Tag Archives: Misogyny

The Complete Philanderer by Rex Stout Part two.


Method continued

9) Play the extremes. Either melt here, overwhelm her with a wistful tenderness that would thaw the arctic, or go 100% bestial. It is often effective to switch from one extreme to the other, but requires practice. The happy medium is not worth a damn.

Raw Material.

By this Stout is referring to the type of ladies to search out and where to find them.

‘ I appreciate that many of you will be limited by the available supply, but in cities of over 100,0000 population a wide range offers itself, and even in smaller communities it is surprisingly what can be uncovered by a roving intelligence and an active spirit. The main thing is good leads. It is of course unethical to get them by display ads in the newspapers or by using sandwich men or throwaways, but it is also unnecessary. A little ingenuity and persistence will keep you going. Some hints:  In New York, work the better bars, and when you see a good one spill a sidecar on her dress and insist on paying for it. In Chicago, haunt the railroad stations, for all the best material reaches instinctively for a time-table upon arriving at the age of consent.

Some practitioners, when working up raw material and testing a lead, give very little consideration to any other element  than the Receptivity Quotient. Such a man is not, properly speaking, an amorist at all; he is merely a careerist. Sooner or later he will find his sensibilities blunted, his ability to synchronize permanently lessened, and his heart going back on him. In the long run, year in and year out, you will find that in appraising raw material it will produce the deepest satisfaction and the highest type of success to adhere rigidly to the AAA standards: Continue reading

The Complete Philanderer

Jot 101 Rex Stout picPart one

We have seen in a recent Jot how that great Sci-Fi pioneer and social satirist, Philip Wylie, was at base a misogynist. Here is the detective writer  Rex Stout (1886 – 1975) writing in the same Bedroom Companion offering tips on how a young tyro amorist could  achieve a series of notches on his bedpost.

Stout divides his advice into four categories: Equipment, Method, Raw Material, and Keeping Score.

As for equipment, the first rule is, travel light. Keeping your baggage at a minimum increases your mobility, helps to maintain financial solvency, and prevents your abanding valuable stores and ammunition to the enemy in case of emergency evacuation…I knew one fellow, a Lithuanian who operated on the Grand Street sector, otherwise a sound technician, who went so far as to advocate carrying one’s own mattress….and a man out west somewhere ( I never met him) who suggested an air mattress was obviously an impractical dreamer. Had he ever, I wonder, outraged his lungs—indeed his entire diaphragm—by inflating an air mattress to the required buoyancy? If he had, what was he good for then? He might reply that he also carried an automobile tire pump. I retort, what are we, gallants or garage mechanics?.

After stipulating the quality and colour of the amorist’s clothing ( a suit in grey, a shirt of whatever colour  and shoe laces that don’t have food spilt on them) Stout then suggests that no hat be born, though if the wearer does take one it must on no account bear the amorist’s initials. Rings are also strictly forbidden. Continue reading

Philip Wylie: pioneer Sci-Fi and environmental writer, nuclear holocaust expert…and misogynist

Gladiator_cover_2In his time the prolific and wide-ranging American writer Philip Wylie (1902 – 71), admired for his science-fiction writing, including Gladiator (1930), which partially inspired the creation of ‘ Superman’, When Worlds Collide (1933) , which inspired Flash Gordon, his social satire, and prescient warnings of nuclear and ecological disaster, was charged by  some of his detractors with misogyny—something his daughter  denied, but his contributions to the laddish erotic miscellany of 1935, The Bedroom Companion, show that the allegations were largely justified.

In ‘thirties America the slump resulted in many enlightened and educated women joining the workforce. Their presence as vociferous elements in society were seen as a threat to some men and as a result their claims of equality were often ridiculed. In ‘ An Essay on what a young girl ought and ought not to know on these days ‘ Wylie voiced the opinion of many men of his generation who resented the ways in which the fledgling women’s movement was challenging the Patriarchy.

‘ Modern women is obviously out of gear. Almost daily one of her unhappy numbers is murdered by a husband or a lover. Hourly, a representative of her baffled group throws herself into the streets of one of our cities. She clogs the corridors of our mental hospitals. Escaping assassination, suicide and insanity, she fills the newspapers with her ridiculous exploits, turns marriage into a bitter jape for cartoonists and movie producers to exploit, gluts the radio with her clacking, dynamites the birth rate, creates a nauseous and neurotic literature for herself, and, in her immense unhappiness, makes the who world at once a billboard and a consuming funnel for her pinheaded propaganda. The American matriarchy is a soprano scream so shrill and sick that any basso contralto is lost in it, and a man has to go about with his eyes shut, his nose held, and a padlock on his libido…’


Not content with a vicious character assassination of many of his fellow Americans, Wylie then went on to make a case for the impossibility of women being equal to men.

‘…man and woman are different; he can no more bear a baby than she can conceive a bridge…Woman’s place is not merely in the home—it is in the home in bed—in the bed of her husband, of her lover, in childbed. Within those limited dominions she has a certain supremacy. Within the boundaries of controlled emotion, she is exalted. But in the objective-creative world, towards which she is being directed today, she is a suffering anomaly or a grotesque farce. That fact is plainly self-evident, but it cannot be stamped into the brains of the multitude… ‘ Continue reading