Monday, April 19, 2010

Nice Girls, Mean Girls

Warning:  the following is a generalization.  I am aware that there are exceptions.  The usual rule applies:  if it doesn’t describe you, then I’m not talking about you.

It is a commonplace that unattractive girls have the best personalities.  It has even become a backhanded way of saying a girl is unattractive to call her “the girl with the great personality”.  The explanation is usually some variant of the fact that unattractive girls must develop their personality in a pleasing way to socially survive.  I agree with this:  some of my closest female friends have been unattractive girls.

And yet, when I think about it, I can’t really complain about super-attractive, out-of-my-league girls either.  While I would stop short of calling them “friends”, I can’t recall many instances of gratuitous cruelty, either.  This may be a pretty low bar, but I’ll take kindness anywhere I can get it, and the fact is that I’ve always been treated better by really beautiful women than they could have gotten away with.

Most of the complaints I make about women are leveled at “average girls”, girls of moderate attractiveness that, physically speaking, I would put roughly within my own percentile.  It is from these that I have suffered the worst behavior.

A few possibilities:

  • I am mistaken in my generalization.  It may be my perceptions are colored by higher expectations.  (I can’t think of any other cognitive biases that may apply, however.)
  • A charmed life begets a charming personality.  Truly beautiful women, who Never Have Any Problems, view the world and its inhabitants as full of sweetness and light, and this is reflected in how they treat others.
  • Social power begets social confidence.  Spungen once put forward this hypothesis:  women firmly in position at the top of the hierarchy, and secure in the knowledge that they can rely on others to deter and punish any betas that get uppity, can afford more social condescension.
  • The middle is the most ambitious.  Women of average attractiveness have sufficient social access to know where the top is and believe themselves capable of reaching it if they can only improve their peer group.  Their social climbing inevitably involves snubbing anybody below their desired set.
  • The “bad behaviors” are actually “shit tests”.  Average women put me in their “potential” category and screen me for alpha qualities.  I misread this behavior and otherwise fail.  (I would be most surprised if this one is true.)
  • I induce the behavior.  Only around average women do I behave in a way that is, or is perceived to be, “showing interest”; thus, it is only here that I am the recipient of rejection behavior.  (I would here protest that my generalization still applies even though I have been married for over 12 years.  You can make of this what you will.)

These possibilities are not mutually exclusive.  Thoughts?

16 comments:

samsonsjawbone said...

Drive-by musings:

The middle is the most ambitious. Women of average attractiveness have sufficient social access to know where the top is and believe themselves capable of reaching it if they can only improve their peer group. Their social climbing inevitably involves snubbing anybody below their desired set.

This is the most likely. Truly attractive women don't feel the need to put down those that are below them. It's much the same as with schoolyard bullies: the worst are usually those who are insecure about their own social standing. And on that note, I believe the "hot girls are bitches" thing is absolutely correct - but mostly in the high school/college age range. As they mature, they become much less outwardly cruel.

It is a commonplace that unattractive girls have the best personalities.

One corollary is that frequently the best wives/LTRs to get are those who used to be unattractive but aren't anymore for whatever reason - weight loss, they've blossomed into their looks, etc.

The “bad behaviors” are actually “shit tests”. Average women put me in their “potential” category and screen me for alpha qualities. I misread this behavior and otherwise fail. (I would be most surprised if this one is true.)

I can't speak for you, Phi, but actually as I've learned Game I've increasingly thought that this might be the case for me sometimes. It has happened a few times in the past year or two that I've noticed female behaviours that have made me say "Aha! She's testing me!" Whereas before I would've thought "Gee, why is this chick being so mean for no reason? Isn't she a mature adult"

Professor Hale said...

I seems to me that women in the highest strata would be the most practiced at rejection and defensively would be autonomically rejecting most men. This would, to the man, seem rude. Sort of like celebrities shunning strangers who ask for autographs while they are trying to eat a quiet meal with a few friends.

Novaseeker said...

I think there's a distinction between "bitch shields", on the one hand, and underlying personae, on the other.

A woman over a certain threshold of attraction will have a contextually-triggered bitch shield of necessity because of the incessant stream of attention, most of it unwanted, she attracts from men. Sometimes that bitch shield is harsh because the underlying woman is rather socially inept. The more socially adroit women have a way of making it crystal clear that you aren't getting anywhere, but doing so in a firm yet charming way -- hard to pull off, but most of us have probably seen it pulled off by at least some women. And context matters a lot. A woman will be much less apt to have her bitch shield (hard or mild) up in circumstances like dealing with a close work colleague and so on because it interferes with the working relationship -- provided the colleague isn't making advances. However, put the same woman in a cocktail party setting and out comes the bitch shield -- again of necessity. It doesn't mean that the underlying woman is a bitch in terms of her persona, really -- but the ones who are clumsier about their bitch shields are probably clumsier overall socially.

I also think that the women who need the bitch shield the most are not the 10s or even the 9s, but the 6-8s. Most men don't hit on 9s and 10s because they know that they don't have a chance. A whole lot of men hit on cute 6s and 7s, however, and even some 8s -- these women probably get the most attention from men overall, and so they likely have the crustiest bitch shields -- more crusty than 9s and 10s because they are getting more hits than 9s and 10s are.

trumwill said...

Most of the worst I've gotten are from a particular subset between "average" and "super hot". Veering a little more towards the average. But then again I almost never asked out the super hot ones.

I think that social confidence is probably the biggest factor. Not just that they won't be dragged down by some loser, but also the confidence that comes from being able to adeptly reject a guy that is too forward. If you know how to do that, you don't have to worry nearly so much about it getting to the point where you have to.

Sheila Tone said...

Hey Phi, here's a video of the kid Phoebe would have gone to the winter dance with if she hadn't killed herself instead:

http://www.videowired.com/video/2470720495/

Based upon her photos, do you think this was an appropriate match for her? (Let's not mention his name so this won't come up if he googles himself.) Let's see if you've got a drop of mercy in you for our gender, or if you think we should all just be thrilled for anyone who'll have us.

Sheila Tone said...

Phi, is it possible that the flaw lies partly in your perception? In other words, you are more critical of the behavior of women you perceive as less desirable.

ironrailsironweights said...

My experience is roughly similar to yours, with the caution that we're talking about small differences. For example, if X percent of average women have unpleasant personalities, the corresponding percentage for below- or above-average women is something like .9X. Really not much of a difference. I'd also have to say that X is not a very high percentage. Relatively few women, regardless of looks, have bad personalities.

On the other side of the ledger, so to speak, it's long been my observation that the stereotype of the jolly fat man has very little basis in reality.

Peter

ironrailsironweights said...

Hey Phi, here's a video of the kid Phoebe would have gone to the winter dance with if she hadn't killed herself instead:
http://www.videowired.com/video/2470720495/
Based upon her photos, do you think this was an appropriate match for her?


A high school freshman with a couple of facial piercings?
He looks a bit chubby, but doesn't sound too nerdy or anything. Also, because he's a minority it's difficult to rate him on the standard Alpha-Beta scale, especially with respect to an interracial relationship.

Peter

trumwill said...

If this kid is an alpha, the term has less than no meaning, Peter. Seriously. If she set her standards to the star quarterback, she fell a long, long way. I mean, the guy is not disgusting, but he won the lottery up until you-know-what happened.

Sheila Tone said...

Peter, you -- YOU -- can't identify a hot Hispanic person?! I sure can. This kid ain't it.

Phoebe was good-looking. He isn't. Yes, he appears to be substantially overweight and yes, that *counts* in the assessment for either gender.

I thought those piercings were giant moles at first. Note that she didn't have any visible piercings, so there's one more weird mark against him.

Sheila Tone said...

The point is not to savage this kid, who could be a really nice dude. We can't tell much from the interview because he's pretty upset. He makes a point of saying he invited her to the dance "just as friends," although his hangdog look may reveal his true feelings.

But if we have any belief that people should pair up with others of similar attractiveness (like your Leper Messiah is always trying to calculate) something was screwing up that equation big-time for Phoebe.

ironrailsironweights said...

Sure, the boy is chubby, but my point is that by being Hispanic he might have had a rebel, tough-guy image that boosted his dating market value (even if he isn't that type at all). This is especially true if there aren't many minorities in the school, which may well be the case.

A non-minority boy of similar looks and size wouldn't have had a snowball's chance with Phoebe.

Peter

trumwill said...

Peter, that's not really how it works.

This is especially true if there aren't many minorities in the school, which may well be the case.

It is the case (South Hadley is over 90% white), but you have it backwards. When the minority population is negligible, their status is negatively impacted. There were popular minorities at my high school, but they had the same things going for them that the popular white kids did: they are athletic or attractive. This kid is neither. That he has a Hispanic name won't help him a whole lot. It would actually be more helpful if there were enough Hispanics to constitute "a group".

A girl that seeks a guy like this on the grounds that he is a bad boy has explicitly rejected status markets. If she was worried about the approval of the popular kids, going to the dance with this dude was not the way to do it.

Alternately, she chose to use a different status metric. In a small, generally white, generally middle class school, it's pretty unlikely that there were enough adherents to rogue culture that she would have gotten much of any status mileage out of it.

There are places where being a burly Hispanic guy with piercings will get you mileage. South Hadley does not appear to be one of those places.

ironrailsironweights said...

There aren't many Hispanics in South Hadley itself, but it's not as if the kids in town know nothing about them. There are thousands of Hispanics, including many gangbangers, just a short distance away in the ghettos of Holyoke and Springfield. Would that make a difference?

Peter

trumwill said...

I'm not suggesting that the kids don't have their internal visions of what Hispanics are and the culture and all that. Rather, the issue is what kind of status dating one gives you in the environment most important to you.

In a South Hadley High School environment, being a pierced minority only has any real currency with folks that are already outcasts (and thus, whose opinions don't really matter).

enamdar said...

Are women biologically programmed to reward cruelty, evil and domination?
Of course any complaints that girls go for bad boys and jerks instantly labels one a nice guy beta males. To the extent that it is possible, I actually consider myself somewhat of an impartial outside observer. I was an omega jerk in JR and high school, and to an extent my whole psycho personality, worked and I had girls literally chasing me. A lot of it might have been self-delusion but some measures were objective. After that I was in nearly complete isolation in college. So I've never played the role of the bitter nice guy. I have NEVER done anything nice for a girl or anyone my entire life! So I think I have some claim to impartiality, and my position that my deep depression and heart anguish is purely on a metaphysical level.

I read a lot of PUA seduction Game literature. At first my logic was it pays to learn all tools of rhetoric, persuasion and oratory even if I intended to put it to different uses than PUA.

Anyway to put it at its simplest. In cavemen times women were just plaything rape slaves for the strongest ape. And that is what evolutionary psychology in chimpanzee and gorilla behavior proves. Now there might have been some brave women who defended their freedom to the death, but their selfish genes were lost to history. And the genes that all modern women have inherited is those who submit to the cruelest caveman with biggest club.

I don't know for me it is pretty hellish to live in a world where all men are sadists and all women are masochists.

According to PUA science male physical attractiveness barely matters at all, the only thing women find attractive is brute domination and sadism.

For the last year I've completely cut myself off from humanity. Who wants to live in a world of pure evil? Only evil is rewarded! Cruelty is the only virtue. What good is morality and ethics?

So I'd like an outside opinion do you feel that women are biologically programmed to reward cruelty, evil and domination?