Fairly single after many years of being partnered, and having gone on plenty of dates, I know what kind of people I like spending my time with. Since I’m looking for a close relationship, this person has to at least roughly share my goals and values. I know myself well enough that it also must be someone I can deeply respect if the relationship will be at all healthy. From time-to-time I’ve talked to men with different preferences, and it’s been an utter disaster, because THEY are emotional snowflakes and can’t handle my strong opinions about political matters, especially Trump. More than once, I’ve seen men go completely off the rails because I’ve said what I think and they simply can’t handle it.

So, not only is it not good for me to be with a man who doesn’t share my values, it’s obvious that the vast majority conservative men are completely incapable of getting to know me to any degree without losing their minds. It is obviously also in their best interests not to date me.

With this in mind, one day this week I woke up to  Jerrod Laber’s article, “Your Refusal To Date Conservatives Is One Reason We Have Donald Trump.

Perhaps I shouldn’t respond to this narcissistic click bait of an article, and yet, I find myself doing so. Obviously, it’s something I have strong feelings about. Between the MRAs & the MGTOW crowd, Laber’s article probably isn’t adding much new to the venomous spittle of these entitled males who are mostly on the right end of the political spectrum. Even so, the article has gotten a fair bit of attention.

As I read this, as a woman in the dating pool, I don’t see a single place where Laber points to any possible benefit that could be derived by me dating men I have nothing in common with unless it’s his premise—that we have Trump because we aren’t willing to partner with, sleep with, and have families with men who are out of alignment with our values. Considering there is no data whatsoever provided to support that premise, I’m going to look at things from a bit more selfish premise—how this might affect me, personally, because he seems to be completely incapable of thinking about the opposite sex and what they want, or need, in a partner. On the other hand, I can think of an awful lot of reasons I would not benefit from such an experience.

  • First of all, let’s look at Laber’s trigger: a Planned Parenthood badge. If I don’t ever want to get pregnant, the last thing I need is to wind up dating, and having sex with, is a man who doesn’t believe I have a right to choose my fate should I become pregnant regardless of the lengths I go to in order to prevent it. Considering the basics of heterosexual pairings, this matters a great deal. Because I have health problems impairing my ability to have a successful, healthy pregnancy, pairing up with a man who doesn’t value my health over a possible outcome that he might prefer could, at best, mean I was stuck dealing with an unacceptable outcome on my own, without his support or help—financial, emotional, or practical. This is a pretty big drawback in dating! I would think men who are against abortion would prefer this kind of heads up, as well.
  • Secondly, some men can be downright scary when you disagree with them about their deeply held beliefs. We see this publicly all the time as women receive death and rape threats because they dared to reasonably respond to a debatable issue and happen to have better evidence and reasoning than the men they disagree with…see Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian, if you want some examples. Having this information up front saves women from the hassles and danger posed by men who disagree with them on this fundamental-to-heterosexual-pairings matter.
  • Men who don’t share my liberal values are unlikely to value the work that I do in any way that is meaningful or beneficial. They probably will be a distraction and compete with my career and projects, and add more stress to my life than benefit.
  • Men who don’t share my values are unlikely to value engaging in the kinds of activities that are meaningful to me—deep, respectful, intellectual conversations, visiting museums, movies that are more intellectual than action-packed, listening to other intellectuals discuss a wide variety of topics, attending writer’s panels, and exploring hidden gems all matter to me. Why partner with someone who doesn’t value these things, too? I am not interested in dragging some unwilling participant along on what should be an adventure we both really enjoy.
  • Men who don’t share my values are likely to pigeonhole me and expect me to conform to some kind of societally determined way of being female that doesn’t suit me, at all, leading me to feel stifled and unhappy. I’m definitely female, and yet, many things that are stereotypically female are  very low on my list of priorities. Among those things, I do not shy away from an argument based on evidence. I had one man try to shush me for most of my adult life. I have no interest in meeting yet another.
  • Men who don’t share my values are likely to interfere with the things I like doing, meaning I will wind up being vetoed by a domineering male, or a pouting one, who thinks the world should revolve around him. The only men who have done otherwise actually share my values and are happy to do what I want to do from time-to-time just because it makes me happy, just as I will do for them.
  • If I actually did have a child with such a man, I could be sure to experience even more of the same in addition to an imbalance in parenting roles, because, let’s face it, it isn’t the liberal men insisting they don’t change diapers, get up at night to care for the baby, or give small children their baths.

Laber criticizes the evils of “assortive mating,” while discussing none of the benefits of doing otherwise. He’s provided very little to support the idea that doing otherwise is beneficial to society, let alone to women (who he attributes the Trump problem to), beyond a vague sense of the idea that choosing not to mate with someone whose politics are different leads to more class stratification, pretending that actually might matter to conservatives. Is he saying he personally doesn’t support Trump? Or is he trying to convince women that they can fix everything that is wrong with conservative males? Can he show me a study, any study, where people who marry those with considerably different goals and values is a good idea, that it benefits society? Or is it just his opinion, based on his own beliefs that “as a political protest, this form of virtue-signaling is counterproductive in the long run?”

If this mental flatulence is the best bit of trash the right can come up with while commenting on cultural issues, it is no wonder that Hollywood and educators have the corner on cultural relevance these days. These tired tropes won’t work on educated and intelligent women, but you weren’t really writing to us, were you? If you were doing anything besides right wing virtue signaling to angry white males, you wouldn’t be writing for The Federalist, would you?

#RightWingVirtueSignaling

2 thoughts on “The Laber Retort

  1. Great post. This really resonated with me. I agree – there’s not much of a point in spending time with people who don’t share your values, whether they’re friends or dating partners. Being single is way better than being in a relationship that has no future, or at least not a bright one. Thank you for posting this. Wish you the best – speak766

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    1. Thank you. The absurdity of him complaining of virtue signaling while writing to mostly conservative white males pretending to write to liberal women, which was obvious right-wing virtue signaling, was so over the top I had a hard time holding back. I sat on this for three days before I published it, just to make sure when I did publish something, it wasn’t my own “mental flatulence.”

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