Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PJTV: Your Reader Emails

Amy Alkon and I answer your reader emails in our segment today for PJTV. Questions include: what do you do if a woman tries to "scam" you for money?, advice on overreacting if an ex-husband hangs around your girlfriend, and how can men express themselves without sounding like a wimp?

You can watch here (free with no registration).



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:02 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between the two - Amy and Helen - Amy seems to be lacking an understanding of, or empathy for, men. Amy can be a bit clueless.

4:04 PM, February 18, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

I think they are both wrong.

4:06 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to being scammed by women:

That is not an issue with a simple solution. I'd liken it to buying a car from a used-car dealer. If you are naive, you are going to get used.

If you are naive about women, you are going to walk into a situation thinking that she's a goddess up on a pedestal, and you're going to be focused on "winning her over" and trying to do everything right according to "society's rules" (which she will define in part).

It's just like a young man, the first time he has some money or some income to actually buy a car. He focuses on the ideal that he wants. He pictures himself in his dream car, and he doesn't notice that the salesman with a whole lot of experience is operating on a more practical level (i.e. getting as much money out of the sucker as possible).

Men have a sex drive, and that is compounded in young years by the overlay of romance that society puts on this. When his heart beats faster etc., he thinks it is the true love that society talks about. In reality, it is nature's built-in sex drive, and many, many, many girls know how to manipulate that at a young age. The young men have to catch up and learn the game - unfortunately a lot NEVER do.

8:25 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I think Amy tends to approach this problem from a woman's point of view. That's why I get the idea that she can be clueless about advice - she has little understanding of how men think.

8:27 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was absolutely great! Outstanding.. well done, polished, professional- impressive. And Helen you looked great. A+ on presentation.

One problem though.. it's fluff. The content & your attitudes make me feel like I'm back in like 1989-like a flashback which is comforting in a way- but completely out of touch with the times and with men. We as men aren't talking about cutesy things about 'who pays on the first date' amongst ourselves- when it comes to women, we're talking about false rape accusations, false DV accusations, bogus restraining orders, having your life destroyed by these things and the court- the horrors of marriage and the horrible obnoxious behavior of women today- charmless, vulgar, cold as a razor blade. Sorry Helen, but you & your buddy are out of touch.

I've been trying to explain this to you for a long time.. think of it this way- this is 'romantic comedy stuff' - the reality of the world we live in now - the way we feel as men is like the movie 'Alien.'

This is great for women, but men need far far more than this- want our attention? Start advocating the changing of the divorce laws, the end of must arrest DV laws and call attention to false rape claims. If you address those three things on your show on a regular basis, I won't just support you, I'll donate to your show and not only that I will pull all of the weight that I have on several message boards to have all of them support and donate to your show as well.

We don't live in your world Helen where everything is all cutesy, cutesy and teddy bears- we live in the world where you can go to jail for nothing and have your entire life destroyed for nothing.

8:45 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:41 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have empathy with a lot of what you are saying, but what do you think about this:

Although society definitely IS unfair in many ways, (enlightened) men can avoid a LOT of crap with women by knowing exactly what they pull and then avoiding them or - if (enlightened) men want to have some fun - play the game better than them.

In other words, I want to avoid "blaming the victim", because exploitive women are reprehensible, but men CAN turn the tables. Maybe a more productive tactic is trying to get it through to young men, and older men who remain clueless, that women are not what they think they are.

It's going to be hard to change society so that exploitive women are really called on it. Women themselves - en masse - don't want to give up the racket, and you have a huge mass of chivalrous (possibly clueless) men who are also going to uphold the status quo. Women are going to continue to be the way they are, but the good news is that they are predictable to a degree.

9:45 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a pity that men have to take extreme measures today, but many of the smart ones are starting to.

I've had a friend since college (I'm heading towards 50 now) who swore after his divorce that he wasn't going to marry again - and has kept his promise.

He has accumulated quite a bit of money, and his "hobby" is dating women a lot younger than him. They all - without exception - think that they are going to easily get him to get married, and then separate him from his money.

Many of the women have gotten a bit miffed when they find out they have been sleeping with him for several months and he really, truly isn't going to go any further with them in a relationship (just as he openly said at the beginning).

He has had a hidden video camera system installed in his home that covers every second of interaction in every room with color video and audio. He keeps the recordings for a year and then deletes them. The reason he does this is to have evidence against the woman if she falsely accuses him of rape or domestic violence (after the relationship sours).

I suspect that many men are starting to go to these lengths.

The problem is that a prosecutor would simply drop the charges against the man (after seeing the tapes), but would not usually charge the woman with much.

A solution to THAT is to then go after her in civil court. Get a judgment against her for an intentional tort and then continually follow up on that judgment so that if she ever gets any kind of money it will be taken away from her. For the rest of her life - even if she gets money out of a man down the road.

10:01 PM, February 18, 2009  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Well, I found this interview interesting, but then I'm always fascinated listening to two women talk about what they think is best for men, what men think or how men feel. It's fascinating because they're almost always wrong.

Reality2008 has it right. Why have I never gotten married and very seldom date? The attitudes of contemporary women, the marriage contract, the divorce laws, and the court system. It's just not worth it, and I'd rather have the money.

That said, I definitely agree with Ms. Alkon that first dates, hell the first four dates, should be cheap and time limited. A cup of coffee, a light lunch, maybe a drink after work, that's about it. Flowers and expensive dinners are for fools. If you're not in a serious, committed relationship, don't waste your time, money and effort on her. It's that simple really.

First dates are for getting to know each other, to find out if you have anything in common, have the same interests, share the same values. To learn whether there really is any point in pursuing a relationship together.

The problem is, of course, that most women think of a first date as an opportunity to find out how much money you're willing to spend. If you're willing to spend a lot, then she knows she can get whatever she wants off you. If you're not, then she thinks you're cheap and won't have anything to do with you. So it's lose-lose either way.

But to answer the questions. What would I do if a woman tried to scam me for money? I'd dump her like a bad habit, throw $20 on the table, walk out the restaurant, and let her take a cab home.

What is my advice on an ex-husband who hangs around your girlfriend? Hey, idiot, she's not your girlfriend. She's still married, in her mind at least. She's just using her to justify her own lost desirability. Run.

How can men express themselves without sounding like a wimp? Bluntly.

10:06 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:19 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:21 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:39 PM, February 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a date once - that wasn't going anywhere - and the kind of "feminist" woman mumbled, after the waitress brought the check, "Should I pay my half?". She kind of symbolically reached her hand into her purse as she said it.

I think I kind of shocked her when I said: "Yes".

But it turned out that she didn't have enough money to cover her half, so I just paid the check (and reinforced my image of many women as kind of being closer to children than to adults).

10:40 PM, February 18, 2009  
Blogger . said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:13 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger Mad William Flint said...

Nice segment. I'd never watched one before, but I'm going to make a point of it now.

But Amy certainly seems to be remarkably out of touch in the first segment. She was at best condescending.

I do tend to over-spend on the first couple dates. It's partially my own plain way of covering for insecurity, but it's also because I really love and feel particularly comfortable in those kinds of settings, restaurants and such. I find it hard to fathom being successfully scammed that way. I did date (more than) one woman who made particularly unsubtle suggestions about jewelry. What was going on simply couldn't have been more plain and once my position was clear, it was over.

I suppose my point is that if you're seeing someone and taking any kind of active interest in who they are then these basic motivations really should become clear pretty quickly.

Re: The ex-husband thing. He's a patsy.

"Well yeah, he'll talk all day long... if you let him." Boy THAT'S a delightful mouthful ;)

Rob: I don't mean to sound callous but it really sounds like you just need better friends.

1:41 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger By The Sword said...

I have learned that it's just better not to show any weakness around women. Not because I am some invulnerable juggernaut but rather because I haven't met one yet who wouldn't treat me with scorn and derision.

2:20 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger . said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:18 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger . said...

And yet, Mike Wilson, you don't see my point. Lol!

You're kind of a dumb chump, eh?

3:21 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

reality 2008,

"One problem though.. it's fluff."

I agree, it is fluff. But it is part of culture and I believe we must change the culture to change politics. If people start to think differently about how men should be treated in our society--then maybe the politics will change. And if you will look at some of the shows I have done, you will see that I do advocate for changes in the laws. But culture is also important. I can't help it if we are stuck in a bad 1989 flashback--though I think it's more like 1960 and men are expected to be responsible yet be treated like second class citizens by law. The laws need to change but part of that is addressing the "fluff" of culture.

6:50 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I thouth there was too much meat in the discussion for it to be fluff. For me, any conversation that contains accurate neurological information does not qualify as fluff! 8)

I almost fell out of my chair when Amy compared men trying to talk about their emotions to learning disabled children while women are compared to gifted kids. I know what she meant, but the phrase was more than a little inelegant.

Great job, you both were having fun and my wife and I enjoyed watching.


8:17 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger Mad William Flint said...

I'd agree I was a chump if I wasn't satisfied with the exchange. If my perspective was "but but why does this always HAPPEN?" But it's not.

It's quite rare that I go out on a date and don't enjoy myself and my company particularly.

Entertaining of you to delete the comment I was referring to, replace it with one that said "Lol! Precisely" then delete THAT and add one that called me a chump.

Stay classy ;)

9:03 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Mmm... fluffy meat...

10:46 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Fluff encrusted meat? Is that Beef Wellington?


10:58 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger . said...

Whatever, Mike Wilson.

I placed a post describing how, even when faced with serious illness like cancer, showing any emotion or weakness will bring distaste or attacks from men or women alike... thus sending men a very, very clear message...

... and I said, I have a strong suspicion that this is what leads so many men to suicide... by relating my own experiences.

And, your response? A thinly veiled attack upon the weakness someone just showed you.

And that makes you a chump.

The shoe fits.

11:12 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger iconoclast said...

"better not to show any weakness around women...because I haven't met one yet who wouldn't treat me with scorn and derision"...I don't think this is ALWAYS true, but it's true all too often. The idea of chivalry..that weak & helpless individuals should be assisted rather than destroyed...has had at least some influence on most men in Western societies. I don't think it has as much purchase among women, possibly because morality for women has traditionally been thought of in purely sexual terms.

11:26 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger Mad William Flint said...

well no, my comment was about those people who would show distaste.

I didn't see any 'weakness' of any kind in your post at all.

If people are going to come down on someone for expressing something other than bullet proof stoic confidence or some candy coated idea of a gender role then they are the ones with the problem, gender entirely notwithstanding.

My experience is just that when I encounter such people, I jettison them. Over time I've developed a circle of friends with whom I can speak quite freely and who know they are able to do the same.

That sort of 'social darwinism' I think is the only reasonable way to tackle this.

11:30 AM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Along with social darwinism is the strength to not care if other people are uncomfortable with my emotional expression.

I am tough that way. 8)


12:04 PM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger Mad William Flint said...

Indeed TM.

Or at least the strength to let them go... a non-trivial thing to be sure.

I tried it the other way. I've been through too much in the last 40 years to spend my life walking on eggshells worrying about other people's reaction to me. I am who I am. Most of the time I'm pretty solid. Sometimes I'm a bloody mess.

12:08 PM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

"I am who I am. Most of the time I'm pretty solid. Sometimes I'm a bloody mess."

Me too. I remember when I found out my mother died. I was at work and got the call and started BALLING. That embarassing kind of weeping where you can't speak and you shake. Very dignified!

Anyway, I am walking down the hall and a student I was supervising came out of his office, looked at my face, and asked a perfectly reasonable question: "Are you OK Trey?"

Needless to say, the tiny bit of composure I had melted and I ended up crying on his shoulder in the hall for 2 minutes.

Honestly, it was embarassing. And I could care less. I always tell my patients that there are things worth crying about, and that was.

I talked to the student about it when I got back from the funeral, we laughed and I thanked him. None of the other docs said anything to me about it, I would have been OK if they had. "Next time my mother dies, I will handle it much better" would be a good response!

I do think that part of my maturity as a man is the ability to calm myself and not act out my feelings when angry. But the harder won part of my maturity is the growing ability to let myself express deep feelings while continuing to make good choices.

Sounds like you are working on that too Mike. Best wishes! Keep it up, it is nice to know we are fellow travelers.


12:17 PM, February 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fluff isn't going to solve anything & it's not original. We have Dear Abby & 500 love advice column writers in magazines & newspapers doing EXACTLY the same thing and yes, they are all outdated too- completely out of touch with the times.

To do something truly remarkable would be to actually address the major problems we have in society as I listed already- false accusations, horrifying laws that affect men directly, & the horrifying personalites of women today. NOBODY is talking about any of these things and there is nothing more important. The Dear Abby love advice column style you're doing is not just out of date, it's part of the problem- it creates the illusion that 'all is well' - it's a lie.

You're trying to have a picnic in a tornado.

4:03 PM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger Mad William Flint said...

reality: While I think you're right about the importance of striking at the heart of the issue... I think you can get into a circular argument pretty quickly.

Those core pragmatic situations aren't going to change without a change in attitude which goes hand in hand with a change in social atmosphere, part of which is addressed by this kind of discussion... Perhaps a little light? Sure. But that doesn't negate it's value by any means.

Besides, people still need to eat if there's a tornado.

4:14 PM, February 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WEAK! You're just as cutesy as this fluff show. You're problem is you're too lazy and too frightened like a little girl to even discuss the issues. Someone like Dr. Helen could get much much farther than any man discussing these issues in any forum anyway. You're just making excuses and that's how things got this way.

6:49 PM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger Mad William Flint said...

Well no. Frankly none of what you're talking about has hit my life in a material enough way for me to get that animated about it. Should I be more pissed about it? Yeah probably. But today it's news stories and blog commentary to me.

"Someone like Dr. Helen could get much much farther than any man discussing these issues"

Well... yes. See... I'm a computer scientist. Dr. Helen is a forensic psychologist with a particularly astute grasp of these issues in particular. It's not my area of expertise.

I'm not sure what it is you think I'm afraid of.

It's not "discussing the issues." I don't have much to add. I think you're right. If you want me to foam at the mouth and get a torch? eh... I'm too busy motivating myself in to action about our government's larceny right now thanks.

7:09 PM, February 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O...K... That's just bizarre. Now you're not even making any sense, Wacko.

9:14 PM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger seanlawn said...

Feeling used by women who a man thinks cares about him can contribute to a sense of worthlessness and feeling used, ultimately ending in suicide.

This IS an important topic and it's commendable that Helen and Amy are discussing it. This is not fluff.

I suspect some of you aren't stopping and smelling the roses and realizing there are two WOMEN here who are liteally REACHING OUT on us men's behalf. Has that sunk in?

I was not offened by this, there were a couple comments that can be summed up as a "woman's perspective" compared to a man's.
But guess what? They're...women.

Women's perspectives aren't bad, misandric sexist feminist's perspectives are bad. And neither of them said anything remotely sexist.

Good piece an I look forward to both Helen and Amy's opinions in future videos.

11:50 PM, February 19, 2009  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

I've got one thing to say:

Y'all need to meet a better class of woman.

11:21 AM, February 20, 2009  
Blogger . said...

No... people like you need to stop shifting the blame.

People are meeting just "women" in general... and someone like you keeps insinuating THEY are doing something wrong, instead of directly pointing your finger at the people doing the bad shit.

Comments like yours enables bad people.

4:08 PM, February 20, 2009  
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This comment has been removed by the author.

6:30 PM, February 20, 2009  
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6:47 AM, May 20, 2009  

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