Among my more controversial essays is my series on the differences in interpretations of love as specific to each gender. As I’ve elaborated before Men approach love from idealistic foundations, while due to their innate hypergamy, women’s approach to love is rooted in opportunism. The easy rebuttal to this that often comes from women is to presume that either sex’s life experiences are going to necessarily be different. Women cannot fully appreciate the male experience (much less validate it) unless they can actually become men and live in a lifetime of their experiences, their upbringing, their biology, their acculturation and societal conditioning.
Yes, I am aware that it works both ways, men cannot fully appreciate women’s existential experiences either and for the same reason, however that doesn’t excuse either gender from making an effort to better understand the other’s experience. In a social environment where the feminine perspective has primacy, it has been women who have been the arbiters of what should universally be the socially agreed upon definition of what love means to both sexes.
However, this hasn’t stopped men from trying to define love for themselves, and make efforts to make women see how they would like their love to be in idealistic terms. History is rife with examples of men, in every culture, venturing to make women understand and really grasp their idealized notion of love. From ancient love poems, to epic stories of one woman launching a thousand ships, to Romeo and Juliet, Men have attempted to educate women on how they would be loved, and how they would like to love.
As I’ve detailed before, once a man really unplugs from his feminine conditioning he becomes more sensitive to the world that’s been pulled over his eyes. Hearing common terms in conversation that belie a feminine mindset, listening to songs that drip with male self-sacrifice for women, understanding why certain themes in popular media resonate with culture is all part of this new sensitivity. One thing the red pill has has made me keenly aware over time is the difference in storytelling that applies to each gender.
It would be too easy an assumption to say that I have a better awareness as to which gender is telling a particular story, but rather, I have a keener sensitivity to which gender perspective a story is originating from now – and particularly when that story involves specific gender approaches to love. I could single out the stories of Emily Bronte and compare them with the formulaic themes of modern romance novels or romantic comedy movies, but that would be easy and expected. Any women’s studies major could tell you this. What I’m interested in is how the genders interpret each other’s idealized concepts of love.
Titanic, 1997. Arguably one of the greatest love stories ever put on film. I can remember adult women of the time who literally were incapable of going to work or doing much of anything else the day after watching this movie. I can remember women I dealt with professionally bursting into tears because they were so wracked with vicarious imagined grief – this is the psychological impact Titanic had, don’t even get me started on the teenage girls of the time.
A lot went on in Titanic from a feminine-romanticized perspective. It’s definitely an epic fairytale, and one that has all of the formulaic elements of a classic love story. Rich beautiful girl, scrappy-poor-but-Alpha-and good looking hero who draws girl into his reality. Tragic, but sacrificial death of said hero to save her and ensure her a better life.
I’ve linked the last few minutes of Titanic here because it’s really the summation of the entire story. The former beauty, now old woman, Rose still pines for her Alpha she lost so long ago. This scene epitomizes the concept of the Alpha Widow — As the heart that was given to her by her Alpha sinks to the bottom of the ocean, we pan across photos of all of her life experiences afforded to her by Jack’s sacrifice; the beauty queen, the mother, the Amelia Earhart-esque (have it all fantasy) pilot, horseback rider and finally she can return to her Alpha in death.
Saving Private Ryan, 1998. Released just one year later, Saving Private Ryan debuts. Also, arguably one of the greatest, heroic and epic stories put to film from an unarguably masculine perspective. Where Titanic relies on a clever retelling of classic and tested romantic themes, SPR explores distinctly male themes of honor, duty, courage, service and also sacrifice. Captain Miller’s sacrifice is of a decidedly different nature, but the premise is the same — self-sacrifice for the betterment of another individual. As Captain Miller dies his last words are “Earn this.” Merit this, be worthy of this.
Granted, more men than just Captain Miller die on Ryan’s behalf, but he’s the protagonist and the one we really care about as his death is personalized for us. In an almost analogous ending to Titanic (linked) we see the elderly Ryan contemplating his life and wondering if he’d “earned it” with what he’d done with his life. And in classic form he seeks that affirmation from a woman, his wife.
“Tell me I’ve led a good life. Tell me I’m a good man.”
We can tell there’s no connection, no familiarity of Ryan’s experience shared with his wife. Her response is just this side of a patronizing dismissal of the imagined concerns of an old man. We can presume Ryan has led a somewhat good life, he’s still married, probably has kids, but nowhere is the have it all fantasization that an elderly Rose enjoys. We still don’t know if Ryan had ‘earned it’, if his life’s performance was good enough; the pat on the cheek from his oblivious wife doesn’t confirm it, but that’s the operative difference between Ryan’s character and Rose’s — Rose’s good life was never expected to have been earned.
Almost serendipitously Mac commented on my Sorry,.. post this evening:
I was picked on as a boy and decided at a very young age to fight back by outdoing all my naysayers. All the people that tell you your not good enough, smart enough or talented enough… So I became the antithesis of their projections and surpassed all my personal goals. It’s more than just getting the girl… It’s about conquering “your” world!
Men are expected to perform. To be successful, to get the girl, to live a good life, men must do. Whether it’s riding wheelies down the street on your bicycle to get that cute girl’s attention or to get a doctorate degree to ensure your personal success and your future family’s, Men must perform. Women’s arousal, attraction, desire and love are rooted in that conditional performance. The degree to which that performance meets or exceeds expectations is certainly subjective, and the ease with which you can perform is also an issue, but perform you must.
There is one final movie that I would use as an illustration of gender-differential love approaches and that is the movie Blue Valentine. I would link some clips here but I think it’s probably best to watch it in its entirety to really understand the principle differences between men and women’s idealized love.