Do Men Actually Love ‘Bitches’?

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In the wake of a break up and under strict orders from one of my girlfriends, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a copy of the New York Times best-seller with a cringe-worthy title Why Men Love Bitches. In fairness, author Sherry Argov is quick to clarify in her introduction that she adopts the word “bitch” to describe a woman who “knows what she wants but won’t compromise herself to get it.” And while Argov’s book could readily be perceived as a self-help book for women to attract men, it’s ultimate message is ‘self-worth’.

This article is not, however, a book review, and admittedly, I’m pretty slow to the mark—Why Men Hate Bitches was first published in 2000.

What became fascinating to me in the book was the “men are hunters” theory. Argov really gets into the guts of this age-old belief, and uses the analogy of a man hunting a moose. At the end of a ruff and tumble boys weekend, Argov explains, when the man has finally returned with his hunted moose, he will proudly parade it about like the king of the roost. Yet if that very same moose was to wilfully show up dead on his doorstep as an offering, it would no longer hold the same value to him. This principle, Argov attests, also applies to the male pursuit of women. If the woman offers herself up and submits to the man, the fun is over and the man was robbed of his hunt. Conversely, if the woman maintains her independence and remains only sometimes available to him, the always competitive hunter will relish in the challenge. And consequently, the woman will remain desirable.

Argov goes as far as suggesting that even years into a relationship and well into marriages, the ‘hunt’ principle remains. So she advises women to never fully reveal her deck of cards.

As a hopeless romantic, truth seeker, and straight shooter, I found this evaluation of men depressing. I can never really be myself with my fella? Never completely lose myself in the wonders of fluffy love? And worse, never really trust that he’ll remain in love with me unless I remain not entirely attainable? Sounds exhausting!

My male neighbour and I have been debating this topic over the past few days—he rejected the principle and I remained curious. But when I honestly reflected on the various love affairs I embarked on with men over the years, much of Argov’s theory rang true.

I was then led to review history. When men really had it their way, women were in every way subservient to men. Look at the 50’s, for example. The nuclear family rested on the housewife who cooked, cleaned, and reared the children, while the man pursued his career, and, well, had a life. If Argov’s theory was true of ALL men regardless of the time they lived in, then how did those men remain interested in their submissive housewives? And why would that arrangement have been any fun for either sex? I guess the bleak answer to this question might be: as divorce was uncommon and since it really was a man’s world, men would simply have slept around, had affairs, and pursued mistresses.

This would then give weight to the psychoanalysis ‘mama/ho’ theory. The housewife would fulfil the role of ‘mama’ (maternal, nurturing, and nagging) while the mistress would become the ‘ho’ (whore, sex-outlet, seductress).

As a purist and a humanist, I pray that this theory only applies to emotionally immature and un-evolved men. I hope that as we all—women and men—evolve into higher states of consciousness, the kind of whole-hearted and unconditional love that I dream of can in fact be a reality. Games are for babies. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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