Seeing Women as Magic and Evil

mSKsG2PXF2ch9xn2tDi7JawBy Ocelot

Some men see women as both magic and evil.

This occurred to me as I read a post on the lure of overeating:

Food was both magic and evil. That’s a noxious combination, known to create obsessions and addictions.

Sounds a lot like the men who hate pretty women.

Obsessed and addicted? Sounds about right. How else to explain the enduring idea that seeing a woman leads to attraction, which leads to rape, complete with horrible analogies comparing men to beasts and women to (wait for it) food?

Men who hate pretty women wouldn’t hate them so much if they didn’t love them, too.

The love/hate relationship with women chillingly echoes these words from a battering mother, about her love/hate connection to her child:

I have never felt loved all my life. When the baby was born, I thought he would love me. When he cried, it meant he didn’t love me. So I hit him.

Mmmmm, “I have never felt loved,” so I hated my unrequited love object…

Meanwhile, a guy calling himself “Some Guy” reacted to a post called Men Who Hate Pretty Women,” by saying that he hates how pretty women make him feel, not that he hates the pretty women themselves.

He adds that men like him are “measuring their self-worth based on their success with women.”

Thus, Some Guy — and men like him — already believe they are worthless.

They are (completely naturally) drawn to pretty women. But the women reject them, either implicitly (by ignoring their existence) or explicitly (with varying degrees of kindness, depending on how much the women believe the “if he likes me but I don’t like him, he must be a creeper” meme).

American society doesn’t — thankfully — let these men take their frustration out on women (unless she’s a prostitute whose humanity is denied, see Lenora Frago).

But neither does it provide any helpful coping mechanisms. (“You’re a man, pretend you don’t have emotions” doesn’t count.)

Men and women both lose.

Some Guy blames “primal survival instincts,” as though the problem were rooted in biology and impossible to fix. Not true.

The problem is psychological and possible to ease, even if only slightly.

Society — media, parents, teachers, role models, peers, and potential female partners — tell men that in order to be “worthy” they must be successful with women. But society doesn’t provide any real help or compassion to the “unworthy” (scare quotes 100% intentional).

In the long term we can work to change society. In the short term, you can work at changing your own thinking:

  • Your success with women does NOT determine your self-worth. Others may think so, but they’re wrong and you know it.
  • You CAN want sex, very much, but still enjoy looking at a pretty woman on her own merits without needing more.
  • Most pretty women walking down the street are NOT laughing at you or reveling in their power over you. And it may well be that none of them are.
  • The ones that are “teases” don’t do it because they’re evil sirens. They do it because they’re people, and sometimes people aren’t very nice. So what if some women have bad personalities? They only have as much power over you as you give them. You don’t have to look at them, think about them, or care what they think of you if you don’t want to.
  • Wanting revenge for pretty women existing is irrational, and is caused by your unmet emotional needs.
  • Women are people, like you. They too may behave irrationally due to unmet emotional needs.
  • You deserve to try to fulfill your unmet needs in healthy ways.

You are flawed, but you are of immeasurable worth. The same goes for all the pretty women, too.

Ocelot first wrote this as a comment on “Men Who Hate Pretty Women” and gave permission to post, with editing. The original comment is here.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Men Who Hate Pretty Women
Guys Just Wanna Have Relationships?
It’s Not Easy Being A Man

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on October 21, 2013, in feminism, men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. This was interesting. The whole topic is a bit scary to me. My ex used to tell me that I “controlled” him because he was helpless due to his attraction. It made me feel weird and guilty and dirty. I’d never thought of it from this angle though.

    • Yeah. A guy wrote a response to my “Men Who Hate Pretty Women” post and then gave me permission to edit and post his comment on my blog as guidance/help for some of these guys. I do hope it helps, because we’d all be better off.

  2. I’d add that it doesn’t actually cost a man anything to deal gracefully with being turned down. Two big red flags for me: men who get angry when their attempts to sexualize an association are rejected, and men who try to sexualize associations in a furtive manner. The man who gets angry at being told no will always use anger to try to control, and the guy who is furtive about his behavior is preparing up front to build in plausible deniability when he gets aggressive.

  3. Well I don’t know if it;s being turned down that bothers guys so much as how some women can be mean to certain guys. It hasn’t happened to me, but I’ve seen it, some guys were weird and I could understand and some guys while just might not be so nice looking and women kind of rude. I guess looks can play a lot for men obviously, but quite a bit does for women. It’s amazing how much a guy can get away with as far as flirting, approaching, etc if he’s “hot”, cute or good looking and how more likely the woman is to like, accept his approach or atleast be more decent, whereas a more homely looking guy doing the same thing, is not taken as well. Sure plenty of guys are bothered because they might feel they aren’t meeting societal standards and are worthless, but this can also be bothering guys even if they don’t care about society standards. I mean guys have quite strong libidos and desire for love and affection and someone to care, and if that isn’t happening, they will obviously be very frustrated or sad, etc. Not because they think they are worthless, but confusion upon not being wanted when they feel they should be. Plus, you have to factor in lonliness, and not sharing time with someone they love, that can hurt enough as it is. That can be tough for people who have dates but can’t find the one they want to spend time with, and as much as that’s tough, that is only compounded that much more for a guy who wants that by isn’t have the choice of options and simply isn;t getting attention, therefore, feeling unwanted sexually and emotionally,.

    • Makes sense in terms of being nice, polite about rejection.

      I do wonder how much people who aren’t conventionally attractive reject other people who aren’t conventionally attractive, on both sides.

      Some of the happiest couples I know aren’t what society says is attractive. Just amazing, loving, soul-mate relationships though.

  4. If you get angry at a woman for rejecting your advances, you are being an asshole, period. You don’t get a red light for being scary just because her handling of the incident wasn’t up to your standards. Nobody asked you to hit on her. You don’t know what her day has been like, let alone her life.

    If she initiates flirting and teases you then insults you, you get to say “Well then fuck you too” and then walk away.

    My rules are along those lines.

  5. I don’t have a very good sense of what women who look like magazine covers are like, but in my experience the men are vain and unreliable. But also overall it must be hard on a relationship if one person is constantly treated as more visually appealing. I would think it distorting.

  6. As I had commented before in a blog, this has happened to me. and i am grateful for these informational posts because without them i would have no clarity. I thought that i brought out hate in men. i thought that i just couldn’t find a normal man. i wondered why men were always trying to get over on me or put me under their thumb. and a friend of mine said that it wasn’t personal. that it was like a challenge, a notch to see if they could conquer me but that they weren’t trying to hurt me as a person.

  7. There used to be a delightful fellow who came into our bookstore before we had to close it, with his three charming, quiet and well-behaved young children. Ordinary-looking kind of fat guy. I saw him once in the grocery store parking lot with his ordinary-looking, kind of fat wife. They both looked so peaceful together. People most would never even notice. I remembered him from the bookstore and thought “There it is, right there. They got it right.”

  8. My response is from the point of view of someone who is neuroatypical. I’m average pretty and clueless when it comes to the little signs of whether a person in interested in me. After my husband and I had been a couple for a while I had to ask him if we were a couple. I just didn’t know. I thought we were, but I don’t get the invisible stuff.

    I was like that when I was younger as well. I was never asked out on a date. I mean never. Yet friends told me that guys expressed interest and I had rebuffed them. To this day I have no clue as to how I did that. The only way I know of to rebuff a person is to state it.

    People called me flirty. That also weirded me out. I never tried to be. All I was doing was trying to pass as well as I could, going home exhausted from being social.

  9. male here and is not so simple.

    One day you are walking and a girl appears, with a nice dress and then you start to think about how could be have sex with her, how could feel her skin, about her legs, her breast, that you could spend some nice time with her, then you wake up and you realize thats impossible, and you continue to walk.

    But a the next corner another girl wearing a yoga pants appears and then again you star to think the same, how could be sex with her, how could her legs will feel, and the next corner again and again and all the day the same.

    And then you are alone in your room, thinking about all the sexy girls in the street but, well, you know, is the same that someone showing a ferrari, telling you how how amazing is, that you can have in any moment, that you can drive it across the city, and all FOR FREE!!, but when you say “ok, i wanna drive that car” the say to you, sorry, but you cant. But this is no the same, the idea/urges to have sex with a girl are no the same that having a ferrari, are worse, is a primal instinct, but well you know, if you touch a girl is wrong, if you stare at a girl too much is wrong, watching a girl ass is wrong, watching a girl breast is wrong, but, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!!

    But, well, life is unfair and you have to deal with it, and you are a women, not a guy, so could you know how is that routine every day, every hour of your life?. Im not gonna say that girls dressing more conservative is the answer, but some time I understand when i hear guys who says that women should dress more conservative, because yes, in that way life could be more easy. Or the other choice is be a robot, in that way you can simple shutdown some parts in your brain, and yes, a lot of guy(one here) can live without hurting anyone, but we are animal, people and life is not that simple.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m not sure what gender Ocelot is, but sounds like a guy to me, someone who has been through it and has found a way to deal with it. (If you look at the original comment it sounds even more like a guy.)

      In fact, I posted this because I assumed that it was a guy’s perspective.

    • I’m really sorry, because you’re being honest and I really do appreciate that…but this comment makes me a bit uncomfortable. Women walking down the street are not just skin and legs and breasts. They’re (we’re) human beings with agency, personality, and emotions. Just like men. I see men that I find attractive all of the time, but I’ve never felt actual anger because I can’t “have” them. It’s frustrating sometimes, but that’s my own feeling to deal with. The attractive guy isn’t being attractive AT me.

      Men who say that they regularly feel this type of intense emotion about seeing women they’re attracted to frankly scare me. When will that anger boil over to violence? Are my yoga pants going to be someone’s last straw someday?

      • I see men that I find attractive all of the time, but I’ve never felt actual anger because I can’t “have” them. It’s frustrating sometimes, but that’s my own feeling to deal with. The attractive guy isn’t being attractive AT me.”

        Well it’s different too. While I’d like to believe you and most women are lusting and yearning to touch said body parts of attractive man you are looking at. You most likely aren’t. When you say, you can’t have them. It’s probalby more on a point of “dating or going out with the guy” which from a few dates or there could lead to sex. But I doubt you and women are fighting a sexual urge when say seeing a man with a nice butt as the gym or muscles working out at gym that are exposed and stuff. Whereas, seeing a particular hot woman and nice boobs or ass flaunted and feeling that lust to touch said body part and sexual thoughts, but then realizing that same woman and other women aren’t feeling something even close to your body, then it’s pretty demoralizing. Sure some women might check you out, and I’d wish they would feel the lust and urge a man feels to her body and her feel that way and struggle, but most likely not. Our bodies are just inferior like that or it’s easy to feel that way with unrequited lust toward each other’s bodies. It’s easy to feel like your body is nothing when you are provoked by hers and yours doesn’t spark much in comparision and as a result just inferiour.

    • yes, im a guy!! read the first line!

      To add, did you know that testosterone can increase in presence of a beautiful woman?, always wondered why when a beautiful girl was near something inside push me to do things and know that is something biological 😦

      and yes, am working on it, almost ten years and almost 50%, still waits a long road.

  10. Hi G 😀 I didn’t have time to comment on this post when I pressed LIKE but I knew I would be back. So here I am.

    Even though I am drawing pensions I didn’t get a letter from the hospital to remove my thoughts of pretty women. I still have the same brain as when I was 20, so I have the same thoughts with a lot more experience. The urges are more subtle and I can talk more freely with a woman without having sex at the top of the to-do list. It’s still there but more in the background. Big hug. Ralph xox 😀

  11. Missy M:
    I agree Missy as far as you being uncomfortable about that man’s post. I did too. It’s not good to have that strong of a emotion of women walking by and the way he wrote, I could see that being creepy or seen that way. I don’t feel that way or not emotion like that, but yeah I do notice hot or cute women about and it does suck not getting attention or seeming to have your work cut out for you as a man, if a little shy or in places where it seems hard to meet women or only places to meet women are at bars, where so many don;t want to be bothered. Or many give that vibe which I understand, as women in bars probalby do deal with guys acting like jerks or being sleazeballs, so they have their guards up, which hurts thing for the decent guys wanting to approach a woman there. And you saying, it’s frustrating with you see an attractive guy but not being able to “have” them and it can be frustrating. I don’t understand that, are you sure about that? Thats why I think there’s the difference and the disconnect between men and women. Women don’t get guys frustrated or men’s envy with women getting sex when they want, because many women feel it’s meaningless when such guys are guys they don’t “want” and women have to deal with sleazeballs or players who act like they want more but end up using the women or have sex and leave and women feeling used. But on the same token, guy’s can look at it from the perspective of women not understanding what it’s like to not get attention or not being desired and to have the drive men have and trying to figure out to meet women or have sex and thinking about it constantly, but not succeeding and the pride swallow or effect it can have not on just not having sex but on the ego from not being desired or feeling desired sexually. I doubt you can’t “have” these guys, all you have to do in many situations is you don’t have to approach, just give a flirty smile or good eye contact and I guarentee some of those attractive guys would come and talk to you.

  12. This topic is absolutely fascinating to me. It is interesting to hear from both men and women on the subject of attraction and the frustrations that can stem from potential rejection.
    As mentioned by a fellow responder, his views of women are sexual in content and basically look to women as objects to be conquered. If I were to be approached by such a character, my initial response would be of self-preservation. When someone has that much sexual charge built up inside them, I imagine that is it seen outwardly and can be fairly obvious to the outside world.

    What is a surprise to me is that both men and women don’t seem to realize that we both share the same fears of rejections. Within our society, there are both men and women who use their looks as a form of charm, confidence and a way to get what they want out of people and life. We have all experienced this form of shallowness, narcissistic behavior at one point or another. I have never know anyone who found this introverted personality to be attractive, unless they were birds of a feather.

    And being rejected and being told no is something we all face in life. Rather than looking at it as a negative, I personally view it as nature’s way of saying “this person is not right for you’ and move on. And to be completely honest, I am a very shy person at first. Wither it is me asking or a gentleman asking me out on a date, my nerves would be in control of me. Sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, the ability to form the proper words into a sentence that makes sense.

    My advice is to observe the individual. Are they with their friends, is it a private gathering? Try to make eye contact before approaching. If he/she makes full eye contact and smiles, then they may be open to having a conversation. Be yourself and lose the false façade. Smile – know that he/she is probably just as nervous as you are.

  13. Wow, I must say there have been some deeply enlightening points raised here. I am a male and have struggled with pornography and unhealthy sexual thoughts and urges for a long time. I can truly relate to most of the guys comments here. I think it is a daily struggle – we are surrounded by negative sexual content in the media, and billions of porn sites that exist out there and it is my belief that we are also plagued by unseen demonic forces, coexisting in our realm of reality, that feed of our sexual energies and hurt us further. So not only are we fighting an internal war with the chemicals in our brains, but we are also fighting a spiritual war, which so many people loose, as we can see in all the degrading porno and in all the news stories of rapes and molestations. We need to be strong and keep fighting… to share some things that help me: lots of prayer, lots of meditation, i cry a lot (tears help rid some of the pain), distracting myself with tv shows (mostly kids shows that are free from sexual content), exercise (although the gym is a particularly hard place to be because of all the beautiful ladies), spending as much time as possible with your pets and animals and with your family and good friends of the same gender.

    Everyone seams to think its normal to have lustful and sexual thoughts and maybe for some people it is because they can control it, like they said above; it’s the power we let it have over us, but with others it becomes so bad because you can begin to look at yourself with so much disgust and loathing and you hate yourself for having these thoughts and feelings. I think they might be normal to a point inasmuch as biological programing is involved but not with all this fetishes and taboos that people have invented, this is something evil that seeks to destroy humanity i think. Its a never ending struggle but we must fight it, I believe we are all capable of goodness and love and we need to embrace that over our lust. Thank you for your blog and I wish everyone here the best of luck in your future endeavors! 🙂

  14. MGTOW is the answer, dont play the game or rules just walk away

  15. Here I chopped off last paragraph and deleted the top quotes so this should be shorter now.

    I think the self worth based on success with women is true for most men. The only difference is the variance and degree of success between men. You don’t see this anger from all men, because some men are getting dates and laid and “success with women” with decent success or some with regular frequence and success. While there is this anger, don’t fool yourself into think the “beta” and less successful males aren’t despising these “successful men” just as much and it’s not a surprise that these men, well who are more criminal mind would have just as much intent in hurting these cocky, asshole, succesful men they are envious of. Women get punished for it, because these guys hate that these women “reward” this jerks or guys who they feel they are just as attractive as but not getting the reward. So they feel women’s actions of dating and having sex with these men instead of them is “salt to the wound” basically and bruising their egos. It’s easy for a man to be spiteful from it. But either way, like I said most feel this way. If these successful men suddenly had a hard time getting dates or laid and had long dry spells not on purpose, you bet their esteem might feel it too.

    It;s sad, but it’s like a meter. Think of like a video game and there’s like a “meter” that reperesents a man’s esteem. And it’s full and charged up good. He had a few weeks of sex and dates, he wakes up the next day, his ego and esteem is surging. But say a month goes by, he gets rejected left and right, can’t talk to women suddenly. It’s now a month without dates and sex or even attention. Now 2 months, now three months. In that process, that “meter” is going down to low, it’s dangerously low now ha, from the lack of desire, and validation from the sex he’s attracted to and hoping for but can’t get so as a result, natural to have doubt or feel a little down about his sexual attractiveness. You say your success with women does not determine your self worth. Well true in a sense, that you should see yourself as more and not dependent on women. And I do believe you shouldn’t let society dictate it. But I understand why it can effect your self esteem, even if you value other things. The reason is because well isn’t it natural to want to have women want you and desire you? that seems like a natural human thing. How can one feel too good when it’s not happening? Sure it doesn’t mean you are worthless if not having success, but how are you to feel “desirable, which would make you feel good if you’r enot having sex and dates?
    It sucks and doesn’t feel good. It’s very easy to feel bad.

    • We have a pretty crazy culture that judges men by how many women they get and then punishes women for having sex with men.

      • Some of that can be just a natural thing to of the human ego. Isn’t it normal to want to be loved and lusted after? Most of our experience and perceptioon of ourself is how people and society treat us. As humans we are sexual beings, and well it’s natural to want sex. If you want something bad and yearning it, but struggle to get sex how can you feel good about yourself? You’re not going to feel good, because you’re horny and can;t satisfy that desire, but then a man realizes or takes in that he’s not too desirable, which is obviously hurtful, because he can’t provoke or have women to want sex with him. So how do you think that will make a man feel about his body, looks, personality if he’s not attracting women or like he’d hoped. It’s human nature to want to be wanted and to want to be loved. That might be why women can feel bad with having men not want a relationship with them even though women usually don’t have a problem with men wanting sex with them. Whereas, men can feel bad not having women want either with him.

        And don’t forget with how men see or feel love. It might be a stereotype byt something about “Most experts believe that men show love (to the person they love) through sex.” ” Another point why sex is important to men is because it’s the only way for them to communicate their feelings. Deprive them of it and you deprive their feelings and their being. Sex ” I didn’t use the whole article because I know you won’t agree with it, because it’s more biological in it’s perspective and cultural. ” Even the most famous psychologist, Freud agreed that it is the main goal of men- to get sex when they need it.

        To them it signifies power and success. To majority of them money, power and success is futile if you can’t get it. ”

        I mean it;s a natural human nature thing I belive to want sex and to feel desirable and to be desired. How is a man to feel desired and desirable if he feels “invisible and struggling amongst the sex he is so attracted to, lusts for and yet, from his lack of success feels the complete opposite? It sure adds salt to the wound of the lack of satisfaction they so year when they don’t feel women are looking at them or want them.

      • But we have a society that makes it difficult, or even undesirable (if they are repressed enough), For women to have sex with men. And we have a society that heightens the sexual appeal of women by sexualizing them in images, While ignoring men. And then we often judgment based on how many women they get. Or as you say, It’s human nature to want love, connection, sex. So you put it all together and things are very much at cross purposes.

        And everything but the last is tied to patriarchy. In patriarchal societies Women are punished for sexual desire. In patriarchal societies Women are super-sexualized. And in patriarchal societies a man’s word is judged by how many women he “conquers.” Gets to submit to him. And that game is made more difficult because women are punished for being sexual.

        Only the last point you mentioned has nothing to do with patriarchy. That part is natural.

        Maybe I will try to post on this sometime. And quote you.

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