Pretty Girls

March 21, 2007 at 2:23 pm (feminism)

This is a special one for Mr. Stephane Sednaoui.

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44 Comments

  1. reformed nihilist said,

    After having someone note to me recently that a character in a monologue I am writing expresses his feeling of attraction to a woman by describing her physical appearance, it started me thinking. Surely I’m not that superficial? Well, I’m confident that although I do appreciate a pretty face and a pleasing form, I am largely attracted to women for their non-physical qualities, but I express this attraction in terms of physical qualities. I believe I am probably typical of my gender in this, and wonder why this might be. Any theories?

  2. olya d said,

    someone…

  3. reformed nihilist said,

    I thought you might want to preserve your anonymity. 🙂

  4. olya d said,

    Reformed Nihilist wrote:
    I thought you might want to preserve your anonymity.

    Hehe, it’s not necessary. 😉
    But, in response to your question, I once read Sartre’s take on this issue. Actually it was for aesthetic value in art, and he said that there is a distinction between “value” and “aesthetics” of art. He then said that if you love a woman because she’s beautiful, you don’t love her at all… you consider her an “object” in that way. Now, I don’t think he meant that in the way feminists tend to say the word, but rather that the beauty has to be attached to a movement rather than how you described your attraction to Sarah in your monologue.

  5. reformed nihilist said,

    Monologue aside, I can be very much enamoured by a woman’s wit, insight, compassion, and generosity, but if I am asked to describe what I find attractive about her, I will invariably say something like “She has bright eyes that hide mischief and a warm smile” or something along those lines. Perhaps I am misreading the Sartre, but he seems to be speaking of an attraction that is actually physical, not expressed as physical. And maybe I’m actually atypical.

  6. shubbery said,

    Maybe the tangible nature of physical qualities bring them to mind more easily than the non-physical in descriptions. That is, when you try to describe someone, the things that you most easily notice as a part of that someone is most quickly placed in the description. I’d imagine that depicting a person in action would more easily bring out an eye for the non-physical, since the action itself would be in question rather than the person physical qualities.

    But this is all just weak speculation on my part, so of course take it with a grain of salt (I’m not exactly at my most critical right now).

  7. reformed nihilist said,

    I think this will end up being a largely speculative thread, as I have only anecdotal, personal evidence that I am typical in this, or that women to differ. I am curious at the difference. It doesn’t seem to me that women express themselves in this manner. I wonder why.

  8. techwins said,

    This I must say is an excellent question!

    In regard to the monologue I think it is fitting for you to largely describe the physical attraction. The character has known Sarah for two months only knowing her through a one night a week meditation class; how much room for emotional attraction could there be towards Sarah in such manner? The two likely only talk in brief sessions, in which case Sarah [again likely] radiates an encouraging feeling through whichever possible trait (wit, sensitivity, et al) to the character. The character then, in turn, translates this positive feeling of Sarah into a physical attraction, since the emotional attachment is at-best partially there. It is befitting to characterize the characters ‘like’ of Sarah through his physical attraction of her. So I think you made the proper choice, whether consciously or not, in transpiring the idea of the character liking Sarah by him speeking of her physically pleasant.

    Monologue aside, I can be very much enamoured by a womans wit, insight, compassion, and generousity, but if I am asked to describe what I find atractive about her, I will invariably say something like “She has bright eyes that hide mischief and a warm smile” or something along those lines.

    Taking the question outside of the context of the monologue would be an entirely different case… Could these aesthetic traits represent a certain emotional trait? Could bright eyes possibly represent her eccentric nature? Does the warm smile represent her caring and sensitive tendencies? I wonder if symbolism does play a part in this, because I agree it is rather commonplace to see a male describe a woman. Does describing a woman consist of less commitment to the person psychologically? One may not want to feel overly attached or transpire the idea one feels attached and listing emotional traits may do either. All of this is just mere speculation, though.

  9. jaoman said,

    Reformed Nihilist wrote:
    I think this will end up being a largely speculative thread, as I have no evidence that I am typical in this, or that women to differ. I am curious at the difference. It doesn’t seem to me that women express themselves in this manner. I wonder why.

    Fear not, for I speak with the professional confidence of someone that spent the past six months banging his head at these questions. And as impressive as is my skull to brain ratio, the questions couldn’t hold out.

    Shrubbery hit the bugger right on the money. Human perception streams indubitably out into the realm of the physical. We fixate on how the outside world affects us and vice versa. The writer?s job, to create a sensation of experience for the audience, requires this element for optimum effectiveness. Failure results in failure to create the illusion, and doesn?t reach publication. Typically.

    Not, mind you, that most writers are aware of this. Nor so proficient that they can play with method and get away with it. And the easiest route when talking about sexuality is exuberant bluntness.

    Now to you ? forgive me, Reformed, but you don?t sound like a professional experienced writer. You, like the rest of us, are bombarded with popular culture chalk full of these blunt imbeciles (I speak with qua professional malice here). Without formal training on the exact issue in question, your learning, your experience, your conceptualization of the method consists solely of what you?ve seen around you. An inexperienced person is easily imprinted on. So, the result happens ? that you try to simulate, even without knowing, what you see most frequently or what leaves the most overwhelming impression. Like reading Nietzsche for the first time; most people spend the next weeks or months making fools of themselves, typing ?Oh! -? into the middle of every paragraph.

    Finally, the simple truth: as I said, we project outward. When you like a girl?s wit, it reflects to you in her appearance. She looks more radiant, her eyes sparkle with that eccentric mischief, etc. You don?t see or know her soul. All what you have to work with are the impressions the sight of her inspires in you. So, really, fixating on the physical is not the fault here. What is, I suspect, is failure to employ the physical to convey the emotional impressions associated. Try again. 🙂

  10. reformed nihilist said,

    As much as I am glad to be getting responses, they are not really hitting the mark of my question, which is neither about writing, or specifically about why people describe inward qualities using outward manifestations. I have not been clear, and so I will try to rectify.

    It is my observation that generally men speak of their attraction to a woman in terms of physical manifestations. It seems though, that women speak in terms of behaviour (he treats me like a princess) and personality traits (He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s kind, etc.). I would like to know if people think this is an accurate assessment, and if so, why? As far as speculation goes, I’ll take what you got, but if anyone has read any studies on this type of phenomena, that would be great.

  11. jaoman said,

    Ah, I did miss the point then. It’s like the old question: “Why do guys dig boobs and girls dig brains?” My answer is the evolutionary answer, and I think you’re well familiar with that one. And it’s where the steriotypes come from. People imprint stereotypes

  12. reformed nihilist said,

    But guys dig brains too, and girls dig cute butts.

  13. jaoman said,

    To a far lesser extent. Seeing a smart guy with the air head blonde, or the bombshell blonde with the smart but average guy is a common phenomenon. The opposite is far less typical (well, the cute guy with the average girl. Bad girls are in season.). Popular culture appeals to the greatest denominator. Hence, the stereotypes are formed.

  14. valens said,

    The smart guy with the bombshell blond? I don’t know what planet you’re from, Jaoman, but the pretentious cult of females I’ve been around my entire life have nothing but contempt for intelligence (and their record stands as proof). Its just as important today for a man to appear in all the right aesthetical motivation as a female–if not moreso. I’ve never met a single airhead who ever enjoyed anything like being with her airhead boy.

    How I despise them.

  15. stephane sednaoui said,

    For me, the distinction between “girlfriend” and a “female friend” is purely superficial. Sexual. Lust.
    Take that, “love”!

  16. rabeldin said,

    We can establish that “pretty” equates to normal as contrasted with abnormal. Symmetry, neither too much angularity nor curves too full, well proportioned are what we expect of a pretty girl. And, we are usually in good agreement on what is normally pretty. I submit that “pretty” is a nearly objective classification.

    Now, attractiveness is something much more subjective. Some prefer quick wit, others prefer loving spirit. Some prefer musical talent, others like sensuous movements. And thank goodness, can you imagine if we all preferred the same type? Twenty thousand hounds sniffing around the same bitch?

  17. stephane sednaoui said,

    Nice going, you just replaced my Voltaire quote.

  18. jaoman said,

    Unfortunately, the planet of my origin is a sick, perverted place, populated by people like Anna Nicole Smith. That one definitely didn’t marry for pecks.

  19. the boss said,

    anna nicole smith is dead. why not find some other example?

  20. techwins said,

    Reformed Nihilist wrote:
    It is my observation that generally men speak of their attraction to a woman in terms of physical manifestations. It seems though, that women speak in terms of behaviour (he treats me like a princess) and personality traits (He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s kind, etc.). I would like to know if people think this is an accurate assessment, and if so, why? As far as speculation goes, I’ll take what you got, but if anyone has read any studies on this type of phenomena, that would be great.

    I don’t think your question has been properly answered yet either. You are asking why men speak of women one way (aesthetically) and women speak of men another way (emotionally/behavioral). This is contrary to the seperate question of asking why men [may] tend to caer for aesthetics on women more and the converse situation for women in regard to men. Am I right now in understanding the question?

    My answer to that would be the audience is the effectual force. Women will speak to women about men and the direct opposite for men. The social stereotypes that consist of what a woman and what a man is looking for thus directs the cause. A group of males is looking to hear from their male friend to talk about the aesthetic features of a woman leaving little concern to the emotional traits b/c “men know that looks are all that matters.” A group of females is looking to hear from their female friend to talk about the emotional traits of a man leaving little concern to the aesthetic features (*) features b/c “women know that all that matters is how a man treats them.**” All of this course is in the most general and broad terms.

    * = I believe women may speak of aesthetic features on men more than men speak of emotional traits of women.

    ** = The idea that a women needs to be properly treated would, IMO, not to imply there should not be proper treatment on the part of the man, stem from the idea that men are the caretaker of women. A woman needs to ensure she finds a good caretaker and looks for those best resembling traits in a man.

    I think it all to be sociological regress…

  21. mate said,

    I’d say that men speak of their attraction in terms of the physical for sake of upholding the classic male machismo and the taboo of emotional men. This is more related to the particular environment and it’s inherent social norms.

    As for women, here’s something I’ve been thinking about. Now, since women have generally been discriminated against and have an unequal position in many societies, perhaps speaking in terms of behavior suggests more care about choosing a mate that would be involved and loyal for sake of security. Especially when it comes to children, you’d want a spouse who is involved and nurturing so you wouldn’t be forced to be a single, female parent, disadvantaged in a sexist society.

    Just an idea.

  22. techwins said,

    I am not sure if you read my above post, but that is precisely what it entailed. 🙂 Men set forth in society with the atypical response of attempting to be ‘masculine’ in their description of a woman, and just like you pointed out, women in society that was previously established on inequality may tend to look for the caretaker type of a man and thus this transpires into how they express their attraction of a man.

  23. mate said,

    You are right, techwins.
    I just read over your post and it is a very similar point.
    I sometimes find myself skimming through the material in a thread, too anxious to get my point out and unable to take time analyzing previous points. My post was also a response to Reformed Nihilist’s original question.

  24. klaatu said,

    Girls may not talk like that as often, but they probably think like that as much as men. Although, it seems that the ‘objectification’ of the male happens in slightly different ways, for example a shiny new car might be an equivalent for a boobjob.

    RN, perhaps your dialogue would benefit from changing the words a bit, but then again, you only have your own experience to go by. Sometimes it’s better to say something fresh, even a little weird, than the usual, ‘oh, her eyes sparkle’ nonsense.

  25. :) :( said,

    This is a completely un-philosophical answer to this very complicated question but as a woman I fond myself commenting on the attractivness of other women in the same manner and the reason is that women are beautiful creatures. I mean I am not a lesbian, in fact I am engaged to a man, but I will say something if there is a gorgeous woman that I have seen. I dont know what it is but women have a differnt kind of look. Its not like you would look at a guy and say “Wow, he is just so beautiful” I mena you might but you are talking in a “hot and hunky” kind of way, not in a completely beautiful package like a woman generally is. I guess the curvyness and smoothness of their skin and the way they tend ot have long hair and with the wonders of makeup really striking features we tend to notice women more often as being beautiful than being really smart.

    The wierd thing is that most women describe other women in that way. Just listen to them talk, even if it is in a negative way they will still reffer to something physical about them…”That blone bitch with the fake boobs…” You have all heard that before and that was two physical descriptions that trumped that one personality description that could apply to anyone. I mean if you were to take out the blone and big boob part you would have no idea who the “bitch” was, whereas funny, or smart, that narrows it down quite a bit.

    Or women will say “You remember Tina? The one with gorgeous hair, I just want to cut it off and steal it” they talk about eachother in physical terms also. I also think this is because of the diversity in the way that women can look. I mean there are only so many hairstyles that a guy can have, and only so many outfit options, but with females they can do crazy things with their hair, makeup, outfits, accessories. Basically they are just more asthetically pleasing to the eye. This is also why women feel like there is so much pressure on them to be so attractive because the potential is there in every woman she just has to know what to do with herself…

    I dont think that it has anything to do with men being superficial, I think women do it to. If feminists were honest with themselves they would realize that being beautiful is a strength for women, not a weakness. Women are beautiful creatures and the more we put people down for being beautiful (or not fitting into our standard of beautiful) that is what hurts women the most.

    I dont know about the other females on the site but if I had the chance there are two girls I wouldn’t turn down…Angelina Jole, and Jessica Alba. I mean you just have to be cold blooded not to think they are hot….LOL.

    Meh, my point is that even though I am a female and completely happy being with a man, and I am attracted more to males than females, there are still those few women who you know are beautiful no matter what.

    So guys, you heard it from the horses mouth, women are just as bad about describing other women in terms of physical features. As far as loving them for their physical features I dont know if that is possible, but associating their physical features with aspects about them that you love is very possible. For example, you love her sense of humor so you might mention her smile. Or you love her mysteriousness so you mention her deep blue eyes. You love her determination so you mention her ripped abs because she is a hard core gymnast or something. Or you like that she takes care of herself so you mention her hair. You dont love her hair by itself but you love that she makes it look good just for you. Almost all physical features correspond with something that you like about her personality anyways…Except her boobs. If you mention her boobs, well thats just lust. LMAO!

  26. smk said,

    A boobjob ($3,000.00- $5,000.00) is not equal to a shiny new car ($30,000.00 – $50,000.00)

  27. smk said,

    Around the world men are attracted to those fabulous fat deposits. Most men are attacted to a particular ratio of fat to body mass. Why? Well, they may be superficial, but universally it’s because a healthy woman who can reproduce has a requisite amount of body fat. Women have more fat in their face too. This is one of the fat deposits that gives them the appearance of a female.

  28. beans said,

    of course i’m merely speculating but i believe women and men describe each other differently because women are the more sensitive of the species. i may be going out on a limb on this one but i really do think guys, in general, are pretty straightforward– more so than women anyway.

    for example:
    guy says something stupid
    girl rolls eyes and ignores him
    guy asks a simple yet concise question are you mad?
    girl says no (but she expects her man to realize that she actually is mad even though she obviously stated otherwise)
    point being, as previously mentioned, i think a little bit to do with symbolism and a lot to do with men aren’t really that complicated.

    take for example a cross. it symbolizes god, jesus, suffering, what have you. all in all, it is a representation of a concept, an idea, something you can’t necessarily see. symbolism makes it easier to relate to things that don’t always stare back at you. and even using the phrase “bright eyes”.. what does that really mean? in all honestly, no matter how lovely a person is, i doubt they have any more or less light radiating out of their faces than that big fat hairy guy who tried to get my number last week.

    it’s a lot easier to place some obscure personality trait into context- via images. when someone tells me to picture humor, i would think of a friend doing or saying something obnoxious. and by that same token, if someone were to ask me to describe my friend, i would probably say he’s funny.

    i think boys just take out all the guess work for their listening public, the say what their actually thinking, and girls are well.. girls. ambiguous. vague. mysterious. and not to give guys too much credit, i think it could get a bit out of hand at times too. because i doubt a guy would plop down on a buddy’s couch, beer in hand, gushing about how his girlfriend’s hair falls across her face in such a way….. it’s probably more along the lines of “she’s got a great figure”. but that doesn’t necessarily mean that when he says that he’s not thinking about how that figure feels to him when he’s holding her tight while watching a scary movie. and be it for the sake of classically accepted societal male behavior or otherwise, the fact remains “physicalities” are much easier and simpler to digest than anything else. when i’m trying to describing the color red to someone, i’m not going to go to the trouble of explaining light, frequencies, your sense of sight in hopes they will understand the party that happens when they all get together is the perception of red. i’d rather get a box of crayons.

    from what i’ve come to experience, guys just know other guys. that’s why a conversation between two guys is 1/10 the length of what that same conversation would be like between 2 girls.

    and the more i write the more thoughts come to me. so i guess i better stop now. remind me to write about this later. code word: personalization.

  29. smk said,

    Beans, after reading your post i think you must be a boy. Your comment relfects male thoughts and not female type thinking.

    “Boys … take out all the guess work for their listening public, the say what their actually thinking” – Beans

    You think huh, do you know many guys would take the guess work out of I am a man and I’ll take you for a roll in the hay, honey. They certainly would admit to being a man, but not directly state the rolling the honey in the hay.

    As to “girls are well.. girls. ambiguous. vague. mysterious.” – Beans

    Both sexes can be “ambiguous. vague. mysterious” even contradictory or seductive.

    “[A]nd not to give guys too much credit, i think it could get a bit out of hand at times too. because i doubt a guy would plop down on a buddy’s couch, beer in hand, gushing about how his girlfriend’s hair falls across her face in such a way…..”

    While you seen contradictory, at least you appear right on this point, “no guy would plop down on a buddy’s couch, beer in hand, [and start] gushing about how his girlfriend’s hair falls across her face in such a way…..” He’s probably more likely to complain about how expensive she is or how great she is in the kitchen or the bedroom.

  30. zoom said,

    The attributes that are not seeming to be *physical* actually are physical, in a holistic sense. If you had the choice between a girl that is pretty on the outside and shallow on the inside, and one that is captivating on both sides, which would you chose? Sometimes a girl (or guy) that is rather plain on the outside can be a comfort rather than a disadvantage. Or they can have some funny little quirks that just roll your socks up and down. What are you going to do when the physical beauty fades, what would you have left to be attracted to if you want a fullfilling long term relationship?

    Pretty girls (guys) are the frosting that happens while you are waiting for a woman (man) of substance, intelligence, and heart… and they will be the Cake! :))

  31. smk said,

    Yep, substance is found in the cake and not in the crappy frosting. I think that “captivating on both sides” can sometimes be a lot of crap too, especially if their words are meaningless. They might just imagine themselves as “captivating” and yet really just be a meaningless and mesmerizing illusion.

  32. baron max said,

    zoom wrote:
    What are you going to do when the physical beauty fades, …

    Get another younger, prettier one!

    Baron Max

    “Worst of all were the tedious hours between sex, enduring all the ceaseless feminine prattle with its inevitable and pathetic romantic overtones.”
    From “Duel of the Assassins” by Daniel Pollock

  33. select said,

    Haha, Baron Max.

    I know his post may sound offensive to some ears, but I thought I should defend his post. The moral of the story, ladies and gents, is that you should find the value for yourself from within and not based on how other people see you. And I think the difficulty of doing this is much higher for very attractive people (and if smiley is right, more difficult for attractive women than attractive men) simply because if you recieve mostly positive comments from other people all your life while you’re in your prime, you’re a lot more likely to rely on other people’s expressed evaluation of you for your self worth. But later on in life, when those comments begin to become more negative, you’ll eventually encounter a depression as your own self-respect lowers.

    Maybe this is necessary. Maybe the ideal of finding our own self worth within ourselves is merely a psychological consequence of other people not giving us the regard that we all feel we are entitled to. But there’s a part of me that doesn’t want this to be the case. I want it to be possible for there to exist many men and women, who are both attractive in the highest degree, and who find the only basis for their self worth in themselves such that even if someone speaks to them with a positive evaluation, they think to themselves with concealed anger, “What gives you the right to evaluate me?”

  34. smk said,

    First, people judge others all the time, so everyone might as well get used to it and get over it.

    Second, B.M.s remark above is glib, superficial, and demonstrates a lack of an ability to bond with another human being if he is willing to quickly cast another off for appearances.

    Third, I have a friend who was a Hollywood model in the 50s. She looked like Michelle Phiffer, but she was more striking. Today, at 80 + she feels she is “entitled to” the same attention she garned when she was, 20 then 30 then 40 and even 50. People ignore her and turn away from her because she is shelfish. It’s sad because she is a nice lady and has a great mind and sharp wit. Thus, it is true, we must “value for [oursleves] from within and not based on how other people view us

  35. select said,

    SMK wrote:
    First, people judge others all the time, so everyone might as well get used to it and get over it.

    Right, but that isn’t the problem. The problem is if you believe them.
    SMK wrote:
    Third, I have a friend who was a Hollywood model in the 50s. She looked like Michelle Phiffer, but she was more striking. Today, at 80 + she feels she is “entitled to” the same attention she garned when she was, 20 then 30 then 40 and even 50. People ignore her and turn away from her because she is shelfish. It’s sad because she is a nice lady and has a great mind and sharp wit. Thus, it is true, we must “value for [oursleves] from within and not based on how other people view us.

    If she wants attention, then that is indicating the same thing I was criticizing: that she determines her value by what other people think of her and not by her own value. People with self-respect and true reverance for themselves don’t need attention to feel good about themselves. They may even be displeased by it.

  36. Jay said,

    I think part of the answer lies in what the people are looking for. Hence, we would have to ask, why is it that men generally seak physical beauty in contrast to women who seek mental beauty, if I can be allowed such a mundune distinction for the time being (our habits of behavior will dictacte our descriptions). Some psychological studies showed that women tend to try and save themselves for someone they consider worthy. Thus, they have a tendency to look for behavioral or mental attributes. Men by contrast, are not generally concerned with”saving” themselves and tend to try and maximize the number of sexual encounters. Now think of it, if you are only looking for a quick lay with no long term commitments, who will you opt for? Intellegence or aesthetic beauty? The average man will be inclined to answer the latter. And because he is predominantly looking to get “laid”, he is looking at physical attributes which will maxime the experience of that lay. This will go a long way to help explain why he describes and see’s women generally as such.

    By contrast, if you are concerned with saving yourself, you will not seek to find someone who is beautiful to help your erotic encounter, rather you will want to find someone you respect and who was worthy of your affection. You will seek mental attributes. The average women will thus tend to characterize men based on that frame of reference. Naturally, there will be exceptions to both sides.

    Thus the important question for us becomes why do men seek to have multiple shallow experiences which only focus on aesthetic beauty whereas women tend to go for maintaining and protecting their dignity? I cannot go into too much detail in this post and will have to temporarily rely on this sketch, but the reason can perhaps be found in our biology. Men have the urge and capacity, to spread their seeds to multiple and numerous partners. They are biological drawn to attempt to spread their seed to as many people as possible in order to maintain the survival of the race. They will look to spread it then to the most attrative, and the women appearing the most healthy based on physical characterisitcs. They do not have time to scrutinize whois an intelligent choice and who isn’t. By playing the odds, that is by spreading their seeds to as many healthy physical partners as they can, they are doing their part in attempting to preserve the species.

    Women by contrast are forced to carry and in many cases, as shwon in primative animals, nurture the child for the early parts of its development. If they can only bear one child at a time, they will try to ensure making the best choice, that is choosing a partner, or breed, that will be most likely to survive. Now, if we ask ourselves, whois more likely to survive and insure the child’s survival? A dumb strong man, or an intelligent affectionate male, who will provide for both the child and the mother? Naturally the proper answer is the latter, and thus the woman will try to save herself so as to optimize her species survival…

  37. smk said,

    On getting used to others evaluating and judging and getting over it.

    select wrote:
    Right, but that isn’t the problem. The problem is if you believe them..

    select wrote:

    If she wants attention, then that is indicating the same thing I was criticizing: that she determines her value by what other people think of her and not by her own value. People with self-respect and true reverance for themselves don’t need attention to feel good about themselves. They may even be displeased by it.

    Should a girl believe a boy if says she is gorgeous or how about ravishing?

    Should she believe him if he says that she is intelligent and not boring?

    Should she roll her eyes into her head saying, “Oh my god! Is this guy laying down the lines?”

    Now let’s flip a few of the lines.

    Should a girl believe a boy if says, she’s ugly and he would not touch her with a stick?

    Should she believe him if he says, she’s dumber than a turkey in a summer’s storm?

    Or how about this, we cannot be friends because I care about you?

    Back to what others think and judging. People believe what they want to beleive. They see what they imagine exists. They prefer the illusions others create because these bring excitement to their deary lives, and it, even judgment & belief, gives them something to discuss with others.

    Here in reposnse to your remark, I must ask, to what degree do people desire attention?

    To what degree should we put stock in the opinios of others as they relate to our appearance?

    To what degree should we value ourselves and our opinions over others?

    To what degree should we dismiss the evaluations and judgments of others as these relate to our personal qualities?

    Back to the Topic

    Post 10: It is my observation that generally men speak of their attraction to a woman in terms of physical manifestations. It seems though, that women speak in terms of behaviour (he treats me like a princess) and personality traits (He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s kind, etc.). I would like to know if people think this is an accurate assessment, and if so, why? As far as speculation goes, I’ll take what you got, but if anyone has read any studies on this type of phenomena, that would be great.

    Yes, I think it is generally an accurate assessment. Why? Men are more interested in sex. They are more casual about taking on numerous partners. Women have concerns related to bearing children and raising them with a stable and supportive mate. Now, i think that’s been said twice.

    Studies? oh yes, i keep the laying around to help me break out of my shell of naivete?

  38. beans said,

    SMK wrote:
    Beans, after reading your post i think you must be a boy. Your comment relfects male thoughts and not female type thinking.

    sorry to say, but i’m a gal. 🙂

    SMK wrote:
    “Boys … take out all the guess work for their listening public, the say what their actually thinking” – Beans

    You think huh, do you know many guys would take the guess work out of I am a man and I’ll take you for a roll in the hay, honey. They certainly would admit to being a man, but not directly state the rolling the honey in the hay.

    As to “girls are well.. girls. ambiguous. vague. mysterious.” – Beans

    Both sexes can be “ambiguous. vague. mysterious” even contradictory or seductive.

    “[A]nd not to give guys too much credit, i think it could get a bit out of hand at times too. because i doubt a guy would plop down on a buddy’s couch, beer in hand, gushing about how his girlfriend’s hair falls across her face in such a way…..”

    While you seen contradictory, at least you appear right on this point, “no guy would plop down on a buddy’s couch, beer in hand, [and start] gushing about how his girlfriend’s hair falls across her face in such a way…..” He’s probably more likely to complain about how expensive she is or how great she is in the kitchen or the bedroom.

    Both sexes can be ambiguous and both sexes can be different. I was merely trying to give what I thought was the simplest explaination possible.

    And it may only be me, but I think men are more than just their penises. Nevertheless, this is all just assumption and speculation about intent. And all I was offering was a generalization.

  39. baron max said,

    Jay wrote:
    Now, if we ask ourselves, whois more likely to survive and insure the child’s survival? A dumb strong man, or an intelligent affectionate male, who will provide for both the child and the mother? Naturally the proper answer is the latter, …

    No, that’s NOT the proper answer! The answer is dependent upon the environment to a greater extent than anything else. The world is not made up of just whimpy, weak, whiney western cultures, ya’ know.

  40. sensabile said,

    Reformed Nihilist wrote:
    It is my observation that generally men speak of their attraction to a woman in terms of physical manifestations. It seems though, that women speak in terms of behaviour (he treats me like a princess) and personality traits (He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s kind, etc.). I would like to know if people think this is an accurate assessment, and if so, why? As far as speculation goes, I’ll take what you got, but if anyone has read any studies on this type of phenomena, that would be great.

    If you consider Sternberg’s triangular theory of love (1986) it seems that there are different things that we find attractive. It is my opinion that it was merely coincidence that you chose to describe Sarah in terms of her physical characteristics; sexual desire (passion) is one of three main possibilities. It is quite possible that you could have described her in terms of her intention to maintain a relationship, perhaps alluding to promiscuity; or to her intimacy, her ability to confide and share feelings. The coincidence occured only because of the nature of your monologue; that is, the time scale and content. Intimacy and commitment take time, which your monologue didn’t allow for and the theme of your monologue was less about the character’s relationship with Sarah than it was about the character’s mental journey. Perhaps if the theme was more about their relationship then you would have found yourself looking at such things as intimacy and commitment.

    In honesty I have no knowledge of studies into attraction that account for your question since the only studies in this area I know of tend to look at what we find attractive as opposed to how we describe it. But having said that, considering that women seek symmetry (in the face) for long-term relationships and rogueness for “one-offs” it would seem that their descriptions of attractiveness would vary depending upon what they were seeking, as it were.

  41. Jay said,

    Baron Max wrote:
    No, that’s NOT the proper answer! The answer is dependent upon the environment to a greater extent than anything else. The world is not made up of just whimpy, weak, whiney western cultures, ya’ know.

    Ok Baron but the point will remain the same… The women will be more careful in their selection in contrast to the men. It is no wonder why most women are attracted to the muscular yet sensative types, rather than hihgly intelligent types. The strength and sensitivity insure that safety they seek.

  42. rabeldin said,

    Is the taboo on emotional men or are we just unwilling to open up? Men who expose their real feelings are likely to be ridiculed so we learn to wear masks. I guess this is part of the enforcement of the taboo, but is the stereotype right? Or are we just scared of our peers?

  43. gary tamers said,

    Oh I completely agree with you, rabeldin. While men certainly have plenty of emotions and sensitivities, most of us follow the “strong and stoic” male personality to escape ridicule and conform with the stereotype of “manliness”
    Yet, I think times are changing and the initial reason for the stereotype (perhaps it can be explained biologically) is not necessarily valid in our present society.

    You’re right, we need to open up and get rid of this macho crap. And anyway, it’s psychologically unhealthy to keep things bottled up.
    And it’ll probably set the stage for gender equality.
    Of course, I can’t imagine men shrugging off their masks, as you say, any time soon. At least it’s looking better in the long run?

  44. seneca said,

    I haven’t read every post but I’ll just give my opinion anyways. Well I think men find girls attractive by instinct and every man has an ideal in the back of his head that has nothing to do with what society has to say.

    I think the same could be said about girls, but I don’t know, I’m not female. Of course we could just evolve and not give a crap about this natural instinct. It wouldn’t be that bad, but I like it the way it is right now.

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