Friday, March 2, 2012

Game penetrates the mainstream

Slowly, and against its will, but the various concepts of Game are definitely getting into the mainstream consciousness:
During a recent discussion of the Rihanna–Chris Brown case on NPR’s Tell Me More, Arsalan Iftikhar pronounced himself “bumfuzzled” that the singer would continue to associate with a man who, in his evocative description, “didn’t only hit Rihanna, he made her look like Buster Douglas.” I like Mr. Iftikhar, but his clutching at his pearls seemed to me insincere. It is possible that he was in this case unwilling to confront certain ugly truths about human realities, and also possible that he simply never has encountered this particular ugly truth, expressed eloquently by the late Bill Hicks: “Chicks Dig Jerks.”

Normally, the NPR demographic is receptive to the wit and wisdom of Bill Hicks (another ugly and seldom-spoken truth: Bill Hicks had neither wit nor wisdom). Not so much in this case. When I shared Hicks’s observation, the host, Michel Martin, said my remark found her “trying to contain violent impulses” of her own. When I attempted to explain to her that there is a significant body of scholarly work on the subject of the relative sexual success of men with certain personality characteristics — aggression, narcissism, manipulativeness: jerkiness, in a word — she dismissed the assertion as being “based on, I don’t know, some novels that you read.”
The interesting thing here is that the mere idea that something that has been reliably observed by objective witnesses for decades, if not centuries, would provoke a female journalist to thoughts of violence. I tend to doubt Ms Martin would have gotten upset if Williamson had suggested that women are sexually attracted to nerds with acne and dual-GPUs; she would have merely laughed.

The reason women get so upset when various pick-up artists and Game theoreticians mention the easily demonstrable fact that at least some women are inordinately attracted to jerks and assholes, especially violent ones, is because they know it is true but they wish it was not. As Camilla Paglia noted more than 20 years ago, sufficiently hot sex obviously serves as adequate compensation for coming out on the short end of the violence stick every once in a while.

One needn't claim that violence is good in order to observe that some women find it desirable. After all, there are no shortage of men who regularly risk injury and even death because they enjoy violent past times such as football, hockey, boxing, and the martial arts. So, since the violence of sport is intrinsically enjoyable for the winner and loser alike, who is to say that the violence of a chaotic sexual relationship cannot be?

Even women who observe this phenomenon tend to shy away from accepting it, attempting to categorize the attractiveness of the Dark Triad as the appeal of confidence. And while male confidence is attractive to women, that can't possibly explain the appeal of violence, which tends to be rooted in a lack of confidence combined with one or more of the Dark Triad traits.


Anonymous said...

Had to laugh:
even in the 21st century, testosterone levels correlate with status in organizations such as the U.S. Army. (But not in the U.S. job force: High levels of testosterone correlate negatively with career success in the United States. Corporate America really is full of girly-men. But you knew that.)

JCclimber said...

I think Rihanna has some issues beyond the violence loving tendencies. Perhaps she also seeks "punishment" for her slutty behavior and dress code, as a form of penance.

I've noted a correlation between those who dress slutty and self-destructive behaviors in day to day life.

Eric Mueller said...

Solipsism never fails to amaze me. I am blown away at how easily people can dismiss well documented claims. I bet he could have thrown peer reviewed journal articles at that reporter and she still would have dismissed it as "some novel he had read".

Toby said...

"Game PENETRATES the mainstream"

I sense sexual innuendo on that one...

Trust said...

@: "The reason women get so upset when various pick-up artists and Game theoreticians mention the easily demonstrable fact that at least some women are inordinately attracted to jerks and assholes, especially violent ones, is because they know it is true but they wish it was not."

Game theory holds a mirror to them, and they don't like the reflection.

Ghost said...

Chris Brown always seemed like such a little... Pussy. The high voice, the ballet moves... When I heard he beat the shit out of her, my first thought was, "damn, what did she say to him?"

Then when he threw his temper tantrum on the entertainment show for asking him about it, I thought, "wait, he's not a pussy. He's 6."

Anonymous said...

Arsalan Iftikhar pronounced himself “bumfuzzled”

Heh. Fo' shizzle.


The LP 999/Linda said...

Perhaps, for some violence or high-level drama looks a little trashy.

(Did anyone happen to catch any Hollywood gossip?

I heard that the recently divorced Katy Perry was trying to bag Tebow. Tebow said nothing, ignores her. This week it was reported that he was at lunch with Taylor Swift.)

Anonymous said...

I knew this girl who used to always try to get me to go out with her. She was married at the time. She would come into the bar where I worked at least 3-5 nights a week and always tipped me heavy. Sometimes she would start crying in efforts to get me to find out what is wrong, to come out with her when I get off work, etc. All the other girls I worked with warned me that she was a true man eater. Which kinda made me laugh. Since several of them were trying to go out with me too at the time. I never bit on her because she was married and I knew her husband (felt bad for him).

Some years later I came across her in a bar. She told me how some new guy was stalking her and how her husband had put a gun to her head so she left him. She also loved to brag to me about her oral skills. Since she was now single. I let her come back to my house a few times to hang out. Before I finally decided one night okay let's check out these skills.

Fast forward to a couple years later. I'm at my bank withdrawing money. As I start to drive off I see her sitting on the curb in front of her business with a torn shirt, face beaten up, black eye, the works. So I stopped for a second to see if she was okay or needed any help? She told me that the guy who did this to her would be getting 5 years or something like that.

After leaving I couldn't help but think to myself what kind of a girl would want to show that beating off to the town? Now it simply just fits the profile.

Anonymous said...

I find it both humorous and predictable that Michel got aroused by Williamson's suggestion that violence is appealing, even resorting to borderline S&M dirty talk.

Badger said...

I've come to the conclusion that the powers of cognitive bias and commitment psychology are so strong as to almost literally blind people to the truth when they are invested in believing a pretty-lie story. Nowhere is this on display more strongly than when the phenomenon of chicks digging jerks is discussed.

That recent study showing women found dark triad traits attractive is a core example. There's been a lot of backpedaling and dissembling about it.

Do you need to be a super asshole to get chicks? No, but I think the study results and empirical evidence from men the world over illustrates an approximate breakdown of:

-Some women need lots of jerk
-Lots of women need a bit of jerk

It's really funny to hear some women (esp on the internet) complain that it's not true and that they really like a "nice guy," and then they start talking about their experiences and it's clear they've punished plenty of nice guys for nice-guy behavior. Called on it, she says "well, I like a nice guy who's not afraid to stand up for himself." In other words, an alpha who's nice _to her_. People in general are just very averse to understanding their own psychologies, and the speed with which some can resolve cognitive dissonances in nonsensical ways is astounding.

Stickwick said...

Personally, I'm not into the woman-beater type, but it's undeniable that a nontrivial fraction of women are attracted to them. Women who live with violent jerks are very likely to stay with them, and out of the ones who leave, 90% eventually go back. Why even bother trying to argue it's not true?

Lucas said...

It also has to do with the fact that women like to pass the image of "misterious" to others, assuming (once again) that what's atractive to her, is also for men.

They may not like to let it be known that their psyshology is just as a "mistery" as the probability of the sun "rising" tomorrow morning.

Anonymous said...

Hicks had some weird ideas re: nuclear weapons, world peace, JFK and all that.

When he talked about women, though, he always hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

"Women who live with violent jerks are very likely to stay with them, and out of the ones who leave, 90% eventually go back. Why even bother trying to argue it's not true?"

I don't believe this number is even close to being true. Especially in today's age of all the benefits given to victim's of DV.

Celebrities have much smaller circles to work within, far greater money to work with and more financially invested in keeping their world's to look as normal as possible. So as not to lose their fame and monetary value/rewards.

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