The Other McCain

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

Are ‘Higher Standards’ Really to Blame?

Posted on | August 14, 2022 | Comments Off on Are ‘Higher Standards’ Really to Blame?

Who is Kylie Cheung? She writes “about gender, power, and identity at the intersections of culture and politics,” is “currently a staff writer at Jezebel, and . . . previously worked at Salon’s culture desk.” She has a BA in political science from USC, lives in Los Angeles, is the author of A Woman’s Place: Inside the Fight for a Feminist Future (2020), and has a habit of using her social media to express interest in NBA players.

My curiosity was aroused by her Jezebel article:

A new Psychology Today article posits that modern dating’s higher standards for straight men have created more “lonely, single men” than ever — and the psychologist writing the column pretty much says that men need to fix everything about themselves or die alone, which sounds like a fun little choice.
According to author Greg Matos, because men comprise approximately 62% of dating app users, their chances for matches — let alone successful in-person meet-ups and eventual relationships — are dramatically lower out of the gate. Further, he writes, “dating opportunities for heterosexual men are diminishing as healthy relationship standards increase.” Ouch! The article also cites a recent Pew Research study that found men are now “more likely than women to be unpartnered, which wasn’t the case 30 years ago.”
Matos says he regularly holds roundtable-like discussions with women ages 25 to 45, and hears that they “prefer men who are emotionally available, good communicators, and share similar values.” Somehow, these aren’t exactly fitting descriptors for many single straight men out there. But unless they work on themselves, perhaps seeking out “some individual therapy,” straight women are increasingly better positioned to have their pick of other suitors who actually meet their standards.

Note the gloating tone in Cheung’s recounting of this “research.” She clearly takes pleasure in the suffering of “lonely, single men,” and I’ll leave it to others to deduce why she derives sadistic satisfaction from this, as my own suspicions are perhaps obvious enough. Did I mention that she thinks it’s clever to be ostentatiously “thirsting” over NBA players on her social media? On her Instagram profile, she mockingly calls herself “trad housewife to @jharden13,” i.e., NBA All-Star James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers, who is a 6-foot-5 multimillionaire. How are we to interpret the available evidence about Kylie Cheung’s vision of the “feminist future”? But I digress . . .

The same Psychology Today article that Miss Cheung referenced was linked by Professor Glenn Reynolds, who observed:

[O]ne of the takeaways here is that men need to raise their game. This may in fact be true, but if the article were about lonely single women, the takeaway would be that . . . men need to raise their game. Because rule number one in articles about dating and relationships is that men are always the problem.

Exactly. Women are held blameless for their romantic troubles, which is why there are still “feminists” defending that crazy bitch Amber Heard.

Indulge me in another digression: One may be entirely sympathetic to victims of domestic abuse while, at the same time, recognizing Amber Heard as a certain type of woman who specializes in wrecking the life of any man foolish enough to fall in love with her. When a woman is so physically attractive, most men are apt to overlook the signs that she’s a destructive psychopath, in the Danger Zone of the “Hot/Crazy Matrix.”

Amber Heard is selfish, dishonest and cruel, and is shrewd enough to manipulate the gullible “feminists” who want to view her as a heroic victim, a symbolic martyr to “misogyny” — in quite the same way as she manipulated Johnny Depp into seeing her as “wife material,” a mistake that poor fool must eternally regret. Meanwhile . . .

Exactly what does psychologist Greg Matos say about these “lonely, single men”? He identifies “three broad trends in the relationship landscape that suggest heterosexual men are in for a rough road ahead”:

Dating Apps. Whether you’re just starting to date or you’re recently divorced and dating again, dating apps are a huge driver of new romantic connections in the United States. The only problem is that upwards of 62% of users are men and many women are overwhelmed with how many options they have. Competition in online dating is fierce, and lucky in-person chance encounters with dreamy partners are rarer than ever.
Relationship Standards. With so many options, it’s not surprising that women are increasingly selective. I do a live TikTok show (@abetterloveproject) and speak with hundreds of audience members every week; I hear recurring dating themes from women between the ages of 25 and 45: They prefer men who are emotionally available, good communicators, and share similar values.
Skills Deficits. For men, this means a relationship skills gap that, if not addressed, will likely lead to fewer dating opportunities, less patience for poor communication skills, and longer periods of being single. The problem for men is that emotional connection is the lifeblood of healthy, long-term love. Emotional connection requires all the skills that families are still not consistently teaching their young boys.

Count me as skeptical about everything here except the toxic influence of dating apps which, as regular readers know, I have consistently urged people to avoid: Online dating is for losers. The mere fact that you’re on a dating app conveys a negative message, i.e., you are someone who can’t get a date with anyone who actually knows you in real life. One of the clichés of recent feminist writing is young women complaining about the low quality of men they meet on Tinder, to which I reply: “Well, duh.” If a guy really had his act together — if his career were on the upswing, his wardrobe stylish, his manners sophisticated and his physique honed by rigorous exercise — why on earth would he need to be on a dating app? Every single woman he met would view him as a “catch,” and in all probability, he’d already be in a committed relationship anyway (because smart guys who’ve got their act together usually prefer it that way).

This is where selection effects must be understood — men trolling for dates on Tinder are not representative of all men. They are a distinct category whose decision to use this technology separates them, as a class, from the much larger category of men who don’t use dating apps. To make general statements about all men on the basis of the behaviors of men who use dating apps is logically invalid and, I would argue, contributes to the overwhelmingly negative attitudes toward men exhibited by young women who use dating apps. Whenever you encounter someone complaining about the low quality of their choices in the dating market, your first response should be to ask the obvious question: “Why are you in the dating market?” That is to say, why didn’t any of your previous relationships become permanent?

Many times I have remarked that, past a certain age (probably about 25, but perhaps even younger) your dating experience is like picking through the clearance bins in the discount store — not a lot of premium choices, and most of the available merchandise is clearly damaged. Attractive, successful people tend to form enduring relationships at a young age, to marry their high school or college sweetheart and, because they are obviously “catches,” their partners tend to hang on to them. If, by some chance, they go through a breakup, they’re not going to be in the dating market very long. So if you’re still “out there” looking for love past your mid-20s, nearly all of the available choices will be flawed or damaged in some way, and guess what? The fact that you are still “out there” means that you’re flawed or damaged, too. You must in some way be substandard, or else you’d already be in a relationship.

Am I being too judgmental here? Not at all. This is the objective truth — if you were really all that and a stack of pancakes, you wouldn’t be single, trolling for action on Tinder, and the sooner you accept the reality of your situation, the better off you’ll be. Nothing is more pathetic than a lonely desperate loser who thinks there’s nothing wrong with him, but instead rationalizes his lack of companionship by blaming women. You’re on the verge of becoming the next Elliot Rodger, pal, so stop acting like you don’t have a problem — and the same goes for all those single women who think there’s nothing wrong with them, but instead blame their loneliness on the failures of men. Which is why I raise a skeptical eyebrow toward the claim by Matos that higher “relationship standards” explain the problems facing single men in the 21st century.

Is it true that “women are increasingly selective”? Perhaps so. But does it follow from this that men who are unable to find partners are failing because they don’t meet the preference of women for “men who are emotionally available, good communicators, and share similar values”? To prove this, you would have to show me evidence that men who are romantically successful are more “emotionally available,” etc., in comparison to the losers who never get a “swipe right” on Tinder.

Of course, that’s not how women actually judge men on Tinder (or anywhere else, for that matter). Despite his alleged expertise as a professional psychologist, Greg Matos has made the amateur error of assuming that what women say they value most in a man is the same thing as what they actually do value most. You will never understand women until you learn to watch what they do, not what they say.

Ceteris parabus, women prefer men who are:

1. Tall;
2. Athletic;
3. Financially successful.

Not necessarily in that order, but being tall certainly counts a lot. Women who talk endlessly about how much they value personality traits (“emotionally available,” blah blah blah) will become as giddy as schoolgirls the minute a guy who is 6-foot-2 walks in the room. Are women less superficial than men? I think so, because how else to explain why any man would go near a wicked bitch like Amber Heard? She’s blonde, she’s pretty and therefore, no matter how evil she is, there is no shortage of men who will fall into her trap. But being less superficial than a man, in terms of judging potential partners on the basis of looks, doesn’t mean that women aren’t also superficial in their own way.

When I say that women prefer “athletic” men, I don’t necessarily mean the guy who played varsity sports in school, but rather refer to his general physique. The guy with muscular shoulders and a lean waist always has the advantage, which is why any young guy with half a brain is hitting the gym regularly. If what Greg Matos meant, in saying that “women are increasingly selective” in the 21st century, is that they have higher expectations of physical fitness, then I would heartily agree. The media have turned the Cult of Washboard Abs into a mainstream phenomenon among young women, many of whom wouldn’t look twice at any guy who doesn’t have the lean, muscular physique of an NFL cornerback.

By the way, what do you suppose Kylie Cheung intends to signify by her ostentatious fangirling of NBA stars? What message is she sending? Would it be a mistake to interpret this as Kylie telling normal guys, “Don’t waste your time, chump”? Like, don’t even think about sliding into her DMs. Unless you’re tall and athletic, she’s not interested.

If that is not the message Miss Cheung intends to convey, then perhaps she ought to reconsider her social-media habits, because I think most other men scrolling through her Twitter feed would draw the same conclusion that I did: She is only interested in tall, athletic men.

To wander off into another digression, my advice to young men is this: Strive to make your online presence as opaque as possible.

That is to say, limit your posts on Twitter, Instagram, etc., to very banal and inoffensive content that (a) puts you in a generally favorable light, but (b) without revealing anything deeper about you: “Here’s a picture of me with my family at Thanksgiving. Here’s a picture of me with my diploma at college graduation,” etc. Never say anything political on social media, nor express any opinion more controversial than, say, disappointment with your favorite sports team’s failure to make the playoffs. Try to make yourself a social-media tabula rasa, a mystery, an enigma. What you should seek is to minimize any negative consequences of your social-media presence, and in offering that advice, I digress only slightly from my main theme because DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN what does Kylie Cheung think she’s doing on Instagram?

If her goal in life is to be permanently alone, her social-media message is perfect, because I can’t imagine any guy wanting to get with a girl whose Instagram page is so crammed full of Controversial Feminist Hot Takes, interspersed with Gaze-Upon-My-Half-Naked-Body Selfies. Honestly, Miss Cheung, has your mother seen your account? If so, is she more or less resigned to the fact she’ll never have grandchildren?

That a woman would deport herself online in this manner, while simultaneously gloating about “lonely, single men” who “need to fix everything about themselves or die alone,” displays a lack of self-awareness that is truly astonishing. But this just shows what Professor Reynolds said, i.e., “rule number one in articles about dating and relationships is that men are always the problem.” No matter how hopeless a basket case a woman may be — and Kylie Cheung is a complete mess — she is nevertheless assumed to possess an unquestioned authority to expound upon what’s wrong with men.

Is it necessary to explain why Greg Matos is wrong to think that men can improve their dating lives by listening to what women say about the importance of being “emotionally available,” blah blah blah? Does anyone really believe Kylie Cheung is drooling over NBA All-Stars because they’re so “emotionally available”? Nonsense, and this blather offers nothing to guys who can’t score a match on Tinder, where the “swipe right” reflex has zero to do with anything except a woman’s instantaneous (and entirely superficial) reaction to a man’s profile photo.

“On July 8, 2017, [James] Harden signed a four-year contract extension with the Rockets for approximately $160 million, giving him a total six-year deal with $228 million guaranteed — the richest contract in NBA history.” Probably because he’s so “emotionally available,” am I right?



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