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Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Guest Contributor, Society | 12 comments

The Female Stalker

The female stalker: she’s become a joke in our current culture. And let me say in advance, I find the below video screamingly funny, in fact I nearly peed myself laughing watching this. I am a huge fan of this girl. You can subscribe to her channel right here. I’ve been a fan of hers since she first hit the scene. Anyway, the funny video:

Now, again, this is funny. I am not attacking it.

However, it’s fascinating, isn’t it, that it would not be funny at all if she were a dude. Now, why? I submit that it’s because culturally, we believe men are violent, predatory, and dangerous and need to be tamed, whereas, we believe women are frail and weak and pretty much by definition are not-dangerous. I think there may even be something biological about it, based on something called “neoteny.” I remember introducing Karen Straughan to the term and she did a long video on it which you may enjoy, but in short, neoteny is the retention of childlike physical traits into adulthood. Human females are more neotenous than human males on average, although it is not purely a sex thing; Asian men tend to be somewhat more neotenous than the average white man, just for example (although of course there’s huge variation, it’s not an ironclad rule by any means). But between humans around the world, females are more neotenous than males: they retain smaller stature, less pronounced brow ridges, higher pitched voices, less musculature, less body hair, softer skin, etc. and if you look hard you start to realize that a lot of women’s “beautification” techniques — not all, but a large portion of them — are methods to increase neotenous appearance: getting rid of body and facial hair, softening skin, softening hair, making their eyes look bigger, and so on.

What this appears to my eye to do is to heighten men’s protective instincts toward women, and it also seems to heighten women’s protective instincts toward women. Although there is arguably a biological component to this, I think we live in a time and culture where that nominally healthy instinct has been kicked into overdrive. Women appear to be encouraged to see themselves as potential victims waiting to happen (even though men are statistically more than twice as likely to be the victims of violent assault than women are, and are statistically far more likely to be the victims of sexual assault by females than most people realize) and men as beastly domineering predators and oppressors. I believe both liberals and conservatives are guilty of this impulse, and it’s not healthy for anyone: it infantalizes women and demonizes men, especially when we allow our subconscious impulses to override our rational thought processes. “Wait, she can’t really be dangerous, she’s just a cute girl!”

(And yes, cute girls get away with more than not-so-cute girls, by the way.)

All of it seems to me to be very well encapsulated in the (in my view sexist) phrase “men’s violence toward women,” which is apparently now an acceptable part of political and civil discourse, as the so-called “Violence Against Women Act” goes up for renewal. Factually speaking, women commit the vast majority of violent child abuse, neonaticides, and murder of small children, yet I am virtually certain there would be an avalanche of protest and rage if anyone started campaigns to “end women’s violence against children,” let alone any campaign to end women’s violence against men (which is, again, far more common than most people realize).

I post this in part as an observation in its own right, and also in continuation of a previous discuss on why male victims of sexual assault by females do not report and how I believe this also contributes to a cultural climate of infantalization of women and demonization of men. Feel free to continue to discuss any such related issues right here as well. I think these things do go together.

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  • ordinarysparrow

    Not following your rational…

    Fact Sheet on Stalking:

    ” How common is Stalking?
    The National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAW) is a landmark study that collected information about stalkingm a nationally representative sample of 8,000 women and 8,000 men across the United States (2). The survey found that 8% of women and 2% of men have been stalked at some time during their lives. This means that 1 out of every 12 women, and 1 out of ever 45 men have been stalked during their lives (2).

    So based on your theory of “neoteny ” there are four times more men than women that stalk that are also “neoteny”.

    Dean this is another one that i respectfully disagree and when looking at the portions of violators, do not see it as holding much significance.

    Yet, will strongly agree stalking is very disturbing to the ones that are the targets of the stalker… for both men and women… no one deserves to have their personal space violated.

  • 1) Men tend to underreport, just like they do on almost any issue involving victimization by a female,

    2) Women are encouraged to see themselves as victims, men are not, and

    3) I’d like to see a primary source on that, to see how exactly they asked the questions and how they tabulated the results. For example, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey showed a massively higher rate of perpetration of sexual assault by females than almost anyone is aware of or acknowledges, because it was buried deep in the report and filed under “other” and otherwise ignored. The top level reports did not match the underlying data. Therefore, I’d like to see the actual report, not just this summary of it.

  • ordinarysparrow

    And please remember women also under report…

  • Ratpack

    “And please remember women also under report…”

    Yep, sparrow. Women also OVER REPORT, as well, better known as “falsely accusing” in urban parlance.

    Women get sympathy, attention and funding for reporting. Men get derided and scorned.

  • Astrokid.NJ

    @Ordinary Sparrow:
    I think Dean introduced the concept of neoteny here to demonstrate why our protective instincts are different for different kinds of victims.. its got nothing to do with whether men or women are the larger numbers of victims.

    Consider this vid from my native country India, where a bunch of men hammer the young man for retaliating at a woman who initiates violence.
    India is a very traditional developing nation, with minimal feminist influence in culture. The reason the men reacted like that.. is the inbuilt desire to protect what seems to be a very worthy of protection. Neoteny is one explanation, and is well founded in biology. for e.g Why are animals cute? is a good explanation of how neoteny was used to make Mickey Mouse a better darling over the years.

    Delivering justice demands that we overcome these innate biases. We have overcome various kinds of biases over history havent we? (slavery, racism, etc) Its now time to overcome innate gender bias.

  • ordinarysparrow

    Ratpack you and i do not seem to live in the same world. My experience of being a therapist is women under report to a degree that is beyond what one would ever imagine.

    When i was stalked and took it to the police… i got no support from the police, instead was discredited and shamed. Which is what occurs to many women. So then took it to prosecuting attorney that had preciously charged the stalker…and was assisted.

    Do not buy this one as relevant to stalkers… the man that stalked me did not fit Dean’s “neoteny”…

    Women get sympathy, attention and funding for reporting. Men get derided and scorned.

    Totally disagree… How about pausing and asking what the experience for women instead of making these inaccurate disclaimers.

    Not disclaiming anything for men, but the continuous hammering of women as liars and men as victim is very sad when one looks at the numbers.

    I am a true supporter of care. concern and legislation that aids both men and women, but i do not believe one group has to minimize another group in order to be heard.. Not into who has the biggest boo boo… Rape, stalking, sexual violence and exploitation are real and deserves advocacy that is for rather than against.

  • zephyr

    I am a true supporter of care. concern and legislation that aids both men and women, but i do not believe one group has to minimize another group in order to be heard.. Not into who has the biggest boo boo… Rape, stalking, sexual violence and exploitation are real and deserves advocacy that is for rather than against.

    Well said sparrow.

  • SteveK

    Well said ordinarysparrow, suzy_enola and all the women / men everywhere that enjoy and respect our similarities and our differences.

    For some strange reason there are some men who don’t know what living in a man/woman/man/woman world is all about and, IMO, that’s a shame because given a chance it’s both easy… and pleasant.

    I don’t think anything anyone can say will help them but I hope they’ll settle things, in their own world… with their own selves.

    No one should feel that they are all alone.

  • SteveK

    anyone lived in a pretty how town
    (with up so floating many bells down)
    spring summer autumn winter
    he sang his didn’t he danced his did.
    Women and men (both little and small)
    cared for anyone not at all
    they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
    sun moon stars rain

    children guessed (but only a few
    and down they forgot as up they grew
    autumn winter spring summer)
    that noone loved him more by more
    when by now and tree by leaf
    she laughed his joy she cried his grief
    bird by snow and stir by still
    anyone’s any was all to her
    someones married their everyones
    laughed their cryings and did their dance
    (sleep wake hope and then)they
    said their nevers they slept their dream
    stars rain sun moon
    (and only the snow can begin to explain
    how children are apt to forget to remember
    with up so floating many bells down)
    one day anyone died i guess
    (and noone stooped to kiss his face)
    busy folk buried them side by side
    little by little and was by was
    all by all and deep by deep
    and more by more they dream their sleep
    noone and anyone earth by april
    with by spirit and if by yes.
    Women and men (both dong and ding)
    summer autumn winter spring
    reaped their sowing and went their came
    sun moon stars rain
    ee cummings

  • ordinarysparrow

    Thanks SteveK and Zephyr… and/both…a bird needs two wings working in harmony to fly…and/both…

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    Ratpack: Please read the commenters rules at the top of the home page before you comment again. The discussion here and elsewhere at TMV strives to remain civil by following a very few rules. Teach, give facts. Stay to the topic of the post only. Leave your thoughts about the suitability of other commenters or writers’ professions, or ways one might imagine others think or ‘know’, out of it… and all is well and will be well. There are millions of places on the internet where commenters can have at one another. This is not one of those places. We keep the comments area at TMV as a courtesy for civil conversations about the topic of the post. I believe that there is far more exchange and/or learning then. Thanks.


    suzie ‘enola’, the same. Please read the commenters’ rules before you comment again. Thanks.

  • ordinarysparrow

    Am just going to take a moment and risk opening up… here on a political blog…

    I have no animosity with any male that has been hurt through abuse… am so sorry that any man has been abused or bruised by the feminine…abuse is abuse…it wounds…. there is no wish to minimize the experience of the masculine that has been abused…i come from a family of five brothers, and know what it is to roll around with the masculine…i like men… and have respect for the ways that men are in the world overall… know many wonderful men, and have also known abuse by some… i am not naive about the wounding that abuse can bring to a soul….And i also know about the strength that can come to that which has been broken….much like bones and scar tissue..

    I do not know how to respond to these postings of Dean and the stream that he rides and those that float in with him… There seems to be so much projection i do not know how to even make a statement without it being made into something that was not intended…

    If i could draw a picture of the energy it would be lion with a really nasty thorn in its paw…it roars and roars from the pain, but if anyone attempts to approach the other paw strikes out to tear the flesh.

    Completely open that your experience of the feminine is different than my own.. and it is… much of my own life has been with the companion of strong women that care deeply for men, many of them have spent life times nurturing, caring, and attempting to be in right relationship with men, living into a deepening complimentary. That does not invalidate any of your experiences of the feminine, nor does it mean that your experience of the feminine is my own…i cannot accept your projections as my own.

    Have spent time with this– with prayer and good thoughts may each male that has been wounded by the feminine finds peace, healing, and freedom from the angst and pain that such wounding can leave. May there be healing waters to soak the thorn ripped paws with an allowance to let others care, for lots do care and are willing to be a support for men concerning masculine victimization… May your healing be helpful in the release of others. May your advocacy be successful.

    I believe it is possible to attend to masculine healing and to be strong advocates for the masculine without pitting one group against another is where i have directed not against you, don’t need to fight with you, and will not discredit your pain…


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