In a thread about men seeing the average woman as average looking, while women see the average man as below average:
EDIT: I realize I worded this confusingly. To clarify, this was the parent comment:
This explains those "where have all the good men gone" articles.
And maybe that's where some people get the notion that only women are objectified, since more women are seen by men as attractive than vice versa. It's not that women aren't seeing many men as sex objects, they're just seeing them as bad or at least not noteworthy objects.
and the rest of this post contains the upvoted reply which i'm referring to (not written by me):
Women look at the top 20 percent of males and believe that everything about them is normal and fairly attainable for the other 80 percent of men. This seriously skews their perception of males and it skews their perception of what they should expect when dating.
This explains those "where have all the good men gone" articles.
The "good men" are where they always have been: outside of the top 20 percent of men. Now, I don't mean to say that the "good men" cannot be found in the top 20 percent but rather that these "good men" (in the female mind) constitute men who are willing to commit to women both financially and/or romantically and are not top 20 percent men who have a rotating harem of women engaging in sexual relations with them. These women cannot seem to get these top 20 percenters to commit to anything other than sex with them which makes them throw their hands up and ask "Where have all the good men gone?". If they are not frustrated over a lack of sexual and/or romantic commitment then they get frustrated over the 80 percent of men whom they do not find desirable sexually, who won't "get their shit together" and "man up" (this translates to 'make good money and marry me in my thirties') and then they find themselves stuck between the rock and a hard place that is being a top 20 percenter's booty call/mistress or being the taken care of wife of an 80 percenter who cannot make them as sexually aroused as a 20 percenter can.
What this situation tends to lead to is a situation where these frustrated women would rather be a part of what is known as a "soft harem" in which multiple women are having sex with one top 20 percent man while either abstaining from relationships of any sort with 80 percent men, having sex with both 20 and 80 percent men with only the former being aware of this, or being in a poor or non-sexual relationship with an 80 percent man while being sexually active with a 20 percent man without the former knowing about it. The idea of women preferring to share a top 20 percent man without commitment rather than devoting themselves sexually to an 80 percent man was discussed in writer Kate Bolick's (featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Elle Magazine, etc.) very well-known and discussed article titled All The Single Ladies in The Atlantic magazine. The article is a very good read and the relevant passage regarding the "soft harem" is below. The idea of the "soft harem" was actually an idea developed by a former female management consultant who spoke to Bolick about female sexuality and modern day dating/relationships concerning young women.
Last year, a former management consultant named Susan Walsh tried to dig a little deeper. She applied what economists call the Pareto principle—the idea that for many events, roughly 20 percent of the causes create 80 percent of the effects—to the college dating market, and concluded that only 20 percent of the men (those considered to have the highest status) are having 80 percent of the sex, with only 20 percent of the women (those with the greatest sexual willingness); the remaining 80 percent, male and female, sit out the hookup dance altogether. (Surprisingly, a 2007 study commissioned by the Justice Department suggested that male virgins outnumber female virgins on campus.) As Walsh puts it, most of the leftover men are “have nots” in terms of access to sex, and most of the women—both those who are hooking up and those who are not—are “have nots” in terms of access to male attention that leads to commitment...
... One of Walsh’s pet observations pertains to what she calls the “soft harem,” where high-status men (i.e., the football captain) maintain an “official” girlfriend as well as a rotating roster of neo-concubines, who service him in the barroom bathroom or wherever the beer is flowing. “There used to be more assortative mating,” she explained, “where a five would date a five. But now every woman who is a six and above wants the hottest guy on campus, and she can have him—for one night.” ------> Whoop, there it is!
... For centuries, women’s sexuality was repressed by a patriarchal marriage system; now what could be an era of heady carnal delights is stifled by a new form of male entitlement, this one fueled by demographics.
Most striking to me was the innocence of these young women. Of these attractive and vivacious females, only two had ever had a “real” boyfriend—as in, a mutually exclusive and satisfying relationship rather than a series of hookups—and for all their technical know-how, they didn’t seem to be any wiser than I’d been at their age. This surprised me; I’d assumed that growing up in a jungle would give them a more matter-of-fact or at least less conventional worldview. Instead, when I asked if they wanted to get married when they grew up, and if so, at what age, to a one they answered “yes” and “27 or 28.”
The idea of the "soft harem" has its roots in human evolution many years ago before marriage became the norm in a number of world cultures. History has shown that at one point, 80 percent of women were mating and reproducing with one or more male partners whereas only 40 percent of the male population was reproducing with women. This doesn't necessarily indicate that men who fathered children with one or more women would stick around and raise their child/children with their female mate but rather that they would father multiple children with multiple women and then would choose one woman to commit to or simply not commit to any woman at all. The institution of marriage came to provide women with a way to make sure that both her and her children were taken care of by the father of their child. Many years ago we obviously did not have anything resembling women's liberation or women's rights so both women and their children were highly dependent upon their male partner in order to survive day-to-day life.
It seems that some things do not change much since the idea of a harem of women has managed to morph into the modern day "soft harem" where women are at much less risk of abandonment or serious physical reprisal from the male they have committed to should they choose to be a member of a top 20 percenter's soft harem without their 80 percenter husband being aware. With no-fault divorce laws and the advancement of women's rights and female sexuality, women are less bound to a single male both sexually and financially/for the sake of their well-being and are more free to have multiple partners whom they desire to be in the top 20 percent club. This is certainly the case with younger, unmarried college-aged women (18 yrs - time of marriage) yet we all have seen instances of this sort of behavior continue past matrimony and/or other forms of commitment as well.