LIVING WITH WOMEN
 

FEMALE WILES


INHERITED WISDOM


Sophia's Wisdom--that is, female wiles either inherited and/or learned early in a girl's life, are obviously more expansive than Apollo's Ploys or male type means of coping in cross-gender relationships. Girls, for whatever reason, somehow know far more about how to outmaneuver boys than vice versa. In most typical male-female encounters, beginning in early childhood and continuing throughout life, women are, I observe, more successful in "getting what they want" than are men.

Although both genders have differing modes of trying to succeed with each other in achieving private goals, clever female "wiles," as best I can tell, are typically more successful than rather brutish male "ploys" available for confronting them.


ADVICE


Study, learn to recognize and identify specific wiles in the repertoire of a woman. All women have and use them, even if unconsciously (which makes them better at it), but each woman has her own favorites. If you don't recognize them, you will predictably fall for them and be manipulated without even realizing what is happening.

Instead of falling for, getting mad about, trying to change her or at least to stop using a particular wile, give all attention to improving your skills in confronting each effectively--that is, achieving a functional compromise between your conflicting desires at the time, one which maximizes your success without damaging her sense of herself in the process.


Background: The number and nature of available female wiles is almost limitless (See my essay, Sophia's Wisdom, for enumeration of some 54 of them). Consequently, each woman tends to find her own list and use them as long as they work. Your challenge is to catch on to those most used by your particular woman.

There are, however, a few major, widely used female wiles you may begin looking for: Among them are: trading sex for power; deceptive beautifying and dressing (displaying so as to make you think they're prettier than they actually are); playing on latent male guilt ("Be ashamed of yourself." "You aren't going out looking like that are you?"); artful intimidation or "putting down" on you ("Is that the best you can do?" "Is that as big as it gets?").


DECEPTION


Accept the pragmatic necessity of artful deception for success in any extended relationship.

This, however, requires confronting powerful social and religious forces which see honesty-with-others as virtuous and any deception as "being dishonest"--that is, wrong and/or sinful. Because these public values are so thoroughly ingrained in most people, even before times of consideration, many men have to deal with predictable "false guilt" about even considering conscious deception.

In spite of this public perception of honesty-with-others as virtuous (and deception as bad), careful analysis may reveal that these memes are primarily directed at males. Females have long been so practiced at artful deception with males that such skills are now either ingrained or learned so early in life as to escape conscious awareness in those most successful in its practice.

So, men, if you "feel guilty" about possible deceptions with females you care for, realize that they are far ahead of you in practicing these arts. They have used them for eons, so long as to have the skills down pat, even unconscious if not engened. Furthermore, female use of deception (e.g., in makeup, dress, and courting skills) is also socially acceptable and quietly affirmed by other females.

If men are to ever catch up in balancing skills in mutual deceptions, many of us will first have to develop skill in appropriately fooling a woman without fooling ourselves at the same time--that is, consciously choosing to deceive and be responsible for same, so as to avoid unconsciously "trying to get caught."


ON MALE PLOYS


Remember Samson's hair in the Bible. Be very cautious in revealing your weaknesses to a woman. As in courts of law, "anything you say may be used against you," and often will, especially in emergencies and at times of your deeper needs.


Use and perfect your lesser advantages and useful ploys; but be careful not to reveal them to her, especially when she digs. For example, playfully deny: "Would I try to fool you?"



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