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War of the Genders

A confrontational soapbox for rants and politically incorrect manifestos regarding feminism, chauvinism, dating and gender issues.

Location: Jerusalem, Israel

This isn't a dating site. If you wish to propose marriage or to beat me up, leave me a note.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


I'd like to introduce you to one of my pet peeves. The phrase: "I want to be accepted for who I am".

Now while this expression has some acceptable applications in the context of such things as aesthetic tastes and some core personality traits, this phrase has been so abused, that whenever someone utters it, I feel like I'm talking to an animated corpse. Needless to say, that's quite a turn-off.

The explanation for this is simple: I believe we are here to change and improve, otherwise there is no point to living. To get enjoyment out of life is a fun pastime to be certain, but not a goal strong enough to elicit passion. 'Fun' is not a valid existential drive, only an ingredient. If someone wants to stay the way they are, for me they are dead, or animals at best. I may enjoy many things but necrophilia and bestiality are not among them.

For me, marriage is a forge. The most intense training ground for mutual growth and improvement. Someone once said marriage is a three-ring circus: an engagement ring, a wedding ring and suffering. As with any cynical joke, this has some truth to it.

But why would anyone in their right mind go to so much trouble and conflict, and force themselves to change and work so hard on improvement if it involves so much struggle and strife? Why even bother to improve if things are satisfactory as they are now? My life as a bachelor is easier to control and enjoy, why bother working so hard for some nebulous rewards?

This is where we get tricked, my friends. Have you ever wondered why they call it 'getting hitched'? You lead a safe, enjoyable single life and suddenly you fall in love. The physical and/or spiritual attraction is so great, all logic and practical plans for the future get thrown out the window and you find yourself in the ring before you can say 'wedding vows'.

But think about it... what a brilliant feat of engineering! To induce change and improvement, opposition and challenge are necessary. What is needed is an environment with obstacles and responsibilities where one is forced to get out of one's safe little box, and grow. Expansion is not possible without taking risks and dealing with external and opposing perspectives. Since a spouse has physical, erotic, mental, and spiritual sides and the standard marriage arrangement forces you to interact intimately on all these planes, your potential growth is comprehensive and limitless.

The repellent aspect of challenge and growth is countered by a powerful, illogical attraction that keeps you in place while your skin is burned off and a better one takes its place.

That is, as long as you know what you're doing, are open to growth, and are both going in the same direction. Like another joke says: Marriage is when a man and woman become as one; the trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

By the way, I fully realize I am using overly harsh words to describe marriage, and that a nice marriage can be quite blissful and fulfilling. But I have to counter these romantic and static pictures of what a marriage entails.

On a related note, have you ever witnessed couples who lived together for years but suddenly deteriorate when they finally get married? Why is this?

It can be argued that the financial stress contributes to this effect, but others think it is simply because there is no longer a quick emergency exit. Before the marriage, at any time, you know you can simply pack and leave. Your back is not against the wall. If there is a fight, panic does not enter the picture in the same way. If there is tension, there isn't the same intense pressure to relieve it - you can simply wait and see if it gets resolved by itself, or you can move on.

Fighting to make things work doesn't mean 'do it or I leave' or 'do it or you'll regret it'. It should mean 'do it because we have to'. The solutions will then also have to be of a different and more permanent quality. If you get married, then that's it; you chose to be stuck together; you committed. As Yoda would say 'there is no exit'.

Women may bitch about men's fear of commitment, but the truth is I don't see them committing too strongly either. Just because you're married, that doesnt make you committed. In fact, I could turn this around and say that men are afraid of marriage because only they realize what it really means! (Or alternatively, men know they will have to support a family and will always get the short end of the stick if they do decide to divorce)

These obviously are gross generalizations, but it seems just as offensive to me that some women blindly push for marriage without serious thought towards a workable future. Blind fearlessness is not better than fear.

All of the above sets high standards which I have to work on as well so do not think I am taking the high ground here and preaching. I try to aim high but take an easygoing approach - and it's not always successful.

But I did need to rant against all 'relationship' seekers that don't seem to have a clue what they're in for or what they're looking for. It's well known that marriage is like a bird-cage with the birds outside wanting to get in and the ones inside desperately wanting to get out. Well, at least I know it's a cage.

If and when I get 'hitched', I will accept only the one who will make it all worthwhile. I'll know what to aim for, and yes, I will be afraid to commit. And for good reason.

Thursday, November 18, 2004


So why is it that when a woman needs to feel desired, attractive and comfortable in bed we call it basic and valid (or at the very least, men don't dare retort), but when a man needs assurances about his penis or can't take criticisms about his performance, we call it an immature or fragile male ego?

Legal Coat Hangers

Today, I feel like exploring the fringes of a random contentious gender issue and analyzing it: Child support.

Now that women have fought and won for the right to make a decision whether to keep the baby, and many effective birth control methods are easy to acquire, why are there still laws that force a man to pay for child support? You can't have it both ways. At first sight, if a man chooses to have sex then he should be responsible for consequences, but not if they are out of his control.

But things aren't that simple. One can't suggest that men not be held responsible in all cases. Let's try to discuss this objectively from a legal standpoint:

One point of view may say that the man should make his own decisions whether to risk having a baby and wear a condom. If he didn't, then he should be responsible for any consequences regardless of what her decisions were. But the condom is the only birth control device available for men (besides a vasectomy which doesn't leave room for future choices) and it is only 97% reliable as opposed to at least 5 methods for women, many with higher effectiveness (not to mention the choice of abortion). So should a man just abstain from sex to be sure?

Then again, just because the 'risk' is higher for men, that doesn't make it unfair to hold them responsible for their own decisions. It only makes their decisions tougher.

But then there are the allegations that some women lie and the men who trust them find themselves forced fathers. While I find it impossible to believe a woman would lie, go through the torture of getting pregnant, giving birth and having a child just in order to get some money, I would find it very easy to believe that if a woman wanted a baby and he didn't, she would lie about it.

So what is the man to do in this case? He can't prove she lied and it wouldn't make a difference in court in any case. It was her choice alone, he was tricked, and he is held responsible. Should people be held responsible for being conned?

Then there's abortion. One can say that she has a choice whether to have it or not, but it could also be against her religious beliefs or ideals and is therefore not an option. So on the one hand, the law should place responsibility in the hands of the one the law gave final decision to. But the law can't ignore those who have no choice either.

So what exceptional cases do we have so far? It can be argued that if the woman does not object to abortion, the man should not be made legally responsible since he is not legally involved in that final decision. This is even more true if he wore a condom. If she lied about birth control, it's also not his fault. In both these cases, the decision was not his.

But is having a say in the matter all that counts? Obviously not. People are held responsible for accidents and consequences all the time despite the lack of a direct decision on their part. You drove a car? You had sex? You pay for the consequences.

Is there a legal example that closely matches the elements of this case? The consequence is somewhat indirect, it involves a mutual choice, the consequence is a financial responsibility that has nothing to do with damages, and one of the parties has a second choice that can undo the consequence. It's not so simple after all and is probably unique.

One very different but perhaps slightly comparable example may be an employer who offers jobs with dangerous machinery. The employer chose to offer the job, the employee chose to work there, and in case of an accident, the employer has to pay for consequences. But the only reason the employee agreed to do this is because of an explicit contract that compensates him in case something goes wrong.

So what does this mean? That sex is an unwritten legal contract that is there to make the woman feel safer in case of unwanted consequences?

I can turn it around and say that if men should be held responsible despite the higher risk for them just because they chose to have sex, then I can also argue that it's her body that gets pregnant, not his, and it's therefore her risk and sole reponsibility.

But that's not right of course. And why? Fatherhood.

Aha! So legally, fatherhood is recognized as a shared responsibility for the pregnancy and baby. Then why is abortion a decision that is left only to her? Does his responsiblity only start when the baby is born? Is it only his sperm when it develops into something external from her body? You can't have it both ways. Is it her body and therefore only her choice, or is it their baby? This is a legal contradiction. Think about it.

So what's the answer? I'm no lawyer and I haven't done the research, and probably (hopefully) laywers have already trodden the same ground and come to some conclusions. But I think I raised enough issues here to show that logically, this isn't a simple case of 'you went to bed with me, you pay'.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


There's a simple and genetic reason why female promiscuity is considered worse and male polygamy more acceptable: fatherhood. A man can never be 100% sure that the child is his and will not care for the child the same way if it isn't. A man needs to trust his woman in order to be reasonably sure of this and the more women sleep around, the less support, protection, commitments and offers for marriage they will get.

Your female sexual freedom is only causing you to be used and dumped more often. Enjoy.

I Want Your Body

You know what superficial means? That's what the other person is when they don't find you attractive.

But seriously, people, as always, go to extremes. There are plenty of guys who grab girls based only on their looks, only to find a slut clawing at their wallets after a while; and there are girls who try to force relationships based on 'deeper' attractions (or other influences), only to find their bodies mysteriously unresponsive in bed.

I've talked to people of both genders who feel guilty for having physical criteria, I've seen accusations fly when members of the opposite sex are disqualified for their looks, and I've also seen dumped dates due to small breasts, bad eating habits or ugly clothes. And in my experience, it's only the less pretty girls who fling these accusations. You don't see girls complain while men fall at their feet.

So on the one hand, some criteria can be truly ridiculous. On the other hand, chemistry is important. Chemistry, or attractiveness, is a critical mechanism that allows a couple to overlook many things and get together without getting on each other's nerves after a while. And chemistry has to include physical attraction.

Of course there's love as well but I'm talking at a very basic level here. And that's the keyword here: basic.

Any shrink can tell you that if you neglect your physical needs, you become neurotic. Why are people so afraid to disqualify their date for fear of being labeled superficial? And why can't one refuse a second date without most people shifting either into what's-wrong-with-me mode or blaming the other person for 'losing the best thing they ever had'?

But more importantly, we are part mind/soul, part body. Ideally, you would have criteria for both, some important, some not so important. I may disqualify someone based on looks, but I also get turned off by many beautiful girls for several reasons. Sometimes you can keep trying in case the chemistry is taking its time to apear, and sometimes you just know it will never get there.

The good news is that there are different strokes for different folks. There is someone for everyone. Someone doesn't find you attractive? Move on!

I'm not trying to spout some feel-good nonsense here. If you consistently get dumped then you'd better start worrying that it's you. But in an ideal world, one person could say to the other 'I don't find you attractive' and neither of them would take it personally.

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Economics of Marriage

Let's discuss basic economics and the concept of supply and demand.

Once upon a time, women needed men to get anywhere. Their reputation and often their income depended on men; the slightest word of mouth could ruin their prospects; some women could be ruined even by being raped. In an age where a reputation was taken seriously and a woman's only important goal was to get married, men could control the supply and were therefore in demand.

Discard these quaint conventions and social proprieties, and the primary demand that comes to the fore is sex.

Men who have no qualms about indulging their lusts demand what women supply. The irony is that not all women are quite in control of their lusts either, and it would only take a little restraint and control on the part of men to gain back some of this deserted power.

But no. Men drool; they chase; they want. Women use it to their advantage and they are welcome to it. After all, if men are dumb enough to simply hand over all the power and be a slave to their lusts, then they deserve to be on the other end of the stick this time.

Men deserve to be made into the fools they are and as long as you women use but don't abuse this power, I shall tip my hat to you and wish you bonne chance.

In ancient Rome, a man's masculinity was measured by how well he controlled his need for sex and whether he had just the right amount without letting it take over. Too much sex meant he was a weak slave of his desires and this would label him effeminate. So much for progress...

You know what junk food is? Food that looks good and satiates your hunger, but isn't good for you. Words to the wise.

But let's look at the other side of the coin. Soon comes the devastating truth for modern women who focus on careers, education and 'self-discovery'. Suddenly they find themselves 30-somethings, their power of having men fall at their feet that gave them such confidence to pursue other goals has almost disappeared and is dwindling to nothing with every year. Their 20 year old sexual super-powers lulled them into a sense of immortal possibilities.

And how many actually found a truly enjoyable career and fulfilling life outside of marriage?

It's a myth that men use younger women for sex and marry older women. They marry younger women who, in turn, often prefer older men. I'm not going to argue that men want younger women because they want better chances to have children (although some may also have that in mind). The prime motivation is obvious.

Not only that, but modern women tend to get more and more demanding as they grow older, turning themselves into high-priced luxury items that no one wants.

Does this upset you? Do you think it unfair? Men know what they want and are entitled to get it just like anyone else. You can't tell men to only go for women their own age for no better reason than to make it easier for older bachelorettes that missed their chance to get hitched with anyone they want.

I'm not saying women shouldn't pursue careers and that they should stay at home. Neither am I saying that they should rush into marriage even though they haven't found the appropriate mate, or that a woman's only goal should be marriage. I am saying that many women are basically tricked into taking their time and mismanaging their priorities.

Feminism is going to make you women miserable unless you take it with a huge grain of salt, oh yes it will.

Is this a cynical viewpoint to reduce romance to economics? I'll let you find out for yourselves.