In the battle of the sexes, the odds favor the rogue.
"Blondes Don't Necessarily Prefer Gentlemen"
by Ronnie Lake
Vol. 2, No. 2, November 1956
We might as well face it, fellows.
The truth is now and for a long time past has been that blondes (or brunettes
or redheads) do not necessarily prefer gentlemen.
The gentlest, frailest, loveliest and best-bred
of women as often as not fall in love with an ape-type who hasn't climbed
very far up the ladder of evolution.
Against such a specimen, who is apt these days to
hide his hairy chest under a loud, hand-painted necktie and who makes up
in bellicosity for what he lacks in finesse, the gentleman hasn't a chance.
And a massive physique is not a requirement. The non-gentleman may be a
pimple-faced, long-sideburned misfit; he'll still make it tough on the
Need proof? How about Marlon Brando? How about Elvis
Presley? How about--oh, well, this could go on forever.
This is not a situation peculiar to our times; it
has been going on for centuries and the Casanovas and the Rubirosas have
always had it good, whereas the Abelards and Lancelots have always had
it bad, propaganda to the contrary.
The truth of the matter is that there exists in
the peculiar psyche of the average female a perverse inclination to find
the clean-cut gentleman somewhat dull, and to discover excitement and titillation
in the rogue.
The case of the housewife who permits herself to
be supported in comfort by a well-regarded husband who is kind to her,
and surreptitiously lends her body to the ministrations of a burly iceman
who beats his wife and children, is typical. The iceman is apt to be stupid,
sweaty, crude, loud and completely inconsiderate, but he excites the frail
little housewife in a way her "nice" husband never can.
This also goes for tender young girls in their selection
of boyfriends. How many fathers have been dismayed and puzzled to see their
demure daughters scorn the attentions of the high school honor student
and captain of the football team in order to ride around all night with
a skinny delinquent in a broken- down jalopy. Or even on the buddy seat
of a motorcycle.
There must be a reason, or reasons, for this state
of affairs. An obvious point is that the clean-cut youth, be cause of his
scruples, is inclined in most cases to stop short of the point where he
seriously compromises a girl of what he regards as the "decent" classes,
whereas old Pimple Puss doesn't give a damn. If she will, he will; and
if she won't, he'll make, at least, a hell of a try at forcing the issue.
In this regard, the percentages are with him.
Security is important to a woman, but she perversely
delights in placing her security in jeopardy. She craves this thrill as
speed-mad motorists delight in scaring themselves to death on the highway
at eighty miles an hour. In most instances, the woman is smarter than the
speed-mad driver, however; she'll try to make certain that her security
is secure, no matter what, before she risks it. It's when she miscalculates
that the trouble starts.
Some psychologists, in trying to explain this perversity
of taste in wo men, hold that all women are born with a feeling of inferiority;
they feel inferior, sometimes, simply because they are women instead of
men; some times, they feel inferior to their fathers, specifically; sometimes,
they feel inferior to their environment and, sometimes, they feel inferior
to other women. This feeling of inferiority, say these psychologists, demands
compensatory acts of abasement. By this reasoning, they explain the tendency
of women to debase themselves (in the social sense) by falling in love
or having affairs with the kind of male who is not approved by men of higher
But other psychologists take a simpler and more
direct view. The non-gentlemanly male, they contend, often exudes a primal
sex appeal that is irresistible to women, whereas the gentleman, subjected
from boyhood to stern repressive training, simply has lost, or never has
possessed, this primal appeal.
Women find the gentleman dull, say these pundits,
simply because, in the sexual sense, he is dull.
The pathetic figure of the hopeful, shy, polite,
well-clad and overly considerate suitor is a familiar one in the literature
of American humor. In cartoons, he is usually pictured standing outside
his beloved's door, bearing a huge bouquet of flowers. The girl, in filmy
negligee, may be seen through the open door and, in the background, reclines
a coarse, leering and obviously successful seducer. In these cartoons,
the laugh is always on the gentleman.
These cartoons are funny precisely because they
hold up to light a ridiculous truth, namely that gentlemen of ten find
themselves, to their bewilderment, in exactly the position illustrated
by the cartoon. And, conversely, so do the heels.
Let us make our own position clear at this point.
We're on the gentleman's side. We wish things were going better for him
in the Battle of the Sexes. Our intent, until now, has been merely to report
the facts of the situation as accurately as possible.
But now it is tune to examine the facts and to see
if there are factors that can be used to enhance the position of our standard
bearer, the gentle man, vis a vis that of the heel. We think the
situation is not hopeless, at least in theory, although generations of
malpractice on the part of all concerned may create difficulty in turning
Assuming, by and large, that the typical gentleman
is at least as physically attractive and competent as the rogue, and also
bathes regularly, we are forced to the conclusion that his difficulties
must stem from other qualifications, or the lack of them. What makes him
"dull" to women, in the sexual sense?
Obviously, it is something in his approach or attitude
toward the so-called fair sex, and his approach, or attitude, in turn stems
from his training--the things he's been brought up to believe in.
The gentleman,. because he has been schooled to
do so, is inclined to idealize Woman, which is another way of saying that
he lacks a basic under standing of her. Men who really know women--and
most of them are rogues who are successful with women--never make this
mistake. To them, a woman is a functional creature with two arms, two legs,
an assortment of muscles and what passes for a brain. The male of the species,
they recognize, also possesses these fundamentals. The difference between
them, while biological, is not primarily functional. Women eat, sleep,
walk, talk, get hungry, have hangovers, often work for a living, develop
skills, suffer disappointment and face problems of everyday living. just
as men do. They have strengths and weaknesses as human beings, just as
men have. They are uplifted by success and frustrated by failure just as
How is it then, that such a great proportion of
the male population persists in maintaining Woman on a pedestal?
Any sensible man (and we use the term "sensible"
here in its animal connotation, not requiring the brains of an Einstein)
can answer this.
Most men with old-school ties, while superior mentally
to non-gentlemen, do not possess this kind of sense. They may possess sensitivity,
but not sense. Their usual approach to women is through a maze of symbols,
imposed upon them by the dicta of their class:
Honor, Virtue, Sportsmanship. Manners, Taste, Quality,
Breeding, Gentility. When stricken by an uncontrollable sexual drive, they
are inclined to open their wallets and seek professional solace because,
traditionally, their ethics are not compromised by traffic with prostitutes,
who ostensibly would not be prostitutes if they had been properly brought
up and went with the right people.
Toward women of their own class, gentlemen present
a facade of decorum.
But the women of their own class are women, too.
The rogues are well aware of this. The rogue, instinctively if not precisely,
is also aware that the mores of the gentleman leave him (the rogue)
a wide-open field with the choicer females, who, as we've tried to demonstrate,
are properly just as functional as their less socially acceptable confreres.
Thus, the rogue starts out with an advantage over
the gentleman. The simple fact that he can look at a women, estimate the
degree of her necessity and act, without a single scruple,
her need, puts him way out in front. The gentleman, on the other hand,
is inclined to stall. His sense of "honor" or "chivalry" leads him to endeavor
to "protect the woman from herself." If, however, the urge should prove
to be "bigger than both of them," he feels himself involved; his integrity
demands that he offer the girl a more permanent association, meaning, generally,
These compulsions toward responsibility are, in
reality, only symbols, symbols of an outmoded (it has, actually,
The rogue, the heel, the brute, the non-gentleman
has a simpler and more effective code. It is generally stated thusly: "Love
'em and leave em."
While a lot of women, possessing as they do a single-minded
determination to win security for themselves, profess to admire and even
love gentle men, and often marry one, they're thinking about two different
things when they succumb to a gentleman and to a non-gentleman.
The gentleman offers security, both financial and
social; kindness, consideration, an acceptable moral environment, comfort
and sometimes luxury; association with cultured and intelligent and responsible
people, and, often, a reasonably pleasing person.
But the non-gentleman offers some thing more basic;
stimulation (often perverse) and gratification (often ephemeral). With
the non-gentleman, the woman is no goddess on a pedestal. She's a physically
functioning member of the human species. Often, this has nothing to do
with love in any high er emotional sense, although she'll try to rationalize
herself by calling her urge "love." Her actions with a heel-of-the-moment,
despite majority male opinion to the contrary, do not necessarily jeopardize
the affection she feels for the man-in-her-life.
The peculiar intelligence of the rogue and that
of every woman, for whom rules are made only to be broken, tells
them with devastating logic that there is no necessary connection between
sex and love; sex is one thing and love is another, al though they may
go together, like ham and eggs.
Women are aware that they're not goddesses, and
rogues possess the same awareness. The gentleman pathetically insists on
maintaining this myth, even though all the evidence is to the contrary,
and is loaded with self-pity over what he describes as "unfaithfulness'
on the part of his beloved.
The gentleman has got to learn that women are not
goddesses, but human beings; he's got to start thinking in terms of biology
and function, rather than in terms of poetic idealization.
Most important, he has to develop a new code, devoid
In other words, he's got to start acting the rogue.
When he does, he'll discover that all of the advantages
in the Battle of the Sexes favor him.
And, if there remains in his mind some lingering
scruple, he has only to face up to the simple truth: Women don't want
to be goddesses. They want to be women.
As we said at the start of this essay, we might
as well face it, fellows. The truth is now and for a long time past has
been that blondes (or brunettes or redheads) do not necessarily