The Private Man

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Women, Television, And “Attention Porn”

A tweet from Moxie the dating coach (link below) triggered an interesting bit of wisdom and quite possibly a serious epiphany. Her tweet was:

Dear Dating Bloggers: YOU ARE NOT CARRIE BRADSHAW.

Female dating bloggers are an annoying bunch filled with single women who vacillate from extreme self-pity to grrl power in a matter of writing nanoseconds. The urban variety seem to hold the television character Carrie Bradshaw of Sex And The City (SATC) fame as something of a role model. In fact, there seems to be a half-generation of girls (not women) who viewed SATC not as entertainment, but as a video tutorial for a lifestyle. Happiness through designer shoes? Men rolled their eyes and pretty much ignored the whole phenomenon. It made little sense to us except as propaganda pitching a particular lifestyle.

After reading Moxie’s tweet, I figured it out.

 It’s the attention, stupid.

Women love attention. Emotionally healthy women love positive attention and that’s how it should be. The rest of them will take anything they can get including nasty drama featuring physically abusive men. With SATC, the cameras were almost always pointed at one of those four characters. It was the ultimate in attention, even if the characters were made up and the whole thing was completely and utterly fictional.

I am of the strong belief that girls around the country followed the SATC mentality with the vague and amorphous wish that they would suddenly have TV cameras focused on them and their now-semi-glamorous lifestyle, despite living in Toledo and not being able to afford pricey shoes.

This is why I call it “attention pornography”. It’s certainly related to emotional pornography (link below) in some ways but it’s different in that the TV genre sets false expectations for receiving attention. Behave in a particular way or adopt a particular lifestyle (or components, thereof) and you might be the subject of television series! I know that sounds quite farfetched but wishes, rationalizations, and fantasies can do all sorts of things to affect female behavior.

Enter another popular TV format for girls (not women) is the “reality” show. Granted, most of such reality TV is scripted to a certain degree yet it’s still wildly popular. It’s pure attention for the select few who are in front of the camera. It starts young, too. Toddlers and Tiaras anyone? “The cameras should be on me” I imagine a woman thinking when she see’s a reality TV program.

What, reality TV program crews are out wandering the streets looking for women to feature in a new program? A big part of me thinks that is what is running through too many female minds in order that they get their attention fix.

EDIT: If enough attention-oriented TV broadcast programming featured women and girls receiving positive attention for being feminine… guess the result. Tweet it.

Next up for female-oriented porn and guys… 50 Shades Of Gray. [3/8″ yacht-braid nylon line in four, six foot lengths (marine store)…. Learn how to make a bowline and a clove hitch. Or, some silk or rayon scarves that are are at least 5 feet diagonally and half-hitches. Just saying.]

Moxie The Dating Coach

Emotional Pornography

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20 thoughts on “Women, Television, And “Attention Porn”

  1. In addition to the fact that most women have no idea what women actually want in a man so giving advice seems a bit pointless….

  2. just visiting on said:

    I haven’t followed reality tv since the first episode of Survivor. Silly me, i thought reality tv was a fad that would die out after a year or two.

    Moxie has changed her about page, but I seem to recall that she described herself as being like one of the characters from Sex in the City. Though I wouldn’t hold it against her.

    I wouldn’t hold your breath about feminine women having their own reality show. I’d actually wondered about that myself years ago. Perhaps some debutante type actually being refined and living a life of grace. If they ever do such a show, I nominate Belita’s aristocratic friend. Though, I suspect that part of the draw is that the crasser people act on reality shows, the better and holier than thou the masses feel about themselves. The jealousy might be too much if people had money, travel, the home, the fashions, and were of high class and character.

    • Hamster Tamer on said:

      “Though, I suspect that part of the draw is that the crasser people act on reality shows, the better and holier than thou the masses feel about themselves. ”

      BINGO… never underestimate the power of sanctimony in driving the sheeple to overspend on pointless “status” schlock.

      I don’t need to watch a single minute of these shows; I merely need to see their list of advertisers (and ad runs) to get Duh Big Picture.

  3. Hamster Tamer on said:

    “Women love attention. Emotionally healthy women love positive attention and that’s how it should be. The rest of them will take anything they can get including nasty drama featuring physically abusive men.”

    And in between those two extremes lies… AMATEUR PORN! LMBO!!

    Seriously, the Attention Whore Dynamic explains the ENDLESS of supply of nubile wimminz who will do ANYTHING on camera… years later, when they’re boo-hooing that their quality fiance’ found their “work” on Duh Web (and took back The Ring/Grail), the refrain is always the same, to wit: “I felt degraded, but I enjoyed/needed/CRAVED the attention…”

    In a nutshell, this is why, for all of recorded history, in all successful civilizations, the lives and marriages of young women were arranged and directed by The Elders.

    In the meantime, I need to upgrade my video equipment… maybe some blue-screens… ;^)

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  5. So if I take pictures of a girl, she will be addicted to my presence like crack. Got it.

    That would be a great direct opener too:

    *Snap picture, look at camera*

    “OMG, why did you do that.”

    “I’m in a photography class and I thought you’d be a good model for one of my projects. But I wanted to check if you look good on camera first.”

    Etc.

    • just visiting on said:

      Still, I like the idea of having shows that would introduce femininity back into the culture. Perhaps the backlash it would produce would get some good conversations going on. Throw in some very attractive alpha types, and it might give pause to the female haters. The producers would have to have a very good understanding of red pill wisdom.

  6. Once I grasped the concept that women like attention, an inexplicable thing that
    I had noticed while doing online dating suddenly made sense. I had noticed women staying on those sites year after year and wondered why. I finally realized they weren’t actually there to find a guy for a relationship but just get attention from a lot of guys on those sites. So, by emailing them, I was giving them something they want (attention) without really getting much in return. After doing a cost/benefit analysis, I realized giving random females on internet dating sites attention and an ego boost by being one of the numerous guys filling up their email inboxes with emails was a non-profitable use of my time and stopped.

    • Random Angeleno on said:

      An excellent point. I’ve noticed that too and wondered about those girls.

      So how do you distinguish those from the rest without spending the time? I haven’t been on in awhile and don’t want to waste my time on them when I get restarted.

  7. You make a great point about women wanting attention, and an even better one about using positive reinforcement to shape behavior.
    Unfortunately, this pattern is going on in reality. Sandra Fluke, a 30 year old law student, whined that she had to pay for birth control because she wanted attention. Then Rush Limbaugh called her slut, and she and other women blew it all out of proportion. To make it worse, Obama then uses her in his campaign and gives her a prime time speaking slot at the convention, further feeding her need for attention. She even cried about how “she would be heard.” Now we have a generation of women that think being outspoken, bossy, and entitled (the hat-trick of feminism) will get them national attention. Horrible!

    We need to break this pattern. We need to find a way to reward women who are feminine and honest, so women will seek attention but acting like them. But where are the role models?

    BTW, I can’t wait to see Sandra Fluke in 10 years, when she will be a 40 year old shrew who only gets attention from creepy older politicians and whipped sycophants. She won’t have much need for birth control then!

    • I’m no longer much of a political guy so I was tempted to not let this comment through. But it works in the context of the blog post. But readers are cautioned to avoid getting up all into politics in the comments. Thanks.

  8. I’m a woman. I like positive attention. I like it when a man compliments me because I look nice. I like it when people compliment my work, or when my ‘kids’ tell me I’m a good teacher. I like it when friends ask me to play the guitar at parties.

    I get a lot of attention when I’m out with a particular friend of mine. She’s the type who imagines herself to be the Real Life Carrie Bradshaw, or some other paragon of 20-something YUP female sexuality. I usually end the night feeling acutely embarrassed on her behalf. Doesn’t she understand that, every time she opens her mouth, everyone in the subway car who’s listening is quietly laughing at her? Doesn’t she understand that the bartender was patronizing her? That even our mutual friends are oftentimes ashamed of her?

    No. She doesn’t. She doesn’t *get* it.

    I don’t think it’s the case that these women will take any kind of attention, positive or negative. I truly believe that some women my age can no longer tell the difference between positive and negative attention. And that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

    • Hamster Tamer on said:

      “I get a lot of attention when I’m out with a particular friend of mine… She doesn’t *get* it.”

      Yet despite how “thick”, clueless, or “up her own arse” your Carrie-esque friend seems to be when out in public, I glean that it’s not a totally negative experience for you. You indicate that despite having several healthy and even admirable sources of positive (EARNED?) attention, you regularly include Ms. SATC when out on the town.

      It would probably be enlightening if you could expound on what the attraction/upside is for you. You write well; I sense private/parochial schooling, and a mind not mired in pop fluff, a mind open to, and in frequent contact with, folks older and wiser than your YUP party pals.

      Carry on with your moveable feast.

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  10. Tam the Bam on said:

    Friend of mine (who is condemned to know about these things as part of his work. I’ve never seen it) opined to me many years ago, when it was new and a huge fuss was being contrived in the media, that SATC was a thinly-veiled and bowdlerized account of the lifestyles of urban gay men. Which of course would never get aired.
    So the main characters had a barely credible sex-change, but not much else.

  11. Georgia Boy on said:

    Heh … Quarter inch, not 3/8. I need my 12s and 25s, and my lark’s head. Seems like this skill is becoming a prerequisite for admission to the alpha club. Not that I’m complaining.

  12. Pingback: Most of these people are not ready to be unplugged | Reflections of the Age

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