Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bragging vs. Complaining

Savvy (H.T.:  Prof Hale) writes:

The thing that makes me so sad is that all I have ever wanted is to meet a decent man who will be kind to me in all the right ways, love me, and want to marry me.  Instead, jerks abound.  They are there like sharks under the water, circling and waiting to bite.

For some reason this reminded me of Swoozie06.  I enjoyed Swoozie’s account of his experience at Prom Nite, for a couple of reasons.  The story was certainly engaging, the animation was clever, and I particularly liked his rendition of himself as a bit of a nerd.  But after visiting his YouTube site and acquainting myself with much of his oeuvre, I began to get a little . . . annoyed.  Swoozie essentially tells the same story over and over:  he (1) meets a young woman, (2) deploys his considerable status, charm, and physicality to “game” her, and finally, when the young woman is in too deep to get out, (3) drops that he’s a Christian saving himself for marriage.

It’s hard to articulate why I eventually became annoyed by these stories.  Envy perhaps, combined with the realization that they contain an undertone of bragging.  But mainly, it’s that he’s engineering these women into making sexual overtures of varying subtlety simply for the vanity hit.

I’m prepared to be sympathetic.  Swoozie is a “professional gamer”, and while I don’t understand the economics of it, I gather the job involves “branding” himself in a way that makes him especially appealing to women, and working in an environment where the women aren’t especially known for their virtue.  So yeah, getting hit on is an occupational hazard, much as Savvy’s job as a rock music journalist exposes her to . . . musicians, and all that that implies.  But Swoozie, last I looked in on him, wasn’t doing much to mitigate these hazards, nor was he doing much to surround himself socially with the kind of women who share his values.

Contrasting Savvy’s and Swoozie’s personal accounts provides a clear illustration of the difference between a man’s position in the sexual market and a woman’s position:  a surfeit of female attention, even aggressive attention, raises a man’s status, while unwanted male attention lowers a woman’s status.  Thus Swoozie can (obliquely) brag about his adventures, while Savvy cries herself to sleep.

Parenthetically, as I read Savvy’s blog, I reflected on the peculiar difficulty of women who are not virgins yet have rededicated themselves to living a chaste life.  On the one hand, they cannot offer themselves unblemished to men for whom virginity is important (as well it should be); on the other, they cannot meet the expectations of men for whom sex is the normal way to wind up a date.


SavvyD said...


Just so you know, the ones who hit on me are NOT the musicians.

Indeed, the rock fans are often very respectful.

The man who hit on who I didn't like (because the asshole stuck his hand down my shirt) was one I met when I attended a JAZZ film screening at a MUSEUM about the life and music of DAVE BRUBECK.

SavvyD said...

Also, I think of myself rather highly in that I respect myself too much to accept any of their offers.

SavvyD said...

Also, just so you know, I haven't always been a rock critic. When I first started the blog, I was a choir teacher. I am also a church choral section leader, and while I was in NYC to become an opera singer, I was a secretary.

Dr. Φ said...

Dear Savvy: Thanks for your visit and the clarification. Like you, I too have known what it is like to be single, not wanting to be, and not seeing much reason to hope. Blessings on your search.