Why won’t Women learn?

Posted on March 1, 2010
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Why do women miss so many easy opportunities to learn from male experience?

Lori Gottlieb wrote an “Atlantic” magazine article a couple of years ago titled, “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough”.

According to an update she did last month, the gist of it was that women should look for the important qualities in a partner, and let go of the stuff that won’t matter five, 10, or 20 years down the line”.

She admits the word “settle” mislead quite a few people. She said a survey revealed that women felt that getting 80 percent of what they desired in a mate was settling. Men felt that getting 80 percent of what they wanted was a real catch.

The article led to a lot of controversy about the idea of having it all, not really needing a mate at all, the limitations brought about by commitment, children, loneliness, and all the variations of human needs, comforts and desires.

To the extent that there was a conclusion, it seemed to be that there comes a point in a woman’s life when she wants to settle down with a companion and, perhaps, have some help raising a child. She realizes, at that point, the things that are actually important to her.

If we were talking about men, we might say that guys like to sow their wild oats but eventually want to settle down with the girl next door and be part of a family.

The difference is that, in men, we call that maturity. In women, apparently, it is settling.

Decent guys resent that women flock to the studs for excitement and danger and then turn to them for long-term support. What guys learn from this is that the secret to success with women is to lie to them. That is why few men are totally decent.

Never having been of the female persuasion, I can only speculate that women may resent that young men flock to the vixens for excitement and danger and then want to have children with the girl-next-door whose children, they trust, will be theirs. That is why, I suspect, quite a few girls next door are wearing a bit of a disguise over some vixenish experimentation.

A column, a couple of years ago, by Maureen Dowd of the “New York Times,” discussed the difficulty highlevel women executives have finding and keeping mates. It went on at length about men who are intimidated by powerful, intelligent, wealthy, women and the stress of trying to maintain a relationship while keeping up with the demands of business or professional life.

What, they wondered, are they to do?

Well, it is impossible to know what would work for all of them but it is fairly easy to see the range of things that will happen.

Some of them will be matched up in a way that will, somehow, work. Some will have affairs with equals, superiors, or underlings. Some will engage in serial monogamy. Some will abandon their mates for someone who is a better match to the person they have, for better or worse, evolved to be. Some will wind up detached and living either sexless or serviced by accommodating amateurs or professionals. Some will discover that their neglected partner has taken up with the tennis pro (male or female) and is absconding with half the family assets. Some will have two lives like mafia bosses, European politicans or certain golfers, who have a church and society sanctioned mate and family at home and a mistress or string of bimbos on the side.

The simple fact of the matter is that, as women gain their political, financial and sexual independence or empowerment, they will encounter all the same challenges men have for thousands of years.

Women have had, at least, one historic advantage over men in relationships. Women always knew their children were theirs. Men, until recently, did not.

Willa Cather said that there are only two or three stories in human existence but we keep on living them as if they were happening for the very first time.

I suppose I should not be surprised that bright women cannot learn from the eternal lessons lying there under their noses.

Men never have either.

On we go!                                          DAC

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