When the tape recording of Mr. Trump's "locker room" talk surfaced a few weeks before the 2016 Presidential election, pundits and people all across the fruited plain furiously proclaimed that the tape proved beyond doubt that Mr. Trump was a misogynist. The dictionary defines "misogynist" as "a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women. Synonyms: woman-hater."
When I first heard this, I was reminded of W. C. Fields' remark, "I don't hate children, I love children. Girl children. 19 years old."
Whatever else he may be, a glance at any broadcast where Mr. Trump is shown in the company of women proves to one and all that he's no misogynist. Mr. Trump doesn't hate women. He likes to look at them, talk about them, dine with them, hire them, and interact with them in every other imaginable way including being a pretty good father to their children, to all appearances. As someone whom we respect said, "You can't fake good kids."
The media went nuts over the recording anyway, saying it proves that Mr. Trump is guilty of sexual assault, or at least of wishful thinking in that direction. That's hogwash - the recording has Mr. Trump boasting of what women "let" him do to or with them. That's consent, by definition.
In the eyes of liberals, doesn't adult consent make everything OK? Don't women have the right to choose? Why should anyone care what consenting adults do in their bedrooms, or anywhere else that strikes their fancy?
Unlike Bill Clinton, nobody has ever accused Mr. Trump of focusing his attentions on underage girls - though even Mr. Clinton seems to have largely restricted his explorations in that direction to locations outside of the purview of American law. Also unlike Bill Clinton, there are many stories of women who didn't warm to Mr. Trump's approaches, in which case he politely moved on to someone else, knowing full well that there are other more accommodating fish in the sea who are quite willing to grant him eager consent if given the opportunity.
Since anyone with a brain knows that the woman-appreciating Mr. Trump most emphatically does not hate women, it appears that his opponents, who seem to include most of American liberalism, have re-defined the word. It's not completely clear what that fine old word means to moderns, but based on other comments in the storm of vilification that erupted when the tape came out, it's reasonable to assume that liberals think that "misogynist" means a man who thinks of women only in terms of having sex with them.
Even on that phony basis, the accusation is wrong: many women occupy high-level executive positions in the Trump Organization, dating back to a time when high-ranking women were extremely uncommon anywhere else. In the 1970s, Mr. Trump was a leader in promoting women when most other comparable companies and bosses wouldn't.
That has nothing to do with sex, merely competence. Again, isn't this exactly how feminists claim to want to be treated, being rated by their abilities?
Any woman who thinks about this should realize two things:
Interest in sex is not one-sided, either. The fashion industry thrives precisely because women spend a great deal of money making themselves look better to men - that is, more sexually appealing.
A couple went into Victoria's Secret so the wife could buy something. Her husband wandered around looking lost until a salesperson asked him if he needed any help. "Doesn't this store have anything for men?"
"Sir," she replied, "everything in this store is for men."
Victoria's Secret's multi-billion dollar business model helps women buy clothes, cosmetics, and other accessories for the express purpose of making it more likely that men will look at them and be attracted to them. It doesn't take a woman long to realize that most men who are attracted to her looks think in terms of having sex with her, the sooner the better.
Nearly the entire fashion industry is dedicated to servicing womens' desire to be thought of in terms of their appearance. If that were not so, women would all dress like Hillary Clinton and the world would be a vastly uglier place.
Natural selection has ensured that men and women like to hang around each other even though all parties know people whose mating and dating experiences have caused them much pain. Men who didn't like women and women who didn't like men had no children and were largely bred out of the gene pool. Heteronormativity is what reality favors over the long term.
A half-century ago, this consuming interest of most men was fully recognized. There were all kinds of rules and customs restricting who could have sex with whom. Women said, "Not unless we're married, and I won't marry you unless you grow up and get a job." Mostly, that's what men did because it was the only way they could expect to get laid on a regular basis.
The fact that women get pregnant and men don't was seen by most feminists as an intolerable injustice. They welcomed birth control, which they expected would mean that women could engage in recreational sex as freely as men did.
That turned out to be true, but only up to a point. If a woman has no interest in a particular man beyond having sex with him, getting there is simplicity itself. By greatly reducing the risk of pregnancy, modern medical technology means that men and women now equally share the same direct physical risks of promiscuity.
Despite the rhetoric, it seems that even our most liberated, nontraditional women want more from even temporary relationships than just sex. The New York Times published "Sex on Campus - She Can Play That Game, Too," which argues that women are as eager to participate in casual "hookups" as men are.
At 11 on a weeknight earlier this year, her work finished, a slim, pretty junior at the University of Pennsylvania did what she often does when she has a little free time. She texted her regular hookup X, the guy she is sleeping with but not dating. What was he up to? He texted back: Come over. So she did. They watched a little TV, had sex and went to sleep.
The Times called the woman "A" because she didn't want her name used. A doesn't particularly like this man, but he's a handy sexual partner who performs on request and makes no demands. He's her "regular hookup," but she isn't looking for a deeper relationship because she doesn't have time.
For all her liberation, however, A wants some sort of interaction as well as sex; she wanted the companionship of watching TV first. Women observe that men prefer to start with touching, and talk afterward only if they don't fall asleep.
A says she plans to get married "later," once her career is established. She's assuming that some man will want to marry her in spite of her not being able to even remember all the men she's had sex with. That may not work as well as she expects.
There are only two possible modes when a girl interacts with a guy: 1) she can be his toy or 2) she can be his treasure. You've all seen a little boy play with a truck. He pushes it this way and that, then, when he gets tired of it, he throws it away and grabs another toy. Although A prefers men who're good at playing with her, being a toy is very hard on some girls when boys get tired of them and throw them away. The book Unprotected by Miriam Grossman explains biological reasons why this is so.
Intimacy without commitment is like icing without the cake: it can be sweet, but it may end up making you sick. Sex without emotional involvement apparently doesn't bother A, at least not at her current stage in life, but Dr. Grossman found that many of her patients become depressed when a boyfriend discarded her and she realized that he had never had any feelings for her at all.
Finding out that she's been no more than an interchangeable, easily-replaced sex toy makes some women unhappy, possibly even most of them. To most men, in contrast, such duty-free relationships would be heaven or the next best thing to it.
Back in the days when society and women insisted on marriage, a man wouldn't make the commitment of marriage unless he valued his prospective wife for more than sex. Even today, wanting a man to have a job is a good idea even if a woman expects to have a career. Other than certain known-lunatic celebrities, what serious woman would want to support a jobless, layabout husband?
Suppose A gets her career going and decides that she wants a baby before she can find a man who wants to marry her or even share an apartment. As with casual sex while an undergraduate, she can easily find someone who'll accept a false promise that she's on birth control and have sex with her.
If she wants to go high-tech, she can take her temperature daily to determine when she's most likely to be fertile and seek a healthy partner when she's most likely to achieve her objective. If she's really interested in maximizing her child's reproductive fitness, she can sleep with several men during her fertile time and let the fittest sperm win the race to her egg.
This is a more common choice among ill-educated women than among the educated. In the fifty years since the Great Society welfare programs were started, many women found that a non-college man couldn't earn as much money as a single mother could receive from welfare. With such a significant financial incentive, it should be no surprise that more than half the babies being born to non-college women are born to unmarried women.
This has nothing to do with race. The Daily Mail wrote about a white welfare mother in England who's had 7 children by 5 different men. She gets enough welfare money that she needn't worry about getting any support from the fathers of her children, so they provide none, and she avoids the hassles of having a man in her life.
College-educated women, who generally want more than the life of a welfare mother, realize that they will have a lot easier time raising children if they can find a way to get a man's help. Even fish find bicycles helpful when children are involved.
A woman who has a child out of wedlock but can find a decent-paying job can often find a man who'll share her rent after her child is a year or two old, so long as she doesn't have any more.
Back in the day, it was illegal for unmarried persons of opposite gender to share a dwelling. The crime of "lewd and lascivious cohabitation," as the law put it, was more or less a dead letter by the late 1960's in progressive states like Massachusetts. In recent years, there have come to be more unmarried couples living together than married couples in many areas of America and Europe.
This is perfect for the man. She pays her share of the rent, she makes no demands, and he gets "benefits" without much cost. I know couples who've lived together in this manner for decades, even buying houses together. It seems, however, that in most such cases, the woman eventually decides that she wants a child and starts talking about getting married.
If a woman says she wants to marry but has been letting a man have her without marrying her, he feels that she's a liar. Marriage obviously means nothing to her or she would insist on it instead of just giving herself. If she gives herself to him without marriage, how can he trust her not to give herself to someone else? Raising other men's children is a good way to be bred out of the gene pool. Few men think of this consciously, but it is a very deep-seated instinct.
I know women who stopped taking pills and had a baby in the hope that "He'd have to marry me to be near his baby." Women don't realize that no matter how much biological knowledge is in a man's head, down in his heart, where it really matters, most men don't believe they have anything to do with making babies. Wise adults realize an ancient truth, "The time my father got me, his mind was not on me."
The child clearly belongs to the woman because she had it last. If she belongs to him, then both her happiness and her children belong to him, too.
The only way a woman can give her children a father, that is, a man who has a powerful emotional, financial, and psychological drive to furthering her child's well-being, is to belong to him so that he has has a powerful emotional, financial, and psychological drive to furthering her well-being from before her children are conceived. Natural selection has assured that men who took care of their wives raised more children than men who didn't, so many men are willing to do that for a worthwhile woman.
Even if a woman finds a man to live with her after having a baby, it isn't the same. Social workers report that the most common child-abuser is the mother's live-in boyfriend who has no biological stake in the child.
Men know relatively little about women, but most of them realize that when a woman starts talking about marriage after living with him a while, she's decided that she wants a baby. The first two or three years of parenthood are extremely stressful. A man who realizes that after marriage, the next demand will be making a baby is not likely to be eager to marry.
He knows that if they aren't married, all she can do is stop taking pills and tag him for child support. If he marries her, on the other hand, she can walk out for any reason or for no reason and he'll have to pay both alimony and child support. Why would any sensible man marry under those circumstances? What would marriage give him that he doesn't already have?
Women agree that men are clueless about them. That isn't totally true - men know that while a happy woman is heavenly, an unhappy woman can give him a taste of the punishments of hell. How, then, does an otherwise clueless man decide whom to marry?
This used to be simplicity itself. If a woman would have sex without marriage, she was a bad girl and he shouldn't marry her. If she wouldn't, she was a good girl and he'd marry her if he wanted her badly enough and was confident that she wanted to make him happy.
A probably feels that she'll be able to find a husband because it's so easy for her to find sexual partners. She doesn't realize that sleeping around positions her as a bad girl. How does she plan to convince a man that she's a good catch?
It's telling that the Times, which has been so critical of our so-called "campus rape culture," wrote "Sex on campus - she can play that game, too." It's not news that sex has been a game for men for a long time, but it's newsworthy that women now "play" with sex as men have always done.
Society used to look down on a man who exploited a woman by "toying with her affections." People knew that "Men fall in love through their eyes, women through their ears." If a good girl went wrong, we'd say, "He must have fed her a line."
If a father saw a man paying attention to his daughter, he'd ask, "What are your intentions?" signaling that he expected honorable behavior. The term "shotgun wedding" described the measures families took to persuade a man to "make a good girl out of her." The classic movie musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers explored the "shotgun wedding" concept at length.
These ancient customs recognized that sex was no game, no, not at all. The pill has relieved some of the down-sides of casual sex, but by no means all of them.
For now, at least, A seems to be OK with being a sex toy, but as Dr. Grossman found, playing what the Times calls "that game" is emotionally damaging to many women even if they don't become pregnant. There doesn't seem to be any way for a woman to figure out whether she can "play" at sex without being hurt before trying it, and then it's too late.
Most men think in terms of sex when seeing a woman for the first time, and consider sex regularly after that. As one male researcher wrote:
I decided to try to quantify my urges. I stood in front of various businesses in the town where I live, a tally clicker hidden in each hand, and clicked a yes or no for every woman of appropriate age—roughly 18 to 60—who walked through the doors of
those establishments within a four-minute period...
At most locales, my counters came up with the same statistic: roughly half of the women I saw were fantasizable: 45 yes, 47 no at the fancy cosmetics retailer; 16 yes, 15 no at the sceney brasserie where I ate lunch. Fifty percent seemed low to me and almost inconceivably high to Diane. Only two spots produced atypical results. At the kid-friendly novelty chocolatier, I clicked 35 yesses and 46 nos, but mostly because there were many uncomfortably attractive girls who had to be nos (as I couldn't be sure they were above the age of consent). And in front of the expensive clothing boutique I clicked yes to a full 75 percent.
The reaction of his female colleague was revealing:
Diane was and remains perplexed by the whole thing. "How do you get any work done?" she marvels. "With all this imaginary sex going on in your brain, how do you even drive without smashing into trees?"
It should not surprise anyone that women do not understand masculine reproductive drives; men are just as clueless about women's drives. Have you ever watched the men when a mother shows off her newborn to her office colleagues? The women examine the baby intently for any problems and make admiring noises. The men know they ought to say something, but what? After all, they all knew she had it in her. Having seen one baby, they've seen 'em all, and they're glad that they don't have to help raise this one - but that's not what a prudent man would say.
Men are as amazed by a woman's ongoing drive for babies as women are amazed by a man's ongoing drive for sex. To a man, the most astounding thing about babies is that, having had one and supposedly learning from the experience, a woman may want another, and another after that.
Most women, if presented with statistics showing how men find so many women to be so desirable, would react with incredulity like Diane. On some level, however, women have at least dim awareness of the sex drive typical of many men; that's why they spend so much money on clothing and accessories to make themselves more visible. Like Mr. Trump, most men are sensitive to a woman's value beyond sex, but many will accept sex without recognizing anything else about a woman if it's available, and precious few will accept a relationship with a woman who they find sexually unappealing.
If a woman wants a man to stay with her long enough for her children to grow up, she needs to explain that she's looking for a husband and walk away if he isn't willing to agree that the purpose of being together is to decide whether he and she will marry.
Why anyone would think that Mr. Trump's clearly, albeit crudely, expressed interest in a woman's physical characteristics indicates hatred of women is incomprehensible. But then, that's true of so much of what the left is arguing these days, why should what they say about the man-woman thing be any different?
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.