Objectification And The Portia Filter

Women complain greatly about what they call being treated as “sexual objects”, but there is something they actually dislike even more – namely when men take them at their word and attempt to act on this high-minded instruction. For there is something that most women dislike far more than being regarded a sexual object; it is being regarded as sexless. At any rate, they become even more indignant at this offence than at the other.

The continual oscillation between the two horns of this dilemma comes of the indignant women’s chronic failure to think through what it actually means to be a sexual object, contra not being a sexual object. It is hard for anyone to obey a woman’s command not to think of her as a sexual object while yet continuing to think of her as a sexual being; in fact, this is so hard that one is tempted to suggest that it is yet another version of the usual scam, whereby what is really desired is failure that triggers compensation.

What is really going on whenever women tell men about themselves is a selection process whereby they filter out all such men who are fool enough to believe them. For example, they may pretend to be ice maidens who do not wish to be insulted by any sexual approaches, or faithful wives who will not betray their husbands. This filter, which is common to us and our brother animals, automatically eliminates the nervous, the unconfident and the credulous, whose respect for their wishes has just earned them a ticket to involuntary celibacy; it selects in favour of those men with enormous self-confidence, the cynical and those who recognise when they are being bullshitted. Women do not actually wish to be “respected” in the sense of having their cover stories believed; they wish to be “seen through” by the one superior male and have their secret sexuality recognised and appreciated by him.

This is why the chief weapon of the sexually successful male is a cheerful refusal to believe women’s disinformation campaigns about their own inaccessibility. Rather than treating women as the opposite of sexual objects (“treating us as if we’re made of glass” is the usual complaint), the great seducer simply treats them as sexual beings. If this is done with taste, not in the form of vulgar remarks but as a serene knowingness that takes their being “up for it” courteously for granted, it causes active sexual-selection pressure against those men foolish enough to believe what women tell them.

Women treat potential seducers, therefore, rather like Portia with her caskets; one man “respects” her desire not to be precipitously approached, and waits in respectful hope for six months; another accepts that she is happily married and settles down to be her cicisbeo; they both fail the test. Another man gives her a smile of utter blissful complicity that says, “You and I both understand that all that stuff is just for the suckers; you want it, I can deliver it”. First-class honours.

Posted on June 30, 2012 at 09:31 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: WHAT WOMEN WANT, The Invention Of The Modest Female

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