Thinking about why those rules were rules will be much easier than trying to deduce how to be considerate from first principles

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

The sympathetic opposition explains how and why to be ladylike — ostensibly for women with (high-functioning) autism:

So, imagine you’re a young woman. (Apparently everyone likes to do that.) You are starting to possess some degree of sexual attraction, which impacts others around you. Also, you live in a social world, and you want things from other people. At the same time, you are ambivalent about your powers of sexual attraction, which sometimes cause people to behave threateningly or at least unpleasantly towards you, and definitely put you in a lot of awkward situations you didnt ask for. And also because you’re being judged, and it’s hard to get a break. What to do?


Being overtly sexy hijacks people’s attention on a level that they don’t have much control over — and the overt hate/dislike that they respond with is an attempt to wrest back some control over their responses. It’s simple epistemic hygiene, and the girls don’t like it because they feel competed with and defected against, and they feel it’s unfair and unpleasant. When they feel unfairly competed against sexually, they are going to respond by upping the social competition, and it will suck for people like us, because we have already established we are not good at that.


Acting like a lady is leveraging your attractiveness (whatever degree of it you might have) while also giving yourself/the people you’re interacting with, plausible deniability that you’re leveraging your attractiveness.


Here’s the Dune quote I promised, by the way:

The Reverend Mother must combine the seductive wiles of a courtesan with the untouchable majesty of a virgin goddess, holding these attributes in tension so long as the powers of her youth endure. When youth and beauty are gone, she will find that the place between, once occupied by tension, has become a wellspring of cunning and resourcefulness.


When you’re sexually attractive to a man you’re talking to, it hijacks some of his attention, and it’s not easy for him to wrest it back. Sorry for sounding like a middle aged schoolteacher explaining dress code to you.


Consider reading old etiquette books — old ones, not recent ones — and thinking about how the rules worked. they won’t always explain the rules in a way that’s available to you, but thinking about why those rules were rules will be much easier than trying to deduce how to be considerate from first principles.


  1. Jim says:

    Dude, where’s my flying car virgin bride?

  2. Bomag says:

    ”…where’s my virgin bride?”

    Good question. I worked hard to set up a family friendly life, and all I got was a used-up whore who took a chunk of my stuff in the divorce.

  3. Jim says:

    Many such cases!

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