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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Sunday, 23 December 2007
Women and the Times.
Topic: Misc.

A cousin of mine (female) sent me a link to an article in the Times about a month ago. It was about the need for commitment in relationships. She strongly agreed with the sentiment expressed, as did most of the respondents, and asked my opinion. I can't recall what I said at the time, except that I mentioned financial factors behind men's unwillingness to commit to marriage. Looking at the comments again, I see that Liz from Plymouth says it best:

Many men don't want to marry for fear of being stripped of their economic status should it go wrong. Who can blame them?

When I put this to my cousin she wasn't impressed that I'd brought money into the calculation, but I pointed out that a link on the same page she'd sent me argued that mothers mostly need male partners for financial support.

Although I've read the Times on and off for years, I had never really noticed that it has a strand of comment pieces concerning women and their relations with men (written by women of course). Now that I've found it I'm hooked. Today I read someone called India Knight writing about girls who have sex with footballers without asking for payment in return! Apparently a 19-year girl who had sex with some famous footballers is a victim. Can that be right? If the 19-year old David Young had slept with his favorite Hollywood actresses of the late 1980s, I don't think anyone would have called him a victim. Ho hum.

So if sex with attractive famous people isn't what women really want or should want, what is? Well according to another Times Women's writer, that answer is 'attention'. I have to say that I found this last article to be one of the most insulting pieces about women I've ever read. I don't think the woman who wrote it meant it that way, it's just that if you read it and mentally substitute 'six-year olds' for 'women', it makes just as much sense. Try it yourself - here are examples:

You can also guarantee that any woman [6 year old] – with the possible exception of the hedge-fund huntress – will resent being given what she wants if she has had to ask for it or prompt the giver in any way. This is because what a woman [6 year old] really wants, above all things, is for someone (a man) [(a parent)] to be so focused on her desires, so attentive to her every whim, that he will know what she needs....

... We want attention and we want attentive presents. Indulgent presents. Spoiling, decadent, surplus-to-requirement presents that flatter the most superficial aspects of our nature. Maybe even presents designed to get us more attention, like a little gold jacket, some big gold shoes or one of those cashmere scarves that looks as if it was knitted for a giant in a fairy tale.

Deeply depressing reading. It makes you understand why men who can't play football turn to guys like this for his gems of dating advice, such as why you should never take a woman to dinner until after you've slept with her.

_ DY at 3:53 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 23 December 2007 3:55 PM GMT
Post Comment | View Comments (5) | Permalink

Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 5:58 PM GMT

Name: "anonymous"

A brief item on BBC News 24 mentioned that many males have unrealistic expectations with regards to women because of pornography. 

I guess you'll just have to ditch the mags, the members only websites and the visits to Soho.

Stop trying to second guess women and improve yourself as a man.

Pop an old Mud track on the player. "It'll be lonely this Christmas..."

Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 6:20 PM GMT

Name: overlay_uk3
Home Page:

Your mind works in a strange way, Mr Anon. I find The Times articles are depressing because they suggest that women are:

1) In need of committment in the form of marriage even when they think they aren't. They don't know their own minds. [Camilla Cavendish]

2) Only in need of men for financial reasons when it comes to child rearing. [Carol Sarler]

3) To be condemned for seeking and having sex with men they fancy, without some non-sexual reward for doing so. [India Knight]

4) Childish attention-whores. [Shane Watson]

 I fail to see what any of this has to do with porn affecting men's expectations. Unless that is, porn gives men unrealistic expectations that women:

- Know their own mind when it comes to how much committment they want.

- Actually want men in their lives for reasons other than money.

- Should not be condemned for enjoying sex for its own sake.

- Are mature enough not to need the same level of flattery and attention as small children.

I don't know much about the porn business. But if that's the message that it is sending men these days, then it would seem that it is indeed giving them unrealistic expectations.

Friday, 28 December 2007 - 7:20 AM GMT

Name: "Juliette"

Hmmm. There are relationships where both people positively want to share everything they have and talking about who is benefiting financially just seems plain silly. But there are also plenty of 'happy' win-win relationships where there isn't that strength of feeling or commitment and which are more fragile. In the latter then I can see money is one of many issues in the balance.

I do think there is something going on psychologically with the male-female dynamic and women tending to want men to provide and look after them in some way which is almost independent of money but tends to inevitably involve money. Giving a woman the cost of a meal isn't the same as taking her out to dinner even if that's what it cost.

You can also assume with strong likelihood that if a man doesn't pay for dinner, then he's unlikely to be really really interested in you romantically.  Doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't find you attractive or that you can't have a mutually satisfying short-term relationship, but it's a pretty clear signal if one that some women sadly haven't figured out. Likewise if a man's lived with you for several years and hasn't proposed.

Friday, 28 December 2007 - 4:56 PM GMT

Name: "anonymous"

Will you be writing an entry on NL proposing to ban prostitution. It would be of more interest than this piece.



Which is kind of a way of saying, it's not what it once was, your blog thatis and not prostitution 'natch.  





Friday, 28 December 2007 - 7:10 PM GMT

Name: "David Young"

It's typical of New Labour that when faced with a problem it seeks new laws rather than enforcing existing ones. There appears to be a problem with forced prostitution in the UK but rather than fighting the source of the problem (prosecuting those who coerce under existing legislation), it seeks to criminalise the transaction itself, even when totally consenting by both parties.

Harman's attitude is condescending and insulting to both men and women. To the latter she is saying that no woman can handle herself in the trade - she must be in need of counselling and guidance. To men she is saying that it shouldn't be allowed for them to achieve some happiness in exchange for money. It's a nasty thing to do, because few men will stand up for themselves here. It's easy for women like Harman to think that someone who pays for sex must be a depraved freak, but that's because she cannot envisage a situation in which she would ever be sexually frustrated. Few women of her age have any concept of what it's like.

But if she were male and had a speech impediment, a disability, was poor, very short or worked in some isolating occupation such as an overseas armed forces posting or long term contract work on an oil-rig, she would understand what a useful release of unhappiness it can be to know that you at least have the option to pay for sex. It's natural to want to touch and be touched. How cruel it is of Harman to seek to deny lonely men this option. How puritan it is of her to be so incensed that someone else can enjoy themselves.

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