In the course of observing and participating in these discussions, I happened to be directed to this piece. I assumed at first it was satire, but I am assured by all involved that the author is in fact deadly serious. What follows is accordinly based on the assumption that my friends are correct. Also, for obvious reasons, everything that follows pertains to male-female relations.
Dear sweet Christ, what is this guy smoking? Because I don't want any of it. Ever.
For a start, the article is called How to Crush a Girl's Self-Esteem. And that just gets an automatic NO from me. You don't want to crush it - you want to build it if at all possible. And I say "if at all possible" not because any given man might not be incapable of doing this, but because any given woman might not need building up at all. She might already be quite strong, confident and sure enough of herself that no effort at building up is either necessary or desirable, thank you very much, and the only thing her prospective date need do is to affirm her self-worth rather than attempt the futile task of improving the unimprovable.
I will confess to having had self-esteem issues of my own (and to be honest, who hasn't at some stage?), but for fuck's sake, this does NOT give me either an excuse or a reason to go tearing down the self-esteem of a hypothetical prospective girlfriend. I say hypothetical because it just so happens that I'm happily married, with every expectation of never needing to think about looking for another girlfriend ever again, and so any question of "Ask yourself, what would Perturbed do?" needs to have that adjective understood even where it is unsaid, for the rest of the post.
This... individual goes on to state what to him seem self-evident truths, such as:
Let me decode that for you: "Any man who is not gay, emasculate or effeminate wants a doormat for a girlfriend."
All else being equal, any man with a sack will choose an insecure girl who lives to please him over a Strong, Independent Woman™ every time.
No. Any man with a sack - any straight man with a sack - should be the sort of man whom even a Strong Independent Woman would occasionally live to please. Maybe he gets off on the power trip - who knows? - but to me, this guy sees a woman who won't drop everything for him 24/7 as undesirable, some sort of threat, or both. I've got no time for that sort of bullshit. Said bullshit continues immediately with:
But because of you-go-grrl propaganda encouraging girls to behave like ersatz men, few if any women can admit their desire to submit to the whims of a man.
Oh wow. So a woman who goes out and gets what she wants from life (career, business, professional qualifications she needs for both) is being an ersatz man? No, she's a successful, self-made woman, you twit. And as for submitting to whims, there's a little thing called give and take in a successful and healthy relationship. Sometimes the man does the taking, sometimes the woman. You don't abuse the power, and you certainly don't go out of your way to have the sort of relationship in which you can exercise it constantly. Most decent men I know would get bored of this pretty quickly, but I'm pretty sure that there are some out there who'd get drunk on it, and that's where all sorts of really bad shit can start to happen.
Merely banging a girl isn’t enough for a man: he needs to possess her very being to be satisfied.
Umm, yeah. There's a name for that - it's called marriage and it's an integral part of the human condition, which is why every culture and every religion since the dawn of humanity has developed some sort of ritual for it. But the flipside of that is that she wants the exact same thing, and she deserves to get it. Any sane member of any sane congregation in any sane church will tell you that.
If you’re in a relationship with a girl, this is how you can crush her self-image and own her mind, body and soul.
I don't want or need that level of power over somebody, thank you very much - and I certainly don't want to obtain it in the manner subsequently described.
I could say a lot more and I almost certainly will, but right now I need to go scrub my brain.