Heartiste and In Mala Fide were mentioned by Hugo Schwyzer at Jezebel on the topic of women being attracted to assholes. So I adapted an old post that is now up at Good Men Project (whorefinder cried).
I think Schwyzer is wrong to ignore what we see before our very own eyes: that many women tend to gravitate toward assholes and jerks. But I think the “Chicks Dig Jerks” argument can go a little bit further. It’s not that women dig the jerkiness, per se; they just prefer the agency, the assertiveness.
I’d argue that women prefer positive agentic men, but often settle for negative agentic men – assholes – because the most desired group is in short supply and high demand. Along an evo psych framework – much like the one offered by the National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson who I think must be reading Heartiste – I argue that women, in general, are attracted to men who will increase their pool of resources. Positive agentic men have access to resources and are more likely to share those resources with the women in their lives. Negative agentic men will get resources through more direct and assholish ways, but they’ll obtain resources nonetheless. Even if the negative agentic is selfish the woman he is with will benefit indirectly.
And then from there we have guys further down the ladder who sometimes pick up the wrong bits and pieces they see agentic men using. For instance, passive nice guys often struggle in the mate/date market because they think they must sanitize their personality of all sexuality. But dating guru Tony Clink summed this thought up well:
It’s not because women like jerks. Women prefer polite over rude, and attentive over distracted. The problem is the way nice guys present these positive characteristics. In order to appear friendly and romantic, these ‘nice guys’ think they have to turn off their sexuality. They hide their desires in order not to offend, presenting an androgynous, asexual persona. The first impression they give is one of emasculation, weakness, and lack of desire. At best, they confuse the woman as to whether they even find her attractive. That’s what jerks offer women that nice guys don’t: they’re not afraid to be sexual.
Comments there are appreciated.