Friday, September 20, 2013

On female sympathy

A letter from that most sympathetic of women, Florence Nightengale:
I have read half your book thro’, and am immensely charmed by it. But some things I disagree with and more I do not understand. This does not apply to the characters, but your conclusions, e.g. you say “women are more sympathetic than men”.

Now if I were to write a book out of my experience, I should begin Women have no sympathy. Yours is the tradition. Mine is the conviction of experience.

Now look at my experience of men. A statesman, past middle age, absorbed in politics for a quarter of a century, out of sympathy with me, remodels his whole life and policy – learns a science the driest, the most technical, the most difficult, that of administration, as far as it concerns the lives of men – not, as I learnt it, in the field from stirring experience, but by writing dry regulations in a London room by my sofa with me. This is what I call real sympathy.

Another (Alexander, whom I made Director-General) does very nearly the same thing. He is dead too. Clough, a poet born if ever there was one, takes to nursing administration in the same way, for me.

I only mention three whose whole lives were remodeled by sympathy for me. But I could mention very many others…

I have never found one woman who altered her life by one iota for me or my opinions.

Now just look at the degree in which women have sympathy – as far as my experience is concerned. And my experience of women is almost as large as Europe. And it is so intimate too. I have lived and slept in the same bed with English Countesses and Prussian Bauerinnen. No [other woman] has ever had charge of women of the different creeds that I have had. No woman has excited “passions” among women more than I have. Yet I leave no school behind me. My doctrines have taken no hold among women…and I attribute this to a want of sympathy.

It makes me mad, the Women’s Rights talk about “the want of a field” for them – when I know that I would gladly give £500 a year for a Woman Secretary. And two English Lady Superintendents have told me the same. And we can’t get one … they don’t know the names of the Cabinet Ministers. They don’t know the offices at the Horse Guards…Now I’m sure I did not know these things. When I went to the Crimea I did not know a Colonel from a Corporal. But there are such things as Army Lists and Almanacs. Yet I never could find a woman who, out of sympathy, would consult one for my work.

I do believe I am “like a man,” as Parthe says. But how? In having sympathy.

Women crave for being loved, not for loving. They scream out at you for sympathy all day long, they are incapable of giving any in return, for they cannot remember your affairs long enough to do so…They cannot state a fact accurately to another, nor can that other attend to it accurately enough for it to become information. Now is not all this the result of want of sympathy?

 I am sick with indignation at what wives and mothers will do of the most egregious selfishness. And people call it all maternal or conjugal affection, and think it pretty to say so. No, no, let each person tell the truth from his own experience.”
Striking, is it not, that the complaints of the feminists for "'the want of a field' for them" despite the fact that they have now claimed primary education, nursing, and university attendance, among others, for themselves.

I know the answer to Freud's famous question: "what do women want?"  More.

Nightengale's letter is particularly interesting as its observations are very similar to those of another woman who wrote a book on the subject, Dr. Helen, who observed in her recent interview with NRO: "I am surprised how many women have no or little empathy for men."


Jan Połunkiszkis said...

Sympathy is a receiveness, awarenes of external one's emotional state.
And indeed, women basically, as general perceive emotions better.
Just because they understand or feel you, does not mean they will fix/reciprocate you.
It's the same with first aid - everyone sees and is aware of the signal of someone's need of help, but almost nobody rushes to dire situation. Well except for few minded men. So I do think that women are more sympathethic - as, are better at reading others' emotions. But sympathy does not mean "comforting". So in straight sense I would disagree.

Common sense connects sympathy with "general comforting" - because what else good would it bring? It's the same type of linking as useful car = useful car + fuel. Because, hey why would car just stay dead and rot away? Cannot be true? Well I say women do feel men, they just do not care about them. Hamster provides wide range of justifications why to do so? He will find better girl. We were just friends. I will break his heart so he won't be hurt so much(using female dynamics on men, same with women who neg), he will do better, my kids are first and so on.

Dr. Helen either reconstructs feminine imperative by blatantly omitting "women do feel men, but ignore them all the way". Or puts it into "common sense words", which often give unadequate connotations.

swiftfoxmark2 said...

This is one of those things that is hard to swallow for Deltas and Gammas. Women do not appreciate you and thus are incapable of feeling sympathy toward you. Gammas especially, whose very existence seems to be hinged on having women appreciate them.

One thing you have to come to terms with is that your wife or girlfriend will never have feelings of sympathy toward you except in rare cases when her natural solipsism demands it.

There is no point in complaining about it, especially to her. Just accept it for what it is and move on.

Conscientia Republicae said...

More. That is just about it. They want more. Purses, shoes, clothes, more expensive cars, houses, kitchens, makeup, jewelry, meals at fancier restaurants, etc. Etc. Etc.

Jack said...

I would add as clarification:

More benefits at the absolute minimum of cost to themselves. Women seem perfectly willing to externalize costs to men without much concern at all. This often comes at the expense of men's health, financial well-being etc

This is not only a lack of sympathy but at times an active form of malice.

But I agree with swiftfox, no use complaining to her about it.

JS123 said...

Vanity thy name is women. All of what we discuss in "game" is just way to flatter a women's vanity. Getting an alpha is just a way a women flatters her own vanity. Hypergamy is just what was traditionally called vanity.

JCclimber said...

The red pill can be bitter sometimes. Many men will eschew it because of that.

Almost all women will refuse it because it holds the mirror up to the soul. It takes a lifetime of facing uncomfortable truths to be able to not look away at some point. They may glance into the mirror from time to time, but the soul-lancing truth makes it nigh impossible to hold the gaze for long.

JCclimber said...

In his series "The Well of Souls" Jack Chalker writes of his main character - Nathan Brazil - getting a session inside Obie the supercomputer to restore his sanity.

The discussion is about how bitter Nathan was afterwards, because some measure of insanity helps us get through each day.

The blue pill is the insanity pill. It takes some of the sting of the harshness of truth out of life. It is a drug, and like all drugs, will lead to death if imbibed too long and too heavily.

JLT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denton said...

Kinda been traditional knowledge since at least Solomon in Proverbs. "not one in 1000 have I found."

It's probably biologically driven by the need to raise young. Get as much as you can for as little as possible: care for nothing outside your little circle.

JLT said...

Sorry - my earlier link didn't post.

That Sucks, Bro

crazyivan498 said...

"And indeed, women basically, as general perceive emotions better."

That they do and they are making mental notes to those emotions for their own usefullness. You have to be aware of your emotions around women. You show them weakness and they will use your emotions against you to try and get what they want from you.

Michael R. Allen said...

This is a waste of time: "Gammas especially, whose very existence seems to be hinged on having women appreciate them." Women do not dole out appreciation, ever.

From my experience, women do not have the emotional depth to reciprocate sympathy and I do not think they are good at expressing much empathy either. Women are more about narcissism, compared to anything else. They say that men have a small range of emotions (anger), but I sometimes wonder if it is women who have the smaller range of emotions.

Jack Amok said...

And indeed, women basically, as general perceive emotions better.

I'm not entirely sure I believe this. I know everyone claims they do, but I think maybe women imagine emotions better. They are certainly more willing to talk about the emotions they think they perceived. But given the number of times I've had a woman make some sort of claim about reading emotions in other people that just didn't pan out, I think they just make it up to fuel their need for drama.

Jack said...

I tend to agree with Mr. Amok. Women are certainly better at being *emotional*. That doesn't mean they necessarily have any clue how someone else is feeling. I have frequently seen a woman read a fairly pedestrian situation as High Opera. A rorschach test if there ever was one.

This tends towards emotional narcissism. No surprise there. The world is interpreted through, and often only through, their sacrosanct emotions. In short, it's all about how she *feels*. How *she* feels.

I suppose that this had to have some degree of advantage for them. Perhaps their relative safety vis a vis men, historically speaking, has something to do with it.

Doom said...

"I know the answer to Freud's famous question: "what do women want?" More."

Oh, I didn't know that was the idiot's question, or at least one he stole from every man ever born... but I did have the answer long ago. I even told that to my last love, and we haven't been together for almost a decade. She said, when I told her, that she hated me. I just said, yeah, I love you too, baby. Mad as hell but I always knew how to get lucky with her. Give her more.

Pirran said...

And so the wheel turns....or something. Good to see that the woman to whom this letter was addressed (Madame Mary Mohl) was a vacuous bigot whose sole claim to fame was a 19th century Parisian Salon (a life dedicated to talking, not doing).

Oh yes, she made her clueless omega husband wait 18 YEARS before she deigned to marry him at the age of 54 (despite being 7 years older than him) because she couldn't have the man she desired all along. Needless to say, she lived a life of pure entitlement throughout - so very, very different from the strongempoweredwimmin of today.

Plus ça change.,_Mary_%28DNB00%29

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