August 21, 2012
What Women Want, Spilling the Secrets of the Sisterhood
It's election time and inevitably women's rights are always served up on the political table. It has started me thinking about what it is women want.
It seems like men are always trying to figure it out, as if women are complicated. Maybe it's because I'm a woman -- but it doesn't seem complicated to me. I will admit women are more demonstrative so we sometimes express ourselves openly, maybe more openly than men who have been socialized not to express themselves in certain ways. (Which I think is unfortunate and repressive.) I don't think we feel our feelings bigger or stronger, we've just not been conditioned to restrain ourselves in any gender-specified way.
What We Want
Love. We want to be loved. Cherished. Valued. We want to feel, now and again, like the sun rises and sets on us. Even if it's just for a moment. Like right after we do the dishes. Or while we brush our teeth while you're using up all the hot water. Or in that moment before we take our last conscious breath before we drift off to sleep.
Beauty. We want to feel beautiful, desired. We aren't always. And beauty is relative. But in some way, to some one we are beautiful. If you are that person, we'd love to know you think that. Perhaps in our daily lives, in the grind of minutia we can't identify those moments easily. But if you see that glimpse it's okay to say something about it. It doesn't obligate you beyond that moment. It's not foreplay. It's not an apology for being a jerk yesterday. It's not an admission or giving ground. It's you seeing us and we dig that. (See also: any love sonnet by Pablo Neruda)
Security. We want to feel safe. We want to have room to spread our wings and be confident. We love solid ground. We want to trust and be open. We want to tell you secrets and dreams and know you won't laugh. We can kill our own spiders because we are grown-up girls, but it's sort of really cool if you kill them for us. Sometimes that even seems sexy and brave.
Sex. We want sex. Various kinds. Definitely we differ in this regard. Apparently a lot of us are intrigued by Fifty Shades of Grey. When my own book came out my mother chastised me for the little bit of sexy stuff that was in there (which was minimal) and said I shouldn't be so base, that women want "princess sex." I have no idea what "princess sex" is and I can tell you right now if I ever wanted that in my life I definitely do not want it now. Ever. Simply because that phrase came out of my mother's mouth. Learn about our bodies, ask questions, try things, get suggestions. Don't be afraid. And certainly don't apologize for wanting it too. (See also: Jaiya)
Men. (Lesbians, this is the only paragraph that probably won't work for you. You can skip it or white it out and write in your own stuff here.) We want men that act like men even when we tell you we want you to be sensitive and nice and caring and all that other stuff. You can still do those things and be men. Don't let us convince you otherwise. If we wanted women we'd be with women. And, well, some of us are. And that's no reflection on you. (See also: The Art of Manliness)
Respect. We are not vessels to be filled, nor are we baby-making machines. We are not less than you. We are not better than you. We are sometimes different, but in a lot of ways we are the same. We want your insides to relate to our insides on a deep soul level. And sometimes we just want you to help us unload the dishwasher and talk about what movie we'll watch tonight. Please don't belittle us, ridicule us or derride us because we are just as important to the running of the world as you are.
There are women in the world who are not nice. They are greedy. They are bitches. They don't care about you. They are in it for themselves. They will not take care of you when you are puking in the toilet. They will berate you into keeping a job you hate because it gives you a bigger paycheck. I could go on, but you know those women. Those women are not us and those women are not for you. Those women are for the dickhead men who deserve them, the men that are not you. Run. Run from them like your life depends on it. Because it does. Those raging zombie brain-eating women will suck out your life force and leave you lying in the dirt like a dessicated husk of former man-meat that is good for little but being bitter for the really nice woman who follows in her attractive perfume-scented wake.
What Men Want
The joke around the water cooler is that men want sex and beer and TV and that it's silly to make it any more complicated than that. I could be wrong, but I think our lists aren't that much different.
What Else Do You Want?
Add to my list. Leave me a comment (men and women) and add anything I've missed!