I will start by stating that this submission has only peripheral connections to Thailand. However, it harkens back to “Who is a Whore” by Korski, to Brokenman’s situation, and to several recent submissions on Stickman’s weekly column. The common thread is the question of why women do what they do; or more precisely, how they are capable of some of the things they do after all we have done for them? I will admit to a life long, and fruitless, search for the answers to these seemingly eternal mysteries. Fruitless that is, until now.
In my research of all things on the net (i.e. mindless surfing) I came upon a truly remarkable statement that explains much, if not all, female behavior. I found it by tracing back a reference made in a very interesting newspaper article, “Brides of the State”, first published in the "Inside Cork" newspaper, Thursday 8 July 2004. Note that we are talking behavior, which is observable fact, and not thinking or desires. Freud said that no one knows what women want. That opinion remains true, as far as I can tell. Like all truly great discoveries, such as E=MC2 or F=MA, what I found that explains the unified field theory of women’s behavior is elegantly simple. What I found was Briffault’s Law.
(Skip the following paragraph if you are not interested in the man behind the law.)
From Wikipidia: Robert Briffault was a novelist, historian, social anthropologist, and surgeon. He was born in Nice, France of a French father and a Scottish mother. After the death of his father, Briffault and his Scottish-born mother immigrated to New Zealand. In May 1896 he married Anna Clarke; the couple had three children, Lister, Muriel, and Joan, born from 1897 to 1901. Briffault received his MB, ChB from the University of Dunedin in New Zealand in 1905 and commenced medical practice. After service on the Western Front during World War I, he settled in England, his wife having died. In the late 1920s he married again, to Herma Hoyt (1898-1981), an American writer and translator. He can be seen as French, Scottish, New Zealander (Kiwi), English (Pom), or, by marriage, American (Yank). The point of this is to state the credentials of the author and to show that this law has been there for many years; we just needed to find it.
The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.
There are a few corollaries I would add:
Past benefit provided by the male does not provide for continued or future association.
Any agreement where the male provides a current benefit in return for a promise of future association is null and void as soon as the male has provided the benefit (see corollary 1)
A promise of future benefit has limited influence on current/future association, with the influence inversely proportionate to the length of time until the benefit will be given and directly proportionate to the degree to which the female trusts the male (which is not bloody likely).
Let us start by saying much of the discussion on the Stickman site seems to start from the belief that Thai women are somehow different from all other women, both in the good and the bad. And that their actions derive from the cultural milieu in which they were reared; and therefore no western man can really understand their thinking without intensive cross cultural study. I posit that this is BS. No man can ever understand what is going on inside the head of any woman, of any culture, including their own, no matter how much they study. We should not kid ourselves. The best we can hope to do is observe their behaviors and roll with the punches. This is where Briffault’s Law is vital. All women associate with any man only so long as they derive a benefit from the association. This can not be stated too many times.
A bit of recent data that supports this proposition comes from a recent study done in the UK. The findings were that for a period from the early 1990’s to the early 2000’s, 90% of UK women practiced hypergamy. Hypergamy is a 15 cent (about 7 pence in GBPs) word for marrying up. The hypothesis in the study was; do women exhibit hypergamy, or not. You start with assuming not, and then disprove that. If they do not, then roughly 50% would marry up and 50% would marry down. During the period of the study 90% of UK women married men that made more money than they did, or had greater wealth. The 90% marrying up rate provides ample evidence that the women exhibit hypergamy behavior. These were not poor daughters of Isaan rice farmers. This was not a developing country. This behavior could be observed anywhere in the world and at any time in history.
Before discovering Briffault’s Law, I came to a similar independent, although not so well or concisely stated, conclusion. A few years ago, while arguing with my six sisters about my intentions to marry a Filipina half my age (marriage number 4 so I am a slow learner), they argued that she was just marrying me to get a better life. After a few seconds of reflection I retorted that this was true for every woman in the world marrying any man. This left them with no response. After all, who among us ever marries to have a worse life? We all hope that it will be an improvement. With women it is doubly so, since they have no intention of actually working to improve their lives.
So, let’s get to Korski’s question, “Who is a Whore”, and my initial response, “They all are”. By Briffault’s Law if a woman is associating with you (assuming you are a man) then she is doing it because she sees some benefit, either current, or in the future, from that association. How is this different from the bargirl on Soi Cowboy? I think only in the duration of the intended association, the amount of benefit expected, and in the woman’s acceptance of delay in getting that benefit. Guys, let’s get real about this. It is past time to take off the rose colored glasses.
How does this help? If you know going in that she is there to derive a benefit, then make sure you are willing and able to provide that benefit, that you are willing and able to continue to provide that benefit, and that the cost to you of providing that benefit is worth the benefit you derive from the association. Be fully aware that when the benefit to her stops, the relationship will stop. Have no illusions. This is true in the UK, France, America, Thailand, and everywhere else. So, if you spend every dime in your retirement fund to build her and/or her mother a house (in her name of course), do not expect that the association will continue. You must say no early and often so you preserve your ability to provide a continuing benefit. If you drain all your resources, then you get what you should expect (see corollary 1).
Keep control of your money, only you will be responsible with it, because you had to earn it. After my first divorce I commiserated with a female secretary that was at least two decades older than me, and who was herself divorced. When I told her that I had let my wife run the family finances (common in 80% of married couples in the USA), and that she had run us deep into debt, she told me, “Any man that turns over his paycheck to a woman is a fool.” I would add that giving any woman every penny you have in the world is just asking her to kick you to the curb and walk away from you.
Deriving mutual benefits from a relationship is not a bad thing. Where Brokenman and the rest of us men lose the plot is when we expect past benefit provided to the woman to continue generating current or future association (see corollary 1). Loyalty, honor, gratitude, and duty are male values that we men project on women, but which very few, to no, women actually possess. We aren’t born with these values; they are drummed into us from the cradle on by society/culture, our families, and most definitely by the women in our lives (sorry, but that includes you too, Mom). Women get different indoctrination, so they have different values; mostly, for a woman, whatever is good for her and her (biological) children is what is best, full stop. So, do not expect that the woman in your life will be grateful, and sacrifice for you, when you can no longer provide for her and hers. And make no mistake, you have never been, and never will be, part of what is hers. What are hers will be first herself, then her (biological) children, then her parents, then her siblings, and then the rest of her blood relatives. The biological imperative has always been to extend her blood line. It stops there, and it always will. This is true everywhere in the world. Get over it.
Men love women, but I truly believe that women are incapable of what we men call love. “Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friends.” How many women are willing to die for their husbands, friends, country, or comrades in arms? Damn few, if any. Yet it is commonly expected of men (made compulsory under certain circumstances). How many men continue on in their marriages, supporting their family and their wife, while the wife is making their life a living hell? Far too many. How many men choose their wives over their parents and siblings? Most. Women do not behave like this. Men take out large insurance policies so their wives and children will be well taken care of should they die. Even if the wife is making (nearly) as much money as the husband, she will not have insurance. She sees no reason to reduce her current ability to spend to take care of others after she is dead. She could care less what happens to the husband, and doesn’t want the husband to be able to spend money on some young bimbo, after she dies. The life insurance gender statistics are well known, and widely available. None of this should be a shocking revelation. When my second wife died, her mandatory insurance (free) provided by her teacher’s union covered her funeral expenses. It would have made life much easier if her insurance had paid the over $350,000 my life insurance would have paid.
When does the expectation of mutual benefit in marriage go seriously wrong in the west? It goes wrong as soon as the “I Dos” are said, or very shortly thereafter. Why is this so? Because you, the man have just entered into a contract with the state where you have promised that you will provide everything to your bride, and where the bride has promised nothing. By the way, the full weight of the law and public opinion will support her stripping you of every thing you have, including your children, and most of what you will ever make in the future, when (not if) she decides to dump you. Hence, once you enter into the contract you have nothing left to offer her. Everything you have, or will have, is already hers. Seem like a harsh statement? I thought so too, the first time I heard it, during an argument with my first wife towards the end of our marriage. She asked me the eternal female question, “What do you do for me?” (i.e. what benefit do I get from associating with you?) I responded, “I pay all your expenses. I feed, clothe, and house you. And, I am paying for your college tuition.” She told me that all the money I earned was her money and that if she let me have any of it that was pure charity on her part, so I was doing nothing for her. I thought this was unduly harsh. The divorce courts showed me that it was pretty much just a statement of fact. The wife has it all, and can make her part of the marriage contract, the portion where she is to provide you with companionship, comfort, loyalty, sex, etc., null and void at any time while keeping everything you have/had/will ever have. She has no need to associate with you further once you are married (see corollary 2). (What is the difference between regular Barbie doll and divorced Barbie doll? Divorced Barbie comes with her stuff and all of Ken’s stuff too.) This seems a totally destructive state of affairs. Recently many in the western nations have been up in arms over a law passed in, I believe, Saudi Arabia that said if a married woman refuses her husband sex, then he can refuse to feed her. All are screaming it is Islamic misogyny. Seems to me, it is an equal degree of enforcement for both sides of a contract.
Presenting Briffault’s Law is a duty I felt I owed to the readership, as a public service. We all need to take off the blinders. You will get from women exactly what you should expect; if you keep Briffault’s Law (and my corollaries) in mind. Knowing this earlier in life would have saved me a lot of pain. I hope it helps some of you out there keep a hand on the reins. All of us, men and women, will be happier if men take charge of their relationships and their finances.