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Nigel

I just found out that I am short... I think that I am confused.

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Alright, I am a 28 year old male. I am 5'4", I am pretty short for a guy. I have always been 5'4" since I have been an adult, so its really nothing new. However, a couple of years ago, when I was about 25, I stumbled upon this idea that people actually take note of another person's height.

I never realized that height mattered to anyone. I have pretty high self-esteem, and I think of myself as pretty intelligent. Growing up, even before finding objectivism, I always thought man's greatest asset was his mind. I never gave any thought to physical size (except for acknowledging that I wasn't built to play basketball). In high school, I dated girls that I found attractive, height was never a topic of conversation. In college, I heard a girl say for the first time that I was too short for her to date (it actually happened several times). I just brushed these instances off as the female having some unresolved personal issues for her to get caught up on such a minor detail. Frankly, I equated it with it being like me saying that a female's breasts were just too small for me to date her, and I still feel that this is an adequate comparison. There is much more to a relationship, and a woman, that is more important than her breast size.

Anyways, it wasn't until I was about 25 that actually realized that people really did think height matters, and I finally realized that I was short.

So I am still trying to understand this, and I am thinking back over my whole lack of realization that people actually care about this. Frankly, if I find a female attractive, I find her attractive for the sum of her attributes, no single thing sticks out as an absolute deal breaker and height has never been an attribute that I have given any attention to. To me, I just can't get my head around how such a characteristic is rationally elevated to such importance. Other, than being short, I am very masculine. I am just confused.

In addition, I have had my male students (I am a teacher) on several occasions ask me if people used to mess with me in school because I am short.I looked at these students like they had 3 heads. People didn't pick on me because I was short; and if someone did mess with me, I was always smart enough to get the better of them in one way or another.

Finally, I was watching some news show where guys were going through excruciatingly painful leg extension surgeries to become taller.

Now did I just completely miss something here? How is height, in any way, a measure of a man? Dammit, we are not giraffes trying to reach the leaves at the top of tree, we are smart enough to build a ladder to climb the tree. This is why our mind is our greatest asset. I mean humans surely aren't overly strong, fast, or tough compared the rest of the animal kingdom. Can some one explain how any of this might be construed as rational?

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It's important to perceive the real differences between people's behavior patterns towards physically short people and behavior patterns towards physically tall people. Go forward confident in the principle that new knowledge of reality is always a positive and confident that you will use it correctly to better achieve your goals.

Edited by [email protected]

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"I just brushed these instances off as the female having some unresolved personal issues for her to get caught up on such a minor detail. Frankly, I equated it with it being like me saying that a female's breasts were just too small for me to date her, and I still feel that this is an adequate comparison. There is much more to a relationship, and a woman, that is more important than her breast size."

I don't think it is irrational to consider height to be one of many attributes which factor into an individual's attractiveness. As a 5'11 male, a girl's height of 6'1 or 4'8 wouldn't exactly be a deal breaker in terms of dating or sexual attraction, but it would be a turn off. Keep in mind that physical attraction is a key attribute in a romantic relationship, and that your dating rejections in college were probably not conscious rejections of your entire worth as an individual, but rather of your physical attractiveness to a few select people.

On the specific breast comparison, I don't think the analogy is accurate. A female with small breasts is lacking a portion of potential beauty, while a male of short stature is perceived (by some, but by no means by all) to have a negative characteristic. There is a difference between a lack of positive and a negative.

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Anyways, it wasn't until I was about 25 that actually realized that people really did think height matters, and I finally realized that I was short.

Haha, it was the same for me. It wasn't until some girl told I was "too short to be handsome".

What? Me? I've always felt like 7 feet tall and I like to meet people with a level gaze. Of course i've always known i'm not remarkably tall(i'm 5'10" so I guess it's only here, where the avarage height for young men is 6'1", that some would consider me short). It's just that my own perception has never been 'short' or anything like that.

It still isn't.

I think it's a sign of high self-esteem.

So I am still trying to understand this, and I am thinking back over my whole lack of realization that people actually care about this. Frankly, if I find a female attractive, I find her attractive for the sum of her attributes, no single thing sticks out as an absolute deal breaker and height has never been an attribute that I have given any attention to. To me, I just can't get my head around how such a characteristic is rationally elevated to such importance. Other, than being short, I am very masculine. I am just confused.

Physical attributes are part of what makes a person attractive. When it comes to men and women it's also common to want to celebrate physical differences. For example, my own preference is towards petite women. I love how my strength is contrasted against her, or when she looks strong and brave but fragile when she challenges me, or submits to feeling safe in my arms. I like when a womans slender hand dissapears in my strong grip, or when I lift her light as a feather, or otherwise control her physically.

I delight in all those things, and I know alot of women do too. They like to feel safe, protected, and small(physically); and they enjoy feeling his strength and feel reassurance when he takes control.

It's perfectly rational and a source of great pleasure for both men and women.

Now did I just completely miss something here? How is height, in any way, a measure of a man? Dammit, we are not giraffes trying to reach the leaves at the top of tree, we are smart enough to build a ladder to climb the tree. This is why our mind is our greatest asset. I mean humans surely aren't overly strong, fast, or tough compared the rest of the animal kingdom. Can some one explain how any of this might be construed as rational?

You don't need to be short of stature because you have a short stature. It's not a measure of morality, or you as a man. However, people are both mind and body, and both of them are important when we look for a partner.

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Physical attributes are part of what makes a person attractive.

Still, that is different than saying certain physical attributes are dealbreakers. Yeah, physical attributes are what make a person physically attractive, but that doesn't mean there is a limited range of attributes for labeling someone as attractive. People have looked attractive to me premised on the fact I like them a lot as an individual. I have preferences, to be sure, but none are dealbreakers and none are essential. I wouldn't care if someone lacked those preferences, and someone with those preferences doesn't mean I like them more than otherwise.

"I delight in all those things, and I know alot of women do too. They like to feel safe, protected, and small(physically); and they enjoy feeling his strength and feel reassurance when he takes control." This sounds beyond unappealing. I don't like the sound of ever controlling someone physically as a relationship dynamic. It is not perfectly rational to see value in physical attributes when the value of those attributes is based on control/submission, especially given that the mind is the most important aspect of any person. Preferences don't really have justifications anyway, given they are more like emotion-based judgments, so if preferences are total dealbreakers, you'd be letting emotion make the final choice to pursue someone.

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After reading Eiuol's response, I have interesting question for discussion.

How does the need or desire to feel safe relate to a woman's self-esteem?

I understand Alfa's reasoning, and his points. But, are these desired emotional feelings a resultant of one's sense of self and self-esteem? Can one pass judgement on another's level of self-esteem, on either a man or woman, for expressing the need to seek safety or demonstrate masculinity with another person? Is this a contradiction of man being an end within himself? Does this contradict the principle of sex being a selfish act?

If man is seeking a strong minded women, a heroine, does the desire to choose a physically smaller women for the sake of feeling as a dominant protector contradict this? Or, is that once a man finds this heroine, after recognizing each others values, only then the roles of dominance and submission may occur as a means of further enjoyment?

If the latter is true, my premise is that this role of dominance and submission only serves to enhance enjoyment, and is not a primary means of enjoyment in and of itself. The formation of the relationship, the sharing of values, and the development of love presupposes the dominance/submission enjoyment. Thus, again, I conjecture that seeking a mate based on height solely--or as a major determinate--is irrational since height can only serve to enhance enjoyment after a relationship has formed. Moreover, the sharing of values is still the ultimate determinant and there are many other ways to increase the enjoyment received from being in a romantic relationship.

Edited by Nigel

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"I delight in all those things, and I know alot of women do too. They like to feel safe, protected, and small(physically); and they enjoy feeling his strength and feel reassurance when he takes control." This sounds beyond unappealing.

Yea, that sounds like I'm taking care of a kid.

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Still, that is different than saying certain physical attributes are dealbreakers. Yeah, physical attributes are what make a person physically attractive, but that doesn't mean there is a limited range of attributes for labeling someone as attractive. People have looked attractive to me premised on the fact I like them a lot as an individual. I have preferences, to be sure, but none are dealbreakers and none are essential. I wouldn't care if someone lacked those preferences, and someone with those preferences doesn't mean I like them more than otherwise.

Actually no, it's not different. It's basically stating that physical attributes can be of value, and as such there are attributes that are positive or negative. Some attributes may, for a particular person, be so negative that they become dealbreakers. It is of course fine if you don't want to label certain things as essential or potential dealbreakers, but some of us do. I can personally thing of alot of things that could be dealbreakers, height being one of them. I don't accept that as being irrational.

"I delight in all those things, and I know alot of women do too. They like to feel safe, protected, and small(physically); and they enjoy feeling his strength and feel reassurance when he takes control." This sounds beyond unappealing. I don't like the sound of ever controlling someone physically as a relationship dynamic. It is not perfectly rational to see value in physical attributes when the value of those attributes is based on control/submission, especially given that the mind is the most important aspect of any person. Preferences don't really have justifications anyway, given they are more like emotion-based judgments, so if preferences are total dealbreakers, you'd be letting emotion make the final choice to pursue someone.

Dominance and submission are a fundamental part in a sexual relationship. Just like a couple dancing, both can't lead. However, what I said was that the value I see is based on the experience of (my own) masculinity and (her) femininity. Asserting control is part of that.

Preferences are optional values, and of course emotions make both the first and final choice. For example... I chose to start dating the girl i'm seeing now because I liked certain features and it was fun talking to her the first time we met. I liked her strong but feminine facial features, dark hair and dark smiling eyes. Upon further contact I noticed that she was fun and interesting to talk to, and the enjoyment I derived from that suggest we share a similar sense of life. I like looking at her when I see her and I think she looks particularly beautiful when she does her hair. When she yields in my arms and we kiss I take great pleasure in her femininity and how I experience my own masculinity.

Now, along the way it's important to look at the source of these emotions. There's the judgement of her beauty, appreciation of our differences(both physical and mental) and sense of life. All fine and dandy, so no reason not to proceed. Digging deeper i've found she's brave, honest, ambitious and so on and so forth. Had I found her character to be unappealing that would have been the end of it. However, now... getting to the point i'm trying to make....without those other things there would only be potential for friendship. Certainly a person can grow on me once I get to know her, but at the end - if the emotions aren't there it's never going to happen. There may be reason to investigate why the emotional response is such, but you don't think yourself into being attracted to someone. And if the answer I come up with is she's nice but looks like a hill giant, well... it frankly does not make me an irrational emotionalist for pursuing other women.

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But, are these desired emotional feelings a resultant of one's sense of self and self-esteem?

Perhaps. I can only speak for myself here. What I delight in is the highest sense of self. Now, that is not exactly tied to any particulars. It's the pleasure of winning a strong and feminine woman; the gaining of that beauty which I worship, by the strength of my own being. In that experience there are masculine and feminine polarities. They are both mental and physical differences. For instance, I also take pleasure in leading and asserting myself; being in control of the situation. But since i'm also a physical being I take pleasure in the physical differences as well. So it's not necessarily about any particular concretes, like height. I've enjoyed myself with taller women. Though I prefer shorter ones and being too tall is a dealbreaker.

Can one pass judgement on another's level of self-esteem, on either a man or woman, for expressing the need to seek safety or demonstrate masculinity with another person?

With a good understanding of that persons psychology, sure. Why?

Please note that i'm not necessarily talking about a "need to seek safety". What i'm rather suggesting is that the feeling of safety and protection(which is alot more than just something physical, btw) better allows her to let go of control, which is how women experience sexual pleasure.

Is this a contradiction of man being an end within himself? Does this contradict the principle of sex being a selfish act?

Why would it?

If man is seeking a strong minded women, a heroine, does the desire to choose a physically smaller women for the sake of feeling as a dominant protector contradict this?

Why would it?

Or, is that once a man finds this heroine, after recognizing each others values, only then the roles of dominance and submission may occur as a means of further enjoyment?

I'm not sure what you're suggesting here, but if I understand you correctly that's not how attraction works. It's rather a dynamic and ongoing thing from the first moment you meet. Something like... man and woman notice each other, (ideally) man makes the first move, the dance of romance starts and during this process there's alot of pushing and pulling and testing each other in a sort of power struggle.

If the latter is true, my premise is that this role of dominance and submission only serves to enhance enjoyment, and is not a primary means of enjoyment in and of itself.

Dominance/submission in a VERY broad sense is a necessity. Both can't lead. However, the exact particulars of how you enjoy each other is not a primary. It's not like sex only works if you have a very dominant alpha male and a small submissive woman. Some people seem to enjoy whips and chains while others prefer a more soft and romantic approach. So when i'm talking about physical differences they're certainly something that can enchance enjoyment, for those of us who are so inclined. They can also be so important that some regard them as a necessity. But, this should not be confused with the fundamental prerequisite of sex; that nothing happens if no one takes the lead.

The formation of the relationship, the sharing of values, and the development of love presupposes the dominance/submission enjoyment. Thus, again, I conjecture that seeking a mate based on height solely--or as a major determinate--is irrational since height can only serve to enhance enjoyment after a relationship has formed.

Height can surely be something you enjoy while forming a relationship. I'm sure most people notice the difference from the get go. And if you know from the get go that height is going to be an issue, it's not irrational to not pursue a romantic relationship with that person.

Moreover, the sharing of values is still the ultimate determinant and there are many other ways to increase the enjoyment received from being in a romantic relationship.

Sure, there's more to a romantic relationship than just enjoying physical differences. However, it's important to note that it does not take away the value of physical attributes and it does not make it irrational to reject someone based on that.

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Or John Galt taking care of Dagny.

Note the context. Dagny hurt her leg pretty bad in a *plane accident*! Any friendly and good person would be happy to help out, especially since Galt explicitly valued and even admired Dagny. He helped her because she needed and deserved it. So no, your example doesn't sound like Galt taking care of Dagny, since it doesn't involve anyone in a situation who actually needs help. Imagine if taking care of Dagny was more extreme than that, perhaps ending up paralyzed rather than just wounded, so she'd need help indefinitely or forever. You'd have even greater ability to control her physically and all those other descriptions you used, but I doubt that in itself actually would make her any more appealing to you. Wouldn't it be ability to think or some exp<b></b>ressi&#111;n of her mind that would be what is the primary and only important consideration? I know you're saying both mind and body count, but couldn't it perfectly well be the case someone is physically attractive *because* of their mind? Your explanation of why height matters to you may indeed make a woman's height an attraction-causing feature makes sense, but I don't see that as conveying any sense of egoism or independence.

Certainly a person can grow on me once I get to know her, but at the end - if the emotions aren't there it's never going to happen.

I agree if the emotions aren't there, nothing is ever going to happen, but similar to a phobia of spiders, what led to the development of that emotion might be hardly beneficial to your life. And if your reasons for having that emotion are wanting to feel dominant, that seems anything but beneficial because that's not even a good aspect for an equal relationship! No one has to lead a relationship. Partnership, you know?

It might actually be the case your preference isn't based on any reason and all, and you're only putting forth an ad-hoc rationalization because it sounds right. People may say phobias of spiders is a response to the danger of spiders taken to an extreme, and explain phobia that way, but it's not true at all - spiders easily die when squished, and many aren't dangerous to humans. The more plausible reason is that they move quickly and randomly, which induces a reaction in the perceptual system, which is then exaggerated through cognition. Your beliefs have a strong impact on how you react to physical features. So, yes, you can think yourself into being attracted to someone. Unless you want to argue that attraction is unrelated to cognition, and we'll explore the murky realm of evolutionary psychology...

Thus, again, I conjecture that seeking a mate based on height solely--or as a major determinate--is irrational since height can only serve to enhance enjoyment after a relationship has formed.

Can you clarify this for me? Do you mean something like height may bring types of enjoyment like teasing about being able to reach items on the top shelf? That certainly is irrelevant to establishing a relationship, but something to still enjoy after establishing it. I think dynamics of dominance/submission should be avoided even after the fact, though. The rest of my post towards Alfa should address your other points and questions.

Edited by Eiuol

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Don't forget about Dagny's (mostly sexual) relationship with Rearden, where she was definitely not in a submissive role. I would say they were on pretty equal footing during the entire relationship.

They like to feel safe, protected, and small(physically); and they enjoy feeling his strength and feel reassurance when he takes control...

Dominance and submission are a fundamental part in a sexual relationship... Asserting control is part of that.

I can't tell if you're talking about actual relationships, or only of sexual acts. If the former, can you clarify what you mean by 'being dominant' and 'asserting control' in regards to all the non-sexual parts of a relationship? The way I see it, asserting control can mean anything from ordering for a date at dinner to throwing out clothes that you don't want your girlfriend to be seen in, or monitoring her text messages.

Can one pass judgement on another's level of self-esteem, on either a man or woman, for expressing the need to seek safety or demonstrate masculinity with another person?

I really think this depends on how often a person behaves in those ways. Seeking safety, or letting down in front of your partner when you're really sad, or upset, is something we all do when we're comfortable with the person we're dating. Men and women both do it, and both need to do it sometimes. But if taken to an extreme, you might appear as an emotional mess, or worse, a weak person with a low self-esteem. Similarly, if a man demonstrates his masculinity by instructing you on some sexual act, or doing something as simple as ordering for you at dinner, that can be fun. But if he has to be in full control of every situation, and gets upset when he isn't, that shows a major insecurity. I don't know if in all of these extreme cases, the person has a low self-esteem.. but they definitely need much more out of a relationship than normal.

Edited by mdegges

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Don't forget about Dagny's (mostly sexual) relationship with Rearden, where she was definitely not in a submissive role. I would say they were on pretty equal footing during the entire relationship.

Oh, she certainly was submissive - sexually. Remember the part when Rearden first took her? I also recall a building up to that part, but I think that scene alone supports my point.

I can't tell if you're talking about actual relationships, or only of sexual acts. If the former, can you clarify what you mean by 'being dominant' and 'asserting control' in regards to all the non-sexual parts of a relationship? The way I see it, asserting control can mean anything from ordering for a date at dinner to throwing out clothes that you don't want your girlfriend to be seen in, or monitoring her text messages.

I don't think it's proper in the non-sexual parts of a relationship. I think that would mean something like taking control over all the decisions, put her in the kitchen and set up cufews.

I also like to differentiate between being dominant as opposed to domineering, and being in control as opposed to being controlling. Someone who monitors his girlfriends text messages is clearly NOT in control, but he is controlling. A guy who tries to rule his girls life is domineering.

Taking control in terms of romance means being the initiator and leader. It can be simple, like setting up a date: "Hey, make sure you're free on saturday - we're going skydiving! It's going to be awesome! I'll pick you up at 6 PM". Or toss her over your shoulder and throw her in bed... I think the analogy to dancing is very good here. It's something based on consent and mutual benefit. The particulars may vary if you like a slow waltz or going to a rave(uhm... I wonder how that would look...).

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Note the context. Dagny hurt her leg pretty bad in a *plane accident*! Any friendly and good person would be happy to help out, especially since Galt explicitly valued and even admired Dagny. He helped her because she needed and deserved it. So no, your example doesn't sound like Galt taking care of Dagny, since it doesn't involve anyone in a situation who actually needs help. Imagine if taking care of Dagny was more extreme than that, perhaps ending up paralyzed rather than just wounded, so she'd need help indefinitely or forever. You'd have even greater ability to control her physically and all those other descriptions you used, but I doubt that in itself actually would make her any more appealing to you. Wouldn't it be ability to think or some expressi&#111;n of her mind that would be what is the primary and only important consideration? I know you're saying both mind and body count, but couldn't it perfectly well be the case someone is physically attractive *because* of their mind? Your explanation of why height matters to you may indeed make a woman's height an attraction-causing feature makes sense, but I don't see that as conveying any sense of egoism or independence.

The injury was just incidental. Here's how Ayn Rand described what was going through Dagny's head:

She lay still, her arms about him, her head on his shoulder, and she thought: For just a few

moments—while this lasts—it is all right to surrender completely—to forget everything and just permit

yourself to feel. . . . When had she experienced it before?—she wondered; there had been a moment

when these had been the words in her mind, but she could not remember it now. She had known it,

once—this feeling of certainty, of the final, the reached, the not-to-be-questioned. But it was new to feel

protected, and to feel that it was right to accept the protection, to surrender—right, because this peculiar

sense of safety was not protection against the future, but against the past, not the protection of being

spared from battle, but of having won it, not a protection granted to her weakness, but to her strength. . .

. Aware with abnormal intensity of the pressure of his hands against her body, of the gold and copper

threads of his hair, the shadows of his lashes on the skin of his face a few inches away from hers, she

wondered dimly: Protected, from what? . . . it's he who was the enemy . . . was he?

She thinks it's allright to let go, to surrender and feel safe and protected. It wasn't because she was injured. Had it been a lesser man she would have stayed cautious and wary. But she's acutely aware of who he is, of both his mind and his body.

Well, the mind certainly influences the way we look and how we are percieved. You can for example actively choose to stay in shape, dress and groom well. Confidence and self-esteem are projected in how you carry yourself. You can also choose to change certain attributes, like having teeth done or plastic surgery. There are lots of options available and certainly your personality shines through.

Once we take a liking to someone our perception of them tends to become more positive also.

However, that does not mean there aren't certain things that could be dealbreakers. As I mentioned earlier, I would not be attracted to a hill giant - not even if she was the greatest mind i've ever met. Hopefully we could be friends, but that is not what i'm looking for in a romantic partner. The mind is not the ONLY important consideration.

I agree if the emotions aren't there, nothing is ever going to happen, but similar to a phobia of spiders, what led to the development of that emotion might be hardly beneficial to your life. And if your reasons for having that emotion are wanting to feel dominant, that seems anything but beneficial because that's not even a good aspect for an equal relationship! No one has to lead a relationship. Partnership, you know?

Equality is important in terms of character, but in a heterosexual relationship there's rather a celebration of differences. There's a male/female polarity. And someone needs to initiate that sexual aspect of the relationship. That's usually the mans job, since he by nature has a more dominant role(a woman would find it very hard to take a man).

Ayn Rand illustrates that very well in her heroe's relationships; Dagny and Francisco, Rearden and Galt, and Roark and Dominique.

It might actually be the case your preference isn't based on any reason and all, and you're only putting forth an ad-hoc rationalization because it sounds right. People may say phobias of spiders is a response to the danger of spiders taken to an extreme, and explain phobia that way, but it's not true at all - spiders easily die when squished, and many aren't dangerous to humans. The more plausible reason is that they move quickly and randomly, which induces a reaction in the perceptual system, which is then exaggerated through cognition. Your beliefs have a strong impact on how you react to physical features. So, yes, you can think yourself into being attracted to someone. Unless you want to argue that attraction is unrelated to cognition, and we'll explore the murky realm of evolutionary psychology...

It could also be the case that i'm introspecting and coming up with accurate answers.

Sure, with enough brainwashing I could perhaps even be able to feel attraction towards other men. It would be difficult and most likely to fail, but I can't rule out the possibility. Even with less extreme preferences such a process would take time, and that's what I mean by not being able to think yourself into being attracted to someone. The emotional response is automatic and based on my subconcious. In order to change that I would have to identify any contradictions and live accordingly.

There's not really a rational reason to change anything though. I mean, I pursue women who are beautiful in both mind and body; who have an admirable character and a matching sense of life. Those are rational values. On top of that there are a number of particular perferences to choose from. The ideal woman is not some abstract creature living in a realm of fantasy. In reality they come in all shapes and sizes. My judgement of such attributes and what they mean to me personally will of course determine who I pursue.

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Below average height may also be an indication of malnourishment, so there could be an evolutionary component to this lack of attraction. That doesn't justify it, just explain it.

Edited by brian0918

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Taking control in terms of romance means being the initiator and leader.

Why is leading/being dominant preferable to having a partnership? Either one can setup a date/outing. There is nothing wrong with that, and it implies some self-confidence to say you would like to go skydiving or a certain place to eat. Of course, some people aren't good at finding places to eat, or aren't the best activity planners, but what would it say about a person's self-confidence if they never initiate in a romantic relationship, and if in principle the man *always* makes relationship decisions? Sounds like a kid you have to take care of as Gramlich said. You didn't specify if "taking care" just meant sexually, so I presume you mean even non-sexual circumstances of a relationship. My questions were aimed at pointing out how you could further increase the possibilities of submission, so under your justification of height as a dealbreaker, Dagny would become more attractive. Will there be a change? Why or why not? Disregard this question if you meant only sexually - but you'd be conceding to my point about partnership.

Also, the passage you quoted, I don't know if I'd say those feelings are healthy ones, at least, as described. You can certainly have a feeling of surrender towards sensory experience, rather than to a person, that would be a healthy response, so the passage isn't all bad. Otherwise, surrender would be like the woman just laying there and the man doing all the work. You know, like Rearden and Lillian... talk about empty and passionless, void of self-esteem. Partnership is important here again, because it shouldn't be one person doing all the work.

The ideal woman is not some abstract creature living in a realm of fantasy. In reality they come in all shapes and sizes. My judgement of such attributes and what they mean to me personally will of course determine who I pursue.

Absolutely all shapes and sizes! But physical attributes don't mean much of anything, at least when they don't deal with taking care of yourself. Hair color or height doesn't indicate how well you take care of yourself. Variation is just that - variation. The causality of attraction seems to be best off as values and sense of life. A physical feature is inconsequential to this causality, and will appear attractive if you are attracted to the relevant character traits. If physical features are what determine if you want to start pursuing someone, that seems bad for your life because you are limiting yourself so much, through irrelevancies.

Dagny and Francisco, Rearden and Galt, and Roark and Dominique.

Hey, what part of the book did I miss? I didn't know Rearden and Galt were in a relationship at any point. :P

Edited by Eiuol

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Below average height may also be an indication of malnourishment, so there could be an evolutionary component to this lack of attraction. That doesn't justify it, just explain it.

Before beginning this whole discussion, I considered biological elements. Nutrition does effect a person's height. But this effect is insignificant compared to genetic elements. Research shows that nutrition, except in extreme cases, only results in height changes of fractions of inches. A male that is, perhaps a foot shorter than the average human male can perhaps attribute an inch to an inch and a half to this difference. However, a male that is only 6 inches shorter than the average can only attribute, at most, fractions of an inch to this deviation. Now there are emerging ideas in genetics that may lead to a change in these research findings, this is what current research states.

Looking at the Dagny quote presented:

When had she experienced it before?—she wondered; there had been a moment

when these had been the words in her mind, but she could not remember it now.

before accepting the situation, she is recalling her relationship with francisco, equating her sharing of values with him to her feeling about Gault. It is not until she recognizes Gault for who he is that she accepts the situation.

This is similar to, and I am surprised no one has yet focused on this, the first sexual encounter between Roark and Dominique. Roark is very aggressive in this encounter, but it does not occur until after both participants understand that they share a commonality upon which they can develop feelings for one another.

This conversation has become a focus on actions, but I am trying to focus on the emotional, the psycho-epistemology that leads to these actions. My point is not that these actions are acceptable or unacceptable, my point is that actions must be presupposed by the sharing of values.

Look at Francisco, Gault, or Roark, all three have been with very few women in their lives, one. This is because it not always easy to find that heroine to share their values with. My point is, the rarity of that true connection upon which two people can share such values should not be further delimited by an over focusing on height. Being able to take control, in a healthy manner, within a relationship can only come as a result of forming the relationship or sharing values. Moreover, we must recognize that completely domineering and taking the occasional dominant role during sex are 2 completely different things. One is short lived and healthy, the other is not. Basing selection of a partner on the ability to feel dominant is a psycho-epistemological error. The feeling of dominance, while perhaps enjoyable, has no bearing on whether or not the relationship will be successful and sharing of values.

Life requires one partner suggest or take responsibility for planning ways in which the relationship can be enjoyed. Planning activities and etc. This is undeniable. The question at hand is is there a rational basis for the emotional need to feel dominance or safety via your partner in a relationship.

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Why is leading/being dominant preferable to having a partnership? Either one can setup a date/outing. There is nothing wrong with that, and it implies some self-confidence to say you would like to go skydiving or a certain place to eat. Of course, some people aren't good at finding places to eat, or aren't the best activity planners, but what would it say about a person's self-confidence if they never initiate in a romantic relationship, and if in principle the man *always* makes relationship decisions? Sounds like a kid you have to take care of as Gramlich said. You didn't specify if "taking care" just meant sexually, so I presume you mean even non-sexual circumstances of a relationship. My questions were aimed at pointing out how you could further increase the possibilities of submission, so under your justification of height as a dealbreaker, Dagny would become more attractive. Will there be a change? Why or why not? Disregard this question if you meant only sexually - but you'd be conceding to my point about partnership.

I see no dichotomy between leading and having a partnership.

Yes, either one can set up a date. However, a woman can't initiate sex the way that a man can. And trying to take over the man's role is a very undesirable position for most women. It can put them physically in danger and they don't know if the man is just looking for easy sex. That's why it falls on the man to pursue, and prove that he holds up to scrutiny. Once a relatioship has been established, I don't see a problem with the woman taking more initiative. She want's a romantic dinner on saturday night? No problem. You don't have to be on top to be on top, so to speak. But the man is still the initator, even though she can entice him.

I'm not talking about taking care of all the relationship decisions. Outside the bedroom, figuratively speaking, both need to be in control of their own lives as equals.

I'm afraid I don't understand your question about Dagny and height.

Also, the passage you quoted, I don't know if I'd say those feelings are healthy ones, at least, as described. You can certainly have a feeling of surrender towards sensory experience, rather than to a person, that would be a healthy response, so the passage isn't all bad. Otherwise, surrender would be like the woman just laying there and the man doing all the work. You know, like Rearden and Lillian... talk about empty and passionless, void of self-esteem. Partnership is important here again, because it shouldn't be one person doing all the work.

Dagny's response is completely different from Lillian's. What Dagny feels is a very feminine response to a truly great man. In all other areas of her life she's always been in control and a woman very much in charge. She's flown straight as a rocket from point A to point B and achieved great things in her life. Now she's in the strong hands of John Galt, the greatest man she's ever met. This is a "detour" from her regular life, and i'm reffering to her emotional response here and not the fact that she arrived at Galt's Gulch. It's allright to let go here, because this is a man she can trust, someone of great strength and character. She's safe and protected and she can give in to that.

That's not the frigid indifference of Lillian. It's the most feminine and passionate response. Lillian never cared much about sex. She could never feel what Dagny felt. Dagny's response was that of hero-worship, and there was a feeling of surrender to the greatest of men. And that is a very uniquely feminine response.

Absolutely all shapes and sizes! But physical attributes don't mean much of anything, at least when they don't deal with taking care of yourself. Hair color or height doesn't indicate how well you take care of yourself. Variation is just that - variation. The causality of attraction seems to be best off as values and sense of life. A physical feature is inconsequential to this causality, and will appear attractive if you are attracted to the relevant character traits. If physical features are what determine if you want to start pursuing someone, that seems bad for your life because you are limiting yourself so much, through irrelevancies.

Physical attributes certainly mean alot to me. It depends on the particular attribute, of course, and then they are placed somewhere in my hierarchy of values. But they're important. Some are related to a persons health, others perhaps to my experiences, or judgements of what I regard as beautiful. There are those that are crucial, and others I can take rather lightly. But you see, i'm not so inclined as to start eating brussel sprouts - which I hate - because that would limit the kind of food I can eat. Granted, if I was starving, but such a motivation would be very improper for pursuing a relationship.

Sure, it's important to look at what importance one places with certain attributes, how crucial they are and why. But physical attractiveness is still a value. Besides, speaking of limiting yourself, why would I spend time pursuing women that I think have undesirable traits? I'd rather spend that time and effort on those that I find attractive. To put it bluntly, when I go out it's not like i'm thinking: "well, she must have been ugly 20 years ago... but I bet she's got a wonderful personality!". I would rather think "that's my kind of gal!" och go after her instead. And maybe she turns out to be vapid and did have a wonderful personality, but somehow I got to manage my time and effort.

Hey, what part of the book did I miss? I didn't know Rearden and Galt were in a relationship at any point. :P

Oh darn, don't tell me you never read the Brokeback Gulch part!? :D

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before accepting the situation, she is recalling her relationship with francisco, equating her sharing of values with him to her feeling about Gault. It is not until she recognizes Gault for who he is that she accepts the situation.

Sure, it's her response to a hero. I'm afraid i'm missing your point here.

This is similar to, and I am surprised no one has yet focused on this, the first sexual encounter between Roark and Dominique. Roark is very aggressive in this encounter, but it does not occur until after both participants understand that they share a commonality upon which they can develop feelings for one another.

What commonality and how was that established? Afterwards Roark is surprised he's still thinking about Dominique.

This conversation has become a focus on actions, but I am trying to focus on the emotional, the psycho-epistemology that leads to these actions. My point is not that these actions are acceptable or unacceptable, my point is that actions must be presupposed by the sharing of values.

What do you mean by that?

Look at Francisco, Gault, or Roark, all three have been with very few women in their lives, one. This is because it not always easy to find that heroine to share their values with. My point is, the rarity of that true connection upon which two people can share such values should not be further delimited by an over focusing on height.

What's an over focusing on height? By what standard?

Being able to take control, in a healthy manner, within a relationship can only come as a result of forming the relationship or sharing values.

I disagree. Being in control and taking the lead is a way of forming a sexual relationship.

Moreover, we must recognize that completely domineering and taking the occasional dominant role during sex are 2 completely different things.

What do you mean by completely domineering as opposed to taking the occasional dominant role? I would say it's important for the man to always, well, be the man. But I don't agree with being domineering.

Basing selection of a partner on the ability to feel dominant is a psycho-epistemological error. The feeling of dominance, while perhaps enjoyable, has no bearing on whether or not the relationship will be successful and sharing of values.

Of course it does. For many people that's a very important part of sex, even crucial, and an unsatisfactory sex life can break up any relationship.

Life requires one partner suggest or take responsibility for planning ways in which the relationship can be enjoyed. Planning activities and etc. This is undeniable. The question at hand is is there a rational basis for the emotional need to feel dominance or safety via your partner in a relationship.

Sure. It's about experiencing yourself as fully as possible as a man and a woman.

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I'm afraid I don't understand your question about Dagny and height.

I'll answer more when I have time later, but the idea is since you said height being relevant to you has to do with dominance, then surely the more a woman can submit, the more attractive she will be. But I sincerely doubt that the potential to submit is actually what counts for you.

"Besides, speaking of limiting yourself, why would I spend time pursuing women that I think have undesirable traits?"

But the question at hand is why being short might be a dealbreaker, and if the reasons are rational. If the reasons are irrational, then they should be ignored. If the reasons are a-rational (i.e. no particular reason, like a favorite color), then they should be treated as nonessential and certainly not dealbreakers.

Edited by Eiuol

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I'll answer more when I have time later, but the idea is since you said height being relevant to you has to do with dominance, then surely the more a woman can submit, the more attractive she will be. But I sincerely doubt that the potential to submit is actually what counts for you.

Not quite. First of all, height is not just about dominance but also about experiencing the physical differences. And when it comes to dominance, what counts for me is; the strongest, most independent and "difficult" woman. I invite her to resist me and fight. And what I want is to win her, to conquer, and have her surrender body and soul. It's not a pursuit of someone meek and submissive, but of a heroine.

"Besides, speaking of limiting yourself, why would I spend time pursuing women that I think have undesirable traits?"

But the question at hand is why being short might be a dealbreaker, and if the reasons are rational. If the reasons are irrational, then they should be ignored. If the reasons are a-rational (i.e. no particular reason, like a favorite color), then they should be treated as nonessential and certainly not dealbreakers.

And the reason is as i've written before, the experience/celebration of physical differences. For some that's important enough to be dealbreakers, for others it's not. I think that's something you need to place within your own personal hierarchy of values.

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It's not a pursuit of someone meek and submissive, [...]

That's what I originally thought you were striking at because of how you phrased your previous statements. I can't stand submissive women, especially the ones that actually start sounding like children when they talk.

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