhaps a better way to describe it was that there was a determined attempt to devalue sex, to isolate sex from emotionality, and to avoid consideration of secondary feelings, probably painful feelings, connected to sexuality.
In a more recent conversation a man remarked to me somewhat resentfully, “I never look at an attractive woman any more without saying to myself, somebody’s ——ing her.”
Angry and defensive devaluation of sex or detachment of any significance now runs deep in the men in American society. In a sexually permissive society this devaluation or detachment is a form of necessary emotional self-protection against conflicts, and against disappointment and against feelings of jealousy. If sex can be rationalized as being nothing but a mechanical act, then it is not painful that your wife or girlfriend is doing it, or has been doing it, with other people. But, the devaluation is done with an undercurrent of repressed resentment and anger which may take other, sometimes subtle, sometimes not-so-subtle, forms of expression. It is an inherent cost or form of pathology generated by sexual permissiveness—an inherent cost or pathological form which may be a cultural norm in sexually permissive cultures—about which more will be said later.
The devaluation or trivialization was, and is, supported, if not demanded, by emotionally shallow sexually liberated women who didn’t think “it” wore out, either, and who believed you could engage in sex with several different people a day or a week.
It should have been, and still is, important to realize that men must set aside many values and emotions to form relationships with sexually liberated women. A reduced amount of personal values is one element defining psychopathic deviance. Consequently, by their actions, goofs such as Helen Gurley Brown and her Cosmopolitan readers moved men toward psychopathic deviance, whether the men wanted it that way or not. It pushed men toward an attitude of trivialization and mechanization. When Helen Gurley Brown (whose Cosmo magazine reportedly has a circulation of ten million among women who buy it as an ongoing monthly instruction manual in their struggle to upgrade themselves to the Monica Lewinsky level of mentality) wrote that it’s cute to engage in sex with several different men in one day, she was telling American men what to expect and what they were going to exist with. When women supported the magazine by buying it, they supported and validated that same message. Men were forced to change values which conflict with that expectation or image. Men will be forced to develop values which do not conflict with that expectation. They will not view sex seriously. When writers in one of the women’s magazines gleefully proclaim 70 percent of women are having extramarital affairs as part of a movement toward bold new women’s sexual freedoms, men are going to be forced to develop values which do not conflict with that expectation.
There is, in this, a message of responsibility, or irresponsibility, that liberated women don’t want to hear. They will explode in self-righteous anger and indignation when the subject is brought up. Today’s Women, as Gloria Steinem calls them, demand special entitlement not to think about, or be confronted with, such things when it is to their inconvenience.
A certain type of thick-skinned mentality or set of attitudes is required to pick up a woman for a date that evening who you think may still have juice running down her legs from somebody else she has been in bed with several hours earlier. Those men with sensitivity, ideals or values need not apply for the job. That mentality may incorporate a trivialization of sex, or trivialization of women, or trivialization of life. It may incorporate psychological repression or an emotional detachment and distance (which women arbitrarily label emotional with-holding when it works to their inconvenience or disfavor). Men have been pushed into a necessary callousness and indifference which approaches cold psychopathic deviance. The type of values being demanded of men to accommodate liberated culture are not the type of values that bring stability, warmth and commitment to marriages or other relationships.
Once formed, this mentality and value system tends to be permanent. The attitudes also tend to generalize. They become generalized cold attitudes toward life, toward women, and toward sex. It’s difficult to reestablish values once they have been destroyed.
The free ride for men was over. They had polluted their well, and now they were bitterly angry at the taste of the water. They were about ready to pay dearly. They began to face a pool of women they had created who were angry, hurt, mistrustful, jaded, and increasingly pathological—and upon whom they were ultimately dependent for love and companionship. True love and companionship were becoming harder to find.
Men were facing love phobias in women, an accumulation of anger in women; they were finding women sexually bonded to previous partners or becoming subtly pathological and not able to bond at all. A person undergoes a period of mental instability after breakup of a relationship. The pain and instability are cumulative over the number of relationships. That is, a person gets hurt in one romantic relationship and it is then six months to two years to emotionally heal under optimum conditions. The social conditions were, and are, not optimum. A second relationship that goes badly causes its own pain, plus it reopens scars and memories from the first. A third bad situation will reopen the cumulative pain of all three. Many women were chronically unstable.
This instability in women resulted in development of a type of relationship mania, in which women engaged in the pattern of a series of relationships in which there was no significant content coupled with a profound fear of emotional depth or involvement. Relationship mania became quite common in the single world and even in married people. Once it develops, it’s hard to reverse. The condition is reminiscent of a popular song from several years ago which went, “If you let me make love to you, then why won’t you let me touch you.” Increasingly more women did not want to be touched, emotionally. They would engage in sex, but they refused to be touched.
There developed an extensive population of women in America who could sexually take on a series of strangers with liberated pride and boundless self-confidence, but who psychologically collapse, sometimes to the point of transient psychotic episodes, if anyone, particularly a man, got close to them or shook up their defenses.
All this hurt profoundly when a man began to look for love or fell in love with a woman in this condition. There were fewer and fewer women left who weren’t emotionally distanced, hostile, warped, or crippled up.
In reaction, women were becoming directly hostile and castrating on a widespread level. Their attitude was becoming one of, “Here comes another jerk knocking at the door with a hard on,” which was just about the truth and they were tired of it—except on alternate weeks when they proclaimed it to be liberation. There were reports on the increasing problem of impotence in men. Some psychiatrists were also noticing impotence was connected to a subtle hostility and callousness on the part of women. I find women will bring up male impotence in social situations with what could be characterized as a thinly disguised air of gloating or victory. In one instance I remember hearing a woman saying all men had that problem occasionally, then thinking to myself after observing her attitude, I’ll bet they do have troubles by the time you’re through with them. In discussion groups their appraisal of various men’s sexual performance could be cool and frank to the point of intimidation. In the 70s there was a popular automobile bumper sticker women would display which said: “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” One of the bits of humor among women in the Washington D. C. area became: “How are men like a snowstorm? You never know how deep they’re going to go; you never know when they’re going to come; and they’re flakey.”
An unhappy occasional reader who would not be characterized as one of my supporters characterized her view and that of many women as follows:
From your psychobabble article about the Clinton’s “psychosis”:
[You say]: “One way or another, women are profoundly confused because for the last 40 years they have been attacked and undermined by everybody and it’s been nearly universally culturally institutionalized —”
My how you dance around to avoid the FACT that women aren’t confused at all. For the first time in history, women see it all PERFECTLY CLEARLY.
During the EARLY feminist movement, women thought men were merely “socialized wrong” and that’s why they attempted to keep women out of the workplace, out of educational institutions, etc. Women thought that once men were “socialized properly”, they would accept women’s equality and become decent human beings.
But after 30 years, women have figured out that men aren’t “socialized wrong” at all. They are simply GENETICALLY DEFECTIVE. That is, men’s essence is: Kill it, Fuck it, or Eat it. Period.
When the workplace became “fun” for women in that much labor became intellectual rather than manual, women of course opted for the workplace instead of staying home changing crappy diapers.
This has made women FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT from men, and given that men never “evolved” into feminism, women simply have NO USE for marriage. Why would any woman who earns her own living have a man in her house if he’s going to be..well..what a man naturally is: oppressive, violent, base, and a nuisance.
No. Women aren’t CONFUSED at all. More accurately, we have figured out what a FARCE the myths of monogamous marriage are. We have figured out that men aren’t really like the men in soap operas or in movies (women in men’s bodies who “emote”), but are instead useless burdens.
What’s more, research is now bearing out what women have already figured out…that fathers in the home are NOT NEEDED and in fact are likely to be a DETRIMENT to their children?
I got a good laugh out of your psychobabble. But I thought I owed you the truth, being that I have the insight of a woman, and you only have the wishful thinking of a man who longs for the good ol days when you were the boss.
That’s part of her opinion and it’s shared in parallel forms by tens of millions of other American women who have decided they can barely tolerate men and don’t need them for anything, including raising children. Members of the group have compounded their own busy system of enraged social science on the last 30 years to support that view.
Seduction Ain’t What It Used to Be
Even sexual seductions by men weren’t turning out like they used to. I recall one man’s introduction to changing attitudes on the part of women. He had been a glib charmer and seducer who had always had an emotional upper hand. When he and the woman left his apartment the next morning, the women would always ask if he were going to call her, look for some assurance, hope he liked her, would hope he would express some warmth, or whatever. One night he pulled his usual routine on a woman and it worked perfectly. However, immediately after the sex was finished, she started to put on her clothes. He asked her where she was going. She said, “I got what I wanted and now I’m leaving.” He said, “Huh? Well, don’t you want to stay the rest of the night?” She replied, “No, why should I? I got what I wanted and now I’m going.” She then walked out the door without saying another word. He was very badly shaken. For the first time in his life he realized he, too, could become nothing but a throwaway sexual appliance. It adversely affected his sexual performance for some period of time.
I know of a woman clinical psychologist in the Washington, D. C. area who conducts her “relationships” on the same order. She picks up two to three men a week at higher-class bars and engages in no emotional involvements. I suspect she creates the same mentality in her female patients as she herself has.
Men were now being cut to pieces. While exploitive men were less vulnerable, non-exploitive sincere men were being ripped up. They were developing love phobias and the other characteristics formerly seen in sexually abused women. This fed a new cycle of degeneration in the relationship between women and men. Interpersonal exploitation and injury tend to proliferate within a social pool. Men exploit women, then the women take their mistrust and anger out on other men, hurting them. They, in turn, mistrust and hurt other women—and so on. The pattern of American male-female relationships was becoming progressively unstable.
That’s not the only thing that was becoming unstable because of runamok sex lives. The sexual revolution produced a diffuse personal dissatisfaction which was sublimated into, and fueled, the political radicalism of the 60s and 70s. Time and time again, young women would arrive at universities or colleges where they would begin to undergo psychological abuse and processing in the classroom as well as socially. At some point they’d get their virginity pierced by someone who would leave them a month later or who they’d find in bed with somebody else. Two weeks after that, they’d have their ears pierced, installing heavy ear rings resembling Chinese gongs that seemed to symbolize the weight of the pain, suffering and depression they were carrying. A short time later they would let their hair grow long enough so that it could be parted vaguely down the middle and allowed to hang down each side, making them look like abandoned suffering war orphans in drab clothing. This seemed to symbolize the fact they had been attacked and made war on and that they were suffering and had been abandoned. A month after that, they would show up in a demonstration displacing their anger by throwing a rock at a policeman, claiming they were angry because of American foreign policy, but it’s doubtful that had been what had really made them angry.
There was an explosion of the compulsive politics of diffuse dissatisfaction in which the dissatisfaction generated from personal problems was displaced and channeled into political protest and upheaval. There were angry pronouncements about how “Economic advancement had occurred but human experience had not benefited!” What that meant was that they had been hurt very badly, their lives were empty and they were too depressed, they were in too much pain and turmoil to enjoy economic opportunities which had consequently not only become irrelevant, but which had become irritating to a depressed state of mind. In the radical leftist psychobabble of the period, everything was pronounced either “irrelevant” or “relevant,” but nobody would answer relevant to exactly what. Decoded, relevant often meant related to a morbid depressed state of mind. “Irrelevant” often meant something couldn’t cure the disappointment and bitterness in an empty personal life. More political conversions in America have occurred in beds, in “relationships,” and in bad marriages than at political rallys. It’s tragic that the depressed personal lives in America have made its economic successes meaningless and produced a consequent political instability.
Money Isn’t Everything
There is another Kocher psychological maxim which states there are times when economic success is not only irrelevant, but is a bitter reminder of loss and powerlessness. A male patient of mine lost his son who was killed by a drunken driver while walking along 50 feet from the street. The patient was a wealthy man, but his money was of no use. All the money in the world wouldn’t bring his son back. To many people, economic opportunity is irrelevant because it can’t correct the morbidity and turmoil in their personal lives. In fact, economic opportunity and even economic success is a irritating reminder of the powerlessness and emptiness in their personal lives. They have everything and nothing at the same time.
I listened to a discussion group for single people over 30 in the 1980s. All of the people present held good jobs. They wore expensive clothing and drove new automobiles. They all complained bitterly and compulsively about how president Reagan and VP Bush had ruined the country. Coincidentally, all of them were incapable of any genuine close interpersonal relationships. Their personal lives were filled with such morbidity, deception, and emptiness that handing everyone a check for an additional million dollars wouldn’t change their subjective obsessive dissatisfaction. They were too emotionally depleted to participate in enjoyment in life. If every citizen were made a prince of the realm, it wouldn’t ease their dissatisfaction. There has been a growing tendency for people to merge dissatisfaction from personal problems into political problems. They seek political outlets for personal failure. America is consequently becoming increasingly difficult to govern.
Life instability and political liberalism/radicalism correlate very highly, although this is not a relationship which the core of the social science establishment, who are predominantly liberal, is eager to make known. For instance, there was a February 1987 study in the Journal of Marriage and the Family by Kingston and Finkel entitled “Is There A Marriage Gap In Politics?” Studying the voting patterns in the 1984 election, one of the conclusions was that “Married and single persons consistently differ in their politics: the married were more inclined to Reagan, to the Republican party, to conservative self-identification, and to conservative views on a number of issues.” At the beginning of the study they point out 63 percent of married people chose the Republican candidate as opposed to only 45 percent of never-marrieds.
A July 1992 Reader’s Digest article, which was probably a spin-off from someone’s doctoral work, entitled “The Family Gap” discussed the same phenomenon. A study was done on marital status versus political attitudes and confirmed the work of Kingston and Finkel. Married versus unmarried people live in two entirely different worlds in terms of political and personal values. They have polar opposite views on liberalism versus conservatism, abortion, pornography and nearly everything else.
An Internet acquaintance remarked how strange it was that parents bringing their young children often made up a large percentage of people at Alan Keyes political rallys. There’s a serious reason. These weren’t the type of people whose primary interest was in forming coalitions with the Gay and Lesbian alliance to outlaw Christmas trees or some other nuttiness. They are people whose primary interest is in creating the best possible environment and future for those kids. They have a serious stake and investment in the future of the country for the long term. When people’s primary consideration is a future for their children, they become a lot more honest with themselves, honest about life, and honest about politics.
Unfortunately, such people are now considered a political inconvenience and an embarrassment to be sidelined in importance in a country of people presumed increasingly and exclusively self-absorbed with destructive egocentric self indulgence in the virtual reality of the liberal media. They are not offered potential representation in the political process, resulting in low voter turnout. Reagan was the last presidential candidate that appealed to them.
On the other hand, many single people typically do not have the same investment in the country’s future. Their investment is more typically in the present and in a moral environment that validates pathological and/or predatory life styles. Their vote is often a bitter and obsessively destructive expression of protest against life. They don’t have the same investment in the future of the nation. Their investment and values are typically tied to things more transitory in nature. Whether anybody else, or anybody else’s kids, are going to live lives any more bankrupt than what they are justifying for themselves is of little concern to them.
Presuming people are given clear choice independent of political manipulations and deceptions, to a very serious extent, the people chosen as president or other political representatives, and the prevailing political ideology, are an expression of the condition of our marriages and our capacity for honest close interpersonal relationships, versus the failure in those areas.
Upon that there may be superimposed a few more legitimate issues, but today’s American politics has primarily become a referendum on people’s satisfactions or dissatisfactions or hates, loves, pathology, sexual frustrations, and bitterness in their personal lives.
In recent years the number of never-married people above the age of 25, or even 35 or 40, is at the highest proportion in America since men and women were separated by the frontier during the 1800s. The present source of separation is the result of the fact that increasing numbers of men and women can barely tolerate each other. This particular population segment is a voting block of about 20,000,000 people. Added to that is a sizable block of alienated single divorced, and a large block of angry alienated married people, who we will discuss later.
It has produced a sharp turn to the political left.