My real-life friend and internet shadow, Good Luck Chuck, once expressed this idea to me in a comment (SS forum?) thread:
“Rollo, once a guy gets to be 40 ALL women are Alpha Widows. There’s simply no avoiding it. By age 30, unless there’s something psychologically wrong with her, virtually every woman a guy might want to date has some kind of baggage – kids, a former bad boy(s) she can’t forget, or some other residual effect that weighs down on her as a result of basically following the socio-sexual “you go grrrrl” script the majority of women do today.”
As part of the greater whole that has become the manosphere, and courtesy of the age of technology, today we have the unique benefit of being able to go back in time and observe the meta-game being played by the Feminine Imperative. I did something similar in Choreplay; comparing and contrasting the five year reinvention of a feminine-operative social convention by Diane Mapes. However, you can do so on a larger social scale as well, and chart the social trends that typify the ‘fem-think’ of a particular decade or even longer.
In the early 2000’s the feminine order of the day was “live while the living’s good.” The HBO series that defined that era was Sex and the City. The fantasy of masculine control for women could be realized and along with that the world was a woman’s sexual oyster. Blatant demands of sexual satisfaction mixed with the frustration of perfecting an optimized hypergamy with a selection of prospective men made for not only an award winning series, but was also responsible for the social saturation of a new feminine mindset culturally.
SatC wasn’t necessarily reflective of what was realistically going on from a cultural meta-perspective, but its social influence and associative feelings for women was undeniable. As with most cultural influences for women, the impression is all that mattered – personal conditions and reality be damned women, wanted to live vicariously through SatC.
That Was Then
Now in its second season, HBO has a new cultural benchmark for women in Girls. In 2012-13 the sexual market landscape is a new frontier compared with the SatC days. Rather than sell the fantasy of wanton sexual largess and indulgence that SatC did, the feminine order of the day is bemoaning the lack of marriageable men possessing the elusive balance of Beta with a side of Alpha. Make no mistake, the sex is still the primary associative for Girls’ predominantly female viewership, but now the message is less about power and more about the powerlessness women of this decade are frustrated with. In both shows, the male protagonists are impotent caricatures of modern men, and in both shows the women’s primary plot conflicts are rooted in these men’s inability to live up to feminine expectations and in such a way that is accommodating of the conditions their life’s choices has determined for them.
In SatC the frustration was met with blunt force. The solution was to overpower men into entitled submission with spunky feminine über confidence and enrapture the only men so deserving of them – men with equal to, or preferably greater than, social status than themselves. In Girls the dynamic is an equally intense powerlessness; the mechanic of plot conflict relying on its female viewership’s empathy and sympathies. The Girls generation wallows in the frustration of men’s imperfect suitability for their needs. Not only is the indignation aspect of Girls supremely satisfying for women, but the emotional associations women make with this show tell a greater story of the current gender landscape.
Girls appeals to the generation of Alpha Widows that Sex and the City was itself an accomplice in creating. It’s easy to relate with Chuck’s evaluation of modern women being a seething mass of Alpha Widows in this light, all pining for the guy(s) who, at least perceptually brought them as close in their real lives to realizing the dream of a perfected hypergamy. Only now do they realize the consequences of extending the search for the hypergamous dreamquest, but the blame for those consequences doesn’t lie in their choices or even their inability to recognize the mechanics of their own hypergamy. No, the blame goes to parents, the blame goes to cultural forces they are only now conveniently aware of, and of course the blame goes to all the men who would not or could not help them save themselves from themselves – the same men who adapted to the sexual market their decisions created.
The zeit geist that the feminine imperative would have women believe today is that the source of their unhappiness comes from being sold on the idea of an acculturated priority of putting professional life above personal life. As tempting as it is to agree with this, the problem is that the same empowering professional aspirations that women may or may not have been encouraged to internalize are inseparable from the personal (romantic) decisions they made for themselves. Women’s professional beliefs influences their personal beliefs and vice versa. So now, once again, the feminine imperative reinvents the messaging, but the same culprit of women’s unhaaaapiness is still the same – the men who evolved contingencies to cope with the sexual market place women developed.
Now the feminine imperative’s meme is about men’s unwillingness to adjust to women’s wanting a satisfying relationship prior to their turning 25 years old. Asshole Alphas have polluted the sexual market. Their insistence (not women’s predilections) has made the nefarious hook up culture what it is today and the poor, disenfranchised Girls of generation Alpha Widow are bearing the brunt of Alpha predations. What’s old is new, and it’s the men created by the SatC generation who wont Man Up, do the right thing and girlfriend-up a mid 20’s girl.