National Review has delivered unto us a puckishly paleoconservative cover story with a very Redditesque headline: “Like a Boss.” Which is perhaps appropriate, in that the story that goes with the headline uses the faux logic of evolutionary psychology (always popular on Reddit) in order to argue that Romney, a true alpha male, should be getting something like 100% of the female vote rather than trailing Obama by ten percent in this rather important demographic.
The article, by Kevin D. Williamson — no, not the Dawson’s Creek dude — starts off terrible:
What do women want? The conventional biological wisdom is that men select mates for fertility, while women select for status — thus the commonness of younger women’s pairing with well-established older men but the rarity of the converse.
And it only gets worse from there.
The Demi Moore–Ashton Kutcher model is an exception — the only 40-year-old woman Jack Nicholson has ever seen naked is Kathy Bates in that horrific hot-tub scene. Age is cruel to women, and subordination is cruel to men.
So, yeah. As Williamson evidently figures it, Romney oozes status, so therefore women should adore him. No, really.
You want off-the-charts status? Check out the curriculum vitae of one Willard M. Romney: $200 million in the bank (and a hell of a lot more if he didn’t give so much away), apex alpha executive, CEO, chairman of the board, governor, bishop, boss of everything he’s ever touched.
Heck, even his sperm is macho:
It is a curious scientific fact … that high-status animals tend to have more male offspring than female offspring, which holds true across many species, from red deer to mink to Homo sap. The offspring of rich families are statistically biased in favor of sons — the children of the general population are 51 percent male and 49 percent female, but the children of the Forbes billionaire list are 60 percent male. Have a gander at that Romney family picture: five sons, zero daughters.
But Obama, meanwhile, has got the sperm of a girly man:
Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes.
With so much going for him, Williamson wonders, why isn’t Romney doing better with the ladies?
From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote. All of it. He should get Michelle Obama’s vote.
Because all women are inherently golddiggers. It’s SCIENCE!
Given that we are no longer roaming the veldt for the most part, money is a reasonable stand-in for social status. Romney’s net worth is more than that of the last eight U.S. presidents combined. He set up a trust for his grandkids and kicked in about seven times Barack Obama’s net worth, which at $11.8 million is not inconsiderable but probably less than Romney’s tax bill in a good year. If he hadn’t given away so much money to his church, charities, and grandkids, Mitt Romney would have more money than Jay-Z.
He’s big pimpin, yo!
So why aren’t the ladies lining up for him?
Well, Williamson suggests that despite his wealth, Romney doesn’t act as rich as he really is. Indeed, he’s been known to ride coach on airlines! Williamson urges Romney to fully embrace his inner pimp, because “Americans love rich people.”
Still, despite Romney’s failure to live as large as he could, given the amount of money he’s got in the bank, Williamson still thinks he’s pretty darn alpha:
Look at his fat stacks. Look at that mess of sons and grandchildren. Look at a picture of Ann Romney on her wedding day and that cocky smirk on his face. What exactly has Mitt Romney got to be insecure about?
A lot, really. Do you actually follow the news? If Americans – particularly American women — love rich guy alphas so much, there’s not a lot of evidence of this in the current presidential race. Heck, every time Romney acts like the rich person he is — you may recall his comments about his good buddies the NASCAR team owners — he becomes the butt of jokes.
Could it be that people don’t actually act the way that the cavemen and/or animals in evolutionary psychology “just-do stories” do? That, perhaps, those stories are bullshit?
Indeed, Williamson’s story is such an effective rebuttal of evo-psych nonsense, it’s hard not to wonder if National Review has just trolled itself. Or us.