Monthly Archives: November 2014

What to Bring When Invited to Her Home

You’re dating your Russian or Ukrainian girlfriend and everything is going so well between you two, that she invites you home to meet with her family.  Now what?

You might think that you’re in like flint but Russian women rarely make significant decisions, like who she is choosing for her man, without getting her family’s opinion so you must make a good impression if you hope to continue dating her.

A visit to her family’s home isn’t a strictly formal affair but there are some cultures or customs that you must be aware of.  This article from The Medeleyev Journal has a lot of good advice.  It’s a blog written by a Western journalist that has done a lot of work in Russia and ended up marrying a Russian woman.  His blog is very insightful and worth a look.

I would also add that your Russian girlfriend or any interpreter that you bring with you to meet her family will be aware that you’re in a foreign country and might not be aware of all the customs.  So if they have any advice or suggestions for you, it’s a good idea to listen and follow their suggestions.  Your girlfriend would want this to work out as much as you do and wouldn’t want you to look foolish in front of her family.

Second, you will be expected to bring a gift for the hostess and this might end up backfiring.  I’ve dealt with some traditional cultures before and the families of such cultures often live modestly, but a more affluent American may want to show his generosity and not appear stingy and will risk offending the host by overdoing it.  In America we like to keep up with the Joneses, but in more traditional cultures this is showing off and it’s a big turnoff.  Giving an extravagant gift to a host might be seen as you rubbing your success in her face.  So it’s best to keep it simple in this situation.

A rule of thumb that I’ve always found useful:  Your gift should not exceed your host’s ability to reciprocate with a little bit of effort.  This rule applies well in almost any gift-giving situation. In America, people often agree to a price limit when it comes to giving gifts during holidays which is a more explicitly articulated idea of my rule of thumb.  This doesn’t mean you should expect your host to reciprocate at that moment in this case.  You’re being invited to his or her home, after all.  But keeping this rule in mind will keep you from overdoing it.

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Ukraine Watch: Who Will Blink First?

The ending of a nominal cease-fire has escalated new tensions in southeast Ukraine that may make a foreign bride seeker reconsider his pursuit in this country.

Rebel controlled Lugansk and Donetsk provinces held elections for parliament members and ministers a couple of weeks ago.  Turn out was reportedly high and Russian president Vladimir Putin has recognized the results.  The rest of the world rejects the legitimacy of these elections, but the key factor is that from Putin’s perspective, perhaps he sees both Lugansk and Dontesk as independent, sovereign nations.  This will complicate the issue of ending the war in Ukraine.  Ukraine will not want to give up this territory but attempting to take it back may be the casus belli that Putin needs to commence and all-out invasion of Ukraine since he’ll see “Western-backed fascists” violating the sovereignty of nations full of Russian speakers.

russian trucks

Putin has recently sent additional troops and vehicles into rebel-held territory so this crisis isn’t going to end anytime soon.  First, it seems that anytime rebel progress stalls or experiences setbacks, Putin commits forces and equipment to turn the tide.  Putin is stated very directly that he won’t let the rebellion be defeated.  Second, the Russian economy has been taken a beating from the falling ruble and oil prices.  Russia has also been experiencing the largest capital outflow since 2008 and there’s an indication that Putin isn’t flinching.  He has currency reserves built up so the average Russian isn’t likely to feel the effects of sanctions for a while.  It all depends how long the reserves hold out and how well Russia can source various proscribed goods domestically.  The average Russian might feel the effects eventually, but it will be while.  Putin is obviously playing the long game.  He doesn’t have to worry about a reelection bid for a few years yet, and he has been very effective in the past of marginalizing his opposition if the opinion of the Russian public ends up souring.

Meanwhile, US president Obama has only a couple of years left in his final term.  Other European leaders may also not be around for long if their European economies don’t recover from recession soon.  Will the next group of leaders still have interest in maintaining sanctions this long or will they lose interest?  Perhaps Putin will eventually get his way.  That would seem to be a best case scenario.

A worst case scenario might see things escalating into a full-out regional war, if not, a full-scale global one. Putin and German Chancellor Merkel have ramped up the rhetoric.  Russia has expelled Polish diplomats.  And the Russian increase in air patrols has nearly led to some midair collisions because Russian planes aren’t using transponders and flying in aggressive and provocative flight paths that may trigger a shooting war according to some security experts.

All this means is that a bride-seeker still needs to exercise caution when flying to Ukraine because things are heating up once again.  There’s no guarantee that the war in Ukraine will remain local or end anytime soon, so follow the news updates when planning your trip.  An exit strategy may not be a bad idea either!

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Follow-up to Hollaback’s Harassment Hysteria

My previous post regarded a 2-minute video that went viral depicting a woman being “harassed” on the streets of New York City with crude comments such as Hey beautiful or God bless or wanna talk?  I disputed that this depicted harassment at all and suggested that awareness videos like this are doing more harm than good in regards to gender relations in this country.  After some further investigation, I’m concluding that this publicity stunt is an outright fraud!

You see, my first impression when watching the video was that the female subject wanted to document the harassment she encountered during her daily routine around New York and recruited a friend who she wanted to walk ahead of her with a concealed camera on his back to document what she had to endure.

It turns out that I wasn’t even close.  It seems that the harassment was staged.  The director is a hack named Rob Bliss that wanted to score some brownie points with the fairer sex as either a misguided do-gooder-activist or in an attempt to prove that “not all men are like that” and hope the women swoon over his sensitivity to mundain issues.  Bliss discusses his hack job in this reddit thread.

Reading through the reddit thread and this Roosh forum thread, a few things become apparent:

  • Beauty is NOT in the eye of the beholder!

In the previous article, I rated the female subject of the video as a 5 on a scale of 1-10.  It seems that other men are also rating her between a 5-6.  This isn’t the only example of men who don’t know each other independently agreeing on the level of attractiveness for a woman.  Beauty is objective therefore beauty being in the eye of the beholder is a myth.  Your never going to see a man ranking a solid 5 as a 9 or 10.  The idea is ludicrous!  If I’m wrong, then there wouldn’t be as many men looking for foreign women as there are now.

  • The female subject is an actress

The lady in the video is an aspiring actress named Shoshana Roberts that was commissioned by Bliss.

Shoshana Roberts

Even good studio lighting, showing some cleavage, make-up and airbrushing can only bump a rating of 5 up to a rating of 6!

Roberts was instructed to dress conservatively and not to interact and reply to her antagonists.  This was probably a smart move.  Bliss et al seem to be aware that if the woman dresses too provocatively or verbally escalates a confrontation, then any claims to harassment would be groundless.  But also consider…

  • She was walking around in a bad part of town for 10 hours

This was something I hadn’t realized since I was assuming that this was where a real woman lived and walked, but that whole video was of a hired actress walking around bad neighborhoods of New York for ten hours!  When called out on this fine example of race and class profiling, Bliss replied that they had walked around other neighborhoods and had harassment from white antagonists but the footage was unusable.  Sorry but that doesn’t add up!  This video was culled from ten hours of footage.  This couldn’t have been all shot on the same day.  It had to have taken a week at least.  Maybe if you were ambitious it would take a few days.  But nobody is going to be walking around New York City for ten hours straight.  So here’s a thought: when Bliss reviews footage from the day’s work (which is probably a couple of hours worth–tops!) and finds some unusable or unaudible comments, why not simply return to the location and reshoot?  If street harassment was such a big problem, it should be easy to get more footage.

But Bliss has been exposed as a hack and is now doing damage control.  He and Roberts didn’t go anywhere near other neighborhoods, and if they did, he couldn’t get any harassment on tape because higher status men in more affluent areas probably ignored her.  She is only a 5.  So the only attention she is going to get is from men who are lower ranking than her like the men they did capture in the video and the 4 that she is currently dating:

Shoshana boyfriend

Her current boyfriend is a chap named Michael Rubin.  He’s a little too herbish for her but he has money going for him.  Rubin works at JP Morgan Chase, but if by some extreme luck, Robert’s acting career takes off, he’ll be history.

I smell a fraud in the works!

To review, Bliss and Roberts stage an event in which they stroll around the slums for several days trying to bait poverty stricken minorities to compile a trailer length, 2-minute video, and the worst they were able to capture was a few pleasantries and a guy following her for a while to try and get her to talk while respecting her personal space.  Perhaps at this point a rational person might have to admit that the street harassment problem has been exaggerated and that any claimed incidents were exceptions to the rule or urban legends.

But that’s not what they did.  It all about raising awareness and starting a dialog, you know? And they aren’t going to let reality get in the way!  But to what end?  What’s the goal?

Looking around Hollaback’s website, it didn’t take me long to find the video and a donate button!  They’re soliciting donations?  Donations for what?  Producing more harassment videos?  Are they going to hire bodyguards for these hapless damsels?  If so, then let me know so that I can apply.  Walking around a city with a woman that isn’t being harassed would be the easiest job ever.  Most gentlemen do it for free!  Suckers…

This is starting to look like the Anita Sarkeesian Scandal.  For anybody who doesn’t know Anita Sarkeesian claimed to be a nonprofit that was soliciting funds through crowdsourcing to raise awareness to gender bias within video games and launch programs to include more female participation in the gamer community.  She concocted a martyr facade that she was being threatened, witchhunted and cyberbullied on the internet for her views in order to generate sympathy and raise donations.  She then took the money and ran!  (That’s the basic overview.  Google her for details).

There are a lot of parallels between the Sarkeesian Scandal and this Hollaback Hysteria–Pushing a hot button political issue to raise money and do God-knows-what with it while trolling for comments and calling it dialog.  Initially I was rolling my eyes.  But now I’m angry!

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Hollaback’s Harassment Hysteria!

A new video has gone viral this week that documents the harassment that ordinary women have to endure as they walk through city streets minding their own business.  The awareness group Hollaback posted a 2-minute video montage of all the catcalls and harassment that a typical woman endures in a typical 10-hour day of walking in the city–except that she wasn’t harassed which was a big let-down.  If you think Rebecca Watson and Elevatorgate were isolated incidents, this video should tell you how absurd American women have become and how they are no longer worth the trouble.

Instead, this illustrates the ludicrous victim hysteria that the thought police known as the feminist movement has come to and why many men have pretty much given up on trying to please these self-entitled specimens that pass for the American woman.  I admit that the first thing I thought of when watching this video was a similar themed music video by a Ukrainian pop group called Nikita (NSFW).

Except that Nikita is flaunting their sexuality and reveling in the male attention in this video while the unnamed woman in the awareness video is a 5 on a scale of 1-10 and walking like she has a load in the back of her pants. She should take it as a compliment that men are giving her attention at all. Have our standards dropped this low? No doubt that if the ladies of Nikita were walking down the street like this, it would garner all sorts of attention and we would see the unnamed woman in this video snarking over what pigs the men are.  The karma, it stings!

This is why American men have decided to try their luck overseas where you can still try to converse with foreign women in the streets of their own city and still get a decent reception.  Even if the girls don’t look like Nikita, they are still nice to the eyes and often have a pleasant disposition.   Apparently, strong and independent American women are still weak enough to be brought down by men calling out hey beautiful or God bless you ma’am to them while walking in a public street.  A Cubs fan gets worse than this walking the streets of Chicago, especially if he’s walking around the south side!  The men in the video were actually very respectful to her.  I heard no insults, no derogatory names, no attempts to physically obstruct her from walking to her intended destination.  Even the couple of guys that were trying to start a conversation while walking with her were respecting her personal space.  Not a single one tried to reach out and grab her.

It was obvious that this awareness campaign was going to backfire even before I saw this brilliant spoof:

It’s not like we men have it any better in the street, ladies.  It isn’t all about you!.  But I want to probe a little deeper than the visceral reactions that most people will have read about by now.  This begs the question as to how a man should approach a woman that he’s interested in.  It’s nearly impossible to do so at work without getting in trouble with his employer.  You can’t do it at other forums like a skeptics conference (google Rebecca Watson) without being publicly humiliated, and now Hollaback doesn’t think you should do it in public either.  Were running out of options, here.  So what do you do?

Everybody has an opinion on the matter, even in the pick-up artist community, but none of the ideas will work for most men.  Roger Devlin seems to have some insight as to why.  In his review of Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit, he states,

When a young girl becomes erotically aware of boys, she is endowed
by nature with a set of blinders which exclude the majority of them—
including many who can make good husbands—from her sight. What
gets a male within her narrow range of vision is called “sexual
attractiveness.” What is it?
It is not possible to find out by asking women themselves. They will
insist until they are blue in the face that they want only a sensitive,
respectful fellow who treats them right.

[…]

When women claim to be seeking kindness, respect, a sense of
humor, etc., they mean at most that they would like to find these
qualities in the men who are already within their erotic field of view.
When a man asks what women are looking for, he is trying to find out
how he can get into that field of view.

This metaphor about women having blinders is immediately relatable to any man who has struggled with getting girls interested in them and the frustration in having to deal with the rejection.  And this insight explains how Hollback’s video and the discussion that has ensued will do nothing to improve relations between the sexes.  Men will ask how we should approach and talk to women and women and their beta white knights will answer as if the man is already within her erotic field of view, only to get accused of harassing a woman on the street because she already has her blinders set to such a narrow view that she’s effectively looking down a rifle barrel.  Such men are trying to show respect to an entitled princess who would rather see them all get lost.  This is why this awareness video is going to flop big time.  But you wouldn’t need to tell certain men that.  They all know that it isn’t harassment if she likes you and a few have already discovered that women in other countries have their blinders on a broader setting.  Devlin concludes,

The advice they do give harms a lot of lonely
men who mistakenly concentrate their mating effort on showing
kindness and courtesy to ungrateful brats rather than working to gain
the things females actually respond to.

If Devlin is talking about American women, it wouldn’t be worth the effort for men to gain such things that women respond to.  Go East, my friends!

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