There are some in Europe, who, confusing the different attributes of the sexes, pretend to make of the man & of the woman being, not only equals, but similars… They give to one as to the other the same functions, they impose to them the same duties & give them the same rights; they mix them in all things, works, pleasures, affairs. One can easily conceive that forcing to equal thus one sex to the other, one degrades the both of them; & that from this coarse mix of the works of nature, nothing would ever come out but weak men & dishonest women.
Tocqueville, Democracy in America, III.12
A man decides to teach women publicly that the way men play the game has changed dramatically, but the way women react has not. Women are old-fashioned & moral. Men desire sex. Why does sex not cause men – assuming the civil peace – to obey women in pursuit of pleasure? The game of love, which is never likened to war, changed.
Equality, especially sexual equality, is the problem. The plausible new public teaching, that women like sex as much as men, has made promiscuity shameless. But the decent expectation that men & women desire a conventional marriage & family equally has proven implausible. Men apparently cannot act on that desire when marriage is not conventionally authoritative.
Women are the problem, though perfectly democratic & therefore innocent. This is a comic accident. Women who like sex without marriage preempt women who want sex within marriage from leading men to a good life on the road of pleasure. Very young women, legally speaking, are competing against women who are no longer very young. They win easily: Youth rules in democratic America. The war of the sexes is also a war within the sexes. But no comparable problem appears among men, who have always competed. Apparently, sexual competition is new to women…
Men no longer strive to be excellent so as to persuade beautiful women of their goodness. Sex is easy. To speak like the economists, supply&demand favor men, not women. It’s a buyer’s market. But both are degraded, or so some women think, & this one man who wrote the book. He is a comedian, so he knows that free choice is neither free, for men are slaves to sex, nor smart, for sex often makes men ignoble.
Freedom to these men means freedom from bourgeois conventions. They do not fear job problems: They fail or succeed by their own skills. They are American men, therefore unashamed. Women are a different problem, because men do not have the art dealing with women. One woman has to deal with a desperately aroused man; she proposes to talk to him about Plato’s story of the Cave. Obviously, it fails. She might have tried the drinking party.
Women have no solution, but this man can teach them. He asks them: What are your goals? When once they honestly confront that question, he has conquered them. When he begins to match means to their ends, the means appear ugly. It is surprising to see how much these women lack subtlety. But such is naivety & it is cleverer than cynicism. However, women who have been humiliated in love are quite willing to call love a battlefield, unlike women who have not, who are shocked to hear their friends liken love to war.
A film quite popular with women