Thursday, October 28, 2004

On being the Other Woman

In some species, there are males who make their livings being as much like females as they can while still remaining male.

They're often referred to as "sneakers", males who appear more feminine so that the larger males don't recognize them as competition. Then one way or another, they sneak in and fertilize some eggs.

It makes me wonder, does this phenomenon occur in reverse? More specifically, does this phenomenon occur in reverse in humans?

John Epstein wrote a story about a married professor and an aging bohemian who had been lovers for 20 years. They were as sick of each other as any married couple of 20 years, she is his second wife. Poor thing, to be harlot, wife and spinster all at once.

To fool the male, the sneaker will make himself non-threatening by appearing of the opposite sex. Does a philanderer look for a woman who reminds him of his wife?

It's always amusing how awed some males will be by a girl who startles them with behavior that is atypical of a female. Perhaps, often even, a masculine feature.

Estee Lauder has an annual revenue of $4.7 billion, yet most girl will proudly proclaim her tom-boyish nature, even through well-glossed lips and highlighted bangs, they're always up for a good football game after all. And they played soccer in high school.

So that's how I make my living I guess, being the girl who doesn't remind you of your ex-girlfriend.

In one species of fish which has sneaker males, the non-sneaker males build nests and are excellent fathers while the sneakers squirt some sperm and get the hell out of there. In other species as well, it is extremely advantageous to the female to mate with the males who are not sneakers.

It doesn't mean the females don't mate with the sneakers. But they lay their eggs in the real man's nests.

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