Two questions for Lexie

After my recent plea for women willing to be interviewed so as to answer some of the questions that puzzle me about women, and probably puzzle many men, “Lexie” agreed to answer a couple of questions.

I will highlight in bold those passages I found most interesting.

I think Lexie has been clear and informative in her replies. If anybody has any follow-up questions, just put them in the comments and more responses may be forthcoming.

I get tired of just speculating about women and their motives. A few women have insight and honesty and are able to communicate their thoughts and feelings like this. So, here it is.

Q 1. What do you think men understand least about women?

Women live in a fantasy world. We take ‘the world is a stage’ to a level that is beyond most men’s comprehension. Everything we do is part of our role, so much so that most women can’t actually differentiate between the person they think they are and the brutal reality. An everyday example of how this has played out might be the way feminists (read: most women) insist that overweight women are ‘curvy’ and beautiful as they are. Now, there are gorgeous curvy women out there, but of the women who call themselves ‘curvy’ or ‘cuddly’ I’d say only 1% have an even remote resemblance to the vintage screen goddesses they cite as examples of ‘curvy’. This is part of the self-deception women employ, and women have increasingly demanded that men go along with it. Psychologically, many women cannot cope when the illusion is shattered, which explains the irrational and bitter hatred that comes the way of anyone who points out the truth. A longstanding cultural example of this is the wicked stepmother in Snow White, and a historical example is Elizabeth I who banned mirrors and beheaded her beloved Earl of Essex when he walked in on her without her wig (and he didn’t keep his mouth shut about it). These are extreme examples, but if a woman has enough invested (financially, psychologically, etc.) in her image, she will protect it with deadly passion.

In terms of men interacting with women, I suppose what this means is that women will go to extreme lengths to protect the illusion they have created. As women lose the bloom of youth and put on the pounds, they employ various measures to remain the woman they want to be. Sometimes it works – you can keep fit, diet, dye your hair, take care of your skin, etc. – but things start to crumble sooner or later. So women require collaboration. The thing men need to understand is that their collaboration is minuscule in comparison to the collaboration we demand from other women. A guy may find it hard to say something nice about the size of his wife’s butt in the outfit she’s chosen to wear to his work Christmas party, but it is nothing compared to the amount of affirmation she’s elicited from friends, family, and sales assistants up to that point. We women constantly seek affirmation and approval, and I think it’s simply because underneath we know we’re living a pretence and in order to keep up that pretence we need to be constantly built up.

In defence of women, let me say that this is a tough gig. Sometimes it’s like we have multiple personalities. Depending on our choices in life, we may be juggling half a dozen roles, some of which may not be very compatible. God forbid that you should tell a woman that being a mother and a career woman isn’t compatible, though. Think of it as a grown-up version of your 4yo daughter who insists she’s a princess… then add a few grown-up fantasies to the mix. I have friends whose consumption of clothes and beauty goods and subsequent posting of (really bad) photos of themselves on social media suggests they fantasise that they are as attractive and interesting as a celebrity. (It’s not a wholly unreasonable idea when it comes to women like Kim Kardashian, but….) Others have illusions that their ineffective bureaucratic jobs are illustrious careers for which their children must be sacrificed.

Appearances really matter, and what matters to a woman seems to be things that men just don’t get. For example, most men can’t grasp the importance of tidying up the house before the cleaner arrives to clean it… or the necessity of being dressed (with ‘face’ on) when a neighbour knocks on the door. My husband, for example, worries that the neighbours might hear me yelling, but he isn’t worried that a visitor might see his dirty socks on the living room floor. We’re both worried about our reputations, but what he sees as trivial is a big deal to me.

Women have so many different reputations that it’s hard for anyone to get a real grip on them all. The whole sharing of recipes is a good example. Many women have recipes they will not share, period. Others will share a recipe but leave out key tips and tricks so that no one else does it as well as they do. (I suspect many recipe books have such recipes as they almost always need tweaking.) There is a constant ‘reading between the lines’ and maintenance of image for women. The indirect (sometimes sly and catty) speech we use isn’t always selfish, often it’s because we understand how someone else’s image could be shattered. A woman doesn’t want to say to her husband “no, you can’t play golf on Saturday” because (consciously or not) she doesn’t want to lord it over him. It damages his role as ‘lord and master’ and hers as doting wife. What woman wants to have sex with a guy who has to be told what to do? So, instead we say “whatever” or “I suppose so”.

So I suppose my short answer is that men don’t understand the priority given to the psychological patina women create from a very young age. We all want to be princesses of some sort, and even though we gave up on the literal princess dream in our childhood we’ve adapted it according to our needs. (Those needs are as varied as there are women, but the core idea of being beautiful, adored, and respected carries through.) The women who also internalise the idea that princesses are selfless slaves to duty and tradition tend to be the women who actually feel beautiful, adored, and respected with the least amount of artifice, but those who lack (true) humility and have an attitude of entitlement are the ones who demand that men (and other women) go along with their self-deception and lies.

Q 2. What do you think women are most and least honest about?

I don’t think women are all that different to men in this regard. We’re honest about what we take pride in and we’re dishonest about things of which we’re ashamed. What those actual things are may differ, of course.

Women take great pride in being able to read between the lines and expose someone else’s deceit. (I suppose it takes one to know one.) Unless we’re the ones being romantically hoodwinked, we have a real talent for judging character. For example, I can walk into a bar or restaurant with my husband and tell him which guys are womanisers, cuckolds, homosexual, and trustworthy or not. Now, some might call this judging a book by its cover, but I’d call it honesty. It is so rare for me to misjudge someone’s character that I will trust my judgement as much as concrete evidence. For women whose judgement isn’t as well-tuned this creates the classic scenario where she confuses what she believes with what is fact. It happens to both sexes, but I’ve had vastly more women judge me on what they believe (fantasise) I am like as opposed to what I am like. And this is why women tend to gossip more, because to us it seems as if we’re just being honest and sharing our good judgement. That said, when a woman shares what she thinks about someone else (not to their face) she’s probably at her most candid. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I’ll let you decide.

As for women’s dishonesty, I think it is greatest about moral issues in which they are at fault. Women can handle not being able to *do* a host of things – there isn’t a drive to be competent like men as competence is the #1 quality for sexiness in a man and we have an innate desire to complement that – but we don’t like being wrong. The word you’ll hear feminists repeat again and again in their rants against pro-lifers praying outside abortion clinics is “shame”. Women don’t like to feel shame, and they will blame anyone else but themselves for that feeling. This is how the victim narrative has developed. She didn’t tempt the man with her flirtatious manner and skimpy clothing, he seduced her. She didn’t spend too much money on beauty products, societal expectations make her do it. She didn’t subjugate her maternal instinct for the sake of her career, society doesn’t cater to the needs of a working mother. You get the picture. It’s never a woman’s fault. She won’t admit it to anyone else and often not even to herself.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. And so a glimmer of hope was restored.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 2, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Even women journalists care desperately about their appearance, according to Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anon on December 4, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Lexie says “competence is the #1 quality for sexiness in a man and we have an innate desire to complement that”.

    On the flip side, what is her complementarian view of weakness, vulnerability, even incompetence in her man? A source of stress for men is that we’re not allowed to display weakness, vulnerability, or incompetence to our girlfriend or wife who will pull away or innately reject us for it.

    Reply

  4. […] Lexie answered some questions many men must find confusing about women previously here. […]

    Reply

  5. […] recent posts (here and here) and consequent comments, Lexie has provided these further comments. I think many men will […]

    Reply

  6. […] “Two questions for Lexie.” […]

    Reply

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