Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Pretty Day, Ugly Thoughts

I just came back from one of the nicest walks I’ve taken in ages.  The city is beyond gorgeous today.  The sun is shining but there’s a cool breeze and so it’s warm without being hot.  I took a nice long walk through , with lots of stops along the way to just sit and take it all in.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my life, I forget how lucky I am to live here.  It’s hard sometimes.  But it’s heavenly on days like this.  And I do feel very lucky.

Typical for me, my mind was stuck on something I’d read just before I’d left the apartment.  Bob Herbert’s column in today’s NYTimes was titled Women at Risk. He started off by writing about George Sodini, the guy who killed those women at the gym in Pennsylvania this week.  BTW, I’ve been reading a lot about him and the case. I’m not usually fascinated by murder cases, but the fact that he’s become a cause celebre on several PUA sites has gotten my attention. I’m trying to collect my thoughts for a rational post on that, and on in the seduction community, in general.  Check back for that.

He then goes on to discuss other cases of violence towards women, in specific and in general.  From the article:

“Life in the United States is mind-bogglingly violent. But we should take particular notice of the staggering amounts of violence brought down on the nation’s women and girls each and every day for no other reason than who they are. They are attacked because they are female.

A girl or woman somewhere in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every couple of minutes or so. The number of seriously battered wives and girlfriends is far beyond the ability of any agency to count.”

Reading his article filled me with such sadness and anger that even a long walk through Central Park on one of the nicest days of the year couldn’t clear my head.  Not completely.

What has this got to do with dating?  Well, a lot, actually.  Men and women, we’re different.  Very, very different.  And there are some things that we’ll probably always see differently.

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10 to “Pretty Day, Ugly Thoughts”

  1. pansophy says:

    Dating is supposed to be about love, or finding love. Violence is about rage, anger, and resentments.

    What strikes me is how infrequently being drawn to someone is about love (and I’m excluding chemical love), but about something other than that. What does it say about people when its a better dating strategy to withhold love then to give it out freely _ that we are scared away by people that show us love, caring, nurturing and attracted to aloof, unavailable, selfish people?

    Violence is just a hugely glaring fact that shows how little we are able to love others, receive love, and worse of all, to love ourselves.

    Is it any wonder that we feel alone, and that really has nothing to do with our relationship status.

  2. OpinionatedGift says:

    It’s a continual source of sadness how many women I know who have been assaulted in one way or another. It’s all too common and I disagree that its particularly violent in the U.S.

    World history is replete with misogynist brutality. It’s not that long ago that hitting your wife was almost mainstream. We still have a long way to go.

    I like the new wave of ads we see lately of boys being taught to treat women respectfully. I think its a start.

  3. cjw666 says:

    An asshole is an asshole wherever he is in the world, but unless one hell of a lot of women in the US are paranoid, it is a lot worse over there than in any part of western Europe I’ve come across.

    As OpinionatedGift says, there are numerous examples of this attitude to women in the past, but that’s the point – most of the civilised world seems to be growing up at last (though there are notable exceptions). I’m not quite so sure about the States, though – from what I read.

  4. TheMQB says:

    It’s an interesting topic of discussion and an important one at that. The problem as far as men are concerned is quite simple. In essance they are taught in society to be possessive go getters that must attain and keep what they come to gain.

    Where women are concerned, the average male is still taught (whether through parenting or through society & mainstream media) that women are inferior and that they are “better” than them.

    Couple these two ideologies and you fundementally end up with a big problem. I personally believe that it is both of these ideas comined that cause hatred and anger towards women and screw up a man’s thinking.

    So how can this be remedied? Well it’s actually quite simple: We adopt an almost buddhist philosophy that in reality we never truly own anything, never truly possess anything, either materially or in terms of those we love – be it our wives & girlfriends or our family and friends.

    When we come to accept the transitory nature of all things in life, we can then began to accept the possibility of loss and allow for love and acceptance to grow in our hearts. We can also then begin to take responsibility for our own failings as individuals.

    In the end it is the responsibility of every individual to ensure that they maintain a healthy thought process. Sadly, as previous posters have commented, there will always be the few damaged eggs that fall from the basket.

    Try not to allow such thing to rattle you too much. As long as you are doing what you can to live well and think well, and try to promote that among others then all is well.

    I hope my post isnt too long and offputting to all lol.

    The MQB

  5. Simone Grant says:

    I try to stay away from BIG statements. I think people are drawn together for all kinds of reasons. My biggest concern, having read this is how little most men (and I believe this to be true, it is most men) pay attention to these issues. And that perhaps it’s time they started to. For example, I think most guys would be SHOCKED to find out how many of the women they know have been victims of sexual and or physical violence.
    -Opinionated Gift
    Yes, it’s nice to see some education on this issue. And compared to less developed nations, the US is not particularly violent. Compared to Northern Europe, we’re pathetic. Really and truly pathetic.
    Yes indeed. An asshole is an asshole wherever he lives. And it would be nice to have a whole lot less of them. Perhaps someday.
    Your post isn’t off-putting, however, I’m not a stick my head in the sand type. I see this as a pretty big problem. Especially because I see so many guys in their teens and twenties who are actually more angry and full of hatred towards women than their older brothers/fathers. I’m constantly sickened by the fact that things are not actually getting better.

  6. cjw666 says:

    Maybe it’s the different culture, but I don’t get the problem for these guys. It’s very straightforward to my way of thinking. If a man doesn’t find fat women appealing, he has a perfect right to think that and ignore them and, if a large woman wants him to notice her then she can lose weight or go without. EQUALLY, if a man is an asshole and a woman doesn’t like that, then he can grow up and maybe she’ll like him better, IF SHE CHOOSES, or he go without.

    What’s to get angry about? If I don’t like someone then I don’t like them – period! If a woman doesn’t think I’m the best thing since sliced bread then that’s her right too.

    What planet do these assholes live on? I swear it’s not the same one as me.

  7. aguy says:

    I don’t want to diminish the horror of the Pittsburgh shooting, but Herbert’s being pretty hyperbolic. Violent crime against women in the United States has been falling since 1994 and is at its lowest levels ever recorded, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s authoratative National Crime Victimization Survey.

    The same survey shows that men in 2007 were 20% more likely to be victims of violent crime than women (a victimization rate of 22.5 per thousand for men versus 18.9/1000 for women).

    Looking at what the government calls “nonfatal intimate partner violence” the rate of it has been cut to nearly a third of its 1993 levels, according to the DOJ.

    According to the International Crime Victims Survey, the U.S. is about average among first-world countries when it comes to crime. There’s more assaults here than, say, Japan and Switzerland, but less than the UK, Ireland and Iceland. And obviously there’s far less violence here than in most parts of the world, such as Mexico or the Middle East.

    Whenever people talk about such-and-such happening “every couple minutes or so,” you can pretty much assume they’re using statistics in a dishonest/deceiving way. We live in a huge country, of 300 million people — of course things are happen all the time. (But probably not every minute or two, as if violence is some metronome you can set your clock to). A more reasonable way of looking at statistics is the one employed by statisticians — the rate per 1,000 population.

    None of this to say that any violence is acceptable, of course, or that we shouldn’t be outraged by what happened in Pittsburgh. But we also should be rational about it…

  8. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles says:

    Aguy: Just because the crime rate has improved doesn’t mean it’s okay the way it is now. Obviously, there are Western countries that are doing a lot better. Shouldn’t we aim to be one of them? Also, while it’s true that there is more guy-on-guy violence than guy-on-girl, I think that just goes to show how much aggression is being channeled in inappropriate ways. It seems we still have a long way to go in teaching boys what are acceptable outlets for aggression (eg., competition, physical exercise, sports) and what are not (eg., assault, rape, murder).

  9. Veka says:

    From personal experience, I was attacked by a stranger at my own home about a year ago. I live alone, so this was a very hard thing for me to go through, especially by myself, at night time. Our world is so crazy, and people feel like they can get away with this kind of crap. And unfortunately, a lot of them do get away with it. It’s been about 10.5 months since this happened to me, and I’m doing a lot better now, but the authorities never caught the guy.

    At dinner two nights ago with my mom and my aunt, my aunt told me a story about how she was in bed asleep and woke up to a man peering in at her from her window and drooling and grunting and staring at her… she got up and called the cops and he ran away. They never caught him either. And this happened to her only about 2 months ago. No physical crime was committed, but it’s a privacy crime nonetheless. Scary.

  10. Simone Grant says:

    First, Veka, wow – I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It’s just so sad that our world is that violent and scary.

    I guess this is one of the many times where I think stats are kind of useless. For starters, I don’t know too many women who haven’t been victims of crime. Either sexual (which is a form of violent crime) or physical. Most of those went unreported. It seemed different when I lived in Europe. Maybe it just wasn’t something people acknowledged.

    Is there less now that decades ago? I hope so. But I’m also not so optimistic.