Sadly, dating in the 21st century has become a minefield for men to navigate at their own risk. A danger zone with no signs. How can men stay safe in a society in which dating dysfunction abounds? The Honey Badger Brigade outlines a few female archetypes that men should avoid like the plague.
The Delusional Goddess
The delusional goddess was exacerbated in the 1970s, especially when Merlin Stone, among other feminist authors, brought forward the idea of matriarchal religions and began what is now known as the “Goddess Movement.” Women set aside seeing themselves as human and decided instead to see themselves as “goddesses.” Enter the delusional goddess: a woman who feels that she is the epitome of female creation. She avoids her heart at all costs, and instead of doing her own inner work, she projects her inability to be open to love as everyone else’s issue—never hers. You will see her in person and/or on forums being condescending to men to the cheers of her fellow “goddesses.” Her misandry is sneaky at times and often extremely obvious, as she feels she can talk down to men because she sees them as inferior.
In her daily life she will rarely interact with men, and the women she interacts with will only be women who kiss her “divine” rear. She is a bully, and does her bullying most likely on the sly, covered with flowery words and a big dose of gaslighting. For those unfamiliar with the term, gaslighting is a cruel mental game in which these “goddesses” are well versed. Here is an example:
Mark is sitting down, drinking his coffee. Melanie is upset. Instead of sharing why she is upset, she picks a passive-aggressive fight with Mark by asking him where he was last night even though she knows he was working. Mark gives her a confused look and says something to the effect of “You already know the answer.” Melanie gets indignant and says, “You didn’t need to say it that way. You could have just responded.” And here is where it escalates. Notice: Mark was just drinking his coffee. Mark, rightfully so, becomes upset and asks what is going on with Melanie. Melanie escalates the situation further, creating some story about how Mark looks down on her and doesn’t see her as a person because of his response.
Mark does not know what to say to this and asks, “Where is this coming from?” He shares again where he was the night before and how hard work has been, etc. Melanie turns and says, “Let’s not fight, okay?” and uses flowery words. Up to now, this has all been manipulation. Now comes the gaslighting. Melanie then proceeds to say that SHE forgives HIM for being so short with her! When Mark resists this shocking turnaround, Melanie softens then becomes sneakily condescending, saying things like “Oh sweetie, it’s okay. There’s no reason we should keep fighting. I’ll let it go if you do. You didn’t mean any of it. It’s okay. I understand.” She has now shifted the mess that she created as being Mark’s fault for daring to get upset during her game of manipulation. Leaving Mark, who trusts her enough to be with her and be open to her, uncertain of himself and feeling as if he very well may have done something wrong. Melanie hurts him and takes no accountability and with the use of gaslighting makes it seem that Mark is in the wrong. I would call this sadistic except that sadism has integrity.
The delusional goddess will also exclaim, “Oh, I love men,” usually minutes after shaming men, so you will be able to see when that statement is a mask. Her “love” of men is a fantasy. Her expression of “supporting” men is only in correlation to her own desires of how she feels men should show up to fulfill her wishes. You can’t shame men and then claim you love them. I have watched these women degrade men without batting an eyelash and feel self-righteous in doing so. All in all, the delusional goddess could care less about what men need so long as she’s being worshipped. No one needs that. You don’t need that. Stay away—or get trapped into being her servant (not to be confused with BDSM play, which consists of two consenting adults with respect for each other’s boundaries). This delusional goddess will abuse you deeply with her dysfunction.
Now, if you’re interested in New Age style and spirituality, there are women who spiritually believe in gods and goddesses who do love men and honor masculinity. Although it is tricky, you can learn to make the distinction between the New Age woman who loves men and the delusional goddess by observing their attitudes and taking time to slow down and get to know who this person really is in different circumstances. Nothing wrong with believing in goddesses—but only if they also recognize gods. The New Age woman who loves men is very generous with her expressions, which you can usually see quite quickly in her interactions with men. There is a more gentle way about her in contrast to the frigid and vicious delusional goddess. She will also not be obsessed with demanding to be treated like royalty, and she will work to be aware of how she co-creates the relationship with her mate. She has a high level of self-responsibility, which you will never find with the delusional goddess. Both the New Age woman and the delusional goddess will speak about masculine energy, but listen carefully. The New Age woman will melt into the description and share her love, respect, and appreciation for masculine energy. The delusional goddess will pretend but then swiftly move into a position of superiority and shaming. She is incapable of sharing real love for men because she is incapable of accessing real love within herself.
Let’s be real: If a woman feels the need to flat out run around all day calling herself a “goddess,” there are major issues of inferiority projected into a superiority complex. That is not something you need to tackle. Let a therapist handle that. You deserve a healthy partner. You are worth it.
The Professional Victim
The professional victim lives in a perpetual state of martyrdom—at least in her own head. She doesn’t experience life as an actor in the world but as having all experiences done to her. This often presents in language that frequently suggests others are doing her wrong, such as “This person made this happen to me” and “That person did that to me.” She also surrenders her personal autonomy in order to shift responsibility for her actions and mental state to everyone around her—anyone but herself. This blame-shifting will often present in statements (accusations) along the lines of “You made me do this” and “This person made me feel that.” You can expect to experience a great deal of arguing with these types of women, as they cannot fathom being culpable for their own behavior—they don’t even see it as their own behavior. They see every occurrence in their life as being done to them and every emotion that they experience as being bestowed upon them by the behavior of others. This behavior tends to intensify when these types of women experience certain hormonal spikes—I’m sure you know what I’m suggesting—at which point they not only project all accountability outwards but also find negativity and fault everywhere.
The biggest problem that professional victims experience in relationships is the inability to derive happiness. They are constantly seeking out other parties to shift responsibility onto for their own behavior, and they create a pattern of always requiring a “villain” in their life; someone—even an intangible entity—who is always doing them wrong. And of course, when the person who you are in a relationship with cannot derive their own happiness, you will not be able to derive happiness through them. Additionally, if you engage in a relationship with a professional victim, you will spend the majority of your time arguing and defending yourself against accusations. It is likely that this person will also expect you to fight their battles for them, since overcoming any hardship—real or perceived—will impugn their victim narrative. But of course they will not actually communicate that they want you to fight their battles for them; they will expect you to just know it—and when you don’t, you will be yet another miscreant in their extensive cast of villains. No matter how far you go out of your way to help and sacrifice for the professional victim, you will never truly be in good standing with them.
In place of the professional victim, I recommend a women with a healthy sense of self-awareness, which I believe is a key factor to a healthy and happy relationship. The ability to recognize oneself as an actor in life rather than a victim of everyday occurrences allows for the productive response to those occurrences. Rather than resigning oneself to be a victim of circumstances, self-awareness helps people to recognize all of the variables in life and make informed, rational decisions in order to maximize their health and happiness. The ability to identify and take ownership of one’s behavior and mental state allows for healthy and productive communication. Rather than surrendering personal autonomy and shifting responsibility for one’s own actions and emotions, self-awareness helps people to take responsibility for their actions and take ownership of their emotions. Self-awareness helps to minimize petty arguments and maximize happiness.
Hook-up culture is probably the worst change for men that I’ve seen hit the dating scene. On the surface, maybe it sounds good, with sexual liberation making women more open to casual encounters, but it profoundly devalues men. While women have been freed from their previously existing behavioral standards, you’re still expected to pull out all of the stops. Your onus as the date-seeking guy is that you must earn her regard, her attention, her interest, and eventually her consent, while the woman you hook up with is entitled to turn her nose up and walk away if there’s anything about you that she finds unsatisfactory. She doesn’t have to pursue a connection. That’s your job. She merely has to be there, and she can treat you like you’re beneath her unless she deems you worthy. She risks nothing but her time, while your minimum risk is rejection, possibly after a night of buying drinks for someone exploiting your interest with no intention of reciprocating it.
The question is, Why? What’s the lure that makes women so important that you’re willing to put yourself through that? Intimacy? Is it really intimacy if you’re engaging in it with someone who doesn’t even care enough to get to know you first?
Why should you shoulder all of the responsibility for the experiences of both parties on a date? Why tolerate getting treated like a beggar and a servant? Don’t you deserve just as much respect as she does? To be treated as a wanted and interesting person, offered an equal experience of demonstrated intent to please and impress? To be treated with the same consideration, desire, and affection you’re expected to show your date? Even if you’re going to elevate a woman’s interests, her experiences, and her impression of the experience above your own, don’t you think you deserve someone special enough to merit that kind of personal sacrifice … or at least a chance to avoid abuse?
Sex makes you incredibly vulnerable. The same character flaws in both sexes lead to the same behavior, but women have greater potential to inflict social and legal damage upon you. They have in both areas protection that you don’t, and advantages that you don’t. The wrong one-night stand can place you in unwanted conflict, make you a father against your will, even land you in jail. This means that hook-up culture is not going to be your friend. Since you don’t know the character of strangers, it’s more like playing roulette with some of the numbers being triggers for bombs. When you don’t know the character of the woman you take to bed, you put yourself at significant risk. The smart thing is to develop a healthy cynicism toward a potential date. You need not assume every woman you meet is a devil. Just don’t assume she’s an angel either. Hold the women you interact with to the same behavioral standards you have for men.
Nothing about women makes it worth it to sleep with someone you shouldn’t trust. One of the best ways to protect yourself from all kinds of abuse, including false accusations, is to keep that in mind. It’s wisest to reserve your emotional effort for women willing to invest themselves in more than just a one-night fling, who are confident and compassionate enough to live up to the social standards you face. It’s your right and your responsibility to evaluate a woman’s character before you date her. If you’re going to put your heart, your self-esteem, and your personal freedom at someone’s disposal, you’d better hope you have chosen someone accountable enough to handle them with care. You’ll only be able to do that if you get to know them at least a little before dating them.
How does she handle challenges? Does she treat molehill problems like mountains? Is stuff a much bigger deal when it happens to her than when it happens to other people? Occasional short-sightedness is human, and some lack of understanding of others’ experiences can be chalked up to immaturity, but frequent or dramatic solipsism should be a red flag. An attitude that self-centered can be a precursor to abuse.
Does she frequently get herself into stupid situations, such as frivolous spending that lands her in unmanagable debt because she isn’t considering her choices before she makes them? That lack of consideration could easily extend to you. She may disregard the impact of her choices on you or she may expect you to protect her from their consequences, and you may find yourself exploited even if that is not her conscious intent.
Does she shift blame for her own mistakes to someone or something else? Extenuating circumstances exist and making excuses sometimes is natural, but if it’s consistent and she doesn’t seem to mind slandering others to excuse herself, pay attention. If she can’t take responsibility for the consequences of her own choices, that will manifest against the closest scapegoat whenever she faces conflict in or hardship. Don’t be the dumping ground for her personal failures.
Does she try to bluff her way through situations she isn’t equipped to handle instead of admitting she may need advice or assistance? If she is too proud to acknowledge her own limitations and substitutes chicanery for substance, pay attention. This could just be the overconfidence of youth, but throw in blame-shifting and solipsism and you’ve got a dangerous combination that could result in anything from a bad relationship to legal issues.
At the same time, it’s important to notice if she consistently expects others to solve her problems for her. Asking for help when it’s genuinely needed is wise, but an entitled princess who always dumps responsibility for her own welfare on someone else is bad news. A man is expected to account for his weaknesses but employ his strengths if he wants to be called an adult. A woman is not exempt from that standard. Forgetting that can turn dating a potential partner into adopting a virtual daughter.
When she receives help, does she treat it like an entitlement or does she show some gratitude? While you shouldn’t expect anyone to gush over every little thing done for them, if she never says thanks and doesn’t even acknowledge and offer reciprocation for big favors, that indicates a sense of entitlement that others will sacrifice for her. If she’s also a person who won’t take responsibility for her choices, and/or steps on people, that’s an indication of someone who will sacrifice others to suit her wants, including those closest to her.
Does she make an effort to communicate with others, or does she expect others to read her? Does she get offended if people misread her or ask for clarification when she didn’t articulate herself? Poor communication is a pretty normal trait, and something that can be worked on in a relationship, but if she blames others for that failure or is offended by attempts to improve, pay attention. Unwillingness to communicate can be anything from simple shyness or a painful history you can work through to a dangerously entitled attitude you don’t want to experience, much less support.
Does she give others the same consideration she expects from them, or does she expect others to treat her better than she treats them? While most people have insensitive clod moments, if it’s a consistent behavior, it shows a lack of compassion. Don’t just look at how she treats people she wants to think well of her either but how she treats people she’s never going to see again, and people who can’t do anything to or for her. Though she’ll be more open with friends than strangers, if she reserves all of her courtesy for those who can serve her needs, and disregards people who can’t, that’s a really bad sign. If you see her attitude change dramatically depending on a person’s usefulness to her, run the other way. That’s a sign that she’s completely selfish and willing to throw anyone under the bus to suit her own purpose, and eventually, one way or another, she is going to hurt you.
Look for a mindful attitude, just as you would before trusting a man. A responsible adult’s impacting choices are carefully considered with respect to both herself and anyone else involved, and they are owned by the person making them. They are not made on the fly by someone unwary of consequences and unprepared to be held accountable for them.
Seek a partner who understands the concept of give-and-take in human interaction. Don’t let someone dump all of the responsibility on you. If it’s not a mutual effort with mutual consideration and mutual rewards, it’s not a functional relationship, and you’re in danger. You don’t have to look for perfection. Every person is a work in progress, and building a relationship is a learning process, but it’s just wiser to begin one with someone you see striving to meet an equal standard for accountability than with someone who demonstrates consistent carelessness, thoughtlessness, or selfishness.
Have a question? Ask the Badger!
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