04-30-09 - Sex Roles

I certainly don't romanticize the historical oppression of women (neither the near-slavery of long ago or the social repression of 1950's America). However, there is something romantic and appealing about complementarity. Complementarity is the idea that you and your lover should be very different, have different skills, and together make a whole. It makes you value the other person, it makes you need them, and it lets you be better as a whole than you could be as individuals, because you can specialize and spend more time in each of your abilities. Plus there are many personality traits that are very useful but hard to have at the same time. For example, one of you could be very intellectual and rational and serious, the other could be very emotional and carefree. Those are both wonderful useful traits, but if you try to combine them you just sort of water them down and make them worse. One of you could be tough and demanding and aggressive, the other could be sweet and friendly.

In the past lots of people were forced into marriage by their sheer inability to survive alone. Women would have a hell of a hard time supporting themselves, and the men were widely incapable of doing basic things like dressing themselves or making a sandwich. That's a very strong bond; you see it still with old couples who despise each other, but have to stick together because the man doesn't know how to run a washing machine and the woman doesn't know how to drive.

Of course I think of people now as being pretty independent, but a lot of them are still totally incompetent. I'm amazed how many men still can't do basic cleaning or cooking (I'm sure they quite willfully keep themselves ignorant because they don't want to have to do that stuff). Lots of girls still couldn't get a decent job if they had to, because they were Communications majors or something and have zero skills. And of course all those suburban princess girls are just completely worthless all around, they can neither cook nor clean nor do any decent work. They only thing they know how to do is put on make up, wait tables, and give blow jobs.

Relationships without artificial glue are very difficult to sustain. As I've already mentioned, one form of strong glue is if you're incompetent in some way and simply can't live apart (or societal repression as still exists in much of the world). Another form of strong glue is children. Even if you aren't fully in the mode of "we hate each other but we'll stay together for the children", children are still strong glue in that it simply gives you something that you both care about and have to take care of all the time; it gives you a common mission, and it also gives you a focus of grief that's outside of each other.

Another form of strong glue is being a loser. By being a loser I mean the fear of being single or the belief that you can't do better, or inexperience dating. If you marry your highschool sweetheart, you're terrified of having to get back out there and date. You believe maybe this is the only person you can ever find, you're afraid of what single life would be like. That's a strong glue.

Modern society celebrates independence and consciously choosing a mate - that is, being in a relationship without all that glue. But with none of that glue your only reason to be together is because you think the life with this person is better than any other life you could have, and that is a very hard bar to meet all the time.

So, my advice to someone who wants to have a strong relationship : 1. make yourself incompetent, if you're a man never learn how to cook or clean, have your mom always pick your outfits for you. 2. marry the first girl you date or have sex. 3. have kids right away. 4. don't let your wife go to college or learn any skills.


Sly said...

> advice to someone who wants to have
> a strong relationship

5. keep on the game of seducing, making laugh etc... the partner. A bored couple is a dead couple.

Btw about your 3 (kids), it's also a good way to kill a couple if things weren't all right before: because the couple life will get a huge slow-down, all the time getting consumed on taking care of the kids. It's a double-edged sword.

Btw your prose is too theoretical and cold-heart to interest any girl that would happen to read this blog, I hope you're not like that in real life with them ;)

cbloom said...

Yeah you're right, kids are more like a stress test. So if you're in a relationship and not sure if it's going to work, have kids, it will let you know.

I actually think people's reaction to kids is similar to their reaction to crunching in dev or any other stress situation. With some people it makes them really button down and get more responsible, they feel a sense of duty. With others it makes them all panicked and flustered and they just want to bail out on the whole situation.

cbloom said...

"Btw your prose is too theoretical and cold-heart to interest any girl that would happen to read this blog, I hope you're not like that in real life with them ;)"

BTW this make me seriously LOL, thank you.

Of course I don't talk to girls like this in the real world. I know that girls are like puppies that need to be coddled and only told pleasantries. You can't actually talk to them about anything serious or theoretical because they over-personalize everything and can't tell when I'm joking.

old rants