“Hypergamy” and Mozart

Practically all blogs that write about modern women and Game mention hypergamy as a driving force of women’s decisions in the mating market. This is what makes a woman leave her good husband: the idea that she can do “better”.

I can’t remember much scientific proof of the conept †, most believe it because it seems so obvious. Everyone knows women like that.

There are some that see the mating market as exactly that: a market. One that obeys economic rules. And the basic rule is, roughly speaking: Everyone tries to get the best partner his or her resources can afford.

In that light “hypergamy” means nothing more than “best” for whatever category is relevant at the time to the specific individual.

“Trying to get the best” is hardly any different from what every PUA does, trying to seduce the most beautiful women. With the added twist that for a PUA, whatever else he is looking for besides “beauty”, “new” adds 500 points.
Thinks: Is that unique to males? Probably not. See below.

The insinuation in Game-circles is that “better” for women is not only “better than the other available males” but also in relation to herself. Thus she won’t settle for the best available male unless he is also in some relevant aspect better than her.

I buy into that without waiting for a study since I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t look for a partner “to respect” or “to look up to” or “who can protect me” or “who I can lean to”.

Has it always been like this?

With that I come to the thing that made me start this post: while writing I am listening to Cosi Fan Tutte.

For those that are not that much into Mozart a short summary: Two soldiers, Ferrando and Guglielmo are engaged to Dorabella and Fiordiligi. They are so convinced of their spouses fidelity that they enter a bet with Don Alfonso, an old and cynical philosopher, that nothing could shift their women from being faithful.

To cut a long story short: The opera is called “They all do it”.

(My recommendation: go ahead and see/listen to it. AFAIC there is no more beautiful music. Especially the quintets and sextets :] consistently make me melt.)

The unfaitfulness comes about thus: Ferrando and Guglielmo pretend to have to go to war. Hardly gone they come back in the most wicked of all disguises: They wear a different hat and possibly fake moustaches. Of course no one recognizes them.

They say they are friends of Don Alfonso’s from somewhere far far away in the east.

Dorabella and Fiordiligi in the beginning are offended by the suggestion to entertain complete strangers until they by and by see the benefits of the two.

The most important of which is: They are here now, while no-one knows if their fiancés will come back alive.

This, the passing of a little time and the prospect of a little fun are all that Dorabella needs to submit to Guglielmo’s advances (Fiordiligi’s fiancé).

Dorabella seems to be more or less timeless.

Fiordiligi is a lot harder to persuade. In the end Ferrando has to insist that either she loves him or kills him (actually putting his rapier in her hand, pointing the tip to his breast) before she gives in.

It is the promise of … what? … that does it for Fiordiligi. The full Romeo & Juliet emotion, love or die.

Why is this so powerful?

It should be noted that Fiordiligli is attracted alright to “her laughing blonde one”. Also the strangers have been introduced as noblemen so there is no question of financial insecurities. But she as the proverbial True One does not abandon her fiancé just because someone enters the scene who would do.

First he has to show that he would rather die than be without her. That is what moves him from “eligible” to “chosen”.

Is it True Wuv?

Or security (because with a love like that he surely will never leave her)?

Or just plain and simple very very strong emotion? The biggest positive emotional fix a man can give to woman?

Aside: Which throws an interesting light on the development of Dorabella and Fiordiligi. After Ferrando and Guglielmo leave, the main emotion of the women is despair. Dorabella actually throws a fit (nice aria) and threatens to kill herself because she ostensibly can’t live without her love.

After the strangers start to woo them the main emotion is indignation. “How dare they!” That’s good, too.

But even the best indignation wears off. Especially as their maid Despina, who herself has quite flexible sexual morals, continually works on Dorabella and Fiordiligi that “soldiers are never true” and “they probably won’t come home anyway”.

Dorabella (who just a day previously wanted to kill herself) headlong jumps into the emotion of enjoying something new (See above. I guess it does work both ways. “new” adds 500 points).

Fiordiligi needs more, but she too has her emotional key.

————————–

That, to sum up, might be one key to hypergamy: “Makes her feel best.”

Which emotion does it for a given woman will depend.

In insecure times the most important emotion may well be “I feel secure” or even “I might survive”. The need for this emotion is seemingly so deep that the type of man who 50.000 years ago considerably improved the chances of survival, still get’s a bonus of 2000 points.

But in our times, when a woman does not need a man to survive (or anything immediately essential for that matter) what better emotions are there for her than “excited”, “sexy”, “desired” and “all woman”? *

Which shows, in my book, a sine qua non of all alpha-males: the ability to evoke these feelings in a woman.

But a relevant detail of “hyper” in hypergamy is still missing: the more-than-herself bit. In what way is Ferrando as suitor “more” than Fiordiligi?

Well, she wants to be true to her fiancé, she does her best to stay moral. But she has to admit that she is indeed attracted to that foreign man. She wavers which in itself makes her less than perfect, even if she would manage to not follow her impulse. And then she is confronted by a man who displays ultimate passion and (seemingly) ultimate sincerity.

He puts himself in the role of the perfect lover. Which she no longer is, since the moment she admitted her attraction to him.

† I found these two referred to by Heartiste and IIRC Hooking-up-smart:
http://paa2011.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=110915
http://www.econ.washington.edu/user/erose/hypergamy_solew.pdf

* For women with higher intellectual than sex drive** perhaps: “intellectually challenged”. For insecure women probably: “liked” or even “loved”.

** They do exist

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