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Who runs the Girls?
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xmlenigma Offline
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Who runs the Girls?
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/opinio...girls.html

Quote:Who Runs the Girls?
By ASHLEY MEARSSEPT. 20, 2014
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A FEW years ago, I attended a party at a nightclub in the meatpacking district of Manhattan with about 10 young women, most of them models, and two club promoters, men whose job was to bring beautiful women to exclusive parties. Beyoncé’s hit single “Run the World (Girls)” boomed, and the girls danced to the beat, singing, “Who run the world? Girls! Girls!” One promoter joined in, with his own twist on the chorus: “Who run the girls? Boys! Boys!” The men high-fived, and everyone laughed.

Many of the models who walked the Fashion Week runways this month in New York, London, Milan and, starting this week, Paris, are the same women who pass through these clubs. The fashion shows and the international circuit of V.I.P. parties — Miami in March, Cannes and St.-Tropez in May and July, August weekends in the Hamptons — serve as case studies in an old debate. Does the celebrated display of female beauty and sexuality empower or exploit women?

V.I.P. night life is an industry run by men, for men, and on women, who are ubiquitously called “girls.” The girls are brought in to attract big-spending clients from among the young global elite, willing to spend thousands of dollars on alcohol. Hence the V.I.P. party is sometimes half-jokingly described as “models and bottles.” The girls are seen as interchangeable; one club owner calls them “buffers” because rows of them frame his Instagram party pictures. They are recruited through friends of friends, scouted on the streets of SoHo, with its clusters of fashion agencies, or tracked down at model castings.

During the week I was a sociology professor. But during my weekends and summer vacations, I became one of these girls. In exchange for showing up at their parties, the promoters let me study them. I was what they call a “good civilian” — close enough in physique but not as valuable as a fashion model.

Girls rarely pay to be in V.I.P. nightclubs, but neither are they typically paid to be there, accepting instead gifts and perks like free drinks and even housing — no small thing for fashion’s underpaid work force. Clubs and promoters will pay to fly girls from New York to Miami, or from Prague to Cannes. Most girls don’t see promoters as exploitative, but as friends, something the promoters foster by treating them to lunch or games of bowling.

As anthropologists remind us, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Gifts are given with expectations of reciprocity. Friendships mask what would otherwise look ugly: the exchange of women’s bodies for money.

The promoters are handsomely paid, upward of $1,000 per night for those who regularly recruit high-fashion models. Girls also give the promoters access to powerful men, whom they often see as potential investors in their entrepreneurial dreams, which range from opening their own nightclubs to brokering business deals.

This is a system of trafficking in women. It is, of course, consensual, and a far cry from anything like sexual slavery. But, in an anthropological sense, it is not so different from the tribal kinship systems studied by Claude Lévi-Strauss, in which men exchanged women in order to forge alliances with other men, while women were cut out from the value that their own circulation generated.

Consider a contemporary example: Greek life on college campuses, where women circulate among fraternity parties. The best frat houses are those with the best-looking girls at their parties. In exchange, the girls get free beer. This system is not without risks. In a five-year study, the sociologists Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton found that working-class women who joined the frat scene faced greater risks of sexual assault and academic derailment. The more popular they were at frat parties, the worse their financial and professional futures looked.

Why do women consent to their own exploitation? Flattered egos, of course, play a role. When I interviewed a 21-year-old fashion merchandising student, she explained: “I love the whole aura in New York. I love the vibes. I love like, the exclusivity.” She was keenly aware of her value to her male friends in the night-life scene: “But I always wonder, if I wasn’t, you know, skinny, if I wasn’t attractive, would they really be friends with me? Probably not.”

Beneath the glamour is an unbalanced economy in which girls generate far greater profit for men than their free drinks are worth. A successful nightclub in New York City might make $15 million to $20 million a year.

In 2013, I spent a weekend in the Hamptons at a nine-bedroom mansion shared by a few Manhattan businessmen who aimed to host at least 20 models each weekend during the summer season. They called it “model camp.” That weekend, I attended a nightclub, a pool party and a house party hosted by the chief executive of a private equity firm. One of the men explained to me that girls were “currency,” assuring him a steady stream of invitations to exclusive parties and visits from important businesspeople.

I did meet some exceptional women who joined the party in search of opportunities, such as a 24-year-old model who was looking for an internship in finance through the connections she made in nightclubs. “If you have a head on your shoulders,” she told me, “it’s a great way to meet people who work a lot and have money.” Similarly, a 28-year-old marketing professional with an Ivy League education loved having the “most interesting, amazing conversations in the world” with politicians and venture capitalists at V.I.P. dinners. But while girls can certainly meet important people at these events, they are generally in a weaker position to leverage these connections.

The unequal ability of one person to capitalize on another is a classic case of exploitation. Imagine that the Hamptons businessmen hold meetings with the private equity C.E.O., in part because I softened their introduction. In two years, perhaps their investment fund will be cranking out profits, while I’ll be turning 36, and no longer welcome at the party. What may seem like an agreeable quid pro quo looks different in the long run, when women age out of the system without any returns on the time they invested. What’s really troubling is that no one even sees it as a lost investment, in part because it feels so good.

When it comes to women, popular culture confuses pleasure and power. Sure, girls may run the world, but men run the girls. And the girls don’t seem to mind all that much.

Ashley Mears is an assistant professor of sociology at Boston University and the author of “Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model.”

A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 21, 2014, on page SR9 of the New York edition with the headline: Who Runs the Girls?. Today's Paper|Subscribe

The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.
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12-11-2015 06:20 AM
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thoughtgypsy Offline
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RE: Who runs the Girls?
This is why, in past times, women were under the direction of a benevolent male relative. Women are much more impulsive, don't really know what they want, because what they want changes like the weather. A father would raise them to attract a good man, and after marriage, their husband would look after them.

Women didn't have to wonder if they had squandered their life. They didn't reach 40 and realize they'd die alone as an aging spinster cat lady. They could enjoy visits from their grandchildren and the warmth of family. Perhaps eventually they'll want to go back to that system.
12-11-2015 07:40 AM
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Menace Offline
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RE: Who runs the Girls?
The underlying theme in the article is: I'm not as hot as these girls so it's not fair. It's at the heart of most complaints by women.

What did these girls actually DO to be valuable? Nothing. They were born. Since they're models, they have to look good anyway (and besides that, looking good should be desirable on its own). What cause should they have to complain if they get free shit thrown at them and get exclusive access merely by existing? The solipsism of women knows no limits.
12-11-2015 09:23 AM
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RE: Who runs the Girls?
(12-11-2015 09:23 AM)Menace Wrote:  The underlying theme in the article is: I'm not as hot as these girls so it's not fair. It's at the heart of most complaints by women.

What did these girls actually DO to be valuable? Nothing. They were born. Since they're models, they have to look good anyway (and besides that, looking good should be desirable on its own). What cause should they have to complain if they get free shit thrown at them and get exclusive access merely by existing? The solipsism of women knows no limits.


From the article:...She was keenly aware of her value to her male friends in the night-life scene: “But I always wonder, if I wasn’t, you know, skinny, if I wasn’t attractive, would they really be friends with me? Probably not.”

Yeah that's something to really wonder about

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(This post was last modified: 12-11-2015 09:32 AM by PapayaTapper.)
12-11-2015 09:28 AM
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RE: Who runs the Girls?
(12-11-2015 09:23 AM)Menace Wrote:  The underlying theme in the article is: I'm not as hot as these girls so it's not fair. It's at the heart of most complaints by women.

This is called Sailer's first law of female journalism:
Quote:The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.

You're right though, these women have nothing to offer besides their bodies. They buy into the feminist myth that having an interesting career will make them desirable. They find a man with an interesting career who is well traveled to be attractive, and assume men must think the same way.

But she's wrong. What does she have to offer a man? A man is now forced to not only work, but pay his bills, cook his meals, and clean his place. With practice he can do this comfortably. A woman who can take some of this burden off his shoulders, especially after a stressful day at the office, would give him a reason to take her seriously. But they don't, and now many women expect a man who not only makes more for her, but will do the housework to boot.

All she has to offer is her body, and by the time she's willing to offer it to her suitor, it has already been well used in its prime by men who offered far less in exchange. A man willing to commit to her has been preemptively cucked. She knows this, and quietly resents her new husband. The union either implodes or crawls along in desperation.

Men of the past knew this, and did what they could to protect the honor and long term happiness of their female relatives.
12-11-2015 09:48 AM
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Rutting Elephant Offline
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RE: Who runs the Girls?
I couldn't get it up for Ashley Mears "of the long neck." Just now realized how much easier it is for Asian women to tweak their appearance via surgery.
12-11-2015 12:40 PM
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The Black Knight Offline
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RE: Who runs the Girls?
(12-11-2015 09:48 AM)thoughtgypsy Wrote:  
(12-11-2015 09:23 AM)Menace Wrote:  The underlying theme in the article is: I'm not as hot as these girls so it's not fair. It's at the heart of most complaints by women.

This is called Sailer's first law of female journalism:
Quote:The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.

You're right though, these women have nothing to offer besides their bodies. They buy into the feminist myth that having an interesting career will make them desirable. They find a man with an interesting career who is well traveled to be attractive, and assume men must think the same way.

But she's wrong. What does she have to offer a man? A man is now forced to not only work, but pay his bills, cook his meals, and clean his place. With practice he can do this comfortably. A woman who can take some of this burden off his shoulders, especially after a stressful day at the office, would give him a reason to take her seriously. But they don't, and now many women expect a man who not only makes more for her, but will do the housework to boot.

All she has to offer is her body, and by the time she's willing to offer it to her suitor, it has already been well used in its prime by men who offered far less in exchange. A man willing to commit to her has been preemptively cucked. She knows this, and quietly resents her new husband. The union either implodes or crawls along in desperation.

Men of the past knew this, and did what they could to protect the honor and long term happiness of their female relatives.

So true.

In the recent past, I dated someone who had a reliable career (in a green flag career too; not a lawyer or something). Mid 20's, had some additional green flags we all look for. She even wanted to settle down, get married and have kids/play full time housewife in the relative near future. One BIG problem though:

She wanted the title and benefits of housewife with none of the responsibility. She had it in her head that after a man works all day that he should help out with domestic duties at home. Cooking, cleaning, etc. Again, this is with the understanding that she is NOT working at all and she was a full time housewife.

I looked at her like she out of her fuckin mind.

I explained why would any man marry a woman, provide for her enough so she could quit working and spend endless amounts of time with her child as long as she handles a few very basic domestic affairs (cooking, cleaning, errands -- all easier than ever in the modern age), and THEN volunteer for a second job when he comes home? That is madness.

Are you suddenly going to goto my job and work for me when I need a off day?

Are you suddenly going to go back to your job to ease the financial pressure when called upon? Is that even realistic or ideal?

I made it quite clear I would not even take seriously an LTR prospect that shared her point of view and any smart man worth his salt would never accept it either. What I had to say eventually did sink in a bit after a few drawn out conversations but I could tell it was superficial acceptance at best and it would be a constant war with her toxic feminist ideology; even though she claimed to not be a feminist and had some green flags going for her to support that claim initially.

Any chick who wants to be in the running for future Mother of My Children has to instinctively understand her role in the relationship long-term. Lack of cooking skills, overly-argumentative, non-supportive, resents domestic duties, views herself as equal leader in the relationship as oppose to supportive 2nd in command whose opinion is highly valued but will not have final authority. These are all toxic if you want a stay at home mother.

In essence, a woman who is happy and content by default to play the support role; not someone who needs convincing. That is the ideal partner when children are involved. At least for me.
12-11-2015 04:09 PM
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