Where Pretty Lies Perish

by on June 4, 2008 at 12:26 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

Should I, if only for didactic purposes, ever link to EVIL websites?  Since Michael Blowhard directed my attention to Roissy I've been facing this dilemma again.  Not only won't I link to him but I have to put this unsalubrious and indeed embarrassing discussion under the fold...

Roissy promotes an aggressively instrumentalist view of the sexes; imagine Larry David as a scoreman plus make the language of the monologues ruder and more offensive.  He also thinks like an economist and uses marginalism:
"Smells bad. (when a shower isn’t going to help your cause, why bother?)"

My question is which parameter value he
incorrectly estimates; after all, he is not just evil he is also imprudent in missing the joys of monogamy and matrimony.  I believe that most of all, he underestimates his transparency to his observers in
real life.  I sometimes call this
the endogeneity of face to thought and thus his face must be somewhat evil too.  Since his strategies cause him to spend time only with women he can fool, he doesn’t correctly perceive how he is wrecking his broader reputation; the same is probably true for the rest of us as well.    

(But IS he evil?  Is there not a theorem which suggests that
rule-governed sweet young things will in fact overinvest in the rule
and, if you could selectively induce "rule disengagement," human
welfare might rise?  But no…that theorem was refuted some time ago.)

Can he still be saved by a good woman?  Indeed there are so many good women out there and yet not one has saved him to date.  If only he would read Henry James’s "Beast in the Jungle."

Poor Roissy.  Poor, poor Roissy.  Here’s his advice for much older men who wish to attract 25-year-old women:

Bear in mind that younger women (barring a few notable golddigger
exceptions) are not as practical as older women. They are more
whimsical, flirty, passionate, and romantic, and this means you will
get more mileage having a youthful outlook, being recklessly
spontaneous, maintaining a high level of energy, and focusing on the
emotional connections, than you would tempting them with the allure of
financial stability and security.

1 Thelonious_Nick June 4, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Wouldn’t want to be him, but his unsentimental view of intersex relations does allow him some interesting insights. I could have used some of his advice in high school.

2 Tony June 4, 2008 at 1:01 pm

I think he’s mostly a beneficial force. I think of him as I do security hackers who publish weaknesses in encryption algorithms. His advice might be useful to cynical wanna-be playboys, but it is definitely useful to otherwise naive women.

3 capella June 4, 2008 at 1:09 pm

I have seen his website, much to my great distress. The unpleasant part is not so much this Roissy character himself – I am unlikely to ever encounter him, or if so to be targeted, or if so to be vulnerable to him – but the fact that his outlook is so incredibly nonunique. Most of the single men I know (generally age 25-35) share his goals; very few of the single women I know do. Worse, virtually all of the single men I know and many of my married acquaintances of both genders share his outlook on gender relations; however, again, very few – possibly none – of the single women think this way.

Of course, this is part of a larger, depressing (if you are a single woman over 25) phenomenon in which the pool of male singles rapidly empties of worthwhile individuals, while the pool of female singles rapidly empties of attractive yet vapid or at least highly suggestible individuals, leaving the intelligent, interesting, and not entirely spineless women to attempt to “save” the likes of Roissy. For all that it is a cliche, this is a reality and because it is a cliche it is often discounted.

4 Gannon June 4, 2008 at 1:22 pm

One of the great aspects of Roissy’s blog is that he doesn’t censor or delete comments. Roissy is essentially telling the truth, without sugar coating. Also, his player advices are good. In the end, men are mostly attracted to women between the ages of 15-25, and that doesn’t change. A woman’s value for a man is directly related to her remaining fertility, a topic most economists aren’t willing to cover.

5 T. June 4, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Of course, this is part of a larger, depressing (if you are a single woman over 25) phenomenon in which the pool of male singles rapidly empties of worthwhile individuals, while the pool of female singles rapidly empties of attractive yet vapid or at least highly suggestible individuals, leaving the intelligent, interesting, and not entirely spineless women to attempt to “save” the likes of Roissy. For all that it is a cliche, this is a reality and because it is a cliche it is often discounted.

The real problem is that too many women squander their years of prime attractiveness buying into the feminist myths that say a woman can doggedly chase achievements and credentials just like a man well into her 30s and still be considered a prime catch for marriage and family-building. Then they get there and realize that the men their age are going for hot women in their 20s. Men become more attractive to women the more credentials and money they accumulate. Since feminism tells women they are not just equal to men but exactly the same, modern women start buying into the myth that advanced age, credentials and top careers and money accumulation will make them a top draw in the mating game to, just like it does for men. Then they get mad at how “unfair” the world is when they realize it’s not so. They have no one to blame but themselves. Men have always been honest about what they want in women: be attractive, have plenty of child-bearing years left, act pleasant, don’t be emasculating and be able to hold a conversation. Men never asked women to get these credentials and put off marriage to the age where most men no longer find them as attractive. It’s these women’s own fault for listening to other feminists’ advice for how to get a man rather than listening to men themselves. We’re simple visual creatures. We’ve never denied this, we’ve been open about it from the beginning.

6 mobile June 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Tom Leykis has been doing this schtick on the radio for years. Yeah, it’s sociopathic, but very entertaining (to this unabashed beta male, anyway) and one of my great guilty pleasures for the ride home from work.

7 Jason Malloy June 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm

This is Roissy’s blog.

C’mon, are we children? This should in no way be taken as a ‘defense’ (or criticism) of the linked material, but it’s basic Internet etiquette to link to the people you are discussing, out of respect for your audience, and out of fairness to the people you are characterizing.

If you don’t want to link to someone, lest you advertise them to an “innocent” world, then don’t talk about them specifically at all.

I certainly don’t like the implication that you think your readers are incapable of making their own sensible independent judgments of material you believe yourself qualified to morally and intellectually evaluate.

8 capella June 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm

T, I do not think women are generally surprised by the fact that men are not attracted to intelligence and professional success. Annoyed, yes. Frustrated. Angry. Disappointed. We understand that by increasing our abilities, financial status, accomplishments, and personal autonomy we are dramatically decreasing our attractiveness to men. However – and this will alarm you – some women would rather be happy than married, if they are going to have to make a choice. We complain about it the way people complain about traffic or the weather; it’s certainly not news that men are “simple visual creatures” with the collective depth and maturity of a soap bubble, but it’s still unpleasant.

9 Noumenon June 4, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Like Steve Sailer, Roissy is evil, but it’s good to have him around because so many more people think how he does than dare to say so. Suppressing the idea isn’t good.

10 Scott Scheule June 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Come on, people. A big chunk of this blog’s readership is already profoundly evil. I certainly am.

11 L2P June 4, 2008 at 2:11 pm

It’s interesting to see misogyny theatre is always running somewhere.

12 mk June 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm

I don’t deny there is happiness from physical attraction. That’s obvious. Attraction to intelligence and personality is, as you might say, complementary.
Women are not the same as men, but they are worthy of equal respect in achieving what they want in the world without social opprobrium or second-guessing.
I don’t know any better than you do what the true self-actualization of a woman consists of (it is obvious it will be different for different people). Because neither of us knows, it is to everyone’s advantage that men give the women themselves the freedom and space to determine this for themselves.

I am convinced this will lead to more satisfying and fulfilling “positive sum interactions.”

13 Christina June 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Are you kidding? Roissy is pretty tactless, but he’s still not as bad as Douchebag Supreme Tucker Max. That guy could use a severe beating.

14 Billare June 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Well some of it is just the contrarian spirit – “aha, I know the truth, and must shout it to the rooftops!”

I think Roissy is largely right about the economics of male-female relationships, as well as hugely entertaining to read, but it recalls to mind something I read awhile ago attributed to Thomas Sowell. He points out that for example, it would be silly and taxing to apply firm-level economic reasoning to the household , and the ability not to do so raises our standard of living.

In much the same way, speaking to his male readership, Roissy educates those who searching for women in extremely competitive venues, like nightclubs, bars, college campuses, large cities, etc. It is appropriate to be ruthlessly economic in those settings. But, per my personality, I hope that when I settle down I will too have the luxury of not like an alpha-male cad that women are indeed attracted to.

15 Jens Fiederer June 4, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Haven’t read the blog, but I suspect that Roissy is a pseudonym – it is the name of an institution from “The Story of O” where girls are taken to be trained as sex slaves.

16 johnny five June 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm

mk@1:46: If the playing field is changing we must acknowledge that and not stick to the same ideas that have held by default in the past.

i’m surprised no one has yet commented on this manner of thinking, which is the source that is SINGLEHANDEDLY responsible for much of the eventual unhappiness of feminist-indoctrinated folks of both sexes.

read over and over until you understand:
MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT, AND OUR MINDS ARE NOT BLANK SLATES.
i am ridiculously sick of comments like this mk’s, which blithely assume that we can consciously jettison tens, if not hundreds, of thousands’ worth of deep-seated evolutionary-psychological programming.

for instance, women are pretty much hardwired for hypergamy, as is plainly evident from the first days of young girls’ pandering to high-status males in grade school and junior high.
therefore, even female ceo’s who rake in six-figure salaries still have an irrational desire to ‘marry up’.
worse yet, when they DO ‘marry down’, satisfaction is rare.

also, get this:
YOUNG PEOPLE ARE IMPRESSIONABLE.
i know, big news there.
but the consequences are myriad: most notably, girls who are constantly told to seek status and career accomplishments, an exhortation that has reached the level of dogma in our society, will, by and large, swim with the tide. this will leave them wondering what the hell happened when they are pushing 40, still single, and childless
yes, men are impressionable, too. but that’s less of a factor here, for two reasons: (1) women are MUCH more prone to herd behavior and MUCH more averse to flouting convention than are men, and (2) we don’t live in a society that is trying to browbeat men into following life paths in direct contravention to their evolutionary urges, as it does with women. (re #2, if you don’t realize the severity of the situation, just TRY the following gedanken experiment: imagine the current response to a young, bright american high school girl saying that her #1 ambition is to start a family young and be a dedicated wife and mother.)

17 Billare June 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Eh. I’d like to think there’s freedom in enlightened civil societies to live against our evolutionary-endowed birthrights. It’s probably easier for a woman to achieve fulfillment marrying young, but there shouldn’t be some sort of moral sanction on choosing one’s path towards that goal.

18 johnny five June 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Eh. I’d like to think there’s freedom in enlightened civil societies to live against our evolutionary-endowed birthrights.

of course there is freedom to do so, silly. that is not the issue.
the issue is that living in a manner antithetical to our hardwiring is unlikely to produce lasting satisfaction.

let’s make this multiple choice:
(1) 50,000 generations’ worth of wisdom about the sexes vs.
(2) 2 generations of ‘wisdom’ about the sexes?

i’ll take door number one.

19 Diana June 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm

I agree that most people would rather be happy than married…and I also think that investing in an education and a career (whether male or female) makes you happier than just trying to hook a rich mate while you are young and pretty and live off the money (and that works both ways: Sunset Boulevard, anyone?) Besides, even if you “nab” a rich husband when you’re young and pretty, what do you do when he moves on to someone younger and prettier?

Moreover, if these “male” and “female” characteristics are so immutable and evolutionary-driven, what’s up with being gay?

20 kevin June 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm

I concur with Diana, what is up with being gay???

21 Christina June 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Despite what you may think, women in their twenties are still looking for love and marriage young, despite exhortations to be all they can be in their careers. Indeed women my age don’t think that pursuing a career and a family have to be mutually exclusive. The problem then isn’t that women are dismissing marriage for careers, it is that they think that they can be ruthlessly picky as they search for their mythical soulmates. And frankly, given the state of perpetual adolescence that young men are prone to wallow in, why not be picky?

For example, I have three girlfriends who ‘settled’ and thought that their husbands would grow up and stop drinking/drugging/partying/playing video games when they got married, only to find out that their husbands had absolutely no intention of settling down. One friend had a baby (which was planned) and a few months later her husband decided that domestic life was getting in the way of his social life, so he dumped her.

In retrospect these women should have known that their boyfriends would be terrible husbands, but based on what I read here, what alternatives did they have? To break up with them and hope they could find someone better before they got too old and haggered?

What I gather from this discussion is that we should go back to the way it was in the old days when teenaged girls married older men that their parents picked out for them.

22 Peter June 4, 2008 at 4:26 pm

My sneaking suspicion is that Roissy is not so much trying to help Beta men, as he is mocking them. In other words, he is gloating along the lines of “Ha ha, I can get laid all I want, you losers can’t” while making a pretense of trying to advise them. I say this because I usually find an element of condescension in his postings.

As to whether his “Game” theory actually works, well it’s possible, but I rather doubt most men have the innate ability to use it effectively.

23 josh June 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm

All that really needs to be said:

Roissy is a gigantic douchebag.

24 Jason Malloy June 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Peter, no it isn’t. I made a long post here earlier detailing the facts of the matter, but the spam filter eated it.

25 Brutus June 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Christina, any woman having progeny with a guy who is still drinking/drugging/partying/playing video games is not settling, she’s an idiot! But like a wise man once said, women marry men thinking they can change them, but they never can, where men marry women thinking they’ll never change, but they always do.

26 T. June 4, 2008 at 4:49 pm

We understand that by increasing our abilities, financial status, accomplishments, and personal autonomy we are dramatically decreasing our attractiveness to men.

It’s not the abilities, financial status, accomplishments and autonomy that decrease career women’s attractiveness to men, it’s the age, diminished looks and reduced fertility that comes along with those things that do it.

From this article:

While aging does have some effect on men, men ultimately are more likely to remain fertile for longer periods of time. Women’s fertility on the other hand declines more rapidly. Studies suggest that women are half as fertile at the age of 35 as they were when 25. At 40, most women are half as fertile again as they were at 35. What this means is the older you get, generally the longer it will take to conceive. Some women have more problems conceiving the longer they wait.

There are also risks associated with having babies at a later age. Some studies suggest the quality of the female egg declines with age. Thus women who are 35 and older are more at risk for having babies with certain birth defects including Down’s syndrome…

Fertility treatments will take into consideration many factors that affect a woman’s fertility. These include:

A woman’s menstrual cycle, which tends to become shorter and more irregular as she ages.

The lining of a woman’s womb, which may decline or become thinner with age.

A woman’s ovarian reserve, or the number of follicles capable of producing viable eggs a woman has left in her ovaries.

Any diseases of the reproductive system that may be present, including endometriosis that may affect fertility.

Women’s overall health, which may contribute to fertility.

Pregnancy After 35

The good news is most women will be able to conceive after the age of 35. There are some risks however associated with pregnancy for women who are 35 and older. Women over the age of 35 are more at risk for certain complications during pregnancy. These include pregnancy induced diabetes, hypertension, placental abnormalities and an increased risk of giving birth to a baby with Down’s syndrome. A woman’s risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome increases to one in 109 by the time a woman is 40 years old, and 1 in 32 when a woman is 45. Many doctors will recommend that women over 35 years old consider genetic testing to rule out birth defects or genetic defects during pregnancy.

Women’s peak fertility generally occurs between the ages of 20 and 24. More and more however women are waiting until later in life to have children. By the time a woman is 40 her chances of becoming pregnant have decreased two fold from when she was younger.

If I’m a man that wants to have a hot wife and raise multiple, healthy kids, what good are your “increasing abilities, financial status, accomplishments, and personal autonomy” going to do for me? Am I supposed to settle for less in the looks department and risk miscarriages, reduced fertility and birth defects to help Gloria Steinem prove a point? Why? What’s in it for men when we can just get a girl in her early 20s who is at her peak hotness and fertility and call it a day?

27 Peter June 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm

While aging does have some effect on men, men ultimately are more likely to remain fertile for longer periods of time. Women’s fertility on the other hand declines more rapidly.

A man is much more likely than a woman to be capable of reproduction at age 40.

A man is also *much* more likely than a woman to be stinking up a coffin at age 40.

28 Billare June 4, 2008 at 4:58 pm

You seem to regard male-female relations as more immutable and unchanging despite a vastly different technological and economic landscape than our ancestors ever had to traverse. While I don’t agree with the feminists that biological considerations are wholly unimportant, I just tossed out an example of how differing economic systems change the composition of marriage.

29 anon June 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm

What is up with being gay is that, after reading about half of these comments, I am one happy gay woman.

30 disinterested observer June 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm

I agree with Scott Scheule – and also L2P (especially L2P).

I suppose that underlying a lot of human behaviour are some evolutionary imperatives – men – spread your sperm around! women – find an alpha male!

But I hope we are more than baboons.

Sometimes this blog makes me feel a little depressed about other people’s political/social judgements – some of the responses here make me feel worried about some people’s essential humanity – DF , I mean you – you are only describing yourself, not men in general.

31 Aaron Brown June 4, 2008 at 6:40 pm

If you’re just worried about increasing a site’s search engine ranking, use nofollow.

32 chug June 4, 2008 at 7:08 pm

It’s really ridiculous and disrespectful to your readers to not link to the post you’re referring to.

then cancel your damn subscription

33 Doug June 4, 2008 at 7:57 pm

“Women are not the same as men, but they are worthy of equal respect in achieving what they want in the world without social opprobrium or second-guessing.”

Isn’t this whole thread about heaping “social opprobrium and second guessing” on a man for seeking to achieve what he wants in the world?

34 tom June 4, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I see absolutely no (evidence-based) discussion of whether what Roissy advocates is effective, and of whether the world is likely to be a better place if men followed his advice.

Instead I see people criticizing Roissy for being a “douchebag” and Tyler refusing to link to someone who disagrees with him (I guess because these ideas are dangerous?!). Moreover, it seems as though many of the attacks on Roissy’s personality at least *might* come from people who were “beta males” in college (econ nerds) and therefore might have some beef with a player. Finally, evidence presented by such people (and women) may simply be incomplete due to lack of experience, at least compared to Roissy’s.

All in all I am very disturbed by the absurd rhetoric that suggests SIGNIFICANT cognitive biases in this argument. I would support actually getting some statistics on how effective this program is and how men feel after taking courses (like Mystery Method) that support ideas like Roissy’s.

35 Steve Sailer June 4, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Roissy is the War Nerd of the Battle of the Sexes, a better writer on his topic than anybody appearing in print.

My question for him is this: “If you have mastered all these skills for covering up from women in bars that you are a Beta Male and persuading them that you are an Alpha Male, why not use similar techniques on men at work? After all, if men think you are an Alpha Male, then you _are_ an Alpha Male, and there’s no more need to pretend.”

36 josh June 4, 2008 at 9:44 pm

‘I see absolutely no (evidence-based) discussion of whether what Roissy advocates is effective, and of whether the world is likely to be a better place if men followed his advice.

Instead I see people criticizing Roissy for being a “douchebag” ‘

False dichotomy; the guy is obviously a douchebag regardless of consequences.

37 josh June 4, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Andre,
What is god’s name are you talking about?

38 T. June 4, 2008 at 10:23 pm

MG – How, pray tell, would you know whether Roissy and readers can get laid? Simply because they say things that hurt your delicate sensibilities? Oh yes, misogynists can never get laid, only men who put women on pedestals get laid. Which is why jerks are always complaining about how nice guys are getting all the girls…oh wait, that doesn’t happen, does it?

39 josh June 4, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Look, I like evolutionary psychology, I think men and women are immensely different creatures, but that is not at all relevant to the fact that at a very fundamental level this guy is a gigantic douche. He reminds me of this guy in my fraternity back in college who used to wear leather pants. Now this guy was obvoously what you’d call a “beta male” who maybe was able to fool the occasional girl into sleeping with him. But that didn’t make you any less of a douche, it made him more of a douche. I find it kind of pathetic that anybody over the age of 16 is so seemingly insecure about his sexuality. I feel for guys who have a hard time getting women to like them, but I certainly have more respect for those who don’t fall prey to such douchebaggery.

Michael Blowhard may be right that this is performance art, but I suspect this is at least how this guy wants to think of himself. I’ve known guys who talk like this guy writes; sometimes correct, often insightful, but regardless, gigantic douchebags.

40 Facefree June 4, 2008 at 10:27 pm

mq wrote: Roissy just provides some entertainment for a niche market of horny young guys who have turned misogynistic because they can’t get laid.

When you can’t summon a token attempt at refutation, armchair psychology and petty insult suffice, at least for someone with your low standards for discourse.

41 Doug June 4, 2008 at 10:34 pm

“I find it kind of pathetic that anybody over the age of 16 is so seemingly insecure about his sexuality. I feel for guys who have a hard time getting women to like them, but I certainly have more respect for those who don’t fall prey to such douchebaggery.”

That’s funny, cause I feel for the guys who go through life without having their affections returned by women because they fear being labelled a “douche” by people like you. I have more respect for the guys who go after what they want and need, regardless of whether or not they are labelled “douches” by naturals who never had to try to get girls, and betas who never had the courage to try.

42 Steve Johnson June 4, 2008 at 10:38 pm

ielerol: “This may be somewhat tangential, but I have always been singularly unimpressed by the “men are wired to be sluts, women are wired to be clingy” evo-psych “logic.”…But…women cheat too. [more on social punishment for female extra-pair mating snipped]”

Way to take that strawman and beat it to death.

There are a variety of male strategies but almost all of those strategies involve taking advantage of opportunistic matings with attractive women. If you want to sum up, men’s ideal strategy can be summed up with “polygamy”.

There are a variety of female strategies but women all need to take into account two key variables: resources for her children and genetic material for making children. Almost all women will take resources if offered. Additionally, almost all women will engage in extra pair mating if she finds a man who’s genes are so much superior to what she has access to that it is worth the risk of getting caught and potentially losing out on the support of her partner (and risking physical harm from her partner in some cases). There are three variables that control in this equation: (1) Cost of loss of support from her partner (or cost of having a child with no support if she is single). (2) The difference between the quality of her partner and potential extra partner. The bigger the difference, the more risk she will bear to obtain his genes. (3) The risk of getting caught. If you had to summarize the ideal strategy for women it would be “hypergamy” where the woman gets to monopolize the resources of a high status, high quality mate.

Note that all of these propositions are testable and, in our society, there have been big changes to all of the 3 factors for women. Women can better afford to raise children alone and the legal system ensures support if the father has means. Women are now exposed to a wider array of men since they now more commonly work with men and society no longer shames women for going out drinking in mixed company. All of these factors were encouraged by feminism. In fact, the entire “player revolution” would have been impossible without those social changes.

All the objections to Roissy in this thread have basically been “his words are uncomfortable for my world view, therefore he is bad”. It’s remarkably like when Steve Sailer is criticized.

diana: “Moreover, if these “male” and “female” characteristics are so immutable and evolutionary-driven, what’s up with being gay?”

This doesn’t strengthen any alternative hypothesis about male / female relationships because explaining the behavior of gay males and females is equally problematic for any model of male / female behavior. The “it’s all society that teaches men and women their roles” would have to come up with a reason that some very small percentage of men and women react in an extremely different manner than everyone else does when they are subject to the same conditioning. If it’s because of some starting characteristic that causes different reaction to the same conditioning, well then, congratulations but you’ve arrived at the exact hypothesis that you were trying to refute (inherent traits).

43 Steve Johnson June 4, 2008 at 10:40 pm

billare,

The penis is physically designed to remove any semen that is present in the vagina if it is thrust in and out. This is one of the ways that men are equipped to handle sperm competition.

More importantly is testicle size in relation to body size, which when humans are compared to gorillas and chimps, shows that human females are more promiscuous than gorilla females but less promiscuous than chimp females.

“Sperm Wars” by Robin Baker is a really good book for questions like this.

44 Facefree June 4, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Having criticized the indulgence in armchair psychology by some of Roissy’s detractors, I’ll partake in it myself, with the caveat that it’s pure speculation: I suspect that a large sum of the anti-Roissy crowd are innate betas who seethe with resentment over being unable to implement his advice – because of marriage or age or some other impediment. It’s not Roissy’s fault that evo psych arrived too late to increase your “notch count.”

45 Steve Johnson June 4, 2008 at 10:53 pm

I don’t know Facefree, I think it’s close to the opposite.

They are afraid to acknowledge that they can implement his advice because that breaks the spell that there’s nothing they can do to improve their success with women so they should just accept what they’ve gotten. It’s easy to accept a bad fate if you think you have no choice (not good looking enough, not rich enough, etc.) but the knowledge that you’re accepting a bad fate because you’re too lazy and afraid of change makes the person angry at the messenger.

So they need a new set of excuses; “only jerks do that sort of thing” seems to be popular. Turns a failing into a moral virtue. Neat trick.

46 Days of Broken Arrows June 4, 2008 at 11:11 pm

You’re asking the wrong question.

Rather than ask “Is Roissy evil,” ask “Was feminism evil?” Because Roissy is largely a response to the movement that demeaned men, drugged young boys and shamed them in school, and trvialized rape (among many other things).

For years, feminism made man-bashing such a fabric of the culture we have taken it for granted. AP just did a story on how most Father’s Day cards bash dads. What kind of a society have men allowed to happen to them? Well, Roissy — and his ilk — are payback for that society. Voices like Roissy could never have gotten through in the mainstream media, but now the internet has given rise to a new type of outspoken man — angry but truthful.

The alleged hatred spewed by Roissy is also no match for the anti-male venom coming out of most women’s studies courses. Someone needed to go up against Baby Boomer feminists and undo their damage. I’m glad someone as articulate as Roissy elected himself.

47 Billare June 4, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Funny, Jason Malloy seemed to have some data and a story to tie it together that could have turned this entire discussion on its head; I do hope he finds the energy to retrieve it…

48 Peter June 4, 2008 at 11:35 pm

One of Roissy’s theories is that there are plenty of dominant manly men who are sexually unfulfilled because they don’t understand women, so developing more dominance among men won’t serve the objective of getting sex, even if it gets them a promotion or an invitation to Monday Night Football sausage-fest. Helping men understand women for the purpose of acquiring sex is the prevailing raison d’etre for his blog.

I have some trouble accepting that theory. In my experience, and it’s not like I was born yesterday or anything, men who display leadership qualities in their work environments or in other hirearchies usually do okay with women.

Now, this isn’t to say that Betas who can’t get laid are occupational failures. Some have decent jobs, especially in IT, but by and large they’re not in leadership positions. If they do well in social settings, it’s usually among similarly unsuccessful-with-women Betas.

49 Tangurena June 5, 2008 at 12:32 am

What a train wreck. I couldn’t look away.

50 Brutus June 5, 2008 at 8:07 am

Ooh, Tyler, both Roissy and Steve Sailer have sullied your blog; a true Axis of Evil!

You must need a shower now…

Or are perversely pleased that you have 100 comments on a thread.

51 Cheryl June 5, 2008 at 10:05 am

Re: the conventional wisdom on education and marriage. It’s called assortative mating, and women with college degrees are now more likely to marry than women with less education, even though they are older when they do so. They are also less likely to get divorced.

See Kay Hymowitz (http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_1_marriage_gap.html) and Stephanie Coontz (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2007/02/18/the_romantic_life_of_brainiacs/).

52 Anonymous June 5, 2008 at 11:39 am

I don’t condemn guys like Roissy, but neither would I wish to be him.

Here’s a comparison: consider someone who’s a “foodie” (sorry Tyler, I’m not picking on you :). Constantly seeking out exotic new dining experiences, expending large amounts of time, effort, and money. Fussing over pots and pans and sauces and recipes and boasting about how he managed to score some rare ingredient at some specialty store an hour’s drive away. Constantly raving about the dish he had last night. You don’t know what you’re missing, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried Venezuelan goat gizzards marinated in Mongolian cider sprinkled with crushed powder of olive pits. Whatever.

Now, I appreciate fine food as much as the next guy, but usually you just have, say, a slice of pizza. It’s available, it’s satisfying, and it’s good enough. Life is short, there’s only 24 hours in a day, and there are so many other things to do.

The same applies to dating and having “game” and being a player. It’s admirable to see someone pursuing excellence in their chosen hobby, as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle. But if it crosses the line and becomes the central, white-hot, all-consuming focus of your life, then you’re not that different from a heroin addict who also wakes up every morning obsessed with the need to score. You’ve become a “game” otaku.

For every door that opens in front of you, another one closes behind you. If you’re using all your spare time on pickup strategies, you’re paying the opportunity cost of all the other things you could be doing. For instance, you could spend some of your creative mental energy to get an edge in investment strategies, figuring out ways to get seriously rich. I’m just saying.

As Steve Sailer pointed out indirectly, the little tricks that impress some women usually won’t get you anywhere, won’t get you any money or power, won’t make you an alpha male, in the competitive world of men. You might say that money doesn’t matter, but then it’s my turn to smile indulgently and wonder who’s the beta.

53 yahmdallah June 5, 2008 at 2:54 pm

We can’t know if Roissy is evil or not, not having met him. (Thank you, Captian Obvious!)

But, nearly every player I’ve known in real life (about 4 so far) is not evil or even necessarily a bad person.

(Actually, the truly evil folks I’ve met tend to be anti- or a-social and expose themselves early on – they’re not good at getting lots of trim. The one exception to this was an evil woman I once knew (one example: she would steal waitresses’ tips off of tables as she left the bar with someone who was not her spouse) who was beautiful and thus was able to bonk any guy she chose (who didn’t know her well).)

Every player like Roissy that I’ve known are all very charismatic, somewhat good-looking, don’t possess the fear-of-women/need-for-female-approval thing a lot of men have, and have figured out how to trick (and it is a trick of sorts) women into sleeping with them. And, all of them are very bad (self-admittedly bad) in forming and keeping long-term relationships. (They all grew up with sisters, too, btw, for what that’s worth.)

I think Roissy puts too much stock in this alpha/beta male thing (even though it clearly exists), but other than that, I think he’s a hoot to read.

Doubt he’s evil tho.

54 T. June 5, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Roissy, in your own mind, where did these early idealistic fantasies originate? I think many men started out this way. I had them too, until I learned the truth.

You seem to be starting with a flawed premise. I’ve never seen Roissy claim to have an elaborate system designed to fool women and cover up that he’s a beta male. Far as I can tell, he claims not to be a beta male at all. Also, how do we know for sure that this is even really Steve Sailer?

55 Skorri June 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm

‘Players’ of the Roissy-sort always strike me as guys who can’t handle the fact that it is women, and not they, who have the greatest ability and power to choose who they do and do not want to go home with. Pretty much any woman can get laid at pretty much any bar if she’s so inclined, after all — the men are just fanning their tails hoping to get picked.

So they come up with evopsych just-so stories to comfort themselves. “Oh no, women don’t /really/ have the ability to choose and judge me! They’re driven by base instincts, and if I can simply tap into their inner cavewoman, they’ll come to me in the same way a moth can’t help but try to encircle a light!” Thus comforted that it is they who truly have the power, they proceed to invent complicated theories about “betas” and “alphas” and try to sleep with as many dumb bitches as possible — really, if you don’t believe women have the intellectually abilities of a human, you’re not going to have any interest in them aside from sex. Oh, and possibly complaining on internet message boards about how feminism has destroyed the universe.

If a woman wants to pick up, or if she’s ambivalent but open to being persuaded, it’s not rocket science to figure out she’s going to go for guy that’s the most entertaining and attractive. (Hopefully it goes without saying for the crowd at this blog, that contrary to the Player’s Theory of Women, most women have a pretty particular and unique idea of what’s hot.) She’s in it for her pleasure, and while there’s always a risk of ending up with a Giant Douchebag by mistake, it’s just temporary and it’s easily fixed.

56 Michael Blowhard June 5, 2008 at 5:49 pm

“Something permanent”? Er, *life* isn’t permanent.

57 Steve Johnson June 5, 2008 at 6:11 pm

“Hopefully it goes without saying for the crowd at this blog, that contrary to the Player’s Theory of Women, most women have a pretty particular and unique idea of what’s hot.”

Yeah, which is why rockstars and homeless guys get laid about as often. Women generally have pretty non-unique non-particular ideas about what’s hot.

58 mq June 5, 2008 at 11:28 pm

When you can’t summon a token attempt at refutation, armchair psychology and petty insult suffice,

Oh, come on. What’s to be refuted here? I have no problem with game in its proper sphere. There are hundreds of web sites and dozens of books on it. Very little Roissy does in that area is original. (If you want a book on pickup that is far better written than Roissy can manage, try Neil Strauss, “The Game”). What’s unique about Roissy is his genuine bile and anger, and the outrageous humor he pulls from it. But he seems to have some acolytes who take him really seriously. Men who really need to be angry at women are usually redressing some past insult — often, though not always, not getting enough pussy, now or when they were young. Sometimes it is other things, though.

59 Josh June 6, 2008 at 12:47 am

Roissy doesn’t seem like that bad a guy to me at all. In fact, a lot of his advice could really be applied to men who are seeking monogamy and meaningful relationships. In many ways, he reminds me of Will Smith’s character in the movie Hitch, or a guy like Tucker Max. That is, he’s very cynical and reduces women to their cheapest elements, but he is right that there are a lot of things men these days just aren’t that informed of about the opposite sex. Women, like men, are animals. They are flawed creatures. And they will, like (or far more often than) men, play games. Roissy’s advice allows men who want the right things to not be fooled or played or hurt by the vices and follies of the opposite sex. Even if your goal is marriage, things like attracting the opposite sex with playful banter and confidence usually do matter a whole lot to that desired end.

60 James A. Donald June 6, 2008 at 6:11 am

“with almost no exceptions, women want men who can put them in their place, and who can maintain dominance in the relationship. most of them won’t admit this, because it so completely contravenes the feminist ethos that is rotting the core of western civilization, but a quick empirical observation of their dating and mating patterns confirms it in spades.”

And thus nice guys finish last.

61 Josh June 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm

“The very point of long term relationships is to find someone who will love you for who you are. If you have to constantly maintain some sort of cheep macho-man facade to keep her interested then the relationship is basically dead already.”

I think by calling it game, we attribute too much of a formulaic and artificial character to what is essentially the art of attracting women. Look, nobody is suggesting that you carry a bag of tricks every fleeting moment you’re around women. But it is prudent to maybe not let your insecurities get the best of you, or believe in yourself more than you believe in the mythical aura of the opposite sex. Obviously, a long term relationship’s health is about more than just attraction, and that’s why the game will probably not be that relevant when it comes to issues of cooperation and mutual respect (though i dare anyone to tell me women respect men who are not confident or able or “strong”). But to have a healthy long-term relationship requires that you start one. I know a lot of guys who have trouble doing just that, because they don’t know how to attract women to get those relationships started.

62 Asher June 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Whatever details one finds fault with in Roissy that cannot detract from his attempts to tie in human sexuality and mating with the biological evolution of the species. Besides dead-enders like P.Z. Meyers is there anyone around that is a serious blank-slater? If so, you’ll need to explain how all constancies and varieties in human behavior became completely untethered from the biological imperatives of the species.

In the nature-versus-nurture debate I can’t see how the nurture side would be anything beyond over-riding biological imperatives; i.e., brainwashing aka socialization. So, even if every variation in human behavior today is nurture then that fact would still not mean that nature would not re-assert itself in the absence of nurture. Now socialization works using two basic mechanisms: imperatives and taboos, what one should or should not do. I see very little evidence, today, that children’s and youth’s upbringing involves socialization regarding sex and mating.

What’s amusing is that the same people who ridicule abstinence-only sex education will turn around and deny that biological imperatives have any basis in human sexual behavior. Seriously, if 16 year olds are “going to do it anyway” then where does that behavior originate? I see little evidence that society is pro-actively training kids to have sex by then, Gannon excepted. So, using the process of elimination we have … genetics. DING! DING! DING! Or maybe you can just chalk it up to some ephemeral “free will”.

Given the mountain of circumstantial evidence it’s a good bet that biological human sexuality bears some resemblance to Roissy’s narratives. Either way, a theory that attempts to explain reality is better than one that denies it exists, so if you disagree with Roissy then let’s hear your theories on the biological imperatives involved in human sexuality.

Can we just drop this blank-slate crap, please.

63 Loweeel June 7, 2008 at 9:35 am

Now is Dick Masterson, author of the book Men Are Better Than Women (and the blog of the same name) evil as well? Or is that SO over the top that it has to be satire?

64 Asher June 8, 2008 at 7:50 am

Look, if someone refuses, in practice, to acknowledge any biological factors in human behaviors then they are a blank-slater. Let me direct you to what I said in my previous post: if you disagree with Roissy then let’s hear your theories on the biological imperatives involved in human sexuality. If you do not do this then you are a blank-slater, in practice.

When you respond to a post please try reading it a little more carefully next time. Blank-slaters are rife today, and they appear to have a significant presence in this readership.

65 Randall Parker June 8, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Tyler,

You’ve attacked Roissy’s character without providing enough evidence for why his character should be attacked.

Your attack is pointless to anyone who hasn’t read him. They have no idea who you are talking about. All you’ve done is to cause some of them to go read him.

As for Roissy himself: If he’s wrong on some points one of the reasons he’s wrong is that academics won’t discuss human nature realistically. But some of the behaviors he observes in some women are quite real and seem to be a product of evolution.

66 Randall Parker June 8, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Tyler,

Another also: You are making an incorrect assumption that everyone will enjoy matrimony and monogamy. You are projecting on others characteristics of yourself. But natural selection produces a lot of variation in both men and women in terms of how much they’ll enjoy monogamy versus promiscuity. The cads are a product of natural selection.

You ought to know better by now. I think you are resisting a biological view of human nature for reasons that themselves are probably biological in origin.

67 Asher June 9, 2008 at 9:30 am

at:

Yes, we’re not blank slates. However, you rapidly run into problems if you try to use that to argue that male dominance is “natural”, and therefore the way of the past is the way of the future.

Arguably, there are several other biologically-driven human behaviors with a “natural” basis, not merely the ones related to sexual activity and gender roles.

A propensity for intertribal skirmishes and warfare and a propensity towards magical, superstitious or religious beliefs, for example: both are nearly universal among hunter-gatherers and modern societies alike. The power of music to emotionally affect us is another example, as well as the urge to dance. Pinker’s “language instinct”. And so forth.

Further, just about every single social animal which lives in groups — from chimps to chickens — has a pecking order or social dominance hierarchy. Stronger individuals dominate and demand submission from the weaker, and one gender dominates the other (usually males, but in some species like hyenas the females are dominant).

You get some things correctly. However, “male dominance” is usually males dominating males and not males dominating females. BTW, women get most sexually aroused by a man who exhibits high degrees of sexual dominance in the bedroom. I’m not a reader of Roissy’s but I believer that the point is that dominance is something that females select and not that males assert.

Returning to the “natural order” would therefore not merely involve women accepting the dominance of men.

No, no, no. Women seek dominant males, sexually they already “accept” them, and proactively so.

It would mean returning something very much like the feudal, stratified, highly religious, warring societies of the Middle Ages. 20th century sexual egalitarianism was hardly the first departure from the “natural order”, it was merely the most recent. That train left the station centuries ago.

Demonstrating a base ignorance of event the simplest tenets of your opponent’s position. Feudal societies equals natural human sexuality? Hardly. Hell, human sexuality today more closely resembles natural human sexuality than does feudal society, and, in fact, feudal society tried to strictly enforce monogamy and would be the furthest thing from natural human sexuality.

A natural human sexuality would look like something in very primitive hunter-gatherer tribes such as the Yanomamo where the men dominate each other but women select dominant males.

How embarassing that you can’t even get the most basic thing correctly.

A guy like Roissy would like to put women in their place, but I doubt he’s anxious to get with the rest of the program. I can hardly picture him as a vassal making sycophantic obeisance to the overlord directly above him in the social hierarchy while faithfully adhering to the strictures of religious orthodoxy.

Again, not even getting the basics right. Roissy, whose blog I scanned for this discussion, clearly laments the loss of socially enforced monogamy. Since sexuality is a huge part of human life it’s pretty obvious that sexual equality between males is an integral part of social equality between people. The reigning sexual social contract of one man – one woman is systematically being dismantled by recent social and political developments and so we have a more “natural” human sexuality than we did during feudal times.

If I were to sum up Roissy’s position for him it might look like the following:

A) Human society is returning to a paradigm of polygyny, where approximately 1/4 of the males mate with females and the other 3/4 do not mate at all.
B) This is very bad for the future of human civilization as you’re going to have to figure out what to do with those three-quarters who aren’t getting laid.
C) Even though it’s very bad for society, it is the future so Roissy might as well be in the one-quarter as opposed to the 3/4s.

I suspect that Roissy, like myself, was raised to believe in the narrative of fairy-tale, one-man – one-woman, happily ever after monogamy, and that reality disabused him of that fairy-tale. I’d lay money he was raised in a pretty traditional, religious family. Roissy’s personal behavior is predicated on the fact society no longer strictly enforces female sexual selection, as in the past.

We’re not hostages to evolutionary psychology. Exploiting relic behaviors and instincts for personal advantage is the shabby domain of confidence tricksters. Look to the future and not to the past.

If you are living in a society where all sexual taboos are being ruthlessly eliminated then you are returning to the past. The recent sexual paradigm in human sexuality has been rigorously enforced monogamy for the benefits of society, and that paradigm is on the verge of collapse. A society free of sexual taboos is a sexually “natural” society; i.e. one that resembles mankind’s distant sexual past. Roissy’s just a player whose playing the game with which he’s confronted.

Fighting the behaviors of the world’s Roissy’s would entail retuning to the paradigm where sexual taboos are strictly enforce.

mg

Human beings are biologically evolved to respond to cultural cues. Also, biologically evolved to pair-bond as well as “spreading their seed”. Along with lots of other potentially contradictory stuff. Culture comes in because biology allows huge adaptability. Biological evolution does not get you far distance in explaining the huge variance in human behavior over history. Certainly the difference between someone like Roissy and Tyler Cowen is well within the variance allowed by biological evolution. (In a related note, I think Tyler will be much more successful than Roissy in having and raising children).

Highly aggression, low IQ west African males do just fine in passing on their seed; they impregnate dozens of women, provide no investment, and then hope some of the offspring survive. Biological success is measured solely by passing on one’s genes. Oh, and nice ad hom.

If I were an evolutionary psychologist I’d be embarassed at the way internet misogynists are always clutching at made-up evolutionary stories to justify whatever their latest cultural prejudice is.

Pretty verbiage, but ultimately devoid of content. Ultimately, this paragraph is nothing more than a sophisticate ad hom attack.

68 Ferox June 10, 2008 at 11:51 am

I thought this comment from Peter was notable.

“In my experience at least, men who have leadership roles at work or who otherwise have dominant leader-type personalities do okay with women. Which does not mean that they necessarily go around scoring at nightclubs, as many of them are happily ensconced in monogamous relationships.”

I know multiple men who fit this description. Not all of them are ensconced in a monogamous relationship (several refuse marriage under any circumstances); however, the percentage who have even been to a club in the past few years is less than 10%.

Men who are truly successful and powerful in the ‘alpha’ sense (or whatever term you want to use) aren’t going to have to play too many games. Try having a post-doc from a university everyone says “wow” to when you drop the name, a couple mil, some nice suits, a managing director/partner title, and a porsche or ferrari. Status and money matter for men.

For men, here’s my advice – make yourself into someone worth chasing, and you won’t have problems with women. There are other benefits as well.

As to the quality of many other comments, I will quote a band I enjoy quite a bit:

“Bit down on a bullet now / I had a taste so sour / I had to think of something sweet.”

69 mpowell June 10, 2008 at 5:58 pm


false guarantee. having money or power or looks will win you the audition with women but it won’t necessarily keep them around long enough for sex. for that, you need to appeal to them with the right personality and psychological dominance. and game can teach this.

I don’t know if this is the real Roissy or not, but what this is missing is that some people are looking for a real relationship. And a certain amount of game will get you in the door, but if you compromise you character to seduce women, you may have already undermined the potential for a healthy relationship.

Comparing Roissy to Will Smith’s character in Hitched is either really foolish, or just demonstrates that you haven’t read enough of what Roissy has written. Taken in whole, the difference could not be starker. Again, the, “I was joking” defense is very squirrelly, but Roissy has a post on the marital outcomes for different pairings for women. The best you could hope for is divorce after 10 years. Uh, wtf? Or take ‘schlubs’, for example. If his attitude towards women was not mean-spirited, I would expect his attitude towards these pairings to be something like detached amusement. It’s generally an example of a woman who was able to see past the ‘constellation of behaviours’ that are normally attractive to her, and pick a mate she’ll actually be happy with.

The whole blank slate or not discussion is a total red-herring here. Wherever our instincts came from, blindly following one desire or pattern is foolish. Your desires will not, generally, conveniently line up for you. You have to figure out what you really want and then you figure out how to get it. If a long series of cheap sex and short-term relationships is what you’re looking for, Roissy’s methods might be for you. But even if that’s what you’re looking for, actively despising other people who get what they want even though it’s different from what you’re looking for is completely unnecessary. And in my opinion, your behaviour should never fall below a certain floor in how you treat other people, regardless of how effective it is at getting you what you want.

70 mpowell June 11, 2008 at 11:14 am


actually, i am very much for long term loving relationships. it’s marriage i counsel men to avoid.

Well, based on what I have read, it does not seem like your advice in this department is very sound. Your whole relationship strategy is to cause your partner to always feel as insecure as possible so that she is always committed to making you happier. In certain circumstances, this could have it’s benefits, I agree. But I have two problems here. First, I do not agree that this leads to greater relationship satisfaction. Secondly, fundamentally, making a person feel insecure in order to get what you want in the relationship is not a loving way to treat them. This is pretty much where I think your approach falls short, and I imagine Tyler would also agree that this where your dating philosophy leads you astray. Those techniques that make for more satisfying short term relationships do not actually help create the long term relationships that someone like Tyler or myself are looking for. This is, of course, of a part with refusing to make a commitment like marriage. Especially if you are asking a woman to make career sacrifices to be with you, which is almost certainly going to be the case if you have kids, this is an unfairly selfish request. I have seen numerous examples where granting a woman greater security in her relationship causes the relationship to become more rewarding. Certainly, there are other risks that this entails, but those can be thwarted with good communication, something which is almost excluded as an option in your relationship model. Your mental model of how women operate will cause you to disagree with me. But I believe that mental model is based on inaccurate anecdotal evidence. And, honestly, all I need are anecdotal counter-examples to prove that it does not have to be your way.

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