The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘A High Value Woman’

Posted on | December 13, 2019 | 1 Comment


Niki Marinis is a Southern California woman who calls herself a “comedian.” She recently got dumped by her boyfriend, who calls himself a “musician.” Neither of them is really successful in these endeavors, but in Southern California, aspirational self-definition is everything. If your dream is to make it in show business, what you do to pay the rent is not who you are. Your day job may be pulling orders in a warehouse, but if you do a weekend stand-up gig once or twice a month, you call yourself a “comedian,” in the same way that I was “rock star” when I was bouncing from one garage band to another back in the day. Eventually, of course, you either make it or you don’t, and accepting failure is a lot easier if you can get yourself a nice day job, a home, marriage, children, etc. — the American Dream of bourgeois suburban respectability.

That’s basically my story. Some kids may grow up dreaming of a career as a journalist, but I wasn’t one of those kids. No, my career plan involved gold records, world tours, marrying Brooke Shields and retiring by age 30 to live off my lucrative royalties. Didn’t happen, but I’m OK with that, because I somehow lucked into a day job writing for a newspaper and did pretty good for myself. But I digress . . .

What brought Niki Marinis to my attention was not her aspirational career as a “comedian” (because like 99.99% of Americans, I never heard of her before) but rather something she wrote in her capacity as a “relationship” columnist at a blog called P.S. I Love You.

You may be wondering, who would take relationship advice from an unsuccessful comedian who can’t even make a relationship work with an unsuccessful musician? And the answer to that question is, I don’t know, but there are a lot of people on the Internet who pretend to be experts about “relationships” despite their own sad history of failure, so why shouldn’t Niki Marinis join the online herd of advice peddlers?

“Why You’re Not Attracted to Nice Guys” was the headline on the column that caught my attention, and actually it’s not all bad. Marinis offers some insight on the basic failures of the “Nice Guy” type:

A Nice Guy won’t come out and tell you exactly what he wants. He’s afraid of rejection so he frames things in a way where he won’t feel the sting, should it come. . . .
Nice Guys don’t clarify their intent. They tap dance around the subject hoping to get lucky. They’re flirting with you unless you’re not OK with that and then they totally weren’t.
They’re desperate to avoid accountability for their choices. They have no confidence that you’ll say yes so they feel they have a better shot if they trick you, or drop bread crumbs.
They want to be vague so if you don’t like what they’re offering then they never meant it that way so it’s not their fault that you read them wrong.

This kind of passive-aggressive approach is rooted in a lack of confidence that manifests itself as risk avoidance. One of the great truths about love is, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” A guy has got to be willing to take a chance — make your move, even if you know the odds are you’ll be rejected — or he will be doomed to solitude. So a certain reckless attitude is necessary, but such an attitude is very hard for the typical middle-class white guy to develop, because he has been taught all his life to avoid risk.

Here’s my advice to guys: Stop playing games. Don’t imagine that you’re deceiving her about your intent. When a guy starts chatting up a girl, she knows what he’s after, so why pretend otherwise?

Social custom requires men and women engaged in the courtship ritual to dissimulate to a certain extent in regard to the desired outcome. Ultimately the question is, to borrow a Shakespearean phrase, whether the object of your pursuit is willing to make “the beast with two backs” (Othello, Act I, Scene 1). From the moment a guy introduces himself to a girl he considers a potential partner, this is the implied subtext of their conversation, no matter how much they politely pretend otherwise. And the important thing for guys to understand is that a woman makes her decision about your suitability within a few seconds of your first meeting. So if she’s not immediately sending you “green light” signals, move on. Don’t imagine you’re going to persuade her to like you by continuing the conversation, if her initial reaction isn’t encouraging.

In order to get any clear signal from her, however, a guy has to muster the courage to let his intentions be known, to stop pretending that he would be satisfied with mere friendship. This is what gives rise to the “Beta orbiter” syndrome, where the pretty girl finds herself surrounded by friendly “Nice Guys” who just hang around hoping that friendship will somehow magically be converted into romance. Good luck with that, pal. I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s time-consuming and generally counter-productive, since what your “friendship” does is give her the validation of male attention at no cost, as simply the fee you must pay for being allowed in her presence. The “Nice Guy” is like one of those hopeful beaus who flocked around Scarlett O’Hara at the Twelve Oaks barbecue. If a guy wants to be the romantic hero, however, he must study and emulate (to the best of his feeble ability) Rhett Butler.


Scarlett: “Sir, you … you should have made your presence known.”
Rhett: “In the middle of that beautiful love scene? That wouldn’t have been very tactful, would it? But don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me.”
Scarlett: “Sir, you are no gentleman.”
Rhett: “And you, miss, are no lady. Don’t think that I hold that against you. Ladies have never held any charm for me.”
Scarlett: “First you take a low, common advantage of me, then you insult me!”
Rhett: “I meant it as a compliment. And I hope to see more of you when you’re free of the spell of the elegant Mr. Wilkes. He doesn’t strike me as half good enough for a girl of your — what was it, your passion for living?”
Scarlett: “How dare you! You aren’t fit to wipe his boots!”
Rhett: “And you were going to hate him for the rest of your life.”

What is so brilliant about Rhett’s repartee with Scarlett in the famous library scene is that he obviously knows she will be offended by his insinuating manner, but this doesn’t bother him. He reacts to Scarlett’s indignation with laughter, and why? Because he doesn’t care. Rhett is a man who is not suffering from a shortage of female companionship. He doesn’t hide the fact that he is attracted to Scarlett, but he knows he’s not going to win her heart by playing the game by the customary rules.

Rhett is a shrewd calculator of the odds, as any gambler must be, but he is also decisive, willing to shove “all in” if his hunch tells him he’s got the winning hand in the game. But I digress . . .

Niki Marinis accurately identifies some basic problems of the “Nice Guy” approach, but seems to lack self-awareness about her own problems. Consider, for example, this telling remark:

I saw a game show clip where the question asked was something like, “100 single men were polled and asked how many sexual partners should a woman have before she marries?”
The top answer was 5. Oh, sweet Jesus. Sadly, in some fantasy world most nice guys would agree with this answer.

Really? What Ms. Marinis is suggesting here is that she has already had many more than five sexual partners — she’s in double digits, no doubt — but doesn’t think this reflects negatively on her. Yet the game-show question was related to marriage, and what Ms. Marinis doesn’t want to admit is that premarital promiscuity (by men or women) increases the likelihood that any eventual marriage will end in divorce. A young person who develops a habit of going from one partner to another with some regularity will find that this behavioral pattern is not easily broken. The woman who has had a dozen affairs before marriage is likely to become bored with the routine of monogamous domesticity, and such boredom — resulting from the frustration of her appetite for new sexual adventures — will predictably manifest itself in harmful ways.

This problem does not seem to have occurred to Ms. Marinis, who may not be familiar with the relevant social-science data and who probably has bought into the mythology of “sex-positive” feminism, which tells young women that it is “empowering” to screw around. The question of whether sexual empowerment leads to happiness is never asked, because feminism is a totalitarian ideology that considers power the only important value. Totalitarians don’t care about happiness. Was Stalin “happy”? Was Pol Pot “happy”? If liquidating your enemies is your idea of “happiness,” then being a totalitarian is the way to go, but feminists seldom consider the downside of their ideology of “empowerment.”

Feminists regard men as their enemies, and thus Niki Marinis views criticism of her promiscuity as evidence of male inferiority:

Questions nice guys ask that should send your radar on high alert:

When was the last time you had sex?
How many men have you slept with?
Have you ever had sex with someone outside your race?
How sexually experienced are you?

Get ready! You’re about to be judged. It’s a no win question.
I’ve had guys ask me all these questions on a first date. That immediately tells me two things: they’re only interested in sex and they’re incredibly insecure about their own experience and abilities.
Maybe it’s his Nice Guy syndrome that’s caused him to have fewer sex partners than you and he feels lame. When you tell them the truth and they think that number is high, they can’t get past it.
Nice Guys expect you to uphold their expectations. They feel safer knowing you have less to compare them to.

You see? Leave aside the social ineptitude exhibited by “Nice Guys” in asking such questions on a first date. Instead, focus on how Ms. Marinis turns this into an occasion to (a) insult men as “incredibly insecure” for even being interested in her prior relationships, and (b) declare that her sexual history is off-limits to any judgment whatsoever. What she apparently can’t see is how her feminist thinking leads to a double standard: Men are to be judged very harshly by women — he must be “insecure,” and probably “feels lame” about his relative lack of sexual experience — but women are never to be judged at all.

In what Rollo Tomassi calls a “feminine-primary social order,” women are never confronted about the moral contradictions of their behaviors because (a) all women are expected to show solidarity to the sisterhood — never expressing doubt that women are inherently entitled to have whatever their fickle hearts might desire — and (b) any man who criticizes a woman’s behavior is condemned as a misogynist. Feminism’s hegemonic influence in our culture produces a sort of echo chamber within which skeptical voices are never heard. Inside this echo chamber, criticism of sexual “empowerment” is impermissible as heresy. A feminist never doubts the value of “empowerment” in the same way no one in the Heaven’s Gate cult ever doubted that they would soon be aboard that spaceship arriving with the Hale–Bopp Comet. A cult mentality prioritizes belief in the “cause” over any factual evidence that can be gained from observation or experience, so that no matter how often her own relationships with men end in misery and failure, the feminist never questions the basic premises of her ideological faith. Men are always to blame, she is always innocent of wrongdoing, and most of all, her failures are never to be interpreted in a way that might reflect negatively on her.

Keep in mind that it is not my purpose to defend “Nice Guys.” Life has a way of sorting people into two large categories — winners and losers — and if the “Nice Guy” ends up as a loser, far be it from me to dispute the verdict. He has been “weighed in the balance and found wanting,” and who is to blame for his failure? Not me, because if he had asked my advice, he might have stood a chance to win, but instead he followed a path of his own choosing, and that’s not my fault. Selah.

What leads the tragic hero to his doom, as any student of Aristotle knows, is hubris — the pride that proverbially goeth before a fall — and his arrogance causes the foolish protagonist to ignore the counsel of wisdom. Are we to suppose that no one has ever advised the “Nice Guy” what’s wrong with his attitude? But if so, isn’t this because the “Nice Guy” is so foolishly confident in himself that he never bothers asking for advice?

The criticism Niki Marinis makes against the “Nice Guy” would be more helpful if she were willing to question her own judgment, and to ask whether her approach to relationships is fundamentally flawed. However, notice the hubristic language she repeats in her column:

High value women are well aware of the low value behaviors of Nice Guys. . . ..
If he judges you on your past or your sexual history you shouldn’t feel bad, you should feel turned off. A high value woman won’t feel the need to justify herself by answering these questions [i.e., about her past sexual experiences]. . . .
A good man gives without expectations and a high value woman shows her appreciation without having to be asked, because she feels safe to do so. . . .
You aren’t crazy to not be attracted to these so called Nice Guys. It’s normal. It’s your gut screaming at you. High value women learn to listen to and trust their intuition. . . .
A high value woman recognizes the difference between a Nice Guy and a Good Man and won’t feel the need to justify her lack of attraction.

Niki Marinis might believe that her “intuition” as a “high value woman” is somehow vindicated by the fact that her boyfriend dumped her, but the rest of us are permitted to be skeptical of her claims to expertise. Dare I suggest that she is not as “high value” as she imagines?

See, this gets back to her objection to guys asking about her sexual history. Because of my skill as an interviewer, I sometimes find that people will tell me all sorts of things about themselves without me even bothering to ask directly. There are a few tricks to this, but you see that what really offends Ms. Marinis is the idea that a man would judge her based on her (presumably) above-average number of sexual partners.

Yet doesn’t a person’s sexual past tell us something about their character? This is true whether you are male or female. Like, maybe Denise Richards believed she could break Charlie Sheen of his bad habits, but experience has shown that belief to have been sadly mistaken. Even if you are not a moralistic prude, wouldn’t you agree that a promiscuous past shows an inability (or unwillingness) to sustain a long-term relationship? Probably most folks would be understanding of a young woman who, for example, had broken up with her high-school sweetheart — things just didn’t work out, for whatever reason — and then “played the field” for a few months before getting into her next serious relationship. Suppose that, during her time between these first two serious relationships, she hooked up with three or four different guys, so that now her cumulative total of sexual partners is five or six. That’s rather a commonplace scenario in 21st-century America, but what happens if that second serious relationship also ends in failure? If she repeats this cycle of “playing the field,” she’ll soon be in double-digit territory and doesn’t such a sexual history suggest that she might not be a good prospect as “wife material”?

If Niki Marinis were truly a “high value woman,” wouldn’t one of her previous boyfriends have done whatever it took to keep her? That’s just one reason why a person’s cumulative number of previous sexual partners is relevant in evaluating them as a romantic prospect. Anyone might have bad luck once or twice, but when they’ve acquired a substantial history of failed relationships (usually interspersed with a series of casual hook-ups), there’s probably more than just bad luck to it.

Human nature involves predictable patterns of behavior, and one of these patterns is the way we deploy mental defense mechanisms to rationalize our own flaws, failures and disappointments. People don’t want to admit responsibility for the problems in their own lives, and so we construct explanations that exculpate us. This is natural and, to some extent, necessary to protect our egos from negative feedback, but when someone steadfastly refuses to accept objective evidence of their own wrongdoing, the reliance on defensive rationalization can develop into a pattern that is self-destructive and dangerous — a sociopathic attitude.

How many failed relationships do you have to go through before you finally admit that the common denominator in these failures is you?

That’s the kind of admission that Niki Marinis seems unwilling to make, and her repeated assertions that she is a “high value woman” might be interpreted differently by a competent psychotherapist.

Get help, ma’am. Crazy People Are Dangerous, you know.



One Response to “‘A High Value Woman’”

  1. Nobody uses the missionary position anymore. – Adam Piggott
    December 14th, 2019 @ 3:04 pm

    […] The Other McCain has discovered a career cat lady who dishes out relationship advice while referring to herself as a high value woman. […]