Women competing for men

(31 Posts)
exhaustedandannoyed Mon 16-Dec-13 11:57:46

I haven't posted on feminism before but I am really bothered with what is going on in the country that I live in and will most probably be living in for a long time/forever. It is an Eastern European country and apparently (according to dh who is from here) there are many more women than men in the population. This has the effect that women are pretty much competing with one another to find a 'mate'. This means that they put a lot of effort into the way they look, dress in a 'sexy' way and according to him generally put up with being treated badly by men as they are just grateful to be with one.

I find this really disturbing and it is very sad to think that so many of these men are not been brought up to respect women more. He also says that the reason many women are not very friendly to me is because in their eyes I have stolen one of their men! I tell him he is just being conceited but he says sadly this is the reality of how things are here. I asked him why he isn't more angry with the way that women are being treated and he said he is but there is really nothing you can do to change it. He says he was attracted to me because I saw him as an equal and didn't effectively try to make myself into doormat for him. We have 2 small dds, I don't want them to see this as normal. I know I can try to show them through my relationship with dh how it should be (well as best we can) but is there anything more I can do?

Also I know I can't change a whole culture but is this kind of behaviour inevitable when you have an imbalance of men/women? Another thing that worries me is that apparently domestic violence is very common and is not at all taken seriously by the police. Apparently normally the only way that this violence comes to an end is by one of the couple killing the other. There really needs to be more support in place for women, but I don't have clue how or if I could try to set something up.

Sausageeggbacon Mon 16-Dec-13 12:30:57

I read something similar about some American Universities where there is an imbalance and more female students than male. There was the complaint that competition for intelligent" male partners meant that some girls felt they had to go further sooner in the relationship to keep the guys interested. I will see if I can find the link but this works in reverse as well, At college as it was a technology based college with a small business unit there were 12 guys for each of us. I can't remember a night out where I had to buy a drink simply because every guy was out to impress and when I did try there would always be one or two who would happily stop me.

So yes I guess it would be true depending on where in the world you are. Certainly seeing reports from China that guys are outnumbering women and there are now a lot of older singletons.

Sausageeggbacon Mon 16-Dec-13 22:07:05

Well there is NYTimes

This is from Latvia and is a few years old BBC

There are reason but it is different for each country.

whatdoesittake48 Tue 17-Dec-13 09:57:46

there were some reports recently that the rape problem in India is due to there being more men than women.

Strange isn't it that when women outnumber men they turn into barbie dolls to attract a husband, but when men outnumber women they turn into rapists.

scaevola Tue 17-Dec-13 10:14:27

In China, where the imbalance is the other way round, there is kidnap and forced marriage.

I doubt there is such an extreme imbalance in Europe though. And it is possible that DH is describing his own views on relations between the sexes, not a population-wide one.

But yes, in any culture, you will find women who see men as a "prize" and this may reflect a societal imbalance in earning power and expected gender roles.

AskBasilAboutCranberrySauce Tue 17-Dec-13 20:24:18

It's funny that no one ever wonders why where there is a shortage of men, no-one ever wonders why women don't do the obvious thing and just
become lesbians

AskBasilAboutCranberrySauce Tue 17-Dec-13 20:25:30

oh bugger this phone. it didn't recognise the word lesbians either

grimbletart Tue 17-Dec-13 22:14:49

Lesbianism doesn't float everyone's boat Basil - not even feminists' grin

BerlinerBelle Tue 17-Dec-13 22:49:16

I don't know grimble - I think I read that after WW1 there was a huge increase in lesbian relationships, as there were so few men available. Don't have any references for it, so could possibly have dreamt it!

Fighting over scarce resources is a pretty human instinct - it's not really surprising that women do it as well as men. Are you bringing your dds up in the country exhausted? I think your best defence is exactly as you stated - the modelling of an equal/respectful/loving relationship - but add on if you can frequent trips home and a healthy dose of education. Good luck.

AskBasilAboutCranberrySauce Wed 18-Dec-13 18:48:12

True Grimble but sex with men doesn't actually float many women's boats either - witness the number of women who aren't having very good sex.

We're socialised to expect to be heterosexual and therefore automatically rule out the option of lesbianism. But if we were socialised to expect to be lesbian or either lesbian, straight or bi, then I wonder how many women would realise they aren't actually obliged to compete for men?

I've no axe to grind on this, I've always been straight myself, just wondering why the obvious solution is thought to be so out there and unthinkable. I suspect that it has more to do with the extremely strong societal expectation of heterosexuality (which then gets internalised) than with innate "natural" inclination.

Sausageeggbacon Thu 19-Dec-13 12:55:25

Not everyone feels the need to be a mother but it is part of our make up. Nature has made it so that in general terms we need a man to become a mother. Not sure it is a society issue as much as an evolution issue but the drives to reproduce that have come from millions of years of evolution you would expect PiV to be the most natural urge of all. Yes there are acts of homosexuality in animals, but the urge to reproduce is strong in a lot of us.

So we compete, now we are looking for most intelligent rather than physical attributes hence the issues in universities as I certainly wouldn't want to be with someone who wasn't at least my intellectual equal. Is the need for intelligence a societal issue or does it reflect the change in the survival issues for the human species?

tribpot Thu 19-Dec-13 13:02:43

That Beeb story is chilling. Latvia appears to be having a gender-biased public health disaster but let's report it as an episode of Sex and the City and make it all about not being able to find a date. WTF!

AskBasilAboutCranberrySauce Thu 19-Dec-13 17:16:00

"we need a man to become a mother."

But we don't need to live with a man, have a heteronormative monogomous domestic arrangement with him. Also I wonder how much PIV sex we do have a natural urge to have? In order to reproduce, we don't actually need that much of it.

TeiTetua Thu 19-Dec-13 22:10:53

"we need a man to become a mother", then he can tell all the other men what it's bloody well like--oh wait, that isn't quite it.

Probably most people here hate sociobiology, but it might well be true that back when life was very uncertain, the best chance to have surviving offspring was if women and men formed a partnership and raised children together--or if the man didn't do much, at least he might provide some benefits. Obviously the women who went off and formed an all-female tribe weren't going to be having many offspring! So did the descendants of the people who were willing to have heterosexual relationships inherit the same willingness?

We don't need much sex to produce kids, but maybe its value is that if a man knows he can get it, he'll hang around and just possibly do something useful in between sessions. Chimpanzees don't mate all the time, and they don't form lasting couples either. But apparently pygmy chimpanzees do have lots of sex and they use it to make social bonds. None of this is very certain, but maybe it's good for a discussion in the pub over the third or fourth round.

Sausageeggbacon Fri 20-Dec-13 14:04:07

Well sorry for assuming that children have two stable parents in a loving relationship is a good end game. I enjoy PiV and the orgasms are more intense that way than others. We fought so that we could enjoy our sex lives and now it seems that what feminism fought for previously is wrong in certain quarters.

AskBasilAboutCranberrySauce Fri 20-Dec-13 15:14:09

It's not a bad end game, Sausage, it's just not the only option available. We've been socialised to believe it's the best end game, but it's not, it's just the one that benefits men as a group best.

It's nice that you enjoy PiV and you find the orgasms more intense, but most research shows that most women don't orgasm via PiV but by other methods.

I just don't know what you mean that feminism tells you that something you practice sexually is wrong, it isn't feminism that defines sex as a penis and a vagina, feminism is much more open about what sex is. smile

SinisterSal Fri 20-Dec-13 15:26:28

Sausageeggbacon confused that's a bit fiery for no reason I can see.

MyBaby1day Mon 06-Jan-14 03:08:41

Get to China, more men than women! grin

scallopsrgreat Mon 06-Jan-14 09:14:44

Yes and do you know why that is? Because they are killing women.

Two million missing women and girls

When men outnumber women, women's lives lose even more value.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 07-Jan-14 23:07:18

Not necessarily killing women, although infanticide does (rarely) still happen I believe, but certainly sex-selective abortion as well as differential nutrition and healthcare for sons and for daughters.

It's changing, though, slowly, which can only be a good thing - although it does make me mad when idiotic scholars arguing that women becoming a "scarce resource" as in China makes them more "valuable" and thus treated better. Instead we see trafficking of women (within and across national borders) and kidnappings/forced marriage.

Re. lesbianism - I think there was an increase in gay male relationships after WWI too? Not because of the war, just because it's around then that people started slowly becoming slightly more accepting/aware of it.

NeoFaust Thu 09-Jan-14 10:09:20

Just wanted to add some data from personal experience:

I visited Belarus about five years ago - Eastern European nation, one of the last European dictatorships. Nice country. I was visiting a girl I met online and had hit it off with (I know what you're all thinking, but no - she wasn't after my passport and I wasn't after an easy hookup, though things did progress in a positive fashion).

We'd had a lot of discussions about cultural differences before I visited and she had mentioned the high level of competition for men, the reason being that most young men between 18 and 21 were doing their national service in the army. I asked her how this manifested itself and she told me (disparagingly) about obsequious, overly childlike behaviour and the 'uniform'.

When I visited I saw it for myself. Almost all the young women (and I mean a good 99%) wore the following:

Black miniskirt (VERY mini)
Tights (often fishnet)
Black leather boots (often knee high)
Leather/Denim jacket.

I didn't get much opportunity to explore whether the servile attitude thing was true - the people I was hanging out with were very much the local equivalent of a punk/,metal subculture (pro-western, progressive egalitarian, dressed office casual confused) but they all had jokes about the mainstream culture and it's hyper masculinity/feminity dynamic.

It's fascinating seeing how different cultures, even relatively similar ones, approach gender relations.

peggyundercrackers Thu 09-Jan-14 10:35:01

askbasil it is the only end game - no other set of pairs other than man/woman can survive on their own

'I know what you're thinking'. hmm

Um ... I mean this nicely, but that's quite rude, you know. No, I wasn't thinking that, thanks. Not being a massive wanker.

NeoFaust Thu 09-Jan-14 11:52:49

LRDtheFeministDragon

Sorry, that was entirely meant to be lighthearted. It's the automatic reaction with 90% of the people I meet when I say I travelled to meet an Eastern European woman I met online, so I tend to try and stay ahead of the joke.

I'll take my levity and unwelcome presence elsewhere.

Yeah, I get that it was meant to be lighthearted. I just fit it offensive because I'm married to an Eastern European and I think making the joke just perpetuates the stereotype. Besides which it assumes we're all sexist pigs who think men and women behave like that.

Don't feel you're unwelcome, though - I do get why you say it, I just find it a bit depressing.

TeiTetua Thu 09-Jan-14 16:40:32

You have to think about your audience when telling a joke. Suggest that some group of women might have questionable motives, and it's a good bet that feminists aren't exactly going to be ROTFL.

But I wonder what it does to people's outlook where you have a country which sends men away to be soldiers for some number of years when they could be getting an education and/or finding trouble to get into (oops, sexist joke, sorry). And the women aren't being required to do anything, and aren't declared to have anything to offer to their society. If men are useful as cannon fodder in some future war, then what are women good for, and which gender is being made to feel most worthless? Here's something that imposes total inequality between young women and young men and I'd say isn't good for either. Everyone's able to know what life is like in the more prosperous countries, so maybe a lot of people think about their lives and their country, and end up so disillusioned that they either emigrate or sink into despair.

AskBasil Thu 09-Jan-14 20:38:49

"askbasil it is the only end game - no other set of pairs other than man/woman can survive on their own"

Er, lots of people are surviving on their own and with people of the same sex.

If you mean they can't reproduce (rather than survive) then you're out of date. We don't live in the middle ages anymore, nobody needs to live with a person of the opposite sex in order to reproduce.

<coughs quietly about the middle ages>

<shuts up realizing it really doesn't matter>

I agree. It is odd. I only understand correlation not causation, but it seems to me that some places where women are hyper-feminine and compete for men have big issues with homosexuality. Russia certainly does.

I think perhaps with Communist/ex-Communist countries like China or Eastern Europe, part of the issue is that the state made out that men and women were going to be treated equally, while still stressing (paradoxically) some very 'feminine' qualities like having lots of babies. So it's maybe not surprising that when the situation changed, women dashed towards very feminine types of behaviour.

AskBasil Thu 09-Jan-14 21:27:57

<Snigger>

I knew you'd turn up for that one.

grin

grin

I do try.

But it is telling, isn't it? I am pretty sure that as far back as we can imagine, we've had men and women who had children but did not have social relationships with the child's other biological parent. It is perfectly normal.

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