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Women, Men and Competition

Oct 08, 1999 947 Words
Women, Men and Competition

Loudly and often, women insist they don't like competition, and that competition is an act of aggression. Ironically, however, competition as aggression is inevitable in a society where men must compete for the attention of women. Women encourage this. Every time they passively wait for men to take the initiative, or reject nurturing men in deference to domineering men, they sustain the dynamic of dominance. Ignoring this, pop-feminists contend competition is the capitalization of aggression, and men do it to the detriment of all.

Does this mean fighting for domination is the only way to compete? That competition is solely a product of masculine socialization and something we can do without? Masculine socialization has nothing to do with it. In one way or another, all living things compete, because wanting creates competition. You want to live, so you offer goods or services to others in exchange for the goods and services you need to survive. The better the goods and services you offer, the more you can get in exchange, and the better you will be able to live.

To live well, you make your "stuff" as good as possible relative to what your "competition" offers. That is the essence of competition in a free market. It respects the rights of others, and everybody wins because it works through validation rather than domination.

Competition as validation is the process by which the efficacy of ideas, knowledge, and products is validated by consumers. They choose what they value most. To the extent our economy encourages winning through validation, it works. Most women, however, encourage competition through domination by ignoring cooperative, nurturing men to give their love and sex to domineering, "virile" men. What's more, women compete, and they compete to win. This is especially evident in women's response to the invention of the rubber condom.

Prior to the 1870's, prostitution in Europe was prevalent. Victorian ladies' distaste for sex encouraged "an explosive increase in prostitution" that caused "an epidemic spread of venereal disease, and a morbid taste for masochism." Then, women began to compete sexually, and prostitution had to go. They began to compete with prostitutes for their husbands' continuing attentions.

What changed? Men started using rubber condoms. This gave women the option of enjoying sex without risking pregnancy, and that meant women now viewed prostitutes as sexual competitors. Subsequently, they demanded laws prohibiting prostitution, belying the myth that women don't compete. Women say this is men's fault. That men have forced the necessity of sexual competition upon women and that, left to themselves, women hearken to a more cooperative agenda. But the facts do not support this contention. Even among themselves, where male attention is not the objective, women still compete without compunction.

Women objectify themselves as sex objects. They also objectify others. From childhood, women seek status through affiliation by objectifying one another as status-objects. Girls get status by being friends with high-status girls: the cheerleaders, the pretty ones, the ones who are popular with boys. As adults, they objectify men as success objects. The means for impressing other women. Effectively, they use men to tell one another, "Here is my man: with him, I buy cars, clothes, entertainment, vacations, trips to the beauty parlor and, if I'm so inclined, motherhood or early retirement." The consequences of this are devastating. The consequences of turning women into sex objects include rape; the consequences of turning men into success objects includes war.

Most women know most men see them as sex objects, and most women agree this is bad. But when confronted with how they objectify men, they deny it, pointing to surveys that prove they value a good sense of humor above money, and sensitivity and kindness above power. But most men know they can be kind, caring, loving and sensitive, and while these characteristics may earn them the status of "just friends" with many women, their many women friends would never consider having sex with them. Men know the more money, status, prestige and power they have, the more willing most women will be to give them love and sex. Most men have ,always known this, but few realize the connection between how women objectify them, and female hostility toward men.

Women's increasing independence, combined with how they objectify men as walking wallets, is the reason for much of their hostility toward men: The monetary basis for their "love" for men is gone. What remains is the resentment they feel toward most men for being unable to fulfill their need for "walking wallets." When men realize this, how will they feel? Will they resent it? Will male hostility toward women grow to match female hostility toward men? That depends. In response to the feminist movement, many men gave up objectifying women as sex objects to look to the deeper beauty that grows with time. Women must do this, too. They must stop objectifying men and embrace the equality they say they want. It's the only way to stem the tide of resentment men will otherwise feel.

Generally, however, they compete within the context of relationship goals and processes. Understanding this reveals the source of women's loathing of male competitiveness. Projecting their own agenda onto men, they attack in men what they most despise in themselves. Spite, malice, rancor and hostility characterize competition within the context of relationship goals and processes. This is unsavory, to say the least. Inasmuch as men commonly compete within the context of production goals and processes, most will probably agree with women that female competitiveness in relationships is something the world can do without.

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