I was talking to Dillon about the Creepology manuscript (currently available on paperback only, because I did things backwards, but hey if you wait until the 12th you’ll be able to get it cheaper on the Kindle). He pointed out something I’d missed. My classification of creeps distinguishes between what I call “malignant creeps” – who creep on purpose because they enjoy the rush they get from creating fear and distress – and “negligent creeps” – who are so focused on seducing people that they don’t care that they’re creeping the heck out of them. Both groups know they’re creeping people out, but for the malignant lot that’s the goal, while for the negligent lot it’s just the fallout of their courting behaviors. If you ask me, they both suck, but they are definitely different beasts and they present different dangers, particularly if the circumstances allow their behaviors to escalate.
Dillon pointed out something I’d missed. The classification aligns neatly to Rory Miller’s breakdown of resource vs. process predators. Process predators hurt people cos they want to. Hurting people is their goal. Resource predators, on the other hand, hurt people if they need to in order to get access to the resource they want. The resource is their goal, not the hurting. How badly they’re willing to hurt us will depend on how badly they want the resource. Are they after our phone because it’s the latest model and it’d be cool to have it, or do they need money right this second because they’re undergoing drug withdrawal and they need to get a fix? Are they after the latest Justin Bieber CD (are CDs still a thing? Is Justin Bieber?) or are they after food because they haven’t eaten in three days?
How far a resource predator is willing to go will depend on a variety of factors, but it’s generally the result of a cost-benefit analysis and – this is important – it will have little to do with us as people. At the moment that decision is made, we are nothing but a living cash box. If they need to dent us a bit to get the cash out, too bad.
Rory has talked in details about the difference between social and asocial behavior in the context of violence. What about seduction, though? At which point does someone’s sexual attraction turn our interactions asocial? Is it something that happens on a sliding scale, or is it an either/or thing?
I believe that if someone sees me as a walking vagina, then I’m inherently in an asocial situation. Whether me and said person are part of the same social group doesn’t matter to me. Whether they are willing to hurt me or not in order to access said vagina doesn’t matter to me. The only thing that matters to me is that in their eyes I am no longer a person; if I still feature as an individual, it will be mostly as a gatekeeper of my genitalia. Personally, I find that repugnant, regardless of how it manifests or how much it impacts on my life. I just don’t like that kind of “relationship”: it makes me feel icky.
I know that there are plenty of people out there who believe that this attitude is the inevitable result of male sexuality, but I don’t buy that. I’ve met plenty of guys who can see women as actual people – and no, they’re not all gay. If you don’t believe such a beast exists, try and find a guy who has a mixed gender friend group – not a group of his male friends and their spouses, but a group composed of individuals of all genders. There’s a huge difference between the two. Guys who can see women as people tend to be able to interact with them in all kinds of fields and situations without causing chaos and botheration, so they have actual female friends. And no, they’re not all cucks, and sometimes they do get laid.
That’s one of the modern narratives, though: that if a man treats women with respect he’s never, ever gonna give his end away, and if he does he’ll regret it because women will inevitably fail to respect him, will exploit him, and eventually will dump him for a superior specimen of maleness. This narrative is actively and openly sold to men; if you don’t believe me, google “red pill” sites. Bring your own sick bucket.
(A similar narrative is sold to women. It might be delivered in a less overt manner, but it seems to me that half of women’s mags are about how shitty men are, and the other half about how we can get them to bang/marry us. But then I only read that kind of thing at the dentist, so my sample size is limited.)
Thing is, there is a market of guys for which that narrative will work: the guys for whom “treating women with respect” is A Thing, an effort, a process they have to actively embrace, perhaps purely a trick to get close to women or an imposed behavioral code of this crazy world we live in. Guys for whom the world is split by gender, and for whom the other gender is practically another species. Guys who “other” women, whether by instinct or because that’s how they’ve been raised.
Those guys who look at women and see a bunch of walking vaginas will struggle to retain women in their lives, in any role, because their attitude inevitably colors their behavior. Those are the guys for whom being Nice© is loansharking for sex: they are not nice to women because they want to, but as a series of down payments for a fuck. When that fuck does not materialise, they feel aggrieved. Those are the guys who bitch about being “friendzoned”, not because they are upset that their love is unrequited (that genuinely sucks) but because their investment didn’t bring a return. Those are the guys who treat all interactions with women as a possible step bedward, and are eternally surprised if women don’t like that. Those are the guys whose attitude towards women is like a defrosting fish: it may start off relatively inoffensive, but as time goes on it ends up getting stinkier, until it’s so disgusting that it can’t be ignored and it drives people away.
This is my theory, and it’s worth precisely what you paid for it: men whose interactions with women are fundamentally asocial will have problems retaining women in their lives. If they do manage to get women in their lives, they will inevitably treat their relationship as an exchange of goods or services, sex being one of the items on the menu. The creepiness inherent in that kind of relationship is the fount of all their problems. Eventually, it becomes the fount of women’s problems when it manifests itself as a gazillion of shoddy behaviors, from pick-up artistry to date rape.
I wonder if I’m right, and I wonder it if matters. Would telling those guys that their problem is that they dehumanize women bring an actual change? As I’m writing this, I’m not optimistic. I don’t know if there are words that can turn that concept into a shape that will fit their brains. The fact that prominent, ‘successful’ male experts continue to defend that attitude as inherently manly can’t help, either.