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Date the Atlas, Not the Shrug

Posted by DrEdwardHudgins 3 years, 8 months ago to Culture
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The Atlas Society's CEO Jennifer Grossman formulates a new approach to dating and applies the principles of Ayn Rand’s libertarian philosophy to women’s most common relationship challenges.
SOURCE URL: http://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/5956-date-the-atlas-not-the-shrug


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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 8 months ago
    In the words of Tom Springfield of the Seekers,
    "I could search the whole world over
    Until my life is through
    But I know I'll never find another you."
    When you can say that about your life partner, you have found the right one. My wife is such a person.
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  • Posted by jimjamesjames 3 years, 8 months ago
    After my experiences with women over the years (72 years), I tell all young men:
    1. Watch how a woman handles her money. That's how she will handle yours and her own life.
    2. Never have a girlfriend without her own personal goals or you will become her goal.
    3. When she says she can't get pregnant, she will get pregnant.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 8 months ago
    Ms. Grossman's rules for dating should seem obvious, but amazingly, they are not obvious to a large percentage of the population.

    Love is a willful choice. I do not wish to associate with people who say love is blind. Such people do not use their heads.
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  • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 3 years, 8 months ago

    “Dating” in American culture is usually about sizing up a potential mate, driven by the genetic imperative to replicate. All other considerations are just window-dressing. In ancient cultures this matter of mating was taken much more seriously, with fathers selling their most desirable daughters to the most advantageous suitor. In a perverse form of natural selection, those cultures practiced a eugenics of power and wealth. The females had little choice, and to this day in some societies are at risk of punishment, even unto death, for disobeying. Slave markets likewise survive to this day.

    Even in 21st century America there are still family and religious traditions that constrain mating rituals. Ayn Rand envisioned a marvelous romanticism of free choice, yet even she declared herself to be a man worshipper and did not consider females capable of being President because it would put a woman above a man. Is that a truly objective view? That men are superior to women? That men have a greater capacity for Reason or for being heroes? The DNA doesn’t give a damn, it just wants to get sperm and ovum together. Males are always happy to contribute, sometimes even forcibly; females have a built-in diagnostic program for selecting a donor which usually takes the form of thinking she is in love.

    There are thousands of criteria by which females find males acceptable, from physical prowess to productive ambition, from scent to sense, from shared values to shared enemies, from loyalty and respect to longevity and family acceptance. These preferences, or memes, are spread through every cultural medium, books and magazines, films and soap operas, celebrity gossip and religious conditioning, and the fossils of attitudes and tradition. Women in America are fantastically fortunate to need no permission to “date”, a euphemism for audition to seduce.

    A hundred thousand years of clans ruled by alphas, and just a few decades for American women to have a will of their own. And now they can even advise each other on criteria for suitable mate selection. How quaint these humans are!
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 8 months ago
      Comment on these two observations.

      Overheard in a California supermarket. Girls talking about and on impending marriage for one of them. The bride to be said, "....it's my starter marraige." As the conversation continued it was plain they all planned on at least three before retirement.

      Second that some sell themselves for the night and three meals while others do the same for a number of years and three times meals. and other benefis such as cars, houses, alimony.

      Both of those came from comments from females and not just once or in one area.

      It seemed to fit with the extremely high divorce and separation rate which counting those that should separate has got to be 60% at this point.
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      • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 3 years, 8 months ago
        Monogamy is not natural, not even serially. The Bonobos have it right. It is the notion of property rights that set all those trades in motion. The females of whom you speak are opportunistic, using males for their benefit, trading sexual favors for support, especially if children issue forth. Husbands trade their support for sexual exclusivity and unlimited access, though fidelity on their part is iffy.

        Social structures and morals evolved to favor DNA survival. With Nature being so ingenious, you'd think more people would spend more effort on making love, not war. Or at least on keeping a peaceful world for their offspring to thrive in. Sheesh.
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  • Posted by D_E_Liberty 3 years, 8 months ago
    Is'nt interesting that when it comes to the most important (ok one of the most important) decisions of our lives-who we choose as a life partner, that THAT is the one time we abandon rational thought? But love will do funny things to your mind.... Literally (see scientific research on the brain altering chemicals of wo/men in love).

    For that reason if for no other, when it comes to coupling, you need to be hyper vigilant in your rational thought and judgment. The sad part is that most people, even if they ATTEMPT rational assessment of their true compatibility with a prospective partner, have no concept of what a serious relation, or marriage, involves. How could they until they've experienced one.

    They, in fairness are not context dropping, because you can't drop a context you have no knowledge of in the first place. But understanding the breadth and magnitude of a committed relationship is simply out of the experiential reality of most aspiring couplers.

    What is more, They have no idea what values they should apply to judge whether a partner reflects there own, as Rand would say. Yet, that does not stop them from applying what they have at hand... I.e., "he's hot", "He's entertaining", "he spoils me." I'm not saying that those should be inconsequential, I'm just saying that if you choose by those criteria the chances your mate will have the qualities that you "really need" for a successful relationship is a crap shoot at best. You might as well stick your finger in a telephone book. What chance do the "love at first sight ers" really have?

    That's why the young and "lost in love" types seem to make such horrible choices when it comes choosing a partner, even really smart chooser who have great judgment in all other aspects of their life ( recall the book "Smart Women, Bad Decisions" ear... Some such title). How can you make good decisions when you not only think with your heart, but you switch off your brain at the same moment.

    Some how, I followed what I considered to be an objectivist approach, as the author laid out above, more by my rational instinct than conscious design. Here's how.

    1. I Waited till I was forty to settle on a life partner... I.e., my wife.
    I was fully formed, so was she. What chance do you have of finding a reflection of yourself, or even a complimentary personality when you are BOTH in a process of formation?

    2. I dated my wife for 7 years before we married.... The last 4 we lived together. No one can keep up a false front for that long. That time allowed me to see her for the person she truly is, and allowed her to see me for whom I truly am. I saw her in thousands of situations situations. I saw how she handled adversity when the chips were really down. Most importantly she proved herself to be a "trooper." She could handle the worst life scenarios by herself ( losing a first husband, hurricanes, literally, financial destitution, etc.) so I knew since she could stand on her own two feet in a storm, together we could handle whatever life had to throw at us ( and yes it has thrown us some curves).

    3. She was a great success personally and professionally before I met her. So yes my admiration for her as a person kindled my attraction and affection for her. She was the Dagny of her field. She was/is smarter than me. She didn't need me, she WANTED me, and I her.

    4. And yes there was chemistry, but more on a soul to soul level. I admired in her the values I sought for myself. She was someone who personified the attributes I Hoped I inculcated in my own character, particularly those I aspired to, but had not fully attained.

    And she saw me and my potential as a person aspiring to be the best person I could be.... And, amazingly.... She had the nerve to say as much to my face.... No games! She made me want to be a better person, or at least one who would try to be all he could be.

    Being who she is, as her authentic self, has allowed me to boldly Persue the same. She may not be the reason I'm an Objectivist but she has allowed my to be a better Objectivist Today and more importantly, the better Objective tomorrow.

    Yes, I hit the partnership Lottery, but then Objectist make their own luck, I think that is kind of Jennifer's point.

    P.S. Welcome to our little water cooler Jennifer. The experience and background you bring to the table is exactly what we need and when we need it.
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    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 years, 8 months ago
      Congratulations on your lottery win.
      I won also , 37 yrs out of 57 and they just get better every day.
      Regarding most people not having any concept of what a commitment marriage is until they've experienced it.
      One Reason would be lack of role models( family disintegration) who properly treat their spouse and how they handle adversity .
      Two , like anything you create of value you must put your full attention (mind) and abilities to achieve the outcome you desire. The beauty of it is you have your whole life to perfect the product.
      Three , It's not all about self , it's a partnership.
      Four , it's reasoning , objectivity , negotiation , compromise , empathy , forgiveness , responsibility , equality , values , respect , honesty , trust , and communication . Many things that are becoming rare in this society and in my opinion that rarity is our doom!

      In other words maturity.
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 years, 8 months ago
    Love, respect, admiration, desire, enjoy, assist, encourage, support, share, appreciate, and pride these are the important descriptive words that my wife and I feel towards each other. We also have different strengths. Plus She is absolutely gorgeous. Me not so much. I have the wonderful success of spending the last 13,153 nights out of
    21,080 total nights in my life.
    We have a rotation every weekend where I am King as she states and She is the Queen the following. I like both weekends.
    Never settle for anything less.
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  • Posted by tkstone 3 years, 8 months ago
    All my children have married well and I could not be prouder, but I am going to file this away to share with my grandkids when they are old enough. Spot on.
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  • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 8 months ago
    It brings up a question I have about Objectivism. How do you incorporate normal human emotions? I get what Jennifer is saying but is it practical? Can we always explain why we are attracted to someone? In Atlas Shrugged, Francisco, Reardon and Galt all seemed to be men that many women would find physically attractive. Galt appealed to something more in Dagny and was her "ideal". What if Galt were ugly? In a real world situation would she have still fallen for him? Why are only men responding to this post?
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    • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
      Rich, in my view Objectivism is all about "normal human emotions".
      As I was reading the article, I thought that when I "trust my gut", I am paying attention to my reasoning mind, which is leading me to be attracted to, or not attracted to someone. Good looks are essential, but far from enough.
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      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 8 months ago
        Jsut to educate the male mind what other attributes to you count as high on the list and which need not be present?

        I'm willing to bet the lists from male and female are fairly balanced igualmente.
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
          Michael, hold on, cause I may sound old fashioned here. The most important to me is that I feel admiration for my man, admiration for his achievements, for his intellect, his ability and strength, his wisdom. I want to be able to look up to him. Remember when Rand talked about Dagny's desire to see another person's achievement, not just her own?
          Honestly, that encompasses it all, that admiration. Everything stems from that.
          But no matter how much I admired him, I could not be drawn sexually to an unattractive man.
          Whoa- is that enough?
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 8 months ago
      Susanne etc are not only wimmens....If you had to write factualy about the majority mainstream of American USA women could you get beyond 'dig the cute butt' and other air head comments. not to mention there in house support unit.Well huh it's like duuuuuhhhh really? That would take very sharply honed writing skills.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 3 years, 8 months ago
    If followed widely that should eliminate the "population explosion" (assuming that not "dating" also precludes sexual activities.)
    However rational this approach may be, it is not likely except among 'objectivists' and it is more likely to reduce the 'production' of objectivists in the general population.
    (Could be a boon for the business of prostitution, too.)
    Kudos to the author nonetheless.
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    • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
      What an interesting thought. I cannot ever see an Objectivist using a prostitute. Ever.
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      • Posted by jdg 3 years, 8 months ago
        That only shows that you don't understand men.
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
          Well, either I'm naive or I'm right. I wonder what what the male Objectivists on this site would say, being completely honest.
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          • Posted by  $  KahnQuest 3 years, 8 months ago
            Depends. In the majority of the US it's illegal, which drives it underground where it gets mixed up with drugs and disease. I can see how you might think it goes against Objectivism.

            But where it's legal in the US (certain counties in NV), how is it not Objectivist? The customer and working girl trade value (cash) for value (sex, although time is the value being measured). Both parties are transparent about the transaction and what valuable things are being traded.

            Personally I think the modern dating scene is what Objectivists should reject. As seen in a meme a few years ago, a grade-schooler's description of a first date: "Where two people go to dinner and tell a bunch of lies so that the other person will go on a second date with them."
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            • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
              Paraphrasing: "show me who a person sleeps with, and I will tell you what that person thinks of himself".
              Rand expressed that one should reach for the best within himself, and reach for the highest person to share sex and himself with. How can that equate with paid for with a stranger sex?
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              • Posted by  $  KahnQuest 3 years, 8 months ago
                Your question leads me to think that your feelings about sex have been formed by religion, or at least a religion-based society. And it occurs to me that we're probably thinking of sex from different angles.

                My answer comes from a (paraphrased) line in the show Lie to Me: "All men pay for sex. But at least the hooker has the decency to tell you the price up front."
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          • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 8 months ago
            I have not been to a prostitute but I don't have a problem with it. Sex is natural and a good stress reliever.
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            • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 8 months ago
              Rich, I think that sex can range from the most horrible thing on earth (rape), to the most wonderful thing on earth. I agree that sex is natural and a stress reliever, but wouldn't an Objectivist reach for more? Haven't you?
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              • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 8 months ago
                Yes but if someone is having trouble finding the right partner they may feel the need to have a release of sorts. That way they don't risk getting involved in the wrong relationship. Would a prostitute be a producer? At least they aren't mooching.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 8 months ago
            "I wonder what what the male Objectivists on this site would say, being completely honest."
            I'm fascinated by the notion of it but never tried it. Most of the times I've been around sex workers I've found it boring, contrary to my theoretical fascination with it. The red light district of The Hague just exudes boredom. Other times I got weireded out or maybe chickened out b/c of the taboo. I'm not sure whether I was "above that sort of thing" or just chicken.

            It became an academic issue for me ten years ago, but I'm still interested in the theory of it. I make crass jokes here about sex as the only "service" that can be used as a benchmark of value throughout time because it hasn't been affected much by industry and agriculture, but I really wonder if that may be true.

            "show me who a person sleeps with, and I will tell you what that person thinks of himself"
            What does it say if he sleeps with someone that he does not know anything about beyond the fact that she's very pretty and willing to sleep with him for money? [Not a rhetorical question; I really don't know.]
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  • Posted by  $  KahnQuest 3 years, 8 months ago
    I was with her until #5. Seeking to alter someone else's behavior (as one might with a child) is always a losing proposition. If you succeed, you end up with someone who can be manipulated, or is a very good actor. If you fail, then you have to turn your mini-strike into a mega-strike, and then into an ultimatum, and then into a breakup. Sounds kind of like counting (again, with a child). The antagonist learns that s/he can get to "3" before anything bad happens.
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  • Posted by jdg 3 years, 8 months ago
    I see no depth here. This woman wants to have her cake and eat it too: she commodifies men in the name of refusing to be commodified herself.

    The rational thing for men to do, of course, is try to take charge similarly themselves. Here is the approach I recommend. https://www.reddit.com/r/asktrp/comme...
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 8 months ago
      Commodify - treated as a commodity. Not the first definition that leaped to mind. Having decided to use the first definition I see her statement in exactly the opposite light and one of declaring independence from those who classify us as something to flush - on command.
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