In today’s enlightened age, women think they know what kind of man they want, but in reality, most don’t. In fact, many women, unwittingly confused by the myriad feminist mantras bombarding them daily, seek the type of committed, romantic relationship with a man that will ultimately leave both her and him inherently dissatisfied.
This is as much due to the ideology behind feminism’s flawed ideas as the men who have been, over the years, subconsciously programmed to behave according to its dictates. It’s never too late to figure out that men need to own their patriarchal prowess. If they did so, they’d soon discover this is what women really want.
What Women Are Told
Women are now told from basically grade school through early adulthood that they can do anything, be anything, have anything—with a woman or a man, with anyone or no one—as long as they work hard, lean on girl power, and berate or at least eschew any notions of patriarchal reverence. See Gloria Steinem’s famous “women need men like a fish needs a bicycle.”*
You’ve seen this happen in real life, and if you look at the statistics, women are actually putting this into practice: Over the past few decades, more women than men are going to college and getting higher degrees. Then they’re purchasing homes and putting off marriage and babies. Guess what: They’re miserable. (As Donald Trump would say, “Sad!”)
In an interview with Maclean’s Camilla Paglia confirmed this: “[W]e don’t know what we want. We don’t know if we want children or not. My generation produced the sexual revolution and your generation is stuck figuring out how it’s going to work.”
Turns out: All that stuff is just stuff. As much as stuff is nice, many women still crave a stable, mutual, satiating romantic relationship with an assertive, authentic, direct man. This is normal. (If you don’t, keep perusing The Federalist—this particular column just isn’t for you.)
Problem is, the kind of men feminist padawans tend to attract are—how do I say this politely?—not really men. Studies even show contraception users are attracted to more passive, feminine men. I mean, they have man parts, but they are defensive, irresponsible, and passive-aggressive. Some people call them betas, and they are a lot like those cute lap dogs: They do what you want but they’re needy and boring and growl or whine to get their way. Sad!
How Men Perceive This
Many men, having been on the receiving end of this feminist mantra that repeatedly says man parts are gross, male minds are stupid, male character is lacking (false rape charges anyone?), and male personalities are domineering, overbearing, and disrespectful of women, have slowly shriveled to mere shells of themselves in an effort to avoid the witchy brigade of feminist diehards. Germaine Greer said, “Women’s liberation, if it abolishes the patriarchal family, will abolish a necessary substructure of the authoritarian state and once that withers away Marx will have come true willy-nilly–so let’s get on with it.” Get on with it they did, and they nearly succeeded.
As post-sexual-revolution women have been released to explore their own sexuality, they have discovered that the easy-to-please, passive-aggressive, “Mr. Nice Guy” offers devastating disappointment. Just consider the confused, bored sex people are navigating after campuses and California passed “affirmative consent” regulations. Or in other words, women are experiencing a kind of sexual frustration that surpasses that of their female predecessors. Who knew?
Many men who encounter a true feminist basically cower, act indifferent, shrug, butter up, charm, demean, ignore, or attempt to flirt. This is true if the woman is a friend, lover, or coworker. This is the opposite of what women really crave, though they are hard-pressed to admit it to—especially in a feminist-soaked society like ours. In fact, researchers studying how to create happy marriages find that people need, not anything-goes sexuality, but social scripts to follow so both partners know what to expect and how to act.
How Men Should React
Deep down in the confines of her soul where she hasn’t even bothered to look, much less understand, a woman wants a man who exudes masculinity, who remains a steady rock in her current-filled stream of emotions and hormones. Instead of a man who says he’ll eat at the restaurant of her choice for the fifteenth time that month, she wants a man who cooks a meal she’s never tried before.
Instead of a man who says “Hey wanna?” she really craves a man who starts kissing her at the front door and before you know it she is begging, “Can we do that again….tonight?” Instead of a man who complains his co-workers are annoying, his kids are messy, and he doesn’t feel great about himself, she craves a man who knows his calling in life, takes responsibility, and makes it his mission to fulfill his purpose with clarity, courage, and hard work—and thus a man who cares for his mind, body, and soul to that end.
What Women Can Do
I’m not saying all women should ditch their careers, put on an Amish dress, and bear 10 children for a misogynist man who grunts demands all day long. Not by a long shot. There is a spectrum of responses to this conundrum, and each woman may find herself in a different place, even at different times in her life. Of course, not every laid-back man is a disappointment and not every assertive man is mature and kind.
Two women I know took entirely different paths and responded differently on this spectrum: The first bought into the feminist mantra hook, line, and sinker, scoffed at strong alpha males who were opinionated, direct—even demanding. She married a softer, but more romantic man who would do whatever she wanted at the drop of a hat.
The second dutifully married a more direct, straightforward man, however demanding and borderline-misogynist he was. Fast-forward a few years; both women had two kids. Guess which one is happier? The former’s husband has become so passive-aggressive that the family’s finances are in disarray and their sex life is nonexistent. The latter found a synergy with her husband most of my friends hardly recognize: They’re working towards familial goals, have hot, regular sex, and he’s compromised and become less of a demanding jerk. Guess that patriarchy thing works out sometimes?
Women can have careers, be independent, strong, and happy, but if they want to do all this and attract the kind of man they really crave, they need to throw out the hallmarks of feminism that claim their male peers are domineering, stupid, misogynist authoritarians who will make their lives miserable. If anything, the opposite is true. The direct, honest, responsible, hard-working man many a woman desires can be just the type she’ll find, once she ditches the ideology that told her she didn’t need that to be happy in the first place.
*An earlier version of this article included a quote that was misattributed to Jessica Valenti. We regret the error.