wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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So how do you know when the real thing comes along?

Thinking about the long comment that the Merciful, the Lovingkind left on Michele's blog, which has sparked off quite the debate on what men and women are looking for when they go looking for someone to settle down with...for a night or for a lifetime. Quite a few comments worth reading there, though of course a lot of it is on a par with what you'd hear down at the NCO Club/neighborhood bar.

And of course Professor Death was absolutely right to hook Michele's post together with this none-too-gentle essay by Ann Althouse, because that's another aspect of the question which the crowd over at Michele's wasn't touching on too much; they're mostly all about the booty over there and whether baby got back.

Philosophizing on men & women follows.
I don't claim to be an expert on this stuff, having been somewhat reluctant to play the field when younger on account of not really being in shape by most girls' standards, and having been signed to a long-term contract pretty early on besides. I do think I'm entitled to an opinion or three, so here goes. If you're on the top of the bell curve, physically speaking, you're probably going to get more play than somebody carrying some extra weight or somebody else who's on the extra-skinny side, and this applies to girls as well as boys - though I'd say the skinny boys are more in demand than the girls doing their best to follow the heroin chic fashion. As the women get older, if they want to have kids and haven't found the fellow that matches their shopping list in all particulars, they're going to start throwing out qualifiers until they're settling for somebody that might match just a couple of the points on the original shopping list - as in, has steady job and isn't obviously abusive towards women & children.

Men, on the other hand, will be fairly picky - which is to say they want a woman who's willing and at least a 3 on a scale of 10 in the physical beauty department, though that 3 may be reading as an 8 or 9 on their particular scope at the time due to the effects of drugs, alcohol, or excessive horniness, which is why most preachers & JP's won't marry you if you look like you're wasted. Seriously, though...I think most guys are less demanding than women when it comes to looking for a mate, because unfortunately for women, guys have always been able to just up and walk out, and only the tight bonds of religion and societal mores have kept them staying tied to women and kids they can't stand.

It all got started by this MoDo column, which bewails the fact that smart, intelligent women can't find men who are interested in them. ("But enough about me. What do you think about me?") I don't know that that's really the case; instead of actually going out and talking to people, Dowd relies on Hollywood movies and university studies to prove her point that what men want is their secretaries or servants, preferably ones not speaking English. I smell PROJECTION! Seriously, though, if your concept of a relationship is one of unending Foucauldian power struggles in and out of the bedroom, I can't imagine that you're going to find too many guys interested in being your husband for very long unless they like losing those kind of arguments on an ongoing basis. Also, if a woman wants a husband who will be perpetually awed by her marvelous achievements, how is that different from a man wanting a woman who is (to use the feminists' stock horror phrase) barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen?

I think there's a happy medium here, and if you're lucky you actually get this in a marriage: two people who have similar interests, are complementary in other interests, and care enough about each other to cut their spouse some slack when their spouse wants to do something with the boys/the girls that they themselves aren't interested in. There has to be some give and take, some respect, and a lot of love and patience, but I guess that last is sort of redundant.

Okay, that's enough chum in the water for one night.

Additional comment: While I appreciate the feedback, the speed of some people's responses makes me wonder whether they bothered to follow the links. I don't think it's really possible to understand what I'm saying here if you don't read the comments/essays/posts linked to, because you're coming in at the middle of the conversation. That's the whole point of providing those links, to give some context to what I'm talking about here.
Tags: culture w/o politics
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