Summary: Revolutions begin in the shadows, emerging only when they grow too large for society to ignore. So it is with “game”, the science of seduction. Today let’s look at a revolution in the war between the sexes. It’s one of our weekend posts about American culture, keeping you informed about things not yet in the mainstream news.
“During this whole century the progress of artillery has been a duel between the maker of cannons and the maker of armor plates to keep the cannon balls out. You build a ship proof against the best gun known: somebody makes a better gun and sinks your ship. You build a heavier ship, proof against that gun: somebody makes a heavier gun and sinks you again. And so on. Well, the duel of sex is just like that.”
— A pick-up artist explaining life to a feminist in George Bernard Shaw’s play “You Never Can Tell” (1895). See the follow-up to this in the comments.
During the past century science has forced breaks with the past. Traditional State-to-State war became suicidal with the development of nuclear weapons, driving the shifts described in “Unrestricted Warfare” (e.g., to 4GW, cyberwar, economic war). Similarly, technology created a break in history by allowing them to control their fertility — changes expressed ideologically as feminism, still in motion with ends as yet unseen.
Every force produces an opposite reaction, and the reaction to feminism has begun. It began in the shadows, like all revolutions and counter-revolutions, as the ancient methods of pick-up artists became systematized after WWII.
Decades of slow evolution brought “game” to maturity in the mid-1990s. It is the science of seduction, a crude applied psychology derived by men on the streets. Like alchemy, it is a mixture of insight and superstition used by people working without theory. It began, like most revolutions, with an insight: men realized that they could act as bad boys — against their own natures — and so increase their odds of success with women.
As with other innovations in interpersonal relations — new forms of dancing (e.g., the waltz), divorce, abortion, the pill, rock music, postal boxes on the street — moralists condemn it as a step on the road to iniquity. Feminists have gained the high ground in control of society’s institutions, and watch with outrage as men act in defiance of the new social norms.
Dark truths from Science
Massive changes have reshaped American society. Hollywood, rock music, and schools reduced the family’s ability to indoctrinate girls and control young women. Women’s increased financial independence diminished their need to “settle” when marrying (for more about this see these controversial articles in The Atlantic: Feb 2008, March 2008, April 2010).
These changes had powerful effects, foreseen neither by scientists nor social reformers. First, women’s hypergamy was released — their drive to seek men of higher status (e.g., the combination of wealth, income, status, height, appearance, charisma). Second, restraints were lifted on their love of men with the Dark Triad of behavioral traits. Psychologists and sociologists have just begun to understand the results.
Hypergamy is obvious and easy to understand. The appeal of Dark Triad behaviors is not. Psychology Today describes them:
“Defined as a set of traits that include the tendency (to seek admiration and special treatment (narcissism), to be callous and insensitive (psychopathy)), and to manipulate others (Machiavellianism), the Dark Triad is rapidly becoming a new focus of personality psychology.
“…The technical definition of the Dark Triad, as stated in Jonason and Webster’s article, is rather daunting: “the Dark Triad as a whole can be thought of as a short-term, agentic, exploitative social strategy…” This means, in simpler terms, that people who show these qualities are trying to get away with acting out against others in order to achieve their own ends. Each of the individual qualities alone can make life difficult for those who know people like this. Combined, the Dark Triad traits in another person close to you can be detrimental to your mental health.”
Studies show that a large fraction of women love these traits. (As with hypergamy, it’s not just women. Corporate directors, mostly men, tend to select as CEOs tall men with dark triad personalities.) Men can take this test to see their Dark Triad traits.
The Dark Triad goes public
“The Heart wants what it wants – or else it does not care.”
— From a letter by Emily Dickenson to her sister, Mrs. Samuel Bowles, 1862.
Often a catalyst brings slow social evolution to mass recognition. The film 9 1/2 Weeks showcased these traits, but in 1986 we weren’t ready to see them.
The 100 million copies sold of Fifty Shades of Grey (2012) forced attention to these trends. A hidden side of the feminist revolution became visible, a discovery far more stunning than anything discovered on the dark side of the moon (though foreshadowed by the frequency in chick-lit of women falling in love with their bold pirate kidnappers).
None of this was news to street scientists working on the front lines of the gender wars. Hundreds of books, videos, and courses teach men — imperfectly, crudely, often amorally — how to adapt and successfully deal with 21st century American women.
In brief, women seek men with the behaviors of “alpha” men (high social rank, a term loosely derived from ethology). These traits can be learned — or at least imitated. Much of game consists of learning to pass the tests women use to identify alphas. The results are not pretty. These are not the threads from which romantic comedies are woven (but then rom-coms are dying off, a genre too alien for modern boys and girls).
What about the rest of us? Successful men living by the social codes of the past are “betas” (e.g., white knights, nice family men, good boys). Men unable to deal with modern women are “omegas” (substituting porn, sports, and computer games for women). Such are the brutally honest classifications of street life.
Slowly this knowledge spreads. No barrage of condemnation from authorities can stop insights that produce more success with women. Feminism and game are the next steps in the evolution away from the nuclear family that began after WWII (accelerated when Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Family Law Act of 1969 abolishing — retroactively — the core of the marriage contract).
The standard first response to news about revolutionary changes in society (e.g., atomic weapons, women’s liberation, AI) is adopting Zeno’s paradox as truth: change is impossible. It is a comforting but daft response.
We have begun the second stage response: recognition. Articles mocking and condemning game appear in major publications, in films and on TV (e.g., “Till Death do Us Part” in season 4 of the hit TV show “Castle”, and in the film Kingsman: The Secret Service).
Ahead lie the stages of acceptance (as people wonder what all the fuss was about) and reaction.
Are these developments good or bad? Consult a priest or philosopher, for you will not find the answers here. The FM website attempts to help its readers more clearly see and understand the world, and decide how to act.
What lies ahead? That’s the subject for another post. I recommend reading the comments, which will range from “it’s nothing new” to outright denial.
Science demonstrates the truths of “game”
As with alchemy, science follows the amateurs in the field. This is a tiny sample of the vast body of research validating many of the precepts of game.
“Dating preferences of university women: An analysis of the nice guy stereotype“, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 1999. “Do “bad boys” really get the girls? Delinquency as a cause and consequence of dating behavior among adolescents“, Justice Quarterly, 2004. “Niceness and Dating Success: A Further Test of the Nice Guy Stereotype“, Sex Roles, August 2006. “Courtship compliance: The effect of touch on women’s behavior“, Social Influence, 2007. “From dating to mating and relating: Predictors of initial and long-term outcomes of speed-dating in a community sample“, European Journal of Personality, January/February 2011. “Mate-selection and the Dark Triad: Facilitating a short-term mating strategy and creating a volatile environment“, Personality and Individual Differences, October 2011. “Quantifying the strength and form of sexual selection on men’s traits“, Evolution and Human Behavior, 2013. “Can an Insult Make You Fall in Love? Does nagging (or negging) make someone seem more attractive?“, Jeremy Nicholson (PhD, psychology), Psychology Today, 31 August 2013 — Cites several studies. “Dominance and the traits associated with it predict men’s mating success, but attractiveness does not, Evolution and Human Behavior, September 2013. “Choosy But Not Chaste: Multiple Mating in Human Females“, Brooke A. Scelza, Evolutionary Anthropology, September/October 2013. Superior reproductive success of criminal men, Evolution and Human Behavior, November 2014 — More women, more kids.
For More Information
- “Castle” shows us a dark vision of Romance in America
- Beckett shows our future. She chooses wisely & marries Castle, but dreams at night of her alpha ex-boyfriend.
- The feminist revolutionaries have won. Insurgents have arisen to challenge the new order. As always, they’re outlaws.
- Love in the new world, after the gender wars.
- Taylor Swift shows us love in the 21st century.
- “Castle” shows a future of strong women & weak men. As for marriage…