Monday, August 14, 2006

Picky Picky

Huh--seems some woman posted a list of reasons she probably doesn't want to go out with you. It is lengthy and detailed:

I am a very high-quality woman. I know that sounds arrogant, but let’s consider the facts:

* I’m slim (whereas 62% of American women age 20 to 74 are overweight)
* I’m attractive (my new picture has been rated more attractive than 86% of the women on Hot or Not -- and the women who upload their pictures are a self-selected sample that is probably already biased towards being more attractive than the general female population)
* I’m relatively young (whereas 82% of American adult women are over 30 years old)
* I’m intelligent (IQ tested at 145 when I was a child, which is 3 standard deviations above the mean -- higher than 99.85% of the population. Even if I’ve gotten dumber as I’ve aged I’m probably still at least a 130, which is higher than 97.5% of the population.)
* I’m educated (whereas 77% of American women do not have bachelor’s degrees)

I suppose this may make me unpopular, but you know something? I don't care. I don't mind that she's being very particular. I don't even mind that she's so status-obsessed, although I admit that my first gut reaction to that list was to think that someone this "high quality" is bound to have some secret failing of the real deal-breaker sort, like maybe she robs graves or something. But I am a cynic and I own my cynicism. She's probably quite normal, in a high-quality sort of way.

What I don't get is why some feminists enjoy pointing out that she's still single at her advanced age of somewhere south of 30:

It’s so sad, because she’s had such terrible luck finding a good guy. And if someone like her can’t do it after countless personal ads and her very own blog devoted to the subject of her and her awesomeness, what chance do the rest of us plebes have?

First, she's probably still single because she still wants to be. She's still looking and is, by her own admission, very particular. Second, she's probably still single because when you narrow the dating pool down first, to men who meet her standards, and next, to men who aren't intimidated by her explicit statement of her standards--wait, actually she explained what happens when she does that right here:

Some people scoffed at the long list of requirements in my personal ad last year. Yet in less than two weeks I found five men who met my listed requirements and wanted a relationship with me. If I were to put more time and effort into looking I could probably find hundreds of high-quality men who both met my standards and were interested in dating me too. I can be picky.

I love it that a woman is saying "I can be picky" and not adding 3 paragraphs of qualification, nullification, and apology after it. If you can be picky, Jacqueline, and you want to be picky, by all means: BE PICKY. Heaven knows dating is a rough game regardless, and you're no less likely to get your heart broken playing it than those who are less picky. You may as well weed out men you aren't interested in up front and save a little time that way. Heartache does not discriminate, I promise you that.

But what is this with the "Ha ha, look, she's still single" business? I see people do this to Dawn Eden all the time, often in the guise of pity, but seriously: If marriage and family are not a priori the consummate goal of every heterosexual woman's life, then who cares who's still single and who isn't? I hate this "can't get a man" type of smirking coming from feminists. If it really doesn't matter whether a woman can "get" a man or not, this should never come up. No, not even with Eden. Come on, you can't say she doesn't provide plenty of other material to go after.

I'll tell you what does anger me about Jacqueline's list: Knowing that some trademarked Nice Guy is going to blame feminism for it. Doesn't matter that she said she's a libertarian, doesn't matter that Ayn Rand wasn't a feminist--nope. Your diehard Nice Guy will overlook all that, because he will understand what Jacqueline's list is really saying: It is saying that this woman is no object to be bought, nor an object to which he is entitled by virtue of his overwhelming niceness (although aren't those the same thing? Whether a guy feels entitled to a wife because he's wealthy and a "good provider," or whether he feels entitled to a wife because he's super-dooper-nice, he's still viewing women as objects to which he is entitled). It says that she is the buyer, he is the object, and he better measure up or she's going to return his ass before the 30 days are up.

That is progress, of a sort. Any time a woman makes it clear that she has the power to declare what she wants, however vaguely or, in Jacqueline's case, explicitly, and to stand a chance of getting it, I have to cheer it a little.

Just not wholeheartedly. It isn't the sort of progress or power I think feminism is after, because Jacqueline's severely economic model of dating is simply dehumanizing. I think it would be fair to say she's objectifying both herself and men. Plus, it's short-sighted: What happens if Mr. Ideal Libertarian has some investments go sour and is forced into bankruptcy? What if he develops leukemia and can't lead an active lifestyle anymore? What if the confirmed atheist finds Jesus or develops an interest in zen meditation? People grow and change and even if they don't do much of that, nonetheless shit happens. Jacqueline's list is more appropriate for selecting a high-definition television than a human being.

Further, her remark that "there are lots of fat single mothers out there who can’t find dates either," intended as consolation (oh, yes) for all the weeping men who don't meet her standards, is disgusting. If I were a dude, even a perfect-atheist-libertarian-independently-wealthy dude of the sort Jacqueline covets, I think I would date 100 fat single mothers before spending one evening proving my worth and eligibility to almighty Jacqueline. That fat single mother is much more likely to be there when my stocks plummet or leukemia strikes--not because she's a desperate, fat, single mother who can't do any better; no, because she's far more likely to know how life can whip the unexpected on a person, and far more likely to know how to roll with it, gracefully.

Look, all I ask is that the next time some Nice Guy blames feminism for the dateless, lonely hell he finds himself in, someone remembers Jacqueline and sics him on her. Because there, Nice Guys, is part of your problem--women who interpret "equality" to mean "I can be just as much an objectifying asshole as any man." Go bother Jacqueline! The feminists are tired of hearing from you.

ADDENDUM 1: Because someone is bound to ask this: "Wouldn't you think it was just horrible if a man made a list like this?" Yes, for all the reasons I think Jacqueline's list is a bit horrible; but also no, because at least that's one guy I can cross of my list of potential suitors. Which list is long, of course, because I am very high quality.

ADDENDUM 2: I reference the Nice Guy thing because I very foolishly spent about a month last summer listening to one of them bitch and moan at me about this shallow, materialistic woman who'd done broke his Nice Guy heart with her vanity, her arrogance, and all the "must be rich 2 date me" qualifications she set forth. Here's the thing: The woman was a conservative and explicitly anti-feminist. So what'd this fellow do to retaliate? You guessed it: Trolled feminist blogs. Because it only makes sense, right? When he wasn't trolling them himself, he was emailing links to posts on those blogs to his conservative Nice Guy pals. If I could, I would introduce him to Jacqueline--even though he doesn't meet her standards, because come on, people like this deserve each other. You can't tell me they don't.


Auguste said...

Great post; your addendum number two is especially spot on. Her ad just SCREAMS overcompensation, though, and I have a lot of trouble countenancing overcompensators. What she's overcompensating for, I don't know, because as you note, she's apparently had some success with this very methodology.

She seems to have less success with statistics but that's neither here nor there.

red said...

//She probably robs graves//

Ilyka - seriously. I just love you for sentences like that. hahahahahahahaha

Anyway: awesome post. I just read it twice - it's juicy stuff, really set me to thinking.

ilyka said...

What she's overcompensating for, I don't know

Oh, she even admits that she used to be among the great unwashed:

I used to be a fat unattractive college dropout who couldn’t get her life together. Now I’m thin, attractive, and successfully self-employed after graduating. You can make yourself over into a higher-quality man capable of winning a higher-quality woman too.

And it's my cynical theory that once you've been a fat unattractive college dropout, inside, you're STILL a fat unattractive college dropout, even if you manage to get hott on the outside. Your self-esteem takes awhile to catch up to your surface image. Maybe in her case it'll never catch up, who knows?

Anyway, you know that the rejected guys are going to go for Door #2 on her list of three alternatives to trying to date her:

Look in the developing world. If you’re literate with a home computer and an internet connection you are very wealthy compared to the rest of the world. Citizenship or legal permanent residency in a rich country makes you more attractive to women in poorer countries. Your value on the dating market is thus much higher there.

Exploitative?--Who cares! She's got quality men to date!

margi said...

I think your assessment (re: fat, college dropout) is spot on. More issues than a newstand, that one.

And I agree with auguste. . .you must be buttah, cuz you're on a roll!

Chris Clarke said...

Back when I was single, though my memory of that distant historic era has dimmed a bit, I always appreciated women who made explicit lists like this. Saved me the trouble of ruling them out as people worth spending time with.

That was, of course, back before Gore invented the Internet, so we didn't have people touting their membership in MENSA quite as widely as they do now, which serves the same winnowing function.

Chris Clarke said...

And somehow I skipped over the part where ilyka said very much the same thing, except less wordy. Bad Attention Deficit Disorder! Bad!!!

Trouble in Shangri La said...

As a fat single mother, I will suggest that i have a few things to offer that Jacqueline is lacking:

1) Kindness
2) Humility
3) A sense of humor

The sort of man who would be attracted to a commodity like Jacqueline, and that's exactly what she's advertising herself as, whether she has the power to pick and choose, or not, isn't the sort of guy I'd even remotely consider dating.

Further, any man (or woman) for that matter, who equates quality with such superficial factors as slimness, income level, etc., automatically disqualifies themselves for consideration.

Ah, she'll eventually have sagging tits like the rest of us (but probably will feel the need to replace tissue with silicone as she has in all other facets of her persona).

Norbizness said...

You won't be laughing when her and Quality man give the world its next Messiah.

ilyka said...

Silly Norbizness! You mean the world's next John Galt. Randians don't believe in the Messiah.

Further, any man (or woman) for that matter, who equates quality with such superficial factors as slimness, income level, etc., automatically disqualifies themselves for consideration.

Word. But I'll bet she'd make a hell of a commodities broker.

Bad Attention Deficit Disorder! Bad!!!

Dude, I can't even pay attention to all the rambly-ass bullshit in this post, and I wrote the damn thing.

If it isn't too personal or nosy a question, though, are you ever going to post a followup on the Wellbutrin/ADD adventure? Because I basically wanted to forward "Just Stop Being Lazy" to my mother with every other sentence bolded or underlined or both (except she'd only ask me why I wasn't such an exceptional student, and we've already had that conversation a million times). Anyway, I'm curious how that's working out.

belledame222 said...

I like how she's graded herself. A Very High Quality Woman! Now With 30% More Self-Esteem!

Auguste said...

Randians don't believe in the Messiah.

Have you not met V*x D*y, then?

ilyka said...

Oh, that guy. He linked some post I did about a thread at Pandagon about a month ago, and I hear his new bitch-fighting technique is unstoppable, but other than that I don't know much about him.

If he's claiming to be an Objectivist who believes in Jesus, though, he's fuckin' delusional, because there is no such thing.

Not that this ever stops most libertarian Christians from borrowing from Rand whenever it suits them, but just as with The Bible, I've got to wonder how many of them actually read Atlas Shrugged.

Auguste said...

Well, I can't find these references on his site per se, but Hinderaker said this:

'Vox bills himself as a novelist and Christian libertarian, advertising Glenn Reynolds' speculation that he is "the love child of William F. Buckley and Ayn Rand."'

Which is totally hot to imagine.

ilyka said...

Which is totally hot to imagine.

Ah. Rand hated Buckley after he assigned Whittaker Chambers to do a hit piece on her, but why quibble with such a luscious, lascivious visual as that?

Though you know, that's why I hate La Vox so much less than I do Reynolds: Vox is at least HONEST about wanting to drop-kick a bitch. Reynolds, the spineless sack of shit, has to farm his misogyny out to Dr. Helen.

Auguste said...

I don't know...

Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked. There are ways of dealing with such wickedness, and, in fact, right reason itself enjoins them. From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: "To a gas chamber — go!

...from such things are torrid, opposites-attracting love affairs born.



Chris Clarke said...

If it isn't too personal or nosy a question, though, are you ever going to post a followup on the Wellbutrin/ADD adventure?

I keep forgetting to.

Kyso K said...

Her relationship status would not have been open for snark if she herself didn't obviously have so much of her narcissm centered in it. Sure, there is something to be said for having standards, but she's obviously set hers to "stratospheric" to justify why she's single, which is something that clearly bothers her given how much she prattles on about men and dating. She's not just unapologetically saying, Hey, world, I have standards. She's saying, No relationship? Me? That's because no mere man can meet my lofty expectations. It's certianly not even partially my fault.

She's also doing that "I'm a better woman because I'm one of the boys" thing that should drive any feminist insane. And her grasp of statistics was poor. There were a lot of funny things about that post that I could have used, but I maintain that she opened game on herself of shots about her relationship status.

belledame222 said...

My favorite ad was somewhere on this raw-food BBS I was rubbernecking. you would specify you were either 50% raw, 51-75% raw, 75-90% raw, or 90+. presumably you were already vegan.

anyhoo a woman who's in the 90+ category talks about how important her commitment to raw is, as well as her commitment to being a Christian (equally stringent definition as I recall), and a looooon list of desired qualities in the mate, winding up with,

"and please be open-minded."

ilyka said...

Her relationship status would not have been open for snark if she herself didn't obviously have so much of her narcissm centered in it.

[Ilyka suddenly remembers laughing herself sick at "How My Titties Saved Eretz Yisrael," recalls also that every time you point a finger at someone else you have three fingers pointing back at yourself, and declines to bust on Kyso any further.]