I’ve been reading a number of Game sites recently, and some of it is very useful stuff, which is corroborated by scientific studies.
Here’s an example:
At its core, the “Game” people are trying to address female hypergamy (the natural and necessary tendency for women to try to find the best possible mate) and a feminist world. Different male behaviors in response to women tend to get rated alpha (aggressive, selfish, “player”), or beta (passive, eager-to-please, “doormat”).
It’s interesting stuff if you’re interested in relationships and psychology, and I am. But beyond that, I think that Game is primarily a tool men can use to understand feminine psychology, and that its social trappings are in response to what is very much a passing phase.
In the patriarchal world, men’s natural but destructive habit of sleeping with other women was something that seemed more or less uncontrollable, and the very conservative “traditional women’s ethics” were a means of protecting women and reining in the men. The women in Andrew Jackson’s polite society all the way back when didn’t refuse to hang out with Peggy Eaton (known to slut it up) because they were afraid of sexuality. The women who shunned Eaton for having sex with everybody who met her fancy were thefeminists of their day, and opposed her behavior b/c they were trying to create a society in which they knew the men would be there to give support in case the woman got pregnant. (And this was an era in which people routinely fell down dead in their 30s and 40s from disease and overwork — life was simply harder than anything we know now in the developed world)
Between birth control and abortion, that circumstance, for the most part, no longer applies. Freed from the strongest effect of reproductive biology, women can sleep around, and be a lot pickier and choosier about who they wind up with. They also divorce a lot more, in many cases explicitly because they want to “trade up,” which is the female equivalent of the guy who trades in his middle-aged wife for a younger model.
In this society, women earn their own incomes, control their own biology (but not, and this is very important, their underlying hormonally-driven behaviors), and have a wide array of legal advantages over their mates on the legal scene (including the ability in cases of infidelity-related divorce, to force men to pay child support for offspring who they did not father).
Point Blank, a lot of men who played by the “old rules” are now getting burned, and burned hard, to the point where significant numbers of men are saying “no way am I ever getting married so the legal system can rape me.” Leykiss and his ilk on the radio stay in business for a reason.
Men are reacting with Game (the attempt to literally game women’s psychology so as to retain the upper hand). That’s an understandable short-term reaction, but I think that inevitably this pendulum will iron itself out, for several reasons:
1. Women who fall prey to the worst sides of their behavior tend to wind up childless and alone. The slope of “proud slut” –> “where are all the REAL men” –> “lonely cat lady” is unfortunately all too real (c.f. Maureen Dowd). This is not something to snark about — it’s a very real trap, and the exact same lonely fate that men who can’t be satisfied with a single woman eventually find themselves in (and also applies to the women who divorce in order to “trade up,” if they don’t manage to actually find a new mate) Something rotten happens to the soul and joi de vivre of either a man or women who screws so many people that they cease to find lovemaking special, and rottenness tends to repel quality men and women. Simple mathematical formula for life: “Jaded = Bad”
2. At the same time as women are growing their most powerful, male respect for women is crashing into the basement. The old “beta virtues” (traditional values) were meant to foster mutual respect. This is not to say that I think women should be locked up with chastity belts until marriage (people who know me in real life are snickering in the background just reading that). Men who react to women devaluing their ability to provide (because it does have less value than it used to when women are generally out-earning men(*fn) ). If men disdain the need to provide, and only relate to women in the context of getting laid (and contra those breeds of feminist who fundamentally despise male sexuality, this IS necessary for the survival of the species), something psychologically corrosive happens to them as well. Men are at their best when they are helping to shape their children.
3. Single motherhood is rampant, with its attendant ill effects on the children (but at least said children weren’t murdered in vivo, so good for mama).
4. Counter to all this disaster, a significant percentage of men and women, primarily the religious, seem to resist the psychological “hamster wheel” both of female hypergamy and male infidelity. They’re happier, they’re reproducing more, and their children are better-adjusted. (Contrary to stereotype but consistently reinforced by sociology, they’re also generally having more and, and apparently, a lot better, sex)
The evolutionary writing is on the wall — traditional (mainly religious) families outcompete the others. Any stroll through single-mother-land will show what the new sexy is: it looks an awful lot like the Huxtables, and is made up of a prosperous and stable nuclear family with both parents involved. Similarly, any stroll through the demographics of the western world will show the same thing: traditional families continue to do well, and the alternative seems to be bitter men and lonely, depressed women.
So whereas a lot of the men who are into “Game” as a necessary adjunct to a future in which men are routinely tossed aside by women in favor of whoever’s got the bigger muscles or paycheck, I think it’s simply a cyclical affair and a generational dead end. Eventually, the ultra-feminists will wither away simply because they’re failing to reproduce and transmit their values to the next generation (c.f. “Roe Effect.”).
But what to say to somebody who’s *not* from a traditional household? Here, I think, we have “lessons learned” that can benefit anyone.
1. The traditional values work because they foster mutual respect between the sexes. That respect may be asymmetric and textured differently from one sex to another, but that’s because the sexes are different, not merely physically, but psychologically as well.
2. Each sex has hormonally-driven behaviors which make a certain amount of evolutionary success, but which can also be destructive (in many case, estrogen poisoning from the water supply is dampening this among males, reducing aggressiveness, but also violence). Each sex has psychological virtues as well, which need to be honored by its counterpart. Men will tend to get emotionally distant. Women will tend to give “shit tests” by nagging their man unreasonably, eventually resulting in disdain for the man and relationship breakup if the man buckles under to said tests (and, counter to this, trashed relationships if the man fails to respond to “nagging” that is actually entirely appropriate and justified.)
3. The “sexual marketplace” (or whatever metaphor one prefers for “finding one’s mate”) is very real, and men and women have different appeal at different ages. Women tend to have it all their way, and can be as picky as the day is long, while their beauty lasts — but it fades much more rapidly than anybody wishes, and looks count (c.f. online dating sites where women routinely put up pictures from five years ago, b/c their “real” pictures are only getting them responses from men fifteen years their senior). Women need to understand the traditional wisdom that beauty fades, and unless they wish to risk being single in their 30s and 40s, strongly consider the idea that they need to commit much earlier, while they are still at the height of their beauty and the men around them are still “works in progress.” A woman who wants an established man either risks staying single too long, or really needs to consider dating somebody 5-10 years older than them. Men, on the other hand, need to blow off the 80s and 90s style lessons of feminism, because they are a recipe for female disdain, and instead learn how women work psychologically (it’s not hard, and women are *not* mysterious) so that they don’t engage in behavior that actively repels the women they’re trying to land.
4. Culture counts, and the “hard truths” don’t get fuzzier just because they’re, well, true. Men and women both need to orient themselves towards the society they want to live in — a “traditional-minded,” chivalrous man, unless he has movie-star looks and a six-digit bank account, is dogmeat trying to find and land women in places like NYC. A woman who wants to “have it all” and negotiate the rules by which she’s going to live all on her own (or in the company of a nontraditional man) are going to have a hard time of that in Flyover Country.
5. The happiest men are those who love and respect women, and the happiest women are still those who love and respect men. Disdain for the opposite sex is not a mark of pyschological health.
6. I have no idea how this relates to the world of homosexuals, and whether lesbians are also subject to hypergamy, etcetera. There are very real differences in the limbic system functioning between straights and gays, and assumptions should not be made lightly. (Sorry, social-conservatives, but these differences arebiological, not merely behavioral)
(fn*)remember the Apex fallacy. Just because the best-compensated men are paid more than the best-compensated women, does not mean all men make more than all women, or that “comparable work” is the best societal gauge of power between the sexes. While the wealthiest and most powerful tend to be men, the most impoverished and most powerless *also* tend to be men, as any trip through a soup kitchen or homeless camp will show you.