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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Saturday, March 15, 2008



March 2, 2008 -- Deceit, thy name is woman.

Most females lie "more cleverly and successfully than men" about everything from infidelity and facelifts to barhopping and shopping binges, according to a new book.

"Women lie as a survival technique, but also to get what they want," said Susan Shapiro Barash, author of "Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie," published by St. Martin's Press this week.

Barish said a Rockland County woman stripped of her secrets on Fox TV's reality show "Moment of Truth" last week proves her research true.

Lauren Cleri, 26, admitted on air she had cheated on her NYPD cop husband and preferred an ex-boyfriend. But she failed a polygraph, and lost $200,000, by answering "yes" when asked if she believed she was a good person.

"It supports my thesis that women are talented at lying - but perhaps not enough to pass a lie-detector test," Barash said.

Barash interviewed 500 women nationwide who answered her Craigslist ads seeking females to confide what they fib about. Among her findings:

* 75 percent lie about how much money they spend. For instance, they sneak purchases inside their homes after shopping or hide the price tags.

* 50 percent harbor "mixed feelings about mothering." One told Barash, "I look at these children and I crave sleep and free time. They wear me out and make me jealous of working women who have no children, no husbands."

* More than 60 percent cheated on their husbands. A 32-year-old mother conducted her trysts while telling her trusting husband she was working late. Even in asking for a divorce, she withheld the truth: "I didn't say I had fallen for another man. He was better off with my lies."

Many women use the "betterment lie," as Barash calls it, as a means to an end.

A 30-year-old model romanced a middle-aged married man for the money. After snagging him, she faked her affections: "I say 'I love you,' and don't mean it."

Some lie to cover up childhood incest or domestic abuse, or taboo behavior like drinking, gambling or Internet-porn addiction.

More than 80 percent believe in "beneficial lying." A New Jersey mom doesn't tell her well-behaved daughter about her own wild teen years of marijuana and partying.

Urban women favor the "competitive lie," Barash said. "You lie about money and cosmetic surgery. Your out-of-work husband is a 'consultant.' You embellish your kids' accomplishments, or downplay their SAT tutoring."

In the "lying to yourself" category, the book mentions Hillary Rodham Clinton, who as first lady went on TV to blast the Monica Lewinsky scandal as a political attack against her husband. She later acknowledged Bill's cheating.

Others lie because "there's too much to lose," Barash said. Rudy Giuliani's wife, Judith, guarded a secret that she was married twice, and not once, previously. The truth, which Rudy apparently knew, hit the front pages when he ran for president.

Okay, so we have:

(1) The "betterment lie"

(2) The "beneficial lie" (a.k.a. "the white lie")

(3) The "competitive lie"

(4) The "lie to yourself" lie

(5) The "too much to lose" lie

I knew women (Type A liars) who could rattle off (1-3) & (5) over dinner and by tell-tale signs you knew that they knew that they themselves were lying (confirmed by the theatrical, overly-defensive reactions to politely-as-possible accusations of prevarication or by after-the-fact teary-eyed confessionals).

Still others (the Type B liars) could run the gamut without batting an eyelash because either they're engaging in (4) and unconsciously apply it to (1-3) & (5), or they're psychopaths (Type C).

Type (A) is typical (a "survivor") and although lapses in upholding the integrity of honesty, her demonstrated guilty conscience indicates that at least her moral faculties are intact, however frayed (i.e. she knows she's lying).

The defensive theatrics of (A) when called to the carpet more often than not involve the psychological defense mechanism of projection (like "I-Know-You-Are-But-What-Am-I" table-turning on the accuser) or deflection (abruptly veering off into tangents that change the subject, easily executed if the hapless male is sexually enthralled and distracted, a.k.a. "pussywhipped"), or the redemptive confessional.

The (B) type is also typical and lies to herself to alleviate the nagging conscience that alerts herself to lying.

The commonly-used psychological defense mechanisms of (B) involve not only denial but also rationalizing, i.e. It's not really a "lie" because this consideration (e.g. "I was drunk") multiplied by that circumstance (e.g. you were drunk) mitigates the other thing (e.g. the one that happened at the bachelorette party when she was drunk) all divided by the value of pi--or whatever formula they use--which can make the (2) beneficial "white" lie actually moral (in theory), but when utilized for (1,3 & 5)--which is not uncommon-- it's just self-serving female bullshit.

But which is more moral, the (A) or (B) type?

The (A) type knows she's lying, but lies anyway, and so--guilty conscience or no--is still a liar.

The (B) type convinces herself she's telling the truth and so absolves herself from having to look in the mirror and seeing a liar, but in the process she is lying both to you and herself and compounds the lie--a double-barreled assault on reality-- so (A) is (however dubiously) better than (B).

The (C) type doesn't give a damn.

Interestingly, as you move down the scale of honesty from (A), (B), to (C), the female's sexual attractiveness and/or professional success correspondingly rises (although the A & B types are on the same quasi-conservative trajectory while the C type veers off on a different vector altogether completely liberated from conservative notions of Right and Wrong and reaches stratospheric heights or depths of depravity unaspired or unfathomed by A or B).

"A" types are generally housewives and Mother Theresa.

"B" types are characterized by the "Sex & the City" kind of professional career woman, social butterflies, and Born-Again Christians.

"C" types can be found in the political realm and the prostitution and porn-industry.

And then there's the (D) types--the lawyers--who believe that a lie is not a lie unless identified as perjury in a court of law.

To the question "Are you lying?" the answer is not "Yes" or "No," but "There is no evidence."

With them, it's best to have everything in writing.

That analysis is a simplified one, however (perhaps over-simplified), as it does not take into consideration the A & B type personalities found in all three groups of (A), (B), (C), and (D) type of liars, biological cycles specific to gender (e.g. PMS stuff), dumb blondes, volatile redheads, conniving brunettes, and the confounding nature of women in general.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I enjoy women who know how and when to wield their arsenal of charms.

Truth can be over-rated, sometimes. And nothing beats a little flattery for the restoration of a flagging ego...

Plato, "Gorgias" (Jowett summary)

'What is the art of Rhetoric?' says Polus. Not an art at all, replies Socrates, but a thing which in your book you affirm to have created art. Polus asks, 'What thing?' and Socrates answers, An experience or routine of making a sort of delight or gratification. 'But is not rhetoric a fine thing?' I have not yet told you what rhetoric is. Will you ask me another question--What is cookery? 'What is cookery?' An experience or routine of making a sort of delight or gratification. Then they are the same, or rather fall under the same class, and rhetoric has still to be distinguished from cookery. 'What is rhetoric?' asks Polus once more. A part of a not very creditable whole, which may be termed flattery, is the reply. 'But what part?' A shadow of a part of politics. This, as might be expected, is wholly unintelligible, both to Gorgias and Polus; and, in order to explain his meaning to them, Socrates draws a distinction between shadows or appearances and realities; e.g. there is real health of body or soul, and the appearance of them; real arts and sciences, and the simulations of them. Now the soul and body have two arts waiting upon them, first the art of politics, which attends on the soul, having a legislative part and a judicial part; and another art attending on the body, which has no generic name, but may also be described as having two divisions, one of which is medicine and the other gymnastic. Corresponding with these four arts or sciences there are four shams or simulations of them, mere experiences, as they may be termed, because they give no reason of their own existence. The art of dressing up is the sham or simulation of gymnastic, the art of cookery, of medicine; rhetoric is the simulation of justice, and sophistic of legislation. They may be summed up in an arithmetical formula:--

Attiring : gymnastic :: cookery : medicine :: sophistic : legislation.


Cookery : medicine :: rhetoric : the art of justice.

...but not all lying is worthy of praise. Your examples just go to prove what Nietzsche said in "Will to Power"... that "The criterion of truth resides in the feeling of power." (WP #534)

8:20 AM  
Blogger John said...

Yeah. And they have too much of it. It's time men band together and rise up against their oppressive tyranny. We can call the movement "Masculinism" and demand that we be treated as more than just ATM machines, dildos, and/or sperm banks.

It'd be nice if they just listened once in a while.

10:27 AM  
Blogger nanc said...

i take it you probably had a bad date?


the author is correct in their assumptions - we are the better liars. having been the type to hide things before i was married, but now my life's an open book to my husband. sure saves alot of time!

the men in my life are honest to a fault. my husband recalls telling two specific lies in his life, but he'll go out of his way to keep from hurting someone's feelings by being honest.

he'll choke down the worst meal in a restaurant and be sure to have a mouthful when the waiter comes by to ask how everything is - he'll just make the "mmmm" sound and nod - apparently this works.

i've never been able to tell a new parent how "beautiful" or "cute" their newborn is when they're gushing all over the place - i just say, "yup, that's SOME baby you have there!"

10:30 AM  
Blogger nanc said...

p.s. oh john! if you'd just talk more!

works both ways...


10:31 AM  

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