I’ve gotten so much out of watching Jordan Peterson’s lectures. It’s really impressive how deep what he says goes, and how many meanings are contained in the ideas he puts across. One of them is the idea of the dragon slayer or the monster killer.
First off, a monster is a representation of things in the world that can hurt us. That’s why monsters are often composites of many different animals as in the case of the dragon, chimera, or the Minotaur.
The monster killer is he (or she) who confronts the things that can hurt us and prevails. The reason this is important to humans and is the central “hero story” is because life is full of encounters with things that can hurt us, and the job of life is to defeat those things for as long as we possibly can.
“Death hast to win only once, but life has to win everyday.”
-Roy F. Baumeister, Is There Anything Good About Men?
Those things can be external, like floods, storms, predatory animals, the hunt for food and water, other humans or they can be internal, like sickness, or mental and psychological stress.
The dragon slayer is he who can surmount those things. Or at least he who confronts those things, and traditionally, women wanted a monster killer because they are more vulnerable both because they become pregnant, but also because they are the primary caretakers of children.
Only those women who were wired to seek out monster killers had offspring and here we are.
The problem with a monster killer is that he’s still a killer, and that makes him not tame which means he might kill you too! Jordan B. suggests that the primary “hero story” for women is Beauty and the Beast. He thinks that the taming of the beast to serve as her protector is the primary motif in women’s stories.
Now, this is not too surprising for most men who have learned “game” or who have studied evolutionary psychology. It’s been well established that women like “bad boys” and they don’t like “nice guys”. And this is the background for why.
But I want to note, that it’s not that women like “bad boys”, it’s that women want to tame the “bad boy” more than they want to toughen up the “nice guy”. Arguably, they don’t have time to toughen up the “nice guy”. By the time she’s got him ready, she’s dead.
I was thinking about this last night and it made me wonder what the difference is between dangerous and not tame. And I figured out that, dangerous means able to slay dragons, while tame means will not do harm to her in particular.
And this is where signaling comes in, because the dating world is all about signaling, since you can’t KNOW about the fitness of a particular potential mate, you use signals to make a decision about them. There is so much literature on this that I won’t go into it now.
If you’re really not familiar with this concept, you can read the details about it here:
So, here we have a problem…how can men signal they are dangerous while also signaling that they are tame or tamable?
Signaling that you are dangerous is what a lot of pickup is about. Actually, if done properly it’s about developing yourself into someone who is dangerous. If done improperly, it’s about signaling without actually being dangerous (think, The Wizard of Oz).
Now, let me be clear and reiterate that dangerous means, able to face problems and theoretically if you are able to face them, it is because you are reasonably confident that you can prevail against them so that facing them and being able to overcome them are almost synonymous.
Hence why, all of the Greeks who die in the Iliad are heroes. I think, but I’m not sure, that the reason why Achilles is the supreme hero for the Greeks, though, is that he is the strongest, and most powerful warrior, but when given the opportunity to show mercy, he does.
Because having the power to do and have whatever you want and choosing not to use it is a part of being a well socialized individual.
We’re still caught with signaling the right balance of dangerousness and tameness. I haven’t really worked this out, yet, but if a woman is attracted to you at all, it is some indication that she sees you as being some level of dangerous.
Certainly, one signal of being tame is asking her to be your girlfriend, expending cash and buying gifts and calling her everyday are example signals of being tame, but of course if she thinks that that’s just the way you are and it’s not a reaction to her behavior then it signals that you are not even dangerous enough to be considered.
This balance is not an easy one and it changes as your life changes too.