“You Can’t Judge Her For Her Dream”

Went to a movie last week. Buying my Reese’s Pieces, I noticed the clerk had a piece-of-flair name tag that read “Name: Mary. Favorite movie: the Little Mermaid.”

With a few seconds to kill, I instinctively went into some game-agnostic banter.

“Is the Little Mermaid really your favorite movie?”

“What? Oh! Yeah, I guess so.”

I personalized it.

“Is there anything you want bad enough to give up your voice?”

“Hmmm, to give up my voice? Yeah, probably not.”

Then busted her chops.

“Well then how can it be your favorite movie if you can’t identify with the character?”

“She wanted to walk on land! You can’t judge her for her dream!”

“She certainly paid the price for it. Thanks for the candy.”

The conversation was fun, and structurally non-threatening (there was no vibe of “this customer is hitting on me”), the kind of skill that comes in very handy when you’re running indirect game or daygame, and comes in handy anyway as a form of entertaining conversation for its own sake, the benefits of which extend far beyond the romantic sphere.

What stuck with me, however, was the young woman’s knee-jerk turn to defend a fictional animated girl – to stand up against the perceived judgment of an itinerant customer, a single-serving friend who dared question whether it was a wise idea to self-mutilate. She obviously was putting herself in Ariel’s position (or vice versa), and thinking, “what if some guy was trying to tell ME that I couldn’t go after MY dream no matter how ridiculous? If ours is a society where fairy tales might be viewed as the cautionary tales they were intended to be rather than over-romanticized fantasies pumped into our girls’ brains at all ages, then the terrorists have already won.”

The sudden shift in tone of the discussion towards projected defensiveness recalled a long series of posts on the topic by Vox Day, and also a piece of my own experience with a previous partner. I had no skin in the game so I didn’t worry about it, but men seeking quality in a mate would be well-advised to carefully observe these behaviors of defensive reframings in a potential paramour (with the requisite sequela of throwing the judgment back on you to explain how you dare say such an offensive thing to a lady).

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23 Comments

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23 responses to ““You Can’t Judge Her For Her Dream”

  1. seminonymous paladin

    “She certainly paid the price for it. Thanks for the candy.”

    Interesting line, good closing. Considering the genre of the blog this is on, I’d also like to add that she didn’t and couldn’t pay the full price — her father had to pay, and would have paid in full had her boyfriend not rescued him.

  2. I have used Disney movies as a way to judge a lady’s character. One chick defended Cinderella to no end.

  3. Jane the Grad Student

    The other question would have been, “Oh, did you like the original story too?” Because, of course, the ending on that one was not nearly so happy. This approach works with a lot of Disney movies, actually.

  4. just visiting

    She said it because she’s an American. (One of the more positive aspects of your culture.)
    Much of the rest of the world, including western nations, have too much crab bucket mentality going on.
    Can dreams be extreme. Yeah, but no guts no glory. Most people will usually fall in with what is expected of them.
    Is it taboo to judge? No, but it won’t win you any friends. And if they acomplish what they set out to do, the nay sayer ends up looking rather petty.

  5. Pingback: “You Can’t Judge Her For Her Dream” « PUA Central

  6. I’ve found in the past that some girls just can’t take that type of banter and get aggressively defensive immediately. Hence I tend to switch to more commonality building before saying anything again they may find abrasive.

  7. Retrenched

    It’s not just the young women. I’ve got female friends on FB that I went to high school with — some in their early 40s now — and they still post Disneyfied nonsense about expecting their Prince Charmings to show up any minute, or something.

    Now I can see how a naive teenage girl might believe in some pipedream like that. But twice-divorced women approaching middle age? You’d think by then they’d know better than to believe such nonsense…

  8. What movie were you seeing?

  9. Her dream, of course was to be banged silly by whatshisname.

    Walking on land was merely a necessary condition.

  10. infantry

    I thought having a pair of legs to spread was the necessary condition. Don’t think the prince liked his strange too much.

  11. Nupnupnup

    Infantry: I guess her not having voice could have some advantages, too

  12. Yeah, usually you have to stuff a cock in the crazy-hole to get some peace and quiet.

  13. Booyah reeses pieces, best candy ever

  14. sunshinemary

    She certainly paid the price for it.</blockquote

    And you know, Ariel wasn't the only one who paid the price either. She outright defied her father, causing him worry and inconvenience, and in the movie version, he goes to the sea witch to trade his life for Ariel's despite her self-centered disobedience to him.

    So she got to follow her dream, leaving many other people to clean up her mess for her…if that tells you anything about girls who claim this is their favorite movie.

  15. John

    This is a great example of how game can backfire without you really realizing it. Because you feel like you’re in a position of power coming out of the interaction, you don’t realize that you might’ve actually hurt yourself in terms of getting laid.

  16. What have we created...

    Oh, I especially laugh to read the “damaged goods” women in their 40s on FB still looking for their Prince Charming….I wonder why they’ve been divorced twice…. I still see some men know exactly how to play them, which is equally disgusting…
    It is sad to see the Princesses today growing up as well. And it seems in the fairy tales the princess always defies the adults, the adults pay for that defiance (but that never seems to be the moral of the story???)
    What have we created….

  17. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130315_Chaput_to_let_girls_play_football_on_Catholic_Youth_Organization_next_season.html

    “Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has decided to allow girls to play football in Philadelphia’s Catholic Youth Organization league next season, rejecting the recommendation of a panel he directed to review the league’s policy banning them….

    And Caroline, who said she would forgo a celebratory dinner Thursday to attend her basketball banquet, said she would carry this experience with her for years.

    “I did learn a really important lesson in life,” she said. “If there’s something you don’t like, you can change it. In the end, it can turn out the way that you want.””

    ME ME ME ME, it is all about what I want. She gets to follow “her dream” regardless of how it affects other people and whether or not it destroys a decent, functionining institution.

    Women hate being judged for their selfishness. But it has to be done.

  18. tz

    From Excalibur:
    Merlin: You brought me back. Your love brought me back. Back to where you are now. In the land of dreams.
    Arthur: Are you a dream Merlin?
    Merlin: A dream to some. A nightmare to others.

    Morgana was female. Also I would note except in Xanth (Piers Anthony), there are only nightMares, not nightStallions.

  19. As a pick-up line, your use of rhetoric was impressive and competent.

    I think you missed out on a lot of interesting possible conversations.

    For example, you can ask the student, “Even if you wouldn’t give up your voice to walk on land, would you give it up for a trillion dollars, or super-powers, or mastery of the entire planet?”

    Or, you could ask, “Perhaps Ariel didn’t like having a voice? Perhaps Ariel felt that talking was not all that fun and she would rather rely on eye contact and sexy body language?”

    My interpretation of the film is that Ariel didn’t *want* a voice very much. As Professor Ashur already wrote: “Her dream, of course was to be banged silly by whatshisname.

    Walking on land was merely a necessary condition.”

  20. “This is a great example of how game can backfire without you really realizing it. Because you feel like you’re in a position of power coming out of the interaction, you don’t realize that you might’ve actually hurt yourself in terms of getting laid.”

    There was no backfire. Not every conversation with a woman is about getting laid.

  21. Syd

    You “instinctively went into some game-agnostic banter” yet seem surprised by the girl’s “sudden shift in tone of the discussion towards projected defensiveness?” Seems to be a pretty predictable and natural reaction.

  22. Syd, I’m not quite picking up what you are putting down. Are you saying that idle chatter is likely to make a woman defensive?

  23. xxxxx

    There was no backfire. Not every conversation with a woman is about getting laid.

    Amen to that. And not every friendly approach by a woman is about hitting on a man. And vice versa. People need to chill and sometimes just be friendly without any ulterior motives.

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