By Nina E.
Despite all of the advantages that contemporary women have, despite all of their advances, despite their achievements and the respect they have rightly earned for them, many seem strangely dissatisfied with the romantic or mate potential of the men that surround them. Ironic, as increasingly more men are adapting to the new egalitarian roles of the sexes: playing by women’s rules in the office, helping out in the home and with children, and abiding by the increasing number of rules and regulations that women in charge think essential. Most men quietly bear the scathing and sometimes blatantly dishonest media stereotypes of themselves as clueless, doltish, thick-headed animals in need of training and, often without complaint, accept the modern feminine mythos that women are spiritually, emotionally, and mentally superior to their sex in all ways. Other men, still a minority, choose quietly to opt out and not play by female rules which cause them to deny their true selves. After being disenfranchised by a vagina-positive society they are now self-disenfranchising as a response: they don’t go to college, they don’t enter the increasingly feminized workplace, and they are, in rising numbers, refusing to marry or even engage in long-term romantic relationships. Young women, in fact, are becoming increasingly resigned to the “hookup” (temporary fuckbuddy) culture and even adopting it as their own.
Once the heady draught of freedom and wide-open opportunities has worn off, once the busy intensity of striving for success and competing in one’s early adult years has passed and a woman finds herself well-established in her career or other endeavors, she, more and more frequently, looks around at the available men and feels a bleak, sinking feeling in her stomach. The members of the mating pool she finds herself in just don’t turn her on. Assuming some of these males meet the modern woman’s illogically high achievement/professional standards for a man (no matter how successful women are—and the converse: how unsuccessful men are in a female-run society—the majority of women still want to “marry up” into a more privileged class), the men seem emotionally lacking. Boring. Unexciting. Toadies. Yes Men. Passive. Weak. Overly Cooperative. Feminized. Repressed. Office Boys. Factotums. Metrosexuals. Milquetoasts. Unvirile. Manginas. These are some of the words that go through a dismayed woman’s mind when it finally turns to love, marriage, and family and she starts to survey that unfamiliar and surprisingly bleak landscape, looking for something out there, someONE out there with potential. The old adage, “A good man is hard to find,” has taken on a special meaning in the minds and hearts of many contemporary women.
The core truth being experienced in these “wonderful, exciting times” by thousands of successful, modern women is that they emotionally (and, some would say, illogically) crave a “real man,” someone they can look up to and respect, someone with “traditional” male traits, someone their bodies and hearts, despite the mental overlay of feminist propaganda, tell them is an “appropriate” mate. Sadly, this man is almost nowhere to be found—particularly in the places such women are looking. The boring, repressed, politically correct behavior and roles we’ve forced on most males in developed countries just do not stir our loins. He’s a breeze to work with (or to “organize,” if you happen to be married to him), he may be extremely skilled at pleasing in bed, but he just doesn’t inspire the sort of passion, intensity and deep, exciting, committed romance that most women crave in a relationship with a man.
Why is that? There are many reasons as this is a complex issue, but the primary reason is simple: we (members of rich, developed societies) simply do not allow men to be themselves these days and somewhere deep inside both men and women know this: both sexes recognize this social-political lie. What is a man like when he is most himself? That is what this editorial will explore, in the hopes that it will provide a compass for women who feel lost at sea when it comes to love, relationships, and romance.
There are certain personality features and inclinations that most men are born with and that naturally emerge as he grows, if not artificially stifled. Some of these traits are purposefully repressed by parents and teachers as boys transform into men. Others have little place to express themselves in today’s world and so are ignored. It’s a sad fact of life that up until as recently as 40 years ago, the majority of men used to express these traits naturally, exuberantly, and, dare I say, aggressively. But male aggression is a big-no-no these days, along with many of the other traits I am about to discuss. Nevertheless, they are what make men “men,” and, when you look at the secret fantasy lives of many women or examine the “bedside books” they read when nobody is around, you’ll find they abound with romantic male characters that embody these basic male traits, despite their political incorrectness. Sadly, the only place real men are allowed to exist in most women’s mental landscapes is in this lets-pretend world of fantasy, wishes, and idealistic dreams, a landscape built by thinly-disguised BDSM dreams and male-dominance romance novels. We cannot accept the genuine article when we encounter him because he doesn’t follow the neat, orderly, and overly safe feminine rules for behavior. No matter how much our deeper selves crave his guidance and energizing touch, that latter fact really pisses us off. He is a real man: he is himself and there is nothing a rules-bound overly feminized society hates more than someone who won’t play by “their rules.”
Of course there are evil men (and evil women, too). But I’m going to speak below of the very best traits that men can possess and that the majority of good men will express, if given the freedom to do so.
What woman who has been around men much has failed to notice that they think differently than us? I’m not talking about differences in interests or focus, I’m talking about the thought processes themselves. Male brains, at their best, travel down logical, clean, brightly-lit paths. They take few side-trips down the murky emotional byways that constantly waylay female minds and, as a result, the conclusions men quickly arrive at are often sane, coherent, and objective. Listening to a man reason and then come up with simple and often elegant conclusions feels like diving into a fresh pool of cool, clear water. Men’s minds get quickly to the point. They do so often by ignoring the emotional overtones of an issue. While this is sometimes confused with a lack of subtlety, I see it more as a clean, strong focus on the point itself, rather than how it makes one feel.
I’ve tried to imitate this style of thinking, but even at my best I have a tendency, present in many female minds, to overcomplicate issues and worry about things that have not happened. This causes me to find convoluted solutions to problems that, while they try to avoid or prevent possible contingencies, do so by jumping through far too many hoops. They are not optimal solutions because they waste energy and resources getting around imagined “bad stuff that might happen.” Most men do not have this conservative, risk-avoidance instinct and, as a result, their solutions are clearer, more elegant, and, in my experience, far more likely to work than my own. They are able to see what is important about a situation because they are less distracted by the trivial. They see the forest, the big picture, not the trees. Seeing the trees has its place, mind you, but not when making sweeping decisions or when facing a serious crisis. At those times you need to see the whole picture, not the tiny aspects of it that many a female mind will hover around and get lost in contemplating.
Most men seem quite facile at thinking spatially, abstractly, and tactically. These are traits I (and many women I know) have admitted are not our best. I get easily lost, for example. I have trouble with even simple math, and I suck at strategy war games. I greatly admire the average man’s ability to think well in these practical, and, at one time, essential-to-survival areas.
Their Emotional Sets
One of the reasons I believe men think more clearly than women is because they are not besieged by tidal waves of emotion that rock their mental boats and steer them off course. While I enjoy the company of sincere, good-hearted women, I enjoy even more being around men because they seem immune to the emotional tsunamis that plague even the best female minds. Men are generally positive and upbeat, and, if not overly influenced by female-dominated online culture, far less snide and snarky than the average woman. Overall, men seem to give women a lot more credit than they deserve. When the typical modern woman looks at a man she thinks, “Guilty until proven innocent!” When the typical modern man looks at a woman, he feels she is innocent or good until proven guilty. This noble and charitable attitude is one that would improve many woman if they were to practice it. It is the unsuspicious and magnanimous attitude of someone well-born, someone with manners who has been taught to respect all individuals unless they’ve clearly demonstrated that they are unworthy of it. The word for this simple quality that so many men naturally possess is “nobility.”
Part of a man’s positive emotional force comes from the ways in which he thinks: he does not start out overcomplicating matters by worrying about “what-if” scenarios. If he wants to do something, he simply does it. If it’s something he’s never done before, he doesn’t spend hours researching it and figuring out from others the best route to take: he just plunges right in. This lack of overcomplication and worry is incredibly refreshing to be around and helps ground me when I get lost in the paralyzing fantasy clouds of “what if THIS happened?” Men live their lives by that old Nike slogan: they Just Do It. It’s a marvelously simple and free way to live.
Overall, men seem more patient, accepting, and forgiving than women. They certainly put up with far more emotional games and subterfuges from us than we are willing to accept from them! Men can get very angry when they are roused, but, at the same time, most men have a slow fuse. Not only do they not fly instantly off the handle but they seem willing to put up with a huge about of female BS before they finally decide they’ve had enough. Even the firm, dominant men that I associate with do this. You don’t, for example, see most men viciously and vindictively trashing a woman’s reputation online simply because she was late once for a date.
Men are far less prone to hysteria and “losing it” in emergencies. Should I find myself in a terrible crisis, I would be greatly relieved if a man were there to help plan the best course of action. Far too often women in a state of crisis succumb to panic or irrationally focus on trivialities that have little bearing on the overall problem.
Men, at their best, are wonderfully direct and transparent: what you see is what you get. I greatly admire a man’s natural, bright honesty and directness and strive hard to act the same. Men, when compared to women, have a strong sense of fairness, justice, and balance. They don’t hold grudges because someone used the “wrong” word or wore the same outfit that they are wearing. They lack the pettiness that all too often plagues the female heart and causes her to place deep import on irrelevant events, magnify imagined slights, and even delight in causing discomfort to others.
Their Powers of Creation
When something breaks in the house, who does the average woman turn to? A man, usually. Throughout history (and, I suspect, prehistory) men have been the primary builders, makers, fixers, and general creators in this world. Most lasting, most “great” creative works of art or music, books, theories, architectural marvels, and so on have a male mind behind them. There is a creative force in men that is at the heart of their virility, their maleness, and when they harness it to a worthwhile project or vision, they often come close to making miracles happen. Feminist “scientific” literature is full of theories about why most great creative works were done by men. This impolite little fact of life makes them furious. (Because we all know women are supposed to be better than men in everything, right?) But the fact of the matter is, the average man is better at making things, better at fixing things that get broken, better at conceiving of paradigm-shifting ideas that profoundly change the ways we think about the world, and, overall, far more creative than the average woman.
Perhaps some of this is due to a man’s ability to make sense out of spatial information, his often superior eye-hand coordination, or the fact that the skills men exercised throughout history encouraged and supported the development of creative thinking. Whatever it is, I deeply admire men for their ability to envision something new that has never been seen or heard before and then create it. Or perhaps they envision it as they create it? However it’s done, it’s extremely impressive and often makes a profound difference in the ways we all live. When I drive a car instead of walking to work or read a cell phone text instead of waiting days or weeks for a letter or ride in an elevator instead of climbing the stairs, I am quite aware that I wouldn’t have such useful conveniences if a male mind hadn’t conceived of and then solved the complex problems around building them. I rejoice in and am deeply grateful for men’s immense creativity and practical genius.
Their Fighting Spirits
I love and deeply admire male bravery. Men constantly take risks in life, they leap in when things are unsure, they are willing and able to fight for what’s important. They don’t constantly try to avoid danger like the average risk-aversive woman; instead, they will respond quickly and decisively in times of crisis. The typical man is far more likely than a woman to face danger with aggression and try to overcome it. Men value the development of their physical skills and thrive in competitive environments. Quite clearly, many of the recreational sports most enjoyed by men employ lightly disguised versions of battle practices. Men enjoy excelling physically: being faster, stronger, more agile, more stealthy than the other guy. They enjoy physical action immensely, even simulated physical action, and seem to thrive on danger and risk—things most women dislike and do not seek out.
If you visit Youtube.com and watch some guy’s game video where he’s running from monsters who are everywhere and dying constantly in horrible ways he’s usually chortling with intense glee. As a woman watching these scenarios I think, “Is he out of his mind? What is fun about this extremely stressful situation?” I don’t get it but I’m very glad men are naturally physically aggressive and even enjoy it, as I am not. I’d rather hide in a closet from the monsters! Seriously, I feel safe and protected when in the company of a man. I know his fighting skills are better than my own and that if we did face a crisis he would be able to direct the best course of action to take in response to it. On my own, I’d be likely to panic or freeze up, and then perhaps face, as I do over and over in video games, a needless death due to my unwillingness to take a risk and engage in a stressful, fast-paced confrontation.
Their Natural Abilities to Lead
All of the traits described above make a man into a natural and logical leader. A man’s objectivity and ability to think clearly and strategically without the confusing haze of emotion or fantasy; his action-oriented, risk-taking personality; his creativity and trailblazing abilities; his natural aggressiveness; and his overall largeness of spirit makes him an ideal person to follow. Unlike the current cultural myths, many men, if allowed to be themselves, will rise to greatness, will take charge of situations and make rational, fair decisions that result in more people being helped than harmed. They are natural leaders. Men are protective and possessive, as well, toward those in their charge. If he is allowed to develop naturally and with strong male role models, it is second nature for a man to take good care of those he leads and cares for. When needed, they don’t operate on automatic or “by the rules”: they are flexible and strategic risk-takers. Finally, men have an extremely valuable trait that all good leaders need: they are persistent. They do not give up easily, at the first or even the tenth frustration. They keep looking for a solution, a way through, a way to fix things. For all of these reasons, I find it deeply disturbing that men’s natural leadership talents are so often these days ignored, seen as unimportant, or even ridiculed in favor of the overly-detailed, inflexible, monotonous, fastidious rules-following corporate mentality that far too many women today identify with leadership.
To anticipate a question that may be in the minds of some as they finish this piece, yes, of course, women have good qualities too. Whoever said they didn’t? In fact, these good qualities are talked about everywhere—absolutely everywhere. Every place you go, everything you read in this “girls rule-boys drool” society is immensely female-positive, often at the expense of men who are contrasted with the “greatness” of women as bumbling but trainable fools at best; insane and violent criminals at worst. But where is the goodness, the greatness that is man, talked about? The honest answer is: almost nowhere these days. I’m simply trying to redress that immense imbalance with a few reminders of why we are all not lesbians, why so many of us women still love and even adore the delightfully-different-from-us man in our lives…provided we can find one.