Excessively Useless Friendships

Donal Graeme, in his latest post asks some questions in response to another blogger’s post on friendship with women.

In this modern day age of empowered, strong, independent women, what does a modern women provide as a friend that a man cannot? What valuable skills does she bring to the table? What unique talents is she offering as a friend?

This is an important consideration. Theoretically, a female friend ought to be more useful than they are. Several reasons for this, but mostly it is not so much sex-biased, but environmental. Saying someone is a friend should be more than a statement of approval. Our postmodern society dissolves every substance in emotion until it loses all form and function because formlessness is what postmodernism/deconstruction do, and emotion is a powerful and freely available solvent; one to which at least half of people simply like to use. After all: It often feels good, and what remains of emotionally-dissolved substances requires no commitment. The sex-biased part is that because few people hold females to any standard they don’t learn anything useful. I believe men are less useful than they used to be, too, but there is still a residue of expectations. How many pre-marriage women can be counted on to prepare a menu of food? How about a cup of coffee that makes one say, “Mm-hmm!”? Can they even introduce a single man to other available women? What good are they to those around them? Women want to be useful, and they even believe that they should be.

Yet acceptance of formless emotionalism[1] is a painful predicament from which to be extracted because the process of molding and holding a person to standards is destructive to comfort, niceness, and the perception of happiness. It’s fun and comfortable to exist without the imposition of expectations; especially for women. Not only are they driven by desire, but the zeitgeist encourages us to prefer the punishment of the smallest infraction of impolite imposition over even the direst need for discipline.

[1] Edited on August 3rd, 2015 by inserting a paragraph break and “acceptance of formless emotionalism”; which probably was wiped during an earlier edit and which BuenaVista brought to my attention.

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16 thoughts on “Excessively Useless Friendships

  1. How many pre-marriage women can be counted on to prepare a menu of food? How about a cup of coffee that makes one say, “Mm-hmm!”? Can they even introduce a single man to other available women? What good are they to those around them?

    Only on the rarest of occasions and among the rarest of women in the Anglosphere West will you find a woman capable of doing or even willing to do these things – tasks for which women are ideally suited, intended, and invaluable. Today, in our post-progressive modern era, women are too busy focusing their energies on being fifth-rate men. They have had it drilled into them since infancy that traditionally feminine qualities and skills are without merit, that “empowerment” and “independence” are to be their life’s aspirations. And yes, many (most?) self-described “Christians” have been raising their daughters this way as well for the last two or three generations.

    Men, for their part, have pretty much reached the point of no longer even expecting women to be able to perform traditional feminine tasks as described above, thereby further eroding expectations and thus reenforcing the cycle of neglect of traditional feminine virtues. As for pre-marriage women, most of their prospective husbands have, as single men, been preparing their own meals and coffee for so long that they’re infinitely better at it than the women. They’ve probably also been burned by the few times that married women of their acquaintance have set them up with other single women (does this even happen anymore with any regularity where the married woman isn’t being malicious?) to the point that that they run in the other direction when the subject is even broached.

    So no, there really isn’t any quantifiable benefit in having a female “friend,” which, as I pointed out over at Donal’s, isn’t possible anyway in practical terms, assuming the true definition of the word “friend” applies.

  2. My wife was a pretty good cook when we met in college (an excellent one now), and did cook for me when we dated. My oldest daughters regularly cook for their siblings. Obviously, some people are still raising their daughters to be women.

    But, no, men and women can’t be friends.

  3. Oscar:

    You are indeed blessed. May the trend you’ve set continue and spread far and wide.

  4. @Oscar

    But, no, men and women can’t be friends.

    Certainly not like those of the same sex can be friends. I have a couple female friends, but it is not them I would call in a pinch, or include in my secrets. I do trust them, but it would be a betrayal of that trust to expect friendship from them like I have with my male friends.

  5. “This is an important consideration. Theoretically, a female friend ought to be more useful than they are. Several reasons for this, but mostly it is not so much sex-biased, but environmental.”

    In terms of the intellectual, I would argue sex-bias is more likely an explanation than environmental. I’m basing this on the observation of the types of discourse women are naturally attracted to engaging in which is talking about people and relationships. This is not a good/bad thing, just something I noticed with the most successful/high I.Q. women and the least successful/low I.Q. women. You can learn a lot about people in what they are passionate about in their spare time and the highest I.Q. women lack the intellectual curiosity of anything outside of world of human relations.

    I enjoy talking with friends about Philosophy, Science, Good Fiction, History, World Events and Christian Apologetics. I’ve never met a woman who’s eyes didn’t glaze over after the first 2 minutes of discussion on these subjects. It just doesn’t interest them.

  6. Let me clarify my previous post. I don’t mean to sound as if I’m belittling women, but I won’t put up with the trope, “What about connecting with a special someone on an intellectual level?”.

    Also, I’m just highly skeptical of being “friends” with a woman. I’ve been there, done that. It seems to me that men are, at best, wasting their time or, at worst, putting themselves in a dangerous place and wind up having to lie to themselves about the potential consequences.

  7. This topic made me think, really think back and try and evaluate the friendships I think I have had with women.

    But first, the utility aspect.

    Ive know a few women with some skills. My mother had skills. She had other serious issues but she could be counted on to prepare food, coffee, make small and large hospitable efforts, keep things completely in order even to the extent that, though she smoked inside her home, one could not smell smoke but for the faintest hint as she cleaned even the walls and ceilings to keep the smell out. As she got older she had friendships with men when the sexual dynamic was damped by age. I noted at her funeral that there were more men grieving her death as their friend than there were women.

    But as I move through my sphere of life there are only a few , maybe two, women who strive in any real way for hospitality and demonstrate the skills to do so. Rather most make lavish shows of it while doing what I call -making work out of work-. Its the martyr aspect I raised in my recent post on matriarchy. Or worse, they are masters at grabbing credit for OFFERING help that they know will be refused. “Oh Id have done that…..let me do that” or for committing to things then being able to not only get out of doing them, but to earn sympathy while not following through.

    I had a female friend in high school. A real one. She was a bit Tom-Boyish, an easy athlete, attractive but not distractingly so. I knew finally that we were friends and nothing more when one evening we kissed on the stoop of her parents home as I was leaving and when it broke we looked at each other, giggled, and sort of shrugged it off as it felt incestuous almost. So it was a safe friendship and a deep one.

    In college there was a girl in my engineering study group. Three guys and her. her and i were friends despite her unreliability in terms of contributing to the collective work. She and I are still friends and she stays in my home when she visits my home city. She tells my wife openly that she got her Chem Eng degree on the backs of me and the other two guys. But the trap of female friendship leading to a physical encounter indeed sprung on her and i after we graduated and I would visit her city on business trips. We were single and it worked for a time as friends with benefits. Oddly we stepped into that then out of that and it doesn’t hang over us at all. My wife is aware of that past and yet the three of us have no elephants in the room when we are together.

    Ive recently started discussing something with my pastor. That is that I find a negative correlation between a man’s faith and his potential to be a real friend where on those occasions a man needs a friend that can hold a deeper discussion, my secular friends are far more apt to go there. These needn’t be born of troubles, Im just referring to deeper discussions that superficial stuff. This causes red pillish men to be even more marginalized because you surely will not be discussing that stuff with a woman, and the Christian men will only present push button self effacing responses.

    Pastor gave a sermon based on being in God’s family. Brothers and sisters. He came heavy on the idea that we hold back and hold in. So, I told him what happened when I tried to do what he suggested when I attended the men’s group a few times. How i was a lead balloon. And I expressed my negative correlation theory. I could absolutely better state the things i stated to those men to a group of women and , while not the type pf discussion Id want or need, I could get more willingness to discuss things from the women. But that still omits just deep general discussions that have nothing to do with personal circumstances.

    The whole thing is messed up which explains a lot of what drives some of us men to these blogs. The reluctance and even inability of men to discuss anything of weight is a huge problem as it seems men range from reacting to serious things by being either silly, or stoic, never finding traction in the activity of discourse.

    Few people in general offer much practically. True that men like doing, we are together best when we DO something. But the skills are not common. I have camping and fishing buddies, some from when my boys were young and we’d fall into rhythm of the chores of setting camp and cooking and making gear ready. I see few women who can fall into that same efficient rhythm as they share food preparation. They seem so skittish and distracted. The discontentment (as GIL expressed it in a comment at my blog) drives them to inefficiency. Men will clear an area of rocks and sticks, set and stretch a tent, hand lanterns and build cooking platforms over fires, gather wood, get all things that function, functioning….ready gear for the morning, ready coffee to be made at 430 AM, secure left overs and food from animals, etc etc wake everyone with no complaints and strike off to fish or hunt or hike. I imagine those times i take my wife. She is not diva-like at all, she doesn’t mind camping and dirt and discomfort. But she cannot stop her squirrel chasing mind to not say things like “wouldn’t it be better to face the tent door that other way” (after its all set up), shouldn’t we put the chairs further from the fire? “…..like that.

    Just this week our nine year old ran in a 5k race to raise money for the local zoo. Cool that a 9 year old ran , so we were at the finish line waiting and my wife kept moving our position. Finally I asked her why she does that? Why can we not just stand there and watch our girl come in? Why is she constantly in discontent? She is self aware enough to laugh and say “I don’t know why I do that and I wish I didn’t” This is a major reason women do not function as male friends and why the idea that a man’s wife is his best friend applies to a very limited set of friendship metrics.

    I have to imagine that women have gradually unleashed this disquiet in their minds as the centuries have passed. It was once reigned in by husbands, fathers, siblings, other men because there was no time to indulge the silliness of it. It is her nature and always has been. Heck it had something to do with the fall in the garden.

    Now it is utterly unfettered. Its created the inefficiency we see everywhere as it has infected men and grown to be considered something normal and healthy in women, encouraged to worry every little thing to death, but ironically to do so with no deep thinking. Men are following women’s scattered urges as if they are imperatives for the servant leader. Its why we are so distracted with bureaucracy in companies and government, why so many people are -advocates- for one thing or another (think GFOFHAVV) and its why men and women are further apart than ever, while supplicant men and women have the veneer of deep friendship.

    The few gay men Ive really known well in my life starting in college and into my younger adult years, in thinking back, maybe were set apart as good friends. They were not flamboyant, there was no undertone of sexuality, those I knew were comfortable being men in the sense they could and did build and hunt and fish and play a sport and were versed in masculine intellectual pursuits, yet there was something maybe born of the dysfunction of their sexuality that made them good friends. Coming back to my comments about the negative correlation between faith and depth potential of friendship…..how sad is that….

    This comment is all over the place….sorry Cane.

  8. @empathologism

    Thanks for the long comment. The point about faith and a lack of serious discussion hit home. I’ve been in church all my life, and I’ve had extremely few heart-to-heart conversations. It’s made me feel very isolated at times, though “uncle” mentor types in my life have alleviated it some. I’ve gotten used to it… but perhaps I should be taking risks in this area. I can think of a few Christian brothers I would trust at that level, but never thought of cultivating my relationships into that before.

    Would you mind defining GFOFHAVV? My Google-fu was too weak to find its definition.

  9. “Certainly not like those of the same sex can be friends. I have a couple female friends, but it is not them I would call in a pinch, or include in my secrets. I do trust them, but it would be a betrayal of that trust to expect friendship from them like I have with my male friends.”

    I wouldn’t call them in a pinch because I wouldn’t trust most of them to do anything. These women also tend to be the wives of men that I’m much closer friends with and who are almost infinitely more useful.

    Now that the utilitarianism is out of the way, and I believe this touches somewhat lightly on Empath, I’ve noticed that when I chatter about with women I’ve essentially burned my man card. There are times to talk with them, but not about anything particularly deep unless it is my wife. And even their I tend to reserve that for men.

    I haven’t had Empath’s problem with men in church vs. men in the world. But that may be my indifference to losing acquaintances in the search for long term friends. I have plenty of people that were friendly at the start that are not any longer. And I’m remarkably ok with that.

  10. OT: I did some digging into GFOFHAVV in previous OP’s on Empathologism’s blog and stumbled across related articles.

    Of all the silly things that come out of women’s mouth’s these days, assertions by women that I will NOT challenge are women’s tuition regarding their own children’s health and behavior.

    From personal experience, I’ve seen too many doctors dismiss a mother’s concern out of hand only to later to be proven wrong by the child’s worsening conditions. I personally know 2 women whose children developed permanent autistic symptoms after a fever brought on by vaccinations. I know one child who lost his life because a doctor refused to take the mother’s concern seriously and misdiagnosed bone cancer as adolescent growing pains in the legs.

    I don’t care how many studies you produce saying vaccines are “safe”, my gut tells me it’s a bunch bovine feces and my gut is waaaaay more right than wrong. And NO, the science is no more “settled” than global warming. The deterioration of both trust in government and societal trust is the price of allowing sociopaths to run the show.

    http://therefusers.com/refusers-newsroom/cdc-says-mmr-and-pertussis-vaccines-can-cause-permanent-brain-damage/#.VWd6wM9Viko

  11. And yes, many (most?) self-described “Christians” have been raising their daughters this way as well for the last two or three generations.

    Guilty. I didn’t know no better. I have a daughter who’s a solid surgeon, but she probably would have made a better wife. No grandchildren for me. Sigh.

  12. “How many pre-marriage women can be counted on to prepare a menu of food? How about a cup of coffee that makes one say, “Mm-hmm!”? Can they even introduce a single man to other available women? What good are they to those around them?”

    It’s gotten so bad that what was once a cherished skill for many women who would have earned tremendous respect in their own communities and families is now something only mostly guys are good at. Look at all the top chef’s in the world. Only a handful of them are women, and all they can do is make tweaks here and there to pre-existing foods to give it their own flare so as to lay claim to some credit of kitchen-“panash”. Whereas, men are exceeding them in the field of culinary arts by miles. Take a look at the field of molecular gastronomy, wherein they use modern scientific tools such as liquid nitrogen to completely revolutionize menu items and bring out tastes and textures that were never tasted before. Case-in-point, Chef Grant Achatz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Achatz) who conceptualized it for his own neck of the woods in Chicago in his restaurant ALINEA. When anyone mentions big names in food, they will mention people like Emeril, Wolfgang Puck, Anthony Bourdain, or even the wild and violent Gordan Ramsey. The only female name that MIGHT come up is Rachel Ray, which really speaks volumes to exactly how even in a field that was classically dominated by women, they can’t even cut it anymore. They have managed to turn their strengths into weaknesses and their weaknesses into..well an even more shameful display of petulant childishness. They have gone to only further sink into complete obsolescence.

    For that question, how many married women even know how to do that?! We have an obesity epidemic in this country, especially amongst our children for this reason primarily. Eating out all the damn time because you want to keep your feminist merit badge and don’t want the “shame” of having to be “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen”. A day will come when the generations to come will hold their predecessors’ feet to the fire for the abysmal choices they made for their own self-centered interests, especially their mother’s.

  13. @ feeriker

    “You are indeed blessed. May the trend you’ve set continue and spread far and wide.”

    Thanks, brother. It’s good to be reminded, because it’s easy to forget when the going gets rough, and as we all know, it can get rough no matter who you are.

    Ever since leaving active duty and moving back home I’ve been encouraged, because many of my long-time friends are raising families similarly. Most of us are noticeably more “traditional” or “conservative” than our parents, and that includes my very traditional Central American parents.

    I can’t say that’s a trend, but it’s better than the alternative.

  14. In my whole life I have had one woman who is a trusted “friend” in almost the same way as I would be friends with a man. She is also a devout Catholic. So it is possible, but exceedingly rare.

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