Monday, October 28, 2019

Policing other people's behaviours

Recently I have been watching a lot of Chinese shows talking about all kinds of social and psychology issues in society. One of the episodes had a discussion about a newly invented label "green tea slut" that is supposed to be given to a woman who gives the impression of being innocent, elegant and naïve in order to make other men fall in love with her, but in reality they are scheming and they take advantage of these "poor men" financially and emotionally. These labels are usually given to women by other women. It's basically the Asian version of slut-shaming, with women being particularly angry that this type of women don't also dress like the promiscuous type to give obvious warning to other women. Also, promiscuity discussed here is not only about sexual behaviour. Women try to police other women for being "emotionally/verbally slutty" as well, ie. talking in a way that makes men feel like they have a chance to date her/become her boyfriend.

In the episode, instead of criticizing the type of women being given this label, the invited "relationship experts" and psychology counsellors try to explain that instead of listing all the ways women with this label are horrible, maybe one can try to admit one is actually jealous of this type of women, and figure out the specific relationship skills this type of women possess that make men fall in love with her easily, and one can think about acquiring some of the particular skills that make them likeable and attractive to men.

In the comments section, women continue to voice their hatred for this type of women. In actuality this is not a specific type of women. It can be any woman who is super well-liked and is fantasized by male classmates, work colleagues, and even most women's boyfriends. It could be a woman who "stole" the heart of one's biggest male crush. This woman can actively manipulate men's psyche such that her multiple boyfriends don't realize they are not exclusive with her, or she could simply be actively pursued by multiple high quality guys, all competing to become "the" boyfriend.

Since this "green tea slut"-shaming is not a thing in the west, I am having a bit of trouble understanding the mentality of it. I guess many women are brought up to believe that as a woman, there are "good" and "bad" ways to behave. Women who are successful at garnering attention from a large number of men are "evil" and men should be ashamed of themselves for falling for this type of women.

I mean, I guess it sucks to fall for manipulative people, period. It happens to all of us, whether in romance, at work, in politics, in social circles, etc. But from what I can observe, these critics consider non-manipulative women who have personalities that genuinely attract a lot of men to be just as evil as the manipulative ones. Maybe it all comes down to the question "why can't I attract the men I'm interested in and woman X gets attention from all the men?" Their interpretation of the answer to this question is that these women are behaving in ways that are not allowed (not allowed by what? By their inner police).

It comes down to what is attractiveness. The most obvious answer is looks. In the west, charm, sense of humour (for men) are also obvious. In the east, what makes a woman charming (besides looks) is less understood by women. The dominating judgemental way of thinking of how a woman should and should not behave will take some time to shift I guess. 

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