Romantic Chivalry Encourages Female Narcissism

*the first part of this article was published earlier as Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology – Part 2.

The proverbial ‘pedestalisation’ of women fostered by romantic love tropes is one that encourages narcissistic self-identification in women (Wright, 2020). An unbroken line featuring noblewomen, and the men who love them, appears in each iteration of literature; from the medieval romances of Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere; the weaving and telling of European fairy tales; Shakespeare; Victorian women’s novels; up to and including modern Disney Princess movies and the ubiquitous romance novel which continues to out-gross all other genres of literature today.

As a dominant source of role modelling, studies have surveyed the impact of such imagery on women’s identity formation and their choices of romantic partners, finding for example that “women are influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, by what they saw in Disney princess films while choosing mates, setting standards and establishing expectations for their lovers.” (Minor, 2014).

Parents may not fully appreciate the impact of exposing daughters to aristocratic role models, nor see the harms that can arise from such an identification for later adult relationships. In their book The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in The Age of Entitlement (2009), Twenge and Campbell underline the dangers of princess role models which encourage daughters to become narcissistic:

Parents do not consciously think, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great to raise a narcissistic child?” Instead, they want to make their children happy and raise their self-esteem but often take things too far. Good intentions and parental pride have opened the door to cultural narcissism in parenting, and many parents express their love for their children in the most modern of ways: declaring their children’s greatness. A remarkable percentage of clothing for baby girls has “Princess” or “Little Princess” written on it, which is wishful thinking unless you are the long-lost heir to a throne. And if your daughter is a princess, does this mean that you are the queen or king? No—it means you are the loyal subject, and you must do what the princess says. (Twenge & Campbell, 2009)

In fairytale models the female gender role becomes the locus of a narcissistic script, as detailed by Green and colleagues (2019) who point to an unfavourable outcome whereby, “female narcissists may assert their femininity and receive affirmation from society to attain their goals, and at the same time deflect accountability and externalise blame.” (Green, et al., 2019).

WHAT HAS BEEN MEN’S ROLE IN PROMOTING GYNOCENTRIC NARCISSISM?

Firstly we can say that men have played a principle role in aiding and abetting the growth of gynocentrism among women, motivated in large part by a desire to form relationships with them. Secondly, as Paul Elam recently pointed out in an article Daddy’s Little Nightmare, men encourage narcissism in their daughters:

It’s quite ironic, listening to a man complain about how his wife has crazy unreal expectations. He bemoans the fact that she cannot be satisfied, no matter what he does. He claims that he pulls his hair out trying to figure out how to satisfy her endless demands only to be met with more disapproval and, of course, more demands. He wonders aloud how she ever learned to be such a bottomless pit, and such a bitch about it.

Then you go watch him interact with his four-year old daughter, whom he will endlessly coddle and for whom he will go to any measure to make sure she never lacks anything, no matter how trivial.

And it doesn’t stop when she turns five. Or fifteen, or twenty-five. When it comes to turning human females into paragons of pissy entitlement, the western father has few rivals. (Elam, 2019)

Suffice to say that many men are complicit in maintaining the status quo, creating a culture of exaggerated benevolent sexism in order to gain and maintain intimate access to women. The subsequent relationship dynamic is one they usually come to find destructive to their emotional and physical wellbeing and is thus unsustainable in the long term. Some men adjust to the gynocentric dynamic by resigning their dreams and emotional needs and playing the role of what is disparagingly referred to as a ‘simp’ or overly servile partner, perhaps rationalizing that gynocentrism is encoded into our genome and is thus ‘the way of nature.’

Gynocentric narcissism is further upheld by men at the institutional level, relying for example on a chivalric compact between women and male politicians who wish to hold office (Farrell, 1996; Frasure-Yokley, 2018; Lodders & Weldon, 2019; Naurin, et al., 2019; Wright, 2017), or male court judges who are eager to demonstrate their chivalric credentials by providing lighter sentences for female offenders (Visher, 1983; Hood, 1992; Curry, et al., 2004; Embry, et al., 2012; Starr, 2015). Such displays by men in positions of power have the effect of normalizing gynocentrism, with the gender imbalance it entails, as an acceptable standard of behavior for heterosexual exchanges.

In cultures perceived as encouraging female narcissism, an emerging male demographic is seeking female partners who eschew the gynocentric blueprint in favor of alternative relationship models; for example traditional gender roles based on division of responsibility and labor (Wright, 2022), or alternatively a ‘multi-option’ model for both male and female partners based on the libertarian principles of individual choice, self-determination, and negotiated labor-sharing arrangements (Wright, 2022). Others are seeking relationships with women from Asian countries that have been less exposed to gynocentric culture forces.

Further, increasing numbers of ‘no gynocentrism’ men are choosing to avoid long-term relationships with women, adopting instead the lifestyle of confirmed bachelors while engaging in meaningful relationships and activities that can fill the breach (Smith, 2013, Yiannopoulos, 2014). In Western societies these men are sometimes referred to as ‘Zeta Males’ who reject the gynocentrism-dependent male categories of alpha and beta (Tayo, 2017), or alternatively they are called ‘Men Going Their Own Way,’ (Wright & Elam, 2013), and in Japanese society they are given the title of sôshoku danshi or ‘herbivore men’ to denote their refusal to seek traditional ‘carnivorous’ pursuits of career and women (Smith, 2013, Morioka, 2013, Yiannopoulos, 2014).

 

References:

Wright, P. (2020). Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology. New Male Studies, 9(1).
Minor, B. D. (2014). Happily Ever After: Is Disney Setting Us Up? A Study on Disney Princesses and Their Influence on Young Women and Their Personal Love Narratives.
Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2009). The narcissism epidemic: Living in the age of entitlement. Simon and Schuster.
Green, A., Charles, K., & MacLean, R. (2019). Perceptions of female narcissism in intimate partner violence: A thematic analysis. Qualitative methods in psychology bulletin, (28), 13-27.
Elam, Paul. (2019). Daddy’s Little Nightmare, published at A Voice for Men.
Farrell, W. (1996). The myth of male power. Berkeley Publishing Group.
Frasure-Yokley, L. (2018). Choosing the Velvet Glove: Women Voters, Ambivalent Sexism, and Vote Choice in 2016. Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics, 3(1), 3-25.
Lodders, V., & Weldon, S. (2019). Why do women vote radical right? Benevolent sexism, representation and inclusion in four countries. Representation, 55(4), 457-474.
Naurin, D., Naurin, E., and Amy A. (2019). Gender Stereotyping and Chivalry in International Negotiations: A Survey Experiment in the Council of the European Union. A Survey Experiment in the Council of the European Union. International Organization, 73(2), pp. 469-488.
Wright, P. (Ed.). (2017). Republicans and Democrats, both Gynocrats. Chapter 8. A Brief History of The Men’s Rights Movement: From 1856 to the present. Academic Century Press.
Visher, C. A. (1983). Gender, police arrest decisions, and notions of chivalry. Criminology, 21(1), 5-28.
Hood, R. G. (1992). Race and sentencing: a study in the Crown Court: a report for the Commission for Racial Equality. Oxford University Press, USA.
Embry, R., & Lyons Jr, P. M. (2012). Sex-based sentencing: Sentencing discrepancies between male and female sex offenders. Feminist Criminology, 7(2), 146-162.
Starr, S. B. (2015). Estimating gender disparities in federal criminal cases. American Law and Economics Review, 17(1), 127-159.
Curry, T. R., Lee, G., & Rodriguez, S. F. (2004). Does victim gender increase sentence severity? Further explorations of gender dynamics and sentencing outcomes. Crime & Delinquency, 50(3), 319-343.
Smith, H. (2013). Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream–and why it Matters. Encounter Books.
Yiannopoulos, M. (2014). The sexodus, part 1: The men giving up on women and checking out of society. Breitbart London.
Tayo, A. O. (2017) A new class of men who don’t care what you think – Zeta Males are the new type of men who do not play the ‘game’ but are societal rebels. Published at Pulse.ng.
Wright, P. Elam, P. (2013), Go Your Own Way: Understanding MGTOW. Zeta Press.
Morioka, M. (2013). A phenomenological study of “herbivore men”.
Wright, P. (2022). The Tradwife Revisited, Published at https://gynocentrism.com/ (retrieved on 22/03/23)

Narcissism Isn’t Self-Esteem

By Paul Elam

Let me tell you what I’d do if I liked money more than self-respect. I’d go to the local shopper’s club and buy a hundred gross of small brown paper bags. Then I’d drive out-of-town to the nearest auction barn and pay them a fair price to let me go into the stalls and fill every bag with an even pound of cow crap.

Then I’d slap on some shiny pink labels with “Bag-O-Women’s-Self-Esteem,” printed on them in a distinctly womanish font, add a five, no, ten-dollar price tag, and tie ’em closed with couple of nice frou frou ribbons. Next, I’d set up a kick back arrangement with Oprah in exchange for an endorsement and take out an ad in Cosmo or Redbook.

Then I would head down to Belize and sit on the beach, throw back cocktails and check the bank account on my android 8 or 10 times a day. After about a week I’d buy the beach I was sitting on, and maybe that cute little senorita that was fetching my drinks. The word expatriate would start sounding pretty good.

And I’d be doing myself and you ladies a big favor. It would be perfect synergy. I like money, and you like buying disingenuous bullshit that feeds your narcissism.

You’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Fake self-esteem, like 98% of everything else that is marketed just to females, is just ego food for the insatiably hungry. It has become the psycho-porn of the western woman, with profits that would put a twinkle in Bill Gates’ eyes. How much profit exactly is anyone’s guess.

What I do know is that the narcissism racket comes in a lot of guises. I will deal with the two major ones here because that is all I have time for.

First, the plastic surgery route. With 8-year-olds getting bikini waxes and high school juniors getting fitted for an instant C cup, it is a growing industry for the grrls. Cosmetic surgeons know exactly how much narcissistic gratification results when your tits are bigger, producing more drooling mouths and hungry eyes. More adulation at first sight.

This is the narcissistic fulfillment that they pass off as self-esteem, and they use it as an advertising come on in the same way beer companies use girls in bikinis. Since you are the consumer, it sells like cheap crack in a bad neighborhood. And so now you and your sisters are lined up like schoolgirls for tickets to see Taylor Swift, to get cut and stretched, injected and inflated, and to have your fat asses suctioned down to bubbles of perfection.

But, there is one ever so slight problem. Actually, it’s a big one.

You see, narcissism isn’t self-esteem. Not even close. If you think self-esteem and the self-obsessed craving for worship are the same thing, then go buy those plastic titties. They will match your character and personality just fine, and they might go a long way toward a career as a porn star or topless dancer if the scars don’t show too much. After all, it’s common knowledge that self-esteem abounds for women who can squat down and pick up folded dollar bills off the floor with the crack of their ass while a room full of drunks howl at them.

Then you can attract more men and join the millions of other women that spend their time bitching about how those men won‘t look at them from the neck up. It’s a small price to pay for all that “self-esteem.”

Tell you what -today only- two bags of cow shit for the price of one.

Now, if you are not on an elective surgery budget, you needn’t feel left out. There is a whole world of cheaper but equally fake assistance with your problem. It’s the Stuart Smalley route of the self-esteem simpleton. And it is for sale in the wacky world of mental health. The purveyors, usually women who are every bit as narcissistic as you, are scattered across the world-wide web, thicker than Henry Kissinger’s accent. For a mere hundred or two hundred per hour, they will give you the stalwart advice to look in the mirror -each and every day- and say really affirming things like “I am unique. I am special. I am the only ‘me’ there is!” They will advise you to smile while saying it, but I dare you to simply keep a straight face.

They will tell you there are lots of reasons you don’t have self-esteem. The most common one being men that don’t see just how special you really are, or don’t tell you as much every 15 minutes. No narcissism there, eh?

Those women love to tell you that failure to saturate you with adulation is where you lose your self-esteem. They’ll tell you, with faces as straight as bourbon whiskey, that this is where your self-esteem gets lost, like the pocket you kept it in had a hole in it and a hundred hours of therapy would help you find it again.

Actually, they will make it look a little more sinister. It’s like this: You get into a relationship and at first he is all roses and chocolates and the compliments you so desperately need. After time though, he starts saying things that are not really bad, but just a little cutting, like “I’m going fishing with my friends,”

After some more time passes, it gets worse. When his fishing trips don’t stop simply because you tell him how important it is for him to give them up for you, what started as “I’m going fishing with my friends,” ends up being “Get off my back you insufferable fucking control freak.”

With that, Self-esteem, or the narcissism disguised as much, goes right into the drink.

Seriously though, ladies, disinformation about your self-esteem aside, the self-help gurus aren’t any better at it than the cutters. And they miss the most important thing about self-esteem, just like you do.

The cold truth is that if you have self-esteem, something very different from narcissism, nobody can take it from you. And if you can surrender it to someone, even an asshole who says he loves you, then you never had it to begin with.

That is partly because there is no such thing as self-esteem. It is just a made-up word; a marketing tool to get into your purse, or through you to your man’s wallet. They just call it self-esteem instead of narcissism because women won’t pay to address their narcissism.

There is, however, another asset you might consider. It’s called self-respect. And self-respect, since it must be earned, is rarely sacrificed. And if you have it, you probably don’t need a therapist or a surgeon.

When you have self-respect, respect from others is a given. But you can’t have respect from others or yourself if what you keep chasing is actually a form of worship. And if you are the average woman in today’s world, you don’t have a damned clue as to the difference. It makes selling you bags of bullshit all the easier. In fact, as long as you insist on hanging on to the idea that you’re not really a narcissist, it makes selling you anything but bullshit impossible. Narcissists don’t buy self-improvement, or, for that matter, anything truthful.

Unlike what any plastic surgeon or psychobabble spouting huckster will tell you, you have to get off your ass and earn the way people see and treat you, and the way you see and treat yourself.

You do this through the development of your character, not as a princess or little girl or the self-designated center of someone else’s universe, but as a grown human being with more focus on your responsibilities than your entitlements. Ante up like a big girl and see how quickly the world, and men, treat you like one.

But the real trick here is for you to understand that people, particularly men, failing to meet unrealistic expectations isn’t robbing you of anything. They aren’t respecting you by catering to your narcissistic childishness, they are just giving in to it, and, in the mother of all ironies, disrespecting themselves.

Now you can take this advice, which is totally free, and start applying it today. You can start by putting down the mirror and looking inward this very minute. Before you know it other people, men included, will be looking at you in a way you have likely never seen before. With genuine admiration. I know, it’s a poor substitute for adulation, but in the real world it has to do.

Or, if you just can’t wrap your mind around the idea that the onus is on you to get the job done; that self-respect is a by-product of maturity and humility, I have another form of self-esteem, right here, by the bag full.

Operators are standing by.

Chat GPT Outlines The Relation Between Gynocentrism & Narcissism

The following are two consecutive answers provided by Chat GPT on the question of a potential relation between gynocentrism and narcissism – PW.

_____________________

 

First answer:

Second answer:

Gynocentrism As A Narcissistic Pathology – Part 2

The following paper was first published in July 2023 in New Male Studies Journal and is republished with permission.

_____________________________

NEW MALE STUDIES: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ~ ISSN 1839-7816 ~ Vol 12, Issue 1, 2023, Pp. 29–44 © 2023
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF MALE HEALTH AND STUDIES

Gynocentrism and female narcissism

The following articles explore the role of narcissism in the context of gynocentric culture & behaviour. This emphasis is not aimed to reduce narcissism to an all-female pathology, but to demonstrate the ways in which female narcissism may lean toward gynocentric modes of expression, much as males demonstrate narcissism in typically gendered ways.

Articles on gynocentrism & narcissism by Peter Wright:

Formal studies in female narcissism by Ava Green:

Research on interrelationship of narcissism and feminism:

Miscellaneous

Informal Articles

Narcissism Exaggerates Baseline Hypergamy

Many in the men’s issues community have observed pronounced hypergamous behaviors among women.  While some commenters pose reasonable evolutionary hypotheses for the behavior, there may be another cause at work – narcissism.

Society’s encouragement of the sexes into quasi social classes, with men as chivalric class and women as pampered class, has generated a degree of narcissism among women in recent times. Acquired Situational Narcissism is a psychological state arising with acquired status, eg. in examples of academic experts, politicians, pop singers, actors – or in this case women (who, in modern society, are taught that they possess high worth, dignity, value, purity, status, esteem and reputation simply for being women). This psychological disposition in women tends to exaggerate self-enhancement behaviours beyond what evolutionary models of hypergamy would require.

Among high narcissistic individuals, studies have found higher incidence of hypergamous behavior, indicating that hypergamy is not unleashed by a culture of sexual liberation alone; it may also be the result of an acquired social class narcissism that says “I deserve.”

Excerpts from narcissism studies:

A third strand of evidence concerns narcissists’ relationship choices. Because humans are a social species, relationship choices are an important feature of situation selection. Narcissists are more likely to choose relationships that elevate their status over relationships that cultivate affiliation. For example, narcissists are keener on gaining new partners than on establishing close relationships with existing ones (Wurst et al., 2017). They often demonstrate an increased preference for high-status friends (Jonason & Schmitt, 2012) and trophy partners (Campbell, 1999), perhaps because they can bask in the reflected glory of these people. In sum, narcissists are more likely to select social environments that allow them to display their performances publicly, ideally in competition with others. These settings are potentially more accepting and reinforcing of narcissistic status strivings.

Source: The “Why” and “How” of Narcissism: A Process Model of Narcissistic Status Pursuit1

Consistent with the self-orientation model, Study 5 provided an empirical demonstration of the mediational role of self enhancement in narcissists’ preference for perfect rather than caring romantic partners. Furthermore, these potential romantic partners were more likely to be seen as a source of self-esteem to the extent that they provided the narcissist with a sense of popularity and importance (i.e., social status). Narcissists’ preference for romantic partners reflects a strategy for interpersonal self-esteem regulation. Narcissists also were attracted to self-oriented romantic partners to the extent that these others were viewed as similar. The mediational roles of self-enhancement and similarity were independent. That is, narcissists’ romantic preferences were driven both by a desire to gain self-esteem and a desire to associate with similar others.

Source: Narcissism and romantic attraction2

Narcissism has been linked with the materialistic pursuit of wealth and symbols that convey high status (Kasser, 2002; Rose, 2007). This quest for status extends to relationship partners. Narcissists seek romantic partners who offer self- enhancement value either as sources of fawning admiration, or as human trophies (e.g., by possessing impressive wealth or exceptional physical beauty) (Campbell, 1999; Tanchotsrinon, Maneesri, & Campbell, 2007)

Source: The Handbook of Narcissism And Narcissistic Personality Disorders3

Dozens more quotations could be added, however the point is obvious: self-enhancement strategies of both narcissism and hypergamy share overlapping features.

The rise of narcissistic behavior among women is receiving increased attention from academia, particularly with the addition of new variants to the lexicon such as communal narcissism, and vulnerable narcissism, which are considered female dominated modes of expressing narcissism. A more in-depth survey of narcissism variants among women, and their implications can be read here.

Hypergamy as an innate motivation doesn’t require a woman to overestimate her own attractiveness and desirability as she seeks to secure high resource/status males. Narcissism, on the contrary, does entail an overestimation by women of their own attractiveness & desirability as they seek to secure high resource/status males. To discover which of hypergamy/narcissism is at play, simply ask a woman to rate her own attractiveness. If she strongly overrates herself, then her mating-up is likely driven by narcissism and is maladaptive. If she rates herself honestly, then her desire to mate up is likely more driven by an adaptive hypergamy. Mating-up today appears largely driven by maladaptive narcissism; and excusing it as natural & adaptive serves to compound and increase that same culturally-driven narcissism.

A note on terminology:

Sigmund Freud introduced narcissism as a developmental trait that ranged from healthy to unhealthy,4,5 and some evolutionary psychologists posit that a degree of narcissism might be adaptive in the wider evolutionary sense, though this hypothesis (which has no genetic evidence to confirm it) can only be applied to a limited subset of behaviours before tipping into maladaptive manifestations of narcissism as measured by the usual psychometric instruments.6,7,8 Moreover, no one has satisfactorily demonstrated that adaptive self-enhancement (i.e. a proposed non-pathological narcissism) belongs to a construct continuum with pathological narcissism.

With these points in mind it’s necessary to differentiate between female self-enhancement as an evolutionary survival strategy, versus female self-enhancement as a maladaptive, narcissistic pathology. The narcissistic self-enhancement we see increasingly demonstrated among women today is not a contributor to evolutionary success; on the contrary it works to undermine family ties, intimate relationships and is also associated with lowering the birth rate – the exact opposite of conditions required for evolutionary success. Lastly, by differentiating hypergamous self-enhancement from narcissism we avoid the error of encouraging or excusing narcissism under the banner of it being “natural.”

Maladaptive vs. adaptive versions of self-enhancement

 

REFERENCES:

[1] Grapsas, S., Brummelman, E., Back, M. D., & Denissen, J. J. (2020). The “why” and “how” of narcissism: A process model of narcissistic status pursuit. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15(1), 150-172.
[2] Campbell, W. K. (1999). Narcissism and romantic attraction. Journal of Personality and social Psychology, 77(6), 1254.
[3] Wallace, H. M. (2011). Narcissistic self-enhancement. The handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical approaches, empirical findings, and treatments, 309-318.
[4] Freud, S. (2014). On narcissism: An introduction. Read Books Ltd.
[5] Segal, H., & Bell, D. (2018). The theory of narcissism in the work of Freud and Klein. In Freud’s On Narcissism (pp. 149-174). Routledge.
[6] Holtzman, N. S., & Donnellan, M. B. (2015). The roots of Narcissus: Old and new models of the evolution of narcissism. Evolutionary perspectives on social psychology, 479-489.
[7] Holtzman, N. S. (2018). Did narcissism evolve?. Handbook of Trait Narcissism: Key Advances, Research Methods, and Controversies, 173-181.
[8] Czarna, AZ, Wróbel, M., Folger, LF, Holtzman, NS, Raley, JR, & Foster, JD (2022). Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Evolutionary roots and emotional profiles. In TK Shackelford & L. Al-Shawaf (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolution and the Emotions. Oxford University Press.