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People Have A Right To Be Stupid. - The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal
March 22nd, 2017
10:38 am

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People Have A Right To Be Stupid.

One of the running responses to yesterday’s discussion of female attraction was that women frequently fall for handsome assholes. I can’t really debate that. Those of y’all who remember The Wolf’s abuse will recall that he was propelled into the spotlight in part based on Hot Abs and in part based on a cadre of women who really wanted to get Wolfucked. (And yes, unbelievably, that was an actual term.)

However, I will also note that men frequently fall for women who are also completely wrong for them. They see a pretty girl, they sand off all the potentially-conflicting bits of their personalities to try to masquerade as what this pretty girl wants, idolizing away all her manifest flaws because she’s got a curvaceous figure – and then wind up miserable because “OH MY GOD I WAS SUCH A NICE GUY AND WOMEN DON’T LIKE NICE GUYS.”

Turns out “making riotously bad decisions” isn’t confined to one gender. Whoops.

Look, there are people making terrible decisions all over the damn world. And the sad thing is, you gotta let them make those awful decisions.

People have a right to ruin their own lives.

Part of that is because often, the people who want to “rescue” people from bad decisions actually just want them to make equally bad decisions that benefit them. The guys who are lamenting about womens’ bad decisions are, quite predictably, hoping that these broken women will take a deep and meaningful consolation from their penis. You’ll see spouses and family members shouting, “You can’t leave me? Where would you go!” when what they really mean is “I’m dependent on you and you abandoning my abuse would inconvenience me!”

Part of that is because often, the “bad decisions” people make are only bad from an outside perspective – the born-again Christian mother who’s convinced her daughter living in sin must be miserable because she would be miserable. The cis dudebro who’s convinced his trans friend must be transitioning out of a need for attention. The vanilla girlfriend who’s convinced her boyfriend’s need to be beaten bloody means they’re on the path to suicide. You know, people who just don’t get it.

But the main reason is simple: the people who bear the brunt of the consequences for their awful decisions are the only folks who should get to make them.

(It gets a little more complicated in interdependent situations, of course, particularly if your 50/50 rent roommate decides to quit her job to become a professional sparrow-raiser, but in the end you’re the one who can probably scrounge up a new place to live when her broke ass cannot.)

I am a fan of disseminating information. I’ve spoken at length of the known dangers of the one-penis policy. I’ve talked about the myriad ways in which polyamory enables abusers. I’ve discussed how men can be bad to women, and women to men, and people to people.

But in the end, if someone’s making a bad decision, that’s on them.

Maybe it’ll work out. Sometimes things do – because other people didn’t understand what you needed, or because of dumb luck. (I had unsafe sex with better than 50 women in my slutty 20s, and every test I’ve taken indicates I picked up no known STIs from it. I took a really insanely dumb risk, and yet I wouldn’t advise you to play the STI lottery and hope the odds are ever in your favor.)

But you gotta let ’em go.

Yeah. People make staggeringly dumb decisions all the time. It’s a truth of life. But the question has to be, “Why are you so attracted to these people who make staggeringly dumb decisions?” Why are you spending your time chasing stupid people who aren’t interested in you in the hopes that one day they’ll change their mind?

Isn’t that a pretty staggeringly bad decision on your own?

I can’t stop you from making that decision, of course. Not my tempo. But I can at least raise the question that maybe you could be looking for partners who aren’t looking to date people you despise.

Just a suggestion.

You are free, of course, to ignore it.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/578012.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.

(7 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:bart_calendar
Date:March 22nd, 2017 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, people are just attracted to who they are attracted to.

The key is just to not take it too seriously and minimize the risk of damage.

Rome Girl jokes with me that I like "crazy bitches" and I tease her that she likes "dumb stunt cocks."

But that doesn't bother either of us and neither of us have ever picked someone who has threatened our core relationship - because we can see the difference between "having a type" and "trying for everyone of that type even if they have red flags beyond that which is reasonable."
[User Picture]
From:Michael Cahoon
Date:March 22nd, 2017 04:18 pm (UTC)

Err...

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I dunno...to me, this seems a bit like a dangerous line of thinking.

Playing devil's advocate, it's like saying that all laws against addictive substances/services (gambling, etc.) should be rendered null and void, because hey, they made the initial decision to start smoking pot and then harder stuff, or buying that lottery ticket and then going to slot machines everyday, or whatever.

What I'm saying is, I can easily see an argument made against what you're saying.
[User Picture]
From:Michael Cahoon
Date:March 22nd, 2017 04:28 pm (UTC)

Re: Err...

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...why the hell is facebook/livejournal using an image from more than five years ago which hasn't been my avatar for even more than that?
From:anonymousalex
Date:March 22nd, 2017 04:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Err...

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There's a name for that line of thought: Paternalism. And I've never seen the attraction of it.

When your actions affect others is one thing, but if you are only at risk of harming yourself, restraining you from doing so (as distinct from advising, convincing, etc.) inherently denies your core right to self-determination. And if I had to pick one core value, forsaking all others, it would probably be autonomy, so I don't take infringements on it lightly.

-Alex
[User Picture]
From:funwithrage
Date:March 22nd, 2017 07:02 pm (UTC)

Re: Err...

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This.

I'm for legalizing drugs and keeping gambling legal. By all means inform people about the risks, symptoms of addiction, and treatment programs. Research shows that people are less likely to get addicted to stuff if the rest of their lives don't seem futile or desperate, so maybe work on that, too.

And then people can take their own risks. I eat cheeseburgers. I drive. Nobody lives forever.
[User Picture]
From:funwithrage
Date:March 22nd, 2017 07:14 pm (UTC)
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I've broken down the "girls date assholes" thing before, and basically agree.

Sometimes, assholes to hypothetical-you are not assholes to us: I've known a lot of guys who assume women can't be fine with (or okay with as the price of admission) poly, or not remembering anniversaries, or more space than media-normal.

Sometimes, assholes are convenient. If I wanted NSA sex and for whatever reason (rebound, laziness, makeup of social circle, etc) couldn't work out an open-and-thoughtful arrangement along those lines, I might fuck an asshole, because I wouldn't even have to try and be considerate of his feelings, because he's an asshole so who cares?

Sometimes, assholes are tempting. I had a cheeseburger today and I will probably eat a Rice Krispie treat anyhow. I have absolutely fucked guys who I knew were asshats but who had great abs, because sometimes self-indulgence is worth it.

And yeah, there are some fucked-up girls who go for handsome assholes for real because Edward and Bella and OMG I CAN SAAAAVE HIM. I've encountered more fucked-up paladin guys who go for useless balls of feminine dysfunction because OMG DAMSEL IN DISTRESS I CAN SOLVE HER PROBLEMS, and these days I just shake my head sadly and then talk about that shit over brunch with my other friends. Once someone wants to stick it in the drama, there's nothing you can do except let them get burned and hope they survive--like, vaya con dios, Paladin Boy, I hope I see you on the other side.

Edited at 2017-03-22 07:15 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:misquoted
Date:March 23rd, 2017 01:18 pm (UTC)
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"Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn't know this either, but love don't make things nice - it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*. The storybooks are *bullshit*. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and *get* in my bed!"

(One of my favorite movie quotes, from _Moonstruck_)
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