“On average, men are more competitive than women, so it’s definitely possible that men would respond in a self-negative way to anybody’s success.” – Kate A. Ratliff, University of Florida.
(A chapter from the book New Power of American Women - The Essential Survival Guide)
The Great Recession of 2008 has highlighted some serious, long range problems for most American men. That recession also highlighted the increasing new power of American women in the “new normal” economy.
In Rosin’s well publicized The End of Men and The Rise of Women book, she does a pretty good job of interviewing several people who were caught in the new economic reality and how men are losing the battle and women are the new breadwinners doing most of the work. She gave a few facts and examples of how the guys in the family were stuck by refusing to change their jobs and mentality. She began her book with examples of how girls in college were now more sexually aggressive while being kinda slutty. She says they were enjoying it and also graduating, seeking to take over in some industries. The pharmacy industry in particular. She also showed how women were marginalized in the past (like victims of course) but were now on the rise. She got into some core economic issues and several chapters really took me by surprise. In them, she caught the essence of the dangers women can do to men while they are “rising.” Besides the new sexual attitudes about being endorsed by feminists, her chapters about the new wave of female violence and how Asian women will take over the world, were what I thought most American men needed to pay close attention to.
If you haven’t yet read the End of Men, I’d like to suggest you do. If you do read it, pay special attention to the chapters “A More Perfect Poison - The New Wave of Female Violence,” “Hearts of Steel - Single Girls Master the Hook-up” and “The New American Matriarchy - The Middle Class Gets a Sex Change.” Good eye openers for slackers and/or traditional thinking guys.
“Trifles light as air, are to the jealous, confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ.” – William Shakespeare
An interesting study titled; “Gender Differences in Implicit Self-Esteem Following a Romantic Partner’s Success or Failure,” was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, by Kate A. Ratliff, from the University of Florida and Shigehiro Oishi, from the University of Virginia (2013). This clinical study got together several groups of young, college age adults to find out how a woman’s success is taken by a male, if the female is more successful than he.
The summary of the study was this:
“In sum, men’s implicit self-esteem is lower when a partner succeeds than when a partner fails, whereas women’s implicit self-esteem is not. These gender differences have important implications for understanding social comparison in romantic relationships.”
What I found most interesting is in what these researchers left out. First of which, they didn’t specify if the participants in the study were married and why they were just considered “romantic partners.” The age of the participants - with which one might want to question the “maturity” level of the different groups - was also not available.
However, they also wrote:
“Even partners in committed relationships experience negative feelings when their partner outperforms them in a domain important to their self-concept.”
One might want to assume they meant marriage but since this was a college-age group of people, I’m guessing it was actually people living together.
Now keep in mind, this is a college research paper and there were’t a lot of divorcees or “previously initiated” in this group. Mature, senior opinions were absent. They go on with:
“In addition to gender differences in including one’s partner in the self, we believe that the success of the partner might harm men’s self-esteem more than women’s in part because men tend to value agentic traits (e.g., competence) more than women do (Guimond, Chatard, Martinot, Crisp, & Redersdorff, 2006; Helgeson, 1994). Researchers have found also that men tend to exaggerate their agentic traits, whereas women tend to exaggerate communal traits (Paulhus & John, 1998). To the extent that competence is a more central to men’s self-perceptions than to women’s, men’s self-esteem is more likely to be negatively affected when their competence is in question.
Relatedly, men tend to be more competitive than women (Buss, 2004; Maccoby, 1998). Maccoby (2002) argues that, from a very young age, boys’ playtime interaction tends to be marked by dominance-striving. Competition within social groups is a way for boys to “prove their worth.” Young girls also pursue individual goals within social groups, but tend to do so while simultaneously striving to maintain group harmony. Liening, Mehta, and Josephs (in press) argue that men’s greater competitiveness arises from a combination of patriarchal social structures, evolution benefitting aggressive men, and differences in the underlying biological mechanisms that drive men’s and women’s behavior.
Further, gender is strongly associated with widely shared stereotypes. Men are typically associated with success and competence; women are largely assumed to be less competent and less achievement-oriented; even when women are successful, their abilities are often downplayed by others (Eagly & Karau, 2002). Gender stereotypes would therefore suggest that it is more acceptable for a woman to have a successful male partner than it is for a man to have a successful female partner. Having internalized such stereotypes, men’s self-esteem might be particularly threatened by a female partner’s success.”
Got that? I couldn’t have said it better myself. However, note how both genders exaggerate their so-called normal traits, which could also mean lying about it. Also note that none of these research studies mentioned how bogus beauty might be or is being used competitively or perhaps intrinsic to this basic psychological or equality problem.
In other words, they didn’t include how and why increasing feminist competition, with bogus beauty, may cause much greater economic upheaval, violence and mental problems further down the road.
Special note** If you want to dig into this study deeper google it. There is also another element of personalized jealousy that is coming up in the Power of Jealousy chapter. Therein are some personal interviews about how the jealousy monster is actually being used one on one.
Also keep in mind, there are many other feminist writers such as Hanna Rosin and her “End of Men” book, which are prompting some men (me for one) to fire back and try to help men. I guess, deep down, I’m jealous of that particular book’s spin and it’s success. :-)
NOTE* - Part 2 of this chapter on Her Power of Jealousy coming next week. This is the funny stuff with some of my interviews and real examples of jealous fools.