What Women Desperately Want from Men (& How to Get it). ~ Lori Ann Lothian

Via on Aug 22, 2013

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I’m a woman writing a book about men—or more accurately about what women want from them, and I’m having a hard time admitting the truth: We want our men to be heroic.

But as someone raised in the era of 1970′s ‘Hear Me Roar’ feminism, I balk at the idea of a heroic masculine (because in my mind, a hero implies a damsel needing rescue). In fact, my writing muse had a hissy fit the other day brought on by words from a man whose pro-feminist, stereotype-busting work I had often lauded. Those inciting words?

“One of the things that I figured out is … to appear to challenge other men, to turn other men into the kind of boyfriend material, father material, or husband material that women so desperately wanted. Most women have a lot of disappointment in men. And I very deliberately want to go to the place where that disappointment lives and present to them a counter-narrative of something possible.”

So said gender studies professor, male feminist and former Jezebel columnist Hugo Schwyzer in a Daily Beast interview published days after his now infamous twitter confessional, an hour long rant in 140 character text bites, in which he napalmed his reputation in a stunning display of brutal honesty and, according to Schwyzer, a manic episode.

When I read this post-melt-down Schwyzer admission about catering to women’s desperate wanting, my first reaction was distaste: Here is a man telling the world exactly how he manipulated females into his fan club.

Next came the sad realization he is right. Most women I know are disappointed in men. Not all women, of course. But a large majority of smart-minded, innovative, creative and strong women routinely express a dissatisfaction with the men in their lives that goes beyond the typical nag fest women are stereotyped for—he doesn’t take out the garbage, he never remembers our anniversary, he leaves his socks on the floor.

Deeper than domestic discord, the disappointment some women experience is an existential despondency. It sounds like this, “I don’t feel met by him,” “I can’t count on him, I can only rely on me,” and “I wish he would just man-up” or “I need a man who is manly.”

One clue we women (some of us) are disenchanted by the face of modern manhood was an article I wrote a year ago that went mini-viral.

A Call to the Sacred Masculine, Ten Daring Invitations from the Divine Feminine was shared 17,000 times on Facebook in little over a month and has to date been viewed nearly 90,000 times. From the comments section it seemed women were gobbling this piece up and sending it to their men as a message. (And from the comments, those men were in large part pissed off at an article that seemed to be telling them how to be in the world.)

When I wrote A Call to the Sacred Masculine it was from a nostalgia for a noble masculinity that could be called heroic, that I had not seen in real life, only in mythic fiction and film. I was writing from a place of yearning, and to some degree, disappointment in the men I had known intimately.

And more recently, the mega hit article The Lost Art of Masculinity, clearly struck a similar chord in women readers, a piece that seems to outline, in Schwyzer’s words, the kind of boyfriend material women so desperately want. Writer Lasara Allen itemizes three missing ingredients to most men’s manliness as strength, chivalry and romance.

Beyond that, she also boldly declares: 

“These desired things have come as a surprise to a generation of women who were raised with slogans like, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” batted around. But under the stratum of fear and distrust lies a substrata of desire. A desire to be desired. A desire to be seduced. A desire to be taken care of. A desire to be matched and met. And, most surprisingly, a desire to be stood up to, while being stood up with and stood up for.”

Perhaps that’s the heart of it. That while we want to be equal, independent and strong we also have a deeper desire to be those things in the company of men who meet us there from a place of ‘masculine strength.’

But here’s the kicker. No man, no matter how heroic, noble or manly by any definition, will ride in on a white horse and heal the disappointment (and confusion) some women feel. Because our discontent often stems from more than how a man fails to show up. It emerges from how we receive a man so that he can show up.

If as women we are wanting to create a union in which our man engages us and the world ‘heroically’ then we are first going to have to look at what it is we are offering that either invites heroic qualities or slams the door on them.

And yes, what defines heroic will vary from woman to woman. For me, the heroic masculine looks like a man on-purpose in his life, making a contribution to the greater good, laced with kindness, fairness and passion.

For another woman, it will be a whole different beast. In fact, when I asked a friend to define what makes a man heroic, she listed qualities not even on my radar, such as valiant, funny and vulnerable.

The point is, we women need to look at ourselves too for what is apparently missing in the guys we choose to be with.

A favourite expression of a marriage counsellor I know brings this idea of accountability home. In therapy, when one partner complains the other has let them down, this counsellor often counters that “What is missing in a relationship is usually what you have failed to bring to it.”

When it comes to looking for our men to act heroically, I would add: What is missing in our men is perhaps what we have failed to invite in.

And so it is with that possibility I am leaning into myself, looking more deeply at how my own actions and attitudes might in fact hold the heroic masculine at arms length.

If there is indeed a Lost Art of Masculinity, then to that I am ready and willing to learn the the Lost Art of Femininity.

I’ll let you know how that turns out.

~

Relephant:

The Lost Art of Masculinity.

~

Like elephant journal on Facebook.

 

 Ed: Bryonie Wise

About Lori Ann Lothian

Lori Ann Lothian is a spiritual revolutionary, divine magic maker and all-purpose scribe. She writes about love, relationships, enlightenment and even sex, at Huffington Post, Good Men Project, Yoganonymous, Origin magazine, Better After 50 and on her hit personal blog The Awakened Dreamer. She is also a senior editor at the online magazine, The Good Men Project, where she founded Good for the Soul, a section dedicated to the exploration of men and spirituality. Lori Ann lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and daughter, where she has learned to transcend the rain and surrender to mega doses of vitamin D. Tweet her at Twitter or friend her on Facebook at Facebook.

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45 Responses to “What Women Desperately Want from Men (& How to Get it). ~ Lori Ann Lothian”

  1. Sherri Rosen says:

    I have dated a lot and the one thing that hasn't showed up in guys for me is an open heart. Most of them
    have been in their heads or their d*ck.

    • redraike says:

      “These desired things have come as a surprise to a generation of women who were raised with slogans like, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” batted around."

      …and a generation of men raised with the same slogan.

      "If as women we are wanting to create a union in which our man engages us and the world ‘heroically’ then we are first going to have to look at what it is we are offering that either invites heroic qualities or slams the door on them."

      …and when you are presented with those qualities…what do you do? Really?

      So many men have long given up on this. It is clear that a man NOT be chivalrous…heaven forbid! Chivalry = condescension! I've learned not to open doors for women, for fear of being yelled at. Nor pull out chairs when dining out – none of the 'chivalrous' things are seen in a positive light. To see that word used in this context feels like an ambush.

      There is a very very thin line between the strong man and The Oppressor – and the perception of where a man stands on that line is a day-to-day gamble. The problem is, while women say they want these things, they also actively destroy men's desire to embody them. What we are left with are man-children who choose to ignore the mixed signals, see that there is no sense crossing this particular minefield, and just turn on the Xbox instead.

    • HI Sherri. What does it mean for you to have an open heart?

  2. Christine says:

    What do *I* want in a man? This…and I am so lucky to have found this. He is strong and brings that out in me…he is wise, I trust him with my life and my heart…is *he* my everything? Hell no! That is a huge responsibility to put on anyone…does he *complete* me? No, I am whole. He challenges me to grow stronger, to learn, to create my life…I wasn't ready to love a man like this until I had had men who did not compel my strength or weren't courageous enough to treat me like the woman that I am…life lessons, hard falls…walking alone for awhile til I put myself back together…and now I am ready for the man who is also now ready for me. Healing happens…for men and for women.

    “I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”
    Anais Nin

    • That is one of my favorite Anais quotes. I wonder too, what would happen if we as women had the courage to treat our men like…well, men. Too often women default to treating their men likes boys, and wonder why they feel like mothers.

      • Fayrene says:

        I have to say that I know how to treat a man like a man, but there are men who are will never be anything but a boy, not necessarily entirely in maturity, but in so many other ways that it is the only thing they respond to. They WANT to be treated like a boy to a degree, the whole hero concept is far too heavy of a burden for them to bear and in many ways I understand that. As much as I respect Anais Nin the last quote is far too simplistic to state their situation as well as blaming the woman for ultimately feeling the weight of essential motherhood.

      • denabrehm says:

        Indeed. Got to get real before we can expect to attract it.

  3. Yes! I think so much of this, as you've alluded to, comes down to polarity. We can't expect yang from our men if we aren't yin. I feel like this relationship disappointment happens when we expect men to provide what we should be giving to ourselves (permission to pursue our passions, self-acceptance, groundedness) and because we are not receptive.

    I wrote a bit on the power of femininity earlier this year, and I LOVE the piece you did as well: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/02/reclaiming

    • Martine says:

      I fully agree with you Kate! I will read your article :)

    • Yes, polarity is surely a big part of what allows the heroic masculine to emerge. The chivalry piece for instance, which some consider 'heroic" could look like my man carrying my suitcase or groceries…but in the past, I often never gave the man a fighting chance to do these simple acts, because I was so busy proving how strong and capable i was.

      I am strong and capable. I also love when the physically stronger male in my life offers to do the hard lifting. :-) (Or when I ask, he says, Yes!)

  4. Beverly says:

    The observation I wish to share was prompted by one of yours: what is missing in our men is what perhaps we have failed to invite in. And what I see, in my own relationship, at least, is that maybe what is needed is just an opportunity for him to be a hero. Joe has gotten lots of opportunities in the past several years — I went through a lengthy and life-threatening illness, and my mom, who lived with me, died while I was going through it. My vulnerability was what he needed to allow his heroism to show forth. And he really rose to the challenges over and over again. So even though I am now in my 60's, I feel like a girl in a fairy tale. Not in a bad way, but a good way. I feel safe in my life with him. And even, if I may say so, spoiled rotten for the first time in my life.

  5. solfulsoul says:

    One of the greater pieces I have seen here on EJ, both in its form and function, truly a strong reconciliation between masterful art and widsom.

    As a man, what I can say is my own sense of passion and courage and what you call heroicness is what sets me apart from other men, in my own eyes as well as others. As was said, everyone has their own hero, so to some I may save the day and to others I may be a passerby. But, what I have seen to cause me the most difficulty and strife has been my own desire for heart and heroes.

    In my own words, the evolution of gender is what I see happening across the world and, to me, it is this global frution of universal values and conviction. We have become a race of individuals who know what they want, or at least, know how to get what they want when they want it. And we want heroes, and we want to be heroes and we want for all of us to get along and the price we have to pay is often greater than we realize. A hero might save the day but he can't save your heart and soul. He might inspire you but he can't replace your spirt and vigor and own individual understanding.

    The bold text in the middle of this article is the heart of the matter, but I don't feel the need to contrain the subject to gender. The nature of man (and woman) is dichotomous and reality is the duality of our collective perspectives; neither "wins" over the other, but peace and prosperity can be achieved—how is a whole 'nother matter, but it begins with each individual.

    Only what an individual choses to value can ever bring him joy (or pain), and every honest indivual is a collection of values and beliefs; if you're going to take some and leave some, you best know what it is you are leaving and taking before you get hurt.

    • I see that you have linked "heart" and heroes. That seems to be a theme I am encountering in my research, that women consider men who are heroic to be heart felt or open hearted or big hearted or even kind hearted. The word heart keeps popping up which is interesting of course, because so does the word courageous…which comes from the root old french word cuer, or heart…

      thanks for your feedback!

  6. J. Ball says:

    Bravo! You nailed it (for me at least). My husband is macho, pig-headed, brave, would fight to the death for me, and while all those qualities make me decidedly uncomfortable at times, I wouldn't have it any other way! I see (and hear) so many women trying to "beat the man out of their men" these days, and I can't understand it. Wake up ladies, you're shooting yourselves in the foot on this one… embrace and celebrate his manly qualities and you will be rewarded with a love and passion that takes your breath away!

    • Hi J:

      THis reminds me of a book club pick years ago in a women's grp I belonged to. The pick was Highlander, a novel about a rugged, manly scottish highlander from the middle ages and a 1940's woman who travels in time and has an affair with him. Point is, the women LOVED this book because in it, the man displayed those "fight to the death for her" qualities and a love and passion that took the protangonist's breath away. There is something to be said for the romantic stereotype, if not just to say the pendulum may have swung too far to metrosexual, sensitive new age guys. We don't want brutes, We don't want feminine men, but the balanced blend of both.

  7. occultfan says:

    Edit need – "the mega hit article The Lost Art of Masculinity, " – you'll want to fix the link here – it links back to your 'mini-viral' once again, unless you're being coy at your own self-promotion, but that can't be what's going on here, right? :D – Now, I really enjoyed this article. I'm thinking and feeling, as a man, all of these things lately, I especially resonate with the part about "And yes, what defines heroic will vary from woman to woman. For me, the heroic masculine looks like a man on-purpose in his life, making a contribution to the greater good, laced with kindness, fairness and passion", for this too we must complicate the notion that, we are not all strictly men, or women, and that the full-spectrum is to be honored and made fair and laid-bare. Our fellow citizen hero Chelsea Manning is an example of this. And of lesbians? And gay men? And of transgender bisexuals, as well, what then of yin and yang? Are there any clear answers? Surely there are ways to honor the needs in whatever form they come, so long as they are safe and consensual in honor and compassion.

    • Hi –will alert editorial to fix the link, thanks! Yes, there surely is a range of feminine and masculine in each person, and sexual expression that goes with it. To simplify, I will be using David Deida's rule of thumb. If you like to be ravished more often than to ravish, you are in your core, feminine (despite gender)…and vice versa.

      • elephantjournal says:

        All fixed! Sorry about that, all! ~ ed.

      • Jim says:

        I am glad to see you referencing David Deida here as it is my impression that he is on to something. From my own perspective it seems difficult to reach a woman's heart these days…so much guarded protection going on…so many past hurts being relived in what could be a fresh relationship. I think we men must simply be genuine but must honestly say that it is the rare woman that is open to seeing us in that light.

  8. Lee says:

    Hi LoriAnn,
    I am a middle-aged woman and found your article through synchronicity. I read Joseph Campbell's book "A Hero With A Thousand Faces" many years ago and have worked with the idea personally and professionally. So, I read your article with great interest. Since 9/11 I've noticed a slow growing movement toward the idea of being a Hero/ine until now when the idea is beginning to explode. I appreciated the way you ended it … the way I experience this is that we all need acknowledge and aspire to be our own Hero and Heroine first rather than unconsciously project onto anyone or else … would you agree?

  9. denabrehm says:

    Bravo to you … from another woman who knows she wants an alpha-male.

    Patriarchy has taught women to be weak, and men to be macho.

    Feminism has taught women to be masculinized, and men to be feminized.

    (so no *wonder* we keep attracting what we don't want …!)

    Both are poor substitutes for authentic masculinity and femininity.

  10. Eric says:

    It has nothing to do with the other sex. The key word is 'need'.
    As long as you need the other to be something different than what he/she is, you have work to do. On yourself.
    Only when you can be complete by yourself there will be no more need for another that 'completes' you.
    And then something amazing happens. All you will want from the other is that he/she is as complete as you are.
    And then you are evenly matched and ready to enjoy the adventure of life together just because it is way more fun to share it than to go through it alone.

    • Jim says:

      Eric, well I agree with most of what you said…until the end. I think there's some kind of stigma around being alone when it is actually an extremely rewarding condition. As for adventure there's all kinds of people to relate to wherever you go.

      But I agree that the work starts within.

    • Hi Eric…you will notice i used the word want. Women want. A want is valid. yes, a need is co-dependent.

  11. Jim says:

    One of the many things about Deida's work that is useful for women to study is that he talks about the way we (meaning men) actually are. We need to be accepted for who we are if long term harmony is to exist is a monogamous relationship. We don't need to be fixed or judged or dressed differently. There are some things about us, like our love of the female body that are built into our psyches – it is part of us.

    Flip side is true to: men would benefit from studying Deida's work because we jump in and try to rescue or 'fix' women at inappropriate times when perhaps all they need is space and some loving…either that or we run. Men must learn to recognize the beauty of the ebb and flow of femininity…

  12. Robert says:

    Nothing new here.So basic and so old. This has been known for hundreds of years. The only thing that changes is of course the available contexts, and the causes that men can champion on behalf of their women.

  13. Narayan says:

    "One clue we women (some of us) are disenchanted by the face of modern manhood was an article I wrote a year ago that went mini-viral."

    I would say this is more a clue that women are disenchanted with themselves. The disenchantment comes from within, its caused by looking for happiness, fulfilment and wholeness outside oneself.

  14. Lasara Allen LasaraAllen says:

    Thanks for the shout-out!

  15. Daniel says:

    This is what "equality" looks like. Men and women do not exist in separate worlds, only meeting when relationships form. The economic and status gains women have made have mostly come from men both willingly and unwillingly taking losses. Men can't be heroes when they don't have resources. They can't be heroes when they aren't a part of society because "women need men like a fish needs a bicycle" (a grown man might be able to laugh that off, but what about the young boy whose parents just divorced?). What heroes do they have to aspire to when the media shows action heroes thirty fit men only to have a woman hit him with a nutshot, and bumbling sitcom/commercial dads? What boy wants to be a father when his own got kicked out of the house and committed suicide after a divorce? Women have traditionally set the tone of society, patriarchy or not (how else would bans on tea and alcohol come _before_ the right to vote? Or how did women get the right to vote without draft or similar requirements?). Women have spent a few decades telling men they aren't a part of society anymore, and if they are, only by expressing their worst traits. Men naturally bend over backwards at a woman's request. These men are your "heroes", made-to-order. You get two choices: 1) those who have embodied the crappy aspects of masculinity, 2) those who took the "you are no longer needed" message, and basically do nothing (maybe they know what's expected is impossible unless they are the lucky 1%).

    Women can't share in all of men's privileges while retaining their own. Want a man who's a great dad? Give up the privileged expectation to marrying into resources. Get a high-paying job and marry down to a man who wants to devote his life to children/housework/gardening/etc. Then support laws and judicial decisions that give him child support/alimony if it doesn't work out (statistically, these pairings have some of the highest divorce rates). Boycott products they sell using media that degrades dads. Want a tough, traditional man or high-status intellectual? Fight to end hiring quotas that zap motivation, and let the workplace be a competitive environment. Stop socializing boys with "a woman can do anything a man can, in high heels", and boycott products that laugh at violence towards men. Get teaching tools that work with boys into schools. Ever notice how well boys learn from video games? Is a modern classroom anything like that? Want men to have a positive identity? Care about the disparity in sentencing, suicide, and homelessness rates. Teach boy power alongside girl power and fight male genital mutilation.

    Basically, western society spent decades trying to create equal rights between sexes while ignoring and degrading one sex under the false pretense that they had it better. It went from "different, but equal" to unequal. I don't see a legal return to the traditional "different, but equal," because it it too confining to those who do not fit the mold. The only way to fix this is for women to drop some of their privileges, and pick up some of men's obligations, and to let masculinity be a positive thing again. The sexes need to be each other's biggest fan, not at war.

    • Greg says:

      Power is never about equality, its about taken everything and leaving the other with nothing.
      Feminism has trod down this path since the first wave of bra burning was over.
      The pill might have liberated them from the tyranny of childbirth, but it gave men more opportunities,
      though, it allowed women to engage in much more risky partner choices, hence the bad boy is exciting theme.
      A study in Britain a few years back show 3/5s of biuological fathers who thought they were wernt the biological father.
      What do women need rescuing from, themselves, they will have sex with a crim thug, while making the 'hero' jump through hoops,then they will emasculate them. Disney has a to answer for.

  16. Daniel says:

    This is what "equality" looks like. Men and women do not exist in separate worlds, only meeting when relationships form. The economic and status gains women have made have mostly come from men both willingly and unwillingly taking losses. Men can't be heroes when they don't have resources. They can't be heroes when they aren't a part of society because "women need men like a fish needs a bicycle" (a grown man might be able to laugh that off, but what about the young boy whose parents just divorced?). What heroes do they have to aspire to when the media shows action heroes thirty fit men only to have a woman hit him with a nutshot, and bumbling sitcom/commercial dads? What boy wants to be a father when his own got kicked out of the house and committed suicide after a divorce? Women have traditionally set the tone of society, patriarchy or not (how else would bans on tea and alcohol come _before_ the right to vote? Or how did women get the right to vote without draft or similar requirements?). Women have spent a few decades telling men they aren't a part of society anymore, and if they are, only by expressing their worst traits. Men naturally bend over backwards at a woman's request. These men are your "heroes", made-to-order. You get two choices: 1) those who have embodied the crappy aspects of masculinity, 2) those who took the "you are no longer needed" message, and basically do nothing (maybe they know what's expected is impossible unless they are the lucky 1%).

  17. Susan says:

    Redraike:

    I don’t know…this still has the perspective that women must do x to get y from men. Women taking the initiative and the responsibility to initiate something in order to get something. When I think of a relationship based on this dynamic–I feel exhausted. Totally disinterested.

    The world needs everyone’s heroism, man, woman, and transgender to pull out of its tailspin. That’s the reality of the times we live in. We want men’s heroism because we have been brainwashed to see them as the movers and shakers in life. It’s frustrating to see men focusing on video games, jacked up toys, and hobbies, and sports when the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

    Who cares if a woman is snappy if you pull out her chair or open her door. If you really want to open the door — open it. What’s really happening is that the man isn’t picking up on cues about who he’s with, he’s following a mental script. Women want men who are in tune and men are not there yet, do to their own gender brainwashing. Instead of complaining about how women can’t be pleased, they could just level about not knowing what to do or how to pick up on cues: they could admit they are in a learning curve when it comes to emotional intelligence.

    That would work for me–not perfection but transparency.

  18. Christine says:

    How do you invite qualities that when reflected you realize you can provide for yourself? If you act as if you don't need it, how will they every be invited to provide it? Not sure I know how to invite it? I love a man to take up for me-which would require of him to be able to do it for himself. One problem I've noted is many times we are asking for qualities of men that they aren't even doing for themselves. Interesting. Is it possible for them to provide for us as women what they aren't even doing for themselves? I recognize, some of these qualities I desire I am not giving to myself but I also wonder if I did then why would I need it from a man. It's safe to say perhaps what we'd like to have in a man may not be the thing we need from him but exactly that which we need from ourselves. Yet, the vulnerability in any relationship allows for it to grow in the way it should grow and allow its beauty to flourish without any expectation. Just wondering

  19. JohnH says:

    Lori, I am impressed with your article and the call to women to own their half of the bargain. I will admit that men are trailing behind, but we want to be good mates. Yes, we need to be invited in, which is scary coming from thousands of years of counter intuitiveness. Yes, we will naturally respond to invitations from a yin perspective, but don't expect us to check our cahones at the door! Yes, we naturally want to be heroic, but we need a worthy cause to rally for. Are you a heroine? Do you really want a yangy partner, or do you need to always be in control? Quite asking men to read your minds or rescue you from your personal frustrations. We can be heroic, but you have to meet us half way. Yes, we are lagging, but not for the lack of motivation. Embodiment of yin energy is acceptance. If that is lacking, then you will attract less heroic/masculine men. It is a dance and no one likes to have their toes stepped on.

  20. Randy Flood says:

    Lori: This is provocative and timely article, despite my reading it late. I find your thoughts and reflections on men accurate and compassionate. You are attempting to revision and reinvent men as we are in our new book Mascupathy: Understanding and Healing the Malaise of American Manhood. http://mascupathy.org/

    We are heartened to read other authors who are engaged in helping society embrace a more liberated and balanced masculinity. We will be passing your articles to others and we hope you will find our book–Mascupathy–a helpful contribution to the national dialogue on the state of men and what women want from men.

  21. Bill says:

    Equalism
    Equalism is the belief that all human beings, regardless of gender, race, age, ethnic origin, or any other factor that defines our individual differences, are totally equal.
    equalist
    1) One who believes all posses certain rights. The most basic of these rights being: life, possession, expresion. These rights are limited by the rights of others.
    2) One who defends the rights of all, whithout discriminating the opposition's rights. Such a one opposes segregating terms such as: "black power", "white power", "feminism", etc…
    A) "We believe that all, no matter their sex, race, or religion, have the right to life, possession, and expression. We are 'Equalists'!"
    B) "Let us discard all discriminating terms. Including 'black power', 'white power', 'feminism' and any other discriminating term! "
    ~ Let us all be 'Equalists' ~
    NaMaSTE & ☼

  22. Greg says:

    The ego of women is astounding.
    Women compete with each other, not for men.
    Single men are competing now to on a unprecedented level with married guys on dating sites.
    So that begs the question, if marriage is so great why are their so many married men looking for sex.

  23. Mahakala says:

    Men are increasingly torn between poles – false dichotomies. This is reinforced by what women want – the poles of the alpha male, bad boy, viking and sensitive, caring, nurturer. These are not opposing. But we are still belittled when we cry, take time off to look after kids, or when I tell you I like to fight other consenting adults or watch porn. Well I don't think i should care what 'women' want. I care what my partner and children need and want. These ideal types or stereotypes are socially and historical constructed. But I hope men can learn to see the value in being gentle, caring and emotional – this is not the opposing pole to the fighter and alpha male. They are interdependent. What allows me to feel comfortable crying or not self-conscious when playing with my kids is the fact that I have no doubts about my masculinity. But I am not going to perform masculinity for you. I will play the part of myself and try not to be adversely shaped by what other people want of me

  24. Amy E says:

    I agree with Bill, but I would call it Humanism. Same basic philosophy as Equalism. I consider myself to be a Humanist, not a Feminist. I don't hate men. I believe as women, we shouldn't have special rules that give us an advantage over men. The exception would be in cases of sexual assault. Our rights as women should be protected in those cases, because men often have a physical advantage over women. That said, I am attracted to Humanist men who are intelligent, funny, shy, closet-nerdy, open minded, curious about life and learning new things, empathetic, accepting, kind, and altruistic. I would also like them to have bigger kahunas than I have.

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