Archive for May, 2009

Because men think women are jealous of their penis

walk

One of the most astonishing ideas a man has ever come up with is that women are jealous of his penis. Women, who have never had one of these magical wands, know how good it is to have one, and wish they could make one appear.

Like many ludicrous ideas that have no basis in lucid observation or rationality, but support a certain style of masculine mythology – this idea took off like wildfire. So much so, that it is still prevalent today.

The idea is that men think they are superior because they have a penis, and they think women are inferior because they haven’t – the penis being the one thing that separates a man from a woman. Women wish they had male privilege, therefore they wish they had a penis.

For some reason, it never occurs to men (Freud in particular in this case) that women want privileges based on their existence and their humanity, not to be actually turned into a man. I have never in all my life met a woman who wants to be a man, and with the exception of some brave individuals who feel they need to have corrective surgery, I doubt that I ever will.

But men can’t understand this. They are so thrilled with their penis, so amazed by it, so desperate to compare it with others and so keen for any vague opportunity to show it off, that it is incomprehensible to them that someone who doesn’t have one isn’t desperate for one. They clutch at the thing, eternally grateful for it; for its existence, for its distinguishing features and most of all for its guidance.

For a man, the most important thing about his penis is it means he isn’t a woman. But this logic doesn’t follow if the person, who doesn’t have a penis, isn’t desperate for one. So, despite the fact that no woman actually wants one, they simply say all women do.

In romance novels, the men are thrilled that their women don’t have penises. They are even more thrilled that their women don’t want to grow, develop or steal their own penis. They appreciate the physical difference between men and women and even take advantage of it sexually. They know that women are their own creatures and that they are not defined by lack.

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Because women think celebrities are their friends

Superstar crowded by paparazzi

Do you wonder why women read those terrible gossip magazines? Do you wonder why women are so interested in the lives of people they don’t know?

This is because women actually think they DO know these people. Do you remember when you were a teenager and you ‘fell in love’ with the lead singer of that band and you thought to yourself – ‘if only they KNEW me, I just know we’d be together.” Or “I know them better than anyone else. I’d love to talk to them. I know deep down we’d be great friends.”

These magazines are an extension of that time in adolescence you thought that by listening to that song, that you could see into that artists heart.

Women who read these magazines believe them. They DO think the people in those magazines are their friends. They will read it then defend Angelina  and Brad by saying to their friends around them “I love this couple and everything they stand for. I know this article is a lie. As if he would be cheating on HER!” Or they will say “See, I never liked Nicole Kidman! Even when the whole world loved her, I knew deep down that there was something not right there.”

Women think they are reading articles and comments about their friends – not distant people who they have never known and never will. And worse than that, they also think Brad, Angelina, Lindsay and Princes Mary are grateful for their valuable friendship or that they are ‘aware’ and afraid of their knowledgeable judgement.

In romance novels women rarely indulge in gossip magazines. Gossip exists but it is generally legitimised and between people who actually know each other. Gossip does not involve people who live lifetimes we can know nothing about under complex difficulties we couldn’t possibly judge. And women on romance novels rarely have the time to devote to chasing titbits of information that have no foundation in reality.

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Because men want simple answers to complex problems

hunter

Just as women want to overcomplicate everything in order to justify their ‘worry’ about it, men like to oversimplify everything in order to justify their lack of ‘worry’ about it.

They will also argue that this makes them the more rational, more intellect focused of the sexes, which of course as we have already seen, is not the case. The purpose behind the oversimplification of complex issues is agenda driven, rather than a result of a superior intellect.

It is against man’s interests to delve too deeply into most problems exactly because then they WOULD have to think hard about something. They prefer the easy answer – and they prefer the easy answer that supports their agenda thanks very much. Delve too deep and you come up with ugly things like logic, facts and evidence, and none of this suits their claims.

This methodology applies to most aspects of a man’s stereotypical day. Why does he need to propel a business forward before it’s ready to do so? His answer – because men hunt. Why does he get distracted by a pretty girl on a street corner when he’s stuck in traffic and just had a huge fight with his girlfriend that morning? His answer – because men hunt. Why does he eat a huge bacon and egg roll for breakfast despite the doctor telling him he is headed for heart disease? His answer – because men hunt. Why does he have a feeling of nervous unease all through the day that he fills with sports, and mates and alcohol? His answer – because men hunt. Why does his mind accidently wander to subjects like god, love and the nature of belief at the strangest times in the day? His answer – because men hunt.

Men don’t want the status quo to be upset, despite the growing evidence, the overwhelming voices in his head and the endless supply of rationality that supplies him with accuracy and fact. He wants to cling to outdated notions of belief so that he doesn’t have to think too hard, see himself clearly and ultimately, take responsibility for who he is.

In romance novels a man’s desire to believe himself ‘alpha’ according to stereotype magically does not interfere with his ability to cope with advancing science. A man is able to embrace science when it has been presented to him – even when it conflicts with belief, and still retain his strength, dignity and inner power. Intelligent women love this!

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Because women say sorry but don’t mean it

unfortunate

Sorry is meant to be an apology.  It is meant to be a genuine statement of regret. It implies some soul searching and a commitment (if not a promise) to do better in the future or not to repeat the offence.

It is not a word that exonerates you from the nasty thing you just said when you hurt the person the way you intended nor is it permission for you to say something cruel because you began the sentence with “I’m sorry but…”

Women use ‘sorry’ for everything under the sun other than a promise to change behaviour. They will apologise for bumping you in a train, for reaching out for the same magazine on a rack at the same time as you, for getting to work early and for getting to work late. Women will apologise when the clock has reached quitting time, when they get home, when they cook something for dinner you didn’t expect, when they are washing up instead of watching television with the family, when they are tired and for every other natural function under the sun.

They will say  cruel things to each other, their partners and their children, but if they receive the reaction they intended they will apologise in a swift passive agressive apology with more suction power than quicksand. Women use the apology as if it were a magic cloth that can wipe away every discomfort, and every ugly moment on the face of the earth.

But they never, ever really mean they won’t repeat the behaviour. No, the automated apology is designed to defuse a situation, not to actually say sorry. In this way, women get to keep their gentle control, all the way saying how sorry they are that things have turned out the way they have.

In romance novels, women and men only apologise when they mean it. And apologies are saved for serious moments. Moments of reflection and consideration. In fact, if a woman in a romance novel is a serial apologiser, it is treated as a defect and she will be ‘encouraged’ out of it through a series of events that will teach her to never apologise half heatedly again.

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Because men have made feminism all about men

young feminist woman and businessman formation collage

Men are threatened by feminism.

This is fair enough, seeing as the bulk of what feminism wants to do is remove male privilege, and create a level playing field. This inevitably means women’s efforts get recognised and men have to make an effort to get recognised.

So you can understand why some men might not be thrilled about the idea.

However, the best attack on feminism – and one that men are particularly good at – is to kerfuffle the idea so that when you talk about feminism – its all about men. How men ‘feel’ about it, how they are ‘coping’ in the work place, how confused they are on dates, what they think of Germaine Greer, do they keep opening car doors, and their opinions on female sports presenters. These have become the primary ‘issues’ that ‘feminism’ has to deal with cleverly making the topic primarily a male topic.

Even amongst women, you will find the topic of feminism will either start with or turn quickly to, men. How does your husband feel about it;  are men turned on by feminism;  and my personal favourite, I would be a feminist but my husband wants me to shave my legs.

In romance novels feminism isn’t really an issue. Some protagonists are, some aren’t, but their men love them anyway, aren’t threatened and really really don’t need to make it all about them.

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Because women still use childish flirting techniques

girl with white lilies

Little girls are taught how to flirt. It’s something they do from a very early age. If you believe (or at least entertain) the ideas of Freud, you’ll know that she has been flirting with her father (and some psychotherapists think her mother) from the ‘mirror stage’.

However, it is marginally forgivable that a teenager will still employ these childish tactics to get what she wants. But an adult female moving into her twenties really needs to be learning to rely on other achievements to get ahead in life. It’s a natural selection thing. She needs to come up with some new devices in order to establish herself in the world.

If this childish flirting is unacceptable in your twenties, it is unforgiveable in your thirties and simply obscene at any older age.

However, women don’t seem to work out that this is a childish habit. They insist on using the same flirting techniques they used when they were infants. You will often see this in women as old as sixty. They will batt their eyes, cock their head and smile with the exact same look that worked so well on their daddies, when he was … well … alive.

It’s one thing to use a flirting technique as a method of seduction, but unless you are actually contemplating seeing the man in a romantic capacity, it is inappropriate to use the same flirting techniques you used on your father. These techniques should never be seen in places such as social occasions, used on other women’s partners or – and this is the most unforgivable of all – in the workplace.

In romance novels, women have learnt that the subtleties of flirting belong between their partner and themselves. They want to flirt with their lover as a seduction or part of foreplay toward sex. It is not used a weapon against men to make a woman easier in social situations.

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Because men are petty

red blinds

One of the advantages of telling everyone you’re not emotional or obsessed with silly little details is that when you are emotional and obsessed with silly little details, you can tell everyone you’re not. And they believe it.

Because it’s so important for a man to believe the mythology they’ve created around masculinity but also impossible to live up to the mythology they’ve created around masculinity, they become obsessed with petty details that become deeply important. The best way to recognise this is in his perpetual reinforcing of the stereotypes.

If you hop out of the car and help a man change the tyre, he will be forced to make a comment about his physical superiority. If you answer a question correctly ahead of him in a trivia contest, he will be forced to ‘teach’ you something on the way home (if he is kind) or publicly humiliate you (if he is not kind). If you earn more money than him, he will find a way to tell you (in public of course) that he refused a promotion, or a job that would have paid him better. There is no win too small, no superior moment too unobtrusive and no fear of not being superior too ridiculous for a man. He will find a way to challenge you, out of his panic, if he has the slightest feeling you are superior (or even on par) over him in some way.

Asserting masculinity is a full time job (as is asserting femininity) because it is so unnatural. It needs to be verbally reinforced because it is not obvious from behaviours.

In romance novels sexual stereotypes are not vehemently preserved. Men sleep with men and are still thought of as alpha males. Women sleep with several men at one time and are not thought of as easy. Because it’s a fantasy it is allowed to transcend the social barriers that define masculine and feminine.

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