We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Gentlemen prefer… friends

I knew it wouldn’t take long for someone to respond to Leah McLaren’s criticism of the English male. By the way, Perry, I was not merely amused by her remarks, I also agreed with them.

The gentleman defending Englishmen’s pride and amorous skills sounds nice and perfectly serviceable. Nevertheless, Leah based the conclusions in her article on about a dozen ‘dates’. Perhaps not enough to make sweeping statements about the entire male population of the British Isles, especially as there are always exceptions, but sufficient to get some insight into their ‘mating habits’.

Instead of discrediting Ms McLaren’s motives, one should ask – does any woman agree with her? To me her rather unkind analysis of an English male rang true not as an old adage about the reserve and reticence of the quintessential English gentleman, usually so painfully and embarrassingly at odds with his own emotions that only ‘tragic’ and ‘desperate’ situations a là Jane Austin novels force him to articulate them.

Leah may have been harsh in her judgement but yet… harsh. It all depends on what you are after. If she expected to be overtly fussed over, adored and ultimately made feel above all women, well she was probably not going to get that on the first or even the fifth date with an Englishman. In that sense, English men are perhaps slower but more solid once they sort out their sometimes convoluted emotions. (And I am talking about the kind of gentleman who wrote the article, I would not want to presume an emotional dimension in the laddish section of the population.)

Leah says she prefers a straightforward North American male who looks her in the eye telling her whatever she wants to hear. Good trick, if you can manage it. This is where the grain of truth in what she says is hidden. The English man does not understand women. Leah may have even been right about why that is. Separation from maternal affection at an early age, exclusively male company during the crucial formative stage, etc,..blah blah. None of this necessarily means that he cannot understand a particular woman once he decides to make the effort. What it does mean though is that he is indeed no match for the more romantically skilled nationalities, such as Italians for example. And believe you me this is not just another cliche.

To be fair though I’d much rather have a date with an English gentleman than an oily Don Juan.

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