thread: 2006-04-08 : That certain zing

On 2006-04-08, Charles S wrote:

Responding to lpl and Ben in the marginalia of my last comment.

It seems to me that it is obviously not the case that men approach everyone they are attracted to, but only approach those they think they have a chance with. If women never approach, but only attempt to signal that men they are interested in will have a chance, I think we would still end up with parity, depending on ability to signal and ability to estimate. However, if women are stuck only signaling and not initiating, then they have to judge each initiating man on the uncertainty that another sufficiently interesting man will initiate any time soon, so women are more likely to either be forced to settle for second best, or to settle for no one. So if Alice fancies both Carlos and Daniel, but prefers Daniel, if Carlos approaches her, she has to either settle for him or reject him and hold out for Daniel, who may not be interested in her, or may not ever figure out that she's interested in him. Meanwhile, if Daniel fancies both Alice and Beth, but fancies Beth more, then he approaches Beth first, and only approaches Alice if Beth isn't interested, so if either Alice or Beth is interested in Daniel, then Daniel gets the best available outcome, while if Carlos fancies Alice, but Daniel doesn't, then Alice loses completely (if she rejects Carlos), while Carlos is free to approach Eliza or Francine, or if she accepts Carlos and Daniel was interested, then she loses her optimal outcome.

But that isn't Alice's real problem in this situation, the real problem is that the predatory model of male sexual desire goes by another name as well: predatory male sexual desire is one of the underpinnings of rape culture, so Alice loses no matter what, and whether they want to or not, Carlos and Daniel win, because they aren't the targets of the rape culture, don't suffer the disadvantages of being the targets of the rape culture, and get the benefits (horrible though they may be) of being part of the dominant group. No matter how much individual men may hate living under rape culture, women suffer under it far far more. Everyone loses, but relative advantage matters.

Sorry, I think this was kinda meant to be a light hearted thread, but this was straight where it took me.


This makes BL go "I disagree..."
And so do the rape statistics. Men are very frequently targets of rape, by both men and women.

This makes lpl go "No..."
Men can approach anyone they're interested in, and merely face rejection.

This makes CS go "lpl?"
If your "no" was to me, that is exactly what I said. Carlos wins because he goes down his list of interest from top to bottom, and hooks up with the first person who is interested in him, while whoever is most interested in him can only signal that interest and wait, potentially rejecting her second or third choice in the meanwhile. Realisticall, though, most men weigh the chance of rejection and have some cut off point where they don't approach (and really, to do otherwise is likely to be pathological).

Ben, obviously we will need to talk about the question of rape somewhere else.

This makes lpl go "Ah, gotcha CS!"
I was reading your comment as "A man can't approach a woman unless he 'knows' she's already interested... unless he's a RAPIST!" or something to that effect. And I was like, "Say what?!" Whereas, actually, it's a pretty good explaination of previous comment.

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