Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are We Really All Like That?

A moderatrely attractive man is driving down the street in a Porsche. He sees a woman on walking down the street. He stops and tells her he thinks she's cute and points to a very nice apartment building and asks if she wold come up to his place and have sex with him. Nine out of ten times she'll tell him to take a hike.

A fairly attractive woman is driving down the road in a beat up Civic. She sees a man walking down the street. She stops and tells him she thinks he's cute and points to a ramshackle apartment above a convenience store and asks if he would like to come up to her place andhave sex with her. Nine out of ten times, they're headed upstairs.

I stepped on the delivery a bit there, but that's more or less a "joke" that they told on Las Vegas, which is the show I'm currently watching. I'm not going to debate numbers or anything with the joke, but for our purposes we're going to say that the joke is more or less true. I think we can agree to that.

Of course, the fact that we're agreeing to that sort of steps on the point of my entry. I'd rather not agree on it just yet, and rather just use it as an intro into the conversation. So, let's pretend we haven't agreed on it just yet.

Now then, the question: Are all guys really like that? I mean, really?
The numbers posited in the "joke" suggest that no, not ALL guys are like that. But it also doesn't go into the mitigating factors for why the man would reject the woman. Maybe he's on his way to an important meeting. We'll assume he's not just being faithful to his wife, because that sort of screws up the point of this exercise. Maybe the woman falls shy of his standards. It isn't standards that I wish to discuss.

Now, before I delve too far into this, I need to admit that the "evidence" i'm basing this post on is flimsy at best. Some gross generalization combined with some only-mostly-related real world observation, combined with a whole lot of fiction. But, forging ahead.
Let's start with Las Vegas, since that's the show I'm currently watching and what made me think to write this post, which is something I've been brooding on for a long time now.

So, the main character's a pretty smooth guy. Second in command for security at a prestigious Las Vegas Casino. He's your basic suave main character. Really smart, physically fit, attractive, infinitely capable, etc. But, when faced with the prospect of sex he's a complete moron. "I'm in love with my best friend who I've known my whole life. But you're hot and want to have sex with me? How can I get my pants off fast enough."
Now, like I said, granted this is more or less just a crappy TV show. And, one that takes place in Las Vegas to boot. So, there's a degree to which we can just throw this show out of our evidence entirely. And if it had been just this show, and not something that I've been ruminating about for, well, ever, then this post wouldn't exist. But it's certainly not relegated to this show. Or even to low quality fiction in general.
Aaron Sorkin, who I consider the pinnacle of intelligent and high brow writing for the screen, shows the same male tendencies in his characters. It's not quite as overt as the characters running off and screwing everything in a skirt, but it's definitely there.

To start with, all of the characters in an Aaron Sorkin show are infinitely intelligent and dedicated. That's important to this discussion, because we're talking about a facet of humanity related to the reptillian part of the brain, which is more suppressed in the sorts of people that these characters emulate. (that's sort of a judgement call on my part. Just roll with it)

So why is it that a nice pair of legs is all that's needed to distract these men from their infinitely important (sometimes not so important except in their minds) task at hand? I know these are just fictional characters and all, but the fact that they are written by a real man lends at least some amount of credibility to the way that they think.

An attractive woman who is either stupid, or mean, or both, is often given a sort of pass on those less redeaming qualities, and will still find herself surrounded by guys who ant to spend time with her, ostensibly with the prospect of sex in mind. This statement is made through no specific instance, but rather general observation of both real world and fiction.

There's a podcast that I ilisten to every week about movies. It's three guys, and basically they just talk about whatever movies were released that week and what they thought of them. Often, very often... I'd say at least once per show, there's mention of some horrible movie starring some moderately to untallented hot actress, and the conversation goes something like this: "Yeah... That movie was awful. The direction was horrid, there was no story. ::Inster actress's name here:: can't act for shit. But man she's hot. And you see her boobs! Hur hur hur. So, that made the rest of the movie worthwhile. Hur hur hur."

So, the point of all of this is: Really? I mean... Really? Am I the only guy that isn't like this? Sure, physical attraction's a big deal. But lewd comments are really never necessary. In fact, I don't really even find it necessary to point out someone who I think is attractive if the conversation hasn't specifically somehow warranted that discussion. A good looking girl never makes me all of a sudden turn into a bumbling idiot. Being cute doesn't mean you can be stupid, and if you are then you don't get a pass for it.

But, am I just being hypocritical? Does everyone think that they're "better than that" and then just aren't? Is it a conscious thing in, what seems to be, every other guy in the world? Or does everyone think that they're above that and then just fail utterly when it really comes down to it?

I've gotta say no. I think, that while the evidence put forth doesn't show that the initial premise is necessarily correct, if we assume for the moment that it is then it's a conscious thing. It's written into fiction, consciously. And the comments are certainly made purpsefully in a sort of spirit of "male comradery."

This is frustrating to me for a number of reasons. For one thing, I just don't like seeing it or hearing it or observing it with some other sense. For another thing, it's a big part of the "all males are jerks" attitude that, while isn't entirely true, is pervasive and not false enough to fault girls for thinking it. So, if I do find an attractive girl who I like, now I have to work agains the notion that has been imprinted upon her that I'm first and foremost trying to get her into bed. This propensity in guys to hit on anything in a skirt causes girls to naturally have defenses up when anyone new is approaching them, and so ow the first instinct for pretty much anyone that I would be interested in talking to anyway is to blow off the unwanted advance. So now I, or guys like me, aren't going to even bother talking to them because it's just not worth the rejection. So now only the majority of guys, who are jerks, are going to be approaching her and thus reinforcing the stigma. It's a vicious cycle.

And this is where the entry sort of peters off. I have no real conclusion. But then again, I never really do. I suppose that's the problem withg making posts and calling them, and treating them like, "conversations." There's no real back and forth. No input from someone else. So, it just sort of ends.

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