Saturday, June 20, 2009

#5 The Environmentally Conscious, Anti-Corporate Attitude

San Francisco is the most liberal, activist, entrepreneurial, Ef-the-Man city in the world. That sounds like platitude but live in the city and you won’t forget it. There’s the Critical Mass rides, Sierra Club street hustlers, pugnacious gay politicians, and dotcommers in corduroys with hemp shoulder bags, driving Priuses tricked out with Smile Train bumper stickers. The whole scene is like that robotic vacuum cleaner Roomba: progressive, there to help but also, in a way you can’t quite pinpoint, really menacing.

Still, you’d think a sensibility like this would appeal to, and therefore attract, girls more than guys. Girls are always volunteering, expressing compassion for the disenfranchised, and so forth. They tend to be intellectually progressive and socially tolerant. And indeed those are the qualities widely associated with San Francisco. When people disparage San Francisco for being a faggy city, for example, what they basically mean beyond the homophobia is that it's just kind of feminine.

The problem is that San Francisco is feminine without being girlish and this is because the city presents girls with two existential crises that makes them not want to be here. First, all the anti-corporate film festivals, Peta protests, and reduce your carbon footprint parades essentially constitute one continuous harangue on the evils of materialism. Girls irritate at this, not because they are shallow but because they don’t accept the “either or” premise of the argument. Girls want to wear Juicy Couture shorts and wheel about in a BMV convertible while wearing sunscreen tested on rats. They also want to vote for Democrats and stem cell research at election time. They want both.

Second, and more importantly, girls are attracted to guys who kick ass, a characteristic which by definition requires first identifying an ass of another person, a living one with real feelings and a capacity for loveliness, and then kicking it. That is not a San Francisco thing to do. San Francisco advocates the very modern (and controversial) “asses are not for kicking” policy.

There’s some confusion on this point, because although girls don’t want guys to be hostile to THEM and their friends, their feelings on whether guys are hostile TO EVERYONE ELSE remain conflicted. This is why world class a-holes - Genghis Kahn, Stalin, Henry VIII and the sinister richie from any 80s rom com - don’t despair for female affection. As an illustration as to how confusing this can be, take the recent findings that girls would rather “chat up” someone who owns the latest hybrid car versus a sports car. What the findings don’t emphasize is that a girl’s choice for whom to chat up versus whom to shag proceeds along separate and entirely different decision trees. God love Ralph Nader, the makers of hemp, and non-profit employees everywhere, but those guys can’t keep their pimp hands strong.