Sunday, April 27, 2014

Femen versus Feminism

By now, you have probably heard of Femen (or Фемен), the exhibitionist feminist protest group that was founded in Ukraine in 2008, and that features nice-looking women with political slogans painted across their bare nubile bosoms.

I know that you have heard of them, not only because their nubile titties have caught the attention of our news media (which otherwise ignores international events), but also because searches for Femen have surpassed searches for Feminism on Google (admit it: you just wanted to see some boobies, didn't you? What else does the internet exist for?).  Heck, even CNN can't resist a story about titties, even if it involves Eastern Europe.

For American television, of course, the titties have to be pixillated out.  Which is why God invented Google.
Here is Femen's World Outlook:
We live in the world of male economic, cultural and ideological occupation. In this world, a woman is a slave, she is stripped of the right to any property but above all she is stripped of ownership of her own body. All functions of the female body are harshly controlled and regulated by patriarchy. Separated from the woman, her body is an object to monstrous patriarchal exploitation, animated by production of heirs, surplus profits, sexual pleasures and pornographic shows. Complete control over the woman’s body is the key instrument of her suppression; the woman’s sexual demarche is the key to her liberation. Manifestation of the right to her body by the woman is the first and the most important step to her liberation. Female nudity, free of patriarchal system, is a grave-digger of the system, militant manifesto and sacral symbol of women’s liberation
FEMEN’s naked attacks is a naked nerve of the historic woman-system conflict, its most visual and appropriate illustration. Activist’s naked body is the undisguised hatred toward the patriarchal order and new aesthetics of women’s revolution.
Femen's stated "ideology" consists of "Sextremism", Atheism and Feminism.  Femen's "goal" is "complete victory over patriarchy."  And, here are Femen's objectives:
-by strength of courage and personal example, to initiate global women’s mob law over patriarchy as the historically first, and last, existing form of slavery.
- to provoke patriarchy into open conflict by forcing it to disclose its aggressive antihuman nature to fully discredit it in the eyes of history.
- to ideologically undermine the fundamental institutes of patriarchy - dictatorship, sex-industry, and church – by putting these institutes through subversive trolling to force them to strategic surrender.
- to promote new revolutionary female sexuality as opposed to the patriarchal erotic and pornography.
- to instill in modern women culture of active opposition to the evil and of struggle for justice.
- to create the most influential and combat-effective women’s union in the world.
 Well, that all sounds like jolly good fun. 

Initially, Femen's main targets for protest seem to have been prostitution, sex tourism, and the international marriage business in Ukraine.  Femen protested against the Euro 2012 Football Championship (co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland)

because the ladies felt that the event would attract sports fans who would also be interested in using prostitutes while in the country ostensibly to watch the football (that's soccer, for my compatriots).

In March of 2011, Femen launched Operation Action for the Papuan Bride in front of Kiev's Palace of Marriages.
Activists of the Ukrainian movement Femen stripped outside the Registrar's Office in Kiev to protest a contest held in New Zealand.  The prize was a trip to Ukraine to obtain a wife.
In spite of the freezing temperatures, nine naked Ukrainian women stood with banners reading "Ukraine is not a brothel" and "Bride for Papuans" in their hands.
The women's movement protested against the competition "Win a Wife" on the radio station Rock FM in New Zealand.
"Ukrainian women are not good," said the movement's leader, Anna Gutsol.
The winner, who is a winemaker named Greg, was invited to the Ukraine for 12 days.
Under the terms of the contest, before leaving New Zealand, the winner was required to pick the woman that he really liked from the list on a dating site Endless Love. The  Ukrainian tour will begin March 23 in Donetsk.  Then the winner will travel to Kiev.
The competition has caused controversy in New Zealand itself, but representatives of the radio station said that they only did it for fun.
"The decision to marry or not is up to them", said the director of radio Rock Brad King.
"The women's movement Femen warns that the 'lucky' winner of the New Zealand competition in Ukraine to expect an unfortunate 'end!'" are the words Femen activist Aleksandr Shevchenko.

Given that Ukrainian Feminists look like this, one is apt to wonder: what do ordinary Ukrainian women look like?  Especially considering that our Feminists generally look like this:

To some extent, the Femen protests amount to free advertising for Ukraine's sex tourism and international matchmaking industries.  It might be worthwhile going to Ukraine just to take in a Femen protest, and to exercise our patriarchal gazes.

In Vice President Joe Biden's discerning opinion, Ukrainian women are the most beautiful women in the world.  From the Daily News

Vice President Biden says the women in the Ukraine are definitely babe-ushkas.
After a two-day diplomatic visit to the former Soviet state, the too-talkative veep told President Viktor Yushchenko he was blown away by the gorgeous women. "They're the most beautiful women in the world. That's my observation," Biden said. The famously loose-lipped veep was overheard making the comment to his host during an unscheduled visit to an Irish-themed pub in the capital of Kiev.

"It's certain you have so many beautiful women," the teetotaling Biden added as he sipped a Coke. Ukrainian women haven't gotten that kind of shoutout since The Beatles praised them as knockouts in "Back in the U.S.S.R."
The kudos came as no surprise to anyone in Brighton Beach, where Ukrainian women say they are known for their style and poise. "He came, he saw and he told the truth," said Vlada Khmarska, 20, who lives in Odessa, Ukraine, and is visiting the U.S. for the summer. "Everyone who visits Ukraine says so - Ukrainian girls are beautiful."
"I think he nailed it," added Sasha Sobolyewa, 18, a Midwood High School senior. "The women there are beautiful - tall and lean."
Biden later met with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the willowy blond with Princess Leia-style braids who wowed world leaders when she burst onto the scene in 2001.
Ukrainian women are often stereotyped as statuesque blonds like Tymoshenko, but Oksana Romanova said their beauty is more than just physical. They are also known for their warm hospitality, she said. "It's the smile, it's charisma," said Romanova, 20, also visiting for the summer...
 I very much respect Mr. Biden's opinions on most matters.  He says that Ukraine has the world's most beautiful women, and I haven't yet found any contrary evidence.
From Jordan G. Teicher at Slate:
 ...While working in the Ukraine last June, photographer Julie David De Lossy started hearing about Nikolaev, a city known for having the highest concentration of beautiful women in the entire country.
When she arrived in town with her boyfriend, photographer Colin Delfosse, she understood the rumors. There were beautiful women everywhere.
"It is really impressive when you walk in the main street of this town and you have the feeling a super posh party is about to start, but it’s only 10 a.m.," David De Lossy said via email.
But there was also something she didn't expect: wedding agencies—she estimated more than 200 based in one town.
For their series, “My Ukrainian Wedding,” the Brussels-based pair sought to challenge stereotypes about the women who enlist with the agencies by creating diptychs of two women—one from an agency, one not—and letting viewers differentiate between the two....
...David De Lossy said the town has plenty to offer. There are several universities, and a number of the young women in Nikolaev are educated there. “The girls get a good education, but have almost no prospect of finding a husband. So they look abroad,” David De Lossy said.
David De Lossy said that women enrolled in the agencies are generally looking to be matched with men in Western countries....
 Wow.  I don't know how one city can support 200 marriage agencies, unless the number of women seeking to marry abroad is phenomenal.  And, this was a woman expressing amazement at the astounding concentration of beautiful women in town.

The Kiev Post featured an article: Fed Up with their Men, Ukraine Women Look West.
Olga Belova wants to give marriage another try. But the 38-year-old divorcee intends to be more selective the second time around. She is looking for someone polite and respectful; someone with a job; perhaps someone who will be her soul mate. And she is hoping for someone foreign. She is pinning those hopes on the Rendezvous marriage agency, one of more than a dozen such businesses in Kyiv that aim to help Ukrainian women find foreign husbands - for a price. Belova is not alone in her desire to seek a husband in pastures greener than Ukraine. More and more Ukrainian women are being lured by promises of wealthy, stable men in faraway countries. At the same time, these agencies tempt Western men with promises of beautiful Ukrainian women who have not been spoiled by feminism; women who will cook for them and care for them. "Ukrainian women are tired of being repressed; tired of alcoholics ... tired of unemployed boyfriends and husbands,'' reads the Website for the Ukraine Girls International agency. Future foreign husbands do not have to be "either millionaires or Mr. G.Q. for the women to be interested"....
And, there are busloads of Americans and others, wife-hunting across the Ukrainian landscape.

Femen's take on Ukraine's international marriage industry is rather fascinating.

..."There are many websites that advertise Ukrainian women, because Ukraine girls are beautiful. But, unfortunately, many are undereducated and want to become a wife of a rich man, their knight on a white horse," she says. "But in actuality, it is only like exporting human flesh, and it is illegal. We are trying to explain to these girls that it is not a real way to a good life. "
Shevchenko, 24, has to juggle her feminism with the traditional expectations of her mother and grandmother...."They wanted to see me as a wife and a mother. And each single day when my mom calls me she says, 'When I will have my grandchildren, did you find a man?' And I do not know what to answer her."
But Shevchenko believes she can have it all. A few weeks ago, she helped to open Femen's new office in Paris. She says she met several interesting Frenchmen, men she calls "male feminists."
 According to Miss Shevchenko, ordinary Ukrainian women mustn't seek foreign husbands, because "that is not a real way to a good life."  But, it is okay for her to meet "interesting Frenchmen", because she is a Feminist and these are "male Feminists."  Standard Feminist hypocrisy at work.

Some Western Feminists have been quite critical of Femen.  For example, Louise Pennington writes:
 Femen: Reinforcing the Patriarchal Fuckability Test
...In using women's bodies as a canvas of protest, Femen are using some fairly basic signifiers of woman as object. Their message is obscured by the medium of their protest because the medium conforms to the normalised construction of the Patriarchal Fuckability Test....getting naked or stripping aren't acts of Feminist defiance or resistance. They are simply appeasement since men don't care if you write incendiary messages of revolt all over your naked body, as long as they get to see that body. Femen's activism using the objectification of women's bodies to make a political point isn't new. It isn't clever. It's just the Patriarchy trying out a new hat....
...Femen's use of the female body is a tactic deliberately chosen in order to get recognition in the western media and they seem more interested in the attention than any specific feminist goals.....
...Equally problematic are Femen's anti-burkha protests....Femen aren't really doing anything really radical here. Instead, they are just doing exactly what western neo-liberal men do: attack a visible target with little to no power. Running about in front of the Eiffel Tower stripping off burkhas to reveal young, thin white women in their underwear isn't very interesting. Setting up a "bootcamp" in Paris to teach French feminists how to tackle the Patriarchy using tactics developed in the Ukraine is also not very clever. A reversal of the normal imperialism it may be, but it nonetheless shows a rather incredible lack of self-awareness....
...Femen's insistence on baring their breasts, regardless of what they are actually protesting, just reinforces Patriarchal norms. They have become objects for men to wank over rather than feminist protestors. Whatever message they had is obscured. Instead, their breasts are what are deemed important.
We won't destroy the Patriarchy by reinforcing its constructions of "acceptable" women....Protest needs to be vibrant, engaging and culturally specific but we will not smash the Patriarchy by reinforcing its belief that the only women who matter are those who conform to the Patriarchal Fuckability Test.
As many a wise feminist has said: if the penis is keen, it probably demeans. And, that's the problem with Femen. Men aren't listening to the message. They are wanking to the image.
 I suppose if it represents any consolation, these Canadian Femen protesters

have a bit of cellulite, and many men may consider them to be less fuckable than their Ukrainian counterparts.  Miss Pennington's chief complaint seems to be that the Ukrainian ladies are just too "fuckable."  Which is the same problem that Feminist have with the Victoria's Secret pageants (see my prior post on this topic), which they denounced as "pornographic", as "contributing to the pornographication of culture", as containing "sexualized female bodies", and as replete with "sexual objectification" and "sexual subjectification."  Plus, the models were much too skinny and sexy, as are the ladies of Femen (at least in Europe).  And, sure, Femen is reinforcing patriarchal norms and giving us cause to wank.  Why not?

Now, accusing Femen of "doing exactly what Western Neo-Liberal men do": a Feminist stating that other women are "acting like men" is probably the lowest blow in the Feminist arsenal.  Oh, dems fightin' words, all right!  Plus, the ladies of Femen have an "incredible lack of self-awareness" and "reinforce patriarchal norms."  On top of that, they aren't real Feminist protesters, but are merely objects for men to wank over.  And, she states that "thin white women in their underwear" aren't "very interesting."  How is Miss Pennington proposing to top that?

Oh, when one Feminist goes after other Feminists, the cat fight can be quite entertaining.

From Chitra Nagarajan, Femen's obsession with nudity feeds a racist colonial feminism
...Using your naked body can be a legitimate form of a protest of last resort...However, the way it has been used by Femen feeds into and reinforces a racist and orientalist discourse about the women and men of north Africa and the Middle East. With statements such as "as a society, we haven't been able to eradicate our Arab mentality towards women", Femen positions women of the region as veiled and oppressed by their men as opposed to the enlightened and liberated women of the west who live in a developed and superior society where they have the "freedom" to remove their clothes....
...Femen's actions also come at a time of intensifying international backlash against women's rights that is increasingly being framed, perpetuated and accepted by male elites as rooted in "the west" and imposed on other countries in a form of cultural imperialism. Unfortunately, statements from white French women saying things like "better naked than the burqa" feed this narrative and are more likely to damage rather than support the struggles of the women they call their sisters....
...There is a long and problematic history of colonial feminism and the "good intentions" of outsiders using racialised notions to "save women over there". This actively causes harm....
...As I have argued elsewhere, a more holistic and nuanced approach would consider how patriarchy combines with racism, neo-colonialism and global capitalism to create a fundamentally unjust world....
...Femen has continued to be unapologetic about its tactics and language and refused to address its blatant racism...International feminist solidarity is crucial but this is not the way to do it. A true ally does not use racism to attempt to defeat patriarchy.
So, Femen is an unapologetic, unenlightened, blatantly racist, neo-colonial and orientalist organization.  As such, Femen is no ally in the struggle to defeat patriarchy.  At least Miss Nagarajan doesn't go so far as to accuse them of being overly fuckable.

According to Claire Suddath, "Femen is a genuinely radical organization, and almost anyone can find something to object to in its work."  Not I: I think they're fine.

One small detail, that was revealed in the new documentary film Ukraine is Not a Brothel, and that might just rile up the Feminists:

it turns out that Femen was founded by a man: Victor Svyatski (ouch?).

From Geoffrey MacNab at the Guardian:
...“Our mission is protest, our weapons are bare breasts,” runs their slogan. Now, a new documentary screening at the Venice Film Festival has revealed that Femen was founded and is controlled by a man.
Ukraine is not a Brothel, directed by 28-year-old Australian film-maker Kitty Green, has “outed” Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the group. Mr Syvatski is known as a “consultant” to the movement....

However, Ms Green reveals that Svyatski is not simply a supporter of Femen but its founder and éminence grise. “It’s his movement and he hand-picked the girls. He hand-picked the prettiest girls because the prettiest girls sell more papers. The prettiest girls get on the front page... that became their image, that became the way they sold the brand,” she says....
 ...Until now, the full extent of Mr Svyatski’s influence over Femen has not been realised.....
 ...In the documentary, Ms Green pays tribute to Mr Svyatski’s organisational abilities and charisma but questions his influence over the group....“He can be really horrible but he is fiercely intelligent,” she said of Mr Svyatski...Only gradually did she become aware that Mr Svyatski was pulling the strings behind the scenes. “Once I was in the inner circle, you can’t not know him. He is Femen.”
 Initially, Mr Svyatski refused to allow Ms Green to film him but she was determined that he should feature. “It was a big moral thing for me because I realised how this organisation was run. He was quite horrible with the girls. He would scream at them and call them bitches.”
 When the Femen founder finally spoke to Ms Green, he sought to justify his role within the organisation and acknowledged the paradox of being a “patriarch” running a feminist protest group. “These girls are weak,” he says in the film. “They don’t have the strength of character. They don’t even have the desire to be strong. Instead, they show submissiveness, spinelessness, lack of punctuality, and many other factors which prevent them from becoming political activists. These are qualities which it was essential to teach them.”
 Mr Svyatski insists to Ms Green that his influence on the group is positive. However, when he is asked directly whether he started Femen “to get girls”, he replies: “Perhaps yes, somewhere in my deep subconscious.”
 One of the Femen campaigners talks of the relationship between the women and the movement’s founder as being akin to “Stockholm syndrome”, in which hostages feel sympathy for their captors. “We are psychologically dependent on him and even if we know and understand that we could do this by ourselves without his help, it’s psychological dependence,” she says.
 So, yeah, Western Feminists do have a point: the Femen chicks are highly fuckable, and Femen is a part of the Patriarchy.  Who could have suspected?  Actually, the Canadian branch looks like it could use some of Mr. Svyatski's discernment and expertise.

 Well, let's conclude with a performance by the Ukrainian pop trio Via Gra,

 and some Paul McCartney, live in Kiev.

And, of course, some Max Boublil

and Rodney Carrington


Friday, April 25, 2014

Ephebophilia in Popular Culture

As discussed in my previous post, heterosexual men of all ages generally find the nubile female body to be the most sexually appealing.  Many post-nubile women who return to the mating market  attempt to do their best to put on a the most convincing pseudo-nubile appearance that they can, in order to compete for cocks against younger ladies who still possess natural nubility.  Notable male Feminist Hugo Schwyzer, who made a name for himself by openly condemning older men for lusting after nubile hot young blossoms, turned out also to be the world's most notable hypocrite on this issue.  Still, I'm sure that most Feminists will agree with his assertions, even if he participated in acts for which he typically reviled other men of his age.  A heterosexual man who claims that he doesn't lust after nubile women is most likely a liar.

 Ephebophilia refers to adult sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19.  Women do remain nubile for a few years beyond that, but in this post I am focusing on ephebophilia in popular culture.

Ronnie McDowell had one song that remains popular with the older ladies.

Here is a portion of his lyrics:

Everybody seems to love those younger women
From eighteen on up to twenty-five
Well I love 'em too, but I'm tellin' you
Learnin' how to really love, takes a little time.
Older women, are beautiful lovers
Older women, they understand
I've been around some, and I have discovered
That older women know just how to please a man.

He admits that men of all ages love women from 18-25, but, for him, he prefers the older women's experience at pleasing men.

Which sounds similar to Benjamin Franklin's Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress

My Dear Friend,
I know of no Medicine fit to diminish the violent natural Inclinations you mention; and if I did, I think I should not communicate it to you. Marriage is the proper Remedy. It is the most natural State of Man, and therefore the State in which you are most likely to find solid Happiness. Your Reasons against entering into it at present, appear to me not well-founded. The circumstantial Advantages you have in View by postponing it, are not only uncertain, but they are small in comparison with that of the Thing itself, the being married and settled. It is the Man and Woman united that make the compleat human Being. Separate, she wants his Force of Body and Strength of Reason; he, her Softness, Sensibility and acute Discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the World. A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in that State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a Pair of Scissars. If you get a prudent healthy Wife, your Industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune sufficient.
But if you will not take this Counsel, and persist in thinking a Commerce with the Sex inevitable, then I repeat my former Advice, that in all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these:
1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor'd with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable.
2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc'd may be attended with much Inconvenience.
4. Because thro' more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin'd to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.
5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.
7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.
8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!
Thus much for my Paradox. But still I advise you to marry directly; being sincerely Your affectionate Friend.
All of which seems very reasonable.  Still, if you want a breeder, then get yourself a nubile wife.  Otherwise, make some old bird happy.

 In many jurisdictions in the United States, girls become freshly available for legal consensual coitus and for marriage at the age of 16 (as do boys).  Just don't take any pictures, or you'll be spending a huge chunk of your life in our overcrowded prisons.  You have been warned.

Here is one of Neil Sedaka's little ditties, Happy Birthday Sweet 16, that is loaded with sexual symbolism and innuendo.

Note the suggestive formation of the dancers, and the singer's penetration of the formation when he says "Let's do it now" at 1:52. Oh, this choreographer knew exactly what he was up to.

Sixteen-year-old girls do appear to be a special interest for pervy-looking pop singers in long beards,

as well as for clean-cut guys in suits,

perhaps because, as 16-year-old girls are freshly available for legal consensual coitus, deflowering one may be something of a dream in the collective male unconscious.  Ringo Starr also liked 16-year-old girls.

The Beatles seemed to appreciate 17-year-old girls,

as did the legendary Georges Moustaki.

The Limeliters had a clever song (Have some Madeira M'Dear) concerning a vile old man's seduction of a pure, sweet 17-year-old.

The musical South Pacific featured a romance between a soldier and a girl who was "younger than spring time" and "softer than star light."

When France Gall sang this song by Serge Gainsbourg, she was too young-in-mind to understand the double-entendres, which contributed a certain charm to her performance.

Here are Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg, with a tribute to a much more forbidden form of love between the old and young.

For the ephebophiles, it is certainly no accident that a lot of the manufactured talent in the music industry does consist of teenaged girls.  Here is the very popular pop star Alizée, who gave us some very refreshing imagery,

and who didn't fully comprehend what her song was about until a few years later, when she finally got around to reading Vladimir Nabokov's book.  Little misunderstandings like that might not go over so well in the United States.

Here are Disney creations Zendaya Coleman

and Selena Gomez.

And, modern Western culture isn't the only culture that is or ever was obsessed with youth. 

Song of Solomon 7:
What a magnificent young woman you are!
How beautiful are your feet in sandals.
The curve of your thighs
is like the work of an artist

A bowl is there,
that never runs out of spiced wine.
A sheaf of wheat is there,
surrounded by lilies

Your breasts are like twin deer,
like two gazelles

Your neck is like a tower of ivory.
Your eyes are like the pools in the city of Heshbon,
near the gate of that great city.
Your nose is as lovely as the tower of Lebanon
that stands guard at Damascus.

Your head is held high like Mount Carmel.
Your braided hair shines like the finest satin;
its beauty could hold a king captive.

How pretty you are, how beautiful;
how complete the delights of your love.

You are as graceful as a palm tree,
and your breasts are clusters of dates.

I will climb the palm tree
and pick its fruit.
To me your breasts are like bunches of grapes
your breath like the fragrance of apples,
and your mouth like the finest wine.
The Woman's Brothers:
We have a young sister,
and her breasts are still small
What will we do for her
when a young man comes courting?

If she is a wall,
we will build her a silver tower.
But if she is a gate,
we will protect her with panels of cedar.

The Woman:
I am a wall,
and my breasts are its towers.
My lover knows that with him
I find contentment and peace

The Man:
Solomon has a vineyard
in a place called Baal Hamon.
There are farmers who rent it from him;
each one pays a thousand silver coins.

Solomon is welcome to his thousand coins,
and the farmers to two hundred as their share;
I have a vineyard of my own!

Let me hear your voice from the garden, my love;
my companions are waiting to hear you speak.

The Woman:
Come to me, my lover, like a gazelle,
like a young stag
on the mountains where spices grow.

The Bible contains some ancient evidence of the sexual objectification of nubile lasses. According to Frank Marlowe's Nubility Hypothesis, hominid females evolved protruding breasts because the size and shape of the breasts function as an honest signal of residual reproductive value.  Back in Bible times, it was probably a lot less common for women to use implants, push-up bras, or other means to exaggerate the size and shape of their bosoms.  If a woman had breasts that resembled twin dear, gazelles, or clusters of dates, then she was probably honestly nubile.  Note in the eighth chapter of the Song of Solomon that the girl's breasts were still small, which suggests that she may have been what modern scholars call "jail bait."

When Abraham was a very old man, and after Sarah had died, he married Keturah, who gave him a whole slew of children. (Genesis 25).

And, of course, from 1 Kings 1, there is the story of David and Abishag
King David was now a very old man, and although his servants covered him with blankets, he could not keep warm. So his officials said to him, “Your Majesty, let us find a young woman to stay with you and take care of you. She will lie close to you and keep you warm.”  A search was made all over Israel for a beautiful young woman, and in Shunem they found such a woman named Abishag, and brought her to the king. She was very beautiful, and waited on the king and took care of him, but he did not have intercourse with her.

King David already had several wives and concubines (including Bathsheba), who must all have been quite post-nubile.  Abishag was young, beautiful and nubile, but she still couldn't get his pecker to respond.  What a pity.

Dean Barrett, the Bangkok Poet, describes the modern miracle (which he attributes to the existence of God) that now fortunately permits old men to bang hot young blossoms.

Men who have a great deal of wealth can use the internet to find nubile "sugar babies" with whom to share their wealth.

For guys of more modest means, there are places like the Philippines

or Cambodia.


That documentary from Cambodia is a bit dated.  Since 2011, foreign men who are more than 50 years old have been barred from marrying in Cambodia, supposedly as a means of "combatting human trafficking."  Which seems an odd solution, particularly given that Cambodia is seeking to market itself as a retirement destination.  And, for the guys who can't afford to leave the country (remember the slogan: "No Money, No Honey"), teen porn is reportedly the most popular form of pornography in the United States.  Or, follow the advice of the Great Hypocrite, and get yourself an "age-appropriate" hag.  Taking Mr. Franklin's recommendations literally, and covering her head and torso with a basket, probably wouldn't be very nice.  Scientific evidence demonstrates that a man who has a wife who is a lot younger than he is usually enjoys a longer life.  Men who opt for older wives usually die early.

In conclusion, I'll leave you to contemplate the words of Mr. Sixto Rodriguez.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Feminism versus Nubility

A year ago, Susan Patton gained considerable fame and notoriety for herself, and created a shit-storm in the Femosphere, through a Letter to the Editor published in the Daily Princetonian.

Advice for the Young Women of Princeton: the Daughters I Never Had
Forget about having it all, or not having it all, leaning in or leaning out — here’s what you really need to know that nobody is telling you...

...For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you.
 Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate. Yes, I went there...
 ...Men regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent, less educated. It’s amazing how forgiving men can be about a woman’s lack of erudition, if she is exceptionally pretty. Smart women can’t (shouldn’t) marry men who aren’t at least their intellectual equal. As Princeton women, we have almost priced ourselves out of the market. Simply put, there is a very limited population of men who are as smart or smarter than we are. And I say again — you will never again be surrounded by this concentration of men who are worthy of you.
 Of course, once you graduate, you will meet men who are your intellectual equal — just not that many of them. And, you could choose to marry a man who has other things to recommend him besides a soaring intellect. But ultimately, it will frustrate you to be with a man who just isn’t as smart as you.
 Here is another truth that you know, but nobody is talking about. As freshman women, you have four classes of men to choose from. Every year, you lose the men in the senior class, and you become older than the class of incoming freshman men. So, by the time you are a senior, you basically have only the men in your own class to choose from, and frankly, they now have four classes of women to choose from. Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?
The brouhaha that this piece inspired has since led to numerous television appearances, a book (Marry Smart: Advice for Finding the One), and, for this past Valentine's Day, a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, wherein Miss Patton wrote:

...Despite all of the focus on professional advancement, for most of you the cornerstone of your future happiness will be the man you marry. But chances are that you haven't been investing nearly as much energy in planning for your personal happiness as you are planning for your next promotion at work. What are you waiting for? You're not getting any younger, but the competition for the men you'd be interested in marrying most definitely is.

Think about it: If you spend the first 10 years out of college focused entirely on building your career, when you finally get around to looking for a husband you'll be in your 30s, competing with women in their 20s. That's not a competition in which you're likely to fare well. If you want to have children, your biological clock will be ticking loud enough to ward off any potential suitors. Don't let it get to that point.
You should be spending far more time planning for your husband than for your career—and you should start doing so much sooner than you think. This is especially the case if you are a woman with exceptionally good academic credentials, aiming for corporate stardom....
...Could you marry a man who isn't your intellectual or professional equal? Sure. But the likelihood is that it will be frustrating to be with someone who just can't keep up with you or your friends. When the conversation turns to Jean Cocteau or Henrik Ibsen, the Bayeux Tapestry or Noam Chomsky, you won't find that glazed look that comes over his face at all appealing. And if you start to earn more than he does? Forget about it. Very few men have egos that can endure what they will see as a form of emasculation.
So what's a smart girl to do? Start looking early and stop wasting time dating men who aren't good for you: bad boys, crazy guys and married men...
....When you find a good man, take it slow. Casual sex is irresistible to men, but the smart move is not to give it away. If you offer intimacy without commitment, the incentive to commit is eliminated. The grandmotherly message of yesterday is still true today: Men won't buy the cow if the milk is free.
Can you meet brilliant, marriageable men after college? Yes, but just not that many of them. Once you're living off campus and in the real world, you'll be stunned by how smart the men are not. You'll no doubt meet some eligible guys in your workplace, but it's hazardous to get romantically involved with co-workers....
The Femosphere has certainly been going to town on this outdated, anachronist and archaic advice.  Miss Patton has even been written up for sexual objectification, specifically for having repeated that old "men won't buy the cow" proverb.  I should inject here that just because a piece of advice is outdated or archaic doesn't mean that it is badSome people might find Miss Patton's recommendations useful, and some ladies might consider giving her counsel some consideration.  One specific problem with Miss Patton's advice is that very few college boys are seriously contemplating marriage, while almost all of them are thinking about getting some of that proverbial "free milk."  If one woman (or cow) won't provide it, then he'll probably be looking for another who will.  Which isn't to say that there aren't any women who succeed in keeping their hymens intact until the post-nuptial celebrations.  A lot of Christian and Mormon women do follow this modus operandi.  But, this reality is probably rare at our major universities (except that a lot of the boys are virgins but wish they weren't).  Nancy Reagan's tactic for hooking Ronald was to allow him to impregnate her, and the sucker fell for it.  This particular plan of action didn't work so well for Bristol Palin, nor for a lot of other single mothers.  Very few advice columnists are going to advocate (at least openly) this remarkable strategy.

Miss Patton's advice to "stop wasting time dating men who aren't good for you: bad boys, crazy guys and married men" may seem especially sound to men who aren't bad, crazy or married.  But, as previously discussed, a lot of the ladies find themselves to be much more sexually aroused by the more dominant and aggressive "bad boys" and "crazy guys", whose aggressiveness may eventually make a woman's life uncomfortable.

One very important factor, that has changed dramatically since Miss Patton was a student at Princeton University, is that women are beating the pants off of men, both academically and professionally, which means that hypergamy is becoming less of an option for women.  Indeed, by Miss Patton's reckoning, very few of today's men are at all "worthy" of a Princeton graduate.  Marcia Anne Yablon-Zug points out that the improving educational and financial prospects of American women have caused them to reject relationships with men whom they do not regard as equals, which has created a large pool of unwilling bachelors.  Many women are choosing spinsterhood over marriage to an unworthy man, while a fair number of men are going abroad to find wives in other countries.

An American woman who wishes to breed, and who wishes to do so with a high-status husband, would be well advised to work assiduously at this goal before she gets very far past the age of nubility.  As Robert Herrick so elegantly phrased it in his poem, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry
According to Charlize Theron, "Men grow old, and you guys become like a fine wine. When we grow old, it's more like a flower that's been cut off and we wilt and we die."

Riadh T. Abed developed a rather interesting hypothesis called The Sexual Competition Hypothesis For Eating Disorders.  According to Mr. Abed, eating disorders originate in the human female's psychological adaptation of concern about physical attractiveness (which is a vital component of female mate-attraction and mate-retention strategies), and the present-day environment of Western countries presents a range of conditions which have led to the over-activation or the disruption of the archaic female sexual strategy of maximising mate value.

...The hypothesis on eating disorders presented here is derived from the evolutionary theory of human sexuality. The present hypothesis is based upon the assumption that, besides shaping anatomical systems, selection also designs psychological and behavioural adaptations that are just as important for the organisms' survival and reproductive success.
The present hypothesis is based upon the following assumptions:
  1. In the ancestral environment, the female shape was a generally reliable indicator of the female's reproductive history and hence her future reproductive potential.
  2. The female nubile hour-glass shape is the product of sexual selection and represents the most desirable visual cue for males. In addition to the hour-glass appearance the hallmark of the nubile shape is its relative thinness compared to older females.
  3. For the first time in human history mating behaviour has been decoupled from reproduction. This has been associated with a progressive decline in fertility in industrialised countries. Therefore progressively older females have been able to retain or recreate the nubile shape.
  4. A range of factors within the environment of western developed countries present conditions that heighten female intrasexual competition for high quality long-term mates.

Therefore it is hypothesised that:
  1. The pursuit of (relative) thinness among females in developed countries is a manifestation of the process of female intrasexual competition in an environment that contains a large number of pseudo-nubile females.
  2. Late onset eating disorder (bulimia nervosa) represents a process of "runaway" female intrasexual competition. It is contended that the late onset disorder arises through the reactivation of the "nubile program" beyond the age of nubility as a strategy of increasing mate value.
  3. Early-onset eating disorder (anorexia nervosa) is a developmental disorder that originates in female intrasexual competition whereby the nubile shape is set at an abnormally thin level in response to the novel stimulus of pseudo-nubile females within the young female's environment at a critical stage in her development (in addition to other, presently, unknown factors)....
...Human not need to expend much time or energy competing for sexual access to males due to the trivial cost a single copulation represents to any given male. However, females do compete actively and vigorously with other females for male commitment (i.e. for long-term mateships) which, by its nature, is in limited supply. Therefore, selection has favoured female strategies designed to test and elicit long term commitment, reliability and parenting skills in men in addition to a sensitivity to characteristics related to high socio-economic status...
...Human males and females have distinctive body shapes. The adult male is typically 8% taller and 20% heavier than a similarly aged female and the sexes show different patterns of fat distribution....
The human female develops a distinctive fat distribution following puberty that results in the hour-glass or so called wasp-waist shape typical of nubile women...
...during the Pleistocene most women of reproductive age were either pregnant or lactating and therefore temporarily avoid rearing another man's offspring men must have developed an aversion to even a slight thickening of the waist.  Such aversion would be expected to be directed towards novel females (i.e. a female who is not already the male's consort) and should be particularly relevant to the male's choice of a long term mate....
...the nubile female hour-glass shape was designed by sexual selection through the differential reproductive success of females who possessed this trait compared to those who did not...
...what we now call eating disorders are a manifestation of  "runaway" female intrasexual competition....
Reproductive potential (RP) in females is primarily a function of age and RP falls progressively with advancing years down to zero at menopause. A female's maximum RP occurs 3-4 years following puberty and this coincides with the time the nubile female body takes its full shape. Thus the newly nubile female will have a higher RP than at any other time during her lifetime and it would follow that males would be selected to be particularly attracted to females who display the nubile shape...across cultures the female shape found to be most sexually attractive is that of the nubile female...
...the hallmark of the nubile female figure in the ancestral environment was its relative "thinness" compared to that of older women who would have undergone a range of changes in their bodily appearance which include stretched abdominal muscles and skin and an accumulation of fatty tissue as a result of the inevitable cycles of child-bearing, childbirth and the ancestral environment, the female's shape provided a generally accurate indicator of her reproductive history... the ancestral environment the short-lived nubile relatively slender hour-glass shape was the most reliable visual cue for maximum female reproductive potential (i.e. the maximum possible number of future years of active reproductive life).
Hence the visual cue representing this relatively slender nubile shape became a significant and highly effective part of the human female's strategy for physical attractiveness. Males who developed a "taste" for the visual cue of the nubile female in the ancestral environment (i.e. sought nubile females as long term mates) would have had a reproductive edge through the acquisition of breeding rights for the longest possible period of a given female's reproductive life.

Furthermore, sexual selection would favour females who possessed not only the nubile shape but were also endowed with a psychological adaptation that signals anxiety or alarm if such phenotypic cues are disturbed or threatened e.g. through premature obesity. Such premature obesity would have had the potential of reducing the female's mate value through a greater resemblance in shape to that of older (i.e. lower RP) is suggested that an adaptation involving a behavioural strategy that aims at the preservation or the restoration of the nubile shape (the drive towards thinness) would have given females who possessed it (who were attempting to attract long term mates) a reproductive edge in the ancestral environment...
...As the nubile shape was relatively short-lived due to the effects of child-bearing, the nubile female would have had only to pay a moderate amount of attention to her figure to differentiate herself from the surrounding older women. The adaptation of the "concern for signs of nubility" may therefore, be more accurately described as the drive towards relative thinness i.e. relative to the other females in the immediate vicinity. This strategy of "concern about signs of nubility" is a form of female intrasexual competition designed by selection to secure the best possible long-term mate through the signalling of high RP. Intrasexual competition may be in the form of mate attraction or mate retention.
Therefore, eating disorders may be described as a state of "runaway" female intrasexual competition whereby the originally adaptive strategy spirals out of control in response to a range of environmental factors to the extent of becoming self-destructive...
The novel environment of the modern city in the advanced industrialised countries has produced a set of social and cultural changes that have affected the sexual strategies adopted both by males and females.
The cultural shift in European societies towards a preference for a thinner, slimmer female body form has been noted by a number of authors but there is no agreement as to why this has occurred. The question is: is this a peculiarly Western phenomenon or is it a common potential trend in any society once a range of identifiable environmental conditions prevail? Any hypothesis advanced to explain this phenomenon will need to account for the following: why thinness? why females? and why now?
One major factor in the chain of causation of this phenomenon is the declining fertility in Western societies. Fertility has been in a state of decline in some European countries since the 18th century. By the beginning of the twentieth century the trend was evident in most major Western countries.
Low fertility appears to have started among high ranking females and gradually spread to females in the middle classes. The trend became particularly clear with the advent of reliable contraception.
Around the same time a number of other major social changes took place within Western societies. These include the increasing status and rising economic and political power of women, a progressive weakening of traditional kinship bonds and the rise of the ideals of individual autonomy and self-reliance.
The decreased fertility was achieved by women through delayed reproduction and greater spacing of births. This has led to the preservation of the nubile shape in increasing numbers of post-nubile females who have been able to preserve or recreate the nubile shape beyond the age of nubility.
The rise of the phenomenon of the pseudo-nubile female is an ecological novelty that has become widely prevalent with the advent of contraception.... modern industrialised societies, perhaps for the first time in human history mating behaviour has become disconnected from reproduction. Furthermore, the human female has reached a position whereby she is able to regulate her own short and long term mating strategies with minimal legal or social impediments (i.e. minimal control by male kin).
It is of interest that much female intrasexual competition for high quality mates in pre-industrial societies was taken over by the female's kin...such practices as dowries, female claustration, daughter guarding and even female foot-binding were processes that could only be undertaken by the female's kin group and some would have required a collective effort. This kin group effort has been shown in studies to enhance the female's mate value and improve the quality of mate she eventually attains. Such participation in the competitive mating game by the kinship group on behalf of the mating pair has significantly diminished in modern society mainly as a result of the breakdown of extended kinship ties and the rise of the culture of individualism.
...while females (and males) in modern industrial societies can exercise freer choice in mating decisions, they are also having to compete for long term mates largely through their own individual effort. Thus the burden of competition in the mating game within modern societies, unlike the majority of pre-industrial societies, has had to be increasingly shouldered by the principals with little or no help from their kin.

Hence, the decoupling of mating activity and reproduction, the increased economic and social status of females in Western societies and the breakdown in extended kinship bonds has greatly increased the opportunity for both sexes to adopt short-term mating strategies. One consequence of this may have been a decline in confidence in paternity and a probable reduction in the availability of male parental investment....
...The loosening of marital ties in modern societies may have been accentuated as a result of greater numbers of higher ranking men engaging in serial monogamy; a strategy that tends to enhance male fitness as more men than women tend to marry again and they are more likely to sire children from a second wife than a woman is from a second husband.
One important effect of the decreased stability of long-term mateships in Western societies, is that significant numbers of males and females have to return repeatedly back into the "mate market" and therefore need to retain or to redevelop the traits and characteristics that increase their mate value to maximise their mate attracting potential.
Hence the females who return to the mate market in the modern environment (unlike in the ancestral environment) will have to compete in an environment that contains large numbers of pseudo-nubile females. However, while youth and good health are female attributes that greatly affect female mate value, the lengths females have to go to in pursuit of the outward signs of these attributes must depend on whom they are competing with. Thus, in an environment where there are large numbers of pseudo-nubile females, female intrasexual competition will involve the display of the ultimate sign of youth i.e. nubility itself. And as nubility carries the highest possible RP for a female, this represents the ultimate weapon in the process of female intrasexual competition.
Furthermore, the competition for long-term mates has to be undertaken largely through the female's own efforts.
A further factor that is likely to increase female intrasexual competition is that of socially imposed monogamy associated with social stratification which characterises all Western societies. Polygyny tends to reduce female intrasexual competition in stratified societies through having "more room at the top."
In addition urban living, unlike the ancestral environment, entails living in close proximity to genetic strangers. While the ancestral environment consisted mainly of extended kin where the intrasexual competition would have been tempered by affiliative and even altruistic behaviour, this is not likely to be the case in present day urban environment...
...the process of female intrasexual competition (mate attraction and mate retention) in such ecological conditions lies at the root of the phenomenon of the drive towards thinness evident in females in Western societies. The ever increasing intensity of the female intrasexual competition would explain the fact that the standard of the desirable female shape has become progressively thinner in recent decades.
Female intrasexual competition may also explain the finding in an American sample, of a relationship between thinness of females of similar educational status (measured through the thickness of subcutaneous fat) and being married to men of high socio-economic status. This suggests that the females who pursued this strategy have had greater success in mate attraction/retention...
...the extreme variant of this process is the "runaway" female intrasexual competition that manifests itself in the form of eating disorders. In other words, the fact that large numbers of post-nubile females in the mate market are displaying the nubile shape (the ultimate sign of youth) increases the risk that certain females will go "one better" thus entering a maladaptive and self-destructive state of "super-nobility" we call eating disorders.
...To summarize...declining fertility in Western societies has led to the preservation of the relatively slender nubile shape among increasing numbers of post-nubile women leading to the rise of the novel phenomenon of the pseudo-nubile female. This process has been associated with a process of increasing status and power of females in these societies, an increase in short term mating strategies as well as a loosening of marital ties and disruption of extended kinship bonds. The above factors have led to increased female intrasexual competition for desirable long-term mates which has resulted in the drive towards thinness. The extreme variant of this is what we call eating disorders.
  • Physical attractiveness is a major component in the human female's mate attraction strategy.
  • Concern and anxiety about physical attractiveness is a female psychological adaptation that has evolved through selection and is an important component of female intrasexual competiton for long-term mates.
  • Genetic and/or phenotypic variation exists within the female population for the psychological trait of "concern about the signs of nobility."
  • Reduced fertility within Western societies has resulted in the retention or the recreation of the nubile shape by an increasing proportion of women beyond the age of nubility thus giving rise to the novel phenomenon of the pseudo-nubile female characterised by the hour-glass shape and its relative thinness. In addition, there have been a range of ecological factors that have tended to intensify female intrasexual competition for long-term mates and has resulted in the progressive tendency towards thinness.
  • The extreme variant of this state is the outcome of runaway female intrasexual competition and is what we call eating disorders.
  • A distinction exists between early and late onset disorder. The early onset disorder (anorexia) is considered a developmental disorder whereby the female nubile shape is set at too thin a level in response to the novel stimulus of the pseudo-nubile female. The late onset disorder (mainly bulimia) arises from the activation of the nubile strategy beyond the age of nubility.
Mr. Abed wrote the above epic piece in 1995, and obviously did not foresee our growing obesity epidemic.  The overwhelming majority of our women are fat.  For a woman of normal weight (or what used to be normal weight), there is very little competition any more.  She would no longer have a whole lot of need to doll herself up to excess.  Hospitalizations for eating disorders are down, while hospitalizations for obesity-related problems are up.  There are women like Cameron Diaz who, at the age of 41, can still pull off a remarkable pseudo-nubile look, through careful diet and exercise (plus a considerable amount of makeup).

Another problem with Mr. Abed's theory is that, while we may never know what really constituted Pleistocene preferences in women, a lot of the art work that our Paleolithic ancestors left behind suggests a partiality for women with bigger bellies over the thin, nubile body type.

Obesity is particularly rampant in the South Pacific.

In Tonga, to call a girl fo'i gnako, which literally means a "round piece of fat", is a compliment and a way of flirting.  The guys there like fat chicks.  Take an American woman who is so fat that she couldn't get a date to save her life anywhere in America, send her to Tonga, and she could easily end up married to a big, strong member of the national rugby team.  According to Chris Rock,

Black American men possess a fondness for fat women.  Peter Paul Rubens also liked the fatties.

Different men do like different things in women, including different shapes.  However, it is fairly well known that, at least among White Americans, a strong predilection exists for young, nubile women (a.k.a. hot young blossoms) with slender waists.  As increasing numbers of post-nubile and older women are seeking to persist in or to return to the mating market, a lot of them are finding that they are failing to achieve a pseudo-nubile appearance sufficient to entice the romantic or carnal interest of men whom they regard as possessing adequate status.

According to Frank Marlowe's Nubility Hypothesis, hominid females evolved protruding breasts because the size and shape of breasts function as an honest signal of residual reproductive value.  Well, we all know how our non-nubile and post-nubile ladies get around this "honest signal", don't we?  Push-up bras and silicone implants.  Rather dishonest advertising, but if it works, it works. 

Mr. Hugo Schwyzer built something of a career around telling men that they shouldn't pursue relationships with younger women.  For example, in his article Guy Talk: Is It Natural For Older Guys To Lust After Young Women?, he wrote that men were simply using science as an "excuse" for "culturally-conditioned" activity of the "predatory old guys: who want to stare "at 'young firm flesh' because that flesh belongs to a woman near the peak of her fertility."  From his piece in The Atlantic:
What If Men Stopped Chasing Much-Younger Women?
It would benefit everyone, of all ages and genders.
If there's one tangible thing that men can do to help end sexism—and create a healthier culture in which young people come of age—it's to stop chasing after women young enough to be their biological daughters. As hyperbolic as it may sound, there are few more powerful actions that men can take to transform the culture than to date, mate, and stay with their approximate chronological peers. If aging guys would commit to doing this, everyone would benefit: older men and younger men, older women and younger women....

 ... Older men chasing young women is a tale as old as time. According to that tale, heterosexual men who have the sexual or financial cachet to do so almost invariably leave the partners who aren't young enough to be their daughters for the women who are. In the popular imagination, men do this because they can—and because they're presumably answering the call of evolutionary and biological imperatives that push them irresistibly towards younger women....
 ...What seems harmless and natural, however, is neither. A culture in which older men value younger women more than their own female peers does damage to everyone.
 I'm not talking about the harm inflicted by pedophiles on pre-teen girls...I'm not talking about the vile street harassment of adolescents by older men...This is about the way in which young women come of age surrounded by reminders that they are at their most desirable when they are still at their most uncertain and insecure. Some young women are attracted to older men (for a host of possible reasons), but even these find too many men who are, in the end, deeply unsafe.
 It's not just women who lose out as a consequence of this fixation on the older man, younger woman ideal. Ask women in their teens and 20s who are in relationships with older men about guys their own age, and you'll invariably hear laments about young men's immaturity. That callowness is often oversold by too many aging Lotharios wanting to emphasize the difference between their own supposed expertise and young men's clumsiness. The reality is that just as many young women "grow up too quickly" as a result of older men's attention, many young men grow up too slowly because of a lack of it. If men over 40 spent half as much time mentoring guys under 30 as they do chasing women in that age bracket, more young men might prove excellent partners to their female peers.
 Many people who concede that older men's obsession with younger women is disillusioning and destabilizing insist that the sexual choices of men like Johnny Depp are driven by natural imperatives. That's not quite what the science shows...
...So if older men aren't pursuing much younger women because of evolutionary hardwiring, why do they? It's hard not to conclude that much of the appeal is about the hope of finding someone less demanding. A man in his 40s who wants to date women in their 20s is making the same calculation as the man who pursues a "mail-order bride" from a country with less egalitarian values. It's about the mistaken assumption that younger women will be more malleable. Men who chase younger women aren't eroticizing firmer flesh as much as they are a pre-feminist fantasy of a partner who is endlessly starry-eyed and appreciative. The dead giveaway comes when you ask middle-aged men why they prefer to date younger; almost invariably, you'll hear complaints that their female peers are too entitled, too embittered, too feminist.
 One of the basic rules of tennis applies here: If you want to improve your skills, you need to play someone who is (at a minimum) at your own level. As sophisticated as a 20-something may be, she will be more so—with a more exquisite bullshit detector—in her 40s. When older men date much younger women, they cheat themselves out of an opportunity to be matched with a partner with the maturity to see them as they really are. Depression, the research shows, peaks for men in their mid-to-late 40s. In the face of statistics like those, middle-aged men can't afford to choose partners who lack the life experience to provide the right kind of challenge.

 If the older man/younger woman dynamic is less "natural" and more destructive than we imagined, how then to respond to couples that make that dynamic work? When I've written about this subject in the past, I'm invariably challenged by young women with boyfriends their fathers' age, demanding that I stop judging their love. I always reply that it's possible to wish individuals well while still critiquing the context in which those individuals made their choices. It's like attending the wedding of a couple that gets together as the result of an affair: One can wish them every happiness without endorsing what led them there.
 I'm not proposing that we shame every age-disparate couple. I am proposing that we challenge heterosexual middle-aged men to direct their sexual and romantic energies to their female peers. Everyone—older men, younger men, older women, younger women—will reap the paradigm-shifting benefits.
And, guess what?

It turns out that, while Mr. Schwyzer was in the business of condemning age-disparate relationships, and shaming old men for chasing nubile hot young blossoms, this old coot was banging his nubile college students and "sexting" nubile young pornographic actresses.  He found himself in a position where he could blame neither biology nor his patriarchal upbringing for his behavior.  All that was left for Mr. Schwyzer to cite in his defense was "mental health" issues.  Which reminds me of a little French ditty:

the moral of which is that "men are pigs", and the moral of the moral being that "women love pigs."

As the Engineer says in Miss Saigon:

"Each day these little buns of yours are worth less and less.  Rake in the dollars now before the market falls too far."  Susan Patton offers the same advice in so many words.  And, she is absolutely right.