Why Female Behavior is so Floofy

Women bear the risks and the costs (e.g. metabolic costs) of pregnancy. Men don’t.


From a reproductive standpoint, a man has a simple problem: How to get his sperm into as many uteruses as possible.

A woman has a complicated problem: How to get desirable sperm into her uterus, while avoiding getting undesirable sperm into her uterus.

It’s crucial that there’s no evolutionary distinction between your dying and otherwise failing to reproduce. Evolution doesn’t care at all whether you die at age 5 with no offspring or die at age 105 with no offspring. These are the same outcome from an evolutionary perspective. Not approximately or metaphorically the same, literally exactly the same.

In the evolutionary past, a woman could die in childbirth, so having sex meant she was non-trivially risking death. On the other hand, never having sex also meant that she would die, from evolution’s point of view.

So sex is fundamentally more complicated for a female. It is both desirable and undesirable, lethally fearsome and irresistibly attractive. This is why female behavior, especially female sexual behavior, is so psychotic.

Imagine that you were locked in a room full of hamburgers and were not going to be let out for a month. Imagine also that you knew that a significant proportion of those hamburgers were poisoned and would kill you. To avoid starving to death you have to eat. That’s an inescapable, rock-hard given. But also, to avoid being poisoned to death, you have to avoid the poisoned hamburgers. That’s also an inescapable, rock-hard given. Imagine what your behavior would be like in this situation. Now compare it to actual real-world female sexual behavior.

Furthermore, while it’s female reproductive (and therefore sexual) behavior that is erratic and psychotic, this is potentially everything, which is why their behavior in general is so erratic and psychotic.


Murderer Cruz Gets Tons of Love Letters

Sorry, red pill deniers. If you refuse the Red Pill, you have to get it in enema form.

Excerpts from the article:

Mass murderer Nikolas Cruz is getting stacks of fan mail and love letters sent to the Broward County jail, along with hundreds of dollars in contributions to his commissary account.

The attraction of women echoes the fascination with killers like notorious cult leader Charles Manson. Lyle and Erik Menendez, the Beverly Hills brothers convicted in 1994 of murdering their parents, attracted a pair of brides while spending life in prison. So-called “Bundyphiles” sent bags of mail to Ted Bundy, the serial rapist-murderer.

“I reserve the right to care about you, Nikolas!” writes a Texas woman. The letter was mailed six days after Cruz murdered 17 students and staff and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

The reverent note takes up all available space on the front and back of a greeting card showing a furry bunny holding binoculars looking out at the ocean. The inside of the card says, “Out of sight, but never out of mind.”

A teenager wrote on March 15: “I’m 18-years-old. I’m a senior in high school. When I saw your picture on the television, something attracted me to you.”

The letter was mailed from Texas and tucked inside an envelope covered with hand-drawn hearts and happy faces. “Your eyes are beautiful and the freckles on your face make you so handsome.” She goes on to describe herself as white with big, brown eyes. “I’m really skinny and have 34C sized breasts.”

A woman from Chicago enclosed nine suggestive photos, including a shot of cleavage, another in a skimpy bikini eating a Popsicle and a tight shot of her backside as she bent over.

Now, deniers, how many nice guys get this kind of attention from women? Take your time.

“There’s piles of letters,” said Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein. “In my 40 years as public defender, I’ve never seen this many letters to a defendant.”

“The letters shake me up because they are written by regular, everyday teenage girls from across the nation,” he said. “That scares me. It’s perverted.”

Via Anonymous Conservative:

Red Pill in Fiction, Reverse Edition: Heinlein’s Friday

We spend a lot of time here at Neurotoxin mocking women’s adorable but addle-pated fantasies about men, as revealed in female-authored fiction. That’s a major part of our Red Pill in Fiction series.

However, every now and then there are some silly male fantasies about women that are revealed in male-authored fiction. Even yer humble blog author, Neurotoxin* himself, is not entirely immune to certain fantasies. (* Actually Neurotoxin is the blog, not the proprietor, but I don’t know what else to call myself, so I’m going with that.)

Which takes us to Robert Heinlein’s Friday, a science fiction novel published in 1982.

This picture activates my salivary response.

Friday is a genetically-engineered superwoman, mentally and physically superior to everyone except other “artifical persons” like herself. At one point when the espionage organization she works for is destroyed and she is forced to go job hunting, she describes herself on her resume as a “combat courier.”

So before proceeding, let me just take a moment to say that James Cameron is kind of a wanker. In his movies and TV shows he lifts material profligately from SF written by other people. In the case of Friday, you might be thinking, “Hey! Maxine, the character in Cameron’s series Dark Angel, was described as a genetically engineered combat courier! That bastard Heinlein lifted his idea from that show!” There was lifting, alright, but it went the other way. Look at the publication date again. Friday was 1982. Dark Whassis didn’t air until 2000. The term “articifical person,” which Cameron slipped into the movie Aliens, also comes from Friday. And the phrase “mimetic polyalloy” in Terminator 2 was lifted from an earlier William Gibson work (Neuromancer, IIRC) that used the phrase “mimetic polycarbon.”

Anyway, Friday is an extremely popular character among male SF fans. She’s had kind of an underground run, but more and more, I see male SF readers of a certain age grooving on that novel and its protagonist.

Even Charles Stross, who is not exactly in political alignment with Heinlein, couldn’t resist doing an entire novel that overtly referenced the character. I mean, really overtly, e.g., at one point his character has a hotel reservation under the name F. Baldwin. Friday’s last name is Baldwin.

Why is this character so lusted after admired?

Well, here’s a lead-up to the answer: It’s the equal-and-opposite equivalent of women’s fantasy about a bad boy who really has a heart of gold and will fall for them in the end.

Men love Friday because she’s an attractive young woman with no trace of drama queen in her personality.

In fact, if anything she goes too far in the other direction; she’s too matter-of-fact about life. Now there’s something you don’t see often. As a courier for a secret agency, she is captured by bad guys in the first few chapters, and raped and tortured as part of their attempt to break her down for questioning. She shrugs all this off. In fact, when she’s narrating the account later, she makes disdainful remarks about her tormenters, for being amatuerish in their torture techniques.

There is a major difference between the male and female fantasies: The female fantasy about the jerkboy who secretly has a heart of gold is not what women really want – they just think they want it. If the jerkboy ever actually became loving and attentive and faithful and all that, they’d instantly lose interest. (That does, in fact, happen sometimes; see the posts and comments at your local Game blog.) Whereas, the male fantasy is what men really want. There’s nothing a man would like better, in actual reality, than a hot and horny young woman with no drama queen in her personality.

Of course, a young woman with zero drama queen is as unrealistic as the cheating jerkboy who secretly has a heart of gold.

But it’s fun to fantasize.

Oh yeah, some thoughts on the novel as a novel: As fiction, this is entertaining enough, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. The pacing is ka-pow! but when it’s over you realize not much has happened. Or rather, a lot has happened, but to little effect.

Example: In the opening paragraph Our Heroine kills a man who’s following her. She takes his ID and credit cards and proceeds to a hotel where she doesn’t check in, but uses their lobby computer to do some sleuthing about the dude. She doesn’t find out much, so – this must be an hour or two after she killed him – she leaves the hotel. Later she learns that the hotel had been blown up a few minutes after she left. She dismisses this as a coincidence and proceeds on her merry way. Eventually, of course, we learn that it was not a coincidence. Some very powerful group of people wanted her dead and had enough resources to follow her and arrange a bombing in that small window of time. The novel goes on like this.

There is an emotional journey Friday makes, having to do with her initial insecurity over the fact that she’s genetically engineered. (As if it’s a bad thing to have superior intelligence, speed, and strength, etc.) But a novel needs a coherent external conflict as well as a coherent internal one. All which is a way of saying: Your Mileage May Vary. There is a certain lightness to the novel, but sweet damn, that main character!

Index page for my Red Pill in Fiction posts:

A Puzzle Regarding Male Sexual Psychology

A central intellectual problem of seduction is this: Given that one of the hottest things you can do, as a young man, is have sex with a girl you really like as a friend, why is it that that almost never works? (Behold the infamous friend zone.) Evolutionary psychology says that this is a huge contradiction: If a behavior doesn’t work, we shouldn’t be wired to want to engage in that behavior.

I think the answer is that it is actually supposed to work that way, but young men have been given such terrible advice over the last half century or so. All the advice-column-type crap was telling us, basically, “Be her sexless neuter beta male supplicating orbiter.” That is horrendously evil advice to give to a young man and I’d love to give the people who say this kind of crap a pipe-wrench-facilitated lecture about the high cost of reconstructive surgery and the difficulty of speaking with all your teeth knocked out of your head.

What they should have been telling us is to do what the PUA community calls “building value.” Play a sport, flirt with other chicks, be in a band, dress cool, show amused mastery, pass her shit tests, etc. But all this in the context of a friendship or at least – No that’s the problem right there; the word “friendship” is wrong wrong wrong. It encourages you to think about this in a misguided way. It should be… what? The correct word is…? The correct concept is… ?

The English language doesn’t have a word for this. Young men desperately need such a word. It’s “I like you but I don’t need you and I’m not going to take any of your crap and if you try to get me to accept any of your crap it’s just amused mastery all the way babe, and we have some things in common but I’m not going to make a big deal out of that and NO, I’m not going to listen to you bitching about that one guy who made out with you at a party and then never called you last summer, and no, I’m not going to braid your hair you fuckwit! And yes, that dress makes your ass look INCREDIBLY FAT!!! and yes you can charm me but only when you cut out the fucking female crap and no you’re not going to slip that subtle bit of female crap past my goalie because I’m hip to that shit, you silly little girl and…”

We need a word for this. It’s not Playah or PUA. It’s…?

The standard advice to young men really was evil. It’s not funny. Many people, the vast majority of them female, told young men the exact wrong thing, the way to behave that would definitively PREVENT a relationship from going sexual. God, these people are almost unbelievably evil.

Don’t bitch about the word “sexual.” That’s what we’re talking about here. Sex is natural and healthy. And if you have an allegedly “romantic” relationship that’s not sexual, guess what? You’re using him as your non-sexual (and non-“romantic”) beta orbiter. You hear that, guys? You’re being used as her non-sexual (and non-“romantic”) beta orbiter. I mean, obviously, “romantic” doesn’t even mean anything if it doesn’t mean “sexual.” What would it mean? “We don’t have sex”? That’s nice. That’s also called being in a non-sexual, non-romantic friendship.

The core attitude for this kind of friendship/developing friendship situation is that you have to let her know that you like her when she’s not acting like a female asshat, and that if she acts like that you’re simply not going to take that kind of crap from her. The standard PUA phrase for this, of course, is “amused mastery.”

But in the PUA community, examples of amused mastery are typically offered in a pick-up scene context, e.g., at a bar. It usually is not portrayed in scenarios where it’s a girl you’ve started to have a little something going with emotionally and who is starting to give you those lethal, subtle shit tests that a girl does with a guy she’s friends or sort-of friends with. The casual, “Will you do me this favor…?” kind of shit test. Fuck, those are lethal, because when the girl isn’t snapping at you in an obnoxious tone of voice, you might not even notice that you’re being shit tested. Girls are utterly indifferent to the sheer unfairness, the sheer unreasonableness, of expecting a guy to pass a shit test that they deliberately engineer to be so subtle that he doesn’t even notice it. Once you’re hip to female games this sort of thing is blazingly obvious, but not when you’re like 14 and totally unprepared for such bad-faith behavior from the opposite sex.

See, this sort of thing is why young men need real-world, truthful advice about girls.

Red Pill in Fiction: Kelley Armstrong’s Driven

Driven, by Kelley Armstong. Estrogen-infused cheese. Basic run-down: Fantasy fiction about werewolves, told in first person from the point of view of a “female alpha.” Intimations of love triangles (quadrangles, pentagons, hexagons) all over the place in the first few pages.

This is a fantasy novel, so we might expect the inevitable Prologue. But Armstrong, not one to do the bare minimum, surpasses the standard requirement with a two-part Prologue, gah!

Here we go.

The narrator wants what she doesn’t want. As is often true with women, the narrator, who is plainly a stand-in for the author, wants to dominate men. She wants to boss them around, have them obey her, etc., ’cause she’s such a fuckin’ tough guy. Of course, she also does NOT want that.

Now an observation on drama as it’s written by non-top-tier female authors: Women have nothing at stake. In anything. And so for them drama is simply a game, a game that one plays to relieve boredom. Unlike men, who will suffer reproductive death if they get into a fight with the wrong other man under the wrong circumstances (because they’ll die or be humiliated, and women don’t mate with humiliated men), there is simply nothing at stake for women. They plainly don’t generally even imagine the idea of there being something at stake. Thus the drama is pointless, it has no internal logic (it doesn’t need to have it, since it is not about anything); it veers from topic to topic at random, it contradicts itself, etc.

An example of this comes when, at the end of Ch 1, the son and daughter of the “female Alpha” (for fuck’s sake) are pressing to have their mother let them meet the Big Bad of the story (Prediction as of end of Chapter 1: Big Bad’s penis will be in the narrator’s vagina by the end of the book). After the kids argue with their mother for a page or so about why they should get to meet the Big Bad, the son says, as an additional argument, “He will also see that we are not intrigued by him.” Dude, you just spent a page avidly arguing to be allowed to meet him.

Why wasn’t the author bothered by the blatant contradiction here? Well, if drama, for females, is zero-stakes distraction from boredom, then there’s no particular reason it has to be internally coherent. “Yes it does!” you’ll say, if you’re a man or a reasonably intelligent woman. After all, how can there be any drama if the situation is utterly senseless? If it even contradicts itself? How can I be on the edge of my seat, how can I experience any emotional tension, if the ostensible tension can’t even decide what it is!?

Well, apparently not all minds see that problem, obvious though it is. The idea is to get your blood pumping with pointless emotional outbursts, not to make some sort of sense. Each moment is disconnected from all other moments, so that if two kids are intrigued by a man at one point in time, it matters not all that five seconds later they’re proclaiming, “We are not intrigued by him.” That’ll show him!

For any women reading this, a note: For men, the analysis of interactions that may involve conflict must actually make sense, since everything is potentially at stake, including one’s life. Strategy, tactics, understanding the enemy’s goals and beliefs to aid in the prediction of their moves… these are all not only a thing; they’re vital.

So the red pill’s presence here is not so much about the content of the scene, as about what it reveals about the female author’s attitude toward pointless posturing and incoherent drama. Here’s the relevant passage, which occurs at the end of Ch 1 (I’ve elided some text for brevity; you’re welcome). The narrator’s 9-year-old son is speaking about the Big Bad, Malcolm. It’s important to note here that the backstory is that Malcolm is a serial killer who’s also a werewolf.

“We want to meet Malcolm–”

A snort from the doorway. Kate [the narrator’s early-teens daughter] walked through, arms crossed almost exactly like her father’s, and the scowl on her face probably an exact mirror of my own. “No,” Kate said. “We don’t want to meet Malcolm. He’s a murdering psychopathic son of a beyotch. We know what Malcolm is. Which is exactly why we need to meet him. Look him in the eye and let him know if he so much as touches us, he’ll regret it.”

This statement is idiotic, and what the fuck is the point of it? First of all, a young teen female is not going to beat up one of the most violent and scary killers in the werewolf world. (Of course, he’s not actually that, since apparently any adult male werewolf can beat him up, as well as Our Heroine, an adult female (we also get this as backstory), but the author tells us he’s a horribly tough “murdering psychopathic” killer, and she plainly wants us to believe that.) In the context of this fictional world, the daughter’s statement is violently insane. It would be like your 10-year-old daughter saying, “I demand to meet Charles Manson so I can tell him that if he messes with me, he’ll regret it!” It’s not just that the statement is blitheringly insane; it’s that it’s so blitheringly insane that even a young, overly cocky kid wouldn’t say it.

Furthermore, maybe she means to convey, “If you mess with me, my Dad will kick your ass!” But there’s no reason for her to arrange a meeting to say that to the Big Bad. Indeed, such a message would be much more convincing if it actually comes from her Dad. Note we are not talking about a kid who accidentally bumps into the Big Bad, and in a surge of fear blurts, “If you mess with me, my Dad will kick your ass!” That would actually make sense. No, we’re talking about someone who is deliberately going out of her way to try to meet someone who can easily kill her, so she can deliver a ridiculous threatening message that might provoke him into attacking her, and which message would be better delivered by someone else anyway. The whole scene Makes. No. Fucking. Sense.

We left off here:

“Look him in the eye and let him know if he so much as touches us, he’ll regret it.”

As if to emphasize the retardation, the conversation continues,

“I think regret might be pushing it,” Logan said.

“I don’t.”

Wait, what? Is this girl in her early teens (as far as I can figure out) seriously saying she’s going to take down a serial killer? WTF? This would only make sense if the next sentence were, “And that’s when I realized I had to send my daughter into protective custody on the other side of the planet while we tried to find a medication that would cure her radical insanity.” Actually, what we get is this:

“I think regret might be pushing it,” Logan said.

“I don’t.”

Atalanta [the puppy] growled, as if in agreement.

Oh, so now their cute little puppy-doggy is going to beat up the 200-pound remorseless killer. Armstrong, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!

“The point,” Logan said, “is that by meeting him, we put a face and a scent to his name…

Yeah, so?

“…and he knows it.”

Yeah, so?

“He will also see that we are not intrigued by him…” which is why I’m persistently begging to meet him… “Nor are we afraid of him. Which isn’t to say we don’t know exactly how dangerous he is, but he doesn’t scare us.”

Which is why we’re so very desperate to tell him, “You don’t scare us!” Ya big ole meany!

An excellent event here would be if the narrator suddenly realized that her kids are too stupid to live, and killed them both on the spot. The pack shouldn’t waste resources on members who are only going to be a burden. As I said about another potential move in my review of Werlin’s Impossible, this would be great because no reader would be expecting it. And, while no sane human would behave that way, a werewolf might.

In response to her son’s “he doesn’t scare us,” the narrator ruminates,

He should, baby. That’s what I wanted to say, and yet Logan was right, in his oh-so-logical way.

WHAT!? We kids should meet a serial killer unnecessarily, and for no reason, get up in face and provoke him. This is described as “oh-so-logical”! What the fucking fuck!?

Here’s another example of self-contradiction destroying the drama: The author obviously wants us to experience dramatic tension regarding the re-admittance of the Big Bad, Malcom, into the Pack. But she states that her husband (Clay), another pack member (Jeremy), and she herself have all beaten him in a fight in the past!!! God, the fuck-wittery!

So what’s going on? Well, Armstrong wants the reader to be all like “Oh no! Don’t clutch this scary viper to your breast!” But he’ll be re-entering a pack in which three of the members have already kicked his ass! The author can’t resist indulging in a little grrrrrl power fantasy about how she’s so tough she beat up a guy almost everyone else is scared of. FFS, Armstrong. If you chance to read this: You must choose. You simply cannot have it both ways. This is why–painfully blunt criticism coming up–there is no critical praise on the back of the book. It’s because readers notice things like this. And professional reviewers are of course even more likely to notice.

Maybe this will help: A big part of any Art is making choices. You cannot have your heroine–and two others!–beat the snot out of the bad guy, and have the reader worrying about their safety in the bad guy’s presence. I don’t mean you shouldn’t, I mean you can’t. If you refuse to choose one of these, the book falls apart because nothing is believable at any level. We can suspend our disbelief to believe in werewolves. We cannot believe in werewolves who shudder with fear at a guy they’ve whupped before.

You could avoid the problem by getting off your lazy butt and changing the situation. E.g., your heroine beat the Big Bad in a fight five years ago, but since then he has been bitten by a radioactive mixed martial arts fighter and developed super skills. Or whatever. But you must provide a clear reason for the change in the situation.

Page 97: More of thing where women think they want to boss mean around. The narrator and her husband, Clay, are visiting the office of a person, Marsh, whom they don’t know, to ask him some questions about a person they’re trying to find. When Marsh finds out they’re werewolves he’s annoyed.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “We’re housebroken. Now sit.” [Absolutely outrageous. Note the deliberately provocative and RUDE behavior toward someone they’re never met before, and who has done them no wrong.]
“I –”
“Sit,” I said, pointing to the chair as Clay moved forward.
Marsh sat.

Oh, bullshit. What man would actually behave that way? What Marsh would actually do is kick them out of his office. And if they didn’t go voluntarily there’d be a fight. I said women don’t want to boss men around, though some think they do. They DO, however, like the idea of their man dominating other men. So that “Clay moved forward” and thus intimidated Marsh is a genuine fantasy: The author is fantasizing that HER man dominates other men.(*) Ugh.

(*) If you think I’m contradicting myself here about what women want/don’t want, see my comments in my post on Werlin’s Impossible: “We must say “No, that’s horseshit, women don’t really want that” about some of the novel’s aspects and “Yes, this is a woman revealing what women actually want” about other aspects. Isn’t this inconsistent? What’s the difference? Simple: Reality itself… We do not use a woman-authored text to figure out what women want (God, no). Rather, we use it to illustrate things we already know about women from observing reality.”

This point about females and intra-male violence is made at greater length by Whiskey here:

Women are obsessed with male status hierarchies.

Another example, in Ch 12. A male werewolf they have just joined up with is all entranced with the narrator’s female scent. (They’re all in wolf form at this point.) One of the narrator’s pack roughs up the newbie a little and the newbie waves off. This is doublehuff of ego airplane glue because her packmate is beating down a male from another pack, AND she herself is the cause of the conflict because she’s so astoundingly sexy. Barf. You guys should be glad I read this cheese so that you don’t have to.

One thing I’m not really conveying is the degree to which the outsider males are humiliated in these little scenes. Let me quote extensively from one of them to give the flavor. The setup is this: A member of an outside pack has found two of his relatives, in wolf form, dead in the woods. They were skinned and hung from a tree, so it was obviously murder. Someone is going after werewolves and this young werewolf has no one else to turn to, so he goes to get help from the narrator’s pack. Malcolm, a former outsider who was just brought into the pack in the last 48 hours or so, is brought along on their little investigation. In the presence of the dead, the narrator, and her husband Clay, Malcolm disses the dead, since they’re not members of his pack.

Clay hit him. It happened so fast I didn’t even see it coming. No growl of warning. No Snarl. Not even glare. One second, Clay was standing there, impassively listening. The next Malcolm was on the ground, rubbing his jaw, and Clay’s expression hadn’t changed.

Malcolm leaped up and rushed him. Clay feinted, grabbed him by the back of the jacket and slammed him into a tree, pinning him there.

“I put you down for disrespecting the Alpha,” he said. “This is for fighting back. I know it’s been a while, so here’s a reminder. I’m her enforcer. If I punish you, what do you do?” [The realistic response would be, “Kick your ass,” Malcolm said, as he elbowed Clay in the solar plexus. The actual answer:]

A moment of silence. Then Malcolm ground out between his teeth, “Take it.”


“I take it.”

He threw Malcolm aside.

Ick. It’s not enough that Clay beats Malcolm in a fight. He has to humiliate him in the most grindingly unpleasant way possible. Also, it’s not realistic that this supposedly amoral psychopathic killer would take this kind of treatment, but never mind that. We are well in to the realm of fantasy here, in more ways than one.

By the way, after this scene I reversed my prediction that Malcolm’s penis will be in the narrator’s vagina by the end of the book. Women aren’t attracted to men who are constantly getting dominated, let alone beaten up.

End of Ch 12, start of Ch 13: The same thing happens, but now after Malcolm, defeated, limps away from the victor (Clay), the victor and the narrator have sex. They change back to human form – they’re naked, natch – and she wraps her legs around him, talking about how he beat Malcolm down, then they fuck. In other words, “I’m so turned on that you humiliated that other male! Let’s now have sex!” Ugh! God! I thought I was red-pilled, but this little glimpse into female psychology is unpleasant even for me.

Well, that was all rather nasty, so let’s end on an amusing note.

After a book largely taken up with male-on-male violence in various forms, we get a hilarious blast of 8th-grade-girl chick crap toward the end, in Ch 20. The setup is that the narrator’s friend Vanessa has to make a terrible choice: Deciding whether or not to move in with her boyfriend! Oh no! The narrator and Vanessa debate this little dilemma for 600 pages. No, wait it just seems that long to this male reader. God, women love their trivial little made-up drama thingies. Anyway, here it is, very heavily excerpted (I don’t have the heart to inflict the whole thing on you; it actually does run three entire pages.)

“Nick asked me to move in with him.”

Pause for comparison here. The male version would be, Dude 1: “I’m moving in with that chick I’m banging.” Dude 2: “Okay, tell me the address so I can pick you up when we go to the game tomorrow.” End conversation. The female version…

“Nick asked me to move in with him.”

“And the estate?”

“That’s up to me. I can move in with him or we can get our own place. Adding another dilemma to the pile. [The “pile of dilemmas” now consists of two questions: Should we move in together, and if so where?] I valued my independence more than I valued living with a lover. Nick is different.”

“So you want to move in with him?”

“Hell, yes. Without question. Which scares the shit out of me.” [It’s so DRAMATIC!!!!!!!!]

“I know you’ve been cautious with Nick. He’s never been a model of monogamy.” [Heh. Excellent little social proof bit there.]

“Only because – before me – he never had a monogamous relationship last long enough. [Confirms social proof. Also note the “I’m special!” aside.] Moving in together takes it to a whole other level.”

“The problem is that for you, moving in says, ‘This is it.’ You’re acknowledging how you feel.”

Blah blah. After they dissect the question of whose emotions are what for another 17 pages, they eventually get around to ANOTHER topic of HOORAY, DRAMA!, which is how Nick’s kids will feel about Vanessa moving in with their Dad.

Our Heroine: “Which is the problem. It’s his home. It isn’t that you don’t want to move in. It’s that you feel you shouldn’t. It’s the Sorrentino estate, and it’s Pack territory. You’re fine with it. But will they be fine with having you there?”

She managed a weak smile. “Nailed it. I understand the territorial issue, but it’s more than that. I’m an interloper in every way.” [Thus my very presence there is bound to cause… DRAMA!!!]

Blah blah. This goes on for another ten years. Women’s ability to extract drama, no to CREATE drama out of nothing, never ceases to amaze me. “Should I move in with my boyfriend? Augh, the drama! So many questions! I need to debate this with my girlfriends for ten years first! It’s all so fraught – freighted, weighed down, like a freight train – with potential consequences and emotional thingies of emotionality! How will I react? How will my boyfriend react? How will the people he lives with react? How will the Trilateral Commission react? Will the Cato Institute write a position paper on it?! I sure hope so, because then there’d be more attention, and… DRAMA!!!”

What makes this whole scene especially funny is the fact that it comes after dozens of pages of murders – recall those two hanging werewolf corpses, etc. Who’s moving in together is not a dramatic topic. And the author doesn’t seem to have grasped then when your main characters have just barely escaped violent death, the question of who’s going to move in with whom is not even remotely interesting.

In summary, I give this book 8 out of 10 chunks of cheese.

Index page for my Red Pill in Fiction posts:

Red Pill in Fiction: Grossman’s Magicians series

Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy is an excellent fantasy series set in the modern world. The red pill isn’t in it to a great extent, but there’s a crimson lozenge here and there.

They don’t seem to be there by the author’s design. Grossman’s a hellasmart guy, but I don’t think he’s red-pilled. If he is, then part of his intention for the viewpoint character, Quentin, is to show a guy who’s not red-pilled and how that screws up his romance life. What I think more likely is that Grossman just got a lot of this stuff right either by luck, or because he was drawing upon some of the less happy interactions that he himself has had with the opposite sex.

Anyway: First book, The Magicians, a.k.a. Quentin goes to magic school.

The problem with the relationship between Quentin and Alice – and anyone who has read the book will instantly understand what I mean – is:

Alice is an intermediate- to advanced-level girlfriend.

Quentin is only ready for a beginner-level girlfriend.

What he needs at age ~19 is a girl whose shit tests are normal, not advanced, and are only occasional and not too hard to deal with. In other words, he needs a chick who is not shit testing him most of the time, and when she does shit test him, flings tests that are (1) obvious and (2) standard. Something like suddenly snapping at him, in a bitchy tone of voice, “Don’t do it that way! Do it this way!” with an unspoken addendum of “…you idiot!” In other words, Quentin needs a ~19-year-old girlfriend who will give him standard shit tests of the sort that start in 8th grade and continue through college, for most chicks. That will get him going on the learning process (if he’s willing to learn) that would eventually let him handle a girl like Alice.

The problem is that Alice is at an entirely different level of shit testing. She doesn’t fling particular shit tests at him; rather, her entire personality is one big shit test. She is a shit test. Truly, this is a different kind of shit test; it’s not just the same stuff, but more of it. A woman who is herself a walking, breathing shit test is a different kind of thing to deal with.

It takes a certain kind of man to handle a woman like this intuitively. Otherwise, she can only be handled by a game-aware man who has had a certain amount of practice dealing with women from the perspective of utterly amoral sex war, which is the female sex’s natural perspective on male-female interactions. Either that, or a natural playah who has had so much pussy already, that he doesn’t have to fake a cavalier indifference to any one vagina, because he does, in fact, have a cavalier indifference to any one vagina.

Alice is actually an asshole. If she were a real person… hmm, but if she were a real person she never would have been with Quentin in the first place. (In the third book in the series, The Magician’s Land, Quentin and someone else discuss this puzzle [in Ch 20]. I was glad to see the puzzle of how Quentin and Alice got together explicitly acknowledged in-text.) But if their relationship were a real one – if we ignore the fact that it’s fundamentally implausible – I would (after predicting its imminent death) diagnose it as follows:

Alice is full of rage because she can’t find a man who will stand up to her shit testing. If a woman can’t find a man who will swat down her shit tests, she becomes full of anger because she feels she cannot find a male who is worthy of her (this is an aspect of standard female hypergamy). Alice is brilliant and magically powerful, so with the female hypergamy built into her neural hardware, she’s a walking rage bomb. God, there is so much anger in Alice. It’s weird: it’s like Grossman got that detail right without understanding why.

Then there’s the drama, which Alice carries with her wherever she goes. But again, it’s not so much that she creates dramatic scenes at particular moments – though she does that too – as that she herself is a walking blast of drama. She is constantly wondering why, though she’s an incredibly powerful magician, she was not detected by the Brakebills magic school and invited to enroll. She had to force her way in through their magic wards, upon which event the faculty basically said, “Okay, okay, fine, if you’re that strong, and if it means that much to you.” But the big unanswered question of her existence is what is so wrong with her that she wasn’t invited in the normal way. Later, we learn the answer to this question, which dials up the drama even more.

Anyway, she carries this drama around with her constantly. It is, as with her shit-testing, an entirely higher level of drama from that chick you made out with that one time in 8th grade and then started acting all weird. Quentin is not ready for this, either.


In the first book, Alice turns herself into a powerful demon (with the unlikely name of niffin, which sounds like a kind of cake that English people would have with tea. “Would you like another niffin, dear?” “Yes, thanks so much!”) because this is the only way to defeat the ultra-powerful bad guy that she and her friends are up against.

In the third book, Quentin figures out how to convert her back to human form. After sleeping 20 hours and getting re-accustomed to having a physical body, etc. she goes into full-bore drama mode:

“You robbed me.” She spat it… “I was perfect. I was immortal. I was happy. You took all that away from me. Did you expect me to be grateful? Did you? I didn’t want to be human again, but you dragged me back into this body.”
She held up her hands like they were low-grade meat, a butcher’s discards.
“I lost everything, twice. The first time I gave it up. But the second time you stole it.”

Well! That’s the quite the speech! But there’s one little problem: Alice knows the spell to turn herself into a niffin! That’s how she came to be one in the first place! So if she really wanted to, she could just cast it again. So she’s just being a melodramatic asshole.

Quentin figures out how to deal with this crap eventually, though it’s not how I would have and it’s not particularly red-pilled.

Pulling back for the broad view: Overall, this is a very well conceived and executed fantasy series. Just one caveat: It tends to provoke extreme responses; people mostly love it or hate it. So read enough to decide if it’s your kind of thing before purchasing.

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Red Pill in Fiction: The Other Boleyn Girl

Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl is a superb novel, particularly with respect to characterization. I may return to this novel in depth in the future, but today I simply want to lay out an unsurpassed example of girl game in fiction.

Anne Boleyn as portrayed here is a high-social-intelligence amoral Machiavellian manipulator. She has decided that she is going to marry Henry Percy, a powerful and wealthy English lord. Boleyn is alarmingly adept at manipulation. (It kind of makes one wonder about Philippa Gregory!) She’d defeat Scarlett O’Hara in some sort of “Who can get a certain man to propose to her?” Ultimate Grudge Match. O’Hara, while just as amoral pragmatic as Anne Boleyn, is a little too inclined to let her emotions run away with her (recall that she’s dizzyingly in love with Ashley Wilkes). Boleyn, in contrast, is remorselessly purposeful. She does nothing that’s not thought out.

Anne’s pursuit of Henry Percy begins in the chapter titled Spring 1523 (page 123 in my paperback copy). As told by the novel’s narrator, Anne’s sister Mary (with editing for brevity):

After that I watched Anne with more care. I saw how she played him. Having advanced through all the cold months of the New Year, now, with the coming of the sun, she suddenly retreated. And the more she withdrew from him the more he came on. When he came into a room she looked up and threw him a smile which went like an arrow to the center of the target. She filled her look with invitation, with desire. But then she looked away and she would not look at him again for the whole of the visit.

It was clear that he only had eyes for Anne and she walked past him, danced with anyone but him, returned his poems. She went into the most unswerving of retreats, having been unswervingly in advance, and the young man did not begin to know what he could do to recapture her.

He came to me. “Mistress Carey, have I offended your sister in some way?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

Skipping ahead: Eventually Percy finds Anne in the gardens of the palace and asks her to walk with him. Here I feel the sting of the omissions I’ve had to inflict for brevity. The omissions make this whole episode of Anne ensnaring Henry seem more direct, more blunt, than it is in the novel. In the novel Boleyn masterfully starts the thing at a simmer and brings it to a boil, and I’m not really conveying the smoothness of it here. But let’s continue. From here on the only two people present are Henry and Anne; the narrator is relating what follows as Anne tells it to her later.

He led her away from the bowling green, down the winding path that led to a seat beneath a yew tree.

“Miss Anne.”

“Your Lordship?”

“I have to know why you have grown so cold to me.”

For a moment she hesitated, then turned a face to him which was grave and lovely.

“I did not mean to be cold,” she said slowly. “I meant to be careful.”

“Why?” he whispered.

She looked down the garden to the river. “I thought it better for me, perhaps better for us both,” she said quietly. “We might become too close in friendship for my comfort.”

“I would never cause you a moment’s uneasiness,” he assured her.

She turned her dark luminous eyes on him. “Could you promise that no one would ever say that we were in love?”

Mutely, he shook his head. Of course he could not promise what a scandal-mad court might or might not say.

“Could you promise that we would never fall in love?”

“Of course I love you, Mistress Anne,” he said. “In the courtly way. In the polite way.”

She smiled as if she were pleased to hear it. “I know it is nothing more than a May game. For me, also. But it is a dangerous game when played between a handsome man and a maid, when there are many people very quick to say that we are perfectly matched.”

“Do they say that?”

“When they see us dance. When they see how you look at me. When they see how I smile at you.”

“What else do they say?” He was quite entranced by this portrait.

“They say that you love me. They say that I love you. They say that we have both been head over heels in love while we thought we were doing nothing but playing.”

“My God,” he said at the revelation. “My God, it is so!”

“Oh my lord! What are you saying?”

“I am saying that I have been a fool. I have been in love with you for months and all the time I thought I was amusing myself and you were teasing me, and that it all meant nothing.”

Her gaze warmed him. “It was not nothing to me,” she whispered.

Her dark eyes held him, the boy was transfixed. “Anne,” he whispered. “My love.”

Her lips curved into a kissable, irresistible smile. “Henry,” she breathed. “My Henry.”

He took a small step toward her, put his hands on her tightly laced waist. He drew her close to him and his mouth found hers for their first kiss.

“Oh, say it,” Anne whispered. “Say it now, this moment, say it, Henry.”

“Marry me,” he said.

Yikes! That’s terrifyingly good girl game. It is even better in the novel, not only because there are no omissions, but because by the time we get to this point Anne Boleyn has been established as the most purposeful and competent manipulator in a court full of purposeful and competent manipulators. One should also keep in mind that at this time, women were constantly plotting to make men marry them, and men were aware of this and constantly careful to avoid being tricked into a match they didn’t want. None of that hinders Gregory’s Anne Boleyn. It’s all just grist for her high-functioning, Machiavellian mill.

One’s first thought is, Whew! I’m glad I’ve never met a woman like that!

One’s second, chilling, thought is, What makes you think you haven’t?

Of course, we all have encountered people (men and women) like this. Statistics guarantees it. But most of them manage to cloak themselves most of the time, devoting a significant fraction of their manipulative social intelligence to hiding their manipulative social intelligence.

I once read, in an article about sharks,

“Beach swimmers would probably find it unnerving if they knew how often sharks cruise underneath them while they swim.”

What Lies Beneath indeed.

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