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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Judging women on their looks

One of the complaints you hear most frequently from feminists is that women are judged by their looks. The implication is that men are not judged by their looks, and this is unfair.

I'm a fairly typical guy. I judge a woman's intelligence based on her IQ, her sense of humor based on the quality of her jokes, and her character by where she stands on the narcissism scale. All of which are the exact same way I'd judge a guy.

Of course, whether or not I'd want to have sex with her is almost entirely a matter of how she looks. A beautiful girl would have to either be a sociopath or certifiable or extremely noxious for me not to be attracted. (And those personal traits are often not evident at first.) Meanwhile, a corpulent female with an IQ of 150 will simply not attract me -- even as I might admire her intelligence.

Look at how gay men "judge" other men: visually. It's not sexism at work here, it's sex.

Men's sexuality is visually driven, women's by a man's status. (Though you never hear men weepily complain, "Women only judge me on how good a provider I'd be.")

The point being, men don't judge a woman's personality by her looks, nor do they judge her looks by her personality -- much as feminists try to conflate the two with their vague complaint.

Psychologists say that people -- not just men -- decide whether or not they'd want to have sex with another person within half a second of seeing them for the first time. Men make a similar snap judgment about other men: is this guy a threat to me? It's an automatic reaction that usually doesn't even rise to the level of a conscious thought. But it's always lurking: could this guy take me in a fight? And if you observe male group behavior, you'll see that how much respect they give each other, even in settings where a fight will obviously not happen, is largely driven by this consideration.

Yet you never hear men complain about how other men don't regard them as threatening. Or about how gay guys only "judge" them on their looks.

Of course, there seems to be no group more bent on proving women unequal than feminists.

I realize I'm pointing out the obvious here. But every time I hear a feminist complain about how women are judged on their looks, I feel the obvious has to be pointed out.


Anonymous said...

My bias is that further research will show that seemingly arbitrary preferences for certain looks have been selected for by evolution...There will be shown to be good reasons for why we tend to prefer what we do, as we get a little deeper into the weeds of our genes...

Slightly tangentially, I read somewhere recently about how in China some AI expert system first studied photos of convicts, abstracting various algorithms or whatever...Then when it examined photos of the general population, it could pick out criminals by their looks alone...And this is early days in these types of studies...

When you look at mate selection in birds or insects, you have to figure, these processes must just fine tune themselves or the species that picks loser baby daddy would be at a competitive disadvantage vis a vis similar competitor species and cease to exist... I am being simplistic, but, my natural bias is that our natural biases tend to be good (particularly when they are politically incorrect, heehee)


gambino dellacroce said...

Rollo at The Rational Male has the motto: "women have the burden of appearance, men the burden of performance". Very apt. Feminists are nothing but losers of the sexual market place trying in vain to institute socialism in the mating dance. It boggles the mind how much they spend complaining and trying to socially re-engineer the world rather than taking the simple step of losing weight and being pleasant. But then they would have no unique identity (e.g. the hideous Lena Dunham's of the world).

Mark Caplan said...

Isn't the feminist complaint more that men value women primarily on their looks even when their looks aren't relevant to the job description? I don't know how true that is. There is the example of the beautiful Marissa Mayer getting handed the CEO job at Yahoo, but she stands out as the rate exception.

John Craig said...

I agree, we can't help whom we're attracted to, and some of that has to do with our genes. (I think it has something to do with who/what we fixated on at an early age, too.)

Violent crime has been shown to be correlated with testosterone levels, and testosterone does leave its mark on facial features, so that Chinese study makes sense. And I'd bet there's also a correlation with a reduced frontal lobe.

I have that same natural bias. We evolved instincts for a reason -- to insure the survival and propagation of our genes. Much of modern education is about telling us that our instincts are wrong, tamping them down. (You mustn't believe what you observe and feel, only what we tell you.)

John Craig said...

Gambino Dellacroce --
That's a great summation and analysis of the situation.

John Craig said...

Mark --
True, the smarter ones make that distinction, though most of the feminists I've heard just make the general vague complaint without being that specific. The smarter ones do have a point, and Marissa Meyer is actually the perfect example. But her hiring was a little more complicated than that. She had been at Google before she was hired at Yahoo, and the Yahoo board -- who had just been through Jerry Yang and Terry Semel as CEO's who seemed unable to keep up with the rest of Silicon Valley, figured they were going to be getting some of that Google magic when they hired Meyer, so that was a big part of the equation, too. But Meyer did a horrible job at Yahoo, and the only reason the stock went up during her tenure was because Yang had bought a big piece of Alibaba pre-IPO. So, the question is, was Meyer promoted at Google because of her looks, or was she a big shot there because she was one of the earliest at the firm? I don't know. (Judging from her performance at Yahoo, where she did nothing but make a couple of small acquisitions that didn't help Yahoo at all, it wasn't her dazzling tech savvy.)

And I agree, I can't think of any other female CEO's who are beauties. It IS true, however, that men, when faced with a choice of hiring two roughly equivalent female candidates, will usually choose the better-looking one. Can't deny that. I saw it all the time on Wall Street. On the other hand, being good-looking is an advantage for a man, too, and I saw that pretty frequently too.

GT said...

Feminists are correct that women are judged on their looks / body type; maybe even more so than men. I will also admit that I am really glad men's genitalia is mostly hidden from view. I would not want the scrutiny and self-consciousness of having my package judged relative to all the other men in the world. But I would hope that feminists would agree if men's genitalia was prominent, such as being located on a man’s chests versus groin, women would stare and make a judgement -Good bad or sexist - Just nature.
In my view, since men's genitalia it not on display, as part of the selection/ judgment process, most women use other physical identifiers for male handsomeness such as facial features, shoulder width, body type (toned arms and legs and a set of six pack abs). Review the cover of any romance novel to see what most women find attractive. Fair? Maybe not... Just nature
I would suggest that women also judge men on another dimension which is alpha. There are men that might not fit the above male “romance cover” body type for handsomeness but might still be found as sexy due to alpha. I.E manliness – power – coolness. Actors Sean Connery and Harrison Ford come to mind as actors that still have an alpha sex appeal but are long past their peak in the looks department. Is it fair that men may have a longer acting career due to alpha making up for an actors looks declining..? – Maybe not – just nature
I guess what the feminist need to ask is…Is nature fair? I have never felt so… Being born with a certain body type, facial feature or hormone level, deemed attractive by the opposite sex is out of our control. We can work with what we have but it really comes down to.. Nature –
But somehow this Nature conclusion seems too obvious. I wonder if what really bothers feminist is not nature but the power structure. Men are perceived to be in power, so until feminist see women as equal to or having more power than men, men are ______ (fill in blank) and need to be taken down a few pegs. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s really all about power for the feminist.

mark said...

Meyer was employee number 20 at Google. She is highly educated so being competent and smart enough to stay on the Google plane pretty much assured her of professional success. Apparently, she also dated Larry Page at one time. Point being that if you are employee 20 in an organization that explodes, there is a good chance to move up the ladder. I hated that she made all that Yahoo money but I blame that on the board. Her plans didn't work out but what plan would have? I don't know enough about the situation to answer that. Good looking CEO's, look at Carly 15 years ago when she was at HP. Enough boring bidness, I actually wanted to comment on looks and humor. How you judge someone and looks play a role in that affects how funny you think they are. To sit back, handsome John, and think that you observe a person and judge them on looks, humor and intelligence independently of each other is naive. Having said that I find few women funny(men aren't that hot either) so I judge them on how much they laugh and what they laugh at. If they laugh at my jokes they are smart and seem to get hotter the more they laugh. Looks help you get noticed and helps you be remembered which are important things in large organizations.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Maybe I'm kidding myself but I think I actually do judge those qualities independently, at least in guys. When I think of the best-looking guys I've known, I don't think of most of them as being that smart, neither do I think of most of them as being that funny. And when I think of the smartest guys I've known, most were not all that good-looking. Who knows, maybe I'm kidding myself.

Also, I never saw Carly Fiorina as good-looking, even when younger.

I'd forgotten that Meyer had dated Larry Page. That couldn't have hurt her career.

Yes, the old joke is that the definition of a woman with a good sense of humor is, one who laughs at your jokes. True, that.

Anonymous said...

What about cats?

We all know that some cats are smarter than others (I am very kindly forbearing to inform you of several YOU KNOW WHAT MY SMART CAT DID? anecdotes (you're welcome)) and a smart cat is fifty times better than one of those steamed eggplant cats that just lay there, planning to fart...

And we all know some cats are prettier than others, I think we could get good agreement out of 100 people rating 100 cats for good looks (but it would be an interesting experiment, yes)

But so, do we think that cats rated "pretty" are smarter than they actually are. Or vice versa?

What a can of worms this question opens up.

To further confuse the issue, I think, in my experience,Siamese cats are smarter than average random cats. And they were carefully bred back in the day to look pretty, and be smart, both. I wonder if surveys show that most people think Siamese are attractive among cats, I am assuming that but who knows...


mark said...

I half agree with you about Carly but she was telegenic. I could have seen Carly being cast as a female CEO if she was an actress in Hollywood. I guess this is a more accurate statement than the one I made though I think I am more forgiving judge then you. I interpreted your writing as judging people you know and evaluating them. I am judging people I half know or quarter know and judging them. In real life, I might be judging them on their reputation. How many bosses think that they are funny? If people are always laughing at your jokes, are you funny? I have more to type but my ideas are funny(trust me) but not coherent. Thanks for the reply.

Steven said...

Confidence and status are a bigger thing for women than they are for men but women still very much get attracted by good looks.

Good looking guys will get complimented by women throughout their lives and wont have much trouble finding interested women, regardless of game. They will always have opportunities as long as they cultivate some sort of social life. Its just a case of having the bare minimum game to capitalise....the balls to talk to them or ask them out. The better the game, the better he will do, but he could still do pretty well regardless. That's because women really like physically attractive men! Besides, confidence will naturally follow.

At the other end of the spectrum, a guy could really struggle and get rejected a lot.

Money and status help a lot but the women that care about that the most aren't the best human beings anyway. A lot of the time people pair with others of the same social class and plenty of broke guys get laid a lot and have the pick of women from the same low social class. For them, being poor really is no obstacle.

Anyway, good article. I like what you said about how men judge one another.

Steven said...

btw I recently read a article which said (based on some studies) that women care about looks just as much as men but men are just better at realising it and admitting it.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Thank you. Yes, no question women judge a man by his looks too, though it's not the overarching consideration it is for men.

I have to wonder about that article which said that women care just as much about looks as men do. they may "care" in the sense that it's the first thing they notice and it's a definite consideration and I've heard women say things like, "I could never go with a fat guy," but I've always gotten the impression that for them, at least for most of them, it's more a matter of a minimum standard being reached, and after that, it's more up to the guy to prove his worth somehow, either through humor or self-confidence or money or something.

Steven said...

I think they are a bit more swayed by good looks and physical appearance than that implies though. I don't think they are subconsciously going 'minimum standard- check. Now lets see what else he brings before I decide if I'm attracted'. That initial attraction can be very strong indeed. I've seen women lose their heads or act really different around a particularly attractive guy, especially when some muscles are involved. And those that are so inclined will 'hook up' with a guy just on that basis.

I think basically the better looking you are, the less game you need in order to be successful with women. (Women obviously don't need game- they just need to be averagely attractive and offer themselves.)

When it comes to choosing somebody to fall in love with or partner up with, I think then the minimum standard logic comes more into play. I think the article even mentioned that.

But then I think personality and intelligence is a huge thing for men too when choosing a partner. I know that I get far more interested in women who I like to talk to, who I consider intelligent and who are interested in the same things as me- these are the ones I get truly excited about. I'm looking out for good hardheartedness and a caring nature as well. A hot woman whose personality I don't like/think is unsuitable may totally arouse me but I don't view her as relationship material. For me, there's no bigger relationship turn off than lack of intelligence- I just know there's no future there. I even think of it in terms of genetics for the children.

So is it really so different?

John Craig said...

Steven --
I do think there's a huge difference between ordinary attraction, which is what I was talking about here, and choosing a long term partner.

I also think there's a difference between European women and American women in terms of how much they value looks in men. I think with European women, if a guy is good-looking, or their "type," that's enough. American women seem to have been taught that sex is something they should parcel out depending on what they get in return. I always preferred European women for that reason.

Fled The Undertow said...

Amen, brother. Just look at the evolution of the show Americas Next Top Model: now in its 23rd season, it went from a pretty straightforward reality show about a modeling contest (in its early seasons, anyway) and morphed into an hour-long lecture about "redefining beauty". To be attractive, slim, and white is now referred to as "normative standards of beauty", which will NEVER make one successful as a "high fashion" model. Those poor unfortunates who have blond hair, blue eyes, and white skin are now looked down upon as being merely "commercial" models. High fashion, apparently, demands their models to be ugly (as they call it, "not a traditional beauty").

For fun, Google the winner of the Miss Helsinki beauty pageant. That should make my point. Feminists are pissed that men desire beautiful women, so they've set out to shame men for their hard-wired desires, telling them beauty is just another "social construct". Good luck with that, you fugly lesbians.

John Craig said...

Fled the Undertow --
A large part of feminism seems to be about abolishing "patriarchal" standards of beauty. But what the feminists are trying to do, like many other liberals, is repeal evolution. Beauty is what people are attracted to, period, and that's instinctive. You can't repeal that instinct anymore than you can convince homosexuals to be heterosexual. And the really ironic thing is that it's the same liberals who lecture everybody about how gays can't help whom they're attracted to -- which I happen to agree with -- who are saying that heterosexuals ought to change whom they're attracted to. It's hypocritical, and ridiculous.

Just took a look at the current Miss Helsinki. Gee, I'm sure the pageant organizers over there weren't just trying to make a political point.