To caveat, I’m not talking about what women want from their jobs, from their bodies or from their overall self progression…maybe next time. This post is about what women want from men specifically in this day and age.
So who remembers the film? Handsome Mel Gibson fighting for the affection of gorgeous Helen Hunt, played out to the perfect soundtrack of Frank Sinatra. I loved ‘What Women Want’ when it came out. Mel’s temporary ‘superpower’ was that he could read women’s minds, he went from being perceived as an overbearing macho sleaze, to a sweet, sensitive heart-throb, with just the right level of seductive prowess. He was the bad boy you couldn’t help falling for in the end….exactly the same way Helen Hunt does in the movie.
But what does the 2018 woman REALLY want in a man, and is she being totally honest about it?
When I think about it, all the film characters I’ve fallen a little bit in love with over the years have had that flirtatious bad boy streak:
Jon Hamm – Don Draper, Mad men
Cillian Murphy – Tommy Shelby, Peaky Blinders
Brad Pitt – Snatch, Ocean’s Eleven, Troy, Mr and Mrs Smith…the list goes on!
Does this mean I’ve been brainwashed to think this is what a ‘desirable’ man looks like? One who is more likely to hurl you onto the bed rather than help you change the sheets? Maybe. But is it bad to prefer the former outcome above the latter sometimes?
This week I read an article about the 007’s of the 60’s and 70’s, in it they gave the films a bashing for being horrendously sexist – well I’m sorry but DUH OF COURSE the old Bond films are sexist – they’re from a completely different time in history. The movies reflect the attitudes of the time, it doesn’t surprise me that it shocks the youth of today to watch them – they’re ancient. Even the James Bond of today is still a serial womanizer, albeit without the cheesy one liners and raised eyebrows.
I can’t say I was a fan of Roger Moore’s retro Bond of the bygone days, but am I turned off by Daniel Craig when he jumps in the shower with a lady friend….nope…there I said it, burn me at the stake!
I think women are more complex creatures than we’d like to admit, because really, we want it all (or at least I do anyway). We want a man with an open-minded view of the world, someone who treats us equally, listens, shares his thoughts, is polite, caring and supportive but also someone who can flip that switch when we need it. Someone who can pick us up and throw us about a bit when the mood suits. Someone who pulls you in for that unexpected kiss, has a cheeky hand on the bum when you pop to the shops, gives you that knowing wink every once in a while. Not only that, but we need someone who knows instinctively when to dial it up and when to sit down and listen. I for one couldn’t judge that, so why do we expect men to always read the signs correctly, when most of the time they point in totally conflicting directions…
I watch a LOT of First Dates on TV – and 9 times out of 10 the woman will say beforehand that what she really wants, is someone who makes her laugh, is kind and will hold the door open…and then pat her on the bum on the way through it. So many times you watch women on that show throw a perfectly good date down the drain because he was ‘too nice’, ‘too polite’, ‘there just wasn’t that spark for me’. Make up your minds ladies!
Will the next generation of girls want something totally different? Or will they still want the best of both worlds – to be equal in intellect and respected – yet lusted after in a raw passionate way too. Will men still have the confidence to turn up that dial when it’s becoming so frowned upon today? Is that why so many of them are just ‘too nice’?
For me it mainly comes down to receptiveness. When you’re out in a bar and a really ‘not your type‘ guy comes over to talk and offers to buy you a drink…it’s annoying. It gets in the way of your night, it makes you want to shut it down straight away and ignore…and many do, many girls are actually very rude – I’ve seen it. But what if you turned around and saw your ‘ideal man on paper‘ standing before you with the exact same request – would that same behaviour still be unacceptable to you? Or would you suddenly give them the time of day?
The difference between those two situations is generally attractiveness, and how does the guy know if he’s attractive to you or not until he comes up to talk to you? He’s putting himself out there after all, you’re not. I don’t agree with blokes who take advantage on nights out and go straight for the grope and grind – WRONG. But I also don’t think girls need to be rude to the ones just trying to chat you up a bit. Other than Tinder, how else are they meant to do it these days?
Women say they really want to meet a bloke ‘in real life‘ but then many don’t give them five seconds to sell themselves. Obviously blokes who can barely stand or are rude are going to give off a bad impression straight away, but haven’t we ever got that pissed? Haven’t we made total fools of ourselves in front of men or done something silly when drunk? Just because they’re men we tar them with a brush which isn’t always…(and I use the word always carefully) deserving.
I would call myself a feminist, I believe in equality for men and women and equal rights, free speech, equal pay and opportunities for both sexes – but I think some men get unfairly judged when sometimes – we actually WANT to be flirted outrageously with. How would any of us find a partner otherwise? Perhaps the modern woman of today marches right up to that guy she likes to look of and SHE makes the first move – but I highly doubt it in most cases…unless drunk, in which case she may well be the one getting turned down unceremoniously.
The old saying is that ‘men are from mars, women are from venus’ – we should be identical in terms of our work rights, our freedoms, our pay, our thoughts and our opinions – but I don’t think we’re ever going to be exactly the same in all areas.
I would argue that What Women Want is vastly more complex than what men want, and the romantic films / advertising / books / music we’ve grown up being exposed to, probably has a lot to do with our outlook as well.
The bad boy who still knows exactly how to treat you like a lady, who can be the rescuer, the protector and still the equal and best friend, does not always come in one neat package. The same as some women can’t cope with the demands of being aloof, body-hair-free and mysterious whilst secretly wanting to just put on some jogger bottoms, tie their hair up and fart out loud with that special someone. That’s a broad generalisation – but you get the idea. Men aren’t perfect – neither are we.
Whatever you want from a man – it’s not wrong, it might just be hard to find if you’re basing that person on fictional characters from the movies.
When it comes to the bedroom, the same rule fits – whatever rocks your boat is fine, so long as your partner is happy with it too. As a woman you can wear the trousers at work, you can boss it in the gym, you can own that evening class, but if you want to whip the trousers off in the bedroom sometimes, that’s totally OK too!