Sep 10, 2006

To Fake Or Not To Fake

Apparently, the feminist writer Fay Weldon waves the white flag in her latest (not yet published) book 'What Makes Women Happy'.

“If you are happy and generous-minded, you will fake it and then leap out of bed and pour him champagne, telling him, ‘You are so clever’ or however you express enthusiasm.”

“Faking is kind to male partners . . . Otherwise they too may become anxious and so less able to perform. Do yourself and him a favour, sister: fake it.” She adds: “Eighty per cent of women only sometimes — or never — experience orgasm. Facts are facts and there we are. Deal with it.”

Her statistics might or might not be faulty, but it sure is staggering. The writer is not a very reliable source of information though, as this critical article in Sunday Times suggests. Moreover, she is 74 now and has had two divorces. Damn statistics, here's a quote from the article that rings true:

"...we go through the motions anyway and men feel delighted that we are a paragon of good housewifery, a “natural mother”, a multitasking genius, a marvel.

It feels very nice. But it doesn’t necessarily come as naturally as men seem to think it does: there is pretence involved.

We have to sit at work pretending we’re not missing the children, or we have to sit with the children pretending we’re not missing work. We have to pretend that we are naturally exfoliated, buffed, highlighted, tweezed, plucked and veneered. We have to pretend that everything is pretty much effortless and that we are Superwoman."



Anonymous said...

As the old joke cleverly puts it,
"Why do women fake it?"
"Because they think men care."

Stay true, is my opinion. If it brings anxiousness to somebody, that's not my problem, it's theirs.

What you call a white flag I see as degrading both to men (they need to be lied to and taken care of, to be happy), and to women (they need to cultivate their men and make them suitable to their needs, to be happy).

"We have to pretend...", she says. Come again? Pretend? Why? So that men would marvel at our being a multitasking genious?
It all revolves around men's opinion about us, doesn't it?

Excuse me sister, but there isn't a grain of feminism in this :)

- W.

Hazel Baggins said...

@ Wynche:

My understanding is that the author of the book is a *former* feminist who has changed her mind in this particular area;)

I think the message of the reviewing article is very clear - the author does not agree with pretending.
Neither do I.

'There will be no white flag above my door.'


Elle said...

With the number of books and help available to men these days, I don't think anyone needs to fake anything :) We need to help men help us and that won't happen by faking it. They will never learn that way and at the end who suffers from the whole thing? Women do. So don't pretend; it will come around and bite you.

Hazel Baggins said...

@ elle

Don't know about 'needs to', I think many women still do fake it, inspired by Meg Ryan in the proverbial movie:)No statistics to bring, I'm afraid.

Why do they fake it? Because women want to be *perfect* for men, and most are not. I had this conversation with a friend which probably deserves a separate post - about how high men's standards are, because of porn. We do so many things to ourselves 'pretending' they are for ourselves but in fact they are not. Think waxing. It's easier to fake orgasm than to wax. I imagine:)

Otherwise, I agree with you about the perfect state of affairs.