My response to the infamous RFH went viral yesterday:
Unsurprisingly, many men took issue with this observation (you can check the tweet replies if you wish, don’t want to put the spotlight on anyone who doesn’t wish it).
Their primary arguments, to summarize, were:
1) Women are responsible for their own outcomes — if they waste years with men who aren’t longterm material it’s their fault, and not men’s responsibility.
2) Women also lead on men, so who cares?
This is not the first time I’ve dealt with these complaints, and such is the state of gender relations these days that it won’t be the last. But I admit they tire me. Not because I can’t acknowledge where these guys are coming from, but because I invariably find myself having to defend things I never said.
For instance, if I tell guys not to lead women on, that does not mean that I am saying women are helpless creatures who have no responsibility for their decisions. Similarly, if I tell guys not to lead women on, it also does not mean I am somehow indifferent to the fact that some women lead men on. This is basic logic. I am sympathetic that some female posters do say these things, but I am not one of them.
That said, let’s talk a bit about female agency. Because I think everybody in the modern era has a little dissonance with this.
Trads (especially the women) like to put forward the argument that anything a woman does is the result of a man. Men are leaders, women are reflections of their men, therefore any failing on the part of a woman was ultimately a man’s fault.
Modern discourse, however, likes to say that women are completely sovereign beings that can make their own decisions. They can take care of themselves; they don’t need men.
Both of these arguments are feminist, but reflect completely different sides of feminism. The former is feminist because it gives men all responsibility for what happens to women. The latter is feminist because it takes away all of a man’s authority over women. Which is why you often see women shift from one of these positions to another. “Women can do what they want but if it doesn’t turn out well it was a man’s fault.”
Understandably a lot of men are tired of this shit. They insist on women picking one lane or the other. Either women can’t make decisions for themselves and should give men authority over their lives, or women should make decisions for themselves and own the consequences of them. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
I get it, and I don’t disagree. But I also want to raise the conversation up to another octave. Is it really either / or? Can women be responsible for their own decisions, yet men also be responsible for setting them up for poor outcomes?
The legalistic mind would tell you no. You can seduce a woman and string her along for years. You can get free sex, and then after she’s given you the best years of her life, you can dump her and “upgrade.” She could have left the relationship at any time — you weren’t forcing her to stay. It’s was her fault for deciding to be with you.
Of course, all of this is true. She’s an adult, and she bears the consequences of her bad judgment. But what exactly is she guilty of having bad judgment about?
She is guilty of having the bad judgement of loving and trusting you.
Technically you are not at fault here — like a bank isn’t at fault for issuing you a mortgage at 8%, and then penalizing you if you try to pay it back early (even though they get the money to lend from the Fed at a discounted rate). Or like a credit card company is perfectly in its rights to hit you with 25% interest rates when you are in arrears. You signed the contract and spent the money! It’s all legal. But we all know in our hearts this behavior is predatory and scammy. It might be technically OK, but it doesn’t feel right.
Guys can argue with me all day about how it shouldn’t feel wrong to sleep with a woman who is only putting out because she wants something more. But the very fact that you feel so compelled to argue shows you know deep down it is. If you’re dating a girl who wants to get married and you’re not sure about her, but you’re enjoying the sex and company so you let things linger on for years, you are an asshole.
Maybe she is a fool, or is so afraid of starting over that she delays pulling the plug. And all of this is her fault. But at a certain point, if you know you cannot give her what she wants, the decent thing to do is to end it. Even if she is too afraid to do it, you should.
I tell you this as a man who played these legal games with women once upon a time, and wishes he hadn’t.
And I was hardly the worst offender. I never “lied” to the women I was dating. I told them I was enjoying seeing them, but “wasn’t looking for a relationship right now.” Or that I liked where things were going with us, but “wasn’t ready to commit.” Once they started to get too invested, I’d pull the plug. By the laws of love, it was fair. Few if any of the women I dated would say that I was a bad guy.
But in some of these cases, I nevertheless let things run longer than they should have. I dated one girl for nearly a year, even though I knew I had no future with her. I didn’t deceive her; I told her as much. Yet she was still willing to sleep me, so I continued to string things along. I eventually got into a serious relationship with another woman and ended it for good. It crushed her.
Why did I do this? You could say because she let me, and you would be right. She was young, and at any many points even when I wanted out, she did her best to convince me not to leave. But the truth is also that I was weak. I liked that she liked me. I liked that I had sex and companionship on terms that cost me nothing. I liked the power. Yet powerful though I felt, I didn’t feel powerful enough on my own to readily relinquish her attention. I needed her weakness to validate my importance.
Maybe it was necessary for me to abuse this power to ultimately get to where I am today. Perhaps this is where you are at too; you need to feel your ability to flex on a woman’s heart, to internalize your own desirability.
But at some point you should grow out of this. You should want to avoid taking from women, even when — in their own desperation — they are willing to give.
The truth is that even if you are only looking for casual liaisons, there are many women who are perfectly happy to have them. It’s not as if there is only one type of woman, in one particular sexual season in this world. There are other options; you do not need to string women along for many months or years if they are hoping for more. And you are lying to yourself if you don’t believe you are creating a karmic debt by doing so.
Which is the point of the original post. Modern sexual discourse has become so detached from masculinity and femininity that we forget what the prime directive of these energies is. For women, it is surrendering to love. It is giving up her heart, and trusting a man to keep it.
Every time a man fails to keep that trust, her ability to love diminishes. Her capacity to surrender decreases. She becomes hard — because she must. And to spite all the broken promises, to spite herself for not being worthy of them, she throws away her prize — her sex — to the lowest bidder.
She will tell herself that this self-degradation is empowerment, not only because society’s told her it is, but because how else can she say to explain it away? No woman wants to admit that she started sleeping around because her heart was broken and she became jaded. It’s an acknowledgment of failure: she wasn’t good enough to be loved and cared for. What a crushing realization for a woman. No wonder she will tell herself instead she’s single because she has “high standards.”
You can judge her for taking this path of avoidance and often promiscuity, and maybe you should. Not all women do it, regardless of their pain. It is an individual woman’s choice, and she should take responsibility for it.
But does it really make you feel good as a man to be a part of this cycle? If you took advantage of a woman’s innocence and set her on this path, do you really feel blameless?
You cannot deflect your contribution to this brokenness by protesting “women waste men’s time too.” Yes, bad women, or women who faced their own version of this moral dilemma yet failed. Taking your resentment towards one woman out on the rest of the sex is like deciding to rob a bunch of innocent people because somebody else robbed you. You are not morally justified in hurting people just because you are hurt. And it will not make you feel better. Shame lingers unconsciously even if you don’t want to acknowledge it, and buried shame simply projects outward as more hate.
It is time to grow up. If you are an attractive man, you have power over women. With great power comes great responsibility.
Use it well.
And if you want help learning how to develop this power over women?
Get my 18+ masterclass here: https://masterclass.patstedman.com/sales-page
It is truly the encyclopedia when it comes to attraction and women.
Until next time,