Monday, May 02, 2005

Glen's Golden Treasury of Women (Part One)

By Gloria Steinem

I highly recommend this erudite study as an important advance in chauvinist pig-think, which belongs on the shelf beside the Ayatollah Khomeini's Introduction to Feminine Hygiene. As we undertake a new century of human evolution, we are still struggling to communicate across the great gulf that is fixed between our socially-defined gender environments. I applaud all efforts - however demented - to bridge this gap.

For, as I have often said: A man without a woman is like a Jeep Cherokee without the optional passenger-side airbag.

Actually, that's not quite what I said. What the f--k did I say? A man without a woman ... something about a fish. Screw it, you know what I mean.

Glen's Golden Treasury of Women

Chapter One - The Difference Between Men and Women

The difference between men and women is that women have opinions. This is the key distinction, apart from our accidental biological natures.

The immediate objection will be that men have opinions, too. Technically, of course, this is correct. But this is like saying that men also have breasts. Technically correct, but who the hell cares?

The average man has two "breasts" and about six "opinions": 1) Fords or Chevys, 2) his favorite sport, 3-6) about four other things peculiar to his individual culture and background. It's true that some men have thousands of "opinions" and are even "opinionated" in some sense. But the average guy has about six, of which at least four are perfectly expendable.

Women, on the other hand, have opinions about EVERYTHING. Women have opinions about which way the paper towel roll goes into the paper towel dispenser, and about what color paper clips should be.

This is the key to understanding women. When a woman states an opinion, she does so in dead earnest. The opinions of women are not to be trifled with. The worst mistake a man can make is to assume that women are not serious, and to get into disputes with them just for the hell of it. To men, such disputes are fun, but women interpret them as attacks. So don't do it. What the hell do you care which end of the paper towel roll goes into the dispenser? And if she does care, how does that hurt you?

Men's "opinions" are mostly things that they toss out into the world to assert themselves in some fashion. They are used to show how smart you are, and to let everybody know what kind of crap you won't put up with. Opinions are tools, and occasionally, expendable rounds of ammunition.

For a woman, though, opinions are a vital psychic survival technique. Opinions are used to define and organize their environment, in minute detail. They are the mental and emotional equivalent of the neatly organized physical environment that women desire. Taking cheap potshots at female opinion is like smashing a china hutch for no good reason at all. Leave the damn hutch alone. You don't understand or respect the hutch, so you have no business messing with it.

Women tend to be moderate in their opinions, yet firm --- they make good zealots, but unimpressive radicals. Radical opinion is intended to disrupt, and so it achieves the opposite effect from what women desire. Women don't like chaos; they want things safe, sanitary, and organized, then covered over with six inches of armor plate. Radicalism is strictly a male behavior pattern, like vandalism.

To buttress this philosophically: Men tend to see themselves as autonomous forces, which act upon the world around them. Women tend to see themselves as objects, upon which external forces act. Thus the ordering of the female environment (mental and physical) into a well-defined defensive zone is vitally important. Men, on the other hand, do not see their environment as something that protects them, but as a collection of mostly dispensable stuff that they can tinker around with, break, and fix. Their mental lives are perfectly analogous.

In biological terms: Women nest. Men go out and hunt, mess around with things, and occasionally get themselves killed to make the Natural Selection thing-a-mabob work. Again, their respective mental lives are perfectly analogous, which is why women cherish their opinions and men don't.*

Respecting women's opinions is therefore key to understanding and getting along with women. How do women understand and get along with men? Who cares? That's their problem.

* Human societies are often, if not always, feminine or masculine, with analogous social behavior. This is one of those gut things that primitive peoples really DO understand better than we do. The Sioux regarded themselves as a very manly bunch, being hunters and nomads. They looked on fixed agricultural tribes like the Arikara and Mandans as a bunch of sissy women, ripe for the picking. Thus the great fun they had, chasing off the enemy "warriors" and trashing their silly cornfields. This belief was a savage belief, but absolutely goddamned right all the same. A Lakota girl I once knew summed it up this way: "Men fight and steal horses, women run off into the brush."

Chapter Two - What Women Want

Everything they can get, neatly organized and covered over with six inches of armor plate. To be loved, and appreciated. PLUS a couple of other things ---- and that's where it gets complicated.

Because the other stuff they want is intangible, inexpressible in words, and maybe non-existent. Never mind that ... they want it all the same. They seem to think men have it. We're hiding it, or we lost it somewhere, or we're sitting on it and we're too lazy to get up and look for it.

So what is it? Is it an action that you can perform? Is it an object that you can run out and get? What does it look like? WHAT IS IT, HONEY? The male imagination immediately turns to deeds of prowess, or quests of acquisition. She wants you to do something that she can't do for herself. She wants you to get something for her --- some Grail-like THING no doubt perfectly worthless to you, but highly valuable to her. But this is a futile attempt to understand it from your point of view, not hers.

Men already know most of what women want. Women want things, and a place to keep the things. They want you to either get things for them, or help them to get things for themselves, or at the very least not screw up the whole thing-acquisition process. That's easy. That's Basic Remedial Intro to Women for Dummies 101.

The Intermediate Lesson is not much harder to understand. Women see themselves as objects, in a world filled with other objects. (Feminists complain about men "reducing women to objects". This is another example of Feminists blaming men for deliberately doing something that we didn't do at all, even by mistake. It also goes to show that Feminists don't have Clue Number One about women, even if they happen to BE women. Any fool can master Marxism and Deconstructionism and other such tripe: figuring out women is considerably more challenging, and apparently BEING a woman doesn't make it much easier). As objects, women expect certain kinds of care and maintenance from men. First of all, they need to be loved.

Secondly, they need to be appreciated precisely AS OBJECTS. Depending on their stage of life, this means either A) sexual appreciation or B) respect.

A) is no problem: you learned it in the third grade. All you need to do is focus it, and not scatter it all over the landscape. B) is harder to define --- it is not "respect" in the ordinary sense of the word, but a kind of aesthetic appreciation, an appreciation of an object, only in a different sense than as an object of sexual desire. If you know mythology and understand the difference between Aphrodite and Hera, you've almost got it nailed. Definitional problems aside, it's something any civilized man learns to do.

Every woman, at some latter stage of life, must make the transition from expectation A) to expectation B). The corresponding male experience (loss of physical attractiveness) so pales by comparison as to be insignificant. Men think of themselves as forces, not as objects, so what bothers them about aging is not the impact on their looks but on their ability to do things.

But all of this is basic; all of this is stuff you already know. If you're not providing 1) the stuff, 2) the love, and 3) the appropriate aesthetic appreciation, you already know how you're screwing up, even if you can't admit it. But what if you're dishing all of this out in spades, and she's still glaring at you while you're trying to eat breakfast?

What else does she want?

Of course you don't know. If you knew, you'd be a woman yourself. The best you can do is take a crack at piecing together a workable theory.

Chapter Three - What Women Really Want: Some Theories


There's something you have to get out of the way right off the bat.

You can't afford to get continually bogged down by this: Why do women have to want so much? And the sub-question: Why can't women EXPLAIN what they want?

Recognize first of all that these are useless questions, like "Why do badgers have to dig those goddamned holes?" or "Why do objects thrown from moving vehicles have to travel in parabolas?" Recognize secondly that these are not questions at all, but self-pitying rhetorical bitches. What you're really trying to say is that she seems to demand everything while you ask for hardly anything, and that's not fair. "That's not fair" is the deadliest phrase ever uttered --- it's the fundamental predicate of Nazism, Communism, Feminism, High School shooting-sprees, and all manner of criminality.


There really isn't a mysterious "other thing" that women want. They just want the basics, described in the preceding chapter. You're not giving it to them, even if they insist that you are.

Get it straight: if male-female relationships had anything to do with Contract Law, all your lawyer friends wouldn't be divorced. Just because she says she's happy with your material, emotional, and sexual output doesn't make it so. Don't think that you can seize on some verbal declaration of "everything's okay" (even in front of witnesses) and appeal to it later.

Little known fact: women don't always tell the truth. Some women even regard the whole idea of objective truth as an oppressive phallocentric construct of the Gigantic Penis Conspiracy. Besides, lots of honest people (men and women both) who would never lie to strangers will gladly lie to the people they're close to. And because people lie to their loved ones, the person they're most likely to lie to is themselves.

This theory requires you to face some hard facts about human nature. We can't help wanting things, and we can't we can't help being selfish. It wouldn't be nice if she was unhappy with you because you were not successful enough, but ... Likewise: it wouldn't be nice of her to reject you because you weren't a good enough lover, but ...

Of course, if you're running around with other women and otherwise doing as you please, then you have no business trying to figure women because you obviously don't give a damn. Don't ever overlook the possibility that you're just a worthless jerk and she's too polite to say so.


Women are a permanently disgruntled breed. They like being pissed off. Even if you could give a woman everything she could ever want, she would out-invent Edison and De Vinci in figuring out new things to be deprived of BY YOU.


Face it, in the Grand Scheme of Things you serve two basic functions: impregnating women and protecting women. That's it. If a woman already has children and protection, or doesn't need either of those things at the moment, then what the hell are YOU good for? Nothing plus dick, that's what.

Religion, ethics, and the conventions of civility try to repress such animal calculation, but at some subconscious level we all understand it. Modern society has supplanted you as the primary protector of women, so once you have reproduced your sorry self you've pretty much outlived your usefulness. Don't let the door hit you in the ass.

You might be retained for purely recreational purposes, though, if you're of a suitably recreational quality. Think of this as the "George Clooney Rule", then go pack your crap and get out.


God figured it out this way, so just shut up and soldier, soldier.

Think of it this way: maybe the primary motivation behind the advancement of the human race is the need to appease women who are pissed off about something or other. "Socrates, why don't you go do your dialogue thing? I'm sick of you hanging around the house." "Napoleon, what are your PLANS for today, hmm?"


This is all the work of a fiendish assortment of embittered man-hating divorcees, militant lesbians, and sexually frustrated feminists. Each woman who enters into a happy relationship with a man is immediately assigned a case officer who goes right to work on her. "Nights out with the girls" feature workshops on the evils of monogamy and the bourgeois institution of marriage. Bachelorette parties are staged for group readings of Susan Brownmiller, Shulasmith Firestone, and stuff like "Neo-Colonialism and Your Vagina".

Before you know it she's Stalin with enormous earrings, and you're her Trotsky.

These are just a few samples to get you going. Develop a theory that works for you, in the light of your own experience.