I promised Frost of Freedom Twenty-Five I would post my thoughts on his brilliant pair of posts on the spoils of the sexual revolution:
Frost’s thesis is the following: “The Sexual Revolution harms attractive women, and unattractive men. It benefits unattractive women, and attractive men.”
Frost was responding to a Bostonian blogress named Lilly with whom he has been trading posts recently, who had posited simply “it seems like the women’s sexual revolution has done more for men than it has for women…it’s kind of a man’s dream come true: easier access to sex. Which then means it’s harder for a girl to find a guy willing to stick around.”
Susan Walsh followed up with an epic thread on the topic (861 comments to date). Since I can’t hope to re-state their judgments in better words, I will instead add my own.
1. You Can Never Over-Emphasize The Apex Fallacy
The Apex Fallacy (which I first heard of at Elusive Wapiti) is a phenomenon in social analysis where a group sees the success of the top of another group (the apex) and assumes that the entire group is leading a life of undue privilege.
The apex fallacy is what is going on in Lilly’s treatise. Most men don’t have anything resembling easy access to sex (more on that below). But because Lilly and millions of young educated women only consort with – that is to say date and sleep with – attractive men, who DO have access to sex essentially on their terms, the women they are seeing can only fathom “it must be great to be a man.” Without realizing the massive selection bias they are operating under.
At some point, the apex fallacy infected feminism and caused the movement to believe that men writ large were collectively responsible for the actions of those few men who killed, beat, raped, and abused corporations and politics for their own self-enrichment. Regular Manosphere readers understand that most men are beta or omega types, and thus almost wholly incapable of the sociopathic sexual, violent and relational crimes feminism sought to pin on the Y chromosome.
(Sidebar: I was not alive for most of this, but it’s clear feminism is deeply confused. We’re at a point where stay-at-home-momism is lauded as feminist, careerism is feminist, divorcing is feminist…instead of a movement with concrete goals, anything that aggrandizes a particular woman’s ego will be spun as a feminist act – which literally defines modern feminism as a movement of narcissism. What we have now in American society is a large number of people, like me, who are generally friendly to reasonable accommodations for women’s issues like reproductive health, workplace access, maternity leave and flex work, and a small number of very loud and obnoxious activists who we’d rather not listen to but they know a lot of lawyers.)
The AF also distorts perceptions in the sexual marketplace, as Lilly so glibly yet unawarely illustrates. Sexual liberation has gotten top men better access and variety than ever before.
Frost and Susan both make this point, so I won’t belabor it.
The AF is closely related to another phenomenon I don’t have a name for that might simply be called grass-is-greener syndrome. It’s the tendency of an ostensibly aggrieved group that if another group doesn’t have their particular problem, then they have life easier.
One example is the cubicle monkey who comes home to a housewife irate and exhausted from childcare. Papa can’t figure out what she’s so unhappy about – he has to deal with petty office politics and the pressure of bringing home the bread. But because he didn’t have to deal with a baby with diarrhea that day, she thinks his life is easier and it’s not fair.
Another example is the frequent complaint among men that women are not expected to approach and thus don’t risk the pain of rejection that men are expected to deal with. Women who are active agents in the dating market (not princesses who expect men to do all the work) experience their own challenges – trying to signal attraction and encourage men to escalate.
2. There Are Two Sexual Marketplaces
There is a dating marketplace, where commitment and relationships are bargained, and a true sexual marketplace where sex itself is bargained without relationships on the table. One’s MMV (marital market value so we don’t have to use the initials DMV) and SMV are not to be confused.
They correspond to Ladder 1 and Ladder 2 in the Male Ladder Theory.
3. Maybe Pretty Girls Do Have It Harder
As I see it, the revolution hurts top women in two ways.
First, the top women no longer have monopoly access to top men and their exponentially advanced power and resources; top men can now seek sexual satisfaction from lower-ranking women and get more variety and quantity in the process (there are more mates in the fatter part of the bell curve). All of this without substantially risking their time and resources in a relationship or a marriage.
Second, and this is a more subtle point, the short-term sexual market normalizes hardcore hypergamy. Women can get their short-term fling fix from a man who would never date them long-term. The result of this normalization is that 7’s and 8’s expect Seven Minutes in Heaven with a guy who’s a 9, and 9’s and 10’s may pine for a guy who literally doesn’t exist. A true 10 man is not going to be as attractive to a 10 as he is to a 7, so a top woman’s possible satisfaction will be lower than a woman in the second tier.
The man himself might be less satisfied with a woman at his rank. To a point, the tradeoff of her being less attractive but more into him is a positive benefit for a man’s relationship (although men do not exhibit such “hypogamy” as a primary mating strategy).
It warps the collective mindset of the sexual marketplace, and efficiency suffers at edge cases.
4. The Revolution Was Not Televised
The title of Susan’s post was a bit funny to me, because for a lot of young men today the sexual revolution never really happened.
The revolution has given less-attractive men marginally improved access to sex. (If you believe premarital sex didn’t exist before the pill, I have a subscription to Life Magazine to sell you.) It hasn’t really given the beta-male pool any real freedom of sexual congress, Haight-Ashbury notwithstanding.
It’s a bit like airport security, with one line for the gold members and airline crews and another line for the riff raff.
So a lot of guys can read this and consider whether the sexual revolution benefited men in general, but looking over their personal histories wonder what the F women like Lilly are talking about since they’ve never been invited to saddle up on her carousel. They are like people who didn’t have cable during Shark Week – they just flat missed out the hotness.
Exacerbating this split outcome is the increasing dichotomy of attractive and unattractive men. The breakwater against expanding sexual access has been the enervation of boys and men, and thus a concentration of virility in a smaller pack of males – natural alphas, guys who from boyhood resisted the kinder, gentler programming of society. This is a complex issue whose causes go way beyond the sexual revolution itself, from the emasculation of fathers in popular culture to the removal of dodgeball from PE class.
The upshot is that those who did what they were told all through the years by and large wound up sex-starved and clueless with regard to women; their mothers and their teachers helped neuter them while Dad stood by trepidatiously saying “if Mom’s not happy nobody’s happy.”
5. Mass Media Culture Globalizes Hypergamy
This is where I give Dalrock his long-promised response as well. During an intense debate at Haley’s Halo about whether it was immoral today for a woman to marry a man she wasn’t in love with (I believe it is), at least one woman made the comment that, hypothetically, a guy she doesn’t love might be her only shot at marriage and motherhood, things she “had to have,” and so he would just have to deal with it. I found this line of argument to be breathtakingly selfish. My opinion was backed up by a commenter who claimed to be stably married to a woman who fit with him but wasn’t really into him and had lived a life of unbearable sexual frustration.
Comments in response argued that because of hypergamy, most women are only attracted to a small subset of top men, and thus most men would just have to accept marrying women who are not really that limerant or turned on by them. I for one invoked Hamster’s Razor, which says to never accept rhetoric that supports one’s naked self-interest as anything other than a rationalization.
For his part, Dalrock responded with a post on the limits of hypergamy, asking if hypergamy really universally means that a large chunk of men won’t be able to mate with women who are into them.
Dalrock expressed skepticism, and I am inclined to agree. We both ascribe this line of argument to an abuse of the concept of hypergamy, and a simple case of unrealistic expectations that prevent someone from feeling an appropriate sense of love because they’ve become habituated to a bunch of silly conviction about “the man I deserve” based on whatever delusions of grandeur she was feeling the day she came up with her date-and-mate checklist.
Dalrock prescribed a deflation of ego. I suppose that’s too much to ask in our increasingly self-absorbed and self-justifying popular culture.
As to where these expectations are coming from, hypergamy is by its nature a localized phenomenon. A man’s status is going to be judged by a woman in the environment in which they both live. There is no collective unconscious repository of sexual status where women can check in and see if they’ve gotten a good deal compared to all the other girls.
At least there didn’t used to be. Now there is movies, TV, gossip rags and YouTwitFace, all of which provide ever-increasing forums for the conspicuous display of sexual value. This mass media explosion has collectivized sexual value by breaching walls between mating communities, such that all classes and ranks now have at least visual access to one another. In particular, the broadcasting of attractive men and of material lifestyles shirley have a dramatic effect on the expectations of women in the dating marketplace.
I must admit I stole this idea from the famous Roger Devlin, the academic muse of the Manosphere as it were. In Sexual Utopia In Power, Devlin noted the constant comparisons of modern women’s lives against unrealistic media-induced standards:
Formerly, most people lived parochial lives in a world where even photography did not exist. Their notions of sexual attractiveness were limited by their experience. Back in my own family tree, for example, there was a family with three daughters who grew up on a farm adjoining three others. As each girl came of age, she married a boy from one of the neighboring farms. They did not expect much in a husband. It is probable all three went through life without ever seeing a man who looked like Cary Grant.
But by the 1930s millions of women were watching Cary Grant two hours a week and silently comparing their husbands with him. For several decades since then the entertainment industry has continued to grow and coarsen. Finally the point has been reached that many women are simply not interested in meeting any man who does not look like a movie star. While it is not possible to make all men look like movie stars, it is possible to encourage women to throw themselves at or hold out for the few who do, i.e., to become sluts or spinsters, respectively. Helen Gurley Brown raked in millions doing precisely this. The brevity of a woman’s youthful bloom, combined with a mind not yet fully formed at that stage of life, always renders her vulnerable to unrealistic expectations. The sexual revolution is in part a large-scale commercial exploitation of this vulnerability.
5b. Cosmo Sells Apex Expectations To Young Women
An interesting follow-up to this point would be Cosmopolitan magazine (Helen Gurley Brown edited the magazine for over thirty years). Last time I checked, this pile of inane dreck was the best-selling periodical among young adults. Cosmo pairs girl talk with graphic sex talk, although as a learned red pill man I know these are often one and the same.
Cosmo transparently sells the apex fallacy that your guy is going to be really hot and in demand, so you need to be well-versed in beauty, fashion, lifestyle and – most importantly – techniques for sexual variety. It presumes all its readers are going to date men with freakish sexual tastes. This closely ties into a subtle form of intrasexual competition – “These tips will make you better at sex than any woman you know. Meanwhile, everyone else is reading, it so get to work.”
The fact is that most women will never have access to the sort of strapping male model physiques that are idolized on romance novel covers and GQ, let alone access to a true alpha male with his bevy of attraction markers. As a general rule, a woman needs to emulate sexual variety during a long-term relationship, but it’s damaging to women’s self-image to give them the idea that they are never going to be good enough in the sack. I’m no sex pozzie but this idea of standing sexual inadequacy being germinated in the minds of teenage women disturbs me.
I suppose it’s no different from cosmetics, fashion and household products marketing, which all serve to constantly chip away at a woman’s security in her own domestic state.
I was still a teenager when I noticed that Cosmo thought the worst of both men and women – that men were easily-manipulated, sex-obsessed boors and that women’s highest purpose on this Earth was to look hot and serve the needs of a man better than the next girl.