Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Thrall to a Seductive Woman

Even as a child I used to wonder why witches (or as I now prefer to call them, sorceresses) were often portrayed as beautiful, seductive women instead of the wizened old crones of popular imagination. It took some decades of experience, and much thought, but years ago I finally figured out why.

These stories of men being in thrall to beautiful seductive sorceresses would not have existed for several hundred years – if not several thousand – unless there was a lot of truth to them. If you want to see a movie that’s close to a perfect portrayal of this, then watch Body Heat, in which Ned Racine (William Hurt) is ensorcelled by the siren/femme fatale Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner). He is, of course, and here’s the rub, a willing dupe, as all these men are to this kind of woman.

This willing-dupe-to-be-conned-by-a-beautiful-seductive-sorceress has happened to me twice, many years ago. One thing I can say is “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Since those two times, I immediately see through them.

In both cases they came across as smart, funny, knowledgeable women, easy to talk to. They were also -- – and this should be immediate red flag for all men – instantly seductive and intimate, although it can be subtle. They could make a man feel special, looked up to, admired. They say they’re looking for a relationship and you fit the bill. I realize now they were trying to seduce me into giving them attention – and that was about all they wanted. More than anything else, I was a thing to them, one to be manipulated.

It took me a while to realize they did this all men they found attractive. For all that outside charm, inside they were self-absorbed, self-centered and emotionally shallow. The first was a narcissist; the second showed many signs of Histrionic Personality Disorder (and “histrionic” actually means “actor”).

In modern terms, not only should the narcissists and histrionics be avoided, but also the borderlines, definitely the anti-socials/psychopaths, and the bipolars (even if treated) should give you definite pause, although I am very sympathetic to the last if none of the first.

Why did I fall for these women? I was instantly attracted to them because of the immediate charm, intimacy, intelligence, wit and seductiveness. There was that superficial word, “chemistry.” Could it be considered a flaw in me at that time? Sure. Everyone has holes in them that need to be filled. That’s what relationships are about: you fulfill me, I fulfill you. Sometimes, though, they’re not good holes that need to be filled.

Many men fall for this combination, and have since men and women have been around, otherwise the stories of sirens and femme fatales would not exist. Or stories of men who want to be Price Charming and instead of finding Sleeping Beauty get sidetracked into falling for a trickster and a sorceress.

That story of Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty (who is a Damsel in Distress) is another old, powerful story about the relationships between men and women. When some men hear from an attractive, smart, funny, seductive woman, “I’m looking for a relationship,” that Prince Charming/hero part of him gets activated, because what’s he’s hearing is, “Damsel in Distress” (the first words of Luke to Princess Leia: “I’m Luke Skywalker and I’m here to save you”). What happens, though, is that sometimes that Damsel in Distress is not a traditional Sleeping Beauty, but a sorceress/trickster/siren (although, actually, that sorceress/trickster/siren really is Sleeping Beauty, but how does one wake her up from a slumber than she does not know she is even in?).

For an example, a man I know met a Damsel in Distress and bought her condo from her for $150,000 cash. For his trouble he discovered an ungrateful, self-centered woman who showed every sign of being a borderline, once he got past the intelligence, wit and ease of conversation with her.

The easiest con for these female grifters is a kind, compassionate man who is willing to go out of his way to help her and compromise in a relationship – and compromise is something which has to be done in any relationship.

To recap, never fall for a woman who is instantly intimate and seductive with you, and can instantly make you feel special. They’re in it for themselves, not for you. They’re femme fatales, attractive and seductive sorceresses.

Even though it’s obvious these kinds of women existed in the past, why are there so many today? The media and culture in general – and government policies toward men and women -- feeding right into our inborn narcissism and increasing it? Can a skewed society actually increase the number of character disorders – the psychopaths, the narcissists, the borderlines, the histrionics? It’s the only explanation that makes any sense to me.

The media and much of academia disparage men as the cause of most of the problems in the world (the infamous “dead white males” attacked by the mentally stillborn) and elevate intelligent and educated women to the extent they think they are entitled to ‘having it all” – an impossibility.

I recently read an article that pointed out if men find a woman with 80% of what they like, they think they’ve got “a catch.” Many women, if they find 80% of what they want in a man, think they’re lowering their standards and settling for what they don’t want. This is healthy? It’s as narcissistic as hell – Me! Me! Me!

All those stories of sirens and femme fatales are meaningless unless someone explains them to you when you’re younger. A story is about showing people knowledge about life, but it still has to be explained. One of the purposes of being older is to explain life to the younger. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of that anymore. While younger women are told the bad things about men (and a lot of them aren’t even true) younger men are never told what negatives there are in women.

Not once in my life, when I was a teenager, did any man tell me, “Never fall for a woman who is instantly seductive and intimate with you, and has a talent for making you immediately special. They’ve got something wrong with them, they’re shallow, they’re in it for themselves, and you’re just a puppet for them to manipulate. And they can never really apologize for what they’ve done, If you meet these women, don’t be a willing dupe and get ensorcelled, which is a flaw many men have when it comes to these women.”

Unless, of course, you want to spend the rest of your life falling for, as H. Rider Haggard put it, She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed. Ned Racine knew all about that.

7 comments:

Breezmister said...

Back in the day, we would have called a man like that "Pussy Whipped"

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

This must be the tenth time I've heard/read you mention Rider Haggard's She . . .

Bob wallace said...

So quit whining and read the book sometime!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Not whinging, just counting! ;)

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Oh, by the way, I looked up "Histrionic Personality Disorder" and could not believe how closely it described a woman I used to know in uni!!!

I don't know if men would describe her as "instantly seductive and intimate," but she could make anybody, male or female, feel instantly at home and very special. Even those residents of our hostel who grew truly sick of her will admit that she helped us all feel less homesick when we first arrived.

On the other hand, she is also still the neediest, most demanding person I've ever met. She once made up a story about her doctor telling her she had only five years to live, so that everyone would feel sorry for her . . . and she was intensely paranoid when it came to Asian girls and her boyfriend. (What was really funny was that she was half-Asian. She never suspected any of the other girls, though.)

Bob wallace said...

They use that "instantly seductive and intimate" on men. I had one within five minutes ask how old I when I lost my...you can figure the rest out.

Then she started telling me about her sex life. First conversation!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

=O

I don't think the woman I knew would ever do that! She was more of an eternal child, always needing other people to take care of her, even spoon-feed her in bed, if necessary.