One of the things you realize when you first start flirting with women more and more is that many of these things you’d previously assumed were bad to say because women would find them ‘offensive’ actually turn out to win you points with girls.
You tease a woman about how all women care about is gossiping and backstabbing, and she laughs and punches you in the shoulder.
You have a girl who’s on the fence about going along or not with
something you’ve invited her to, and you bullishly insist, like the asshole bad
you are (or are trying to be), and she relents and goes along with
it... and immediately, you notice a big spike in her attraction to you.
She asks you if you believe in equality in relationships, and becomes submissive and affectionate after you tell her you find it impossible to buy into that nonsense, because the fact is that men are men and women are women and relationships work better when each accepts their roles and lives up to them.
All these things are things that shouldn’t happen, you’d think, if you’ve spent much time consuming the media on TV or the Internet or you’ve spent a lot of time listening to what women say they want.
Yet, they happen anyway.
The term “sexist” has been used as a weapon for a few decades by women seeking to get concessions out of men. It’s shaming language that employs moral superiority to confuse an opponent and instill fear of ostracism in him, frequently leading him to back down and go on the defensive or make peace offerings.
In other words, labeling someone a “sexist” is a pretty useful way to get them to do or give you whatever you want.
I haven’t been hearing the term as much lately, perhaps because it’s jumped the shark. Nowadays, someone crying, “That’s sexist!” is as likely to receive scathing derision for moaning and whining as she is to spy a battalion of white knights riding valiantly to her defense.
Crying “sexist”, too, is a clear sign of victim mentality, and lately our culture has been so awash in victim mentality that the patience of most of society seems to be wearing very thin for this.
Now that everyone is a victim (really... find me someone in the West who doesn’t see him or herself as a victim in some way these days; it’s endemic in Western society), victims no longer get the special treatment and privileges they have been afforded in spades the last 50 or so years.
Let’s return to the term “sexist.”
“Sexist” doesn’t just mean someone who hates or dislikes the opposite sex, you may not realize.
The term “sexist” more generally gets used to mean anyone who sees the roles of the sexes in society as being different.
If you think men and women have different roles in a relationship, you’re sexist.
If you think men and women have different natural interests, you’re sexist.
If you think men and women have different skills and capabilities, you’re sexist.
And now, the latest research on sexism is that women like sexist men BEST.
How Sexy are Sexist Men?
From the journal Sex Roles
comes this 2010 study, titled “How
Sexy are Sexist Men? Women’s Perception of Male Response Profiles in
the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory”:
“In Studies 1 to 3, German female students (total N = 326) rated the likability and typicality of male targets: a nonsexist, a benevolent sexist, a hostile sexist, and (in Studies 2 and 3) an ambivalent sexist. When targets were presented as response profiles in the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (Glick and Fiske 1996) (Studies 2 and 3), the benevolent sexist was rated to be most likable but least typical, whereas the ambivalent sexist was rated to be highly typical. Thus, women were aware of a link between benevolent and hostile sexism and approved of men’s benevolent sexism, especially when it was not paired with hostile sexism. Likability ratings were moderated by participants’ own benevolent sexism and feminist attitude.”
Unfamiliar with the terms “benevolent sexist” and “hostile sexist”, I had to do some digging to find out what they mean. Here are the definitions for both of these, plus “nonsexist”:
Nonsexist: someone who is totally gender neutral; sees no real differences between men and women; men and women are essentially the same, with only minimal external biological differences. Believes most differences in behavior are a result of socialization and cultural / environmental factors; a nonsexist is a “any sex differences are all nurture and no nature” kind of guy. The nonsexist is the guy we’d normally call a boring, unsexy nice guy on this site.
Benevolent Sexist: one half of the “ambivalent sexism” theoretical framework (Wikipedia link there if you’re curious), which holds that all forms of sexism are bad but some are worse than others. Benevolent sexism is the “nice” half of sexism that involves things like white knighting, elevation of women’s maternal instincts, putting forth that men ought to be gentlemen, etc. The benevolent sexist is more or less what we focus on helping you to be on Girls Chase, sans the over-the-top white knightery angry nice guy stuff.
Hostile Sexist: the other half of ambivalent sexism is the hostile sexist, who has blatantly negative beliefs about the opposite sex; e.g., “All men are chauvinist pigs” or “Women are all unoriginal copycats.” The hostile sexist is the bitter man we strongly advise you not be here.
An easy way of distinguishing these is that the benevolent sexist looks on caringly at members of the opposite sex and enjoys the differences; the hostile sexist glares at the opposite sex and resents the differences; and the nonsexist is kind of off in his own gender neutral mental utopia and doesn’t really register any of the differences.
The interesting results from this study of female German students’ opinions of the various sorts of men were:
Hostile sexist: rated as the least likeable, least sexually attractive, and most common of all varieties of men
Nonsexist: rated as much more likeable, a fair bit more sexually attractive, and slightly less common than the hostile sexist
Benevolent sexist: rated as significantly more likeable and sexually attractive than either the hostile sexist or the nonsexist, and a good chunk rarer, too
So, at this point, we now have some research to back up what we’ve been saying here for years: women much prefer masculine men who treat them like feminine women to equality-minded nice guys... and prefer BOTH types of men to BITTER men who dislike women.
Still worth discussing though, is the link between “hostile” and “benevolent” sexism... and what it means.
Tools of Repression?
One of the unusual things you’ll encounter reading about sexism frameworks is the belief by the individuals proposing these that sexism is a means of repression, used by both men and women, frequently unconsciously but sometimes consciously, mostly against women.
This line of thinking is centered on the assumption that the male
lifestyle is the ideal lifestyle for both sexes, and that women have
been cheated of the opportunity to live and do the same things as men
by systematic repression on a global scale.
That would assume, of course, that what women REALLY want is to conquer the world, lead armies, invent new technologies and branches of science, explore the deepest depths of the oceans and the farthest reaches of space, and build themselves legendary businesses that earn them billions of dollars, all, ultimately, in search of prestige, contribution to the species, and more mating opportunities with hot young opposite sex partners than you can shake a stick at.
Which... well, just about every man slobbers over something like that, but it just doesn’t really do it for most women (though there are a few! Typically very high in testosterone, however, in my experience).
So, reading about this whole “sexism as tool of repression” thing strikes me quite distinctly as bunk... especially in light of the fact that as “sexist repression” has been beaten back in the West and we’ve moved toward an increasingly nonsexist society, the bottom’s fallen out from women’s happiness levels, and these keep going lower and lower.
Thus, try not to get your feathers in a ruffle too much reading this stuff – it’s produced interesting results for us here in terms of what women find more attractive, regardless of the fact that the framework is designed to understand a problem that doesn’t really seem to exist.
Back to that research.
So, what’s the link between “hostile sexism” and “benevolent sexism”... and why do women prefer the one above all else, and despise the other more than any thing else?
Well, the answers to both questions are simpler than you might think.
The Missing Link
The link between hostile and benevolent sexism is the fact that you must perceive a difference between the two sexes to hold either a hostile or a benevolent view of the opposite sex.
You must say, “Women are different from myself and other men,” before you can say, “... and that makes women AMAZING!” or before you can say, “... which is why women are such TERRIBLE EVIL CREATURES!”
In this way, the benevolent and hostile sexists are alike, when compared to nonsexists in any event. The nonsexist looks at men, then looks at women, and comes back saying, “They look pretty much the same to me! Yep, all people – and all the same wants, needs, desires, preferences, and emotions. Pretty much all the same.”
The first part – that “seeing a difference” – is the part that
sexism researchers don’t like. They view seeing differences as “bad”
and something that leads to repression. We should all hold hands and
sing Kum Ba Yah... but of course, humans are relentless stereotypers
and categorizers by nature, and when you fight against nature, well,
you know who wins in the end.
Anyway, what causes the difference in attitudes between the sexists (of either variety) and the nonsexists? My suspicion is sex drive.
I can’t say I’ve met a lot of nonsexist men – I’m not really sure where they hang out, or how they spend their time – but I get the impression from the handful I’ve met that the majority of them don’t have very high sex drives.
Of course, there’s always the outlier – the hypersexual guy, frequently bisexual, who enjoys having sex with everything that moves. This guy also tends to be nonsexist, mostly because EVERYTHING is a sexual option for him... and he doesn’t get too caught up on the details of the various different roles one sex or another ought to be performing.
Most straight men with normal to high sex drives seem to end up hostile or benevolent sexists more or less automatically though – probably because they focus so much of their attention on women, getting women, or not getting women, that they inevitably must pay attention to the differences, and then either come to feel quite warmly toward women (if they’ve had good experiences), or quite bitterly (if they’ve had bad ones).
Why the Difference in Tastes?
So why’s a benevolent sexist so damn SEXY to women (not to mention likeable), while also the rarest of the bunch...
... while a hostile sexist is so very UNsexy to women, unlikeable, and so eminently commonplace?
It comes back to my friend Jesse’s hierarchy of people we discussed in “What’s Wrong with Dating in America (and Much of the West)”: that a select few men, who’ve either been very lucky or have worked relentlessly hard, sit at the top of the pyramid, lusted after and pursued by pretty girls, with a much broader stack of pretty girls beneath them all competing for the comparatively rare outlier men...
... and meanwhile, an even GREATER number of Average Joes sits beneath the pretty girl tier, all of those Joes longing for and competing for pretty girls, but usually not getting them.
Needless to say, the minority of men at the top of the mating pyramid will tend to have pretty warm views of women, while the majority of men at the bottom of the mating pyramid will usually have pretty chilly views of them.
And that’s entirely reliant on those men’s past experiences; the guys who’ve gotten laid a lot, been chased after, and been pined for by hordes of pretty girls will usually feel quite good about pretty girls, and the guys who’ve been rejected over and over, ignored, and insulted by pretty girls will tend to feel pretty bitter toward women.
That’s not ALL of them. Occasionally you’ll find a guy who maybe does great with women now, but didn’t used to, and he still carries around old wounds and looks down on women; or, you’ll find a guy who’s never had much success with women, but maybe he had a really great relationship with his mother or other female relatives or friends, and so despite his lack of success he still thinks warmly of women.
Either way, the guys who like women end up as benevolent sexists, looking out for women, caring about them, and wanting to see them happy, while the guys who’re bitter toward women just want to show them up or get even with them.
And women can sense those dispositions miles away.
And when they pick up on them, it tells them something crucial:
This man – the man who loves women – has clearly had good experiences with women. That means women like him, find him attractive, date him, sleep with him, and choose him. Therefore, he’s preselected; therefore, he’s a good, solid bet as both a short-term and a long-term mate.
While on the other hand, THAT man – the man bitter toward women – has clearly had bad experiences with women. This means women dislike him, find him unattractive, don’t date him, don’t sleep with him, and don’t choose him. Therefore, he’s anti-preselected; therefore, he’s a bad, crummy bet as either a short- or a long-term mate.
Being a benevolent sexist, in other words, is a way of telling women, “I am among the top of the top when it comes to mating success with women,” while being a hostile sexist is a way of saying, “I’m in that big pile at the bottom of men whom women just don’t want.”
The Darn Sexy Sexist
A man’s emotion toward women is his way of showing his true colors – the successful man loves them, while the failure of a man resents them, and women, longing for successful men as they do, run towards the men advertising their success, and away from the ones advertising their failure.
Nothing you didn’t already know if you’ve been following this site for a while, but this is some fun extra research and a slightly different take on the “lover of women” vs. “bitter man” vs. “boring nice guy” discussion... flavored with a little bit of sexism.
The big takeaway here is, don’t take it too hard if somebody calls you “sexist”... she might just be telling you you’re in the top echelon of most attractive men to women.
Not so bad a place to be in the end, eh?