Is this woman stupid or what?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. What does it mean to us, as women, to be told that we’re worth less than we used to be? No man I know has ever been told that his powers, his allure, his charm have faded, and that he has to face up to that redundancy. Many women I know in their 50s talk about their invisibility in public places. I’m sure a case could be made for invisibility as a liberating force in a woman’s life, but I am not the woman to make it, not this week at least, when I’ve been dissed or else flatly ignored by all the men I’ve said hello to.

The key word is “fertility”.

Which is, in a species that reproduces sexually, really quite an important key word.

90 thoughts on “Is this woman stupid or what?”

  1. when I’ve been dissed or else flatly ignored by all the men I’ve said hello to.

    a) This may be because you are depriving a village of its idiot, not because you are a 50-year-old divorcee.

    b) Get a better class of friends. Not including Mrs SE, I suspect that I will interact with a good half a dozen women of your age or older today. None of whom I will ‘diss’ and the only one likely to be ignored (and, in turn, will do her best to ignore me) will be the self-checkout supervisor at the Sainsbury Local, if I need to wander over there.

  2. “Many women I know in their 50s talk about their invisibility in public places.” I doubt whether Margaret Thatcher, Frau Merkel, Sophia Loren or Christina Anguilieze (sp?) suffer or suffered much from that. If you dress to be unnoticed, and behave to be unnoticed, you’ll be unnoticed, male or female.

  3. SE,

    I think dating sites are really problematic because both sides of dating sites are people with unrealistic expectations – women who are bridezillas looking for a husband, and men who just want a lot of pussy. If they were reasonably well-adjusted people who could find people socially, they wouldn’t be on dating sites.

    (people who meet via online dating have 3 times the divorce rate of non-online dating).

  4. Why is a 50 year old woman trying to pick up males anyway? She–as a modern feminist– no more needs a man than a fish needs a bicycle.

    Why do men look at women half their age? Because for a 40-60 bloke the women their age are mostly ugly and/or fat with a few honourable exceptions. The “qualities” this female gives herself by imputation–ie the presumed opposite of those she had in her youth– “self-absorbed, and shallow, and inexperienced, and over-sensitive and dull. ” –even assuming she has those qualities outside of her imagination–do not compensate for the loss of her physical charms.

    “You’re right, mate, you’d have much preferred me then.” Yes I prob would (even if you were a leftist hag then but attractive). Because you would (prob) then have inspired the desire to hold, touch etc, etc, etc. Now you are unattractive and seem to display only the qualities of bitterness and whiny entitlement. You look at “silver foxes” not beer belly wasters–so you must have someone you find attractive–but we men must see beyond the surface to your –what?–inner beauty? You don’t use the phrase but it is floating in the ether.

    If we men are such despicable and shallow creatures who only want physical charms what does she want with us?

  5. What does it mean to us, as women, to be told that we’re worth less than we used to be?

    It means you have to get used to dealing with reality as it is, rather than how you wish it was.

    Many women I know in their 50s talk about their invisibility in public places.

    Except that such women aren’t “invisible”. They’ve just lost the special attention they got when they were younger and prettier. Welcome to Ordinary, ladies, enjoy your stay.

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    No man I know has ever been told that his powers, his allure, his charm have faded, and that he has to face up to that redundancy.

    I am sorry but on what planet does this not happen to men? They are regularly told they are delusional if any woman will want them past about 30. It is not true, in many cases, but that is what we tell them. Everyone has to deal with their fading charms. It is reality.

    I am not the woman to make it, not this week at least, when I’ve been dissed or else flatly ignored by all the men I’ve said hello to.

    Sorry to hear she has been dissed. Feminism fought to end gentlemanly behaviour and they clearly won. But flatly ignored? When it comes to attraction one thing matters – does blood flow into the penis. I would like to control it, really I would, but with most men it is not a choice. There is desire or there isn’t. With 50 year old women, there isn’t by and large. So what? Life is cruel. It isn’t *courtesy* that middle aged women like middle aged men. It is biology.

    “These are just facts. Men like youth. They like long hair. They like colour. They like slender, as well. Sorry. You’re going to have to lose weight and grow your hair and wear red if you want the silver foxes to see you.”

    So she is a fat, older woman with cropped hair? Sure, honey, sensible men should be queueing for a chance to get reamed by the Divorce Courts.

  7. bloke (not) in spain

    Stella Grey is a 50-year-old divorcee who has embarked on an enlightening journey into online dating in the perhaps irrational hope of finding true love & writes for the Guardian.

    That’s on profile i won’t be clicking on, then.

  8. Stella Grey is a 50-year-old divorcee who has embarked on an enlightening journey into online dating in the perhaps irrational hope of finding true love.

    That is a hard road for a 50 year old woman to walk. I wish her well.

    There seems to be a gender imbalance, vis-a-vis the packaging thing. All the women I know are tolerant of middle age showing itself in a chap. We quite like a late flowering, in fact: the silvering, the smile lines, the coming of bodily sturdiness. We read these as signs that life has been lived and enjoyed. We read them as indicators of substance, of being substantial. In general, men don’t seem to grant us the same courtesy, at least not the men I meet online.

    Yes, men and women are different, Stella. It’s not “courtesy”, it’s human nature.

    Men are indeed highly focused on women’s physical appearance. We are hard-wired to want to shag perky young things who will bear our seed.

    Women are hard-wired to prefer high-status, dominant, studly men. A man’s age or looks are less crucial to women in calculating sexual attractiveness, but women are if anything even more brutally discriminating than men.

    How many street sweepers or taxi drivers has Stella agreed to go out with?

    How many five-foot-five, bald, middle aged call centre employees has she lusted after?

    How many doughy, shy, awkward, trainspotting enthusiasts has she said “let’s just be friends” to?

    They are highly focused on the packaging. It’s disheartening.

    I’m slightly disheartened to learn that even eloquent 50 year old Guardian readers can be surprised by fundamental truths about human nature.

    I blame Jane Austen. She brilliantly described the ultimate female fantasy – a rich, proud, tall, dark, and handsome man who is unable to control his raging desire for our heroine. But what did Mr. Darcy ever see in Elizabeth Bennett?

    Are we to suppose he was driven to distraction by her witty banter? Bitch, please! Miss Elizabeth Bennett must’ve had an awesome heaving bosom and a saucily swaying bustle.

    But thanks to the literary genius and feminine blind spots of Austen, a couple of centuries worth of English girls have been half-expecting their own Mr. Darcy without ever considering what they should do to attract him.

    Austen started a baleful trend in female romantic literature that persists to this day: the idealised masculine lover coupled with the female protagonist whose sex appeal is sketchy at best or downright absent at worst.

    Look at Bridget Jones’s Diary. The authoress even had the cheek to even call her male love interest Darcy, but her version of Elizabeth Bennett was a crude, chubby, chain-smoking, alcoholic 30-something.

    I have no doubt that this was a realistic portrait of the modern English career girl. What was unrealistic was the idea that two high status men would fight over her.

    But women eat this stuff up like it was chocolate laced with crack cocaine. It hasn’t helped them understand men at all.

    “I bet you were gorgeous when you were young,” I was told recently, via message, like that was supposed to be a compliment. Yes, I was gorgeous, ish, for a while, and self-absorbed, and shallow, and inexperienced, and over-sensitive and dull. You’re right, mate, you’d have much preferred me then.

    Translation: MEN, STOP BEING ATTRACTED TO SLENDER YOUNG LADIES AND PREFER BITTER, SARCASTIC DIVORCEES INSTEAD!

    No man I know has ever been told that his powers, his allure, his charm have faded, and that he has to face up to that redundancy.

    No. If men are brutal, women are cruel. The unattractive man isn’t told he isn’t as sexy as he used to be. He’s completely ignored, or used as a buyer of free meals and supplier of cathartic attention by women who have no intention of sleeping with him, or called “creepy” behind his back. But he’s never actually told the truth about female sexual attraction by women.

    Many women I know in their 50s talk about their invisibility in public places. I’m sure a case could be made for invisibility as a liberating force in a woman’s life, but I am not the woman to make it, not this week at least, when I’ve been dissed or else flatly ignored by all the men I’ve said hello to.

    It’s making me a bit rebellious, I admit. It’s making me want to look 50, and talk about 50, and stand firm with a whole movement of women, rejecting the pressure to try to look 35 for ever, throwing away our foundation garments and hair dye. I get these impulses and then I buy another stupid snake-oil anti-ageing cream.

    Time to get some cats.

    The following is perhaps the greatest passage to ever be published in the Guardian. It is simply, brutally honest:

    I spoke to my friend Jack about this.

    “Men online are the same,” I told him. “They say they’re after true love but really what they’re after is the 25-year-olds.”

    “Maybe they think they can have both,” Jack said.

    “You’re not like that, though, are you? Given a choice, you’d pick the older, more interesting woman, the passionate, well-read, intrepid, low-maintenance woman.”

    “Nice of you to think so,” Jack said. “But I’d go for the firm arse and tits, always, without question.”

    I expressed mild disgust.

    “You just have to face facts,” he said. “Men are extremely visual creatures; we respond visually and we can’t help it. Well, we could probably help it, but we don’t want to. Online dating is giving these idiots the impression that they can snag a honey. Most of them have no chance, of course. Don’t you look at the 25-year-old men in the street?”

    ‘I don’t. Honestly. They have mothers of my age, so it’d be like randily pursuing the children of your friends. There’s something inherently unsexy about that whole set-up.”

    “Sexy as hell.”

    “It’s the 55-year-old, slightly rumpled silver foxes that I stare at, the tall well-travelled well-used ones. But they don’t see me.”

    “Perhaps you should wear brighter colours.”

    I looked down at myself. “I like navy blue. What’s wrong with navy blue?”

    “These are just facts. Men like youth. They like long hair. They like colour. They like slender, as well. Sorry. You’re going to have to lose weight and grow your hair and wear red if you want the silver foxes to see you.”

    The question is, should I be prepared to change?

    It’s a question only Stella can answer, but at least she now has a clue.

    The 50 year old woman can still be attractive, even ravishing. When I was a young man an older woman took me under her wing and I remain grateful to her sexy, cradle-robbing, girlish heart to this day.

    Here’s what a 50 something lady can do to attract men:

    * be slim. Not concentration camp thin, curves are good. But don’t be bloated.

    * don’t get “Mum hair”. Short hair looks terrible even on dimpled little pixies like Carey Mulligan

    * DO NOT get tons of cosmetic surgery. It looks terrible.

    * Be flirtatious and fun.

    * Don’t be mutton dressed as lamb. Dress elegantly and feminine, not like a desperate ageing slapper or your gran.

    * Be realistic. A billionaire astronaut probably isn’t going to sweep you away to his palace. But Keith, the slightly dumpy guy from Accounts? He might be worth a second look.

  9. So Much for Subtlety

    Steve – “That is a hard road for a 50 year old woman to walk. I wish her well.”

    I do not. I do not belong to the ranks of the divorced, but given that 70-80 percent of divorces are initiated by women for largely trivial reasons, somewhere there is likely a deeply wounded – and blameless – husband and some traumatised children. The children of divorce seem to die about five years earlier (based on the only study that is even close to good and it is not that good) so if he didn’t put her into hospital I would want to know why she got a divorce.

    “Be realistic. A billionaire astronaut probably isn’t going to sweep you away to his palace. But Keith, the slightly dumpy guy from Accounts? He might be worth a second look.”

    She got divorced. That is, she chucked in Keith, the slightly dumpy guy from Accounts, took his house, ruined his children’s life, gutted his retirement (seriously – how long will it take a 50+ man to save up enough to buy another house?) and went off to have herself some fun.

    No sympathy at all.

  10. I’ve always thought, and I think it’s right, that when women are 20 they are in demand ; at when they are 40+ it is the men that are in demand.

  11. The funniest thing is the piece is the idea that she has a friend called Jack with whom she has that conversation. Nowhere in the real world would a man say those things to that bird. She might get ‘Ah cheer up you’ll find someone’ but all that stuff about ‘a firm arse and tits’ and chasing your mates’ kids being ‘sexy as hell’? Nah. Who even uses the phrase ‘sexy as hell’ outside chick lit anyway?

  12. SMFS – dunno what her story is, but I tend to think we shouldn’t hate the players, hate the game instead.

    Though I’m married, and far from unhappily, I wouldn’t recommend the institution of marriage to my sons. It’s a bad bargain for men given current divorce laws and cultural trends.

  13. It never ceases to amaze me how many women fail to grasp what a visual disaster short hair (almost always) is. To give some credit to the Radical Fems for once, at least they’ve appreciated for decades that a haircut is an essential part of the man-repelling toolkit.

  14. So Much for Subtlety

    Interested – “Who even uses the phrase ‘sexy as hell’ outside chick lit anyway?”

    He does sound a bit like a fantasy Gay-Best-Friend.

    Steve – “I tend to think we shouldn’t hate the players, hate the game instead.”

    No one is forced to go to Court to get a divorce. Everyone chooses it. I don’t hate her either. Mild contempt. Less than that if she can explain in 500 words or less why her children deserved to die five years earlier.

    My hatred is reserved for those people who push the divorce solution. The mainstream media, and especially the Guardian, presents divorce and abortion as fun joyful experiences that are way better than sticking with your boring husband or having another boring child. She is just a fool for believing the Divorce Mythology.

    “Though I’m married, and far from unhappily, I wouldn’t recommend the institution of marriage to my sons. It’s a bad bargain for men given current divorce laws and cultural trends.”

    I agree it is a bad bargain but society needs your sons to marry. And the basic reasons for marriage are still there.

    Ian B – “It never ceases to amaze me how many women fail to grasp what a visual disaster short hair (almost always) is.”

    So a fat woman unable to keep her commitments – who is also indifferent to the sexual needs of her partner? Sounds a bargain.

    She probably was a fairly competent, if selfish, wife. The media should not have sold her the fantasy that her husband should have been endless grateful to support her, and that when she dumped him, there would be a hunky handyman/billionaire waiting for her.

    Her focus should have been on the last things. Not the next hot thing.

  15. Mr Ecks – I take your point, but what’s the point of blaming women? They are what they are.

    Blaming women for divorce is like blaming dole claimants for the welfare state. They didn’t create the perverse incentives – they just respond to them.

    You might as well blame greyhounds for chasing rabbits, or schoolboys for sneaking into your garden to collect conkers.

  16. I’m with SMFS here. She could get Keith from accounts if she wanted. But she doesn’t want Keith from accounts; he is invisible to her. How does Keith feel about that? Keith who?
    So now she’s angry because she in turn is invisible to the man she does notice; and I’m supposed to care…why exactly?

  17. I gather I’m a deviant pervert…. I really like women with short hair. It’s practical too – no great plugs of hair in the bath.

    But a Guardian reading cat-owning fatso with a hairy bush? *shudder* – I just wish I could run as fast now as when I was 25.

  18. She’s probably swaddled in a Navy onesie with lots of cuddly toys on the bed as well.

    Now, where’s that stern leather-clad German Milf I saw on the internet?

  19. Women don’t suit short hair?

    Audrey Hepburn.

    Admittedly (to me and many others) the most beautiful woman of the 20th Century, but still….

  20. “Many women I know in their 50s talk about their invisibility in public places.”

    So THAT’S what they talk about (!). Glad I steer clear of them.

  21. GlenDorran – There are two types of famous beauty. There’s the type men lust after, and there’s the type women want to look like.

    Hepburn was the latter type. She was a very pretty woman, but not a huge sex symbol like Marilyn Monroe or Jane Russell.

  22. There seems to be a fair amount of thinly-veiled misogyny in the comments here: unless I’ve missed previous instalments in her series where she confirmed this, we have no evidence that she initiated a divorce for trivial reasons or took her husband to the cleaners — or indeed that she is conspicuously fat or ugly.

    That said, I agree there’s a sense of entitlement in her comments that is unattractive, as well as a double-standard. A man complaining that the women he fancies are disinterested in him would be told to check his male privilege; in the same situation, she is essentially branding the disinterested males as unreconstructed sexists.

    My advice to a man in the same situation — sending out endless invitations to connect and getting nothing in return — would be to change his dating profile and wording, and if that didn’t work to be more realistic and aim a little lower. My advice to this women would be the same.

  23. I rather like short hair on a girl, and I’m not especially attracted to blondes. Perhaps I’m in a minority.

    Good looks, and a kind heart: that’s a sensible place to begin.

  24. There seems to be a fair amount of thinly-veiled misogyny in the comments here

    We like to call it “experience” 😉

  25. “No man I know has ever been told that his powers, his allure, his charm have faded, and that he has to face up to that redundancy.”

    Well that just shows how little she knows about men. Any man who has played sport, at any level, from international status, to village green footy or cricket, has had that moment when the young player that he’s seen grow up over the last decade from a spotty prepubescent kid to a young man suddenly skins him, and leaves him for dead. Or hits his ‘quicker ball’ out of the park for six. Thats the point where a little bit of any man dies, because he knows that everything is downhill from there. Things will never get better from there on, only a gradual decline, sometimes a catastrophic one. And it can come as early as 30, tho usually a bit later in the mid 30s.

    “You might as well blame……schoolboys for sneaking into your garden to collect conkers.”

    Where do you live, the 1950s? No-one collects conkers any more. There’s acres of the things lying on the ground in parks nowadays. Offer the average schoolboy a conker and a shoelace today and you’ll get some very odd looks. Plus probably be reported to the police for ‘grooming’ kids………

  26. I just clicked the article, assuming it was just clickbait, but there are no comments. Shame, I was looking forward to a good laugh. Have comments been closed down? Could the rest of the sisters be getting a bit more realistic?

  27. Men have a similar experience but in reverse. How many fourth and fifth formers have been “invisible” to the girl they fancy because she has just hooked up with the sixth former whose parents have just bought him a Corsa?

    As you age the game switches, maybe beneath the simple biology there is even some schadenfreud, the guy who was ignored by the girls in his cohort, goes on to ignore them and takes advantage of the more youthful ones.

  28. “There are two types of famous beauty. There’s the type men lust after, and there’s the type women want to look like.

    Hepburn was the latter type. She was a very pretty woman, but not a huge sex symbol like Marilyn Monroe or Jane Russell.”

    Hepburn over Monroe or Russell, for me anyway. Takes all sorts doesn’t it?

  29. Hepburn was so pretty that she could look good despite the short hairstyles of the time. She still looked even better with it longer, though. Womens’ hair fashion went through a terrible period in the mid 20th century, all those nasty screwed down perms. But they were wearing those fashions to compete with each other (“stylish”) rather than to look sexy (i.e. appeal to men overtly).

  30. There is, at least, a degree of self-awareness:

    My poor mother suffered three days of dealing with a lunatic

    Unfortunately, Mum couldn’t, or wouldn’t, summon the requisite pair of MDs ….

  31. So Much for Subtlety

    Iliam Dhone – “There seems to be a fair amount of thinly-veiled misogyny in the comments here”

    I think that is a mildly asinine comment. It is what? An attempt to shame people out of a sensible response by screaming bad words at them? Big frickin’ deal.

    “unless I’ve missed previous instalments in her series where she confirmed this, we have no evidence that she initiated a divorce for trivial reasons or took her husband to the cleaners — or indeed that she is conspicuously fat or ugly.”

    Her Fake-Gay-Best-Friend thinks her weight in a problem. Her weight is a problem. It is not as if 50-something British men are all that judgemental. It is not like, say, Japan where anyone over 45 kg is obese and men say so loudly and often.

    As for the divorce, the chances are extremely good that it was for a trivial reason. Given that almost all marriages are ended for trivial reasons – and she is writing about on-line dating, not her experience of testifying at her husband’s criminal case.

    “That said, I agree there’s a sense of entitlement in her comments that is unattractive, as well as a double-standard.”

    Not to mention a complete disregard of how this sexual attraction works. She can’t do what you did – shame men into doing something alien to their natures. Either the blood flows to the right organs or it doesn’t. If she isn’t making it flow, and she probably isn’t given the weight comments and the cropped hair, no amount of shaming language is going to make a man want her. End of story.

    And for the record – I think Audrey Hepburn was much sexier than Marilyn Monroe. It may be my deeply repressed homosexualist tendencies or more likely the UGG boot phenomenon – some girls are so pretty they can get away with anything. Most women over 50 should not wear UGG boots either.

  32. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “SMFS, your reply to what I said seems to have nothing to do with what I said. Are you training to be a politician?”

    I think we all need to take a moment for silent reflection. And think how f**ked up the UK would have to be before I could have a viable political career.

  33. And think how f**ked up the UK would have to be before I could have a viable political career.

    Take a look around. The circus is definitely in town.

  34. If you guys liked the Guardian article you should pay the Chateau Heartiste blog a visit

    There are some awfully damaged blokes out there. Even if he is just taking the piss.

  35. GlenDorran – I’d say Russell > Hepburn > Monroe

    For me, Marilyn just tried a bit too hard to be a sex kitten. I like women who are a bit less… fake. And I’m not a fan of the bleached blonde look. Takes all sorts right enough.

    And what Ian B said. Audrey Hepburn looked nicer with long hair. Breakfast At Tiffanys > Roman Holiday.

    Jim – I would love to live in the 1950’s if I could get broadband.

    I’m sorry to hear schoolboys no longer play conkers. I hope the Dennis The Menace Fan Club is still going strong.

  36. So Much for Subtlety:

    You definitely seem to have it in for this lady. Do we actually have evidence that she is an overweight woman with cropped hair? (Even if she is, there’s someone for just about everyone.)

    The problem, I suspect, is not that no men want her. The problem is that the men who want her are not the men she wants, and rather than ascribing that to sexism she should probably be making more realistic choices in the opposite sex.

  37. So Much for Subtlety

    Iliam Dhone – “Do we actually have evidence that she is an overweight woman with cropped hair?”

    Again, I think that the evidence of her Fake-Gay-Best-Friend is pretty conclusive. If that is what he will say to her face, imagine what she is really like.

    “The problem, I suspect, is not that no men want her. The problem is that the men who want her are not the men she wants, and rather than ascribing that to sexism she should probably be making more realistic choices in the opposite sex”

    I agree with that. Except she is now 50. Theoretically there is someone for everyone. But in reality, women are competing in a vicious marketplace as they get older. For a start, there are overseas’ brides. The equivalent flow of young Black men is nowhere near as great as the flow of young Filipina, post-Soviet and Latina women for the men. For another there is on-line porn. Above all, men die much sooner. The older women get, the fewer men there are in their age cohort.

    Which means she has to be realistic about her standing, accept that standing has gone down in real terms, but also that it has gone down in relative terms too.

    Basically, she should have stuck with Keith in Accounts. But the Guardian is only interested in the mythology of how cool Divorce is. They don’t pay for Divorce Regret stories.

  38. “Many women I know in their 50s talk”. . . and talk. . . and talk. . .mostly about themselves. . .about everything about themselves. I never heard “invisibility” but I actually hear very little. I think men’s hearing loss with age is God’s gift to men to make up for some of the other things He did.

  39. Err, are there any women reading this?

    As one over fifty, I’m invisible and loving it.

    As hard as it might be for you guys to understand, let me tell you, that we have also lost interest.

    You know guys, we’re not all gagging for it and yearning for times past. We grow old and go past our prime. So do you. Fat, bald, and unattractive, not sought after by even the most desperate woman.

    One more thing guys, those of you who think that this is a female problem. If you think that you’re still sexy when you’re sixty five, maybe it’s because the wrinkled, totally past it woman that you’re keeping company with, knows that you are on the way out . Which leaves her with quite a a bit of time to spend up big!

  40. As hard as it might be for you guys to understand, let me tell you, that we have also lost interest.

    Whatever works for you.

    However, I don’t see any of the blokes commenting on this thread moaning about how difficult it is to pull the hot chicks now that they’re fat, bald and unattractive. Which means that we’ve all either accepted it, or changed our expectations. (Or, of course, in stable long-term relationships!)

    And not written long whiney articles in the Grauniad complaining that the pert 20- and 30-somethings don’t even notice us.

  41. Very nice June–except for the fact that a man with good cash money can have as many women as he likes–regardless of how fat, bald etc he may be. Buy (no pun intended) the hour, the day or the decade your sisters just love that folding green.

  42. Mr Ecks, that was a bit of a knee-jerk response to all these misogynistic comments which I, naively, find quite shocking. There is a lot of rubbish written on blogs about evil women who are out to shaft the men and I do think that there is a refusal to acknowledge that men grow old, and generally become less attractive as well.

    Times really have changed. A lot of women have their own money. Many earn more than the man that they are with…and guys, wait for it…it does matter these days what you look like because the women have started to get choosey. Fat and bald is not a good look, and the money we’re talking about needed to win over the beautiful nymphet may have to be very substantial, which leaves most of you stuffed.

    My daughter had a few friends over last week and I overheard their conversation. If, for one minute, you believe that it is exclusively men who objectify women, you should have had a listen to this young, rather beautiful group of very educated girls. It was tremendous fun.

  43. “Times really have changed. A lot of women have their own money. Many earn more than the man that they are with…and guys, wait for it…it does matter these days what you look like because the women have started to get choosey. Fat and bald is not a good look, and the money we’re talking about needed to win over the beautiful nymphet may have to be very substantial, which leaves most of you stuffed.”

    All true, but still doesn’t solve the eternal female problem – an old ugly man can have enough money to attract a young(er) beautiful woman (I always use Bernie Ecclestone as my example, but you only have to walk into a bar or restaurant in the salubrious parts of London to see plenty more), but an old ugly woman can be as rich as Croesus and still sleep alone………………female attractiveness is based entirely on looks and character, heavily weighted to the former, whereas men’s attractiveness is a composite amalgam of looks, character AND wealth, where an excess of one can compensate for shortcomings in the others.

    No young man has ever said ‘You know what, I’m going to find myself an old wrinkled Granny who’s got a billion dollars in the bank’. Plenty of young women have said (and done) exactly that.

    It ain’t pretty, but its true.

  44. June,

    Mr Ecks was talking about short-term rental rather than purchase.

    I believe the old, but still sage, advice to new millionaires is “if it flies, floats or fucks, better off renting.”

    That, of course, is a purely economic view. Humans are not quite homo economicus which is why short, raging, slightly plump, not yet bald blokes still get sex. Admittedly not from beautiful nymphets but, hey …

  45. I’m not sure that you’re right, Jim. If an older woman wants sex and she has money, I’m pretty sure that, these days, it’s on sale at the right price. Let’s be honest though, most wrinkly grannies would prefer a cup of cocoa and a restful night.

    The Bernie Ecclestone example crops up time and time again, precisely because his situation is unusual. He is very wealthy and, of course, some women will go for that, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t work the other way. In fact, I live next door to a fairly well-off woman of a certain age and she seems to have no shortage of attention from men who look years younger than her. I think that she pays for dinner!

  46. Men are not like women.

    Women see men’s differences as a defect.

    Men see women’s differences as differences – no drama required.

  47. I think it comes down to what you’re looking for, or why you’re looking for it. For most men, when they are seeking a woman, they are looking primarily for a sexual partner. After that, nice personality, fun to be with. It might develop into a relationship or even love. But when you think “I want a woman”, it is overtly, “I want someone to have sex with”.

    Many women on the other hand are looking for some kind of relationship, in which sex will probably play some lesser or greater part. Many are not very interested in the sexual aspects at all and- as we know from anecdotage- frequently once having “got a man” become actively sexually avoidant.

    Now why these differences exist can be debated. Most people seem to think it is instinctual, though I myself believe it is more socially constructed- and that men are thus more honestly in touch with their feelings, in a sense- which is why women tend to be more likely to be disappointed in love (they pick men for “relationships” on non-sexual grounds, then find themselves married to somebody they never really fancied in a sexual way, and it all ends in tears).

    But it’s fairly obvious that with different search criteria like that, different aspects of the person sought are going to matter. If you are more overtly seeking a sex partner, you’re going to focus on people you actually like the idea of shagging- which means physically attractive people. If you’re looking for some kind of friend and social companion, you’re going to be less concerned with physical attractiveness and more interested in other aspects- shared interests, social and economic status, etc.

    I also suspect that online dating exacerbates this, because you’re looking at photographs of potential dates. Some people don’t photograph that well. A woman’s manner and personality can often compensate a lot for plainer looks. I can think of women I’ve been with who I wouldn’t have looked at twice in sorting through photos, but who were in the flesh attractive (to me) and with whom I had a rather good time.

    Plus, everyone benefits in this sense from restricted choice. IRL we actually meet very few potential candidates. This was particularly acute in the past, when you were choosing from a handful of people of a similar age in your village. Even in modern times, a relatively small number of social contacts, colleagues, etc. When you’re looking at thousands of candidates in photos, Plain Jane and Plain Jake aren’t going to get a look-in.

  48. Tim, I believe that I said fat and bald, and no it’s not a choice, and not everybody can be good looking. I am married to a man who doesn’t have a lot of hair left. Mind you, he is still very fit and he has been a great companion to me for many years, so I let him off being bald, and he lives with me getting older.

    It’s interesting that Ian mentions the different search criteria. Maybe I was very shallow, but when I was young it mattered to me very much what a man looked like, and not so much if he had money. I first saw my husband in the university bar. He was tall, dark and handsome, yes, really. Like his mother said, “once you decided to get your claws into him he had no chance”! I think she expected me to remonstrate, but no way, she was right, so I just smiled sweetly which really did annoy the life out of her.

  49. June-

    No, it’s not shallow at all to be physically attracted. The idea that it is “shallow” does all kinds of harm. Thinking, “ooh, s/he’s a looker” is the natural starting point. If you don’t feel that way, you shouldn’t be with someone.

  50. So Much for Subtlety

    June – “As one over fifty, I’m invisible and loving it.”

    Good for you.

    “You know guys, we’re not all gagging for it and yearning for times past.”

    No, all those women have cats to keep them company. There is the equivalent of the young dork who can’t get any women to notice him. It is the sad old age pensioner who has not had any physical contact since the 1970s.

    “Fat, bald, and unattractive, not sought after by even the most desperate woman.”

    A man has to be extreme fat, bald and unattractive not to have all the female company he could want. Especially the older the man gets. There is just such a surplus of females in that age group – ignoring all the Russians etc etc.

    “If you think that you’re still sexy when you’re sixty five, maybe it’s because the wrinkled, totally past it woman that you’re keeping company with, knows that you are on the way out . Which leaves her with quite a a bit of time to spend up big!”

    You see, people do tell men this. It is true to some extent, but not that much. Men in their 60s are still attractive if they work on it in a way that women are not. Look at Sean Connery.

    But yes, thank you for pointing out why it is a mistake to think men to save for their old age. It is not for them, it is for their wives.

    June – “Mr Ecks, that was a bit of a knee-jerk response to all these misogynistic comments which I, naively, find quite shocking.”

    Where is the misogyny?

    “There is a lot of rubbish written on blogs about evil women who are out to shaft the men and I do think that there is a refusal to acknowledge that men grow old, and generally become less attractive as well.”

    And so we are back where we started from. By all means, there is a cliche about men who don’t realise it. But actually it is both not true and to the extent it is, men do understand it. It is not as if there has ever been a refusal to acknowledge it – it is the point about films like Michael Caine’s Alfie.

    “Times really have changed. A lot of women have their own money. Many earn more than the man that they are with…”

    Good for them. Unfortunately all the evidence shows that women remain very old fashioned. They may earn more money than the men around them, but they want a man who earns even more. No one has written a successful romance novel about a hunky handyman who was, in fact, actually a hunky handyman.

    “and guys, wait for it…it does matter these days what you look like because the women have started to get choosey. Fat and bald is not a good look”

    But looks matter to men. They have never mattered to women. Or at least not much. There is huge pressure on Gay men to look good. There is virtually none on normal men.

    “and the money we’re talking about needed to win over the beautiful nymphet may have to be very substantial, which leaves most of you stuffed.”

    Not really. Depends on the nymphet. As housing prices have got worse, young men are priced out of a lot of things.

  51. So Much for Subtlety

    June – “Maybe I was very shallow, but when I was young it mattered to me very much what a man looked like, and not so much if he had money. I first saw my husband in the university bar. He was tall, dark and handsome, yes, really. ”

    Tall, dark and handsome, and yes, really, in the university bar.

    So not a hunky handyman then.

  52. SMFS, it’s you that’s banging on about hunky handymen. It’s you that asserts that looks have never mattered to women when I’ve just told you that they do. There is massive pressure on straight men to look good these days..I have two sons and I see how they look after themselves.

    I didn’t say that I wanted a man just for his looks, a brain was also important, and like I’ve already said, money wasn’t a consideration for me, certainly not at that stage.

    Where is the misogyny? What about Gamecock’s comment about viagra and better looking wives? That’s a fairly blatant example but there are many more in this comments thread.

    Just one last thing. There are many old, lonely men in the community and this surplus of women that you speak of, where are they all? My old dad would love to meet one.

  53. So Much for Subtlety

    June – “it’s you that’s banging on about hunky handymen.”

    That is true. So what? It is you that continues to ignore what drives women’s desire and the implication of those hunky handymen.

    “It’s you that asserts that looks have never mattered to women when I’ve just told you that they do.”

    And you can go on telling they do. But they don’t. No matter how many times you tell us all. My response will always be the same – “and yet it moves”. The evidence that women are unconcerned about looks is massive and undeniable. Playgirl was only ever bought by Gay men for one thing. Women’s porn does not obsess over looks. It obsesses over attitude, status and material goods. Darcy is not described as handsome. But Pemberley is.

    “There is massive pressure on straight men to look good these days..I have two sons and I see how they look after themselves.”

    More is not massive.

    “I didn’t say that I wanted a man just for his looks, a brain was also important, and like I’ve already said, money wasn’t a consideration for me, certainly not at that stage.”

    And yet you chose to tell us you met your husband at a university bar. For some reason it is important for you to let us all know not only that your husband keeps in shape, but also that he is Upper Middle Class. You can go on telling us money was not important but in the real world you went out of your way to tell us he had money. I know which is more believable.

    “Where is the misogyny? What about Gamecock’s comment about viagra and better looking wives? That’s a fairly blatant example but there are many more in this comments thread.”

    Actually that is simply a description of the facts. The real world is cruel but it is not misogynistic. There have been actual real medical studies recently that have shown the main correlation with erectile dysfunction is the width of the wife’s waist.

    “Just one last thing. There are many old, lonely men in the community and this surplus of women that you speak of, where are they all? My old dad would love to meet one.”

    Presumably he is in a Home at his age. God knows all he would have to do is look around.

  54. “I didn’t say that I wanted a man just for his looks, a brain was also important, and like I’ve already said, money wasn’t a consideration for me, certainly not at that stage. ”

    And with one bound you agreed with pretty much everything you’ve been arguing against. Yes your future husband looked good, standing there at the bar all tall dark and handsome. But that wasn’t all you wanted was it? You wanted intelligence too. And what does intelligence equate to, particularly when stand at a university bar in what, 1970 something? Money thats what.

    And then to cap it all you then say “money wasn’t a consideration for me, certainly not at that stage”! So at some stage it WAS an issue. Presumably having dated your hunk for however long, there came a point when you had to decide whether to hitch your wagon to this man for good. And then is when the money, or prospect of a comfortable lifestyle is a factor for 99% of women.

    Imagine your hunk had only been in the university bar to fix the plumbing. And was of working class stock, lived with his parents in their council house, worked for a plumbing firm, had no ambition to run his own business, just wanted to get his wages every week, watch his local football team, get drunk on Saturday nights, and do it all again the next week. Would his undoubted physical charms have compensated for having to live with his parents for years, get knocked up and churn out a few kids and maybe one day get a council house of your own? Compared to Mr Middle Class graduate who was going places, knew people at the golf club, and was going to be able to provide a nice middle class lifestyle for his family?

    How much less attractive could Mr Middle Class graduate have been and still got your vote (for marriage and long term commitment) over Mr Working Class Hunk?

  55. SMFS,

    > given that 70-80 percent of divorces are initiated by women for largely trivial reasons, somewhere there is likely a deeply wounded – and blameless – husband and some traumatised children.

    A 70-80% proportion is not a good basis upon which to make a confident assertion about one person. Not even close. If your assertions are guaranteed to be wrong 20-30% of the time, you are talking bollocks.

  56. If you don’t like short hair on women, fair enough. But stop claiming that your tastes are everyone’s. My, God, I’ve known some stunning short-haired women in my time.

    On the same subject, I’ve known men who’ve responded to baldness by shaving it all off and have reported that they wished they’d done it years earlier as it gets them so much female attention. So June’s aversion to baldness is also just her own taste, not everyone’s.

    On the general point, I have to wonder if feminists really believe that men wander through life beating off women with sticks. That’s the only way this can be viewed as an equality thing. “It’s not fair: why aren’t men lusting after me the way women lust after them?” Really? News to me. I had to work my arse off to get every girlfriend I ever got. It involved persistence and desperation and a sense of humour. (You want to see a great portrayal of a typical man’s experience of fancying and then wooing a woman, I think most men would agree that the film WALL-E is absolutely spot-on: you notice she’s beautiful, she ignores you; you attract her attention, she tries to kill you. I mentioned this to my wife, and she simply couldn’t understand what I was on about.) This world in which women fancy men so hard they just have to drag them into bed is entirely alien to me. And I’m told I’m quite good-looking. We can’t all be Russell Brand.

  57. “On the general point, I have to wonder if feminists really believe that men wander through life beating off women with sticks. That’s the only way this can be viewed as an equality thing.”

    Who said it was anything about equality? No woman ever did. Its purely a case of self interest – ‘I used to have men around me like bees round a honey pot, now I’m old and wrinkly I don’t, waaah waah!’

    Women as they age still get more active attention from men than men get from women all all ages of life. If men weren’t proactive in looking for sex the species would die out.

  58. So Much for Subtlety

    Squander Two – “A 70-80% proportion is not a good basis upon which to make a confident assertion about one person. Not even close. If your assertions are guaranteed to be wrong 20-30% of the time, you are talking bollocks.”

    I disagree. For two reasons. One is that 80% is pretty strong. Also it does not follow that the 20% initiated by men did not also have a female causation. The other is that she is writing for the Guardian. What she wrote, where she wrote it, and the 70-80% means that I can be fairly confident. Especially as I did not make an assertion. I expressed a likelihood. How is that unreasonable?

    Squander Two – “If you don’t like short hair on women, fair enough. But stop claiming that your tastes are everyone’s. My, God, I’ve known some stunning short-haired women in my time.”

    Actually it is not so much my taste as it is everyone’s. Women vary. Some look good with short hair. Some don’t. But every survey of men, every study of on-line preferences shows that men like women with long hair.

    “On the same subject, I’ve known men who’ve responded to baldness by shaving it all off and have reported that they wished they’d done it years earlier as it gets them so much female attention. So June’s aversion to baldness is also just her own taste, not everyone’s.”

    Baldness is conveying some sort of evolutionary information. Presumably on the lack of health and strength in the male in question. Shaving it all off may hide this. But I doubt many men would choose to wear their hair that short if they had a choice. That may reflect what men think about each other or it may reflect what men think women think.

    “I had to work my arse off to get every girlfriend I ever got. It involved persistence and desperation and a sense of humour.”

    Which is the point – sperm is cheap, eggs are expensive. No matter how much the feminists b!tch about it, sociobiology is going to win this argument. Women should be coy. Men shouldn’t be. We can socialise the living f**k out of children to make them behave otherwise, but it will always be a struggle against reality.

  59. “Baldness is conveying some sort of evolutionary information. Presumably on the lack of health and strength in the male in question.”

    High testosterone is a sign of weakness in the male?

  60. So Much for Subtlety

    Jack C – “High testosterone is a sign of weakness in the male?”

    I am sure that thought is comforting to many men. But baldness is probably related to a lack of exercise, a lack of sunshine and perhaps skin infection.

    No doubt you also need some level of testosterone too.

  61. @S2: well no she didn’t really. She didn’t say ‘I as a 50 yo woman want as much attention from men as a 50 yo man gets from women’, she said ‘I as a 50 yo woman want men to look at me (and ask me out) rather than younger women’. So she doesn’t want equality with men, because the average 50 yo man probably doesn’t get approached by woman of any age that much either. What she wants is equality with younger women in the ‘Who gets the most attention’ stakes. Thats her version of equality, men aren’t in the picture.

  62. > baldness is probably related to a lack of exercise, a lack of sunshine and perhaps skin infection.

    Wow. For someone so completely obsessed with race and genetics that you’ll drag them into any conversation about anything… you didn’t know this was hereditary?

    > One is that 80% is pretty strong.

    It’s certainly stronger than the figure you gave, which was 70-80%. What happened to your margin of error? I mean, I strongly suspect that it’s a stat you’ve plucked out of your arse anyway, especially with the vague definition (divorces initiated for “trivial reasons”? Really? We collect stats on triviality?), and changing it on the fly hardly leads me to doubt that. But, even if it’s accurate, this is an egregious misunderstanding of basic stats. 80% is just not that strong, for the purpose you’re using it. It’s a landslide in an election. It’s a good basis for broad generalisations about things that will be prevalent across populations. It is no fucking use whatsoever for making a confident assertion about one person.

    > Also it does not follow that the 20% initiated by men did not also have a female causation.

    And it also doesn’t follow that the 80% initiated by women did not have a male causation.

    > Especially as I did not make an assertion. I expressed a likelihood. How is that unreasonable?

    Pfffffffffff. You do know we can all still read the thread, yeah?

    > She got divorced. That is, she chucked in Keith, the slightly dumpy guy from Accounts, took his house, ruined his children’s life, gutted his retirement (seriously – how long will it take a 50+ man to save up enough to buy another house?) and went off to have herself some fun.

    > No one is forced to go to Court to get a divorce. Everyone chooses it. I don’t hate her either. Mild contempt. Less than that if she can explain in 500 words or less why her children deserved to die five years earlier.

    > The media should not have sold her the fantasy that her husband should have been endless grateful to support her, and that when she dumped him, there would be a hunky handyman/billionaire waiting for her.

    > Her focus should have been on the last things. Not the next hot thing.

    You’ve used that 70-80% figure to construct a massively detailed backstory for which you have not one scintilla of evidence, all based on applying wild extrapolations from broad population-wide averages to just one person. You don’t even know whether she has children.

    And here you go again:

    > Actually it is not so much my taste as it is everyone’s. Women vary. Some look good with short hair. Some don’t. But every survey of men, every study of on-line preferences shows that men like women with long hair.

    No, they show no such thing. You just can’t get your head around this difference between “everyone” and “lots of people”, can you?

    Although, I have to say, a big WELL DONE on your insight that “Women vary.” Always nice to see some progress.

  63. Jim,

    There seems to be a gender imbalance, vis-a-vis the packaging thing. All the women I know are tolerant of middle age showing itself in a chap. … In general, men don’t seem to grant us the same courtesy

  64. “I am sure that thought is comforting to many men. But baldness is probably related to a lack of exercise, a lack of sunshine and perhaps skin infection.”

    I don’t think so, old chap. Those things can or will have an affect one way or the other, however the key thing is predisposition.

    Look at Princes Charles, William and Harry.

  65. @S2: well yes, but to be equal with men would demand she do as much asking out as the men do, and not to want an older man, as the majority of women do. Perhaps she should try telling all those 30 and 40 something women to stop dating 50 yo men and then she’d have more chance. It takes two to tango – for every man who gets a younger woman there has to be a woman who is happy to have an older man. Its as much a female issue as a male one, but she chooses to blame men. Par for the course one suspects.

    And I bet she didn’t want to be equal to any men when she was in her 20s and getting attention left right and centre from men her own age to men 20 years older. The inequality was just hunky dory when it benefited her, now the boots on the other foot its wrong and must be changed.

  66. SMFS, your assumptions are all wrong. I was the one from a very middle-class family and also a university student. My parents were both professionals, my husband was the first in his family to go to university. I did not hitch myself to him for his money, he didn’t have any, or his future earning capacity but you probably don’t believe that because you are so convinced that you are right.

    I am a woman. The man I married was very good-looking and that was, not the be all and end all, but important to me. But you don’t believe that. Being realistic I was aware that he would grow older, maybe even lose his hair, possibly put on weight. Whatever. That does not change the way I feel about him today. I think you’re all making rather too much of my baldness comment which was slightly tongue-in-cheek, thrown in there just to liven up the debate a little! What sensitive chaps you are.

    One last thing regarding this sweeping statement: “Men in their 60’s are still attractive if they work at it in a way that women are not. Look at Sean Connery”. I will concede that more men can age more gracefully than women if they are good looking to start with. Your average Joe probably looks just as worn out as his female counterpart. If we’re talking film stars here, there are many examples of females who still look very good in their sixties.

    Jim, it’s the men around here, including you, who are pointing the finger. The women are getting all the blame and that is not right. Some women hang on far too long in bad marriages for the sake of the children and divorce later. Domestic violence is an issue for many, and that is not trivial. As “Squander Two” points out when dissecting the divorce data…”it doesn’t follow that the 80% initiated by women did not have a male causation”. Indeed.

  67. “Jim, it’s the men around here, including you, who are pointing the finger. The women are getting all the blame and that is not right. Some women hang on far too long in bad marriages for the sake of the children and divorce later. Domestic violence is an issue for many, and that is not trivial.”

    Who pointing any fingers? We are merely pointing out the bleeding obvious that what men and women find sexually attractive are not necessarily the same, or in the same proportions. None of the issues you mention (divorce, domestic violence) are at stake here. It purely a question of what men and women are attracted to at the beginning of relationships, not how they fall apart.

    It is blatantly obvious to any straight man who ever lived that his chances of getting a girlfriend and subsequently a wife are intimately linked with his age and his monetary status. Needing to be older than the girl, and needing to have access to assets that his peers do not. The teenager with a car trumps the one with a pushbike, the man with his own house trumps the one living with parents, the man with a cottage in the Cotswolds trumps the one with an ex council flat. Yes if he’s tall dark and handsome he can forgo the age and asset requirement. And he may get blind lucky and meet a girl who he likes who likes him regardless of his status in life.

    But as Damon Runyon sagely noted, while the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, thats the way to bet. And the same goes for male female interaction. Not all millionaires have beautiful younger wives and girlfriends, but the vast majority do. Not all stunningly attractive women marry millionaires, but they do tend to marry up and out of the economic milieu they are born into.

    None of this is a problem, men accept the issue, much as they accept that they themselves are suckers for a nice figure and well endowed bosom. The main issue is women flatly denying it ever comes into their thinking, when all the evidence points in exactly the other direction. And getting all defensive about it when its pointed out. Has any man ever said ‘I’m very offended you think I married my wife because she is very attractive, it was entirely because of her impeccable character!’? No, he’d look sheepish, and admit ‘Did well there didn’t I?’.

    Women need to own their sexual attractions and not pretend they don’t exist. It would be better for all concerned if they were more open and honest with themselves and men about exactly what they find attractive.

  68. Jim, I do own my own sexual attractions, also that beauty wanes. Still, even at my advanced age I look okay, if I say so myself. Also, it seems to me that people of similar attractiveness get together: good looking men tend to marry good looking women. It is simply not true that the only thing men need to offer is money, unless we’re referring to those ugly men with multi-millions who end up with bimbos, and there’s not enough of them to go round.

    I married down from the economic milieu that I was born into and have never regretted doing that. As it happens my husband is now wealthy in his own right, and he earns a fair amount of money but I had no way of knowing how the future would pan out when I married.

    Even as I wrote that line about money not being a consideration for me at that stage in my life, I knew you would be right on to it. It is a very rare person indeed who has no regard for a modicum of financial security in their later years, and I’m not that rare. It was important to me (down the line) that we could provide well for our children and that they didn’t have to endure hardship. All I meant was that as a young woman that was not what I was searching for at all, not even a small factor in my choice of mate.

    Oh, and to the person who remarked that my father must be in a home, you’re also wrong. Was that you Jim, or that fool SMFS? He is in his late seventies, walks every day, swims, still does the cryptic crossword in record time, has enough money, and since the death of my mother, lives alone.

  69. So Much for Subtlety

    Squander Two – “Wow. For someone so completely obsessed with race and genetics that you’ll drag them into any conversation about anything… you didn’t know this was hereditary?”

    Was it relevant? I seem to have touched a nerve. Strange it should have been about hair loss.

    It’s certainly stronger than the figure you gave, which was 70-80%. What happened to your margin of error?

    So now you’re quibbling and otherwise wasting my time?

    “(divorces initiated for “trivial reasons”? Really? We collect stats on triviality?)”

    People do actually have a file a reason in many jurisdictions and there are other people who actually make it their business to ask. Reasons like domestic violence are surprisingly rare.

    80% is just not that strong, for the purpose you’re using it. It’s a landslide in an election. It’s a good basis for broad generalisations about things that will be prevalent across populations. It is no fucking use whatsoever for making a confident assertion about one person.

    A good thing I did not use it to make a confident assertion about one person. As I pointed out, it was used to express a likelihood. For which purpose it is entirely accurate.

    Pfffffffffff. You do know we can all still read the thread, yeah?

    Read, yes? Understand, well, let’ see.

    You do know that I was not claiming she was married to Keith right? You do know that was not meant literally? You do understand how that figure of speech thing works, right? So when I use 70-80% in the context of a likelihood, you cannot ignore that and select a whole bunch of other comments, out of context, which are clearly and obviously not meant to be taken absolutely literally.

    “No, they show no such thing. You just can’t get your head around this difference between “everyone” and “lots of people”, can you?”

    Enough for a first order approximation. Again you are wasting my time. You’re p!ssed about something, fine. You would be better off explaining what it is.

  70. So Much for Subtlety

    June – “I did not hitch myself to him for his money, he didn’t have any, or his future earning capacity but you probably don’t believe that because you are so convinced that you are right.”

    You felt the need to tell us you met him in the university bar. I have no idea what you think you’re doing, but you did feel the need to explain he is not poor.

    “But you don’t believe that.”

    Nor do you. You insisted on telling us otherwise.

    “That does not change the way I feel about him today.”

    Although you have repeatedly seen the need to tell us that he is fit and good looking. So he did not change that much. How things would have worked out if he had, we don’t know.

    “If we’re talking film stars here, there are many examples of females who still look very good in their sixties.”

    With enough photoshop.

    “Some women hang on far too long in bad marriages for the sake of the children and divorce later. Domestic violence is an issue for many, and that is not trivial.”

    Domestic violence is not common enough to be much of an issue in British divorces. Not enough women hang on for the sake of the children. Given the children of divorce appear to die five years earlier than children of intact families.

  71. So Much for Subtlety

    Jack C – “I don’t think so, old chap. Those things can or will have an affect one way or the other, however the key thing is predisposition.”

    There is a genetic component, or at least it runs in families. But then so do all sorts of behaviours.

    “Look at Princes Charles, William and Harry.”

    So we have one son who likes sitting around indoor and we have another son who likes outdoor sports and would rather be humping his kit up a mountain in Afghanistan? No, impossible to tell which is more likely to lose his hair.

    Hats were basically killed off as a fashion item for men once the rumour spread they caused hair loss.

  72. So Much for Subtlety

    June – “It is simply not true that the only thing men need to offer is money, unless we’re referring to those ugly men with multi-millions who end up with bimbos, and there’s not enough of them to go round.”

    I am unaware anyone has said that *all* a man needs to offer is money.

    “As it happens my husband is now wealthy in his own right, and he earns a fair amount of money but I had no way of knowing how the future would pan out when I married….. It was important to me (down the line) that we could provide well for our children and that they didn’t have to endure hardship. All I meant was that as a young woman that was not what I was searching for at all, not even a small factor in my choice of mate.”

    It is important within the Western tradition for women to draw a line between what they do and prostitution. It is vital for their self-esteem that they do not consider wealth as a factor. Good for them. I totally support that. But it is not true. Obviously financial assets count. Upper Middle class girls still marry Upper Middle class boys and rarely do they go looking for a genuine member of the working class. We all understand the unspoken rules.

    I don’t think you really dispute any of this. After all, you did, clearly, make it known that your husband was not poor. You chose to tell us you met him at a university bar. Let me guess it was not Sussex and he was not studying sociology?

    I am fine with the silly rules by which we play. I even think they are important. But you chose to make the reality obvious with a little bit of humblebragging.

  73. I was just being honest which is what you asked of me and the bragging is all for nothing, seeing as you don’t know my identity. In RL I don’t brag. The bar scenario was just to let you know that women can go out and spot a stranger and like what she sees, same as the man. It wasn’t so that you would know that I went to university. Maybe I should have just said we met in a bar?

    Your hatred for women, especially when you start spouting about prostitution, is obvious. I also have earned money and contributed to the family coffers. I mention that we are not poor now and that he earns a lot, because I was admitting that having enough money becomes more important as you age, well, it became more of an issue for me. That is the unvarnished truth.

    SMFS, you obviously have some comprehension problems alongside your rage. My husband was poor when I met him. He was also good looking which apparently, I’m not supposed to have noticed or cared about, being a woman. I did. Sorry if this doesn’t fit with your theories of how women and men interact.

    The only point that I agree with you on is that in most instances couples marry within their own social class. This happens for obvious reasons such as opportunity, that is being in the same place, and compatibility. To the person, Jim, I think, who reckons that women nearly always marry up, that makes no sense to me. If you think about it, it’s plain illogical.

    And no, It wasn’t Sussex and it wasn’t sociology, but I think I’ve done enough “bragging” for one day.

  74. SMFS,

    > I seem to have touched a nerve. Strange it should have been about hair loss.

    Me? I’m bald and don’t give a shit. Like many bald men, I don’t give a shit because I’ve known for a fact I was going to be bald since I was about ten. Because it’s hereditary.

    I actually meant what I said. Someone mentions driving tests or mountain climbing or gardening tools or how much venison people eat in New Jersey, and you can be guaranteed to leap in with “GENETICS! RACE! GENETICS! RACE!” But baldness? Apparently, the SMFS jury’s still out.

    > So now you’re quibbling and otherwise wasting my time?

    If you had a real statistic, you’d know what it was. It’s hardly quibbling to point out that your figures are somewhat elastic, and somehow became weighted further in your favour during the course of a conversation. Real statistics don’t do that. There’s also a big difference between being wrong 20% and 30% of the time, and if you really can’t see that, please please please play pontoon with me.

    And time-wasting? You do know this is the Internet, right?

    > People do actually have a file a reason in many jurisdictions and there are other people who actually make it their business to ask.

    Yes, I know. However, whether reasons are “trivial” is entirely your own personal opinion, not part of the statistical record.

    > You do know that was not meant literally? You do understand how that figure of speech thing works, right?

    Yes, I understand figures of speech, thanks. And what you did was you expressed a likelihood, extrapolated from it wildly, and then immediately started treating the extrapolations as fact — for instance, saying that you had no sympathy for her at all because of all the terrible things she’d done to her ex-husband. You are now admitting that your basis for your total lack of sympathy is your own fevered imagination (or “figure of speech”, as you put it). Thanks: that was my point.

    > a whole bunch of other comments, out of context, which are clearly and obviously not meant to be taken absolutely literally.

    OK, so, assuming I’m too thick to understand your terribly clever prose, and given how much you just love explaining things to us mortals, how about you explain what the quoted passages actually did mean, then? What was the point of, say:

    > Less than that if she can explain in 500 words or less why her children deserved to die five years earlier.

    ’cause, if you’re saying now that you have no idea whether she has children or who initiated her divorce, that comment just looks like a non-sequitur made out of bollocks, really, doesn’t it? To us mortals, anyway.

  75. Oh, and…

    > You felt the need to tell us you met him in the university bar.

    So, if anyone picks out some of the details of stuff you’ve said, that’s totally unfair and obviously unrelated to what you mean and even mentioning those details is time-wasting, but trivial details in other people’s writing are all-important vital insights into their psyche?

    For fuck’s sake, when people describe meeting their spouse, they say where it happened. That’s just scene-setting, not bragging. “You felt the need to tell us all…” Pfffffff.

  76. @June: when I said ‘woman should own their sexual attractions’ I meant they should own what they find attractive in a man, be honest about those factors, and not pretend that wealth isn’t one of the factors.

    Wealth is a factor for both sexes, give a man a choice between two identical women one of whom is rich, he’ll choose the rich one. But ask him to choose between an ugly rich one and an pretty one and he’ll choose pretty 99 time out of 100. For women thats probably more like 80/20, ie 20 will go for the ugly rich guy.

    And thats the crux – the market for sex and relationships is like any other, its all about the margin. If being rich gives a man an advantage, he’s going to try and take it. It doesn’t have to be huge, In my figures above being rich has meant a rich ugly man has 20 times more ‘pulling power’ than his rich ugly female counterpart, even though 80% of the women would still reject him. And the pulling power increases even more if a man is good looking AND rich. I mean there is a reason 50 Shades is popular with women – a handsome billionaire wants to rough me up a bit? Where do I sign?

  77. June,

    > Sorry if this doesn’t fit with your theories of how women and men interact.

    Almost nothing real fits with SMFS’s theories. He’s occasionally right, like a stopped clock.

  78. SMFS:
    “Look at Princes Charles, William and Harry.”

    So we have one son who likes sitting around indoor and we have another son who likes outdoor sports and would rather be humping his kit up a mountain in Afghanistan? No, impossible to tell which is more likely to lose his hair.

    Seriously, what? William likes sitting around indoors?

    Now that is copper-plated bollocks.

  79. Jim, I may have misunderstood you . You spoke of sexual attractions and ownership, and I thought you meant me and my attractiveness! But no, you meant how I should be up-front about what I find attractive in men, which is what I thought I had already owned up to. I thought that was the whole point.

    Then I read Squander Two’s remark and for some reason, I thought it was a woman writing. It really doesn’t matter.

    Squander Two, if you are a bald man who doesn’t give a shit, neither do I. You make perfect sense to me.

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