Friday 29 May 2015

The Piękność Myth

It is Polski Piątek, and today's post is for Julia, whose brains have been addled by rumours that all young women in Poland look like supermodels. She has been reading the manosphere--naughty, naughty, naughty. No woman in her right mind should read the manosphere. It leaves a sticky goo on your brains, rather like what has happened to the Historical House's burn (stream) because some IDIOT(s) let raw sewage seep into it.

As I warned Polish women in Krakow, there are American men who think of Poland as a land of beautiful feminine virgins who are longing to experiment sexually with American men. And so, sad to say, young men who go to Poland are often just like older men who go to Vietnam and Thailand: they're sex tourists. Cheap sex tourists, who think they can take some girl's virginity for the price of a cup of coffee or maybe a cocktail.

Incidentally, none of my readers should "date" tourists. Every girl of my mother's generation knew that Canadian girls should not, should not, should not, have too much to do with American boys on holiday. American Boy could do whatever and, since nobody knew his family and they weren't around to shame him into good behaviour, disappear back to the States. Amusingly, my father was an American boy. However, he was a foreign student. Foreign students have professors and deadlines; they can't just do whatever and go home. Also he was (and is) a devout Catholic.

I am glad that Julia is actually going to Poland, so she can see the reality of Polish life, which is that not all Polish women look like models, no matter what the stupid manosphere or homesick Polish men say. For me, the revelation began in the queue for the budget airline flight for Krakow, the very first time I went to Krakow. There were heavy middle-aged women, and there were slender young women, and none of them looked like models. They looked like ordinary people. The most startling thing about Poles--for me, anyway--is that they are all--and by all I mean 99.9%--white.

Generally speaking, and I do mean generally, young Polish women are slim, and middle-aged women are either slim or tending towards stout. There are different gradations of slim and stout, but I haven't seen Polish women with skeletal arms, nor have I seen Polish women who are obese. As for supernatural beauty, I have seen only two Polish women in Poland who I thought looked like supermodels. One was a waitress at Wedel, and one was on a rapid train to Warsaw.

Also generally speaking, women in Poland are much more feminine compared to the men than the average Edinburgh girl seems to be, but this has as much to do with the men as it does with the women.  Let's just say that the Polish bar for manliness is rather high.  Sure, Polish girls (unlike Scottish girls) are reluctant to get dead drunk in public, but Polish men can drink whole bottles of vodka at one go in an evening without dying.

(Do NOT try that at home!)

One of my Polish friends says it is very important for Polish women to know how to drive because they must pick up their drunken husbands from wherever they call and bring them home in safety. I just fell in love with her practical attitude and cheerful assumption that all Polish men drink more than the legal driving limit on a regular basis.

Quite apart from the drinking, Polish men show an interest in women rather more marked than that of British men, for example. This may be because Polish women-in-general are polite to Polish men-in-general, very accepting and caring and bringing them cold drinks, etc. It's a theory. But I think it is also because Polish society expects men to look at women instead of shrieking in horror at the "male gaze."  Men in Poland sometimes look markedly and meaningfully at me, which I find absurd but highly flattering. So far, however, none have attempted any gallantry, which is just as well. My 20 something compatriot M was hit on at some church or other when she was contemplating Baroque grandeur. Having grown up Canadian, albeit Polish-Canadian, in cold Toronto, she was dumbfounded.

I'll tell you what I think it is, and this is not such an original thought, for I have heard and seen it elsewhere. The northern hemisphere as we know  now it (plus Australia and New Zealand) was born bloodily from the Second World War. Whereas it split North American men and women, for the men had to go to hell and the women didn't, it brought European men and women closer together. My Canadian grandfather had a horrible war--not that he talked about it much, but I had a look at where his regiment went--and my grandmother spent it selling hats at Simpson's department store and playing cards with her mother and sister. But European women--French, German, Polish--had wars just as bad as the surviving men did, if not worse, and so there was not quite so much resentment, buried or otherwise, when the men came home.

And when I think about it, it does seems rather unfair that the narrative of "men coming home" in the UK, Canada and the USA is all about how the women, having taken up the men's jobs, didn't want to give them back to the men when the men, maimed one way or another, came home. Oh shock horror, the women had give the jobs back, sulk, sulk. "We took care of our men," said a German Catholic lecturer sternly to one of my friends. "We healed them."

Am I off topic? I'm not so sure. The solidarity of Poles (against outside oppression, anyway) may explain why Polish men abroad (surrounded by foreigners) go on about how beautiful Polish women are, and the post-war rift between Anglosphere men and women might explain why American men trash American women all the time. A hundred years ago, American men would have said loyally that American women are the best, loyal and true.

Because we all love lists, I will now list ways I think we can be more like Polish women, if that is what we want to do:

1. We can all police younger women and shout at them when they eat too many doughnuts.  If accused of "fat-shaming", we can pretend we are really worried about diabetes.

2. We can eat meat, cheese and raw vegetables with one slice of very good bread for breakfast, eat a big lunch beginning with soup, and eat meat, cheese and raw vegetables for supper with another slice of the very good bread. No dessert. Desserts are only for important occasions. Okay, maybe an apple.

3. We can be unfailingly polite, friendly and yet formal to men in public.

4. We can refrain from cursing and getting drunk.

5. We can look sad and helpless when something is heavy in the expectation that some man will notice and help us. In the Anglosphere we may be standing there looking sad and helpless for a good long time, but it will be good practise for travels in continental Europe.

6. We can also refrain from fighting with men when they bait us. One of my Polish friend says that when men try to make her mad, she just laughs--"Ah ha ha!"--and inwardly despises them.

7. We can agree when people complain about something and add our own complaint. If someone says the government is a gang of crooks, you can agreeably say they all deserve to be whipped in the public square. If someone says the weather is terrible, you can agree that at this rate we will all begin growing webs between our toes.

8. We can read up on traditional, herbal or New Age remedies for various health problems and discuss them endlessly with our friends. When men around admit to illness, we can listen eagerly to their symptoms and promise them healing drinks made from mashed up lemons, honey, ginger, marjoram, beetroot, etc., etc. I know a woman who allegedly kept a terminally ill relation alive with beetroot juice. "Disgusting," said my Polish informant, wrinkling his nose.

9. Whenever someone looks hot, we can offer to bring them a glass of water. Apparently little Polish girls in Edinburgh bring little Polish boys cups of water whenever they look hot; the schoolteacher who told me this has done her feminist best to break them of this habit. "Is that not interfering with their cultural norms?" I asked a tad coldly. I'd bet the grocery money she wouldn't say boo to a hijab.

10. We can look forward to spoiling our grandsons while driving our granddaughters completely insane.

UPDATE: I looked up "How much vodka can kill you" on the internet, and indeed many people are interested in this question. Personally, I love vodka--good vodka, not supermarket swill-- and drink it neat. But three shots over the course of a long and heavy lunch is what I can drink without being drunk. I shall now amuse myself by seeing how much Polish men on the internet say is their limit.

Update 2: The sad story of Anna, British teenager, brought to you by the NHS. I bet that wasn't Chopin she was drinking. Ew, gross. The possibilities have just occurred to me. I once tried to drink Smirnoff neat. It was then that I realized why the Screwdriver cocktail was invented: the orange juice kills the taste of nasty horrible cheap domestic vodka

Update 3: Here's Vice on the topic. Binge drinking is more likely to kill you if you haven't built up tolerance. Men in vodka cultures have very likely been building up tolerance since adolescence.

Update 4: How sad is it that I start off thinking about the frequency of beautiful women in Poland and end up thinking about vodka?

Update 5: This is hilarious. I think the advice is just for men, though. I have an English friend who says that the one big difference between mass British drunkenness in his youth and now in his old age is that now British women get off-their-faces drunk, too. What Anglosphere girls have to understand is that women in continental Europe don't. They just don't, and if you do, everyone will look at you like you were the one who poured raw sewage into the local stream.


  1. Number 1: I've got no interest in becoming a bitch and embarrassing people, and I don't care what others eat. I'm also not interested in making others feel as bad about themselves as I feel about myself most of the time. It's cruel.
    Number 2: Fair enough. But I eat cooked veggies and raw fruit.
    Numbers 3 and 4: I do those already.
    Number 5: I'll give it a try...
    Number 6: I already do that.
    Number 7: I can do that up to a point before it feels like the Dementors have destroyed all happiness.
    Numbers 8 and 9: But but but...haven't you said that we're supposed to NOT do things for men who we aren't related to or married to? I'm confused.
    Number 10: No plans to do this. Don't know why we should aim for it.

    Ugh. I am still in quite a funk, actually. I'm almost sick with anxiety about going to Poland and dealing with Polish people. I'm not joking when I say I'm seriously considering cancelling that leg of my trip. I'll probably be vomiting on the plane from London to Warsaw.

    Why do we have to be like Polish girls anyway? Isn't this just another Polish-women-are-superior-to-Anglosphere-scum-women?

    I'm very tempted to starve myself back into the underweight category before I go to Poland. I probably won't, and I certainly would not encourage anyone to do that, but it's about the only thing I can think of that will make me feel like I deserve to be among Polish women. I'm tall. When I'm really skinny, I look like a short and less attractive waifish model.

    Seraphic, on that note, would you consider ever doing a post about what to do when you're battling with hating your looks all the time? Aside from 'pray'. Or does anyone else have any advice? I feel like nothing will help. I keep hearing that I should just tell myself I'm beautiful, but come on. I'm not blind and I'm not a moron -- I know I'm unattractive (Seraphic and PPS can confirm this since they have seen my picture.) How do I accept that I'm unattractive and feel okay with it?

    I think...well, I think that for awhile I've sort of been hoping that finally in Poland there would be women who look like me. I'm white, and sure, there are heaps of white women in Australia, but I have a Polish/Slavic look, and I've always felt unattractive for some reason or another -- the Polish nose, my height, my round face. I'm not considered pretty in Australia. I don't have the requisite Aussie-Anglo look. And I thought I might feel like I fit in in Poland, but I doubt that will happen, which is probably why I am freaking out.

    I'm serious. You've seen my picture, Seraphic. What do I have to do to look more feminine or pretty or whatever? Am I fat? Should I have a nose job or boob job? Wear shorter skirts? Lower-cut tops? Wear fake tan and fake eyelashes?

    1. Julia, do you know this?

      I was wondering what to write in response to your self-consciousness and the whole beauty issue. To begin with, as a Pole (and Polish people do have strong sense of patriotism) naturally I will defend the idea that Polish women ARE beautiful! We have a song: "Najwięcej witaminy mają polskie dziewczyny". Of course, if we don't measure real beauty by supemodel standards,no doubt.

      I am not a supermodel myself but relatively many men (including men 7-8 years my junior) find me attractive. This doesn't guarantee early marriage though - at 32 I am still Single. It could be you will look better later in life, like I certainly do.

      Okay, that's me. I get now to your issue.
      First: don't believe your photos. Most people I know look better in real life than on photos, both men and women. Photos don't capture our whole nature.

      Second: don't believe your mirror. The way you see yourself in your mirror is not you. It's just Julia watching Julia wondering if her nose could be smaller, get it?

      Third: Be happy. Smile. Feel good. Find things you enjoy and enjoy them. Wear clothes in which your eyes will shine. Sing! You're a musician, right? Singing helps in relaxing your facial muscles and inhale better. Quite enough!

      I wonder if you know the book "Captivaing" by Stasi Eldredge. I don't agree with everything in this book but she explained the issue of feminine beauty quite accurately, saying women are all inherently beautiful just because God wanted us to be. No matter our posture, skin colour, hair type etc. There is the whole variety of types but none of them is better than the other.

      In Poland we say: Każda potwora znajdzie swego amatora (There's a nut for every bolt).

      Would be great to meet you in person!


    2. Thanks for the message, Pearlmusic. I have seen that video, yes, but I am rather cynical about Dove and all its 'real beauty' nonsense. Dove is owned by Unilever, which owns Brut, and Brut ads feature a very specific type of female beauty. Look, Dove doesn't give a rat's about my self-esteem. Dove wants me to buy Dove products.

  2. (Also, the Aussie sex tourists in Thailand and Indonesia are worse than the American scumbags in Poland because the Aussie guys go to Asia to sexually exploit children.)

  3. Julia, I didn't expect anyone to take my tips that seriously. You must calm down. I think I will have to write another post. Unless you have family in Warsaw, there is no reason why anyone in Warsaw will even notice you--unless you look sadly at your heavy luggage or when you are in church.

    What is the purpose of your trip to Poalnd anyway? And nobody said you're unattractive! You are having a meltdown. See me in my office.

  4. Actually, it would be faster to converse on here. Sadly, it is pretty public, though. Maybe I will erase it all afterwards.

  5. I doubt you are truly so hideous, but I find the best way to feel better about insecurity is to:

    1) go to a nice park on a beautiful day, or to the mall on a gross and rainy day
    2) sit on a bench and watch people
    3) ignore the cute kids and teens/college students and look at all the older married people
    4) say, "wow, look at all these very ordinary-looking married people, most of whom would never get cast in a starring role of a Hollywood romantic comedy. Yet here they are, in love, and strolling along despite how "unattractive" they are. Perhaps my looks do not matter that much either."

  6. First of all, if you are healthy and of child-bearing age, you are attractive, on the most basic, biological level to men. In caveman days, if you were just wandering by the river by yourself, Ogg the Caveman would just bear you screeching away, feeling triumphant and relieved that he had got a woman now, and could get on with life. Actually, this has begun to happen again in China, where there is a severe woman shortage. Don't go wandering by yourself in rural China, or you might be popped into a bag and sold to a farmer.

    Second, the shopping malls of the world are full of ordinary-looking people, and sometimes rather plain-looking people, hand in hand, looking with bovine interest at the usually horrible and cheap goods on display. All those hand-in-hand people found love. I have known very overweight British and American women who have found serious boyfriends and married them. And I have actually seen a woman who was not, in fact, beautiful on her wedding day. Worse teeth I have ever seen in North America. However, her husband was bursting with pride and joy. It's NOT about looking as much like a model as possible.

    Third, the most attractive qualities human beings can have are happiness and confidence. If you don't have them, fake them until you make them.

    1. Lest there be shrieks and howls from friends and family, I will explain that the bride was a chance acquaintance and the wedding far from home.

    2. And this just popped up on my screen.

    3. Yes, it happens in China. They kidnap Vietnamese girls from the border regions.

  7. Yes, listen to Science Girl. All very good ideas.

    I think that ultimately attitude matters more than looks.

    Oh, and if you think you are going crazy, it may be because you are 24. The run-up to 25 is hard. It is way better to be 26 than 24.

  8. And don't read the manosphere! I would not be surprised if some of those guys were possessed by demons.

  9. I think we need reinforcements. I am contacting the Dzielne Niewiasty.

  10. Julia, let me just say that I feel you. I too have been struggling with feeling horribly un-beautiful. Seriously, some adult acne, a small wart, a facial all adds up and leaves me feeling that no one could ever find me attractive. However, I found that fortunately, men don't take note of all these things and then decide to give me the cold shoulder! Good men are NOT that shallow! So why should I be???
    The things that Sciencegirl mentions have helped me greatly as well. I bet you know and love a lot of people who not very attractive-looking--and most of the time, you don't even notice their looks, I bet. Personally, I know a few people with such lovely personalities that I would almost want to be them, in spite of their physical unnattractiveness. I know one lady who is a hunch-back with a long, horsy face, and yet she got married. She is also dearly beloved by all her friends.
    Basically, as long as you worry too much about your beauty or lack thereof, you are thinking of yourself, and not off the kinds of things that will give you the glow of a healthy and joyful spirit. I think a good man will love you for that, and no need for a fake tan or a boob job ;-)

    1. Thanks, Amused. If I do say so myself, I'm not really that judgey about other people's looks, so when I find out that there are people (okay, men) out there who are really very harsh, it shocks me, and then I can't help but wonder if it might be all of them

  11. Julia, when I was 24 I wanted to get rid of the residual red marks from teenage acne. I used an over the counter remedy that made me break out worse than when I was 15. I was also 25-30 pounds over weight and had never thought I was really stunning, even in the best of times. The low point was probably camping with a guy I had a huge crush on (and other friends). It's pretty hard to wear make up camping, but I think I did.

    Over the next few years, I focused on really following Christ- and being as healthy as I could. Very gradually, I dropped to a healthy weight (but the highest healthy weight for my height!). My husband actually thinks I'm a real beauty, something that still stuns me (even in the postpartum months when I'm again 25 pounds overweight!). Really, I always hoped for a man to just think I was reasonably attractive enough, but he has always thought more.

    Really what everyone else is saying is much more on point but just thought I'd share.

    1. Thank you, Anamaria. I think the more readers who chime in with their struggles, the better.

  12. Julia, has anyone ever specifically told you that you are unattractive, as an adult? Where, outside of your own judgement, did you get the notion? I'm not discounting your own opinion either, I like realistic people. I'm just wondering how it all came about.

    Do you groom regularly in a womanly way, eyebrows & shiny hair/dye? Is there something that could be changed like orthodontics or teeth whitening? Do you wear a good bra, shoes with heels that you can stand up straight in? Is it a poverty issue that prevents you from wearing clothes that really suit you since you mentioned you are a tall lady? What could be changed?

    Also, has anyone ever told you look beautiful or similar without prompting? Have you had a relationship with a man? I know Seraphic will probably give out to me but I think that it is hard to feel attractive until one has literally turned a man's head and some real non-beauties have, through luck or Grace, managed that, me included. It's humbling to hear and easier to believe than your granny saying the same thing. How has this all come about for you? Perhaps we can help if we had a little background.



    1. Hi, Sinead.

      In order to give more information, I will say for myself that I do have good teeth (via orthodontics), good skin (via very expensive decade-plus-long treatment), and good hair (via genetics and not frying it with treatments.)

      I think I dress well. I don't think shoes and bras are the problem. When I buy those items, I always go for the high-quality ones. Eyebrows? I keep them up by threading and tweezing, although since they're blonde stray hairs are not that obvious. I do, however, have glasses, having tried contact lenses some years ago and hated them because they felt dry and I couldn't see properly while wearing them.

      Well, I am tall, but not 180cm or anything. I'm about 173cm. Tall enough to feel unfeminine and un-petite around most of the women around me, many of whom are of South East Asian extraction, but not tall enough to be noticeable in a crowd.

      Some people have told me I am beautiful, but the only ones have been drunk/drug-affected strange men in the street or old ladies. I have not been in a relationship with a man (or a woman, to be clear.)

      I don't remember if anyone has actually told me I'm unattractive as an adult, but men certainly have praised other women's beauty in my presence. Gents -- if you want to make a woman feel like a non-woman, do that. It works.

  13. I have always been a bit of a Hobbit (despite being tall-ish). My face is good-natured, rather than beautiful, and I've spend much of my life wondering when it would be time for second-breakfast. I have been fat (obese, really) since early childhood. I have lots of moles, one of them rather prominently placed on my cheek. At 37, I still have a bit of acne.

    Despite this description, I'm not ugly. Really, I'm not. Though, it is easy to feel that way sometimes. (Especially in my early 20's--Auntie is right 26 is so much easier than 24. My 30's have been even better).

    When I've got a case of the uglies (meaning, I'm feeling ugly or unattractive), I take a few moments to think about parts of my body I really do like. For example, I might not have long legs, but my feet are cute. And I've got a nice, warm, open smile. I have nice eyes. My hair, while starting to gray a bit, is thick and a pretty color, overall. You get the idea. And on days where I can't see anything pretty about myself at all, I appreciate some of the good things about my body, from a functional view. My legs might be short, but they are strong, and have brought me to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (and back up). My shoulders are broad (which would be great, if I were a man), but they have been good for dear friends to lean on and cry.

    Despite being fat, graying and moley :), my husband thinks I'm quite pretty. He and I didn't meet until four years ago, so he finds me pretty as I am, not as I was. He says he first noticed my eyes and my smile (and that I was bright enough to follow his engineering talk).

    Try to see yourself with kind eyes, Julia. Even if you don't see beauty straight-off, find some things you do like about yourself, and remind yourself of them. Don't scowl at yourself in the mirror--you are a daughter of the King.

    As for the trip, don't cancel! Your 2022 self will not be pleased if you miss out on this trip! People are, generally, much more concerned about their own selves when they are out-and-about. They won't be staring at you. If someone is looking at you, just smile.


  14. Julia! I hope you come back and read these replies. From your comment, I'm guessing that you live/socialize in a Catholic Polish enclave in Australia? As a reader from the US, I just wanted to let you know that your descriptions of "national" beauty sound SO STRANGE to me. I have only heard of the "Polish supermodel" theory from this blog, and I didn't encounter Polish Catholicism (despite doing lots and lots and lots of uber-Catholic things) until I moved to a state where there was a strong population of recent Polish immigrants at age 26. (If you went to a Catholic Church for some kind of parish meal/festival thing in my area, you'd get burgers or a fish fry or pancakes, or maybe pasta. Nobody brought the priests pierogis for dinner like they do here.) I have met three Australian women (that I can remember) and one was a tall, fair-skinned brunette, one was a round-faced, freckled, friend girl with light brown hair, and one was a supermodel according to my standards (tall, thin, tan, long brown hair, striking features). But that last one wouldn't conform to the "Anglo-Aussie" beauty standards you're talking about, because she was part indigenous. (And I actually think my one born-in-Australia friend looks a lot like my one born-in-Poland friend. I think I would describe them with very similar adjectives.)

    All this to say: If you're feeling ugly because you're moving in a world where there are only two beauty standards and you don't think you fit into either category, please know that approximately 0.00001% of the world's populations hold those views. Go to Spain or Italy, where you'll be an exotic beauty and easily captivate some nice Catholic boy. Or Tokyo, where people took pictures of my blonde cousin because they assumed she was a superstar. Or just a big city with a little more diversity.

    I have also never looked at another woman and thought she was unattractive based purely on the bone structure of her face. A round face and snub nose is the epitome of girl-next-door beauty, especially if accompanied with a smile. If you are healthy, young, and have figured out some flattering clothes styles and hair styles, you are absolutely beautiful!

    PS I'm going to emphasize once again that Polish Catholicism isn't all that dominant of a strain of Catholicism in the larger context. I only say that because Dorothy tends to talk a lot about Polish Catholicism, because it's one of her interests and because she's living in a city with a high rate of Polish immigration. But Catholicism is certainly not synonymous with Polishness, and there are nice Catholic girls and boys of all races and ethnicities in all corners of the world. In the US, for example, the current trend seems to be for white NCGs to marry Latino NCBs, because of the demographics. So don't worry that all the NCBs are Polish and are going to reject you in favor of their ideal Polish woman.

    1. It's not the Polish men who idealize Polish women (except when homesick), though. It's the American and British men who can't shut up about them. When I told Polish women in Krakow about these Polish men who idealize them, they said, "Where are they?"

      I don't REALLY talk about Polish Catholicism. I talk about Trad Catholicism. As far as the Polish beauty myth goes, I'm trying to get Julia to see the reality. NOT a land of supermodels! MOSTLY just ordinary women like everywhere else!

    2. I'm not really in a Polish enclave as such (I would probably avoid that at all costs.) The Catholic circles I move in are pretty mixed racially, but there is this one 'friend' of mine who is basically paralysed around Ukrainian girls, or so he says. Anyway, he's actually a bit of a white supremacist. So yeah, there are Aussie guys who idealise Eastern European women too, but Aussie guys in general are pretty laidback and are unlikely to spend that much time slamming Aussie women online. They'd rather be drinking a beer.

      Part-Aboriginal people are usually very attractive. Do a Google Image search of Jessica Mauboy, Deb Mailman and Dan Sultan. For an idea of the Anglo-Aussie standard I'm talking about, do a Google Image search of Delta Goodrem (who is, incidentally, very tall.)

    3. From what I can recall of my reading in the manosphere, where I spent probably too much time a few years ago, the men there admire Eastern European women, or whatever group is in now, as opposed to American women, above all, not as opposed to women in general. Heck, they even prefer Canadian women to American ones.

      Why? The main reasons they emphasized is that American women have become far more overweight than those of any other country, but also that they have way too strong a sense of entitlement which leads to them being rude, status-conscious, gold-digging and unfeminine in manner. Whether any of these stereotypes accurately reflects American women en masse, I doubt, but I suspect that in the social and professional worlds of east-coast big cities in the US, they do tend to be accurate often enough. Indeed, some American women's rudeness to would-be suitors whom they regard as beneath them is quite appalling. I don't think I've seen anything like it anywhere else. Anyway, fair or unfair, that's where these men's ferocity is directed; you should realise that none of it applies to you at all. (American ladies - I'm sure that most of you are not like this, but some of your less pleasant countrywomen gather in groups in the big cities and high-status professions of your nation.)

      Alias Clio

    4. That's interesting, Clio. I've read that sort of thing about American women on the manosphere, but I have never, however, met such a woman, and the American women I have met have all been perfectly pleasant and polite.

    5. They're not non-existent, though they're certainly not as numerous as the manosphere would have you believe. I lived in DC for a time and found that people of both sexes had a hard, aggressive edge - not the locals, but the people there for school or professional reasons. A young woman living in such an atmosphere can get by with men if she's "cute" and charming, but it's harder for men to do so with women if they can't boast an Ivy degree and a well-paid job. The manosphere blog I knew best, then called "Roissy in DC" I think, was much influenced by these tendencies.

      p.s. In considering the bitterness of the men in the manosphere, there are certain things to recall. American law and social custom really does favor women these days in certain circumstances. I've read of cases in which male victims of statutory rape, some as young as 12 or 13, were sued for child support by the older women, usually teachers, whom they impregnated. And the women in some cases won. No, I am not making that up - try google if you doubt me. Divorce and custody laws also tend to be favorable towards women.

      Alias Clio

    6. Is this the Catholic manosphere? Because I really wouldn’t take what they say about American women that seriously. At least in my experience, often if you look closely at what these men are saying it becomes apparent that:

      A. They think women should be married by 22, wear skirts all the time, stay home with their children no matter what, always be obedient to their husbands, etc. The details vary, but the sentiment rarely does.

      B. And, more importantly there’s a definite underlying resentment of the fact that they are single, and perhaps never had a woman show much interest in them.

      And hence because Susie the successful 25 year old lawyer doesn’t want to date him personally, etc. American women are horrible. Because, you know, if only women stopped getting college degrees and successful careers (and are thus able to wait for a man that they truly love and want to marry) and just concentrated on finding a good man, settling down and having babies, then he would be married by now.

      Never mind the fact that there are probably some things (starting with his attitude) that are just not attractive at all.

      I’m not saying there aren’t terrible things that sometimes happen to men (our legal system can be fairly messed up-but I know plenty of women who have been mistreated by it in favor of men as well.), or that there aren’t issues that need to be addressed, but seriously, I’ve lived in America all my life, including living and working in DC, and, in my experience, the ‘all American women are bitches’ theme that seems to run rampant across the Catholic manosphere from time to time is ridiculous. If anything, I know far, far more lovely, attractive, single Catholic (and non-Catholic) women who would love to be married than men. (Especially in DC)

    7. I was once trashed on the Catholic manosphere myself. It was shocking. The guy guessed aloud at my sexual history, accused me of being a feminist and claimed my readers never got married. I mean, how BIZARRE. I wonder if he mentioned any of that in confession.

      I think I did see something on a Catholic blog about how much better Polish women are. It was hilarious, for the glorious Polish woman who was the example had just married the guy's pal, so I wondered if they had an awkward talk afterwards. However, the really gruesome sex tourist stuff was on Pick-Up Artist sites.

    8. Oh, and "Roissy in DC" was indeed pretty horrible about women in Washington DC.

    9. The guy probably did not mention any of that in Confession. He probably sees himself as more 'sinned against' than 'sinner'.

  15. To get back to the original post, I think it is an absurd notion that WWII vets and their American or Canadian wives were mad at each other. They were so happy to see each other that they started the baby boom. My WWII vet grandpas would think this was crazy, as they both married nice American women and raised nice multiple American daughters (7 daughters in total between them, not to mention all the sons), spent all of their time in the US except for occasional family trips, and didn't spend loads of time mooning over women from other countries. One of my grandmas did not work but did lots of volunteering, and the other worked as a nurse both during the war and after it, while raising kids. The people who imagine a lot of disgruntled Rosie Riveters are the silly ones; poorer women had worked in factories before the war, and continued to do so afterward. The richer women had done other things to support the war effort. WWII vets who have been interviewed in, for instance the excellent miniseries "Band of Brothers," talk about how wonderful it was to get to live a peaceful life again. Their wives still DO comfort them when they wake up with nightmares of bombs falling in a snowy forest.

    I think, rather, that the youngish men of today are lamenting that American women are supposedly quite different from their/our WWII-era grandmas -- cheerful, hardworking, pretty, loyal, brave, kind, chaste and generous. I can't speak for Canadians, but I say we American women are actually quite a lot like our grandmas, but our grandmas taught us to avoid pervy seducer wannabes and to hold out for a better kind of man.

  16. Also, many of the WWII "Anglosphere" women had been frontline nurses during the Allied invasion of Europe, patching together soldiers who had been blown to pieces. This is not an easy job. In the Pacific front, some were even taken as POWs. North Americans had it FAR better than Europeans, of course, but plenty of women "went to hell" as well their men. It disgusts me that there are faux historians deriding the sacrifices that generation made and painting the women as jealous, unsupportive dilettantes.

    1. Oh, the Pacific Front. Yes. Australians were there, and there are horrifying photos of emaciated Australian men in Japanese POW camps.

  17. Oh Julia, this makes me tear up. It is soooooo hard being 24. I have felt the way you do most of my life. I have a very round face, small eyes, hair that just is a big mess and a belly that sticks out no matter how little I weigh. These days I'm also overweight and cannot fit into jeans properly. And husband thinks I'm gorgeous. You don't have to be a model to have someone fall in love with you but when someone loves you they will see you as beautiful.
    The best way I find to stop feeling ugly is to get out of myself and help somebody else. Playing with children or chatting to the elderly seem to help especially.
    Also I can second what Seraphic said about Polosh women looking ordinary. I knew quite a few when I lived in London and they weren't model like at all. Very blonde though. And for some reason the polish men in the young adults catholic group didn't use deodorant.........
    Also, stay away from the manosphere!!!!! It is sick! Most men do NOT think that way.

    Aussie girl in NZ

    1. Oh dear the poor Polish me in the youth group. (ROFL!) It could have been an age thing. Apparently sometimes young men of many nations forget, when they first leave home for college or wherever, that they should shower EVERY day and wash their clothes.

      I agree about the manosphere. Sick, sick, sick!

    2. Sorry for making you tear up, Aussie Girl! I think that Seraphic is right when she suggests that the looming 2-5 is affecting my subconscious. I never really thought I'd be married at 25, but I also never really thought that any of my friends or associates would be married at 25 either. And guess what!

      I know it sounds like I am horribly narcissistic because I'm so worried about my appearance, and I guess that's possible, but I think that the real truth is that I have an anxious and obsessive nature that will latch on to any perceived fault and not let go.

    3. My dear, I was married at 25. And separated at 26, divorced at 27 and annulled at 28. So being married at 25 is not necessary a wonderful blessing

  18. Julia what part of your body do you think is making you unattractive? You don't seem to pinpoint anything? That is an incredibly hurtful thing for that man to say, most men are lovely and some are morons and he was a moron. How old was he? Hopefully he is all grown up now. You just weren't his type. As for the Ukranian lady-fixator, that's just weird and he is not in love with a real woman at all, but an idea. God love him. How old are these men?

    I am so sorry that your friends are getting hitched and you are waiting for your fellow to show up. I do think that having a man mooning over you makes a world of difference. I am a little concerned that you will bring your "obsession" about this into a loving relationship and sabotage things. Do you think you could benefit from some cognitive behavioural therapy on this, or even asking a STRAIGHT bloke friend/acquaintaince (promising no whining or splashback) what is attractive about you?


  19. These men are usually young -- like around 23, 24.

    It has occurred to me that I might actually sabotage a relationship with these concerns. I guess I was just sort of hoping that I'd know when to keep 'crazy thoughts' to myself.

    I actually did ask a straight bloke awhile ago! (And nearly gave poor Seraphic a heart attack when she found out.) The man in question is young (25), but he is engaged to one of my close friends and I know him well. He's pretty level-headed. I told him he could mention anything about my appearance and promised I wouldn't whine or cry (and I wouldn't have either). But he didn't mention anything about how I look. He didn't think anything like that would be putting men off.

    It's not really so much that there's anything about my body that is 'deformed' or 'abnormal' that I hate -- it's more that, well, there are so many things that could be so much better, and there are so many women who are physically more perfect than me. I don't hate or resent those women at all, but I do feel like a lesser being around them. CBT could probably help, you're right.

  20. First time commentator here.

    Julia, you sound lovely! I would love to be tall and have good skin.

    You're probably a late bloomer. You sound the type who will get prettier, more striking and more stylish as you get older. I'm 31 and much prettier and more confident than I was at 24, so trust me, this is okay. Try out clothes and fun makeup styles that make you feel like you'll startle people when they see you. Forget worrying about not having girl-next-door-prettiness; if you don't have it, you're just going to dilute your own style trying to achieve it.

    Forget obsessing over Polish women. I'm sure they're pretty enough (and every culture has its own version of female beauty and style) but it's much more fun to imitate French women. Get yourself a copy of "How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are."

    This is NOT one of those awful books that talks about how French women don't get fat or wherever. It's has fun and not too serious advice about accepting your flaws and embracing them--not trying to change yourself but just playing up what you have and having a good time with it. Like this: "The pretty girls who were queen bees in high school, who had everything handed to them on a platter, and rested on their laurels, are eclipsed by the ones they never see coming: the ones who turn their difference into an asset, a trademark. And like any good vintage, they get better with age."

    Personally, I'd be more intimidated being compared to Australian women than Polish women, but maybe that's an American bias.

    Friendly Lurker

    1. Thanks for your comment. It's pretty hard to know what anyone would mean by "Australian women" anyway, since the racial and cultural mix is so broad.

    2. You mean you're not all tall, tanned, slim, blonde and wearing bikinis???!!! Welcome to the fact that there are myths about Australian women, too!

  21. Expat Housewife31 May 2015 at 14:20

    "... and the post-war rift between Anglosphere men and women might explain why American men trash American women all the time."

    I'd say that is because a certain Marxist ideology poisoned the way men and women interact and think about each other. These days I am grateful for communism that kept us Central and Eastern Europeans behind these progressive trends.

  22. Julia - you sound lovely. I definitely sympathize with you when it comes to feelings of insecurity, but I will say, having just turned 28, that it is ever so slowly starting to dissipate. I think for every woman, there tends to be time when you just grow into yourself....but its the waiting for that point that is difficult. If there is one thing I could re-do, it would be focusing more on the moments I was living, than how I looked. I lived in Rome in the middle of a flaring eating disorder, and was terrified to eat Pizza. I lived in Greece and barely went to the beach because I didn't like how my thighs looked. I look back, and I wish I had enjoyed more, lived the beauty of my experiences more eagerly and with more joy, as they true gift that they were. I now live in London, and it is truly a melting pot. I can walk down the street and hear 5 different languages over ten minutes. If there is one thing I have realized, it is that....there is no one standard of beauty. A swedish woman and an east indian woman - with vastly different hair and skin can both be breathtakingly gorgeous. Beauty really does have much more to do with the way you you carry yourself, the clothes you wear, the smile you give to others, how you interact. I know all of this might just sound great, but not actually mean anything to you at this point in time. When I heard these things in the midst of the worst of my own body struggles, I just rolled my eyes. But if there is one thing you try to do....just enjoy. Live and focus on your new experiences with all the attention you can muster. Don't worry so much about what others think. Think instead of everything beautiful and good you are being exposed to in your travels. And finally...go to Poland! I have only really heard the Polish woman is a goddess on this blog. And the Poles I have met are lovely, but normal! Just human beings like you and I are. So have fun. Enjoy! And keep taking care of your skin and hair :) - Mary

    1. Thanks, Mary. You're right -- it doesn't really mean much to me at this point in time, probably because that definition of beauty doesn't appear to mean anything to a fair number of men.

      Case in point. Yesterday, a male friend of mine (24) mentioned that peak female fertility is from ages 19 to 24. (Why do they never stop to think that that's when peak male fertility is too?) He wasn't doing it to chastise anyone, but I told him to shut up anyway.

      The other male friend (23) talked about how he told some girl he dated that she had light, barely noticeable hair on her upper lip. So of course my sister and I went to the car to scrutinise our upper lips.


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