As thoroughly confused as I was by the time I finished reading this piece in The National Review trying to explain why women must vote for Mitt Romney — that's what I get for ever clicking on anything from NR — I felt it was serious enough to deserve a thorough takedown.
Kevin D. Williamson's article starts with the premise that women — even Michelle Obama! — must elect Romney because he's blinged-out rich, and of course women are attracted to status — while men go for youth and fertility. Then he goes on for a couple more unbearable, rambling pages about how Romney should really never fly coach, how people adore Jay Leno even though he has a million Lamborghinis, how Naomi Wolf said some crazy stuff to Al Gore a decade ago... I really don't understand how it all ties together, but I suppose it's funny if you read it as a sort of Republican Shouts & Murmurs-style piece, and in any case, it's a little more coherent than Clint Eastwood's speech last night (cheap shot?)
Anyway. Let's dissect the idea that women are attracted to powerful men like Romney, whom Williamson calls the "boss of everything he's ever touched" — even Ann, I bet. Williamson explains that "high-status animals tend to have more male offspring than female offspring," ladies tend to flock to successful executives and entrepreneurs, and Obama? Why take him seriously when he has two girl children? "May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes." (Not to be a buzzkill, but in corners of rural China, people are still abandoning their girl babies and leaving them to die. Just for being female. That's just one reason this was depressing to read.)
Look, many studies do say that men are more drawn to physical beauty, while women prefer success: There's no way around this evolutionary instinct of ours. Of course success makes a guy attractive. I would rather date someone who is ambitious, cares about their job and makes a decent amount of money than a 30-year-old who lives in his parents' basement. And it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that men are attracted to beautiful, younger women.
Two points though:
1. The rich-men-younger-women theory describes nothing but our base instincts, animal-kingdom style. If we followed all of our base instincts, we'd still be living in trees and throwing poo at each other. We've evolved as a human race, and that's a good thing. Sure, women are attracted to success, but 99 percent of us (there's only so much I can do to forget Courtney Stodden exists) are not complete dingbats who just want to saunter around and get their hair extensions re-done while a rich guy takes care of them. And we want success, too, but most of all, we want personal fulfillment outside of any relationship.
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