Is there something sexual about women’s openness to immigration?
The global media treated the recent murder of “socialite” Ashley Olsen as a lurid crime story. But lurking in the details was a story about the politics of immigration.
Olsen was a 35-year-old from Florida who lived the high life in Florence on her daddy’s nickel. I was in Florence more than thirty years ago and it was already overrun with Americans like that—I can’t imagine how bad it is now. Anyway Olsen had an Italian boyfriend (di rigore for an American chick in Italy) but they had a fight. So—or maybe not for that reason at all; maybe just out of casual habit—she went to a club one night, down the street from her flat, and picked up for herself a young black man, a Senegalese illegal immigrant.
It didn’t end well. After snorting lots of coke and getting what could be got from the Senegalese guy, Olsen tried to shoo him out—“like a dog,” as the fellow later told police. Whereupon he, being from one of those benighted patriarchal societies in which men are unused to being treated like dogs by women, beat the pushy caga, allegedly to death. Much as the Ivoirian Rudy Guede is said to have killed the British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007.
What does this have to do with immigration policy? Both these white, attractive, educated, middle-class Western women welcomed scruffy black immigrant males into their beds. The majority of illegal immigrants to the USA, and much moreso the illegal immigrants to Europe—especially in the recent Syrian and Libyan exoduses—are dark-skinned, ill-educated, young, and male. It is surely not far-fetched to suggest that while part of Western women’s tendency to sympathize with illegal immigrants (and to support progressive policies on the whole, including open-door immigration policies) is due to the general female tendency towards compassion, another part is due to a different female tendency—one might call it a relative openness to conquest by male foreigners.
The notion is not far-fetched to me because I, along with virtually all other straight white expat males I’ve known, have been the beneficiary of this interesting female trait in the non-white countries where I have lived and traveled. I have often puzzled over it: Why would women in one ethnic group be so open—so eager, even when they lack obvious socioeconomic reasons—to embrace men of another, instead of devoting themselves to the future of their own tribe? White men have been experiencing and documenting this phenomenon, of nonwhite women offering themselves freely as casual bedmates, girlfriends and wives, for hundreds of years if not millenia.
The women of the Pacific seem to have been particularly generous—the notorious 1789 mutiny on HMS Bounty occurred largely because Captain Bligh had called time on all the hanky panky between his crew and the women of one paradisal island. Captain Cook’s and Magellan’s crews (along with many others) had similar experiences of native females offering themselves quite freely. Even in the New World conquests, relationships with local girls abounded—in fact, Cortes’s locally acquired girlfriend ended up being crucial to the success of his mission.
Among white societies too, women historically have been remarkably willing to hand themselves over to foreigners. A vast number of Frenchwomen, for example, gave themselves voluntarily to occupying German troops in 1940-44 after the latter had conquered their men. Since the fall of the Soviet empire, Russian and Eastern European women also seem to have been making themselves very available to males from formerly adversarial countries.
Naturally, men have been lamenting this female openness-to-the-foreigner phenomenon whenever it has been turned against them on their home turf. On the first page of A Thousand And One Nights, one such betrayal is the catalyst of all the famous tales that follow:
But when the night was half-spent he bethought him that he had forgotten in his palace somewhat which he should have brought with him, so he returned privily and entered his apartments, where he found the Queen, his wife, asleep on his own carpet bed embracing with both arms a black cook of loathsome aspect and foul with kitchen grease and grime. When he saw this the world waxed black before his sight and he said: “If such case happen while I am yet within sight of the city, what will be the doings of this damned whore during my long absence at my brother’s court?” So he drew his scimitar, and cutting the two in four pieces with a single blow, left them on the carpet and returned presently to his camp without letting anyone know of what had happened. Then he gave orders for immediate departure and set out at once and began his travel; but he could not help thinking over his wife’s treason . . .
And then of course there is the Iliad’s Helen, the runaway Queen of Laconia, the “face who launched a thousand ships.” Was she pushed into Paris’s arms or did she jump?
I offer a hypothesis from the perspective of evolutionary psychology, which seems so obvious that I am surprised not to have seen it suggested elsewhere:
Young women traditionally have been treated as assets of their tribes. Sometimes they have been handed over to foreigners to appease them or to cement alliances. Sometimes they have been stolen in raids. Sometimes (I would imagine particularly in island or otherwise isolated communities) they have been used to bring fresh genes into the local gene pool. Similarly, men from ancient times have implicitly viewed the taking of foreign women (sexually and actually) as something like “conquest by other means.” Indeed, actual military conquest has long been associated with the kidnap and/or rape and/or forced marriage of women on the losing side (while the conquered men were simply slain).
In all these cases, women who resisted giving themselves to the foreign invader were probably much more likely to be killed or enslaved or anyway to have no further children—and maybe were also more likely to lose the children they already had. On the other hand, the women whose genes programmed them not to resist the foreigner would have been more likely to transmit their traits to ensuing generations. And thus the bloody past would have bequeathed to us this curious female trait of traitorousness.
Worth considering, is it not? Particularly as women are now, in modern times, given the same influence as men in shaping immigration policies.
Postscript Jan 28, 2017: John Derbyshire discovers the same idea: “What the million-marching pussy hatters really want.”