Features Australia

Toxic femininity

Double standards that ignore biological truths

27 March 2021

9:00 AM

27 March 2021

9:00 AM

Some time during adolescence every heterosexual male becomes aware of a psychological phenomenon that will influence the rest of his life. A minority of men will come to understand this phenomenon, the rest, the majority, will spend their lives utterly confused about the issue because of the discrepancy, as large as a continent, between what society tells them is the truth and their own individual experience.

What society tells men, ad nauseam, is that women only want romantic relationships with decent men. Women state, in opinion polls, in psychological assessments, in Women’s Studies courses at university, in opinion pieces in newspapers, even among their friends in intimate conversations – everywhere, in other words – that they want kind, open, honest, gentle, reliable men who will treat them with respect and affection. There is no doubt that this is true. Society could not function without these virtues. The problem, though, is that these are secondary characteristics, and not the primary characteristics that women find attractive in men.

What the naive, kind and gentle adolescent male will notice, over and over again, is that it’s the swaggering, confident alpha male that women constantly fall in love with or want to engage with sexually.

Why this happens, though, is something that men and women, in general, don’t understand, because this interplay between the sexes is buried deep in the recesses of our psychological makeup. We notice the surface virtues but not the underlying motivations formed by millions of years of human evolution.

Women, to put it simply, are attracted, as a survival strategy, to male power, which manifests itself in multiple ways: confidence, physical strength, status, height, wealth, penis size (don’t laugh, it’s true), intelligence, liking ‘bad boys’; even the phenomenon of women not finding a man sexually attractive because he is ‘too nice’ is governed by this psychological impulse. At its extremes, this explains the phenomenon of some women finding murderers and serial killers attractive. There is a vault in Germany which contains two million letters from German women offering to have sex with Adolf Hitler. That’s a lot of women wanting to have sex with the Führer. The noise is sometimes confused for the signal.

It is not essential for a man to possess all these dominant male characteristics, but a man who doesn’t have a few of these traits will be unlikely to find a woman as a romantic partner. This behaviour, I want to stress, is, most of the time, perfectly logical. I would also stress that there is nothing wrong with this aspect of female sexuality both practically and morally. In fact, it would be an imposition on female freedom and agency if women were stopped or curtailed from making decisions based, even when done subconsciously, on these psychological motivations. Women, to put it simply, have the right to improve their lot in life to the best of their ability.

On a deeper level, human life would slowly die if women were not trying to improve their lives by mating with high-status males. Female sexual psychology works for both the individual woman and for society as a whole. There is no other explanation for the biological maintenance of human life that has the simple explanatory power of this theory, which is proven every day, just like the theory of evolution, by an infinite amount of confirmatory evidence.

Feminist critics of this view of female sexuality point to the diversity of female choice when it comes to men. What they fail to acknowledge is that, if we take into account the differences in the socio-economic and cultural lives of women, the theory is sound. While the circumstances and the opportunities of individual women may be different, female behaviour in relation to mating and courtship, in general, all things being equal, remains the same.

Anyone, though, with a semblance of common sense knows that nothing is perfect and completely anodyne. At the extremes of female behaviour, where narcissism, sociopathy, and psychopathy mix with female sexual desire, is a space where destroyed families, destroyed children and destroyed men are left to save what’s left of their lives, that’s if, to put it bluntly, they’re not dead.

In other words, just as extreme male behaviour leaves victims in its wake, so does extreme female behaviour. But because women have learned to compensate for a lack of physical strength, and have developed psychological manipulation and non-violence as a means of survival, the bodies are not as noticeable as the victims of male physical violence but they exist just the same. Children are more likely to be the victims of female violence, which suggests that a minority of women are not averse to the use of violence as a strategy to attain their goals, but who simply know that they cannot equal male physical strength.

In the same way that male physical strength and male violence are usually forces for good – defending the weak and saving a child from a burning building are virtues – and are sexually attractive to women for this very reason, the female sexual strategy, even if subconscious, of mating upwards is also a force for good. But these female psychological and experiential behaviours have, in a minority of cases, catastrophic effects on people.

We don’t, however, blame all women for the behaviour of the few women who leave a trail of destruction in their wake because of their innate biology. But we do blame all men for the chaos that a minority of men cause, as can be seen by the thousands of women marching around the world protesting about male violence against women. Women are given a pass for their behaviour, men are not. There are no marches against female violence against children, which is as widespread as male violence against women. It follows, then, that tarnishing men for their innate, unchangeable biology is the very definition of discrimination.

Ignoring biology and how it influences our everyday lives also overlooks the weird, interlinked, often unfathomable, dark mystery of human psychology and sexuality, which cannot, because it’s impossible, describe what is really going on in our hearts and in our loins.

To put this idea in simple terms: in the complicated ecosystem that is human life, you can’t have this without that. What’s a vice in one circumstance is a virtue in another.

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