Defining Ballbusters, And In Defense Of A Woman’s “Accomplishments”

The term “ballbuster” gets thrown around a bit in the Manosphere, and by me in particular. I want to make sure we’re all on the same page.

I define a ballbuster as a woman who engages in “conspicuous ambition,” relational aggression, and a thin-skinned “don’t you dare give me any shit” attitude, particularly with regard to men. I also include a superficial competence without deep roots – the Dunning-Kruger Effect leading them to believe they are better than they are. They are socially hostile in their essence; I find them closely allied with female raunch culture.

A ballbuster may or may not have a stated loyalty to feminism. What she does have is a massive self-absorption bordering on paranoia that if she doesn’t boss everyone around and promote her own success she’ll lose her rightful opportunity to become head of the company. She’s the type of woman who has to let everyone know her opinion on the matter, and always scrambles to get her piece of the credit first.

Ballbusters will sometimes complain of a double standard, that if men did what they did it wouldn’t be bad. It’s not that ballbusters “act like men,” it’s that they act like distasteful people. They are a classic archetype of workplace asshole; there are plenty of male workplace assholes, and nobody likes them either.

All the heat and noise is just a sign of a cleaved worldview; stomping around the office and letting everyone know you’re in charge really just reveals your own insecurity, and in some cases a deep disappointment that your career efforts have not yielded any happiness. For what it’s worth, very few men can pull this act off; it normally alienates a man from his teammates if they get the idea he’s all in for himself first. (Sharing credit and promoting the success of others are key steps to rising.) If you’re going to AMOG other people at the office, you better have some real exceptional skill to back up your talk.

This being the 21st century, I have worked with a lot of women. I’ve been fortunate to be in environments with quality staff, so I’m grateful for the women I’ve worked with because they are really good at what they do. My current workplace has zero ballbusters. The women I know who are truly successful are NEVER ballbusters. Some are more masculine (in a forward take-charge kind of manner), some more feminine (nurture the team), but none of them have puerile nastiness or a zero-sum philosophy. They are women I trust with the enterprise in their hands. We trust them because they are competent, do what’s best for the business and don’t make us feel like peons.

WHEN ACCOMPLISHMENTS MATTER

Let’s talk a bit about the dating marketplace. It has been repeated ad nauseum in the Manosphere that men do not care about a woman’s career.

I’d like to caveat that statement. A woman’s “success” is not a trait of attraction for men the way a man’s success is attractive to women (although that only goes so far as women have long shown strong attraction to destitute bikers, starving musicians and the like). A man’s career success shows mastery, social dominance and control of resources, all of which are fitness and survivability markers that have been shown to trigger attraction in women.

But a woman having a successful career doesn’t show nearly as much about her fitness to grow a baby and live to raise it. This dichotomy is neither fair nor unfair; it’s simply there, it’s the intrinsic triggers the sexes are built with.

That doesn’t mean it’s worthless. So when does a woman’s career matter? It matters as a lifestyle compatibility trait – a marker for a happy life together. Despite the fact that successful men can pull trophy housewives, many of them don’t, because that’s not what they want in a spouse. They want a woman who understands what they go through during the day, who can converse with them on their intellectual level, who can expose them to new and novel things, who can help them solve complex life problems, who he can bring around his friends without them thinking there’s only one light bulb at home.

Having something more to her name than waiting tables or punching a register while she waited for Mr. Right shows she has a clue, that there’s something she’s passionate about, that she knows how to get things done and to execute a long-term personal strategy.

Again, these are all good traits for a relationship – what they are not is sexually attractive. And just like the tingle with a woman, attraction is what gets you in the door with a man, he won’t consider your relationship fitness unless you are attractive to him.

That’s not at all to say there aren’t tradeoffs, the subject of millions of texts over the past fifty years (including testimony on this blog). More work means less time with each other, and less time for domestic details. Even in a big city, there are only so many jobs, and if one of you gets that partner-track offer in another state, something’s gotta give. Then there’s the big question of what happens when there are babies (although upper-class couples through history have often had nannies raise their children. I wonder if “having it all” could just as easily be seen as bringing upper-class women into childcare as it is bringing middle-class women out of the nursery).

It’s now shockingly predictable to hear white-collar women complain they are single because “men are intimidated by a successful woman.” I read an online dating profile that said as much just this morning. I usually hear this out of the mouth of ballbusters themselves, who can’t admit that they are unpleasant to be around and instead rationalize their rejection by men as a manifestation of irrational male anxiety and jealousy. Forgetting those projection cases, pumping the career as a DHV is still rampant in online dating profiles and SWPL happy hours. Like using a screwdriver to hammer in a nail, they’re using the wrong tool for the wrong job. They’re trying to attract men by waving their resume in their faces. It’s the same manner in which beta males will try to attract women with supplicating provider game.

So if you have a career (and you should have something you are working towards professional competence in), work it, enjoy it, be proud of it – just don’t expect your man to jump you for it. He’ll be proud of you, but he’s probably not going to find your boardroom dominance sexy the way you do his. I wouldn’t rule out giving it a try in your own personal “boardroom” with the lights out, though.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Defining Ballbusters, And In Defense Of A Woman’s “Accomplishments”

  1. Seikis

    “Men are intimidated by a successful woman”…pfff. First she’ll have to define “successful”. Then substitute “intimidated” with “not attracted”. Or just as “Women are sexually intimidated by nice guys”. Great post.

  2. johnnymilfquest

    Maybe I’ve been using the term “ballbuster” in the wrong way.

    I understood it to mean that a woman is unusually, restless, aggressive and combative. Especially with her man.

    I didn’t see it as linked with her career although I suppose that aggressive women would do very well in certain arenas.

    “It’s now shockingly predictable to hear white-collar women complain they are single because “men are intimidated by a successful woman.””

    I think you’ve mentioned this kind of projection before Badger.

    Since women are often both intimidated by and attracted to men of higher occupational status they are baffled that their careers are not giving men hard-ons.

  3. What johnny said. Women are projecting their own feelings onto men. Men deal with high status men all the time, and it is rarely intimidating. Dealing with a high status woman will be no different.

    A woman’s accomplishments are as attractive to a man, as a man’s world of warcraft hobby is to a woman, even if a woman’s accomplishment is being Miss America. A girl who is just as pretty and feminine as Miss America is going to have the same shot at winning a man as the girl who actually has the crown.

  4. I’ve been using the phrase “bossy and domineering”. Regardless of the nomenclature, these type of women are decidedly unattractive. Given the fact that women incorrectly assume that men are (or should be) attracted to these assertive, go-getting gals, the bossy and domineering types often identify themselves in the online dating profiles.

    In fact, I’ve got a list of the codewords used by bossy and domineering women:

    http://theprivateman.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/online-profile-codewords-used-by-bossy-and-domineering-women/

  5. I’m glad you covered this Badger. I’ve been meaning to do a post about some of some successful women in the UK, with the commonality is they are not like that. (as a side note this is one of the reasons I hate the show the Apprentice).

    I just don’t think you have to be a ballbuster to be successful and the vast majority of the most successful ones aren’t.

    I think a possible exception is politics. But I would never have gone into it, and I would never want to be an MP, the houses of parliament are all ‘ya boo’. Plus you can never get anything done :-)

    “A girl who is just as pretty and feminine as Miss America is going to have the same shot at winning a man as the girl who actually has the crown.”
    I’m not sure about that.
    e.g. Jay Z and Beyonce is just one random example. He didn’t marry the hottest dancer or whatever, he married Beyonce. In a hurry but another one off the top of my head, Arkie Busson and Uma Thurman. He could be with loads of women, younger hotter ones, but he’s with her. I’m sure the fact she is a Hollywood actress is something to do with it. I don’t think the women who were good looking enough/talented enough who were competing with Uma Thurman back in the day and had the same talents as her but didn’t ‘make it’ have the same opportunities she does.

  6. “It’s now shockingly predictable to hear white-collar women complain they are single because “men are intimidated by a successful woman.””
    Let’s get it into perspective. The endless whining is by a small percentage of women. They may have been women who wouldn’t have been that successful (dating /marriage) otherwise.

    I think this topic was actually covered in one of the early episodes of Sex and the City. Miranda (the ginger lawyer) had this very complaint. It’s pretty obvious why she isn’t getting anywhere (no not just her gingnerness lol).
    I even remember the first time I saw the programme thinking it was odd that the 4 of them were friends.

    “although upper-class couples through history have often had nannies raise their children.”
    That’s just the half of it. Wet nurses! Lol.

  7. It’s interesting that people think they need to be aggressive to be successful. Romeo’s just used that word as well.
    Have people been programmed from a young age that it’s aggressive (not assertive) that wins the day?

  8. Blues

    “Have people been programmed from a young age that it’s aggressive (not assertive) that wins the day?”

    On men’s side yes, aggresive is one form of dominance, but on women I’d say this is more about projection of men’s behavior, think bullies during childhood, jocks during teenage years and insufferable bosses during adulthood. It’s women projecting on themselves what they find attractive in men.

  9. Lily/Blues,

    We have this weird gender reversal in American (and apparently English) society. Women are taught to live out the apex fallacy, to act like the top men do, while men are taught to act more like women – sit still, don’t be overtly aggressive, don’t be sexually forward. Bizarre.

  10. “We have this weird gender reversal in American (and apparently English) society. Women are taught to live out the apex fallacy, to act like the top men do, while men are taught to act more like women – sit still, don’t be overtly aggressive, don’t be sexually forward. Bizarre.”

    WHAT? i never got that memo. wierd.

  11. OffTheCuff

    WHAT? i never got that memo. wierd.

    I think it depends how you grew up. My folks weren’t divorced and didn’t let me hang with other kids, so I didn’t have lots of time with peers to influence me. My dad worked, but didn’t spend much time with me, so I didn’t have any adult male influence to emulate. Went to church and stayed in school, where I *definitely* got that memo, explicitly and repeatedly.

  12. just visiting

    Excellent post. I think that your observations about ballbusters are accurate and insightful. I also agree that apex fallacy is alive and well. I know quite a few women who believe that their resume boosts their attractiveness levels.

  13. Lovekraft

    The term I came up with for “workplace asshole” was “Little Napoleon’.

    Bitch was still just ‘bitch’ though.

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