No hero nec­es­sary

Cer­tain qual­i­ties women de­sire are gen­eral and not gen­der-re­lated

Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - With He­len Hawkes

Women want equal pay, equal op­por­tu­nity, safety in their homes and on the streets...

WHAT do women want? That’s a ques­tion you’ll hear in earnest, from men who are ex­press­ing their frus­tra­tion or lack of un­der­stand­ing about women to a mate or, oc­ca­sion­ally, a coun­sel­lor, to satir­i­cal, from men in the pub who are scratch­ing their heads about “sheilas”.

It’s fair to say that, in this great sun­burnt land of ours, con­fu­sion about gen­der roles has never been more preva­lent. We’re caught in a kind of rip left by sex­ism, fem­i­nism, gen­der pol­i­tics and abuse. At the same time, women’s anger about still be­ing lower paid over­all, and the most com­mon vic­tims of vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, sim­mers be­neath the sur­face.

It’s not a great equa­tion for love and hap­pi­ness, as the num­ber of re­la­tion­ships that fail demon­strates.

So if you’re won­der­ing what women want, I’ll tell you.

Women want equal pay, equal op­por­tu­nity, safety in their homes and on the streets, and their voices to be taken just as seriously as the men.

Women want re­spect and they want a man who isn’t afraid to be as strong as them, and as gen­tle when re­quired.

On a per­sonal level, women crave ro­man­tic ges­tures, kind­ness, laugh­ter and spon­tane­ity. Just like men. Some women, to­day, don’t want the door opened for them, or a seat held out, maybe be­cause they have found that, in the past, some of these ges­tures were made by men who also thought women shouldn’t have a voice in the board­room. But, go easy, be­cause men who do this are of­ten the car­ing kind and not mean­ing of­fence.

Men of­ten say women want a bad boy. Well, most women are im­pressed by a dare­devil, cheeky, phys­i­cal guy be­cause that’s just the way we’re built. We still prefer the guy who can hit the woolly mam­moth over the head and drag it home for din­ner over the guy who goes to pieces be­cause he’s never seen a woolly mam­moth and he’d like us to deal with it.

Most women want a guy who can take charge and, when nec­es­sary, bury the dead an­i­mal or fix the leak­ing tap. As I said, that’s just the way we are.

Cer­tain qual­i­ties women want – at­trac­tive, smart, clean, re­source­ful, curious, fun – are uni­ver­sal, not gen­der re­lated.

So what don’t women want? Women don’t want to be pa­tro­n­ised, com­pared to mod­els, sex­u­ally ha­rassed, abused, or over­charged by the me­chanic or the plumber. They don’t want to be in­volved with a liar, a cheater, a nar­cis­sist or a so­ciopath.

Women want hot, raunchy sex and slow, ro­man­tic sex; they want to be kissed and touched and, when nec­es­sary, en­veloped in hugs. They want to be ac­knowl­edged as sen­sual and sex­ual be­ings, but they don’t want to be forced to be­ing intimate.

I hope that’s helps some of the con­fused men out there. What do men want? Well, that’s an­other col­umn.

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