Dating and Values

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Although her Ayn Rand-inspired dating advice (via HBL) is geared towards women, Jennifer Grossman's piece really speaks to any single. Despite the crude opening, I'll keep it in mind for my kids way down the road:

Rule #2: Don't date men who don't admire you. You don't have to be beautiful to be admired by men -- you don't even have to be particularly skilled or smart. A man can admire your spirit, your qualities, your way. You can date men who want you and chase you, but admiration is a different thing altogether. To admire is defined as to "regard with respect," or to "look at with pleasure." Women often say that they don't want to be "put on a pedestal," but that's exactly where they should be, held on high, off the floor, where they won't be bumped into, overlooked, or stepped on.
Grossman elaborates further on what she means by "put on a pedestal" in the next paragraph. (Men would do well, in this case, to note among other things that (a) a woman -- a worthwhile one, anyway -- wants to be treated with respect, and (b) this respect can only really start with a better-than-passing acquaintance. The above can also be used for introspection when in doubt about a relationship: "Do I respect her?")

On top of the article offering good advice, another aspect about it heartens me as an advocate of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: It is an example of what needs to occur for Rand's ideas to gain wider acceptance and, therefore, cultural (including political) influence. Conventional wisdom aside, Rand didn't confine her writings to politics, and to the extent that she has been relevant or even "prophetic", it has been precisely because she understands that political philosophy -- like any other kind of knowledge -- doesn't exist in a vacuum. As people see Rand's relevance on more issues than politics -- which oughtn't be the huge concern that it is, anyway -- they will be more receptive to re-thinking more and more of what they hadn't thought to question or had the opportunity to question. Reading or re-reading Rand provokes lots of this, and more people rationally examining their lives is definitely a good thing all around.

-- CAV

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