COMMENTS
Hi Andey
 
Thank you for your interesting book, which does indeed supply a counter-view to the feminist perspective. For the record, I am a woman, 43, married for 19 years, 1 son aged 10, self-employed, husband working in industry, sympathetic to the feminist cause in that I believe men and women should have equal opportunities and be assumed to possess equal intelligence and ability, limited in my feminism in that I do not believe in hate talk or condone unethical behaviour by women (which, BTW, includes lying to divorce judges - unless the man has lied first - and getting pregnant in order to hold on to a man).
 
I'm unhappy about some of the assumptions, though. Where on earth did you get the evidence that women discuss the size of their men's penises? As a 43-year-old woman who has indulged in a lot of gal talk over the years, I can tell you the subject has never come up. Not once. The reason? There's no social prestige attached to it. Women who want to use their man in order to compete with each other will bring up his important job, his high income, his generosity to her, the fact he says the woman really "understands" him. When I was younger, girlfriends did tell me..."ohhh, last night was great", one did get specific and tell me he had "got it up" 6 times (no inches specified). However, the issue was not so much HIS prowess as HER desirability. In all cases, this concerned casual affairs, and AFAIK men are very graphic in similar circumstances.
 
My husband used to tease me about my discussing penis size with my women friends, so I wonder if this, to a large extent, is not just a common, if unfounded, male fear/fantasy.
 
In my experience, where their true love is concerned women are as discreet as men when it comes to matters of the bed. Many of them do, however, grumble about bad habits such as computer addiction, untidiness, unpunctuality or a reluctance to be the "heavy parent", rather as they grumble about their children's bad habits. I have often heard men growling about their children's bad habits, BTW. However, when my male friends or relatives have complained about their spouse the behaviour involved is usually unacceptable, whereas women have tended to keep quiet about real vices such as avarice or cruelty until the divorce is under way.
 
You may also be interested to know that well-qualified working women do not particularly admire or engage in "mate competition". A woman who boasts too much of her husband's position or generosity is likely to raise eyebrows ("can't do it yourself, huh?").
 
Concerning the "double standard", you need to look at underlying assumptions. Jokes about men, whites, straights or goys have no consequences other than making the targets uncomfortable. Jokes about women, gays, people of colour or Jews have a double effect as they also reinforce negative stereotypes which reduce these people's employability (women = silly and illogical, gays = sexual predators, coloured folks = dumb or lazy, Jews = dishonest, Arabs = terrorists). I agree that when these stereotypes have dissolved public joking about (formerly) dominant groups should cease, but the time has not yet come.
Forgive the tough talk, but could it be that as an employer you have a stake in keeping certain groups - not necessarily women - disadvantaged? Such people, as you put it, "have fewer options", and are therefore cheaper and more biddable. If you do, well, I can understand, but if you have the right to look out for your own options whatever the cost to others then so do other people, including women.
 
As for your views on the greater maturity of men... may I ask how many professional women you know, i.e. women who are in careers, not just jobs - and how many women, with or without careers, whose husbands are away most of the time (e.g. sailors' wives, who are known for their capability and good sense)? IMHO it is responsibility which teaches people to be mature - how to keep your head in tricky situations, how not to get discouraged, how to be realistic, how and when to stick to your guns or make a concession, how to control your demeanour. I can see how financially dependent wives can fail to develop a true sense of responsibility, but I also see husbands unwilling to relinquish their superiority and who encourage their wives to be silly and passive, either by reacting with fond tolerance to silly behaviour or putting them down when they are in fact exercising or trying to exercise good judgement.
 
As for the materially exploitative behaviour you describe, I agree it's a sorry business, but as long as women have to deal with prejudice and male hostility to high-achieving and self-confident women, it will inevitably remain more common in women than it would otherwise. The reason: if it were as easy for a woman with children as for a man to get out there and have a decent career, there would be far less social tolerance of parasitism. Exploitativeness is also a common human trait and you will doubtless have noticed that rich or even prosperous women, like their male counterparts, are never without partners unless they choose to be. For my part I have known a number of selfish and exploitative people of both sexes who limited their partners', children's (or in two cases, parents') options to ensure their own material and psychological comfort.
 
Actually, as the mother of a son, I do believe boys and men should be taught to be savvier about women. Girls seem to naturally take an interest in what makes people tick, which helps them hone their perceptions and develop their social skills. I remember discussing the intricacies of male psychology with my best friend for hours when we were 14 or 15, not with any schemes in mind (we were both late developers and first fell in love at 18), but just for the sake of it. Actually, we also discussed the girls in our entourage. The little girl you describe was not being devious. She was sexually attracted to a boy  and aware that overt displays of attraction would put him off. Come on now, didn't you devise strategies when you began to take an interest in specific members of the opposite sex?
 
OTOH, it seems to me boys are positively trained to be dumb about women. They are discouraged from taking an interest in girls' concerns and encouraged to dismiss any puzzlement about female behaviour with the attitude that it's not worth bothering about anyway because girls are stupid. Well, for most of the male population, it definitely is. They will develop a major-league attachment to a woman at least once in their lives, and in a Western society are required to choose their own mates and work alongside women, and may have to cope with raising daughters.
 
All of this they must now do in a situation where many of the traditional means used to control women have been outlawed. Incidentally, why is this so wrong? AFAIK men are able to handle relationships with other men in the knowledge that they are not in total control of the situation, or even when the other man is in control - plenty of men get on well with their bosses - so why is it such an issue when it comes to women? I'm surprised at your assumption that somehow it's better for all concerned if the man controls the woman, and even that in a marriage someone has to be in charge, like the captain of a ship. Marriage is not that different from business partnership in that respect, and 50-50 partnership is a perfectly workable model. Yes, a domineering, dishonest, lazy or incompetent partner can destroy a business. The same applies to marriage, and I see no reason to trash the marital model while upholding the business model. What are your views about equal partnerships in business?
 
To return to the issue of raising boys, don't get me wrong, I don't buy my son Barbies. What I do encourage is friendly relations with girls his age as a sideline to his main friendships, which are with other boys, so he never forgets how to interact with them as people. I also encourage his interest in other human beings in general - male or female - so he can learn to analyse and judge human behaviour as a matter of routine and using his own judgment rather than stereotypes. TV fiction is a great help, and yes, I do let him know that there are bitches as well as bastards out there. We discussed the "oops" scenario not so very long ago.

Between the ages of 6 and 8 he was very concerned about the differences between boys and girls and very, very concerned as to which group was superior to the other. My response to that was that there might be general trends, but that the real differences were between individuals. Andey, I don't want him going through life assuming he's a loser if he cannot outperform every female on the planet in every way. I take any opportunity I can to tell him that girls and boys develop at a different pace, and that girls have their insecurities as much as boys do, only at different ages (which he found particularly interesting). One thing I have told him is that sexist remarks are silly, and out of place in the presence of women to whom he owes respect, such as adult female relatives and teachers.
 
I have a question concerning Men Who Love Too Much. Why is it that when men fall in love with a woman they are unable to see her as anything but a pure angel? Curiously, when women fall for a wrong 'un they can usually see his defects quite clearly after a while, but go on hoping against hope that he will change. However, if faced with unethical behaviour on the part of a woman they love, men will hotly deny any imperfection, however obvious. Why?
 
I have to say I skimmed through the chapters on adultery, which are not highly relevant to me as an adult. I am faithful to my husband; he once (spontaneously) told me about 5 years ago that he had been faithful to me. Whatever, he has never given any sign of infidelity, which is enough for me. What I can tell you is that my father did his bit of indiscreet womanising and that it caused my mother terrible pain. In fact, that is what many women experience when they are being cheated on, a sense of total humiliation, abandonment and worthlessness. I know men seek out sexual novelty more than women do, but in that case it is up to them to exercise discretion and tact. Don't spend whole evenings at your girlfriend's side, don't nip off into quiet corners with her when your wife is around, don't sing her praises to your entourage, remove all traces of evidence, never bring her into the family home however convenient it may be, don't try to bring her into the family circle (yes, my dad did just that, twice), and don't behave resentfully to your wife and kids because you'd rather be on a desert island with the girlfriend.
 
One last question. There are women who like a bit of strange, too. How come so many men are  intolerant of that? On the contrary, surely they should be more understanding?
 
Thank you for reading this. The reason I responded to your book is that although I disagree with a great deal of it I think it is an honest attempt to make sense of a fast-changing world. As I have said, I firmly believe in equal rights for both sexes and in mutual respect, and that ultimately feminism will change the world for the better (when comparing different cultures, have you noticed that material prosperity and female assertiveness usually go together?).  I am aware, however, that it has generated a number of injustices at the individual level. I dislike the current bias against men in the American divorce courts as much as I disliked watching groups of African-Americans cheering at the acquittal of O.J. Simpson.
 
It's also tough for men who have been brought up to expect a privileged lifestyle and status to adjust to  their new, reduced circumstances, much as aristocrats had to adjust to democracy, and I feel they deserve more support and understanding than has been their lot.
 
If you decide to use this email on your website, you may do so, but you must quote it in its entirety as I wish everything I say to remain in context. You may not make my surname or email address public.
 
Best regards, Anne


RESPONSE FROM ANDEY RANDEAD:

Dear Anne:
 
I appreciate your review and thoughts on my book “The Great Female Con”. You obviously gave it much thought and some of your points are worth discussing. I noticed that you are a 43-year-old women with a 10-year-old son and that you’re self-employed. I’m curious to know exactly what you do and how many hours a week you do it. As for your belief that women and men should have equal opportunities and intelligence, I agree totally with that. Part of why you’re finding a lot of my conclusions and aspersions hard to believe is that you are a 43-year-old women. Most of what I talk about relates to what I call the “modern women” or women in their teens, twenties and early thirties. You may not realize to what extent a lot of what I’m saying actually goes on in the lives and minds of those women. All of my conclusions are based on facts I solicited from over 100 women in that age group. That combined with statistical information, which is available freely on the Internet regarding marriage, relationships and divorce.
 
As for women discussing personal things about men, that fact is undeniable with the modern women. I brought that up in my book not so much to show what they specifically talk about, but to demonstrate their total lack of respect for men. I accuse modern women of developing a “female chauvinistic” attitude towards men whereby they only see men’s involvement in women’s lives as a necessary evil. Discussing personal traits only confirms this disrespect. I’m sure to some degree men do it to however; they usually do it about other women and not their spouse. Ironically, my wife was just today having her hair done at the hair dresser’s, and she was told by her hair dresser that her husband was so drunk the night before that he urinated accidentally in bed getting her totally wet. How anyone can so casually converse about their man like that is beyond me however, it can only be as a result of the very low level of respect for him. You come from a different generation and probably don’t even realize the extent of this lack of respect that exists today with the modern women.
 
You make it sound as though there’s a difference between stereotyping and or joking about white men versus women and minorities. I must say, that is a hypocritical position on your part. There is no difference whatsoever. The assertion that there is a double effect on women and minorities is simply a self-serving justification for a hypocritical position. That is exactly the kind of attitude, which has created the grossly slanted laws of today which completely favor women over men in issues of marriage, divorce, custody etc. The notion is that minorities and women need this advantage to make up for their other disadvantages and that given this advantage, these minorities would not take advantage of it and that it would only serve to equalize their other disadvantages. If this were true, why then do women today commence 75% of all divorces? The answer is simple. They are taking advantage of this advantage and lowering their tolerance as a result. Things, which were yesterday tolerated, are now worthy of a visit to the lawyer. When one side stops working as hard as they used to in order to make a relationship work, the relationship is doomed. One side cannot keep a marriage together. It takes two to tango. Today for the first time in American history, there are more single people than married people. Men are not stepping up the way they used to. You cannot expect men to play in an uneven playing field. Minorities and women will only suffer in the long run from these types of programs and advantageous laws, which are designed to help them. Employers will find other ways to avoid dealing with them and all the regulations that go along with dealing with them. Men will only avoid committing or getting married knowing that the laws are too one-sided. This is the true effect of laws, which are slanted in favor of women and minorities. These laws actually are creating exactly what they were supposed to prevent. Statistics don’t lie and here are a few for you. Over half of marriages end in divorce. Women commence 75% of those divorces. Less than half of our population is married. None of these statistics were nearly this bad when the laws where more evenly enforced. As for me, I don’t take advantage of minorities, I exploit the position people are at in life, understanding that the less secure you are in life and the less money you have, the more drive you have. Knowing that fact gives me a better harder working, more tolerant employee. That’s not exploitative, that’s just smart imaginative business that gives an advantage to the people starting out that need it. It's a win win deal.
 
With respect to my little girl story, you say she was not being devious. You then go on to say “she was aware that overt displays of attraction would put him off.” You further go on to say “Come on now, didn’t you devise strategies when you began……” In your own words you’ve proven my point that this girl, at a very young age, was already learning how to be devious. Devising strategies to conceal true intentions is being devious, hence the same derivative in the word “devise” and “devious”. You as a woman even today find it hard to distinguish between devious behavior and legitimate devising of strategies. There is no difference. There’s only a difference in a women’s mind who can play with reality and turn it into whatever she prefers to in her own mind, and that is exactly my point.
 
As for a 50-50 partnership, statistically, equal partnerships rarely work out either and I am not a fan of them for that very reason. In my book I say one has to be “more” in control than the other, not “one has to been in total control over the other” as you referenced me to have said.
 
As a mother of a male, you had better quickly learn how modern women have evolved since you were a young women. Believe me, they are not the way you were. If you don’t spend a lot of time with your boy and make him aware of the potential evils that lurk around every corner when dealing with the way things are, there’s a very good chance that he will be taken advantage of. He will also likely be turned against you if you don’t instill some old school morals. As I say in my book, make sure you don’t de-ball him. You will be the first one to suffer. I have seen young men’s lives, and relationships with their families completely ruined because they mistakenly believed that they would be treated fairly by their modern women. Once problems arise, modern women will exploit the advantage in law they have against your son. Having him arrested with false accusations, trapping him by getting “accidentally” pregnant, turning him against his friends and family etc. This may sound harsh to you however; I have seen it play out countless times. The mothers are usually the one’s left to suffer the most. As much as this all sounds absurd to someone like yourself, who probably has been sheltered from these occurrences, it happens more times than not.
 
Why men fail to acknowledge fault in women is because they have not been instilled with reality about women growing up. Every woman learns from their mothers, and fathers, that boys for the most part are all looking for the same thing. They are put on guard at a very early age. That’s why they are more likely to recognize fault in men when it happens. Men on the other hand are not told of all the potential “cons” and ploys that women are likely to employ. Men are lead to believe that women, for the most part, are pure, good, honest and trustworthy. They are not on guard for them the way conversely women  are.
 
Women do like attention and sex from strange people, as do men; however, it’s more emotional with them. Probably the reason men have a harder time with their women getting strange is firstly because of the infamous male ego. Secondly, men understand that women are more likely to take “strange” more intimately and fall in love with it. Men can keep it on a physical level easier since sex to men is more of a physical act than an intimate one thereby keeping it from affecting their relationship with their spouse.
 
Again, thank you for your comments and I invite you to reply again to this response to you.
 
Andey Randead



ANNE RESPONDED TO MY RESPONSE BY TYPING IN BETWEEN MY BLACK PRINT WITH HER RED, I THEN RESPONDED AGAIN TO HER RED PRINT WITH MY GREEN PRINT. INTERESTING EXCHANGE.
 
Dear Anne:
 
I appreciate your review and thoughts on my book “The Great Female Con”. You obviously gave it much thought and some of your points are worth discussing. I noticed that you are a 43-year-old women with a 10-year-old son and that you’re self-employed. I’m curious to know exactly what you do and how many hours a week you do it. As for your belief that women and men should have equal opportunities and intelligence, I agree totally with that. Part of why you’re finding a lot of my conclusions and aspersions hard to believe is that you are a 43-year-old women. Most of what I talk about relates to what I call the “modern women” or women in their teens, twenties and early thirties. You may not realize to what extent a lot of what I’m saying actually goes on in the lives and minds of those women. All of my conclusions are based on facts I solicited from over 100 women in that age group. That combined with statistical information, which is available freely on the Internet regarding marriage, relationships and divorce.
 
Re the information concerning my working hours: I work from home 30-40 hours a week. I also take full charge of our home and of our son's life (PT meetings, out-of-school activities, homework supervision, general physical maintenance, and just being with him), as my husband is required to work extremely long hours and is often away from home. The hours I put into these activities vary from 5 to 15 hours a week.

I'm glad that you have something in your life that keeps you occupied and contributing to your relationship. It seems to me that most problems occur when one spouse has too much time on their hands. Actually contributing to a relationship versus the facade of a career is a must in my opinion. Despite popular belief, unless a woman has 3 children not in school, there isn't justification for her staying at home full time. The problem with most relationships is that once the women has stayed home when she has to, she is not eager to go back to work once the work load at home reduces to next to nil. One of the female con's I often talk about is that they convince their husbands that there is enough for her to do in the domestic department therefore not being able to return to the workforce. If that tactic fails, they often find a "facade career" or something they enjoy doing versus actually make money at. 

As for women discussing personal things about men, that fact is undeniable with the modern women. I brought that up in my book not so much to show what they specifically talk about, but to demonstrate their total lack of respect for men. I accuse modern women of developing a “female chauvinistic” attitude towards men whereby they only see men’s involvement in women’s lives as a necessary evil.

One of the more unpleasant revelations of my teenage life came when a friend confided she had overheard her father say (to a friend of his, not during a marital row) that he had only married her mother in order to acquire a housekeeper and have children which she would bring up. Of course I knew about this in theory, but for the first time I was given a full view of the devastating effect of such behaviour, not least on the children. Women who marry "providers" are as low on the ethical scale as men who marry "housekeepers", but certainly no worse.

I'm sure there are many men who look for housekeepers, as well as steady sources of sex, it is just as pathetic as when women seek a "meal ticket" to a better life without having to work as hard for it. Men however, are much less devious about it then women are. Men will often admit it, women never will.

Discussing personal traits only confirms this disrespect. I’m sure to some degree men do it to however; they usually do it about other women and not their spouse. Ironically, my wife was just today having her hair done at the hair dresser’s, and she was told by her hair dresser that her husband was so drunk the night before that he urinated accidentally in bed getting her totally wet. How anyone can so casually converse about their man like that is beyond me however, it can only be as a result of the very low level of respect for him. You come from a different generation and probably don’t even realize the extent of this lack of respect that exists today with the modern women.
 
Hm, a case of incontinent behaviour on both sides I guess. Would you call peeing all over someone "respectful"?


I'm not sure how an accidental urination is a sign of disrespect. His act was unconscious, hers was not. I still maintain her act was the disrespectful one.

 
You make it sound as though there’s a difference between stereotyping and or joking about white men versus women and minorities. I must say, that is a hypocritical position on your part. There is no difference whatsoever. The assertion that there is a double effect on women and minorities is simply a self-serving justification for a hypocritical position. That is exactly the kind of attitude, which has created the grossly slanted laws of today which completely favor women over men in issues of marriage, divorce, custody etc. The notion is that minorities and women need this advantage to make up for their other disadvantages and that given this advantage, these minorities would not take advantage of it and
that it would only serve to equalize their other disadvantages. If this were true, why then do women today commence 75% of all divorces? The answer is simple. They are taking advantage of this advantage and lowering their tolerance as a result. Things, which were yesterday tolerated, are now worthy of a visit to the lawyer. When one side stops working as hard as they used to in order to make a relationship work, the relationship is doomed. One side cannot keep a marriage together. It takes two to tango. Today for the first time in American history, there are more single people than married people. Men are not stepping up the way they used to. You cannot expect men to play in an uneven playing field. Minorities and women will only suffer in the long run from these types of programs and advantageous laws, which are designed to help them. Employers will find other ways to avoid dealing with them and all the regulations that go along with dealing with them. Men will only avoid committing or getting married knowing that the laws are too one-sided. This is the true effect of laws, which are slanted in favor of women and minorities. These laws actually are creating exactly what they were supposed to prevent. Statistics don’t lie and here are a few for you. Over half of marriages end in divorce. Women commence 75% of those divorces. Less than half of our population is married. None of these statistics were nearly this bad when the laws where more evenly enforced. As for me, I don’t take advantage of minorities, I exploit the position people are at in life, understanding that the less secure you are in life and the less money you have, the more drive you have. Knowing that fact gives me a better harder working, more tolerant employee. That’s not exploitative, that’s just smart imaginative business that gives an advantage to the people starting out that need it. It's a win win deal.
 
"Hypocritical"? Andey, I'm surprised you should resort to name-calling. Would it not have been more reasonable to ask me why I say what I do?
 
 I never called you a hypocrite, I said "that is a hypocritical position". There is a difference.

First of all, we are talking about different areas of life. My concern is the way sexism and racism affect the workplace, i.e. the fundamental right of human beings to earn a living. You are more concerned with the unfairness of divorce settlements.

I think the unfairness in the divorce laws affects men's ability to earn a living much more than the breaching of fundamental rights of minorities affects them earning a living. This may have been different years ago but not today.

I agree no-one should be deprived of their home and family simply because their spouse wants to move on. In my view, child support is due unconditionally, and should be paid to whichever parent has custody.

There's another interesting theory of mine, I believe that child support should only be incumbent on people who chose to be parents, not people who had it forced on them. Women can have sex while maintaining their right not to be a mother. Men can't have sex without maintaining their right not to be a father. At any time, men can be told they are going to become fathers even if they unequivocally advised the female they wised not to be fathers. With the legalization of abortion, women at any time can decide whether or not to continue or end a pregnancy, whether it was planned or not. Men should have a "legal abortion" right, choosing not to participate or become legally responsible for a child if they choose not to. Then the laws would be truly equal. This certainly would cure the "oops" con. Where else in life are you rewarded by seriously defrauding another human being as women are when they force a child on an unwilling male.

Don't think I'm not aware of the terrible consequences of false accusations, either. I think people who falsely accuse their spouses in order to gain custody of children or possession of family assets should be treated like other perjurers.

I'm with you there. These accusation, in the long run, hurt women more than men. The genuine cases of abuse are much harder to decipher because of all the false cases out there.
 
To me, the problem appears to lie in the American system, which was established at a time when women did not have the same earning power as they do now, and which, as far as I can deduce from what you say, has yet to take female as well as male deviousness into account. I myself am European, and so both the historical background (divorce became socially acceptable much later, when women's earning power had already increased) and attitudes (accusations of abuse are usually taken with a pinch of salt) are different. Another major difference is that in my country, in the absence of a prenup, each spouse remains the sole owner of any property owned before the marriage and inherited during the marriage, so that only earnings accrued during the marriage and the assets purchased with those earnings are shared in the event of a divorce.

Even though you are able to retain what you came in with, where is it fair to automatically benefit from a much larger resource of wealth? If I have a million dollars in the bank and my wife comes in with zero, my money will be earning money. Why does she have the right to half of that. It would be like buying 1000 shares of IBM and then having the legal right to half their profits from then on. It doesn't work that way in the real world and it shouldn't work that way in marriage. Very simply a percentage of assets should be determined at the outset. If I have 80% of the total assets, then I should always have 80% of the combined total at any time. That's the way it works in corporate America, why is there special treatment of the leaser contributor in marriages?

 If your laws are unfair, they need to be changed.
 
Concerning the workplace, I have yet to hear of a man who failed to be hired or promoted due to undesirable, specifically "male" traits. OTOH, I have frequently heard of and witnessed women being passed over or rejected because "women are too emotional", "women don't work properly unless they have a man over them", or "women are trouble".


   I believe much of the time individuals use their gender or race to excuse their personal deficiencies. If I am a female and happen to be a bad performer, when I don't advance, or get fired, I will likely use the excuse of my gender for the cause instead of the real reason which is I'm lazy or just a bad performer. I believe corporate America is too competitive to give up a good employee who actually makes them money, just because that employee is a woman. I know if someone was a good productive employee of mine, I didn't care if they were purple, gay, male, female. They would stay and be promoted. To me it was always just about the money.

This last is particularly relevant, I think. I have personally known a man, himself not in the least sexist, who did not hire an attractive young woman administrator, despite the fact that she was the best qualified for the job, because two of his male staff were at "the problem age" and he wanted to avoid, well, trouble. I think this is a very common scenario. There is a distinct possibility that hiring a woman or a person of colour is going to bring out hitherto concealed (and hitherto irrelevant) aspects of some employees' personalities and cause workplace tension. The point of affirmative action is to motivate employers and subdue prejudice. To use a concrete example, if Joe Smith, a highly competent and valued employee, cannot stand the idea of a woman doing the same job as himself or earning more than he does, Jack Employer will probably be understanding. If, on the other hand, Jack Employer loses out on a tax break and/or finds himself landed with a discrimination suit due to Joe Smith's conduct, he is likely to be far, far less tolerant. I believe these days you might call that increasing the TCA.

Affirmative action only hurts the people it is designed to help. Productivity will prevail in the end. These laws only discourage employers from dealing with minorities when they would have otherwise. As for employers, I can tell you first hand that it is frustrating when you groom, train, invest tens of thousands of dollars on an employee that is sharp, bright and productive only to have that employee advise you a year later that she is pregnant and will not be returning to work. That is the stigma that is attached to women and the risk associated with hiring them. That is not discrimination, that is a genuine financial concern. How do you reconcile this problem? Easy. The marketplace deals with it naturally. If you are a good producer, than its worth the risk. If you're not, it's not worth the risk. Simple as that.

 I think once the viewpoint of the public at large has shifted so that racism and sexism are considered to be an inability to get on with other people, i.e. a serious social handicap, rather than just a harmless personal trait, affirmative action will no longer be necessary and it will be time for society to move on. You clearly feel that time has come, and I don't. For one thing, I still hear of women's professional lives and professional self-confidence being irretrievably damaged by male chauvinism. It will be time to change when the reverse happens as frequently, not before.

Affirmative action has long since been unnecessary. It has gone from being an equalizing tool, to an advantage tool. That is called reverse discrimination. The same holds true with divorce laws. The advantage was necessary for a while to equalize the inequities between men and women, now it’s just an advantage for the women, period.

 With respect to my little girl story, you say she was not being devious. You then go on to say “she was aware that overt displays of attraction would put him off.” You further go on to say “Come on now, didn’t you devise strategies when you began……” In your own words you’ve proven my point that this girl, at a very young age, was already learning how to be devious. Devising strategies to conceal true intentions is being devious, hence the same derivative in the word “devise” and “devious”. You as a woman even today find it hard to distinguish between devious behavior and legitimate devising of strategies. There is no difference. There’s only a difference in a women’s mind who can play with reality and turn it into whatever she prefers to in her own mind, and that is exactly my point.
 
"You as a woman even today find it hard to distinguish between devious behavior and legitimate devising of strategies". Quite apart from the illogicality of your conclusion – you tell me "devising" is in itself "devious", yet in the following sentence assume there is such a thing as "legitimate devising" – why should my alleged lack of ethical sense (a point on which I am in complete disagreement with you) be due to the fact that I am a woman? Are there no unethical men?

Of coarse there are. Men just don't try and conceal it the way women, and you do. Even now you're denying it. As much as you dislike the stereotyping, that is a female trait, like it or not. And yes, men have unattractive traits as well, but you have the luxury of pointing them out without fear of being accused a sexist, I don't, and that's unfair and discriminatory. 

 
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that you do uncritically associate certain (negative) character traits with women. You ascribe this response to inadequate female ethics, without considering the possibility that a) we may have very different views on sexually proactive behaviour in women (I see no harm in a woman taking the initiative when she is attracted to a man, but have the impression you find it unpleasant and disturbing. Do you?), Not at all.  b) the inadequacy or otherwise of my ethics is a personal trait.
 
Might it be that you assume a little too easily that you know what's going on in women's minds?


I don't know what goes on in anyone’s mind, I only gauge from ones actions not words. Any aspersions or conclusions that I have drawn are based on the actions of the majority of women that I have witnessed first hand. Of coarse there are exceptions. You can't tell me that you don't contribute certain traits to men. Every woman does. Why then can't men do the same without coming under attack.

As for a 50-50 partnership, statistically, equal partnerships rarely work out either and I am not a fan of them for that very reason. In my book I say one has to be “more” in control than the other, not “one has to been in total control over the other” as you referenced me to have said.
 
Well, my father was in 50-50 partnership with a business colleague for 40 years, and my parents' marriage was egalitarian, too.
There is the exception to every rule, this may have been one of them. The principle is that each partner makes a specific contribution in terms of skills and has the final word in his or her area of competence. For this to work, of course, both partners have to be honest about acknowledging their limitations. For instance, my mother is financially talented (real estate, stocks and bonds, and able to smell crooks a mile away). My father, who was a good earner but whose idea of money management was to stick it all in a savings account, had the savvy and guts (dare I say he was man enough...) to accept the situation and left our family's financial affairs in her hands. OTOH, my husband has a far better head for finance than I do, so he gets to make the decisions. However, I don't take "because I say so" for a reason.  Neither do I. If I have trouble understanding why he wants to do something I ask for an explanation. And so you should.
 
However, even if we agree to disagree on the score of control there is a point I would like to make. In cases where a woman is more capable than a man, why should she not have the extra edge? She should. I never have advocated control should be based on gender, I have said it should be based on amount of investment and ability.
 

Yes, the infamous male ego....  As far as I can see the foundations of male pride change considerably with time and location. Six hundred years ago in Europe, an alpha male had to despise business, was permitted to cry in public, and it helped if he had personally killed a few other males. I don't rely on these criteria to choose my President, and I don't think you do, either.
 
I believe the male ego can be rejigged, and I don't mean crushed or eliminated. I honestly don't think it is necessary for men to believe they are superior to women before they feel able to be themselves, any more than they have to believe they are superior to all men, or to men with a different skin colour or accent. I would like men to acknowledge sexism for the weak and silly attitude it is, rather than a form of strength. I would like to see more men as unsympathetic to wife-beaters and deadbeat dads as they are to vicious shrews or irresponsible mothers. I would like good sons, husbands and fathers to acknowledge that their female relatives and sweethearts are not exceptions to the general rule of female inferiority. Etc.
 
Several times I have heard younger men stating that "I don't exploit my wife", "I do my full share of looking after the kids"... and with the specific note that comes into their voice when they are asserting their male egos. Attaboy!


Didn't you just criticize me earlier for stereotyping women's traits? Read your last paragraph. It's full of stereotyping of men. The reality is that both men and women have certain "traits". As much as you would like to keep yours about men and remove men's about women, it won't happen.
 

As a mother of a male, you had better quickly learn how modern women have evolved since you were a young women. Believe me, they are not the way you were. If you don’t spend a lot of time with your boy and make him aware of the potential evils that lurk around every corner when dealing with the way things are, there’s a very good chance that he will be taken advantage of. He will also likely be turned against you if you don’t instill some old school morals. As I say in my book, make sure you don’t de-ball him. You will be the first one to suffer. I have seen young men’s lives, and relationships with their families completely ruined because they mistakenly believed that they would be treated fairly by their modern women. Once problems arise, modern women will exploit the advantage in law they have against your son. Having him arrested with false accusations, trapping him by getting “accidentally” pregnant, turning him against his friends and family etc. This may sound harsh to you however; I have seen it play out countless times. The mothers are usually the one’s left to suffer the most. As much as this all sounds absurd to someone like yourself, who probably has been sheltered from these occurrences, it happens more times than not.
 
Let's get this clear: I have not been "sheltered" from such occurrences. There have been  "accidental" pregnancies in my circle of friends and family, and in all cases my sympathy has been with the child and the man (in one case it was also with the woman, who was very troubled and in no fit state to make the decision she did). I have also known men marry possessive and spiteful women who make no effort to get on with their in-laws and chase away their husbands' friends. I have no direct knowledge of a woman making false accusations, but of course I know it happens. You only have to look at Princess Diana to get the picture.
I know about the mother's suffering, too, as a very dear relative of mine has partly lost her son to just such a wife as you describe. What it means is that women can be as selfish, foolish and cruel as men.


You’re absolutely right. The only problem is that everyone knows and acknowledges it about men, they don't about women, hence the great female con.

Why men fail to acknowledge fault in women is because they have not been instilled with reality about women growing up. Every woman learns from their mothers, and fathers, that boys for the most part are all looking for the same thing. They are put on guard at a very early age. That’s why they are more likely to recognize fault in men when it happens. Men on the other hand are not told of all the potential “cons” and ploys that women are likely to employ. Men are lead to believe that women, for the most part, are pure, good, honest and trustworthy. They are not on guard for them the way conversely women  are.
 
I agree with you 100% there.

This is a very important point for you especially since you have a son. Make sure you make him aware of the female cons the same way you would make your daughter aware of men’s. Otherwise he is at risk of being abused.

 Women do like attention and sex from strange people, as do men; however, it’s more emotional with them. Probably the reason men have a harder time with their women getting strange is firstly because of the infamous male ego. Secondly, men understand that women are more likely to take “strange” more intimately and fall in love with it. Men can keep it on a physical level easier since sex to men is more of a physical act than an intimate one thereby keeping it from affecting their relationship with their spouse.
 
This may be a general trend, just as in general men are taller and stronger than women, but in my experience individuals are not statistics. There are women who fool around sexually yet continue to rely emotionally on one man, and men who become emotionally attached to their "side dishes". In the absence of conclusive evidence concerning their motivations, men and women need to be treated equally in this respect. This is hardly a modern idea. I have no recollection that the seventh commandment was specially intended for women, and it's been around for a long time.

Again, I never say every man and every woman acts a certain way. Of coarse there is always exceptions. I agree that many women and many men act differently than I portray, however, generally speaking I believe my assertions are accurate.

Again, thank you for your comments and I invite you to reply again to this response to you.

 
I have enjoyed doing so.


Me too, and thanks for your input. I do appreciate your views.

 All best, Anne

With respect, Andey

HERE'S A RESPONSE I GOT ABOUT ANNE'S COMMENTS:


Hi Andey,

First of all, thank you for publishing a fine piece of work. In my
experience an excellent description of the situation and very readable. And
both applicable to the USA and Europe.
One of your commentators, Anne, replied to your comments that ‘the problem
appears to lie in the American system’. I am a European and like to comment
on some of the assumptions Anne made with regards to the presumed
differences between Europe and the USA.
First, the acceptance of divorce varies enormously throughout European
countries and social strata and up to now the actual earning power of women
in some European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands is still less
than their American counterparts. By their own choosing, not because of some
form of societal constraint but as a result of personal choices – and as you
might have guessed options, in this case the optimization of having more for
less -. The relation between earning power, social acceptance of divorces
and how this would have made a difference between Europe and the USA escapes
me. How it relates to divorce, especially when initiated by women, is as a
matter of fact quit clear to me.
Second, accusations of abuse are generally NOT taken with a pinch of salt
and I personally don’t notice that much difference in the way false
accusations are used to enhance the possibilities of the European women. The
police and other governmental agencies are IMHO just as heavily biased in
Europe as in the USA on this matter. Just as the European fem-prop is.
Third, the notion of Anne that only earnings accrued during marriage are
shared in the event of a divorce is European history. Only when you have
arranged your marriage by a very special marriage contract, which to a
certain degree is comparable to a ‘pre-nup’, you might end up with this kind
of sharing as a European male. Even in circumstances where such special
marriage contracts exists, they are in most circumstances overruled by
courts leading to exactly the same results as in standard US marriages. With
special thanks to the European feminist movement, a contract is no contract
anymore. This change has taken place in the last  decades.
It is no coincidence, just as another example, that recently European men
were taken into custody when they protested on a ‘Father’s rights movement’
gathering in Washington D.C. on behalf of all men.
That doesn’t mean that, in general, there are no cultural end societal
differences between western Europe and the USA. There is also a very strong
common history. It might be then that the USA is more ‘person-centered’ and
Europe more ‘society-centered’. This might result in more societal breakdown
as the core of the more ‘person-centered’ society, the family, is ripped
apart. Or, in other terms, when the political becomes the personal. IMHO
that is happening to a certain degree. I follow the ‘war between the sexes’
in the USA and it’s devastating effects with fascination (and sometimes with
amazement and horror). Over here, we can learn a lot as European males. But
on the whole, what you describe in your book applies, as we might expect, to
western Europe as well.
So, I completely disagree with the notion of Anne that you can ‘blame the
system’ as the main contributing factor. Systems are the result of human
interaction. The fact that they influence, once in place, human interaction
goes without saying. But that doesn’t mean that we can magically make the
‘system’ responsible. A mirror, like the one you made in your book and not
the kind that is used in fairy tales, might give us a better clue.
With kind regards,

Ivo Vos
Netherlands



 



 
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