To be filed under “some things don’t change”, there was an interesting conversation over at Bobvis about how to repel loser guys. The conversation turned to guys that are attracted to the vulnerable:

Even if the general pool of men is only 10 percent these guys, a woman will find herself surrounded by them in certain circumstances(sort of a buzzard effect) that have nothing to do with how she acts or the sort of men she prefers. Being dumped in a bad way by some other guy can bring them on, or any other situation in which the woman may be considered damaged goods.

As long as angry men remain a social and professional liability, women will continue to be indirect about rejection. The more vulnerable in a situation we think we’re in, the less direct we’ll be.

My mother was a young divorcee in California in the seventies. Divorce wasn’t as normalized then as it is now, so it represented a hurdle when it came to finding another partner. A man (or woman, though women might have been more forgiving in this regard) was much more likely to decline to consider marrying someone that had been married before. Among other things, it confirmed that she wasn’t a virgin.

Of course, living in southern California, this was less a problem than it might have been if she were still living in Carolina. What she did run across quite frequently, though, were the buzzards that Spungen refers to. A whole lot of guys thought that she might be awfully lonely since divorcees were supposed to be wilted flowers, damaged goods, and desperate. Some even used the “you must miss sex a whole lot (you poor thing)” to try to get her in to bed.

My mother has her faults, but a wilting flower has never, ever been among them.

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3 Responses to The Buzzard Effect

  1. Spungen says:

    Yeah, I can see that. Let’s face it, we all do some calculations of our chances based on what we think the competition will be. It makes sense that if someone is in an unpopular or scorned position, we’ll expect them to be more receptive. There are certain people who figure they’ll have no chance under good circumstances, so they do their best to seek out damaged targets, or even cause damage.

    I’ve seen some heavy girls be much nastier than I would be about shooting men down. I finally realized this was because they suspect the man is approaching them due to a feeing that they’ll have to have low standards be more due to their weight.

    I think the movie “The Good Girl” with Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gylenhaal had a good scene that illustrates this. Her unattractive male friend caught her having an affair, and threatened to tell her husband if she didn’t sleep with him, too.

    I remember when I worked at a department store many years ago, we had a policy of not selling damaged goods. If a customer brought up some damaged goods and wanted to haggle over a discount, we’d thank them for bringing it to our attention, then tag it and send it back to headquarters. Reportedly, one purpose of this was to remove any incentive for prospective buyers to deliberately damage the merchandise themselves. Officially it was a quality thing: If it’s so damaged it’s not worth full price, well then that’s not what we want our customers getting from us.

  2. Bob V says:

    “you must miss sex a whole lot (you poor thing)”

    Wow, I don’t think that line would even work on me.

  3. trumwill says:

    “Good Girl” was a good movie. The thing I remember most about it is the common theme of Holden’s short stories. I know a lot of writers that are that way and every time I hear someone summarize a plot that even remotely resembles his, I have to hold back the laughter. Also familiar was her attempts at rationalizing him and the relationship into things that they weren’t.

    My mother ran a second-hand store for the church and they had a similar policy. People would lose the tag and cut off a button (holding on to it, of course) and ask for a discount. Which is really pathetic in a place where you can buy just about anything clothing-wise for under $15.

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