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Nigel

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

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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.

Why would you ever want to *conquer* a person? That's something animals do because they have no other means to evaluate partners other than physical traits. They only have percepts at best. It all boils down to if you accept the claim that one's mind is the only fundamental consideration one ought to make about a person, even in romantic attraction. Physical attraction flows from attraction to character attributes, but only if you mentally focus on character as a primary. Sexuality is a monkey wrench in my explanation, although I don't think it's actually a notable problem.

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.

I'm plenty happy to celebrate physical differences, but it doesn't follow that a physical attribute should ever be a dealbreaker or be placed on such a point in a hierarchy of values. What I see in the statement "height is a dealbreaker" is actually the opposite of the celebration of differences. In effect, it is saying any differences from your height preferences are unacceptable, thus celebrating sameness. Certain attributes may indicate self-esteem and self-respect -- anorexics have a real problem, as do morbidly obese people. But why go on to further limit and say "only this range of specific heights" when that height has no causal relationship with self-esteem and self-respect? If a woman is taller than you, celebrate the difference!

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Why would you ever want to *conquer* a person? That's something animals do because they have no other means to evaluate partners other than physical traits. They only have percepts at best.

Not at all. Why would you ever want to conquer Mount Everest? Or slay the dragon to win the princess? I want it because it's the greatest celebration of my strength, and because when I feel passionately about someone I want to have her completely - without abandon. To see her defenses crumble in complete surrender. And that in turn takes a woman who can demand every last bit of strength.

It all boils down to if you accept the claim that one's mind is the only fundamental consideration one ought to make about a person, even in romantic attraction. Physical attraction flows from attraction to character attributes, but only if you mentally focus on character as a primary. Sexuality is a monkey wrench in my explanation, although I don't think it's actually a notable problem.

I don't accept that. The mind is ONE fundamental aspect. In terms of romance it means you must be equals in terms of virtue, and compatible in terms of sense of life. Attraction is more specific though. It's not about just A person, but about a man or a woman. The attraction then is a response to masculinity or feminity. And even more specifically, certain attributes of that - both in looks and demeanor - which you have judged as positive examples.

I'm plenty happy to celebrate physical differences, but it doesn't follow that a physical attribute should ever be a dealbreaker or be placed on such a point in a hierarchy of values.

I'm not saying it should. I'm saying it could. For rational reasons. It's as simple as some physical attributes being of such high value for the particular person, that they are crucial for a strong enough sexual attraction.

What I see in the statement "height is a dealbreaker" is actually the opposite of the celebration of differences. In effect, it is saying any differences from your height preferences are unacceptable, thus celebrating sameness.

How does your conclusion follow from that premise?

Certain attributes may indicate self-esteem and self-respect -- anorexics have a real problem, as do morbidly obese people. But why go on to further limit and say "only this range of specific heights" when that height has no causal relationship with self-esteem and self-respect?

Because there's more to sexual attraction than self-esteem and self-respect. I go for women who possess a certain set of traits that I find attractive for various reasons. Some of those are must-haves, others like-to-haves and some completely negiotiable.

If a woman is taller than you, celebrate the difference!

Not really a problem, up to a certain point. But I do prefer the difference of me being bigger, stronger, faster and having more chest and facial hair(hey, just sayin'!). It gives a very nice contrast to masculinity/femininity, and I very much enjoy that experience.

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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.

Then i'm glad we got that misunderstanding out of the way. :)

I love when a woman challenges and tests. Not just dropping their gaze, knees all weak, the first thing they do. That's just... meh!

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...it doesn't follow that a physical attribute should ever be a dealbreaker or be placed on such a point in a hierarchy of values.

Sort of a side question, but Rand noted that there is an objective definition of beauty.. does this mean there's also an objective standard of beauty (or does that standard only depend on the individual's values)?

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Why would you ever want to conquer Mount Everest? Or slay the dragon to win the princess? I want it because it's the greatest celebration of my strength

The problem with this statement is women are not an object to be conquered. A relationship in which one must be conquered is not a healthy equal relationship. The sharing of values, the recognition by both of you that you have this deep connection should draw both of you together. This mutual understanding causes the development of a relationship to flow naturally. The conquering is not an effort ridden pursuit, the sense of conquering lies in the knowledge that your ego, self-esteem, is of high enough quality to equal the ego of the highest possible women. The satisfaction of conquering is driven by rational emotion and recognition of your own ego.

I don't accept that. The mind is ONE fundamental aspect. In terms of romance it means you must be equals in terms of virtue, and compatible in terms of sense of life. Attraction is more specific though. It's not about just A person, but about a man or a woman. The attraction then is a response to masculinity or feminity. And even more specifically, certain attributes of that - both in looks and demeanor - which you have judged as positive examples.

The mind is the fundamental though. Without the sharing of values, attraction is meaningless. Yes, we find attributes attractive in the opposite sex, but a sharing of mind must be present in order for that attraction to be worth acting on.

I'm not saying it should. I'm saying it could. For rational reasons. It's as simple as some physical attributes being of such high value for the particular person, that they are crucial for a strong enough sexual attraction.

While physical attraction is certainly a necessity in a relationship. To say that it is rational for some aspects to be an absolute deal breaker is not always rational. While some attributes may be absolutes, like obesity, there is an objective basis for this. You have yet to provide an objective rational for height to be an absolute deal breaker. In fact, I will argue the contrary. The notion that height is attractive is a subjective culturally based norm. There are cultures in the world that value shorter men and taller women. For it to be rational to call a physical attribute a deal breaker, you must have rational justification. For example, it is rational to say that you would not date a smoker. This is an unhealthy habit and can be objectively justified as a deal breaker. I will not date a heavy drinker. Drinking heavily is an escape from reality. Height, while perhaps a factor in overall attractiveness, cannot be an objective deal breaker.

Not really a problem, up to a certain point. But I do prefer the difference of me being bigger, stronger, faster and having more chest and facial hair(hey, just sayin'!). It gives a very nice contrast to masculinity/femininity, and I very much enjoy that experience.

THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE ARGUMENT. You will accept certain attributes that you perhaps find less desirable up to a reasonable point. You recognize that if your sharing of values is justified, it is worth while to be somewhat open minded in physical characteristics. I am not saying you should date someone who you do not find physically attractive. Simply, you are willing to consider the persons physical attributes on the whole before forming your opinion, if the value connection exists.

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I have nothing to say .. BUT.. this guy does.

You think being short is a problem??

I was not insinuating a problem. I have high self-esteem, as I said, and hold my head high. We are simply debating the philosophical merits of peoples' predispositions towards certain physical characteristics.

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I was in a restaurant a few months ago here in Los Angeles, and Danny DeVito was at the next table over with his family. Talk about short — this guy is maybe an inch taller than a Hobbit!

As far as I can tell, Danny DeVito's lack of physical stature hasn't in any way impeded his scaling the heights of success in Hollywood.

As for the opposite sex... It doesn't really matter how tall you are when you're lying down, now does it?

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Sort of a side question, but Rand noted that there is an objective definition of beauty.. does this mean there's also an objective standard of beauty (or does that standard only depend on the individual's values)?

Things that do not have objective standards (like emotions - they just *are*) still have objective definitions. So, no, it doesn't follow that an objective definition implies objective standards to evaluate a judgment. I've thought about possible objective standards of beauty, and like I'm saying here, aesthetics relating to the mind are what count, not proportions or harmony as Rand argued. Although, she barely argued it at all - I only saw one paragraph at the most on beauty specifically.

Nigel, I like most of your post #30, but personally, I prefer to drop the word conquer entirely. To be conquered is to imply being defeated. But what would you even be defeating? What are you trying to be better at? Better to phrase it as a feeling of pride to have a romantic relationship - and hopefully that pride is based in something good. That "something good" is self-esteem, self-respect, and a whole lot more. Conquering just sounds second-handed, because it doesn't have to do with values, ideas, or egoism - it has to do with power over *another* person, or attempting to impress *another* person.

Edited by Eiuol

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The problem with this statement is women are not an object to be conquered. A relationship in which one must be conquered is not a healthy equal relationship.

Why is anything of what I described unhealthy? And why should a relationship be equal sexually? And in what sense should it be equal? What I have described is a very masculine/feminine sexual response. It's "unequal" in the sense of being polar opposites. However, a woman surrendering and being conquered does not take anyhing away from her. It does not diminish her value or make her lesser in any way. Compare this to what Ayn Rand wrote about femininity, that it's about hero-worship and looking up to the man.

The sharing of values, the recognition by both of you that you have this deep connection should draw both of you together. This mutual understanding causes the development of a relationship to flow naturally. The conquering is not an effort ridden pursuit, the sense of conquering lies in the knowledge that your ego, self-esteem, is of high enough quality to equal the ego of the highest possible women. The satisfaction of conquering is driven by rational emotion and recognition of your own ego.

This is not the description of a sexual response. While the sharing of values and the deep connection you're talking about is immensely important for love to flourish, it might as well mean friendship if the sexual part is not present.

The mind is the fundamental though. Without the sharing of values, attraction is meaningless. Yes, we find attributes attractive in the opposite sex, but a sharing of mind must be present in order for that attraction to be worth acting on.

And attraction must be present in order for the relationship to be worth acting on sexually.

While physical attraction is certainly a necessity in a relationship. To say that it is rational for some aspects to be an absolute deal breaker is not always rational. While some attributes may be absolutes, like obesity, there is an objective basis for this. You have yet to provide an objective rational for height to be an absolute deal breaker. In fact, I will argue the contrary. The notion that height is attractive is a subjective culturally based norm. There are cultures in the world that value shorter men and taller women. For it to be rational to call a physical attribute a deal breaker, you must have rational justification. For example, it is rational to say that you would not date a smoker. This is an unhealthy habit and can be objectively justified as a deal breaker. I will not date a heavy drinker. Drinking heavily is an escape from reality. Height, while perhaps a factor in overall attractiveness, cannot be an objective deal breaker.

It's not absolute in terms of: "because A and B, therefore always C". Or because of this and that being short is necessarily a negative trait. What i'm arguing is that height relates to individuals experience of their own masculinity/femininity. It then gets placed somewhere in their hierarchy of values, as an optional value. For that reason deviations from an individuals preferences can cause a big enough problem that it cannot be overlooked, and therefore becomes a dealbreaker.

For instance, I would not overlook a woman being 6'5" and more muscular than me. This is despite the fact that she could very well be in perfect health and taking good care of herself. I'm still not attracted to it. You need to come up with a darn good argument to convince me that's irrational.

THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE ARGUMENT. You will accept certain attributes that you perhaps find less desirable up to a reasonable point. You recognize that if your sharing of values is justified, it is worth while to be somewhat open minded in physical characteristics. I am not saying you should date someone who you do not find physically attractive. Simply, you are willing to consider the persons physical attributes on the whole before forming your opinion, if the value connection exists.

I haven't argued against that. In fact the reality of dating is that you don't go about with a blueprint of the perfect mate in mind, and disregard anyone who doesn't fit. That would be irrational. The reality is that you have to deal with all kinds of desirable and less desirable traits, and you have to judge their importance on the whole. My point has been that if some trait, like height, is important enough that deviations can become dealbreakers. And that does not have to be the least bit irrational.

Another point about reality though is that we meet alot of people every day. In the pursuit of a suitable partner we have to filter heavily according to our preferences. What that means is alot of people get sorted out based on quick judgements, without finding out if could become attracted to them once we know more about the person.

Or in practice: Would I approach a stranger that I did not find physically attractive enough? No. Is there a possibility that among all these women I just sorted out, there are some who could become very attractive once I got to know them? Absolutely.

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Nigel, I like most of your post #30, but personally, I prefer to drop the word conquer entirely. To be conquered is to imply being defeated. But what would you even be defeating? What are you trying to be better at?

Her strength and her will to be in charge and in control. Just like the example with Dagny. Clearly a woman of great strength and someone in charge. Yet she surrenders to Rearden, Francisco and Galt. They've proven their strength. character, ability and gained her admiration and trust - it's allright to let go... to just take the passenger seat and let them drive. There's a power struggle she's fighting to win, but loses.

Her reaction is very feminine. It means giving up control and becoming sexually receptive. Obviously a woman like Dagny would not surrender that easily. In every other aspect of her life she's in control, and she fights to maintain that control.

Better to phrase it as a feeling of pride to have a romantic relationship - and hopefully that pride is based in something good. That "something good" is self-esteem, self-respect, and a whole lot more. Conquering just sounds second-handed, because it doesn't have to do with values, ideas, or egoism - it has to do with power over *another* person, or attempting to impress *another* person.

Second-handed like Roark?

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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.

Dude, your attitude is awesome. By all means, go on thinking that it's ridiculous. It is.

BTW, I'm verging on outrageously tall for a female (5'10"), and all my relationships have been with guys shorter than me. Short guys are awesome. So are tall guys. I'm just in favor of guys. So if someone rejects you do to height, that's on them. You are AWESOME.

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Actually malnutrition has been shown to influence height more than a few inches (at least four or five on average) if you ask anyone other than a geneticist.  Of course a geneticist would tell you nutrition doesn't influence anything.  I've heard overweight doctors claim that nutrition has no bearing on anything, they presumably thought they were destined to be overweight due to genetics.  If you read anything about our paleolithic ancestors, you will find that they were taller (or at least as tall) and stronger than we are today.  The average height went down after the agricultural revolution, I found one source saying five inches.  From the 1800's to today the average height went back up due to less malnutrition.  Genes only determine what proteins your body can make, it is the environment you are exposed to (such as your nutrition) that tells your cells how to use those genes.

 

I think if people judge your character based on your height, it only reflects poorly on them.  The fact is that some people care about it but there are many who don't just like with any phyiscal attribute.  It's not too different from something like being muscle laden, it is seen by many women as attractive and healthy but just as many prefer a more wiry build of a man.

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