Respect

I can remember a period in my 20s when I heard countless times “Rollo, you need to / you don’t respect women” from both women and (who I thought at the time were) men as if by saying this to me I would stop wanting to hook up with the strippers, groupies and club girls I was getting with then. In hindsight it’s interesting to see how my dalliances with less than ‘pristine’ women elicited such a shaming tactic. The 2012 Rollo knows the ‘respect’ ploy for what it is now; a social convention which attempts to disqualify a guy’s personal/sexual experiences as being less than ‘quality’ in comparison to the personally identified ‘quality’ they hope to embody.

It’s comedy of course to conflate genuine respect with a person’s character – that may sound odd at first, but I personally know (and you probably do too) some truly despicable people who I nonetheless have a respect for, if not an admiration of. Respecting one’s enemy is a hallmark of a learned Man.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

From the late 80’s into the mid-90’s I didn’t give much thought to it, but I do remember thinking how odd it was that women were entitled to my respect by default. I never heard anyone, male or female, ever tell a woman that they “needed to respect men”. There was never an onus on women to respect men by default.

Now, of course I think we’d agree that men must earn respect from each other and from women. However, from a very young age boys, at least by and large, are taught never to hit a girl, watch your language, carry her books, respect HER, but there is no opposite dynamic for women. This is another socialized manifestation of hypergamy: the man must always perform for her, always qualify to her. For her, everything is fair game; kick him in the nuts if he cross the line. Obviously I’m referencing things from a traditional standpoint, but now extrapolate this into modern culture where single mothers and emasculated men cover the cultural landscape. Even in traditional Latin cultures where women tend to prefer masculine men, it’s not formally taught to them to respect men. Their respect is reserved for the men who qualify for it.

Masculine Respect

So this is my point, women don’t respect men, or rather, they don’t respect the masculine – and most certainly don’t have a default respect for it. They’re taught to be adversarial, not cooperative. Women are taught to relinquish respect, and then only begrudgingly when a man has proven his quality beyond the reach of most men. Masculinity is popularly ridiculed in western culture as it is, but to respect a man is to compete with him, to out-masculine him. Cooperation or even recognizing that the genders could be complimentary is viewed at best as antiquated, at worst, sublimation to the male imperative.

I should also add that I don’t think this dynamic is limited to the Daddy-Issues strippers or coed sluts. I’ve personally known very well standing, church going puritanical women, who’d cringe to be called a feminist, parroting back the very ideologies, practicing the behaviors and subscribing to the mindset (albeit in different context) of disrespecting the masculine. They were just as loud and just as obnoxious about it as any girl in Panama Beach, Florida on spring break.

Over There

Part of my job is to travel. I’m in Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France) generally twice a year. I can say I’ve noticed pronounced differences in demeanor among women there in contrast to American women. I live in the U.S. so I’m not going to pretend I know everything about women in different countries. Neither have I banged any woman in a foreign country, but I am a keen observer of behavior. I’m not sure it’s necessarily an ethnic issue per se, but certainly a cultural one. I’ve been to Aruba, Guatemala and Panama, and from a Latin perspective I don’t see these women as any more reserved than American women, however they have a definite masculine expectation for their Men. A Man has to live up to being a Man in Panamanian culture, that’s a baseline expectation, but respect is something different.

I think that the double standard guys will run into in pointing out “how American women are” with regard to respect is that they’ll be accused of not being Man enough to handle respect them. You’ll get the standard “powerful women are a threat to men’s egos” line implying that women in other countries are ‘less powerful’ due to weak men preferring them. So the Catch 22 becomes a guy being dominant enough to master her as being the abuser, and the one pointing out her flaws being the whiney bitch who needs to man-up. Then we come full circle and see default respect for what it is – an element of the male Catch 22. To be considered a Man he must respect women (boys don’t respect women), but to be a Man he mustn’t be afraid to disrespect women.

And as with all no-win social conventions, it’s always best to err on the side of appearing too dominant than to accommodating.


31 responses to “Respect

  • Koanic

    I believe “Feminism is a shit test writ large on society” is the relevant quote here.

  • unbowed

    The word respect has also been devalued. It used to mean having a deep admiration for another person’s qualities, achievements, morality etc. Respect meant something that had to be earned; not freely given to everyone.
    Now respect means something closer to courtesy, which everyone does automatically deserve until they prove otherwise.
    I can like people and treat them well, courteously, yet not respect them (or not yet know whether they’re worthy of respect). It’s a concept people strongly resist.

  • Free Yourself | genuineapproach.com

    [...] about “feelings” are encouraged. Guys are always talking about how important it is to “respect women” (edit). In fact, guys are so nice they’ve practically become [...]

  • YOHAMI

    Edited (Rollo, please erase the other one)

    Unbowed,

    “Now respect means something closer to courtesy, which everyone does automatically deserve until they prove otherwise.”

    Nah. When you’re banging women and other people say the “respect” thing, it’s not about respecting the woman you’re with, which they will be quick to dismiss as a slut unworthy for respect. The kind of respect they want is respect for women, as in, putting them on a pedestal, or, the general women imperative as Rollo would say, or, the sacred cow.

    You eat meat? because you dont respect the cow. And the cow jumping on your plate? shame on her, too.

    I’ts just a tactic.

  • Mac

    @ Rollo,

    You only got this in response to hooking up with “less pristine” women? I get this “you don’t respect women” thrown in my face for being a “player”, even though I date what anyone would deem to be “quality” girls (that’s a lot of quotes).

    I hang out in a lot of Christian circles, so the respect card is thrown out frequently, and mostly as a way to crush any guy who is pissing off women. What’s amusing to watch is their responses if you simply accept it with an “and?” I’ve literally seen be tongue-tied after that.

    Of course, the church environment is even more highly feminized than most (here’s my take http://genuineapproach.com/2012/05/free-yourself/), so “respect women” holds more currency.

  • unbowed

    What I wrote was slightly off-topic and therefore misunderstood. I was talking about how definitions change over time, not so much pua stuff. Simply put, words like respect, coward, and heroic are used differently than they were in the past. For example, cowardly used to mean lacking courage, acting fearfully. Today it’s often used as synonym for evil.
    Much needless conflict comes from people using the same words but having very different meanings attached to them.
    So far as I can tell from your examples, you’re using respect to mean something different than I do.

  • YB

    I have yet to see any woman jump into bed expecting to be “respected”.

  • Simon Corso

    I always thought choking and spanking were signs of respect.

  • gaius

    all hail satan. let the dark one be praised. he, respecter of women

  • Scot Lasley

    Unbowed,

    Not sure that that’s what respect has ever meant. I don’t think it’s ever had to do with admiration, exactly, but consideration. Re-spect (which, I believe, means either “look again” or “look back”) is about viewing someone as worthy of attention or consideration.

    Of course, all human life is worth some baseline level of respect, but you’re right about the fact that any special consideration needs to be earned.

  • Scot Lasley

    Rollo,

    Nice post. I think the idea that we should “always respect women” stems from the (false) assumption that pre-feminism, men had no respect for women–which of course is laughable, all the more so considering the fact that many of the early feminists who were rallying for respect threw stay-at-home-mom’s under the bus to further their cause.

    Men in general definitely need to re-learn the idea that respect (above that baseline respect for human life) needs to be earned. Beyond that, they also need to be taught that it’s okay to respect women for being feminine, and that they don’t need to confer any special consideration on women for succeeding at becoming more masculine.

    Good stuff….

  • Beat

    google respect definition: “A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.”
    However, I take the point that the word is not used this way.
    Don’t know about hyphenated re-spect.

  • Scot Lasley

    Beat,

    Fair enough. There is no hyphenated “re-spect” by the way. I was break down the word to show its origin: re=again or back, and spect=to look.

    Though it does serve as a reminder that there are many things we can admire about people. We can admire someone’s intelligence without necessarily admiring their lack of empathy, and we can admire someone’s empathy without admiring their spinelessness.

  • mikec74

    This is another socialized manifestation of hypergamy: the man must always perform for her, ***always qualify to her.***

    Yup….I actually got engaged over the weekend, and when we got back in town we visited her parents. Me and her on one couch, her parents on the other, and I have a friendly relationship with them (her Mom loves me).

    Anyways, we were talking some plans and stuff, and her Dad chimed in about getting used to just saying “Yes, dear”….”Yes, honey”, etc. First thing that popped into my head was the femcentric thinking involved. I didn’t think it was the time or place to call that out for the crap that it is…but I didn’t need to as both myself and my fiancee chimed in at the same time that our relationship isn’t one where she calls the shots and I just go along with it.

    It truly is mind-boggling. It almost seems like at some point, a mass brainwashing took place that instilled in men that to “RESPECT” women you simply had to go along with whatever they wanted to say or do in that moment.

  • YOHAMI

    “It almost seems like at some point, a mass brainwashing took place that instilled in men that to “RESPECT” women you simply had to go along with whatever they wanted to say or do in that moment.”

    It’s the respect your parents thing. She’s going to use that on your kids. You’re going to use that on your kid too. Respect me = do as I say / dont rebel. And it’s fine in that context. What’s fucked up is the relationship where your wife is your mom, and more fucked up that this has become expected.

  • Jon

    [Parenthetically, it's good to see an aesthetically pleasing photo this time!]

  • Stingray

    Congratulations, Mike!

  • Stingray

    It almost seems like at some point, a mass brainwashing took place that instilled in men that to “RESPECT” women you simply had to go along with whatever they wanted to say or do in that moment.

    It’s not just instilled in men, though (obviously). One of the things about feminism that I find extremely frustrating is this idea that women, by nature of vag and breasts, automatically deserve respect and admiration (among too many other things). What these women don’t get is that expecting these things and not earning them demeans them so much more than their perceived patriarchy ever did.

    Though, I sometimes think that might be the point.

  • Tam the Bam

    “Respect” is now merely another of those ghetto verbal tics that seem to mean “Run away, without looking back” [or make you think "Wish I'd brought my own knife" :( ]. Otherwise meaningless, ignore.

    I tend to go with Unbowed’s ‘courtesy’, or ‘manners’ as we have it round here. Courtesy, (not “deference”) is a gift, from the strong to the less-so.
    It’s bound to irritate resentful no-hopers.

    Good manners cost nothing. Bad manners could cost a life.

  • Rollo Tomassi

    ah, but it is hard to put a price on shock.

  • majorscarlet

    just got back from el salvador yesterday and i had this exact same thoughts on the plane ride back.

  • Stingray

    What about nausea?

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  • Dalrock

    So this is my point, women don’t respect men, or rather, they don’t respect the masculine – and most certainly don’t have a default respect for it. They’re taught to be adversarial, not cooperative. Women are taught to relinquish respect, and then only begrudgingly when a man has proven his quality beyond the reach of most men. Masculinity is popularly ridiculed in western culture as it is, but to respect a man is to compete with him, to out-masculine him.

    Great insight Rollo. The irony is that this is all occuring in the context of women being consumed with envy over the respect which most men command. I don’t think this is purely the apex fallicy, I think the average man earns a degree of respect from other men which women are deeply envious of. This is because we have to earn that respect or we aren’t just average, we are omega. It is something which looks like a head start to women, but turns out to be what they crave the most. And no amount of social engineering will ever change this, because it is fundamental to being a man. As one commenter on my site put it, women are horrified to learn that they have been wearing water wings all along.

    An example of this envy which comes readily to mind is the use of the term “sir” in TV shows in reference to women in positions of authority. Good luck with that feminists, I’m sure it will work as expected.

  • mikec74

    Thanks Stingray

  • empathologicalism

    Well yes, I note the difference in the women in Western and Eastern Europe as I travel around several times a year into those regions. Its hard to figure, high degree of feminist belief, yet decidedly feminine women who are a pleasure to deal with, easy to talk to, and just seemingly good at relating to men. Again I can’t make this fit my Americanized expectations. They have quotas and all sorts of progressive beliefs, lack much in any form of religion, and they are overtly female in their acting out.

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    [...] like children and get a free pass and have other people to take on the consequences for them and free respect and the natural entitlement that follows… no. They have access to a wider range of emotions, but [...]

  • Doc

    Bang on… I learned long ago people do not “deserve” respect – they have to “earn” it. Expecting it – isn’t earning it and only gets contempt from me. Fortunately, I don’ t have to have respect for the women I interact with – I have to see value in that interaction from my perspective. If she earns my respect great – but in the overall scheme of things, it isn’t necessary or required.

    I find the idea that I’m supposed to respect someone I don’t know as ludicrous. In general the vast majority of people are blithering idiots – I’ve found that assuming that to be the case is usually about right. If a woman wants my respect, she has to earn it just like a man – isn’t that what the feminist all say they wanted? Equality?

    Well, women have it in my mind. They are all equal – not equal to a man, but all men are equal and all women are equal – until they prove differently. I remember a woman spouting the “all men and women are equal” non-sense and I picked up a dumbbell and handed it around the room, universally, the women could barely hold it with both hands. When it made its way back to me I put it down and said – every man could move that with one hand, every woman needed both – do you see that as “equal”? It made the point and the women shut up. My point was that starting assumptions are a good place to start – as your needs become more specific you have to move more and more toward specific individuals with that skill. No one is “equal” to anyone else – each person has strengths and weaknesses and my goal is to find those. Spouting non-sense, doesn’t help in that and just confuses things.

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    [...] code in the feminine Matrix. As per the preset dictates of the Matrix, Mom is celebrated. loved and respected by default by virtue of her femaleness; Dad, if not outright vilified and publicly excoriated, is always [...]

  • bigern77

    There is something just not right with your writing/thinking Rollo. Either that or I’m getting pre-senile dementia. Lots of non-sequiturs or bizarrely unclear explanations. Here is just a tidbit:

    “You’ll get the standard “powerful women are a threat to men’s egos” line implying that women in other countries are ‘less powerful’ due to weak men preferring them.”

    This sentence nearly destroyed my entire brain, until I figured out what you meant to write, or at least, how I would have written it would have been:

    “You’ll get the standard “powerful women are a threat to men’s egos” line, implying that only weak men prefer women from other countries, since such women are “less powerful” .”

    Multiply such strange sentences by 50 and mix everything up randomly so explanations are not logically organized, and voila, you have a Rollo blog post.

    It’s difficult to quite put my finger on what is wrong with your writing. Never seen anything like it. I’d guessed, that English is perhaps not your mother tongue, but even if that’s so, there’d still be something wrong with your thinking/conceptualisation. Which is also bizarre, because it’s evident that most of your posts contain some truly profound and intelligent observations (inasmuch as they can be deriddled from the source text).

    I know this post sounds offensive, but I mean no offense.

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