This was going to be the third and final post going in deeper on the three Machiavellian ways of manipulation: shaming. But because shaming is something both genders engage in, and is a universally human behavior, there is quite much that can be said about it. Frankly, I think it is too much to discuss the topic of shaming all in one single blogpost, so I am splitting up the blogpost on shaming into two parts. What you are reading here is part one, and it discusses shaming in general. Part two will be about how women shame guys in dating and relationships.
3 – Shaming
Shaming = suggesting or explicitly stating that a person’s behavior is reprehensible or that the person as a whole is reprehensible because of some undesired behavior.
Different types of shaming:
Below we will briefly discuss slut-shaming, virgin-shaming, manshaming, body shaming, victim blaming, self-victimization and trolling.
- slut-shaming: distorting a girl’s current or past sexual behavior, or emphasizing her actual behavior to a point it gets noticed publicly or in her wider social circle, and she starts worrying about her options on the dating market. (Girls have concerns over this, as biologically men have always had need for a proxy of sexual loyalty, as certainty over paternity before the existence of online consumer DNA tests was only possible by inference. Women’s biology in turn has developed to make sure, that regardless of her sexual behavior, she has an instinctive urge to deceive potential longterm candidates about her previous sexual escapades, and will hide it until he is emotionally invested in her or sometimes forever.) Interestingly, in contrast to popular belief, recent studies found that slut-shaming is done by women to other women equally much, and sometimes even more than that it is done by guys to women.
- virgin-shaming: mocking a man for not being considered sexually desirable, manly, or even literally worth a fuck by the entire female population. Because of the supply-and-demand imbalance in the casual sex market, a woman can get sex anytime she wants (i.e.., unconditional sex, often during holidays, when going out for fun, or with people met on dating apps), but a man needs to qualify to get casual sex and jump through many hoops, and be very pro-active and not care about rejection. Because of this biological discrepancy, a woman is judged as easy by society when having sex with multiple men that are unlikely to stick around or spend time on her (because it takes her little effort), while a man who does the same is seen as accomplished (because it does take him effort). On the opposite end of the spectrum, a woman who’s very selective is seen in a positive light*, but a man who has had only one (or no) girlfriend is seen as pathetic and is less desirable.
(*:That’s why even when a woman has no problems engaging in and admitting to having had casual sex, she feels compelled to emphasize she does so selectively. And in a way that is true: even in casual sex, a woman doesn’t just grab the first person who she happen to bump into. Some selection is still going on.
This is also the reason why women downplay the number of sex partners they had and on average have many more guys they had sex with but somehow “don’t count” than that they had guys that count and that they do mention to others. Above all else, women want to emphasize their selectivity, hence the not counting of some ex-sex partners.
This is also the reason women like to claim that men, in contrast to women, just fuck for the sake of sex and without any selection criteria. When contrasting the self to such a false stereotype outgroup, it is much easier to come across as selective regardless of how crude your selection mechanism really is.)
- manshaming: when a misandric woman tries to invalidate the rational argument of a man she is debating with, by demonizing all men and attempting to portray all women as victims. (See also self-victimization)
- body shaming: discriminating, mocking or disapproving of someone else’s body, in an attempt to make someone feel inadequate about him or herself and his or her body for things that are very hard to change.
- victim blaming: holding someone partly or entirely accountable for something someone else did to them.
- self-victimization: i.e., playing the victim. Denying any accountability in how you are treated in two-people or group interactions where there actually is two-way communication, and shared accountability.
- trolling: intentionally trying to elicit a certain response from someone, usually trying to get someone flaming.
Gender differences in shaming
There are gender differences observed in official experiments, and then there are gender differences that I have distilled from personal experience in the social experiment that is called life.
As far as I can tell, the main gender difference in the use of shaming tactics is in intentionality and cleverness. I am under the impression men tend to use what I would call ‘reactive shaming‘ when shaming women, whereas women use what I would call ‘strategic shaming’, and they use it when shaming anyone, regardless of gender. Again, it’s a generalisation: I am aware some men definitely use strategic shaming, and sometimes women shame reactively, but my general impression is that overall women and men have different reasons for shaming.
Reactive shaming is an impulsive, very straightforward, and self-defeating way of shaming someone else, usually using insult words, and/or negative generalizations about the opposite gender including the person you are shaming. Whoever uses reactive shaming has as intention merely to express (s)he is feeling shit about something, and that (s)he has no good way to cope with this feeling.
For example, when a MAN slut-shames a woman, I am pretty sure it is reactive shaming in the majority of cases. When a guy calls you names, I guarantee you it is just a frustrated guy. Not a manipulative one.
Either he is a random crazy and/or drunk stranger on the street who thinks you are attractive but feels pretty sure you don’t feel the same about him. Somehow this frustrates him, and then he expresses this combination of attraction and frustration really stupidly, in a way you are unlikely to ever feel attracted.
Or either he is a guy that has tolerated the friend zone for too long and is suddenly drowning in a tsunami of sexual frustration for liking you more than just platonically and tired of how you seem to manage to overlook him in the sexual department. Suddenly he has a moment where he can’t take it anymore, and would much rather be more than just a friend.
Or it is a momentarily frustrated boyfriend with whom you have gotten into a serious verbal argument, and he busted you cheating, or he is just upset feeling he is not the most sexually desirable man to you, or upset that you feel disgusted about his sexual fantasies, or even just about his body juices, or that you are so hypocrite to put up a wall for him to be able to enjoy a simple pleasure together with you that you happily and unconditionally shared with someone who is now out of your life.
Guys can be annoyed over stupid silly little things like that: it’s their biology. They don’t have a womb, so men all carry DNA on their Y-chromosome that makes them really sensitive to sex in a way that made these wombless creatures capable of passing their DNA to the next generation.
I gave some thought to why men sometimes have an urge to shame reactively, and came up with the following possible explanation. If there is any intention at all behind a man’s words of trying to put you in a general category of ordinary women, paradoxically it can be he feels compelled to do so because he realizes he is starting to like you a bit too much, and he wants to make himself stop that. By verbalizing you are ordinary or ‘no different from other girls’ he is trying to convince himself and you. If he can’t convince himself, at least he take away any chances for temptation as afterwards, you will not like him very much anymore. In other words: we guys can be sensitive little bitches who rather push a girl we like out of our life, than to keep her close at a platonic level. So on my behalf, I would like to say that if a man has ever shamed you or made you feel you were not special, sometimes it can still mean a good thing and he actually feels really attracted to you. So if you are trying to read something in his words, read this: “I like you more than I think I should!” In case that is not clear, that’s a compliment disguised as an insult. At least, that would be if I would be saying you are no different from other girls. I don’t know what goes through another guy’s head if he makes you feel judged or shamed, and it may well be they actually really think shit of you. The most shit I ever felt was never about what a girl did to any other man, but what she didn’t do to me, when I really fucking wanted her to be more than just my friend.
Regardless of what is said in private, me personally, I do not understand the guys who publicly call a girl names or who fuck up a girl’s reputation. It works against against the guy’s own interests: if another guy calls some girl a slut publicly, then I think all other girls will put their guard up to him and are less likely to let him close. I would never publicly humiliate or shame a girl, because it makes nobody happy.
Also, some guys who are my total opposite sometimes leak a girl’s private pictures or videos online. For such guys, then why would the next girl agree to sending him pictures or letting him take any? I have never leaked any girl’s sexy pictures or nudes she shared with me, or intimate pictures or videos we have of us together. It serves myself to keep the integrity and privacy of anyone I get close to, because if I will really like a girl very much in the hopefully not too far away future, and we get something going, she can be certain to trust me, and then I am sure she wouldn’t mind that I have some picture or video of her that I can fap to in her absence. To the least, I am sure she will agree to sharing and making pictures not revealing her face. It allows to think back of our more private happy times together that no one except for me and her will ever get to see. Also, I think it can be really flattering if a guy you like thinks of you and looks at your pictures if he touches himself: I admit, sometimes I am that guy. And I also find it very flattering if a girl thinks of me in that way. Anyways, I am getting off-topic with this whole paragraph, so let’s continue with the shaming topic.
Other than reactive shaming, there is strategic shaming.
Strategic shaming is at least semi-rational, and usually carries an intent to get into another person’s head to benefit your own purpose. For example, when woman-A slut-shames woman-B, this is not just plain dumb, frustration-fuelled, reactive shaming. No: it is a calculated act of jealousy to undermine woman-B’s reputation through gossip, and to make woman-B afraid enough to let her bend to the will of woman-A. In other words, it is strategic shaming.
As a female reader, you may have witnessed strategic shaming in girls in high school (girls slutshaming another girl), or experienced it yourself back then, or maybe at some point you even have said such things about at least one other girl back when you were still a teenage girl. As grown ups, the strategic shaming becomes a little more subtle, but I guarantee you women still do it to each other and to men.
For example: an acquaintance of mine told me he knows a girl that would be a good match for me. Let’s call that girl Ms Potential. However, my acquaintance’s girlfriend, let’s call her Ms Manipulative, subtly indicated that Ms Potential (her own friend) is not good keeper material. In other words, Ms Manipulative slut-shamed her own friend Ms Potential! But that is not the only one she slut shamed. When I insisted I wouldn’t mind meeting Ms Potential, Ms Manipulative shamed me: she said I am no good to her friend and would leave her friend hurt. While I feel flattered that people think I can just snap my fingers to get whichever girl I want, it takes me a little more effort than that just that to go from point A to point B, and I honestly don’t like putting this sort of effort into all too many girls. If I do take the effort, I will not have as intent to hurt the girl, and I will be careful that in however long or short it lasts, she will never get to feel I never gave a shit about her and just used her.
Anyways, after a week, I found out the strategic reason for the shaming: Ms Manipulative wanted me to herself. And no, this is not wishful thinking: stuff did happen between us, and that made me first realize why she was so adamant not to have me introduced to Ms Potential. When I called her out later and said I now knew why she said those things, she literally confirmed my hypothesis and felt a little embarrassed I could see through her. She then proceeded sharing she was jealous of her better looking friend getting all the hot guys, and that she feared and even had nightmarish dreams where she was the ugly duckling missing out on all the fun. So yes, some adult women do still shame other adult women, event their own friends.
Heck, even grannies still do it. During my short period in France, before I quit my job there (about which you can read on my blogpost), I was in a professional environment where all my colleagues were over age 50. Women there would backstab each other too!
Worse, I have also seen it among women in what are stereotypically considered boring and very formal professions: twenty and thirty something women working in academia!
I realize not ALL women are like this, and always feel very refreshed meeting the rare woman who doesn’t use shaming, plausible deniability, or false hopes to manipulate me, nor any pussy whipping or withholding of physical affection. I really like it if someone I like is genuinely showing interest without any of this manipulative mumbo jumbo, and when she is uninhibited to show me she wants more of me and can’t wait: that’s a turn on for me.
TLDR: some girls use shaming differently than some guys. Guys who shame are most often merely reactive and frustrated, while girls who shame others do so more strategically, with an intent to achieve a certain result and get control over another person.
In my upcoming second post on shaming, which will be the last blogpost of the blogseries ‘manipulation 101’, I will introduce you to the wonderful ways in which women shame men in dating and relationships. In it, we will go in depth into and provide examples of different forms of manshaming, slut-shaming, virgin-shaming, body shaming, victim blaming, self-victimization and trolling that women use specifically on men.
WOMEN: the second post on shaming will NOT be meant as a ‘HOW TO’-instruction on shaming, but if you do see it as a guideline on how to manipulate men, make sure to never use it on the writer of this blogpost. Thanks in advance!
MEN: read that post to make sure you are no longer ignorant and to avoid being manipulated!
– To see what science found about slut-shaming, about the proportion of women to men doing it, and the motivations of women doing this to other women, see this answer on Quora.
– About the parallel between slut-shaming and virgin shaming, as well as general hypocrisy of misandric women: see this answer on Quora.
– for a definition of manshaming see the Urban Dictionary’s definition here.