Men Must Be Needed Because We Can’t Be Wanted

ClarkKentNeeded

We believe we have to be the heroes only because we can’t yet see other roles for ourselves.

Running an online magazine about masculinity, I’ve come to observe a curious phenomenon. When we post about male rape victims or the enforcement of masculine gender roles, we get plenty of interesting comments. But when we post about Nice Guy Syndrome and other issues around men who feel sexually unwanted, our comments blow up like they were directed by Michael Bay. This is an issue that touches men deeply and damagingly, and ties in with a lot of pain that, hegemonic masculinity being what it is, usually doesn’t get talked about.

Others, such as Hugo Schwyzer, have written about how straight men don’t feel sexually desired, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. It’s hard to overestimate just how deep this idea goes. It feeds into a phenomenon a lot of guys have experienced, a phenomenon based on weird broken ideas about gender roles, ideas so deeply rooted in the subconscious that most men aren’t even aware that they’ve got them.

The core issue is this: many, many men in our society feel they have to be needed, because they can’t imagine they could ever be wanted.

Being needed can take different forms, all of which resemble traditional male roles. Brave protector against danger. Breadwinning economic provider. Indispensable handyman. Problem-solving leader. We get any more macho stereotypes in here, it’s gonna look like a Village People reunion. This is what being masculine means in our culture: to be necessary.

Plan A, for men in our society, is to be necessary, to be needed, to be indispensable. There is no plan B.

One of the most common complaints about feminism, all the way back to the First Wave, is that feminism seeks to make men obsolete or unnecessary. “If women can [fill in anything about female agency] what will they need men for?” runs the line, in every decade, in response to every advance. And while nobody is arguing that that’s a legitimate criticism, it’s important to understand that it arises out of a real fear. Look at the key word in that sentence, need. It’s always the same concept, however that objection is phrased. Plan A, for men in our society, is to be necessary, to be needed, to be indispensable. There is no plan B. If plan A doesn’t come off, we are lost, we’re adrift, we have nothing. This is an existential fear, on a very deep level.

♦◊♦

There’s a common observation among those who, like myself, have worked in senior citizen care homes. It’s related to why the population of those homes skews heavily female, to why men die younger than women. Over and over, again and again, those who are around senior citizens have to deal with retired men who, no longer working and no longer earning money, don’t know why they’re still alive. They don’t know who they are or why they bother to continue drawing breath, if they’re no longer needed for something important. Some of them find something else to define themselves, some new project or internal source of worth. Others just give up and let the next swell of ill health carry them overboard.

We’re at a place, culturally and economically, where many of the traditional sources of necessity for men have evaporated, or at least been drastically downsized.

The “crisis of masculinity” that many people are currently wringing their hands over, the “mancession” involving men’s employment dropping slightly faster than women’s, the cultural yearning for an imagined past when men bestrode the world like gray-suited colossi, building and making and innovating Important Things… same problem. We’re at a place, culturally and economically, where many of the traditional sources of necessity for men have evaporated, or at least been drastically downsized. We don’t need to have 25% of the population growing food any more, we can do it with 2%. Women don’t need men to provide for them any more, education and career opportunities have opened up. All this would be fine, if there were any plan B.

It’s a well-worn observation that media is the first place to look for enforcement of societal norms. A quick glance at our culture’s media demonstrates that it endlessly reinforces the notion of male necessity. On a surface level, there’s the fact that with fictional heroes remaining overwhelmingly white males, if a guy doesn’t show up, there’s no story at all. That’s a nice form of necessity. Deeper than that, though, there’s the structure of every “romantic” subplot in every movie that has a character who can be accurately described as The Girl. Every action movie, every sci-fi epic, all the movies that are stereotypically written off as male power fantasies, all have the same way that the hero gets the girl: he proves his necessity, usually by saving her life. If he weren’t there, she’d literally be dead.

Interestingly, the romantic movies often stereotyped as female fantasies do not generally have this dynamic. Oddly, however, even those rarely focus on the male lead as the object of desire; the female gaze is commonly absent from these stories. Instead the heroine tends to be the object, and the hero prevails by demonstrating that his desire for her is the biggest and most special and pure and so on. Not even in the realm of “chick flicks” about the joys of heterosexual pair-bonding are men seen as desired, as wanted.

I’m not speaking in the abstract here; when this wanted/needed dichotomy was first pointed out to me, I felt a deep and embarrassed pang of recognition. I myself like it when I can rescue my girlfriends, when I can save the day or handle the problem or otherwise demonstrate my irrefutable necessity. I like feeling needed because even for me, even with all my ever-so-educated awareness of gender roles and stereotypes, even with all the women who’ve told me I’m sexy and desirable, I still can’t quite convince myself that I’m wanted. Even if I am, being wanted can only be a nebulous and fleeting state. Being needed, now, that’s solid. That’s a reason to keep going.

It is downright incredible how resistant to empirical data the sense of being unwantable is. It took many years and girlfriends before I began to suspect that every women who slept with me might not be humoring me out of pity. Even then, and to this day, I feel more secure in relationships when I can provide a measurable and necessary form of value other than just my own charms, whatever those might be. Girlfriend needs a ride to the airport? I’m on it! Needs a ride to the hospital? Even better! The rare occasions where I can help out with covering bills when she’s short on rent (most of the women I’ve loved make more money than a starving writer, it turns out) are even better, because I am Providing For My Woman, and I feel the warm glow of centuries of hegemonic masculinity validating me.

Let me be clear: I know this is stupid. I know it’s asinine social programming and that these women consider me sexually and emotionally desirable. But there’s a difference between knowing that and believing it. And for guys who haven’t got a girlfriend, who feel the bitter sting of active rejection or the endless cold of passive rejection, who yearn for love and sex and the touch of another hand… what can they possibly believe about being wanted?

The fact is, as I’ve learned during prolonged periods of loneliness myself, when a a lifetime of “Ewwww, gross, naked guy!” jokes combine with stretches of personal rejection, it’s easy to feel neither wanted nor needed. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a job where your particular abilities are necessary, so that’s a form of being needed, one you can throw yourself into, but it’s not the same as being needed by another person. Being wanted by another person, at that point, has disappeared over the horizon, into an unmarked area of the map labeled HERE BE UNICORNS THAT DISPENSE FREE MONEY.

It’s easy to get bitter when you feel unwanted, and so this unfortunate confluence of forces has left our culture littered with embittered men who get very upset about what they can’t help but perceive as their own failure. It’s easy to dismiss them as angry losers or some other convenient pejorative, but I’ve walked a few too many miles in their shoes to call their pain baseless. I don’t pretend to have a solution, but the least we can do is begin to correctly identify the problem.

Photo—daspader/Flickr

About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is an Editor-at-Large at Good Men Project, and possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.

Comments

  1. women are made to feel guilty and slutty for their sexuality. When that stops, women will make men feelmtheirmdesire. Desire for women is judged as being slutty. The Patriarchal archetype of who’re and Madonna had led to this . Women are just people, not your mom or your prostitute.

    • As I explained in another comment on this thread, the reason that women are slut shamed is essentially because men are socially weak due to their lack of sexual value. The guy “gets” the girl, right? He’s put through some ordeal, slays a dragon, some bad guy, overcomes this or that obstacle, resolves the conflict in the narrative and successfully wins the girl’s love. That’s the familiar archetype which appears everywhere in our culture and has going back as far as you want to look. Well, break it down. The fact that the guy has to get the girl in the first place means what? What if he can’t slay the dragon? Of what use is he? None. He’s invisible, a failure, a loser, etc., and women will regard him as such, if they even notice him at all.

      Women by contrast are the ones being saved. Their value is not tied to conditions. They aren’t asked to slay any dragon or climb some mountain. What the guy spends the duration of the narrative attempting to achieve at great risk and cost to himself is already hers by default. She is already needed and wanted, and probably by plenty of other aspiring heroes. See the difference?

      So why would men want women to be chaste on the one hand and then complain about the barren, sexual and emotional wasteland that most women create for men on the other? It’s because women have sexual value whereas he does not. If she dumps or divorces him, he is far more easily replaced than he can replace her. She has no dragon to slay, she need only sit at a bar alone and rack up phone numbers. She can go make an okcupid profile and screen potential applicants like an employer at the height of the great depression. And him? What does he do? He’s right back to slaying dragons, if he’s able to at all.

      For women, they need only let sex happen. Men, by contrast, have to battle to make sex, intimacy, and relationships happen. So the problem doesn’t begin with men, but with women. So long as women think of their sexuality as a bargaining chip or a tool of manipulation which compels men to qualify for female intimacy, they will be slut shamed and resented by men who are rightfully insecure that the prize they’ve ostensibly won after their ordeal can easily be snatched away by a more powerful hero.

      Men are just people. They aren’t monsters, villains, heroes, work horses, or all powerful wizards who control everything and are therefore responsible for our gender norms, yeah?

    • Some of us women, however, need not fear the slut-shaming or Madonna-Wh-re complex that het women and men alike espouse. If we are in the LGBT community, we are already morally bereft by dint of our sexual orientations/identities, and many of us, self included, date strictly within that community to ensure we are partnering only with those people who share our experiences.

      Thus, even when I date a man, he is q-33r too, so I have the comfort of realization that we’ve both walked the same paths of rejection and bigotry, even if the end results manifested in different ways for us. I am married to a bi man, I am the breadwinner, and he provides the majority of domestic work and emotional labor. Each of us needs the other, but more importantly, each of us WANTS the other, very badly (in and out of the bedroom), and since het gender roles don’t play quite the same role in LGBT marriages as they do in straight ones, we are free to ignore tradition and the dichotomous sex role expectations for each gender and build the relationship that suits us best.

      All that said, this article makes some excellent points, and many bi men I’ve spoken to feel the same way, with the added bonus of needing to tackle homophobia, both internalized and within others.

  2. YES!!!! Thank you, Noah!
    Every line in this article is absolutely golden! I feel like I’ve been trying to argue this point for a long time. But because most every time I’m trying to address it I’m in a classroom, I’m immediately shot down (and in one case verbally attacked) by the bell hooks and Pride and Prejudice thumpers. And their response, honestly, made me feel quite insignificant, like my point of view is both trivial and illegitimate, or unneeded. In turn, I spend a lot of time in a state of ‘existential crisis’ trying to balance my insecurities about my undesirability (wondering if that undesirability is entirely perceived on my part) and my self-confidence about the ways I know I’m needed (which I also feel are becoming fewer and thinner).
    The academy aside, this is absolutely a discussion that ‘needs’ to be had on popular level.
    Frankly, too, I’m freakin’ SICK of all the dull, unimaginative superhero flicks. Why can’t we force Hollywood to break its catatonic trance on this monochromatic and trite genre??

  3. The irony is that when you are actually not wanted, you can still be needed.
    I was married to a closet lesbian (and no, it’s not any fun). Boy was she ever needy. Work, home, family, she was a dream come true for a guy who equates being useful with being loved. But despite putting a roof over, filling the bank account (for her to empty), keeping house and helping to set up a business, not one ounce of affection or appreciation was coming my way. Where was the payoff? I was useful, but not loved. Men are sometimes called a tool as an insult, but tools also fix stuff, and that’s what we try to do best. I was indeed a tool, and was used as such. When she came out, I think she hoped that I would be supportive, as she certainly needed me around as a front for her. But I was at the end of my usefulness. It dawned on me that no matter how hard I tried, I would never be wanted by her, because I quite literally had the wrong tools for the job.
    So I split. It took me 28 seconds to blow up the marriage home and all the work I had put in, because all that I had built was a house of cards. To this day I don’t know what women see in men, other than a paycheck, a workhorse, a hero or a challenge. I’ve decided that I am none of those things anymore, but in doing so, I don’t know what I actually am to them. What I am though is alone, in the black, and reasonably happy, if not satisfied. That may not make much sense. My time is filled with my stuff, my family, my son, my home. If I can’t be any fecking use to a woman, at least I can be useful to myself.

  4. I think the article touches a very good point but makes the usual mistake in this site of blaming men for it.
    Women are doing a lousy job at making men feel wanted. In valentines and such you see what women get from men, in tv and movies its always the man doing things for the woman, and its impossible to find comments, articles or posts of women saying good things about men. Even when celebrating men’s day, you get mentions about male violence and domestic violence.
    It’s very hard to find a woman talking about a man being desirable or lovablr without turning it into a complain
    if men don’t feel wanted it’s because the ones who should make them feel that way are not doing it right.

    • Josh K. says:

      So it is a mistake to blame men, but then you just go and blame women for men’s problems… ok. Why not the culture? The fears and desires of both men and women and how many times they do not meet?

      “If men don’t feel wanted it’s because the ones who should make them feel that way are not doing it right.”
      Do you believe men make women feel wanted in the “right” way? Most women just feel like men are trying to buy them or do things to buy their attention or sex; most sexual attention is unwanted. TV and moviesare mostly ruled by men. And I see women talk about their boyfriends and husbands in a so much more open and cute way, and more often. That is not about competition, though.
      How do men want to feel needed? What they want women to do or say?

    • Would not the fact that women who have sexual agency, such as asking the guy out, have been dismissed and denigrated as whore, sluts, harlots, etc. for the past couple of thousand years have something to do with why women aren’t so expressive of their desire?

      • If women select mates and men are the ones on the hook for competing and being the one that is selected, then it makes sense that men would be insecure about women who are “easy” because women have intrinsic sexual and social value while men do not. So that’s an example of male sexual and social weakness, not their power. Why else would men have any investment in slut shaming? Men want to have sex, yeah? So why wouldn’t they be happy about women being “slutty?”

        Women being chaste is really about putting conditions on their intimacy that men must meet in order to avoid being weeded out of the gene pool. Female sexuality is essentially about predation. It’s ugly, but that’s how it is.

        There’s nothing men can do to change this. The problem isn’t men, but women. Very few men have value and therefore power in mating but almost all women do.

  5. In my experience while dating men I’ve seen this quiet often. I do not need a man to pay my bills or fix my car. But if suddenly I tell him I was at the mechanic because there was something wrong I feel like I hurt him some how; “why didn’t you let me check it before spending all that money?” and I just start feeling awful; did I just emasculated him? I also notice when men are not used to getting attention from a woman. Damn I am attracted to him and I want to show it the same way he does to me; but he’ll be happy if I pretend I am in distress and he can rescue me. I do not mind a helping hand, but only if I can also help him in some ways. I also want to be able to express my desires for him, because in my eyes he looks so damn sexy for being just him.

    • Try showing him you’re attracted. Show him you desire him and find him sexy. I don’t think he’ll resent thatjust because yyou’re not a damsel in distresa. Believe me.
      Part of the allure of a strip club is women acting like they are attracted by the man, even if it’s pretend.
      normally men are the ones expectes to being the chasers, the pick up-ppers and the ones taking the initiative in sex. All that feels like a job and like having to show the woman how attractive and lovable she is, never the other way around.

  6. I never thought that some of you might feel that way, but know this: men are very much wanted and very much needed. A high-value male (which doesn’t necessarily mean wealthy) will always be in demand. Evolution didn’t ditch you. Come on! Trust in your own value and power. Women love men just as much as men love women.

    • Kristijan says:

      If this were the case, then this article would not have been written.

      The places in which men feel wanted are very small, and very rare.

      • Josh K. says:

        That goes for everyone. Do you see, many people are depressed, have low self-esteem, feel under appreciated. It can be in different ways for women and men in general, but yes, that is a a very real social issue.

        • I think you are right Josh, and I believe that the recession has brought about this feeling in many of us.

          For example, I am the household breadwinner, and am female. (This is no longer remarkable, 4 in 10 of wives are the breadwinners; this is likely to increase.) During the recession, I read many narratives about layoffs causing men to feel useless and hopeless. It was an odd narrative, since many women were affected by the recession, too (although they were initially thought to be more “recession-proof,” what truly happened was that their layoffs just came later in the cycle — starting in 2011, when cuts to those working government jobs, teaching jobs, etc. came into play), yet there was nary a mention of women having these feelings.

          Likewise, many more men, in the role of handling the homefront, were likewise made to feel useless by the recession. When your wife doesn’t work, she is home moping around and dumping herself into the endless cycle of job hunting that has a Sysyphian feeling of futility. Now, switch the genders around, and the dynamic is identical. Breadwinner (male) loses job; support spouse (female) feels useless since husband is home all day grousing about futile job searching activities and his wife can’t fix it. It would work identically for same-sex couples: breadwinner wife is home and feeling useless; homemaker wife in turn feels hopeless and the sense of futility echoes through the household. Or, think about dual-earner couples (very common here in NYC) — BOTH spouses feel useless in their professions and the home is filled with the tension wrought by futile job searching activities.

          I suppose I am a pig-headed 1960s-style leftist in that I believe everything can be traced back to economics. But I have applied this view to a number of societal issues and it checks out. Racism and sexism, too, are rooted in economic want. The entire nation is in a malaise, similar to the one felt after Nixon resigned. We need a new system: one where humans are empowered to develop their intrinsic worth and good without it being tied to “profit” or “how much have you done for me lately”?

  7. This piece of writing presents clear idea in favor
    of the new viewers of blogging, that in fact
    how to do blogging and site-building.

  8. ‘Look at the whole concept of “women and children first” – yes it does value the life of men as something to be sacrificed for the lives of women, but not because the woman is wielding power over the man – it’s because she’s being equated WITH CHILDREN. It’s a construct of helplessness.’

    I think that’s an artificial narrative covering up a really old and once useful cultural meme. Its a strategy to keep a culture going in its most basic sense: reproduction. This is obvious on the level of the nourishment of babies all the way to the capacity for a man to father dozens of children simultaneously. A village with 1 man and a hundred women will survive. A village with 100 men and 1 woman will not. So, men are more expendable.

    And women and children are consequently more valuable when it comes to reproduction. Gender has equalized on this level too, taking the value of reproduction away from women because the earth is swarming with humans. It actually threatens a lot of the older narratives in feminism equating ‘women power’ with motherhood. This hurts fertile women too, because it takes away a sense of being ‘needed’ on a heterosexual, heteronormative and//or procreative level. Male narratives of provider and protector are very palatable with having children as well… not just protecting their partner.

    In a way this is good; we are becoming individuals without larger hetero-normative or engendered narratives to follow. Straight women and straight men in the US increasingly don’t know how to attract virile mates anymore. We don’t know what’s expected of us. While resources are abundant we can increase variability, try new things, explore different strategies for relationship equality. Swallow the self doubt and the loneliness, its the price of individuality and resource abundance.

    However, the only true, True test of any of these cultural memes will be in whether they can survive a resource crunch. If we were in a real depression would all these ‘progressive’ ideas get thrown out the window? Would they threaten the procreative virility of the new cultural norms we produce? Would other memes procreate faster or produce more children in a time when procreation was again valuable?

    It might not seem like these are the important questions, but they are. A 5% edge in reproduction when it comes to a population (even on an overpopulated planet) will lead to that group dominating the gene pool within a few generations. Its important to recognize this when thinking about what parts of our culture will survive. Its why religious cultural memes that demand sexual interactions that only produce more offspring dominate our pale blue dot. Its not that they’re morally right. Its because they’re reproducing their ideology and their followers in every sense better than the others.

    If good men and good women, including the good men and women and everyone in between, the good people in the ‘LGBT community’ (who are an integral voice in the defiance and questioning of old hetero-normative behavior) are to stand a chance of long term survival in this world, reproduction of ideas and reproduction on the literal level of genes and people has to be part of the discussion. Without it, we will all be drowned in the larger, more procreative voices of dogma.

    To be ignorant of how our ideas, cultural memes, and populations reproduce is to be ignorant of our long term individual value in the global village.

  9. Too bad that this is (yet another) problem that is solely blamed on men.
    (In the beginning it says “subconscious of men”.)
    Especially since it pretends to “correctly identify the problem”.

    Women play an active and crucial part in “if you’re not needed you’re not worthy”.

  10. Man, all the Internet Tough Guys are out in the comments on this one…of every gender.

  11. Sean Lawrence says:

    The article has a lot of value, but I’d disagree with its approach, which I’d qualify as more or less sociological, deploying terms borrowed from culture and media criticism, and to a lesser extent psychological, diagnosing anxieties.

    Allow me to suggest that we should look at this from a more philosophical point of view, treating the ideas of heroism or niceness as real ideas, worthy of intellectual consideration, not as mere ideology only worthy of deconstruction. Such an approach to our problems is endemic to our culture — anything we need to explain, we explain in the sorts of terms you use. The answer comes about too quickly, almost glibly, and doesn’t, I think, provide much of a model of how we go through life.

    I’d propose starting with what Paul Ricoeur said in his acceptance speech for the Kluge Prize, the so-called Nobel of Religious Studies. We inhabit our selves, he argues, by knowing what we can do, by our attestation of our capacities. (Ricoeur elsewhere links this to the capabilities approach of international development theory). “The certainty of being able to do something is private. To be sure.” Each capacity nevertheless “requires a vis-à-vis.”

    Hence the problem with men and retirement: they lose the daily affirmation of their abilities. These include their specific work-skills, of course, but also the basic capacities that orient us within the world. Even men who adopt hobbies often find them trivialized by those around them. The dream of being a hero is not only a desire for power — superpowers, in fact — but more basically for recognition of our capacities, a recognition of ourselves. In fact, status of hero seems to require recognition, unlike, say, the status of a saint.

    The frustration of men today arises, I would argue, from a lack of recognition of our capacities. When a man becomes passionate about his work, many people will assume that he’s just fulfilling the socially-mandated role of a provider, rather than recognizing that work is our very being-in-the-world, whether or not it’s paid. Even physical courage is dismissed as a sort of soulless pursuit of a socially-mandated goal. National Geographic ran an article on Arctic adventurers a few years ago, and was bombarded by letters expressing scorn for their “selfishness.” I run marathons (badly) and keep being asked why I “enjoy” them, as though they were a trivial amusement. How many men have their gyms or studies dismissed as “man caves”, as though whatever they pour their passions into merely qualifies them as neanderthals?

    In fact, I should even argue that you contribute to the problem, dismissing the capacities by which one constitutes a self as mere enslavement to arbitrary and destructive cultural forces.

    • “The frustration of men today arises, I would argue, from a lack of recognition of our capacities”.

      Good hypothesis.

      From the ‘silent types’ who weren’t talked to as kids and ended up monosyllabic to parents who don’t step in when two boys fight because ‘boys will be boys’ – the negative attributes feel like a self fulfilling prophesy from the outset.

      I often feel that the things I’m good at aren’t worth a damn and that the things I enjoy are simply narcissistic. Nobody else does it to me, it’s inside. If I tile a roof though, or bring in a boatload of cash then that’s okay. What I do best is fatherhood, talking, writing, presenting, exploring (places like the arctic and the unspoken parts of ourselves both good and bad), then inspiring – why does it feel socially acceptable to do one and not the other?

      On the whole want/need thing in the article, my mrs and me both had nutty previous partners who always said they ‘needed’ us. We made an agreement that we would always want each other, not need each other. It keeps us both motivated, independent and desirous.

      • Exactly!!!! While quite a number of men whines that they don’t feel needed, that the women don’t make them feel that way, one thing is being forgotten – the person who *needs* you wil be …well.. needy! And from what I know about people, no sane person wants to be with someone who is needy.

    • On man caves – I bet the termn in rarely used by men. And I can understand where its coming from. I live in Eastern European country where the mentality that a man can do anything and a woman can only do what doesn’t harm her family in some way (be it hobbies, career or whatever) is very much alive. And the thing is men do use their passions and hobbies to get away from whatever issues they have, which definitely makes women feel that men have some sort of an escape route (I need my space, yada yada) whereas women needing their escape route are often chastised. Add dating coaches rambling how a man needs his cave (whereas woman must always be welcoming whether he leaves for that cave or comes back from it), and we have what we have.

  12. I’m not a man so I can’t speak from personal experience, but from what I’ve seen a lot of men feel this way about being needed/not wanted and it’s one of the key concerns of masculinity, that is, defining what it means to be a man.
    What I can speak to is my frustration at the lack of female gaze in film/media… we seriously need more scantily-clad hot dudes on screen! This may in part be due to the fact that the film industry – specifically directing and writing for film – is still a very male dominated field, but given how much of their viewership is female they probably should think about a few more ab-shots.
    I’ve noticed men usually don’t mind it when I oggle them… or whistle, or make pervy comments, or giggle and whisper to my friends.

  13. Nienke-Fleur says:

    The first thing that’d come to my mind is,
    “get a plan B”, of course, that’s easier said, than done,
    what if you just keep in mind that a woman might need you for emotional support, love, someone to talk to, someone she can trust, then being Mr. Nice-guy makes you needed, in these times – where women can provide themselves with most of the things they need – a man who wants to feel needed, should try to find the things that women still can’t do on their own: They need someone to be able to talk to, who supports them, loves them, someone they can trust, intimacy is also something you simply cannot get on your own, and although she could get sperm from a donor, I think the majority of women would rather have her children come from a man they know and care about, and if a woman works more outside of the house, she’ll have less time for things she would otherwise do, such as cooking, cleaning and parenting
    men shouldn’t try to stop women who are more independent, and should instead use it to their advantage, by using the things women still need, or by using the things women start needing if they work more outside of the house

    • “They need someone to be able to talk to, who supports them, loves them, someone they can trust, intimacy is also something you simply cannot get on your own”

      You talk as if female friends don’t exist.

  14. Dead on brilliant. Seems like I’ve been trying to say this exact thing in so many ways that don’t get to the point: a point which to me was blurry and undefined. I’ve known and seen many guys who seem to defy this phenomenon, but I have a feeling whenever I see it, that unless they’re some famous sexual icon of masculinity themselves, then it’s just a front.

  15. It’s interesting you wrote at the end: It’s easy to get bitter when you feel UNWANTED, and so this unfortunate confluence of forces has left our culture littered with embittered men who get very upset about what they can’t help but perceive as their own failure.

    Mostly because the entire time you say the real problem is being NOT NEEDED. If we’re dividing between need and want to get at the core of why disintegrating gender binary roles worry men, let’s keep the conversation consistent. Unless you feel both unwanted and not needed, in which case, the problem in completely different.

  16. Really interesting article about male gender and western society. Depressing/predictable that the the first page of comments is almost entirely about feminism rather than the actual article.

  17. I’m loathsome for not having seen it before you did. I’m envious for your ability to put it into words. I’m grateful that you decided to do so – and my life is forever changed as a result. I can’t thank you enough, if you ever need anything don’t hesitate to write.

  18. AB I too share your frustrations.So much of the anger that is directed at blacks is misplsced.The anger should be directed at the source of the problem,at those who designed the system that created the dynamic that divided up access to opportunity according to race,sex,class,religion,etc..Yeah,there are some aspects of how CR has played out that aren’t fair.Neither was the Constitution.For any white person to argue that CR legislation disenfranchised them as the Constitution disenfranchised blacks is beyond ludicrous.The flawed Constitution is what created the need for CR legislation in the first place,not blacks.Hell,if whites had lived up to the standards of freedom and equality they proclaim are the cornerstones of the greatest country that has ever been,CR would have been unneccssary.However,whites didn’t and would not,on their own, fix the problem. They simply blew it,six ways from Sunday.And now they want to complain,sheesh.

  19. Thanks for that.
    “convenient pejorative”…I love that!
    I’d been trying to find an apt way to describe the phenomenon of people referring to others derogatorily with convenient simplifications.

  20. Yes this article resonates. I’m saddened that the author did not dig deeper, and connect more dots, such as, “where have all the Jimmy Stewart’s gone?”, is Louis CK the new Jimmy Stewart?…Prison Industrial Complex as anti-competitive to all but the most successful (white) alpha men… (This article also reminds me that I’m grateful I didn’t castrate myself when I was a First Wave/Third Wave feminist…)

  21. ogwriter says:

    Tracy and katansi It is not my fault that feminism consistently does as poor a job of dealing with race as does MRA’s.These two groups are presumptiously defining,not just for themselves but for the world,the rules by which men and women relate.They are weilding this tremendous power while posing as victims.This is nothing more than new milennial imperialism.Amer-euro culture does not have the right to tell others how to live.

    • Actually, as a person of colour, I tend to agree with you. I’ve been partaking of civil rights activism on several issues, on and off (because it gets to the point sometimes, it’s just downright depressing and seemingly futile–and a damned if you do situation). Eurocentric ideals pervade our society. Period. Honestly I’ve gotten to the point of thinking, just harping on it (even my wording should indicate how futile I feel it can be) to people who are non-melanated is not going to help. They get defensive. I think we need to show, not tell.

    • I’ve often felt that the current men’s movement and the feminist movement of 2016 have far more in common than they have NOT in common and it seems those of us who feel that way are treated to either condescending lectures or stony silence. And yes, feminism offers nothing for minority or LGBT civil rights, and as it is controlled exclusively by well-off intellectuals, does nothing to solve the growing crisis of poverty in the U.S. As such, I find it most useful to align myself with various civil rights and economic equality causes and have turned away from feminism as a source of civil rights coalition-building. At that, it has failed utterly — and spectacularly.

  22. katansi Actually, I have been a volunteer coach/mentor to youth for 13 years.I don’t know what you do with your time,I am basing my comments upon your politics. You have made it clear that your are defined by women’s issues and your post consistent with that.Furthermore,you defend the hierarchy that defines feminism.This hierarchy behaves as any,prioritizing issues based upon self interests. It is called factionalism.At no point have I said that you don’t care about issues outside of self interest.But,women’s issues come first.Prison reform is not an agenda item for feminists.Generally speaking most 31 year old white women know little about and don’t advocate for black issues.I have a problem with that for what should be obvious reasons.Feminists want to lead,and expect support for their issues-body image being one of those.Fine.Part of that burden requires they be held accountable.Hyperbole is not enough.Feminism cannot hope to sustain itself on the big stage,demanding to be followed,while criticizing those that question them.The truth is one cannot seperate from this thread or any the influence of ones values.Your responses were filtered through a feminist lens.You demanded to be heard as a feminist woman with strong feelings about standards of attractiveness in culture. You spoke as if everyman-the patri(heir)archy-from every culture has the same values.What does that imply?Well,for one, it completely invalidates the culture of the other.This is powerful. It is also exactly the kind of behavior you disaprove of,especially from a man.I don’t get body image stuff because I don’t mind big girls.Its a cultural thing.Although, blackmen are not alone in this regard.Nonetheless, because the other culture is unknown and invalidated you couldn’t realize the missed opportunity right in front of you.Imagine viewing yourself through the eyes of the other,instead of through the lens using now.You do have options,if only you could see them.That brings me back to inclusiveness.By incuding my experience into your narrative,not as a guest,but as a thread in the fabric,a stone in the road:You empower both of us.And culture is enriched,revitilized,infused new ideas. The benefit of other cultures is they give us a new vision of the world,a new way to live.

    • You are still choosing your narrative of my life. You are assuming when I say “men” I mean only white men and I don’t. I’m not from a place that’s 90%+ white, I’m from the NYC metro area.

      When you say: “I don’t get body image stuff because I don’t mind big girls.Its a cultural thing.Although, blackmen are not alone in this regard.Nonetheless, because the other culture is unknown and invalidated you couldn’t realize the missed opportunity right in front of you.Imagine viewing yourself through the eyes of the other,instead of through the lens using now.”

      You are saying that I’m not paying attention to men who are not white. The original person that commented was talking about women always getting bought the drinks and in that context I told that person that that isn’t true for every woman. And when I talked about my experience you then assumed that I don’t know what it’s like to be undesired because I’m white and now you’re assuming that it’s only because I haven’t counted anything from other than white men. Did you assume I was also raised somewhere where I’d never or rarely been exposed to non-white people? I grew up in urban/suburban northeast, our big cities were real cities and it’s the most varied demographic area in the nation culturally. Those 5 guys that bought me drinks are in line with national demographics, funny enough, with the three largest groups being represented accurately. When I say I get ignored or harassed by men, I do mean men of every size, shape AND color. And wonderfully enough, the harassment is for the same reason no matter who’s doing it! Your claim that YOU do not have body issues I can believe entirely. The claim that anyone who is not white does not have the same issues with how white women are considered attractive is not a given. It MAY be true that MORE men of color are ok with fat women (of any color) but it is not true for ALL men of color either. There are tons of men of color who still only like thin white women if they like white women at all and there are tons of men of color who will harass fat women just for being fat in their presence. I went to school with them, I went to camp with them, they were at clubs and bars and on the street walking by me.

      And again, just because someone is not talking about another issue right this very second does not mean it’s not important to them. If someone is a feminist that doesn’t mean they don’t care about anything else that means that they at minimum care about women’s issues. I am so saddened by you being the father of a daughter and not believing that she has equal rights and status as a human being because that is what feminism is. And yes, white feminism as a whole has a huge problem with silencing other intersecting groups (colored, queer, trans, poor) but that does NOT mean that fighting for women’s issues is the problem. I wouldn’t tell the NAACP that they aren’t doing enough by not fighting for women’s rights because that is not the focus of the group but just because that is not the focus of that group does not mean some of its members are also feminist/womanist. You seem to be functioning as if everything is mutually exclusive and attributing a whole lot of things to feminism that maybe you could do to SOME member but not the movement as a blanket statement.

      • Thank you, Katansi, for consistently making good points. I’m withdrawing because I simply cannot stand making the same points over and over again to Ogwriter while pointing out the same flaws in his arguments over and over again as well. Good luck to both of you.

  23. ogwriter says:

    Tracy Again my point is that if liberals continue to advocate primarily for the rights of their group,rather than for the rights for all opressed groups simultaneously,regardless of cultural barriers,they will lose power in the end.For instance,why should I support abortion rights when feminists don’t support issues important to me?As far as I am concerned,prison reform is every bit as important as abortion rights.Politics IS quid pro quo.Feminists don’t see things that way and it shows. I’ve raised a daughter,as a single father, from cradle to college.She was an all american scholar athlete and graduated from the Santa Clara University in 3 1/2 years.I was a feminist 17 years before katansi was even born.I do know what it takes for a female to thrive and be successful.It is hypocritical to complain about violence against women while ignoring the violence acts women commit against each other and others.No amount of parsing stats can change that.I am shocked that GMP allows women to deny that the violence that women commit is just as bad as any other kind.

    • Because we do advocate for issues that are important to you. YOU are assuming we don’t just because we aren’t doing it right this second on a thread not attached to an article not about those other issues. Do you want to hear what I think on America’s prison system on an article about romantic relationships between men and women? Because while not unrelated in every life in America it sure is off topic for this thread. Also if you don’t want to do the right thing just because it isn’t personally important to you, fine, but that’s how bad people get away with doing bad things. That’s how you let harm be done. As far as the woman on woman violence vs men on women violence, prioritizing the bigger issue is not hypocritical, it’s just smart. We are not unaware, but men are still more likely to kill or do worse violence women by a ridiculous ratio than women are so it’s a bit more imperative to discuss with when why that is and stop it. But again, you’re assuming people only do one thing in their life as you have been assuming up and down this thread.

      • ogwriter says:

        katansi As i said before,one hands washes the other and you have given me no reason to wash yours.

        • So you’re still assuming I do nothing to try and further the issues you care about because I’m not, what, giving you a numbered list? And you only do good things when you are getting paid. That is not what a good person does. You should really rethink how terrible it is when you only do good things because you personally gain from it. That’s exactly why this world is so terrible for so many people.

  24. ogwriter says:

    Tracy I am not,in the slightest arguing against so called womens issues.Discrimination is everyone’s issue.It doesn’t BELONG to anyone.Far too many women argue as if they are the only ones so victimized,and,in so doing crowd out or ignore the voices of others.Feminism has long argued that a rising feminist tide floats all boats.it does not.This is utter nonsense,as most men on GMP will attest.Therefore,I don’t make black and white distinctions between who gets oppressed and why.Whether someone is oppressed because they are fat or black has more similarities than differences.The vague,nebulus,ambigous, blob called the patriarchy,which is a euphemism for ALL MEN-is blamed for all of the world’s problems.This is also bs.Feminists seem to want to replace an old narrow,myopic system with one that is equally narrow and myopic.Speaking about one’s own issues without recognizing how they intersect with the experiences of others is not progressive.This is why feminists don’t complain about woman on woman violence but they do focus entirely on violence commited by men against them by some men.This is indicative of something deeply wrong and troubling with feminism. So,I have never written that women’s issues shouldn’t be discussed.I am just saying that those issues must share space with everyone else’s issues.As long white women/feminists control this process,they will put themselves first.It is human nature to do so.Demonstrate where this isn’t true.

    • I am suggesting that current mainstream feminist tactics of achieving equality directly impact this discussion.A main focus of their approach,is to deny any responsibility women have in creating and supporting inequalities in culture.This is why the impact of women’s behavior as to why men feel unwanted is essentially blamed on men.And therefore,in the important marketplace of ideas,a onesided narrative unfolds,masquerading as sensitive and empathic virtues.In this environment change is impossible and the status quo prevails.I would think that educating women to suppress the need to feel taken care of would be worth a try.

      • Nathan Henderson says:

        In that women internalize patriarchy as well, I guess I can see what you mean (and of course equal culpability of the racially privileged in racism, etc); but the system that men are quite right to rebel against for not valuing them is the one that strips women of agency and values them through objectification. Look at the whole concept of “women and children first” – yes it does value the life of men as something to be sacrificed for the lives of women, but not because the woman is wielding power over the man – it’s because she’s being equated WITH CHILDREN. It’s a construct of helplessness.

        I think a lot of the issue is feminists and those arguing against male exploitation are arguing past each other because they’re talking about completely different things. Feminists are talking about agency and having their work valued. Men are talking about inherent value independent of work. Men HAVE agency relative to women (though it is pressed down by other factors like racism and classism) and their work is valued (same). Women have inherent value attached to them independent of agency, hence “objectification”. Which is exactly what this article is talking about.

        As for “blaming men” – I think something that is often misunderstood by other men (speaking as a man myself), is that no one is blaming you when we say “patriarchy”. We aren’t talking about a conspiracy in which you are a participant. We are talking about a culturally internalized system of power relationships we are all part of.

    • “I am not,in the slightest arguing against so called womens issues”
      Feminists fight for womens issues. That is the core of their ideology. By denying the validity of the feminist movement, you are denying the validity of womens rights, simple as that.

      “Therefore,I don’t make black and white distinctions between who gets oppressed and why”
      “Whether someone is oppressed because they are fat or black has more similarities than differences.”
      “I know just how cheap America considers my life to be, in ways an unattractive white female will never know”
      Here, your third quote from a previous argument you have made clearly opposes what you claim in your first two quotes, in a more recent argument. In your chronologically earlier quote, you make a point that you are oppressed far more as a black man than a white unattractive woman, therefore you clearly make the disctinction between black/white/fat oppression—in this case, by insisting that black people are discriminated against and white people are not.

      “The vague,nebulus,ambigous, blob called the patriarchy,which is a euphemism for ALL MEN-is blamed for all of the world’s problems ”
      Not true in multiple ways. “Patriarchy” specifically refers to the system of society we (as Americans) live in, which means men control most of the political, economic, and social power (although that last one is gradually changing), and it is not a euphemism for all men (do you even know what ‘euphemism’ means? If you think the word patriarchy is so bad as to be blamed for ‘all the world’s problems,’ then it is obviously not a euphemism). Patriarchy is not blamed for all the world’s problems; just mostly for the countries that are Westernized, and rightly so—because the ones in control of a patriarchal society are the ones that are responsible for its problems, whether it’s dealing with the problems or having caused them. This is off-topic, but you are marginalizing/ignoring many cultures who have matriarchal societies by generallizing (again) and assuming that ‘all the world’ is Westernized and/or patriarchal. I bring this up because you are so keen on including everyone’s experiences and rail so vehemently against excluding/marginalizing any group at all, I must point out that you are doing exactly what you criticize others for doing.

      Lastly, just because feminists put their cause first doesn’t mean they don’t acknowledge other causes. Many prominent feminists also fight for gay rights and/or rights of minorities…just like how many African American rights activists back in the day also fought alongside feminists. In addition, you probably haven’t heard feminists prominently complain about women-on-woman violence because there are such things as priorities when it comes to choosing which fight to fight, which are based primarily on statistics. Physical violence on women have been primarily perpetrated by men. However, women-on-woman emotional violence has recently been discussed much more by activists—hatred, jealousy, bullying, etc. This sort of violence, though, is mostly due to womens competitive attitude towards each other—whether it is in their pursuit of men, career opportunities, whatever—which is actually an attitude fostered by the men in American society (I strongly suggest you watch the documentary Miss-Representation if you have not already).

      • Thank you for pointing out that he’s contradicting himself. I can’t do it anymore with close to an even-headed response.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        “Feminists fight for womens issues. That is the core of their ideology. By denying the validity of the feminist movement, you are denying the validity of womens rights, simple as that.”

        I dont know if he is denying the validity, but since feminism focus only or mostly at women, it is obvious that feminism is a inadequate tool for dismantling the patriarchy. A movement that focus on both (men and women, and everything in between) is the ideal way to get rid of the it. Only focusing on somebody while ignoring or minimizing others are not the best way to proceed.

        • This reminded me of a good Shakesville run down: http://www.shakesville.com/2008/04/feminism-101-feminism-and-humanism.html

          Arguing that there’s something wrong with feminism because it’s called feminism is a pretty weak sauce attempt at not addressing any of the issues that feminism fights against. Nobody who is a real feminist is interested in ignoring or minimizing any other groups. Feminism is a big umbrella, that certainly includes PoC, LGBTQ, and yes, straight men. As has been discussed, getting rid of the negative view of women and the feminine would do wonders for eliminating the entire basis for shaming and limiting men on the basis of not being manly enough (put another way, being too feminine), and for much of the stigma against the LGBTQ community. Hatred of gay men is rooted in shaming them for “being” women, and homophobia is the fear that gay men will treat other men the way straight men treat women.

          • Melissa has explicitly abused and banned women of color, bi and lesbian women, trans women, and poor women. What she speaks are sheer lies, and her posting history proves it. Check out the comments section in which one of Melissa’s well-off, white male moderators bans a female commenter for attempting to discuss humanism. Now, multiply this by 100 and apply it to lesbian and bi women sticking up for ourselves when called predators, women of color being banned when we attempt to analyze Obama’s presidency or the cops killing everyone in our neighborhoods without the nice white rich lady doing it for us, or any poor female soul (be she literally poor or just unfortunate enough to believe Shakesville gives a damn about anyone who isn’t married to someone in the financial industry) getting called a “Sander Stan” and banned outright. If you want to turn even more people away from feminism, Shakesville’s the perfect starting point.

  25. ogwriter says:

    katansi Hmmmm…maybe you mistakenly read someone elses post thinking it was mine.I was trying to allow for context to administer some perspective.I am not saying being white protects one from certain kinds of discrimination,thats absurdly ridiculous.I am pointint out quite the opposite.In this culture,discrimination is baked into its institutions,whether led by men or women.Therefore,in my opinion,one must always measure one’s disadvantages, AND privileges, in the broader context.I think feminists call it intersectionality, (whatever)I call it common sense.It seems to me that my criticisms have not in the slightest hampered your ability to be expressive and have swayed you.This is what its like to actually share space,in a real way.In

  26. Mari Wow! What men are you talking about? Svengahli?.I mean really?Equating a gaze as an indication of violent intent is impossible to prove,for the most part.People still actually believe that? Straight men don’t commit acts of violence against women with any more regularity than women do amongst themselves.Why are there no demands from feminists to lesbians to stop raping women?You can’t get away with blaming men only, for violence against women, without losing credibility.I thought you would know that.I have a daughter who I helped to raise and she is quite capable and accomplished.I wish I could understand the mindset that can complain that sexism has prevented a woman from becoming (assertive)president:Yet,ignore the fact that only two women have ever tried.I am reminded that right after the Civil War blackmen ran for Congress in South Carolina-South fucking Carolina- and won.During this period,one could be lynched for being black on a sunny day.Running for high office and voting took unimaginable courage,integrity and strength. Sometimes that’s what life takes.

  27. katani It is all about context.Obviously you are free to complain all you want.As I am free to respond.Because you are white and female and I am not,your narrative,especially on GMP and in the world,carry far more weight than mine.That’s enormous power.You may not think you marginalize others,but you do.Denying that this hierarchy exists and that you benefit is futile and ignorance of it is no excuse.You are a part of this system.Such is fate.I HAPPEN TO believe that issues relative to my struggles, because of racism, are no more or less important than anyone else’s,which IS my POINT.I SEE the CONNECTIONS between my struggles and those of other humans,regardless of gender or race or sexual orientation,etc.I know how white guys feel about being dispoable.But they,like you, don’t see the connections.How could I not?I KNOW what its like to be unwanted because of my appearance.I don’t understand your need to view your problem as significantly differrent than mine. One BIG failure of liberalism AND feminism is that these ideas only seem to see their issues in isolation from others.This only serves to protect the status quo.If one compares the amount of time body image has been discussed versus issues pertinent to men of color-Chinese,latino,sotheast asian,black,etc.-their is a clear disparity.Lastly,I submit,again that most of us,for reasons as pure and as important as yours, also deal with shit because of isms.You haven’t begun to experience undesirability yet,wait until your 58.

    • I have not denied hierarchy exists at any point in this exchange. What you have been affirming is that my whiteness means I don’t have to deal with discrimination of ANY type, that somehow my color also makes up for my size, my sex, and how I express my gender. It does not. I KNOW what it is like to be unwanted because of my appearance. I have food thrown at me. As an adult, 31 year old adult, I have passing cars make animal noises at me. Don’t you dare tell me that I can’t know what it’s like to be unwanted and undesired because I have spent my life being harassed, abused and assaulted because the body I have is not considered desirable. Your point has been that just because I’m white I somehow never have to deal with any discrimination ever. Horse shit. I don’t have to deal with or acknowledge racism if I choose not to, and I do acknowledge and try to be aware of my actions. You are explicitly saying my issues are unimportant when you call it “whining.” You are explicitly saying I have no experience with something I quite frankly have a lifetime of experience with. You are explicitly denying my own description of my own life for a narrative that you believe while I am taking you at your word that you have dealt with discrimination how you say you have. What is wrong with you that you lecture me on your marginalization but you can’t see the there is more than one way to be marginalized?

  28. ogwriter says:

    I am not hating anyone,at all.It seems to me that who THEY are is obvious.There is only one group that has made the claims I noted-feminists.My claims are based well-documented facts.Are you denying that women,gay and straight,don’t rape and beat up men, women,boys and girls?Are you ignoring the denial of this fact by women doesn’t exist?Or is it that the people some women hurt and should be quiet and stand at the back of the bus?

    • A few clarifications here: ‘one hateful group’ does not mean I am accusing you of hating, I am simply pointing out that you think these people are ‘hateful’ towards others. By saying that something isn’t relevant is very different from saying that something isn’t true, so when I said your argument was not relevant, I was simply saying I have said nothing that would justify your arguments against it.

      Okay, with that out of the way, I will address your accusations against feminists. I consider myself a feminist, but that doesn’t mean I agree with all feminists. For example, I believe that there should be equality between men and women, but that the feminists who argue that women are better than men or that women should get rid of men are wrong. The most recent wave of feminists are generally pretty hateful and argue in absolutes, and I disagree with many of their claims and tactics. Just because that some feminists have claimed what you have mentioned doesn’t mean all feminists believe the same…just like how some popes have raped young boys but not all Catholics are pedophile rapists. By generalizing and grouping all feminists together is ideologically inept, and it is part of the all-or-nothing thinking that has created much of America’s problems—but that is too broad and irrelevant and I will not go into it here.

  29. ogwriter says:

    katani I am a man of color,so I know precisely what it means to be unwanted.I know just how cheap America considers my life to be, in ways an unattractive white female will never know.I also know what it means to fight the negativity and create a dependable wholeness and solid selfimage.How many people EVER stop to think about how long people of color have queitly managed being seen as not just unattractive and unwanted,but dangerous?There are women on this thread who would never even consider a person of color as a mate or even to date.Therefore,they ARE doing to others what they act like is only being done to them.And they will defend that right to choose what THEY WANT to the bitter end.They would be shocked if someone told them they are causing men of color to have body image issues as a result.So,the same person who is constantly whining because some equally narrowminded white guy doesn’t choose her,expects sensitivity and empathy. WHOA!? Lets stop the world from spinning so we can have a empathy(pity) party for these oh so thoughtful and considerate folks.Maybe its time to take a good,long look in the mirror and ask,”Who do I treat as if they are not needed or wanted”,BEFORE one demands empathy and sensitivity for themselves.

    • You are a man of color so you know precisely how your experiences are. I don’t doubt any of what you say about your own life or how racist America is. However, screw the idea that because one thing sucks something else can’t. You have no idea what it’s like to be a woman and mistreated, or marginalized in the way that women are, even white women. I am not dismissing your experiences, why are you dismissing mine? Do you think that because specific type of cultural garbage affects you that there is no other problem for anyone else? It is actually possible to empathize with more than one person at a time. I don’t go around saying because I have it shitty as a fat woman that gay people can’t complain about being marginalized and that they should just quit whining. That is idiotic. If you don’t have sympathy for certain people or groups of people, fine, whatever, no one can force you. But you don’t get to say what other people or groups that you are not a part of should be ok dealing with. You get to be angry about racism and how it affects you, you don’t get to tell any women of any background, ever, that she can’t be angry about sexism and how it affects her. I think a hell of a lot about issues that do not personally affect me and I spoke here about ones that do. You don’t get to call that whining and brush it off as if it’s not damaging just because it doesn’t affect you personally. That’s the same garbage you just railed against because you’re not white.

      • Katansi- Thank you, you’ve hit the crux of the problem of ogwriter’s arguments.

        Ogwriter- It seems that you aim all of your arguments against women’s issues by pointing out other issues that also exist in the world. Yes, a ton of horrible stuff goes on in the world, but that doesn’t mean that the fight against women’s issues aren’t valid or worth talking about. In addition, this entire debate is in response to a man writing about his negative experiences with women. Therefore, people are discussing interactions thereof. Not to say that the discussion can’t go anywhere else or that nobody on here should talk about the issues of gays, transgenders, people of color, disabled people, or any of the many groups that are constantly being marginalized. But just so you understand, when poster on here aren’t mentioning those groups, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are all unaware of/ignoring those issues—it’s probably because those issues occupy such a wide range that they are not directly relevant. In addition, by widening the range of the debate immediately to include all the issues other than women’s rights, you dilute the focus and therefore immediate significance of all above issues.

  30. Slobodan Green I don’t exactly understand your point.There are folks who are unwanted for any number of reasons;religion,illness,appearance,chronic medical conditions,race,culture,sexual orientation,disabilities,being male,etc,etc,etc.Yet,one group garners constant attention for being “unwanted”.Why?All people are not blessed with all things in life and It has always been thus.There is so much suffering in the world that requires our diligence and attention. Many women, who feel they are not wanted because of their appearance,seek to satisfy their needs in unhealthy ways that hurt themselves and other people.Far too much attention is given, relative to its importance in society,to the issue of body image/appearance.Sometimes one has gotta suck it up and deal with the cards one is given.So no one asks you out on dates,or flirts with you enough to make you feel attractive and “good” about yourself.Really?Is that all it takes?How shallow is that?Whose job is that anyway? There are much worse things in life.Why not just stay in one’s lane,enjoy the view from there and maybe go help someone who has real problems.They might actually feel better about themselves,in a more significant way.

    • “So no one asks you out on dates,or flirts with you enough to make you feel attractive and “good” about yourself.Really?Is that all it takes?How shallow is that?”

      It is not shallow to feel happy when you got positive attention from someone you may be attracted to and not shallow to feel good about yourself when you get outside validation from the members of the gender you’re personally attracted to. It is absurd of you to say that. Saying that someone does make you feel good with their attention is not in any way the same thing as saying that’s the ONLY thing that makes you feel good. The point is that ALL non-sociopathic humans feel good when they get (perceived) positive attention and validation from others in their social group or desired social group. I highly doubt you’re an island of emotional stability that never needs comfort or interaction with the rest of your species. Case in point, here you are interacting with people on the internet. Don’t conflate shallowness with the biological need for social groups in our species.

      • I know this is an old comment, but dude, don’t bother. This site is just feminism dressed up as caring for men.
        Look at the angry nasty comment you responded to. Look at Tracy’s angry rants. Look at how no woman here is willing to take any responsibility but are ready to blame patriarchy. How they blame men and call them shallow when they just want to feel attractive and desired.
        This place is only good for men who are ashamed of themselves and believe in their privilege and patriarchy. The women here are angry and resentful and despite the supposed goal of the site, want tobblame men for everything.
        Have you wondered why most of the commenters here are women? I have read noah since he was part of no seriously what about the menz and he’s just an auto hating male feminist.
        This is not a healthy place for men. Many men and hopefully women realize this and leave soon. That’sewhy the commenters are mostly angry resentful feminists of both genders.

        • Katansi is a woman; Ogwriter is a man calling WOMEN shallow for telling men they also don’t feel wanted all the time and for wanting to feel desired – while probably agreeing men could/should complain about this (and of course men should, just like women should).

  31. katansi says:

    I want a partner, not a laundry list of things you can do for me, but more of an exchange of what we will do, and actually do, for each other. Able is also less important than willing, I need someone who’s willing to be in a relationship with me, not just evaluate on what we can or can’t do for each other. A list of practical needs such as money, or entertainment, or a ride to the airport just makes it sound like a balance sheet. Those are important to life in general but I have friends, hobbies, and a job for that. Companionship is not only about the exchange of material goods or monetarily valuable services, that is prostitution.

    You’re right, men are currently (and in the entire history of humanity) valued on their ability to provide. It is a dying system, in some places, and that is troubling for many men. However, it means that men who fulfill the emotional needs of partnership are gaining a foothold and this is a good thing. Women are still mostly, like in the entire world including the west, valued for beauty, sex and child-bearing/rearing ability. This system is dying in some places, and it is better for everyone because women that fulfill emotional needs of their partners are also now being sought, rather than as walking incubators.

    Imagine being able to relate to another person intellectually and emotionally without the expectation of money and with consensual enjoyment (or absence should that be the preference) of sex. That is love.

    • Hi katansi
      Thank you for pointing out this :
      ✺” it means that men who fulfill the emotional needs of partnership are gaining a foothold and this is a good thing”✺

      • Hi. I was watching a crappy TV show that ties back to this in my mind. Some character said something about asking men how they feel and then she said she thinks that men might just not know. I would go so far as to say that the overwhelming majority of men (globally) are taught not to express the full rage of human emotion and thus are not even taught ways to express themselves in a way that will get a needed response from another human being. I never really thought of it that way but if you are taught you’re not allowed to have certain emotions and then never taught how to express, it’s incredibly damaging and close to half the population is raised that what.

        • Hi Katansi
          You are right.

          Last year I had a cyber romance with a man on another continent. We never met but become close emotionally .
          One day I asked him to share with me his deepest emotional needs.

          His answer was that it was to be needed. I was disappointed !
          I do not think he knows what his deepest needs are.

          • FlyingKal says:

            Hi iben,
            Sorry to burst in on your conversation, but I thought of something.

            Why is society so scared of letting men express their feelings?
            Yes, it is easy to blame “patriarchy”, but if you think about it, kids in their formative years up to the age of 12 or older, probably spend about 90% of their time around female adults (paretns, kindergarten staff, teachers, etc…) and in my experience most of them are equally good at conveying the “boys don’t cry!”-message as the rest of society.
            If our ability to express or even acknowledge our emotions are constantly stifled throughout our upbringing, how do you suppose we are just to snap out of it when reaching some kind of adulthood?

            On a second note (and this is meant as food for thought and not personal critizism), if you ask a man what his deepest emotions are, don’t you think it’s a bit counterproductive to be disappointed or dismissive at him?
            I mean, if he (or maybe anyone else reading this) ever get the same question again, do you think this will make them strive to give an honest answer? Or maybe twist the answer to something they think that the person asking the question wants to hear instead?

            • Hi Flyingkal

              You are welcome to take part in this discussion :).
              I do understand that it is hard for men to know how they feel when they have been forced to supress their feelings all life,just like I hope men understand this is how women have suppressed our sexually and often have problems turning it on after 20 years repression. So we are even and must both try to understand the other.

              The reason why I was disappointed with this man was because I did not understand what men mean when they say they want to be needed.

              I can rember my thought the day he wrote this to me. I though about how can I fullill his needs? Do I have to ask him help me open cans?

              I could not understand what he meant,that is why I was dissapointed.

              If he had said:”never leave me” then I would have understood. He if he had said:” never cheat on me,never exploit me,never abuse me,never leave me alone for long periods of time, i dream of a relationship with a woman that respects me” …….Then I would have understood.
              Then we speak the same language. But when he said the most important gift I could give him was to NEED him, then I had no idea what he talked about.
              Can you explain to me what a man mean when he tells a woman his deepest wish from the relationship is to be needed?

              • FlyingKal says:

                Hi Iben,
                What did he mean when he said he wanted to be needed?
                I don’t really know, obviously, since I cant see inside his head 🙂
                But I think it’s fully possible that he meant that he wanted to be needed on an emotional level. Not as someone opening jars and carrying heavy stuff, but as a companion, a partner. Someone worthy of sharing another person’s (yours?!) innermost thoughts, fantasies and desires. Among other things.

                I don’t know, just a thought I had…

            • They spend 90% of their time around female caregivers also raised in patriarchy. It is actually really logical to blame the patriarchy since women function under the rules of it.

              • If they’re around females 90% of the time, then doesn’t it follow that women are far far far more to blame for how either gender acts since they’re the ones with so much face-time, raising and teaching the kids? Women are perpetrating the patriarchy/whatever and teaching their kids to continue it, where is men’s role in all of this? Sure there is upper level of society having male influence such as politics, celebrity but the average male would be far less present if it’s really 90% female, so wouldn’t women be largely the ones creating new adults?

              • Mr Supertypo says:

                If children spent 90% of time around women, that means their basic social education is done by women. Therefore it seems women are vital agents for the patriarchy.

              • FlyingKal says:

                Hi Katansi,
                The point was, regardless of who’s to blame, shall we continue to shame men for the way they express, or fail to express their feelings. Or shall we try to do something about it?

  32. I’ve found that any relationships based on “need” involve some lack of awareness of personal power in each person involved, and relationships based on “wanting to be wanted” involve a lack of complete awareness of our own inherent perfection. The healthiest relationships – with ourselves and others- is one of unconditional love, respect, and appreciation, rather than “need” or “want”.

  33. ogwriter says:

    Tracy and Defining this using perjorative after perjorative after perjorative solves nothing.Furthermore,your beliefs are anchored in a white cultured sea of inequities,of which men and women are a part of and benefit from for hundreds of years.”it’s ALL the fault of men is as flawed as saying,”it’s ALL the fault of black-asian-white-short-gay- and or straight-people.Thes are the same folks who said only straight rape and commit dv,WRONG.They also said a woman wouldn’t ever rape or beat-up another woman,WRONG.The lists of things they are wrong about is too long to list.Using perjoratives don’t solve problems,they create them. I have been sexually objectified by straight women,gay women and gay men,sometimes in the same day.

    • Ogwriter-

      Nobody said it’s ALL anyone’s fault. So you have experienced objectification from people other than straight men…so what? My argument is in response to the above article, written by a straight male referring to females, based in and affected by ‘a white cultured sea of inequities.’ Therefore, the first part of your rebuttal actually affirms the validity of my points through context…and the rest is irrelevant.

    • Also— who exactly do you mean by ‘they’ who are ‘WRONG?’ I am very curious as to who you have clumped into one hateful group that’s wrong about a list of things so long for you to list…understanding this may better my understanding of where you are coming from and where you obtain your sources and biases.

  34. “It’s easy to get bitter when you feel unwanted…”
    no kidding dude. let’s have a conversation about all the women who are rejected for being overweight, not pretty enough, etc, or women who are rejected simply because guys need to sow some wild oats, or daughters who never meet their real dads, and if we want to talk about the impact of male rejection, it’s the pattern of males rejecting wives and mothers that perpetuate all of this in sons. rant concluded.

  35. I am not really following the argument here. What is meant by “wanted”? Many women I know feel unwanted for anything beyond their sexuality. As an older, single female, I do not feel “wanted” by anyone. The older I get, the more this is true. Men my age are wanted by younger women and older women and get snapped up fairly quickly. No one wants older women – we are not considered beautiful or desirable. In Rom Coms the gaze is on the male lead who represents the prize the “good” female lead wins at the end of the story. The attention is on her only to the degree she must be scrutinized as worthy of winning the male prize. And check out how many Rom Coms and other films about coupling pair an older actor with a much younger female. Very few Rom Coms that hope to make money pair older men with age appropriate female partners. Honestly, this article makes no sense to me.

    • Many men go most of their lives without ever being seen as desirable by the opposite sex, or being “wanted.” In fact, the only reliable way that the majority of men know to attract women is to become financially successful, which often does not happen, even for college educated men, well into their thirties, if at all. Most men learn over the first two to three decades of their life, that they can forget about being seen as physically or emotionally desirable. They learn instead that they are only desirable insofar as they are utilitarian objects that can provide help and support, along with perhaps a genetic contribution.

      Men live much of the first part of their lives being treated as undesirable, while many women live much of their later lives being treated as undesirable. It’s possible to beat the odds in either case. Men can beat the odds by being extraordinarily attractive or financially successful in their younger life, and women can beat the odds by building fulfilling careers and supportive family structures that sustain them in their later years.

      • Women not cat calling or approaching men does not equate women not desiring men. Believe me, if they had sex with you (most men will have sex in their lives) that is because she mostly did desired you, physically and/or emotionally.
        Men could get even more physically desirable if they would actually care about their physical desirable attributes, don’t you think? The average man is unvain, does not know how to wear fitiing and appealing clothes and have stuck-up personalities. Come on.
        And for the last part… it seems like you are living in the past, dude. Most men past the first part of their lives are seen as even less physically (for obvious reasons) or emotionally attractive. Even more to younger women, that is the women many older delusional dudes wanted.

  36. Dude man says:

    Sorry I might trolling but Ive never really believed women are into men .Im pretty well off financially but I dont flaunt it unless a special occasion or night out. Its crazy when I pull up in my Mercedes and a nice suit women seems to flock to me but when I drive my resourceful and quite nice accord and dress modestly in a t-shirt in jeans I barely get a look. Its always about my status and what I can give them rather than how “down” I can be for them it seems.I just want a girl whose attractive and who can be into for just me not for what I have. I dont need a doctor ,business exec.,or a movie star that stereotypically women desire. I believe thats the divide.My experiences seem to follow the ” girls dont like guys they like fast cars and money” motto.

    • Dude man-

      So…if women don’t ‘flock’ to you, they don’t want you? Just because women don’t stare at you and openly go after you, you assume you wouldn’t be wanted? Why would women automatically want you just because you are a man? Your assumption is an excellent example of the prideful presumption of many men that the apex of a woman’s desires is to be with a man (lgbt community notwithstanding). Of course, this mentality is enabled and encouraged by the media (see any rom-com, for example).
      You also say you ‘just want a girl who’s attractive’ (even before you say you want a girl who can be into you for who you are) — which shows your vanity and superficiality, and basically makes you a hypocrite.

      • Why want a girls who is attractive is superficial? Attractive for men is not all about looks. I want a girl who is attractive, means girl who is confident, smart, funny, secure with her body and looks, and can relate to my hobby and interest. That’s attractive and sexy. Many fat or average looking women are insecure and not confident, those make them not sexy and not attractive. I have several times attracted, both emotionally and sexually to average looking women with fat body but very charming, confident, funny, and smart. Men only care about looks is a myth. Both insecurity and sucky personalities make many girls so damn ugly. Sorry, thats a fact. Its not just women who got turned off by bad personalities and insecurities.

    • You attract the superficial women with your car or money. Not all the women, but this minority. Or are gonna lie all women flock to you? Please.
      The same way that most (superficial) men will also respect you much more because of your status. They wanted to be like you (they are straight, so of course they would not want to date you), they hate the “losers”. If they were superficial gay men, they would like to get with you as well. And so on.

      And no, both men and women can like fast cars – you have one, now don’t you? I guess you have one because you wanted one and like it. And money is a necessity. The difference is some women are still conditioned not to go after the fast cars themselves and for themselves, but search for a men that owns one. Weird, but that is what society keeps dictating.

      And man, wake up: they want the movie star look wise.

  37. You’d have to blame other men for this. Maybe if all dem bros stopped objectifying women and slut-shaming females into subservient and sex-denying roles, more women would feel comfortable with ‘wanting’ men. Also, men are the ones who have continuously propagated this ‘providing’ role. The typical man complains that women are helpless and stupid, but if a woman is more intelligent, proactive, resourceful, assertive, etc. than he is, he calls her scary, a b*tch, feminazi, or a number of names in that vein.
    I agree this is a problem, but this article only begins to crack the surface of a very complex social paradigm.

    • Thank you! I thought the entire point of this article was that this phenomenon is caused by the patriarchy, not by women. I love how the comments have degenerated into calling women out for our treatment of men, when the whole point is that the patriarchy is the issue for everyone. If you’re still upset at women about this problem, you’re missing the point.

      I agree that there isn’t much room in our society for female sexuality or assertiveness to blossom. We really aren’t allowed to want men; the female gaze is in exceedingly short supply. Maybe if we could stop worrying about being objectified, harassed, or subjected to violence as a result of the male gaze, we could relax a little and enjoy men as the wonderful creatures they can be instead of seeing Louis C.K.’s half-bear, half-lion. Feminism helps us all out.

      • Thank you! I thought the entire point of this article was that this phenomenon is caused by the patriarchy, not by women. I love how the comments have degenerated into calling women out for our treatment of men, when the whole point is that the patriarchy is the issue for everyone. If you’re still upset at women about this problem, you’re missing the point.
        I think you see that happen because simply put calling out men is seen as a necessity while calling out women is seen as incorrect.

        Even in Tracy’s comment its not that men are also participating in this along with women. No men are participating in this and are making women participate in this.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        “You’d have to blame other men for this. Maybe if all dem bros stopped objectifying women and slut-shaming females into subservient and sex-denying roles, more women would feel comfortable with ‘wanting’ men.”

        Actually women also do the same. Both genders actively participate in the objectification of each others. So calling out women is not incorrect. However it is incorrect to only call out women (or men), when patriarchy is held by everybody.

  38. Y’all got it twisted then. I can tell you that I am an attractive woman, thank god. BUT I am also an independent woman. I would LOVE for a man to take care of me, but I don’t need him to. I WANT him to. However, most men today are so insecure or have crappy jobs or are so selfish that they can’t. And the ones who can take care of me are super picky that I don’t have the flattest stomach or perfect hair, OR they are old and ugly. I WANT a man for sex. I don’t NEED him. Go see a therapist and get it straightened out.

    • ogwriter says:

      Wow23 I am not sure if I understand you correctly…help me out.You are independent and attractive. However, wouldn’t mind being taken care of by a well to do,goodlooking,youngguy who isn’t,well,unlike some people,too picky. While your revelation is charming,it lacks a certain….. structual integrity.

  39. ogwriter says:

    Hello Iben,how is your ankle healing?The problem isn’t that women do these things.I can forgive them their human frailties.The problem is that their hypocrisies and what they mean,are not a apart of the open discussion about human behavior.Therefore,who they really are is always shrouded in confusing, shifting rationalizations.This is no accident.As a result,men like myself and Jules are cynical when women discuss sex and how it relates to their choices.Many of these women use feminism-1st AND 2nd wavers- as a justification for their racist,imperialistic,ego filled,lustful,sexual objectification of poor men.It is a kind of rape.Interesting,but not surprising,these women position themselves as VICTIMS.This is because in their home countries there are not put on pedestals and objectified,and wanted and needed,as if they are entitleld to be treated that way.This behavior says much about women that needs to be discussed.

    • Hi Ogwriter
      My ankle heals fast. The fracture was only in the round little bone we have on the outside of our ankle. No operation need.

      Today I have watched some videos on YouTube about Swedish women than marries Gambian men. One was sweet and naive, others were terrible ……
      Then I watched videos of German men as sex tourists in Thailand, some of the men lived with their German wife’s in Europe half the year and with their Thai girl half the year. The wife accepted it.

      For some reason I felt more sorry for the boys,but that maybe because of our gender roles. We are used to young girls having sex with old men,but not elderly and old women having sex and marry men in their twenties. Of course this is as painful for the girls as the boys if this is not a love relationship.

      I do not understand the women that travel to Africa to buy sex or to get married to men 40-50 years younger.
      Sarah once wrote that she would rather crawl under a stone than buy sex. I feel the same. And here we have a difference in income 60-70 times if the women have just ordinary jobs( not wealthy or professionals.)

      Somehow I do not want to look into these women’s heads…….

  40. Thanks, Noah, for this article. Unfortunately I think it will be forever thus.

    I wonder if you prefer to see these as socialized patterns, rather than hard-wired in biological sex roles?

    For the moment, may we use ability to attract a sex partner as a proxy for desirability, albeit an imperfect one? Evolutionary explanations of why men often seek multiple transient partners (spreading their seed widely) and women do so less frequently (cost of pregnancy, child-bearing and rearing) are well known. These are deeply rooted.

    For the vast majority of guys who live somewhat below the pinnacle of attractiveness of superstar public figures, power brokers or male models, it is out lot to duke it out with our fellow men for best access to the pool of mating partners. Women are not going to develop a sense of want when there is plenty of supply. When women complain about a dearth of good men, they are usually surrounded by many men who they just don’t find to be suitable.

    Distinguishing between the start of relationships and the continuation of relationships may be useful.

    In the starting phase, I believe men will generally be more desirous of women than women of men. Most women, even the not-conventionally attractive, could go out and get themselves “accepted” (picked up by a temporary partner) any night of the week. Yes, it’s a shallow and unsatisfying fix, and most will decline it, but they are implicitly aware of their value in at least this regard. On the other hand, men resort prostitutes (escorts) very often merely for the sense of being wanted or needed, as well as for a physical sexual outlet, when presumably they cannot find that acceptance or need in any cheaper or more genuine way.

    Balancing this, I believe women will generally be more desirous of men in continuing or building a relationship past the point of initial sexual contact, where men stereotypically have the propensity to coast, and thence to become the pursued (though often experienced by dysfunctional hectoring and nagging) rather than the pursuer. (While it’s true that women initiate breakups more often than men, I think there would be confounding factors of perceived market value and single vs. married lifestyle choices also at work.) Men might wish to try to see their value from a women’s interpretation of desire, rather than their own. If an ordinary man wants to experience being wanted, he will more easily find it while in the role of a father or provider or loyal sexual partner, which is how a woman more readily experiences it.

    Also I wonder, working in seniors centers, if you have not found that men are more valued by their reduced numbers, providing they are willing to serve the functions that the women around them are seeking (more often social than sexual at that age, perhaps).

    These are (hetero) generalizations for which it is easy to find exceptions. I’m lucky enough to be wanted sexually, if I allow myself to feel it. In fact, I’m being paged to return to bed now, so I will close. ;^)

    • FlyingKal says:

      @Andre.
      I think you are mostly correct in the vital parts.
      I think a big part of the problem is that to be able to continue a relationship, you must first overcome the hurdles of starting one. That means you have to make yourself stand out from the crowd and be attractive somehow to be noticed.
      Many ordinary men can’t have the experience of being wanted as a father or a provider because they fall short on this demand.
      Or maybe this is the only areas they will ever experience being wanted, becuase once you get to that position, being wanted as a sexual partner (loyal or not…) is less likely to occur.

  41. Five years ago I met and made friends with a man who is currently one of my best friends. However, our friendship had an extremely rough start simply because I didn’t understand his desire to feel needed. In some ways it actually felt condescending — I’m an independent person, so why should I need him?

    However, it wasn’t about me and my ability to take care of myself, it was about him and how I demonstrated that I valued him. Sharing my needs and accepting his help in meeting them made a huge difference in our friendship. Even little things like asking for his opinion about current events showed that I valued him and his contributions to my life.

    Becoming friends required a lot of work (from both of us — he was more than willing to meet me halfway), but one of the things I need most from him is his continued patience in teaching me how to treat others well. I am much better off for learning these things with him.

  42. ogwriter says:

    I don’t get why my last comment was not allowed.

  43. Just thought I’d add a few more direct pieces of “evidence”…
    Women- get bought lots of drinks in bars. Guys- almost never get bought any drinks (except maybe from other gay guys). Value of guys- presumed low. Value of female prostitutes- very high. Value of male prostitutes- so low that “male prostitutes” (at least for women) almost assumed not to be a thing. Almost always assumed to be for other men, or maybe women at the fringes. Female strippers- abundant. Valuable. Male strippers- hmm, some. Here’s a crack where female desire of males is allowed to creep in, a little. But male strippers are basically all built like body builders. Again, very easy for “ordinary” guys to make the conclusion “Well, I don’t have washboard abs and defined traps, so that’s why women aren’t hooting at me and stuffing $1s in my boxer-briefs, I’m undesirably out of shape.”

    • Hi Shane Wegner

      I struggle to understand what you mean.
      Do you mean men in western society has a lower status,are less worth than female prostitues ?

      And by the way the so called male strippers never take of all their cloths, so why we call them strippers is a mystery to me. I do not find them attractive at all.

      Are men on the beach in speedos strippers? I don’t think so. But they are attractive.

      • Being, or performing ‘maleness’ is deeply tied in to competition and any given male’s ability to compete, especially against other men for women’s attention. A male who falls outside the competitive scale relative to other guys often feels himself ‘out of the loop,’ and hence undesirable to women. A woman, on the other hand, even a prostitute, who stands outside society’s moral standards, is still highly desirable to other males, so in a sense she does have a higher status as ‘desirable.’ In many men’s minds, at least. For a guy to ‘have to’ resort to prostitutes for his sexual needs is often considered, at very least by himself, to have fallen so low in the ‘desirablitlity’ scale that he has to PAY women for sex.
        male strippers do take off their clothes, except maybe for ornamental bow tie, and can make good livings working at women’s sex clubs, where all-women audiences pay to do anything they want to the male stripper hunks. I had a former housemate who used to be such a stripper, and apparently made a handsome living from it. Most women i know find guys on the beach in speedos to be gross and creepy. Different tastes, i suppose.

        • Hi Jeff C
          Obviously I am misinformed about stripping 🙂
          I have watched it.

          This view that using speedos is gross and creepy must be American attitudes.
          I Europe we know men have penises and most of us are not offended by the fact. Nor do we see ( show) nipples as immoral.

          I hope men wear what like on the beach and not let “the moral police “suppress them. But of course it is often best to follow a cultures codes.

    • Women who aren’t conventionally attractive aren’t valued much either.

      • ogwriter says:

        Sarah…er don’t you mean…not valued by SOME conventional thinkiing white guys?Whenever you speak on this issue you always write the same thing, as if the world you inhabit and the values it has around attractiveness is representative of how everyone in every culture represented in America thinks. It is not.
        You must know that when you do this over and over again,it is implictedly imperalistic, if not racist.It ignores the power you have as a white woman to control and define the debate around this kind of issue,(and other ISSUES as well) in deference to playing the victim card as a source of power.

        Women and feminists on GMP continously make this grave error in judgement on a plethora of concerns,while demanding empathy and sensitivity about what ails them. Damn. How long will it take before this changes? How long will it take before you are as inclusive in action as you are in words? And why should anyone listen to your concerns with empathic ears, when you don’t do the same?
        I have asked Erin the same thing and she has nothing but excuses to offer; we try, it will take tiime, maybe one day we will get there, people have a tendency to see only there own stuff. Well, damn, if you are not there, then at least get off of the victim horse and realize that you are perpetarators too, not just victims.Instead of presenting yourselves as somethig more,as something lowly,unevoled, men should aspire to be.It takes more than empty words to be a leader.
        Yes, I am angry and frustrated about this because floks like you are always calling for change in others. Hell, isn’t it time you became the change you want to see in others…before you complain about how others treat you?

        • I just don’t get it when men say that women are all loved and desired and seen as valuable and men are not. SOME women are seen that way. SOME men are valued by “society” (whatever that means), some aren’t. Most people are slogging away unrecognized and ignored. The beautiful young women of today will be unwanted 20 years from now. I am trying to see it from the male perspective, I really am. But I think a lot of men only see the most desirable women, and think all women have that experience of being wanted. Many women have never felt wanted. Many men have never felt needed. IDK, we live in a sucky society.

          • Sort of. But even an ‘unconventional’ looking woman could still go to a bar and get hit on, especially if she takes a minimum amount of effort to look reasonably nice. But an ugly old guy, even if he wears a suit, hanging at the same bar? not likely he’s gonna have some sweet young thing offer to have him buy her a drink. I see your point, and I understand there’s a difference between being hit on at bars and being loved and desired as human beings. But what goes on at bars is like a microcosmic theater piece of the overall human search for love and meaning.

            • … and why the old guy have to have a “sweet YOUNG” thing? Can’t men have women their own age? Oh yes, you forgot to play the “not all men are the same and many value older women as well” card right there. You did not mention the woman to be old or ugly (just unconventional) and being hit on by young sweet boys. Ah, men make their own masks fall out so easily.

          • Siobhan Green says:

            Concur.

            I have a good friend who is pushing 60. She has never been conventionally attractive, and is currently significantly overweight, mainly due to underlying health conditions that prevent her from exercising often.

            She is also brilliant, insanely funny, loyal and generous to a fault, and a fabulous writer.

            Not only does she NOT get bought drinks, she is openly attacked and made fun of in any place where she seems to indicate she wants male companionship. She is made to feel like she is a shameful person and doesn’t deserve to exist. She legitimately worries about what would happen if she were to lose her job or her health were to take a bad turn, though she has friends (I for one) who will never let her be homeless.

            She is very very aware of what it means to be unwanted by men. And her circumstance is not unusual – pretty much all women who are not young, thin and pretty are not wanted. Maybe for a pity fuck, but really at that point, you are one step up from a sheep or the guy’s hand, which really isn’t very attractive either.

    • Your ‘evidence’ is not so much proof of women being wanted more than men rather than women are sexualized more than men. By men. Real evidence: blockbuster movies, tv anchors, youtube videos, social media, etc. etc. Realize you’re in a forest, don’t get lost bumping into trees.

    • kitty_boof says:

      so what you’re saying is that women know they are worth something because they get a lot of free alcohol at bars?
      1. it’s a myth, we DON’T get all these free drinks given to us.
      2. we know what all those drinks mean [generally]: if i give her enough booze, she’ll lower her inhibitions and let me fuck her.
      ever see wanda sykes’ “drink man”?

      it’s evident that you see women’s “value” in their sexual accessibility and desirability. hmm, did it ever occur to you that we’d actually like to be seen as autonomous human beings with free will, who DON’T want our worth proven by how much booze is slung our way?

      • No, most men will never realize that because, as you can see and already said, what women are just decoration and people you can get to have sex with (if you are young and hot enough, obviously) for most straight males. Most straight men will never realize women are just people with dreams and values outside of the only ones they can see (or believe they see and that women agree with).

    • Siobhan Green says:

      When I was in my 20s, I used to go to clubs to dance, not get hit on by men. I never went to bars because a. the drinks are overpriced, b. you cannot actually talk to anyone because it is too noisy, and c. there is nowhere to sit. In fact, I stopped going to clubs because getting hit on by men is actually not very pleasant and can get threatening very quickly, especially since it is clear the men hitting on me care nothing about my brain and everything about my boobs. Also, they would hit on my cuter/thinner/prettier friends in the beginning of the evening, and I would only get a look towards the end of the evening… I am not stupid, I know what beer goggling means.

      A great example – one night I was out with friends and I sat down because I was very tired from dancing. As I was nursing my water, a guy comes over to chat me up. Feeling friendly, I let him sit, but didn’t let him buy me a drink (I just wanted water, anyway). It became very clear after a few minutes that he assumed I was an idiot and he was the smart one – for example, he patronizingly explained to me what an economist is (despite me telling him I took two years of economics in college and my brother and my aunt were both economists). So I decided to play dumb. The more he patronized me, the dumber I got. And you know what? The dumber I got, the more he seemed to be into me.

      He was SHOCKED when I refused to give him my number.

      What made me turn my head when I met my now husband of 13 years? I was out with a bunch of friends and friends of friends (he was a friend of a friend of a friend) and made an off the cuff snarky comment about “all men want is sex”, and he stopped me short, looked me directly in the eye, and said “that is bullshit. And you know it.” We spent the rest of the evening talking and joking and laughing – and I felt the entire time he saw ME; not my boobs or face or whether I would put out – ME.

      And that is SEXY as HELL.

      • Men do want sex. Lots of it, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want it to mean something too.

        • Sure, men also want sex to mean many things. Like, that she is a slave that will do whatever they want, when they want the way they want, that she will be giving enough to never mind that most men will never reciprocrate and that even then she will focus (or fake) to have orgasms to appeal to his masculine ego (never because he cares about her pleasure, obviously), that she is going to be hot and sensual while she will be understanding enough that their men can look as hairy or flabby as they want, etc.

      • FlyingKal says:

        Hi Siobhan Greene,
        “He was SHOCKED when I refused to give him my number.”

        I recently had a woman offering me her phone number after lending her some help.
        I was on vacation, and not likely to come back to that area of the country in a foreseeable future, so I tried to kindly decline to take it.
        This made her kind of crossed, and she INSISTED on me taking it.
        I made a mental whatever-shrug to myself, smiled and said thank you.
        A little later, you know I had to check it out. And as I thought, the number didn’t work…
        You never know what goes on inside someone else’s head, but what kind of, I don’t know, freak(?) insists on you taking a phone number that is wrong anyway?!

        • Hi FlyingKal

          Try the number one more time. There may have been technical problems,like she had forgotten to pay her bill,renew the number . Things like that happens. In this country we can loose our mobile phone ( cell phone )number if if do not fill up prepaid cards once a year. The different companies have differs rules,and some like to withdraw you number so that they can sell it to new costumers.

          If YOU liked her then why not find her? Use the Yellow pages,or look up her name online.
          What if she was sincere after all?

          • FlyingKal says:

            Hi Iben,
            The problem isn’t that noone answered, but someone who had never heard of the person I had been in contact with. And I have also triple-checked the figures on my note… 🙂

            The thing is, I helped her out. I gave her a ride on the way home from Aurland. Because I could, because I was going that way in any case. Not to score some (sexual) benefits out of it, neither as a favour or out of a sense of obligation as a payoff. I don’t work that way in any case!

            If she wants to look me up, fine! She has my full name and my license plate to work on.
            I just have a false phone number and a first name, that may be false as well, for all I know.
            But the point is that I have no reason to, because I wasn’t interested anyway.

            And the way she used her phone in the car was at least no indication that it was running out of juice, ha! 🙂

          • FlyingKal says:

            Iben,
            I must say I’m still curious as to how you read my posts.
            If I write that I wasn’t interested in getting her number and first declined to take it altogether, what on earth makes you think that I liked her so much that I’d want to get in touch with her again? 🙂

            • Hi FlyinKal
              I thought you had changed your mind about her since you wrote :”A little later, you know I had to check it out. And as I thought, the number didn’t work…”.

              I choose to see happenings like that like misunderstanding and not that men try to make fun of me. That way I keep my spirt high!

            • Hi FlyinKal
              I thought you had changed your mind about her since you wrote :”A little later, you know I had to check it out. And as I thought, the number didn’t work…”.

              I choose to see happenings like that like misunderstanding and not that men try to make fun of me. That way I keep my spirt high!

              • FlyingKal says:

                Hi Iben,
                Ok, sorry I came across as unclear on the issue.

                The thing was that I kind of turned her down, as I wrote. And she seemed to take it as both a challenge and an insult to her feminity, so to say…
                So I got a hunch that when she more or less pressed the number upon me, she gave the wrong number on purpose as some kind of way to get back at me, I don’t know…?
                But anyway, I just tried the number to see if it worked, and it didn’t. I’ll try to write the more complete story of our short interaction if someone’s interested.

    • katansi says:

      I’m 31 and have been bought 5 drinks in my life by men and I’ve drank a lot more than 5 drinks total while out. I can tell you what they were, where I got them and the names of 4 of the 5 men because it is such a rare occurrence that I even get the offer. I have also bought drinks for men and women at about the same rate. Conventional attractiveness does matter. All women do not get the same generosity. There is plenty of sociological research on this which you should do your own due diligence for and look up.

  44. ogwriter says:

    necroteluate I beg your pardon?!Your retrograde attitude about “men” is exactly the kind of perjorative, reactionary, claptrap, that only serves one’s need for spiteful revenge.Men and women ARE in this together-like it or not-.No one,not one man who has commented has even suggested that women should only be housewives.Men on GMP are among the most supportive of women you will find anywhere.That doesn’t mean that they will rollover and play dead just because a feminist disagrees with them. Being a feminist doesn’t also mean one is automatically right.

    • @ogwriter…

      Greetings Bro.

      Here! Here! to your post Bro!

      You are absolutely correct: we are all in this together – like it or not. There is no group of more open minded men than the ones on GMP.

  45. CrashCondo says:

    Well guys should realize that there is always going to be someone who needs and wants us. OURSELVES! Focus on being there for yourself and being the best you can be. YOU are always going to need yourself more than anyone. If you are your own best friend and supporter, a lot of the rest of the pieces will fall into place.

  46. necropteluate says:

    Awesome article. Women aren’t going back the way of the house wife from the 1800s. Men need to start looking at the Plan B. Men are stuck in this position because they chose not to see women as an equal in society. You all laugh at sexist jokes, tell women ‘stop being emotional’ and expect them to fall helpless at your feet.

    • “You all laugh at sexist jokes” Oh really? Every single male? Because you just made a sexist comment….

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      Frankly necro if you think the guys on this site wants women to go back, then you not only are wrong but you are borderline trolling. Maybe you mistaken this site for another? it happens sometimes you know….

  47. ogwriter says:

    I have tried to spark conversation about how selective and hypocritical many women are in how they apply standards of transactionalism/commercialism to different men.For instance, well to do women have no problem relaxing their standards under the right circumstances.Such as when wealhty European,Scandanavian,Japanese,White American and Black American women gladly throw those standards under the bus in pursuit poor men AND boy’s of OTHER countries for sex and lightweight companionship.These women,when in their own countries,behave quite differently.

    • Hi Ogwriter
      You write✺ :”For instance, well to do women have no problem relaxing their standards under the right circumstances.Such as when wealhty European,Scandanavian,Japanese,White American and Black American women gladly throw those standards under the bus in pursuit poor men AND boy’s of OTHER countries for sex and lightweight companionship.These women,when in their own countries,behave quite differently.”✺

      I wish I had statistical facts about this from my own country but I don”t.

      First let me say that I see white and Japanese women’s sex tourism to places like Kenya and Gambia as disgrace and I am ashamed. Even if is prostition in disguise( I do not support prostitution). I would like to see some good research on the background and educational level of these women. Any moral compass there ?

      You see Ogwriter an uneducated women in Norway can afford a charter trip to Gambia once in a while if that is her dream. They do not have to be wealthy in their own country to buy a trip like that. Even to buy an apartment for a kept lover cost less than buying a car here.

      But take a trip to Scandinavia one day Ogwriter. Here you will see that women here do marry asylum seekers from all over the world,of different colors and nationalities. They fall in love and marry. My city has inhabitants 30% with a back ground from other countries, and many are poor when they come here. Not many blue eyes kids here any longer.

      I may be wrong but it is my impression many groups of refugees ,asylum seeker and immigrants will never marry Scandinavian women because THEY do not want to,or are not permitted to do so by their families. Cultural traditions with arranged or forced marries are still very much alive. Tamils marry Tamils,Pakistani marry Pakistanis …Somalis marry Somalis…. Muslims prefer Muslims..

      What happens sexually is another story.

      Often It is NOT Scandinavian women that say no, it is the other way around. A sort of segregation.
      I will not try to give an explanation of this phenomena. You see it all over Scandinavia.

      • @Iben…

        “What happens sexually is another story.”

        Yes, that seems to always be the case, everywhere. It’s funny that some of the 9/11 hijackers talked bout getting prostitutes before their acts of grand terrorism. Yet, they viewed themselves as martyrs.

        This is what I as a person cannot do: I cannot have sex with a woman, who in my mind, I know is not worthy of being my long term partner. I feel I am de-humanizing the woman. I cannot bring myself to do it. I have done it only once, right after my divorce. To this day, I feel guilt over it.

        Hence, I believe we need to place restraint on the physical.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        “I may be wrong but it is my impression many groups of refugees ,asylum seeker and immigrants will never marry Scandinavian women because THEY do not want to,or are not permitted to do so by their families. Cultural traditions with arranged or forced marries are still very much alive. Tamils marry Tamils,Pakistani marry Pakistanis …Somalis marry Somalis…. Muslims prefer Muslims..

        What happens sexually is another story.

        Often It is NOT Scandinavian women that say no, it is the other way around. A sort of segregation.
        I will not try to give an explanation of this phenomena. You see it all over Scandinavia.”

        Yes I agree, it fit’s my experience 100%. Less women are interested in having a relationship with a foreigner now than 10y ago, I often experience that girls/women dont mind or sometimes they even ask me directly for some fun time. But after they find a danish boyfriend.

        I also know few moslim guys who swear they dont want a Danish girl again. They either look for one of their own culture or for at least another moslem. I have a Iraqi friend, who was in a relationship with a gorgeous danish girl who live not far from me (she has now kids and danish boyfriend) and they were always fighting. One day I remember she was holding a party with her friends, and her boyfriend came with two cars full of anden G’er (in danish means second generation immigrants) they rushed in (I was saying to my self…oh oh now there is trouble) her home, and all I could hear was screaming and yelling. After a while he and his friend left. I walked in her place asking if all is ok, and she told me to take a beer and join them: ” I have just broke up, I dont wont him to control my life”. Later I spoke with him (the Iraqi guy) and he swear on the quoran never again a danish girl ” walla habibi I swear, never again a Dane, never ever, im done with them”, today he is with a woman from his country.

        The cultural differences are simply to big, I dont say it cant work, but when it does its usually because one of the partners submit to one culture or the other. Otherwise is a never ending fighting, call it WWIII.

        I had several friends with benefits this year, nearly all of them after few months of sex, they went into a relationship with a native guy. Beside one, witch I politely refused her proposal for a relationship. How do I feel about it? im cool also because right now I dont have time for a relationship. I barely have time to write here 😉

        I also remember few months ago, I was with a girl named Susan (I call her Susan but she has a different name) a “lover ” of mine, that day I toke a day off from my work at the club, so me and Susan went into another club to have a good time. After a while, a Nigerian friend of mine, approached me, he was in company of a gorgeous Scandinavian looking woman, tall blond angelic face, big blue eyes and all that. He asked me if I know her. My answer was no, I never seen her before. Well she was into the club where I work asking for me. She even went to the owner asking for my number. Disappointed she went with my friend.
        Well I tell you, I never seen a woman being more “hungry” than her. She was eating me alive with her eyes. She ignored both the Nigerian dude and my lover girl, and she glued herself on me (not litterally of course), following me everywhere. Literally drooling. It was actually embarrassing, also because I was in company with Susan. Well at a certain point I went to the bathroom, she followed me. Oh supertypo, you are ‘handsome and charming’ lets go somewhere else me and you *blink*. I refused, for two reason, as I said before first I was in company,and second she was also in company with a friend. So logically I said no, but I toke her number, promising her to call her the day after. After that she went home (alone) and me Susan and the Nigerian we had a good laugh. The day after I trow the number away in disgust. She is married with a fool with a Tom Selleck mustache and she have also children. I dont fun-around with women in relationship. I actually hate when people in relationship seek fun somewhere else (unless its consensual, like swingers, bulls/hot wifes etc)

        And finally few days ago I was on SCOR (since, Iben you are Scandinavian you probably have heard of this specific dating site) I was typing with a woman from my area. She had visited my profile several times before, so I decided to have a chat with her. All was going fine until she ask me if I was native danish. Naturally I told her the truth, well she pulled back, not interested. I was offended, because if she visited my profile (witch she did), she knew where im from, so the question was stupid indeed, even as a excuse. But this is not all. The day after I got a letter from her, where she apologized and she couldn stop thinking of me. So she ask me if I could visit her at her home but she doesnt want a relationship with me right now, just fun. My reaction may seem surprising for some but I refused. I dont have time today, gotta work bye. Sorry but if you are rude and offensive on me, what in heaven makes you think I want to reward you sending your butt to wonderland? Pleaseeeee.

        Well It may sound that im a player or I have a easy time with women. Nothing more far from the truth but being a bit dark and a DJ it gives me a advantage. But usually the women I have interest in are not interested, the others I dont care about chase me. And yes,lot of non-natives are less interested in having a long term relation with a danish woman, and vice versa. At least that is my observation.

        • FlyingKal says:

          Mr. Supertypo:
          Well It may sound that im a player or I have a easy time with women. Nothing more far from the truth but being a bit dark and a DJ it gives me a advantage. But usually the women I have interest in are not interested, the others I dont care about chase me.

          Well, aren’t you the unlucky one…
          (Just kidding!)

          The women I know usually have kids and are into their third or fourth relationship after their divorce. So the disinterest is mostly mutual, ha! 😉

    • @ogwriter…

      “I have tried to spark conversation about how selective and hypocritical many women are in how they apply standards of transactionalism/commercialism to different men.”

      Good luck!

      We don’t even have to go overseas and examine the “rent-a-rasta” thingy, unless we want to make it international. I guess we should as things really are global. But, vast hypocritical behavior exist right here in the USA.

      Most of the regular female and vocal feminists will never engage in this debate. What’s equally baffling is their unwillingness to even deny it! Pure radio silence is the usual non response.

  48. ogwriter says:

    Jules How goes it? Let me play devil’s advocate:no surprise there.How willing are you to be flexible when it comes to your preference for a mate with a nice rearend?Come on man…tell the truth.I know I won’t.

    • @ogwriter…

      Hey Bro! greeting from the Free State!

      How willing are you to be flexible when it comes to your preference for a mate with a nice rearend?

      Hmmmmm. Lol!!!

      Well, here is the thing. I am not into skinny women, in general, at all. Right after my divorce, I dated a thin sista who was only 26 (and a single mom). She was my waitress at a restaurant. It lasted about 6 months. There just sex and my $$$$ in common. Being honest. But, she had a nice rear on her, even though she was a size 2. Also, got sick of hearing about the Illuminati crap.

      The sole reason I went for her was I was fresh out of sexless marriage with ZERO sex for nearly 3 years. I told her the whole story. So, my thinking was younger women are more sexual than the older woman I just divorced. I was trying to recover what had been stolen from me!

      My ideal is a woman in my age range (just turned 51 on Tuesday), a size 10 or so, good person…..usually women this size tend to have nice asses. But, honestly, even if she did not (so long as it was not an ironing board), I would date her for a long term relationship. But, I do like a sexual woman. I will NEVER go through what I went through with my ex wife. Never again.

      This is what I like about Iben,

      “Now I am scared to end up in the same situation, hurting a man by rejecting him sexually. I can not and will not go into a long term relationship and then leave the man because he no longer attracts me or excites me.
      I have too much respect for other humans feelings to do that.”

      She understands the human side and dignity that is involved in denying her man sex. Very very very few women in America get this.

  49. ogwriter says:

    Iben How can that be done when everyone has a list of attributes they consider indispensible in a potential mate.Most agree that this list is a natural consequence of being an animal.I believe most species use this process in one way or another.I have read your list of preferences many times,some of which are on this thread.These lists are a necessary aspect of mate selection.For certain,some desired-wanted?,needed?-attributes are more shallow and base than others and have many negative consequences associated with them.Nonetheless,there must be a standard of evaluation available to determine whether some one is right for you.

    • @Ogwriter…

      Hey Bro! Good points.

      The key thing you mentioned above is “indispensable.” Herein lies the problem in America today. We act like toddlers who just got to have that toy. It is crazy. He has to be over 6 feet tall. She has to be thin and fit. He has to make six figures. She has to be blond. Blah Blah Blah.

      I go with a broad view. I would say 70%-80% of women I see everyday are physically fine by me. The rest are either too young, too old, or grossly overweight. Otherwise, I will talk to them, period. I don’t care about race, religion, ethnicity….

      So long as she is a good human being, great personality, nice rear, kind, compassionate, intelligent……But, none of these things are real deal breakers for me, except for being a good person.

    • Hi Ogwriter
      You write:
      ✺” I have read your list of preferences many times,some of which are on this thread.These lists are a necessary aspect of mate selection.For certain,some desired-wanted?,needed?-attributes are more shallow and base than others and have many negative consequences associated with them.Nonetheless,there must be a standard of evaluation available to determine whether some one is right for you.”✺

      I can not remember that I have shared with you my list of deal-breakers. Have I done done that? My deal breakers has nothing to do with looks.

      Just remember one important fact that you maybe overlook here ,AGE.

      Are your girlfriend also 58 years old or considerably younger?
      We are the same age group Ogwriter but when I write about what attracts me I am talking of men in my own age group and not men 20 -30 younger than me. Why? I am not naive.

      Men are privileged and can choose women in all age groups Ogwriter and women can not unless we are celebrities. Never forget that fact in this discussion. Please for a few minutes try to imagine that you lived under the same age restrictions as women when it comes to finding love. I am talking about long term relationships and marriage ,not sexual happenings.

      All this does not upset me. Lots of women are angry about it,I am not! It is life. But do not close your eyes to this in our discussion.

      And I also talk about attraction I the sense long lasting attraction. The attraction strong enough to last in marriage for the rest of my life. I am not talking of attraction like for a fling,or attraction described as liking a man.

      I like men where ever I go, the good looking doctor that fixes my ankle ,the old distinguish Pakistani that drives me home,my neighbor from Iran, the cute boys that flirt with me in my local super marked,my local priest,…the list is endless . But for me to enter a long lasting love relationship for life means I must believe deep in my heart that not only will I love this man,but also want physical intimacy with him .
      Want him and like to have him physically close to me in a LONG TERM relationship.

      My marriage did not last,it turned sour,and I lost attraction to my husband for thousands of reasons, He looked like Snowden,so it was nothing wrong with his looks.
      Now I am scared to end up in the same situation, hurting a man by rejecting him sexually. I can not and will not go into a long term relationship and then leave the man because he no longer attracts me or excites me.
      I have too much respect for other humans feelings to do that.

      I can not like some men,solve the problem by finding a man 20-30 years younger than me.
      By saying this I do not say that men choose younger women only because they are more sexually attractive. I think you fall in love.

      • @Iben..

        Hello Iben! I hope your ankle is much better.

        “Now I am scared to end up in the same situation, hurting a man by rejecting him sexually. I can not and will not go into a long term relationship and then leave the man because he no longer attracts me or excites me.
        I have too much respect for other humans feelings to do that.”

        You made my day Iben. Really! I never thought I would ever hear a woman write such words. It means you have empathy, compassion, kindness, and respect for your fellow human beings.

        This is why I am fond of you!

        I always say that people who are into serial dating and serial monogamy have arrested development. All they are doing is discarding people like tossing the trash out when they are done with them.

        Cheers!

      • ogwriter says:

        Hello Iben So much to say…Well,I am in a dating conumdrum.Younger women are often too inexperienced and narrow-minded for me.Older women in America,unlike in Scandanavia,are exceedingly hypergamous and have other issues as well,insecurities about their looks,their age,coupled with unreal expectations relative to the aforementioned expectations.As a physical conditioning professional,I am paid to be sensitive and nonjudgmental about these things.In a relationship,I am less than enthused about tolerating such nonsense.A woman doesn’t have to be perfect or as fit as I am for me to find her attractive.Persistent bodyimage drama is a major turnoff for me.This attitude limits my dating options,no matter her age.So be it,I’d rather not deal with it.I can’t speak for why these asylum seekers don’t marry native women.The reasons could be cultural.Educated American women are not like Scandanavian women!Hypergamy and the denial of it is rampant in American culture.Statistically,not much specific info exists on female sex tourism.According anecdoctol info(interviews mostly),women tend to be upper middle and upper class.Many said they would be embarrassed,at home,to be seen taking a man of color home:especially just for sex. Most important to me is that the convoluted,self delusion mechanism these women employ in order to satisfy sexual urges-SANS COMMITMENT AND TRADITIONAL HYPERGAMY- appears to be cross cultural.I was amazed at how similar this behavior is to what I have seen and experienced as an American.It confirms,to me,that my cynicism about what women say and what they do is well founded.

        • Hi Ogwriter
          This comment from you never reached my mailbox. This system has some problems.

          Yes there are double standards and hypocrism in many persons sexual life,unfortunately racism as well.

      • “Men are privileged and can choose women in all age groups Ogwriter and women can not unless we are celebrities. ”

        Wrong. Men whom are rich or celebrities have a much easier time finding a younger parnter but generally most people seem to stay within the 5 years or so of each other. Older women can find a younger partner.

        I have no problems dating an older women for just somethign casual however I do want a family one day and the age difference will be too great, I’d like my wife to not be so far aged that her body is unable to keep up with me and the kids so a similar age is usually better but I’d probably allow + or – 10 years at my current age. Due to the non linear aging process this does get worse as we age where someone could date far younger vs far older if they are wanting someone whom is as healthy as they are or better. Ages 18-45 or 50? are the fertile years, with the fertility dropping significantly after 40 and the chance of problems increasing bigtime so a 35 year old can date 15 years younger with no problem cept maturity maybe whilst dating only 10 years older may mean his partner has extreme difficulty in getting pregnant and if it’s a male partner the quality of sperm dramatically reduces too with increased risks of birth defects. If you aren’t interested in kids then it’s a much easier choice but I one day would like a family of my own and go through similar stages of life as my partner, so I can’t date too much older if I was over 35. Remember that you’d need a few years to setup your home, get the love required or marriage for those that want it, can’t just jump in straight away with someone you may/may not wanna spend the rest of your life with.

        I could maybe date an 18 year old (I am 28 now) but I think it may be very difficult unless she is quite mature, 21-23ish is probably my minimum in maturity wise. I am currently VERY VERY attracted to someone who is around 35-38, I think she is an amazing woman but is married so that will never happen lol but still it goes to show attraction can still be there for younger men and older women.

        None of this means older people are worthless, it’s just that past a certain age I cannot date them for family sake, it’d have to be a relationship without kids which would drive me batty and adoption still leaves the issue of will she have the energy to keep up with us. My dad had me at 40, mum was 35, and by the time I was an adult he was 58 and already his body had suffered greatly, I don’t remember either of them really ever kicking ball or running with me. I wouldn’t want to be 55+ at my sons graduation, if I was I’d probably be dead by the time they have grandkids.

        • Hi Archy
          You are right . And that is why I am not angry about this like so many women are.

          For some reason nature intended it this way.
          . I did not suggest that a man your age should give up a dream of staring a family and have children. You will be a great father Archy,you are intelligent,interesting and have personal experiences in life that others have not.

          So I was not suggesting that men in your age group should date women over a certain age unless of course you fall in love and it feels right.
          And as you know we do not age in the same space through life. The older you get the faster you age,so a large age different means the difference increases every year.
          But let’s wish Tina Turmer at 73 happiness with her 57 year old husband.

          You are a sympathetic man Archy. I you lived in an environment with more single women I think they soon would discover you and things might start to happen.

          I guess there are no bicycle lanes where you live?

          • Archy
            Typo
            I wanted to say IF you lived in an environment with more single women.

          • Thing about nature is that we really didn’t live much past 30-35 AFAIK, our society became much safer and allowed us to live far longer before we could evolve so we ended up with most people living past the age of reproduction.

            My point was that neither can really choose without something to make them special, for women generally that is good looks and for men that is generally money/success/power. The average 50 year old male will have a hard time dating women who are in their 20’s.

            Where I live bike riding is far more rare because it’s 10km+ to town and 100km+ to the nearest metro area, in hot n humid conditions and it rains many months of the year (in fact it is raining right now) so you can’t really ride anywhere often. Australia is also stupidly big, the nearest major city to me is like 2000km away which is quite a few countries wide in Europe.

        • FlyingKal says:

          Men are privileged and can choose women in all age groups Ogwriter and women can not unless we are celebrities. Never forget that fact in this discussion. Please for a few minutes try to imagine that you lived under the same age restrictions as women when it comes to finding love. I am talking about long term relationships and marriage ,not sexual happenings.

          One thing to keep in mind here is that this (to whatever extent it is true) also opens up a far larger group for “competition” among men

          Also, there are roughly 5% more boys than girls being born in most western countries, and most of this difference prevails throughout our productive and fertile ages. If we assume the portion of heterosexual individuals to be roughly equal in among both sexes, this means that 1 out of every 20 man reaching adulthood will not find a partner due to numbers alone…

          • Hi Flyingkal
            Be glad you do not live on one of the countries that abort female fetuses an mass.

            Maybe men should fight for polyandry?

            I see no solution to the problem. Life is not fair. Wealth ,health and other important things in life is not distributed evenly,unfortunately.

            If you managed that bicycle trip ( Rallarvegen)it sounds like you are healthy and strong. I have never been there.
            Walking in the mountains from cabin to cabin is by many seens as a suburb way to meet a potential partner.

            • FlyingKal says:

              Hi Iben,
              Yes I know. It seems that every time medical advances are made, there are new ways of abusing them.
              One problem, I believe, is that at least in Nordic countries, is that they can determine with somewhat security the sex of the baby before the legal, no-questions-asked time limit. I don’t think it’s much of a problem here, but I’ve read a few paper articles that it seems to be more boys than girls being aborted this way.

              Yes, although not very muscular, I am in pretty good shape. Always has been. That’s why I tend to get a little crossed whenever someone says that I just need to get in shape to be attractive and get some attention…
              I don’t go to gyms, and I hate jogging. I do more of biking, hiking, some (mountain) climbing, and whatever fun you can do out in the back-country. Actually met some people in the fjordlands, but that turned into a history of its own. I’ll just need to stew on it a bit before I’m ready to share it (Nothing happened…!)

              • People tell me to try getting in shape all the time because I’m fat. I already bike and walk everywhere as well as run and hike. It’s an ignorant assumption and I’m sorry you deal with that, too.

  50. That is very interesting, it’s a way of looking at the ‘crisis of masculinity’ I hadn’t considered. I would add to that that the whole men not being wanted goes hand in hand with several women’s issues. The first being that women, still, are viewed as not being supposed to feel sexual desire — see slut shaming. The second is that women for so long were told that they had no value without men, and in fact were not even considered their own persons, and were forced to be dependant, that they have swung towards the other way — not needing or wanting a man because they dont’ want to be beholden or vulnerable. It also should be pointed out that a lot of women feel the same way — if they aren’t needed, what’s the point in life? I think the issue is more complicated than stated in this article (especially with regards to feminism), but it is a very interesting thing to think about.

  51. Siobhan Green says:

    I do think there is a corollary with women and not all men feel this. It comes down to attractiveness – if you fit the standard stereotypes of highly attractive (physically for women, physically or status-wise for men), then you know what it feels like to be wanted.

    If you don’t fall into those stereotypes, you don’t know, not deep in your bones, until you find someone who wants you, who you want back. It took a long time for me to believe that men were attracted to me beyond just wanting to get laid (which is really not a high barrier – the stereotype is that most men will screw anything with a pulse, and getting rejected by a man for free sex is absolutely devastating). I have heard men tell me that they use their money or connections to attract women and women tell me they use their bodies/access to sex/caretaking roles to attract men, because in both cases, they believe nothing else will be attractive.

    I do agree that men and women need to cultivate the sense that they are worthy people beyond finances, physical attractiveness, or what the other person gets out of it. We need to move beyond the transactional/commercialization of relationships, a quid pro quo attitude.

    I want my husband because he is awesome, and brilliant and hard working and hilarious and an amazing father and fantastic cook and he makes me feel great about myself. I need him in terms of being a full partner in my life, but staying with him is an active choice I joyfully make.

    • Hi Siobhan
      This is well said:
      ✺”I do agree that men and women need to cultivate the sense that they are worthy people beyond finances, physical attractiveness, or what the other person gets out of it. We need to move beyond the transactional/commercialization of relationships, a quid pro quo attitude.”✺

      Our seems of self worth and our capacity to love.
      It is about love all this struggle,unhappiness and longing.

    • @Siobhan Green…

      This should be “Comment of the Day” Seriously.

      You clearly see the reality of many relationships. There IS a lot of transactional/commercialization of relationships. Yet, many feminist ardently deny such exist with many women today. It is far more prevalent than they wish to acknowledge.

      The sad truth is that it is not necessary for many highly educated and high income women. Our way of life here in America has become WIIFM (“What’s In It For Me”). This goes for both sexes.

  52. While this is an accurate depiction of my current (and typical) mental state, it simply reinforces it. I’m not sexy and I know it, and I don’t work out (ain’t nobody got time for that!); even if I did I’m still a scrawny motherfucker. Sure I have a good job, but that means little when I’ve never really felt desired or needed. C’est la vie.

    • @John…

      “I’m not sexy and I know it, and I don’t work out (ain’t nobody got time for that!)”

      Wrong!!!!

      You have control over both of these things. You can change your thinking about yourself. Change your thinking and you change your life.

      You can make time to workout, but you just are not willing to do so.

      You are the Decider my friend.

      Now, go make some shit happen!

      Cheers!

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        ” “I’m not sexy and I know it, and I don’t work out (ain’t nobody got time for that!)” ”

        Jules is right, nobody is born sexy, you become sexy. And the most sexiest women I know, are the one 30+ so age is relative. Being sexy is something you learn, some people learn it from young age, others in adult age. Look for guides and fit you up.

        But everything starts in the brain, from love to sex, from black magic to miracles. Change your way of thinking. I quote Tony Robbins ‘”If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. “‘ so change now.

    • FlyingKal says:

      I will believe that I am sexy, or the least bit attractive, the day that someone who sees me and at least partially knows me, will let me know this by committed action and not merely by empty words.

      And before you cast prejudice on my attitude and situation, please remember that you know very little, if anything, about my experiences, what I look like, how I dress, eat, exercise, act, etcetera.

  53. Those sort of thoughts are something I had struggled with for a very long time. I feel I’ve overcome it for the most part over the past few years, but I can very much relate to that bitterness of feeling “unwantable” even if it was only in my head. There’s an awkward balancing act men seem to be expected to play in regards to flirtation and romance – on the one hand, there’s this historical expectation that men are to take the initiative and make the first approach. On the other hand, we frequently hear how much women are tired of being approached by men constantly and about what scumbags men are. Granted, there’s a lot of scummy guys out there. For many years, seven to be exact, I simply threw my hands up and said “fuck this game” and gave up. That was how I spent my late 20’s and early 30’s, a time when I should have been having lots of sexy fun was instead a very lonely time. I’m SO happy to have gotten past that!

    Just the other day I was discussing relationships with a friend and stated that contrary to what I’d grown up with and desired for most of my life, nowadays I’d much rather be wanted than needed. When I hang out with my friends who are lonely and struggling with this sort of thing, I try to give some advice, but it can be so complicated and difficult to retrace the steps that got me out of that state of mind and it goes through some territory that most of them would not be ok with. Much of it wouldn’t be relevant to them anyhow.

    But the gist of what I say to my romantically challenged guy friends is this:

    Dance – Even if you don’t know how. It’s not the moves that are attractive so much as the willingness to cut loose and be silly. *also, bad dancing can be really f’n cute! And if you think that gorgeous goddess seems unapproachable, imagine what it’s like trying to approach some quiet, shadowy guy who’s trying not to be noticed.

    Flirt! – For it’s own sake, without expectation. It’s fun and confidence boosting! Never hit on or pick up. IMO, this is one of the early clear distinctions between creeps and desirable men.

    Forget the notion of the “friend zone” and be happy whenever you make a new friend. Make as many friends as you can!

    • FlyingKal says:

      Dance – Even if you don’t know how. It’s not the moves that are attractive so much as the willingness to cut loose and be silly. *also, bad dancing can be really f’n cute! And if you think that gorgeous goddess seems unapproachable, imagine what it’s like trying to approach some quiet, shadowy guy who’s trying not to be noticed.

      I disagree, and have the backup of quite a few women on this.
      There are few things as ridicolous (and not in the good way) as a man trying to dance and not knowing he’s making a fool of himself.

  54. After reading this, I have ONE thing to say:

    Are you single?! 😉

  55. Very good article… brings up an interesting point. I believe the feeling of needing to be needed comes from the traditional patriarchy that we still have a long ways to recover from. Women were (and still are) encouraged to be dependent on men. Men on the other hand are encouraged to be responsible for women. Everyone focuses on the psychology of dependent women but rarely ever to we see a discussion on men forced into responsible roles and the mental consequences of shifting gender roles. I hope one day, this will get sorted out as the patriarchy dissolves completely. In the meantime, articles like this promote healthy discussion vs just vilifying men.

    • I’ve always found it strange too, it’s not like like was overly easy for men forced to work to provide for a family in dangerous situations (nor women in England for instance nor children whom all genders n ages worked in very very dangerous factories, google phossy jaw for a very shocking eye opener!!!). In the U.S if you are too poor to pay child support I believe you can still be jailed. Work related stress is high as hell, there are plenty of things wrong with being the breadwinner especially in a slowing economy where your self-esteem is very much linked to your ability to provide, lots of men especially have committed suicide over these issues since 2008’s major financial fuckup.

  56. wellokaythen says:

    Transcending the desire to feel needed is just the first step in liberating oneself. When you can find some sort of peace when you feel both unneeded and unwanted, then you’ve really freed yourself from other people’s B.S.

  57. Andreas Ekberg says:

    Very interesting. By comparison, I’d advice to read the great sci-fi novel “the left hand of darkness” by Ursula Le Guin. Why? Because she grew up with parents being social-anthropologists and was well groomed in this kind of field and then later, in this particular book, wrote about it in such a nice way that in the novel itself there’s this sort of study and questioning. I think you’d find it more than just interesting and more than meets the eye, also for this current reflection / debate.

    Briefly put, what starts as some kind of sci-fi/fantasy mash-up, quickly escaltes into the philosophical studies of a society of androgynous humans, where war has never happened and the sex-drive we take for granted, as well as the social roles that come with it, do not exist. Quite elaborate and thought-provoking! Give it a go!

  58. ogwriter says:

    Jules My point is about accountability and consistency.For instance,to be a christian is to be a follower of Jesus Christ’s principals,it is to be Christ like.Alexander the “Great” was a murderous meglomaniac who had more in common with that Austrian nut who lead Germany than Jesus Christ. Both Alexander and the Austrian wanted to make the world over in their image, lusting for domination and most importantly,power and legacy.And they were willing to kill millions.Are we just lambs being led to the slaughter or just puppets needing to told what to do by these leaders? If one believes this is ok,where does one’s belief in Jesus Christ fit exactly?.Excusing wars of conquest,and,the rape, murder,pillaging and genocide that are a part of war,I can’t understand. And now,because of technology advanced through perpetual war, the world sits on the edge of possible nuclear aninilation. Remember,two bombs have already been dropped.Who then decides which of these leaders is great and how can Jesus Christ be considered great too?You see there is a contradiction that is quite obvious to me.Gender politics aside,I’m discussing inconsistencies in values and belief systems that are casually explained away in western cultures.Millions of innocent lives are then the collateral damage of these inconsistencies in belief’s and values.Where is the logic?Where is the Christ like morality?

  59. Tim Burris says:

    Good article. Your “sexy & desirable” link really needs a NSFW callout.

  60. ogwriter says:

    Archy There little doubt that white men-and all men in general- have been thrown together in a stew of blame for all things gone wrong in the world.Nonetheless,the negative effects of a small percentage of white men has caused mayhem around the world.Two world wars,a civil war in America that yielded more deaths and casualties than all of Americas wars combined. And,of course Europe’s history of wars and conflicts is vast indeed,encompassing hundreds and hundreds of conflicts. Women played a central role in these conflicts and were anything but hapless innocents as feminism has portrayed them.

  61. ogwriter says:

    Tommy,Tommy,Tommy…when you said you were going clothing shopping with the ol’ lady,I didn’t think you meant the thrift store!I do the same thing! There is a great thrift store in Lafayette,California that I love to go to.I can’t believe some of the stuff people throw away.Really good stuff,some almost new.I could spend all day rooting around in this store.One day,one of the volunteer ladies working there started hitting on me,it was great!Another thing I do is buy clothes on sale,wear them a bit and then sell them to a used clothing store in Berkeley,Ca..If you tell anyone my secrets you will be eliminated.Peace to you and yours.

  62. ogwriter says:

    Shaun Your husband is a lucky man.There are far too few women around like you.Bravo

  63. ogwriter says:

    Joe..You,my young friend are far more evolved than the old guard on this issue.However,being in shape is its own reward.Getting attention is a collateral benefit.

  64. ogwriter says:

    Mark You,my man are so RIGHT!I thought men had learned a lesson about obsessing over one’s looks because of what women who do so have experienced.It is a slippery slope lined with razor blades.Besides,developing a need to be noticed by the opposite sex ALL THE TIME is a sign of insecurity.Today,which will be warm, I will wear my flipflops a nice graphic -t that shows off my back,bi’s and tri’s, casual jeans and a $7.00 pork pie brim.Total cost,$40.00.Comfort and piece of mind,priceless.

  65. ogwriter says:

    Jules,my bruddha,i’m good.YOU are such a traditionalist!Historically speaking,many of the men you named are not white at all,i gotta think you knew this.Some like Constantine the “Great” and Julius Caesar did some good things,but brutally killed countless people to solidify their greateness.Julius Caesar was a war mongering tyrant.Therein lies the problem.Classical historical persepctives and analysis often overlook or flatout excuse or ignore the bodycounts compiled by these so-called “great” men.Why? Because power and brute force are often mistaken for and rewarded as greatness.Don’t get me started on the Catholic Church or Judadism or Islam!? My question is why do we call some people who kill millions in order to do “good” great? My history profs never once provided a legitimate answer to that question.

    • @Ogwriter….

      “Classical historical persepctives and analysis often overlook or flatout excuse or ignore the bodycounts compiled by these so-called “great” men.Why? Because power and brute force are often mistaken for and rewarded as greatness.”

      Such is the history of man Og. What about Shaka Zulu? Yes, there are times when we can call a man who kills millions great. We often need war to restore peace.

      I am not into this ultra critical view of man. I believe you have to look at everything. Look at all their contributions and then make your decision.

  66. Not being needed or wanted has played out in my workplace for the past three months.
    I was fired last week. The firing wasn’t for anything about job performance, or not working hard, or for showing up drunk or for that matter anything tangible. I worked my ass off for those people and I have the emails from happy customers to prove it; but so what. The reason I was fired was that my female supervisor didn’t like me and she pointedly showed me that I wasn’t wanted or needed. I temped in the company for a year and was finally hired last January. Up until three months ago I was supervised by a man who didn’t have power or gender issues or felt that he had to destroy my sense of myself, my worthiness and my capabilities in order to feel superior and in charge. He was promoted and in the power vacuum that followed this female supervisor took over. I’m convinced that she saw it as another opportunity to exert her will and shine. The truth is that she was never trained to be a supervisor in the three years that she’s been in her position and the management style of this small company is very seat of the pants with no clear direction disseminated from the top on down. It is managed by crisis, much of which is created by her. The problem I had with her from the outset was that I was vocal about what I needed in order to do my job and she saw that as a challenge to her dominance. We had a quick face to face late one Friday afternoon and we both acknowledged that we were having a hard time working together. I told her that she didn’t need to yell at me in order to get her points across and that I wanted to work with her. She responded by telling me that she had to figure out a way to communicate with me after I had just told her how to communicate with me. Over the following weeks the bullying and screaming began. At first I stood up to her and then I slowly shrank from her and reverted to what had worked for me in my terribly dysfunctional family when I was a kid: I shut up and took the beatings. The few times I attempted to defend myself she dragged me into the GM’s office and they both yelled at me. I know I sound like I was powerless and pathetic but during the course of the beatings I developed a new sense of who I was. I figured that since I wasn’t going to be liked or appreciated — and let’s face it men, at our core that is what we want and need — I would have to do that for myself. I took more pride in my work and noted my own accomplishments. I excelled at my job for my own satisfaction and to regain my sense of self worth and my capabilities. I started getting emails from the customer thanking me for the extra effort I put in and I no longer needed or cared about my supervisors flawed need to control and subjugate me. That was the upside. The downside was that it was my renewed sense of self that got me fired. I was called into the GM’s office after lunch on my last day there and in a very nervous, fidgety way told me that I didn’t fit in, no one wanted to work with me and the customer had been complaining about me. The first reason was true; I didn’t fit in. The second reason should really have been that my supervisor no longer wanted to work with me. And the third reason was just a fabricated lie. I am currently unemployed and looking but my firing didn’t crush me or my spirit. I am grieving the job loss but I’m also empowered because in the end it didn’t matter to me if I was wanted or needed. I like me and I learned to not look outside myself for that approval.

    • Adam Blanch says:

      If you were in Australia you wold have abn excellent case for unfair dismissal and the ability to sue.

  67. I had the abject misfortune of growing up in a small, ultra-conservative town where gender norms were well-defined and in place. Young women married young men out of need — primarily financial need, as very few of them were self-supportive — and they stuck with those men until/unless they became dispensable (read: financially insolvent). Men married because they wanted to — typically, to the pretty cheerleader blonde who served as eye-candy and “mother to his children” for X-number of years until she lost her (physical) luster. I know this sounds like a ridiculous stereotype that couldn’t possibly exist in the1990s, but this was the norm.

    It makes me feel sad that men don’t feel needed apart and aside what they can contribute in terms of financial stability and personal favors. (I do need my best half — how can I not need a best friend in life, a collaborator and equal partner?) But please understand something, men. Women have the same types of insecurities. We want to be needed, not just wanted. As a woman, I’ve frequently felt as though I’m simply wanted and not really needed. It’s both horrifying and demoralizing to ask yourself, “Will this man be with me when my face begins to wrinkle and my body begins to sag and illness takes its toll, even though what I have to offer is a far greater payoff?” when the answer is almost always “I don’t know”.

    • @Lalaina (very pretty name)…

      “…when the answer is almost always “I don’t know”.

      I am divorced an dating a woman I care deeply about. However, I cannot seem to let go entirely with her emotionally. It’s not seem, I won’t. Why? As you said above, “I don’t know.”

      I love your very open, honest, and thoughtful post. I am a very loyal man. I grew up in the rural South. I left the South when I earned my undergrad degree from Vanderbilt. Morality, God, and religion have always influenced me as a person. I am not saint or perfect man.

      The narrative you laid out is still true in many respects. However, I find that women no longer need men for financial reasons. More and more women are earning college degrees and becoming highly successful in their careers. This is why I support the very conservative and narrow view of feminism. It is better for a man to be with a financially independent woman. Otherwise, there is going to be dependence. And dependence changes human dynamics in relationships.

      I have a long time female friend who is married. She really does not like her husband anymore. But, she will not leave unless as she says, “I find a man with money.” That is really sad. She has had numerous affairs. She says she and her husband have not had sex in over 3 years. I have encouraged her to go and get her Bachelors. She has an AA degree. Then get her Masters. But, she is looking for a short cut at age 43.

      I was having drinks during happy hour at the Macaroni Grill last week. I live in Maryland. A couple in their 60s sat next to me at the bar. They have been married for 43 years. Two kids both grown. Son just got married. The father said he pulled his son aside and told him, “Son, you know she is always going to make more money than you. Are you sure….” He argued that today’s women have “shot themselves in the foot.” I listened and his wife was a bit silent on the matter. Most of the marriage his wife did not work. Then she became a teacher and has retired.

      I then said to him that I disagreed with him. Specifically, I told him that women had NOT shot themselves in the foot by seeking careers…I said it was freedom and independence. I also asked this question, “Would not you want a woman as your wife who wanted to marry you out of love, as opposed to financial reasons?” He was quite. But, his wife perked up and said “Exactly”. He said he never thought of that. He turned to his wife (they were such a beautiful couple, both dressed in white) and said, jokingly “So, you really love me huh?” She said, “let me pour this glass of wine over you!”

      unfortunately, because of the materialistic and narcissistic culture here in America, the old paradigm you mentioned is still practiced. More than people wish to admit.

      I do not want to feel needed. Sometimes I am not sure I really need to feel wanted. I really want a woman who respect me and admire me for the person I am. That she wants me for those reasons. I valued loyalty very much. Whether she wrinkles, wears a girdle, …..it does not matter. Why? Because I chose her for the person she is and not because she is “eye candy” or “hot” or etc. If you approach it that way, then you can somewhat minimize the, “I don’t know.”

      Cheers!

  68. brouuorb says:

    Ce fut vers cette époque que Bloch bouleversa ma conception du monde, ouvrit pour moi des possibilités nouvelles de bonheur (qui devaient du reste se changer plus tard en possibilités de souffrance), en m’assurant que, contrairement à ce que je croyais au temps de mes promenades du côté de Méséglise, les femmes ne demandaient jamais mieux que de faire l’amour.
    (A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs)

  69. Society teaches men to be defined by what they DO, look up the success myth n male disposability. Men have to achieve, they have to be successful, they have to have that great career or fight the good fight in war to be seen as worthy.

    Feminism brought in a lot of good changes but the big problems are that the current generation of men have been exposed to so much misandry, coupled with the currently major fuckup of education where boys are fast slipping behind is a huge issue. Men have had the message of men = bad, women = angels drummed into their head with countless anti-dv and anti-rape campaigns that gender it far too much, men are seen as lecherous around kids with the pedophilia hysteria, the bias (or percieved bias) of family courts and how easy it can be for a man to lose his home, access to kids, etc and you end up with a lot of men feeling like they have no real place in society. I don’t think I know ANY male that feels sexy or desired by women, or at least not much.

    Then we grow up with fairy tales and stories that come from patriarchal times where it’s drummed into our heads that we have to die to protect our wife, we have to provide for her and our kids, it can leave many in despair especially if they ever get into a violent situation and cannot defend her and also if their partner earns more, many will feel like they have failed as a man.

    When you place so much importance on male utility and then have women evolve in society to not rely on that utility then men will question their worth. A similar situation is when women’s looks are valued so much and then as they age they feel like they are failing as being a woman and aren’t attractive to a man. Men who earn very little (such as myself) worry heavily that we have failed at being a man, because so many women still do want a man to provide for them but also society expects us to earn as much or more than our women.

    Take a look at how many articles are about “male child”, or men in their 20’s that play video games and treats them like they are teenagers and not adults, where responsibility means “growing up” and having kids, having the mortgage, not playing games and just working yourself into an early grave from a heart attack at 50. Men are valued sooo much for their success that it often kills many because of how much they work at the expense of their health.

    Men are treated like predators, airlines move men away from children that aren’t theres, primary n preschool teachers get parents asking for male teachers to be fired over fears they will abuse, fathers get dirty looks at parks. We have shroedingers rapist (better known as gender profiling) where women have been taught from young about the dangerous sex crazed “testosterone” fueled cavemen.

    All of this issues culminate in a feeling that men are not desired as much in society, that we aren’t needed, that we can’t even be trusted around children OR women because we might be rapists. We have so much focus on the harms that men perpetrate on women and children yet simultaneously we heavily ignore the harms men face by women n others, men feel like they’re disposable and not cared for.

    Society needs massive changes, and the first step is emapathy. We need to respect both genders, we need to protect both genders, we need to severely lower the focus on gender roles and allow each gender to bring what they want to the table. Women can be breadwinner if they want, men can be stay at home dads, allow the freedom to choose based on individual desire and not because you have a dangly bit or not. Value people for who they are, not their income alone, not their body alone.

    Both men n women need to tell their partner how much they love them, what they appreciate, hold em, hug em, fuck em senseless and show you desire them 10000%. Men need to know they are more than a wallet, women need to know they are more than their body. Do it now, be thankful you have a partner, and TALK it all through. Communicate, say your fears, open up, get it all off your chests and I bet nearly all people will quickly feel desired again. It’s way too easy to get stuck in the same record of life where we don’t let our partners know what we feel for them, and take it for granted expecting them to just KNOW it…but sadly a lot of people do NOT know it, I know so many people who are insecure and who feel they aren’t enough yet their partners are crazy for them.

  70. The part where you mentioned the dynamic in chick flicks jumped out at me, and reminded me of a great article on the male gaze, called Omniscient Breasts. http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2012/09/guest-post-the-omniscient-breasts-by-kate-elliott/

    Anyway, good article, but I wish there was more… I don’t know… thought put into ways that we can gen men out of this, rather than having it peter out at the end.

  71. I am too lazy to read the whole article and every comment. With that said I think that my point will still stand.
    It is to me AMAZING how so few people think that this behaviour we are talking abaout here and everything about it is grounded in genetics and evolution.
    Generally I think that allmost everything we can see in our coulture is a sympton of something genetic. Sence it is impossible that so many people are uncanning and unintelligent I am sorry to say that you people are week and are just fellowing the mainstream thought that “everyone can be and do what ever they want”. PLEASE.

    • Cornelius Walker says:

      I’m too lazy to debunk your comment thoroughly but with that said, I think that my point will still stand.

      The laziness you claim in your commenting shows through in your reasoning. A simple cross-cultural analysis will tell you that very little is about genetics and evolution. Much of the field of “evolutionary psychology” is mere projection, sprinkled with bits of wishful thinking.

      • Yeah because there are just as many matriarchies as patriarchies in the world right? I find it strange so many discount the idea of evolutionary instincts playing a role in how we act in society. Humans obviously are so advanced that there are no instincts that drive our societies makeup huh?

        • Cornelius Walker says:

          Arguing from the extremes today? Either it’s completely deterministic or it plays no role?

          Evolution (and quantum theory) appears to be a favorite of those not prone to critical inquiry. Why is it this way? Must be evolution done it. “Men do X and women do Y because EVOLUTION™” is difficult to argue against, since unlike the fossil record and genetic analysis with biological evolution, there is scant evidence for how we behaved in pre-history.

          If you look across recorded time and known cultures past and present you’ll find that gender roles are not static and have never been static. Our culture is our frame from the day we are born, and none of us is immune to its effects. When we see behaviors that differ between cultures, it’s a fair indication that those behaviors are influenced by culture, some more so than others. When lay people make a claim that a behavior X is because of evolutionary psychology, it’s often an indication that they haven’t thought about X outside of the frame of their culture.

          When someone makes a statement that nearly everything they see in their culture has a genetic basis, and those behaviors are shown to vary between cultures, they’re making a claim that doesn’t survive cursory examination. That’s not to say that no behaviors have a biological component, only that said behaviors are likely fewer and farther between than imagined.

          • My best guess is society is a mix of instinct + a lot of social conditioning (nurture). I wouldn’t rule out evolutionary psychology completely however, but I do see it has some merit.

            • Cornelius Walker says:

              Well, I’d make a distinction between the discipline of EvoPsych and the process of evolutionary psychology. The former, in my estimation, isn’t worth a whole lot. the latter, on the other hand, just is, but the mechanisms and history remain stubbornly elusive.

              One of the biases of people who use evolution as an explanatory mechanism is an assumption that a particular trait (or behavior) is advantageous, that it leads to increased fitness. It’s as if they’re taking the idea of “survival of the fittest” to be literally true, rather than a coarse explanation of evolutionary mechanisms. In reality, there are plenty of traits that are maladaptive and have hitched a ride along with others that do increase the likelihood of survival and propagation of said traits. Then there are traits that have both positive and negative effects on a population (e.g. sickle-cell disease).

              Gendered behavior has so many layers of social construct to it I doubt it would prove profitable or even possible to tease apart what is “innate” and what is constructed. However what we do know from the existence of variances in gender behavior is that whether innate or not, culture is plenty capable of overriding those forces.

              • wellokaythen says:

                There’s also a common assumption among amateur or orthodox Evo Psych practitioners that humans have evolved to be “only one way,” as if natural selection is strictly a simplifying and reinforcing phenomenon. However, it’s entirely possible that when it comes to sex and gender roles humans have evolved to be flexible and malleable. There are cases of an animal species that has very different mating patterns in different environments. There is no “one natural way they have evolved to be.” Considering that humans have evolved to exist in an incredibly wide variety of habitats, perhaps a better hypothesis is that humans have evolved some variability in terms of sex and gender roles.

                In any event, patriarchy resembles a technology more than a evo bio development. It’s a technology the way that agriculture is a technology. There’s some solid, unavoidable biological foundation to it, but it’s still something structured by human hands.

                If patriarchy is somehow a “natural” evolutionary development, that doesn’t mean that patriarchy is not a dead end. It could Homo sapiens’ deadend trait, like the antlers on the Irish elk.

      • Ofcourse not all behaviour are grounded totally in genetics and evolution. With that said everything can still to some extinct (Am not a pro at english but I hope you stay with me) be lead back to the very core of ouer instincts.
        For example this subject when talking about men who doesnt feel wanted. Historicly and also if you compare with other group-animals you can see that a minority of men (alfas) are fucking a majority of women, while the rest are happy to find a women here and there. The “alfas” are the few men we can still see today that do not feel unwanted, while the majority of men does (betas).
        Also I think today when we are almost equal in all legal aspects men who historicly still would have been pretty “alfa” can no longer behave the way they are designd by nature to behave and they cant in the same way feel needed because most wemon now can and are alowed to do things the man historicly would have helped her with, thsi create the feeling of not being needed. to add up men are learned today that woman are so good and cute and we have to treat them well, and so on and so on. I am NOT saying all this is bad, but it is just how it is.

        It is arogant to think we are so free from instincts and differ so much from animals when there is no walid argument and no proof we should differ.

    • Hi Neo

      Do you think men are wired to never feel wanted,never feel they are desired by women even if they have a sexual relationship?

      Why should evolution favour that trait? This should mean women favored insecure men with sex and not confident men that know well when a woman wants him,reads her signals and trust his intuition.
      Is that your observation from what happens in real life?

      • @iben…

        Not polishing your apple, but you do ask some damn good questions. It really makes one think.

        Or are you employing the Socratic method? Lol!

      • Isn’t this a facet of the pursuer/pursued model again? If we rigidly stuck to the game (thank god we don’t and some break the rules, but they are exceptional) Men risk rejection; women get to do the rejecting – so a woman’s perception is there are men who want her, she doesn’t want all of them – aren’t they annoying, men who you don’t want who imagine that you might!
        A man’s perception is there are women he wants; not all of them want him.

        Moreover the illusion that script give is she only wants him because he persuaded her, he made the right moves or perhaps even he slyly tricked her. Of course in truth is she probably made some attempt to get his attention in the first place, she arranged the situations to make it easy for him; she may have even given him the feedline to allow him to make the move; but she’s not supposed to admit that; that’s all secretive; she goes along with the story that he made all the moves, and she’ll do nothing to shatter that illusion. At what point can the hypothesis that he is undesirable ever be refuted by evidence? Except when couples step outside of those roles.

        • @Joseph…

          “A man’s perception is there are women he wants; not all of them want him.”

          Why view rejection as a risk? I think the proper way to see rejection is that she simply is not into you. I mean there are millions of women out here. Why get so hung up so early on one woman?

          I have girlfriend of about 8 months now. I see women everyday that I desire physically. But, it’s just a mental process of looking at them (especially their great asses) and thinking….purely physical. If I approached these women, the majority would say “No.” I would reject many I am sure too. So, how is risky just to approach if you know the majority will say “No?”

          • No I’m just saying this is the repeated experience that models his opinion of himself. I don’t consider rejection a “risk” now; I probably did when I was in my twenties, or not a risk to my ego leastways – I mean it does dent my ego, but that’s not my main reason for not risking it. But in terms of modelling a person’s self-image if you’re repeated experience is being rejected you’re going to believe you’re undesirable; almost regardless of how many times you’re not rejected. If you’re repeated experience is you get to reject, you’re going to imagine you’re pretty hot (you’re the one who gets to be choosy). Actually of course I do get to reject… IN MY HEAD… I get to say “she’s not my type”, “she’s too shallow”, “she looks boring and conservative”, “she has no sense of humour” blah, but they don’t know I’m doing that so that rejection is not part of their experience, or if they do perceive it they do not perceive it to a lesser or greater extent than someone who I’m not approaching not because I’ve rejected them but I anticipate that they will not be interested in me. In fact that reinforces women’s view of men that they’re not fussy and just want sex, doesn’t it? It is a rare experience to get to witness a guy saying no to someone, so it’s fair to assume that men will do it with just anyone. And because they believe THAT, that’s why they demand more evidence that you MEAN it, and hence won’t give anything away, and minimise the encouragement; and thus the perceptions the game raises become the stereotypes the game rests on, and the cycle goes on.

      • @Iben
        Like I stated here above. Ofcaourse it is not attractive or prefered to women with men that feel not-needed. If you look historicaly and also if you compare with most group animals you have an minority of men (alfas) that are mating with an majority of women while the rest of the men (the ones that feel not-needed (betas)) are happy to find a women here and there. Becaouse ofcourse not everyone feels anwanted and unneeded, just the majority.

    • Everything is genetic, that is true. Our rationality, intellect, emotional depth and imagination is part of our genetics, that is true. And our rationality, intellect, emotional intelligence and creativity is so profound, complex and powerful that we can (and did) create lots of diverse, different societies, cultures. All of them have different aspects and values for most everything. We make ourselves leaders and/or slaves by our own minds. That is genetic – but also created. Without our genetics we could never create this, that is true – but that also means it is not the only way things should be, and that we can make a better ending.

  72. Noah, totally appreciate your deeper insight into something I never much considered before myself. I’ve always heard a lot of men say that they rather be needed than wanted and I always wondered why that was. Your article really explains all those questions I had about that. You’re: “Plan A, for men in our society, is to be necessary, to be needed, to be indispensable. There is no play B.” really hit home.

    The only part that concerned me about the piece is the explanation for bitterness. On one hand, I do get it. I get why a man could begin to feel bitter if he felt so unwanted. And I’d like to give agency to that pain. I can understand it myself because sometimes I carry my own bitterness around. But while sometimes I can’t completely shake some of my own bitterness, I do see how it affects the things I do and say. And it’s usually not for the better. I don’t want to justify the attitudes or actions that may come from the bitter feelings even while I DO understand this very human feeling. If we can give agency to men who do feel bitterness, than lets also draw attention to how the bitterness can affect the way a man thinks or what he does that may not come from the most positive of places. If we can do that, maybe that gives men a stronger foundation to be more familiar with their own feelings and the affect their feelings have on them?

  73. I would add to my comment that you are in fact NOT NEEDED to anyone. I mean this in every possible sense. There is no necessity. If you passed away, whoever you feel it is that needs you will carry on and even forget you. On the other hand, YOU NEED. You need to fulfill basic needs to rid yourself of hunger pangs, you need a bed, food, shelter. You don’t need to feel needed by others, Additionally, others will never really need You. When you’re gone, be sure that someone will fill the place that was once “yours.” I find this article childish in that the author doesn’t seem to recognize this simple point.

    • Not at all childish, as the idea of being needed by someone is a convenient fiction that keeps many human beings alive and sane. Whole civilizations, particularly so-called ‘primitive’ ones, are based on people filling often tightly-defined social roles (which have little to do with want) — anyone who steps or is cast outside the grid feels lost.

    • Mike from MA says:

      You sure about the “forget” part? Just look at the multitudes of dead we can’t let go of in the US: the Civil War dead, the World War II dead, the 9/11 dead, the political martyrs, the mythic celebrities, the national heroes, the “unborn.” Only ancient Egypt was more death-fixated—or memory burdened.

  74. The author sounds obsessed with being needed by others or by society, where he should instead (as any other living thing on the planet) ought to be focused on his/her own personal needs. Feeling needed is not a need in itself. Working towards fulfilling ACTUAL evolutionary, survival needs, (as opposed to desires) on the other hand is what you should be worried about. If you don’t feel that your current job is panning out for you to that end, find a new one, rather than complaining about how you don’t feel needed.

    That women’s position as a whole is rising on the economic stage should be the least of your worries. As another fellow blogger of yours posted, the male shadow sounds more like equality when all of the information is taken into account.

  75. Tom Brechlin says:

    I just went back and read the many responses and what I felt was that there was a clear tone that want and need to some degree revolved around sex and sexual attraction. And although the bantering was interesting and at times amusing, it bothers me that it took such a shallow form.

    What I can talk about is that because I’m moving up in age, I have the advantage (sometimes disadvantage) to see history play itself out. 35+ years ago, I remember questioning what was going to happen to men, what’s being done for men to adjust to expected impacts of feminist revolution on men. Through the years I have seen first hand the affects, personal lives, careers and spiritually, feminism has had on men and unfortunately most of the time, the effects have been negative. It’s not until recent years that these issues have come to light. “Too little, too late” comes to mind. The damage is done and now “some” people are scrambling to pick up the broken part. Now what does society do with these “men?” We’re going on to a second generation of men who are born and raised in ambiguous society with little to no clear direction of definition.

    I thank God that I was raised during a time where my role as a man, husband, dad was clear and acceptable. Wanted/needed was never an issue. Relationships, namely marriage, was build of mutual love and caring for one another. On the part of the man and women, it wasn’t about what we needed individually but what the other needed or wanted. Now-a-days, it appears to be about what “I” can get out of this relationship.

    My wife needs and wants me. I want and need my wife. God forbid something happen to my wife, I know I’ll live on as she will if I were to die first. That’s not to say that there won’t be a major hole in our lives. We still have (adult) kids and grandkids where our being wanted and needed continue on.

    As I said, what I thought would happen has happen. Narcissism, though seen as a negative term (see the many articles about he subject) I see it as something that although negative is in reality being subliminally taught in our society.

    Being wanted/needed is an issue and how I see it is people look at relationships with “what can I get out of this relationship” attitude. As I said, I know my wife wants and needs me and I need and want my wife but the need and want was never a motivating factor in our relationship. I give her my all because it’s who I am as a husband.

    Noah, so glad you mentioned the senior homes you’ve been involved. Do you work with these seniors because you’re needed? Do you do it because you’re wanted? I would guess that you do it because it’s what you do.

    I struggle with where we’ve come as a society. Where men may have in a superficial sense, been valued as to their “utility,” rather then nurture the reality that men are men and do have value in their utility, society is looking for alternatives to counter that utility. When I walk on a sidewalk with my wife, I still walk in the side closest to the street. When there are strange noises in the house, I get up and check them out.

    I really feel badly for the younger generation of men, no matter which way they want to grow in their personal manhood, someone somewhere is going to put them under a microscope. My last thought to ponder is that the feminist movement enabled women to “expand” who they are. In the case of men, I feel that they want to “change” them and ignore who they were. Whereas women, through the feminist movement were allowed to retain their traditional roles, men are asked to throw those roles out and replace them.

    • Hi Tom
      You write:
      ✺”Whereas women, through the feminist movement were allowed to retain their traditional roles, men are asked to throw those roles out and replace them.”✺

      Can you explain what you mean when you say women were allowed to retain traditional roles?
      This is unclear to me.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Hello Iben. Being that I come from a time when the feminist movement was gearing up, the premise was to allow women to move beyond the traditional role of housewife and mother and if they so choose, have every opportunity that a man had in so far as career and education. It expanded the option for women and paved the way in those areas. Conversely, men were given no opportunities much less encouragement to move into the realm of being a house husband (which still doesn’t exist) or the primary care giver to the children. Taking this a step further, it hasn’t been until recent years that men are beginning to take note of the continuous maligning that men are only thugs, rapists and idiots especially when it comes to child rearing. Truth be told, the stay at home dad phenomenon is new in today’s society and IMO if anything, economics has had more of an impact then anything else in its progress. Regardless the impact or the motivating factors, it’s good that it’s now happening. 40 years too late but better late then never?

    • @Tom

      “I thank God that I was raised during a time where my role as a man, husband, dad was clear and acceptable. Wanted/needed was never an issue. Relationships, namely marriage, was build of mutual love and caring for one another. On the part of the man and women, it wasn’t about what we needed individually but what the other needed or wanted. Now-a-days, it appears to be about what “I” can get out of this relationship.”

      I agree. I was reared the same. I am 50. My father (and mother) as well as grandfathers emphasized to us boys our responsibilities when we became grown men. I had to do with giving, providing, protecting, family, choosing a good woman to marry, and loving your wife and family.

      This thingy about being needed or feeling wanted simply does not resonate with me. Only if the marriage becomes dysfunctional and the man is shunned does it become an issue. I think respect, mutual love and admiration are the keys.

      Yes, today it seems to be all about what people can get from others. If they can’t get what they think they are entitled, then they are “unfulfilled.” Time to bolt! After all, “you deserve to be happy.” Yada yada yada.

      Great comments.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Jules, you and I are cut from the same cloth as I think many 50-something are. I get frustrated at times when I read responses in that I come from a different time where I could see life differently. Life appeared to have more substance. That which was okay back then is now regurgitated and spit out as though everything back then was wrong or bad.

        I’ve been married 38 years and I see various articles about old married couples. I’m curious, 50 years from now, will we have people celebrating 50, 75 or 100 years of marriage?

        When my daughter got married a few years back and they played the “married couples song/dance.” You know the one where married couples only dance and the DJ starts eliminating couples by the length of time they were married? The only couple that beat me and my wife out of the honor was my brother who’s been married 5 years longer. We were the only two couples on the dance floor through 20 years, 25 years, 30 years … my wife and I lost at 35 years. Of course if my folks were alive, they would have had us beat.

        I can only hope and pray that my daughter and son when he gets married, will have long marriages. My daughter chose wisely but my son struggles with finding a girl with his morals and beliefs.

    • Mike from MA says:

      Great points, Tom.

      I was thinking, in my own sidebar, that even without feminism, unregulated corporatism was already doing a swell job of making men unnecessary. Pervasive computerization and cut-rate labor will do more to make men (women too, by and by) disposable than any change in gender roles will ever do. “Want” won’t even be a consideration.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Mike, when I read this it reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode where a large company with thousands of employees started using robots. It saved money and man hours. Gradually robots took over all of the company functions ending with the owner being replaced. It wasn’t as much the automation but more so how it affected lives and socialization. … and Thank you

  76. Laura K. says:

    I don’t disagree that being needed is a big part of the male experience for many men, but I think a similar argument could be made for women, though I’ll spare you that long of a comment. I do think it’s possible for gender roles to be redefined with enough knowledge and deliberate effort. I feel like my husband and I have found a type of balance that is possible, but not common. I’m a strong woman, physically and emotionally. If I didn’t have my husband, I’d do fine. For all intents and purposes, I don’t “need” him to survive. But I want him. I love to observe him and share life with him. We challenge each other to be whatever we have to be in order for our relationship to thrive and be both emotionally fulfilling and, in a practical sense, efficient, disregarding what tasks are prescribed to our genders traditionally. I’m not trying to say, “Hey look at us, we’re awesome” or anything, but I just want to point out that sometimes a type of gender equality can successfully arise from two people working together to define themselves in a genuine way, disregarding tradition. If it’s a priority for you, then you can find a partner who will work toward it with you.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      The difference is that women were allowed to “expand” their so called traditional roles where men have been asked and in some cases forced to eliminate them or at the very least labeled those roles in negative light.

  77. TimeToWakeUp says:

    Men can be neither needed nor wanted in ‘this society’. What’s needed is for men to ‘deprogram’. We, as men, were not put here to protect women and children. We, as men, were put here to look out for ourselves. We are not slaves to the wants and needs of woman and children. Men need to look out for themselves and reject the notion that we were born to sacrifice our lives for others. Society has burnt into our brains that we, as men, are disposable. Until us men wake up and realize that our lives are just as valuable and as important as others, we will continue down a very dark road. Every aspect of society is geared toward making men the second class citizen. It is time for men to stand up and reject that notion. It is time for men to stand up and strike back. It is time we men truly go to war, for ourselves. It is time we men take back what is ours.

    • @TimeToWakeUp

      “It is time we men truly go to war, for ourselves. It is time we men take back what is ours.”

      What is your vision for men? Just what are we attempting to take back?

      When you go to war, there should be victory in the end. I want to know just what specifically are we men suppose to be fighting?

      • PursuitAce says:

        It’s a war against society, and men need to take back their lives. It’s pretty simple. And their winning.

        • Hi PursuitAce
          To create social change is difficult.
          By what means,what methods will you and those that agree with you change America?

          • TimeToWakeUp says:

            “By what means,what methods will you and those that agree with you change America?”

            Change is all around you. The only constant in life is change. It is building itself before your eyes. Right here…right now…you see change.

          • PursuitAce says:

            It starts with digital conversations. The middle is fuzzy. It ends with a society that accepts both myself and a friend of mine. He has six girlfriends. On the other hand I’m not made for intimate sexual relationships. We’re both honest about what we’re doing and who we are. He’s not a player and I’m not a loser. Enough with the labels. This would also include labels of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc….dignity for all as the good doctor has said.

            • @Pursuit Ace..

              “Enough with the labels. This would also include labels of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc….dignity for all as the good doctor has said.”

              Here! Here! to that my friend.

              We need to even remove these label from applications, drivers licenses, etc. Get rid of this labels, period.

    • Hi time….
      Do you suggest that is women alone that stands behind capitalism,globalization, the 1% vs the 99% and migration of huge population groups all over the world?

      When everyone lives alone as singles or one parent household the companies that produced houses,fridges,freezers,washing mashies,….are delighted!

      Nobody is any longer deeply connected to anyone else. We are truly mobile, no emotional ties.

      Is women behind all this? I don’t think so.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        Name one movement, other then the feminist movement, in the past 40years that has the most impact on society? That’s had an impact on virtually ever aspect of personal lives?

        • Hi Tom
          I am not quilfied to answer that . I I know little abut movements.
          Are movement the most important determining forces in how societies develop and change?

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Iben, you’re avoiding the question. Considering feminism as a “movement” I would say that they are a force which develops society … gay rights movement, civil rights movemnt … See? I could name a couple right off the top.

            • Hi Tom
              I lack knowledge about what movements had the strongest impact in the society I live in. Honestly but I do feel ( or think) it is feminism even if Scandinavian countries have what sociologist call a feminist state.
              In a mixed economy like ours I guess the labour movement was the single most important movement ,not feminism .

              And today what most people seem to discuss is the impacts from Islam in Europe, multiculturalism, the meeting of two world religions Islam and Christianity.
              In Denmark now,all kindergarden children are served halal meat, and no pork…etc.
              July 22 2011 Anders Behring Breivik massacred 77 persons because they belonged to a political party that supports multiculturalism and permit Muslims to settle down in my country. He defended his “blue eyed blond Nordic tribe”.

              I question that feminism as a movement is movement that had most impact on how my society developed and develops. But I lack knowledge about history. The history of feminism in the US can be different from here.

              But by the way. Women has always worked also with other kind of work then raising children and do housework. Women have farmed and done all kind of work . In Norway women run the farms while men was away on fishery for long periods of time. They were never house wife’s only. Stay at home moms must be a modern phenomena,unless you belong to the wealthy class of society.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            “”Movements” are societies way of making change. So I guess they do have a major impact as to how societies develop and change.

            • Hi Tom

              Stay at home dads are welcome!

              I live in Norway. Living here, it feels like that fact that we are an oil and gas producing nation determines more than any movements,even feminism or labour unions that are strong here.But I may be wrong.

              Economically Europe is now a black hole,and but we have oil and cope well. It may not last. Without the oil we also would be a part of that black hole.

      • PursuitAce says:

        I would disagree that single people can’t have deep connections. All my deepest connections are with single people. They aren’t limited by one on one relationships emotionally.

        • Hi Pursuitarc
          My household has one person,and I do have close ties to other.
          I tried to be ironical,but did not succeed.

      • TimeToWakeUp says:

        “Hi time….
        Do you suggest that is women alone that stands behind capitalism,globalization, the 1% vs the 99% and migration of huge population groups all over the world?

        When everyone lives alone as singles or one parent household the companies that produced houses,fridges,freezers,washing mashies,….are delighted!

        Nobody is any longer deeply connected to anyone else. We are truly mobile, no emotional ties.

        Is women behind all this? I don’t think so.”

        I’m not saying that women are behind anything. What I am saying is this: I’m calling out “we the people.” I’m calling out individual leadership at the local, state and national levels. “Leaders” pander to votes. Leaders pander to the weak minded, greedy and selfish. Leaders pander to the naive for the benefit of their own bank accounts. Leaders pander to the PC because the PC brings them legal power to force virtual slavery. I’m calling out those in positions of power that are abusing their power to distort and corrupt a workable, sustainable society. I’m not calling out women. Nor am I calling out men. I’m not calling out homosexuals. I’m not calling out transsexuals. I’m calling out our leaders, who have duped us into virtual slavery through mutual greed (theirs and ours). “We the people” have proven to be our own, worst enemies. “We the people” could easily turn things around for the good of all. “We the people” are too used to hanging our hopes on the backs of those whose only hope is to deceive us all into buckets of financial slavery.

        The 99% outnumber the 1% by 99%. I ask YOU, iben. What are the 99% doing to change that other than voting for the next narcissist to promise us more unsustainable freebees? As long as humans continue to deny nature and as long as humans continue to believe the lie that government will replace family and personal responsibility, our society will continue its march itself into destruction.

        How do you win the fight with the masses when you’re the 1%, iben? You divide and conquer. Oldest trick in the book, but we’re all falling for that trick.

        How do I break the 99% as a ‘leader’? I break them apart with class, gender, and race. I make them fight one another. I make them ignore me and fight one another.

        • TimeToWakeUp says:

          BTW – Class, gender and race are not the only ways to divide the 99%. Look at every major political issue of our time, iben. If I were a notable political leader of the 1%, I could defeat the 99% on just about anything. Easy pickings the 99% are. They’re mostly an ignorant folk.

          As a 1% ‘leader’, I can divide the 99% on anything. All I have to do is tap into their strongly held beliefs, pit those beliefs against a real or imaginable foe, and I win. The 99% have proven over and over that they can be easily duped. All I have to do as a leader of the 1% is to find what divides them. Nothing difficult about that. The 99% are easy to put down.

    • Mike from MA says:

      This red-pill thinking is going to grow louder presently, I think. Which may not be good. When nobody wants to play any social roles, exactly what kind of society do you have?

  78. It appears that at least in the online dating community the average man is indeed not wanted. Obviously, this is not representative of the public at large but when 80% of mens pictures are rated as below average by the counterpart female members it definitely could add to mens perceptions that they are not wanted.

    http://www.omg-facts.com/Sex/Female-OKCupid-Users-Find-80-Of-Men-To-H/54553

    • That probably has more to do with photoshopped movie stars being included in their sample of “guys on the Internet”.

  79. This is such a well-written piece.
    I’ve actually had the experience over and over again where men cannot engage relationship deeply because I do not need them but, instead, want them. And the need that I do have is of the deep, human kind, not the rescuing/saving sort. After our time ends they inevitably find a woman full of need and they wind up staying with her and it has always perplexed me until the light went on from reading this article.
    Being wanted has a freedom to it – where the binding obligation of need creates a kind of security, being wanted has less obvious ties.
    The only way I can see a man trusting that my desire, the ways I want him, is sufficient is through reciprocal transparent communication and establishing a deep trust. Men give so much and in this it seems many do not receive the nurturing they need that would quench their deep human longing. I say this from a belief that we each have a core deeper than gender – a place where we must be nourished in order for us to be stable and secure in the diversity of our expressed being.
    Gender roles and concomitant societal expectations often obscure our deeper, very human needs making it so we do not directly address these needs but, instead, seek to get them met through the roles we play. But since gender roles have fundamental limits, these deeper needs are rarely satisfactorily met and this creates a cascade of “issues” with which we must then contend – like being wanted.

    • TimeToWakeUp says:

      I want a Lamborghini. However, that Lamborghini, despite its many features, advanced quality and obvious beauty, will never fulfill me. Its value to me will last only as long as I want it and only as long as it maintains its modern look and appeal. If at some point the Lamborghini fails to meet the look and feel condition, it may become a burden. I will then want the same features, quality and beauty in another vehicle, without the ‘need’ cost associated with lack of modern look and appeal. At some point, after trading in Lamborghini after Lamborghini, I may decide that I made the wrong decision with regard to transportation. I may decide, after having made the mistakes with the many Lamborghini’s, that what I really needed was a solid, loyal, long-lasting Toyota. A loyal, dependable, long-lasting vehicle to stand with me, side by side, through all of life’s hills, potholes and difficult turns. Hopefully, I realize the difference between need and want before time defeats me.

      Want vs Need. Such an interesting debate.

      • Heather says:

        I think this is a good point. After reading a piece like this (a good piece I might add, a good corrective) it’d be easy to slip into completely bashing “being needed”. But, is it good for a woman to be only wanted and not needed–isn’t that the image of the useless Barbie doll, trophy wife, etc? Seems that wouldn’t be good for a man either. What I feel about my husband is that we both want and need each other deeply. That seems right.

    • Hi Sade Whip
      You write:
      ✺”I’ve actually had the experience over and over again where men cannot engage relationship deeply because I do not need them but, instead, want them. And the need that I do have is of the deep, human kind, not the rescuing/saving sort. After our time ends they inevitably find a woman full of need and they wind up staying with her and it has always perplexed me until the light went on from reading this article.
      Being wanted has a freedom to it – where the binding obligation of need creates a kind of security, being wanted has less obvious ties.”✺

      I think you are right in this analyses.

      You do not live up to men’s expectations of a woman. They can not handle that.
      It is such a pity,both for men and women.

    • Donald Dysart says:

      Men are most afraid of being perceived as weak. to not be able to provide is a form of weekness. If he does not feel needed, He won’t know where he stands. Sounds like you could handle a man being vulnerable, but men have not been taught that that is OK. Brene Brown sums it up well in her interview with Krista Tippet http://www.onbeing.org you can listen to the show or read the transcript there. Here’s a quote that describes what she says.
      “You know, and so, I’ve come to this belief that, if you show me a woman who can sit with a man in real vulnerability, in deep fear, and be with him in it, I will show you a woman who, A, has done her work and, B, does not derive her power from that man. And if you show me a man who can sit with a woman in deep struggle and vulnerability and not try to fix it, but just hear her and be with her and hold space for it, I’ll show you a guy who’s done his work and a man who doesn’t derive his power from controlling and fixing everything.”

      I strive to listen to women and not fix everything. I’ve also committed myself to being vulnerable. I think these type of problems were part of my recent divorce. I didn’t listen and I didn’t share my real feelings. I just started dating someone new and on our second date we were talking about our parents, all of them have died, and I started crying. At first I was afraid and then I thought better to find out now if she can handle a man who cries.

      One thing you can do is come up with some ways for these men to feel a bit needed until they feel safe to let down their guard.

  80. … Thank you.

  81. Hi Time….
    Some women are disillusioned as well. Welcome to the club.

    May I ask want kind of women you prefer to spend your time with?

    • TimeToWakeUp says:

      All of them. To me, women are the greatest of all creations. I just don’t want to get married and/or have kids with them. Hope that doesn’t come off as sexist. It’s not that I don’t want to get married or have kids per say. I just don’t want to experience divorce, especially with children involved.

      • “To me, women are the greatest of all creations.”

        Exactly. Well said.

        • Elissa, I’m assuming from your handle you’re female. Do you really believe you’re superior to men?

          • Yes to the first and counsel has advised me to hold commenting further on the second.

            Not sure if TimeToWakeUp was pandering or truly holds that belief – it was an odd statement to make.

            • It was an odd comment, but not, in my experience, all that unusual. Many men pedestalise women – in fact, our culture encourages us to. TimeToWakeUp sounds like he’s starting to realise that women are only human, but can’t quite admit that to himself.

              You, on the other hand… well, people who idealise “the other” are far less dangerous than people who believe in their own superiority. That’s a quite different sort of delusion, a self-aggrandising one rather than an self-effacing one which necessarily involves looking down on other people, considering them inferior. There have been many groups throughout history who have held such beliefs, who have flattered themselves they belong to a superior group and that others belong to an inferior one, and some of them have acted them out – and the results have always been evil. Basically, Elissa, you’re a bigot.

              • Patrick – snap out of it. My earlier comment was sarcasm. You’re being too emotional….

                • @elissa…

                  I guess you need to petition the court to replace counsel! They gave you bad advice on the use of sarcasm.

                  Just kidding by the way. Lol!

                  I think I understand what you are saying. I struggle with this daily.

                  I don’t feel like I am superior. It is more like that person is not going to workout for me.

                  No, it does not make you a bigot or elitist.

        • wellokaythen says:

          I tend to think the universe is the greatest of all creations. Can you imagine the density of a white dwarf star? Incredibly, amazingly mindblowing.

        • ogwriter says:

          Can someone,anyone, explain to me the benefits of dividing men and women again using generalized pejoratives that can’t be proven, like who’s more intelligent? Reading these comments from the men reads like patronizing bs contrived by some men to elevate their status over other men, in the eyes of some women,who eat this stuff up. If someone says they are more intelligent than I,they better be damn well prepared to prove it in some kind of emipirtcal way. Are there people, men and women ,who are more intelligent than I,damn,I sure hope so. But merely saying so doesn’t cut it.

        • If women are the greatest of all creations, then someone please take me through the permutations of this, if you have time:

          In an FTM transition, does the person lose greatness, or does it carry over? If you’re born female, do you remain the greatest even if you become male?

          In an MTF transition, does the person achieve greatness, or is the person held back by masculinity? If you’re born male, can you never reach the greatness of a woman?

          • TTWU: I have noticed that it’s quite common to see people, often men, generally describing the “beauty” and “greatness” of women as “creatures” or “creations.” This reminds me of the stereotype of Asians as being good at math, which results in the undervaluing of their accomplishments and shock to see someone Asian who is not inclined mathematically. I don’t feel flattered to be called a “great creation” because I am used to hearing this, especially in reference to female beauty, empathy, or other traditionally valued characteristics that leave little room for personal differences. So, I don’t find your statement about not desiring marriage or offspring to be sexist, but I challenge you to question why you feel that acclamations of female “greatness” counterbalance what you perceive to be negative statements.

            Steve: Excellent point!! The trans* community is too often forgotten in questions about gender equality.

      • wellokaythen says:

        “To me, women are the greatest of all creations.”

        Diplomatically and politically a very shrewd thing to say, particularly on this site. You’ll find more women who will like you for saying this than who don’t like you for saying it. I would only say such a thing if I were pandering to a particular crowd.

        I respectfully have to disagree, however. Leaving aside the whole “creation” question, of course.

        I suggest the radical concept that men and women are equally great creations.

        • TimeToWakeUp says:

          We are not equally great creations. Without our obvious gender differences, humanity would never have come into existence. In other words, without gender inequality, this planet would be devoid of human life and we would not be exchanging comments. We will only become equally great creations when technology makes one or the other gender obsolescent. “Equally great creations” implies that one gender can survive and thrive without the other.

          To healthy, heterosexual males, women are the greatest of all creations. To healthy, heterosexual females, men are the greatest of all creations.

          Having said the above, I do not deny the effort to force into being a genderless society.

          Forgive me if my comments came off as shrewd and/or patronizing. That was not my intent.

          • wellokaythen says:

            Equality does not mean sameness.
            Equality does not mean mutual independence.
            Sexual reproduction roles and gender roles are not the same thing.

            From what I can tell, what you’re talking about is similarity, not equality. Just because two people or two things are equal to each other does not mean they are the same. If I say that men and women ought to be equal, that does not mean I’m saying we just ignore differences or try to make male and female exactly the same. Equality doesn’t mean sameness.

            I’m not suggesting that men and women are great in the same way, just in the same amount.

            It’s true on some level that making things equal by definition means they have to be the same in some sense. A pound of nails and a pound of feathers are the same in that they are the same weight. But, that doesn’t mean that hammers and feathers are the same. They’re equal and different.

            By the same token, being equal doesn’t require any sort of independence. Two things can be equal to each other and still be interdependent on each other.

            Finally, you’re right that sexual reproduction does require male and female biological roles. However, a whole lot of gender stuff has very little at all to do with the biology of reproduction. There’s nothing “natural” about boys being coded blue and girls coded pink, for example. There’s nothing biological about girls wearing skirts and boys wearing pants.

            • wellokaythen says:

              Now I see I fell into the “binary” trap, as if there are only two genders and they are as different as feathers and nails. There’s an implied caveat in what I said: “Assuming for the sake of argument that there are two genders,…”

            • “I’m not suggesting that men and women are great in the same way, just in the same amount.”

              It seems that we really need this to be true to keep faith in our moral compass. On a personal level, we have that gut feeling that there exist others who are both greater, and not as great as ourselves – in the best understood meaning of the idea of great and good (not in the we’re all made of star dust sense).

              The, only in the statistical and trivial aggregate does the moral compass get validated. The “same amount” seems true only in the philosophical space, where it really matters the least, but to keep alive idealism and hope. Good reason, in my view.

            • A Critic says:

              “Equality doesn’t mean sameness.”

              That’s exactly what it means.

              • @A critic
                ““Equality doesn’t mean sameness.”

                That’s exactly what it means.”
                I think he means to achieve equality you don’t need 50:50 gender ratio everywhere but simply equal ACCESS to the jobs if they desire it, etc.

                • No, that is not what it means. Even mathematically that is not what it means. Equality, especially in humans, means same rights or same value as a human life. It doesn’t mean that we’re now the same person just because we should have equal standing in the eyes of the law or have equal access to necessities because we were born human.

                  For math example 3^2 = 9 but they are not the same, hence different notation but equal value.

                • Maybe this will clear it up:

                  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

              • I must disagree.

                I am equal to other women, but I am not the same as every other woman out there.
                I am equal to men, but I am not the same as every other man out there.

              • wellokaythen says:

                I guess there are different kinds of equality. I tried to explain it in terms of two things that weigh the same. They are equal in one sense, but that does not mean they are all the same. Maybe what I’m talking about is “equivalency”?

                You’re right that equality does mean there is at least SOME sameness, but it does not automatically mean that two things are exactly the same.

                Maybe the concept you’re thinking of is “unity” or something more mathematical, like 2 = 2. But that is just one concept of equality.

                In the U.N., Canada and Burkina Faso have equal votes. They are equal members of the United Nations. They are clearly not the same places!

        • Shaun Williams says:

          “I suggest the radical concept that men and women are equally great creations.”

          Thank you!!!

          As a feminist, I’m sick and tired of being treated as a “man-hater”. I know that there are a lot of women out there who will eat the nice guy alive and a lot of feminists out there with enough anger at our subjugation to hate mankind as a whole… I am a woman and I love men and I want us all to be on equal ground. I don’t have to be better, I just want to be the same. I am flawed, men are flawed, women are flawed and we are all a marvel of creation. A great thinker and a great inventor isn’t better or worse for being any particular gender. I wouldn’t want to live in an only female society where we cast men aside and treat them as badly as some of us get treated. I want us to stop the stupid argument over gender dominance and just work together without trying to “one up” each other.

          The fight for women to get equal rights is still a hard road for many of us women, but we’ll never get there if we’re trying to become the monsters that we’re fighting against. We can’t preach equality and then claim to be better. We can’t demand rights to take away someone else’s. We can’t assume that men are always one way or another while trying to stop them from assuming that we’re all hormonal or otherwise overly emotional or too sensitive. To me, it’s madness.

          I love my husband. He is good to me and I am good to him. We treat each other as equals and we understand that we operate differently, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t work together towards common goals. He’s good at some things and I’m good at other things and together we make an unstoppable team. I wish this kind of harmony for everyone out there seeking a relationship and I hope that no one will put up with someone treating them like garbage: man or woman. We are created equal, even if we aren’t exactly the same as each other.

          • PursuitAce says:

            Bravo! If this kind of thinking and attitude were adopted as a mission statement for feminism, the movement would have millions of allies literally overnight.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Shaun, why do you need he label at all? Can’t you be who you are without having to identify yourself as a “feminist?”

      • TTWU: I have noticed that it’s quite common to see people, often men, generally describing the “beauty” and “greatness” of women as “creatures” or “creations.” This reminds me of the stereotype of Asians as being good at math, which results in the undervaluing of their accomplishments and shock to see someone Asian who is not inclined mathematically. I don’t feel flattered to be called a “great creation” because I am used to hearing this, especially in reference to female beauty, empathy, or other traditionally valued characteristics that leave little room for personal differences. So, I don’t find your statement about not desiring marriage or offspring to be sexist, but I challenge you to question why you feel that acclamations of female “greatness” counterbalance what you perceive to be negative statements.

      • katansi says:

        “To me, women are the greatest of all creations.”

        I am not the greatest of all anything simply by being female. Putting us on a pedestal is part of the problem. We are humans and individuals, not constructs or things to be worshipped. That viewpoint also contributes to harm for women. When we do not conform to societal standards we are punished. When it’s women like me and our flaws are very obvious (outward appearance) we are close to shunned. Marriage and kids is individual preference, it is not sexist to not want those. I’m not sold on them. Your phrasing implies that you are not looking for a partner but rather someone to look to as better than yourself, as a prize or an achievement. A lot of relationships end because women are found to be flawed people rather than goddesses.

    • Donald Dysart says:

      lben, I read another comment of yours about what you find attractive. Thank You. I always tried to dress with style even when I was doing dirty jobs. I kind of forgot that during my, “women are trouble” period, after my divorce. Men are also affected by the way other men look so paying attention to my appearance is important in all situations. I also liked your comment on Weiner. Very nice writing.

  82. Two things happened after I read this article: the first is that I called my husband, who is traveling for work right now, and told him (while bawling my eyes out) that he is very much loved and very much wanted, not just “needed.” Thank you Noah for reminding me how much everyone–male and female–needs to hear that.

    The second is that I started thinking about this needed/wanted dichotomy, and how it plays out in the anti-abortion movement in the US, which seems to be heavily dominated by men, specifically older, white men (or at least that seems to be the group making the most noise of late.) I am a pro-choice female, albeit one who believes abortion should be a safe, legal and rare last resort, and that the best way to ensure that is universal, comprehensive, science-based sex education and birth control that is as cheap (even free) and widespread as possible. I come from a family of fundamentalist Christians and pro-lifers, including several who are among those who stand outside clinics and scream “Whore!” and “Babykiller!” at the women going inside. One of the most virulent pro-lifers in my family is a male cousin-in-law, raised by a mother who was a raging, mentally ill, alcoholic, abusive piece of work. According to family lore, his mom frequently told him she wished he had “never been born” as she took a belt to his backside for every tiny infraction. He somehow survived to graduate from high school, join the army, eventually get ordained a preacher, and become one of the most militant and outspoken pro-lifers in his community. I’m no psychiatrist, but to me this smacks of “mommy issues,” a man who grew up unwanted and unloved, and deep down fearing that, had abortion been legal at the time, mommie dearest might have carried out her wish that he “never be born,” and thus he would not exist. Such men perhaps are taking out their mommy anger against all other women, fighting to make abortion illegal so that other mommies be forced to have their unwanted sons, and suffer as he did: “you bitch, you don’t want me? I’ll force you to want me! I’ll make you want me!!! I’ll make you have me whether you want me to or not!!!!”

    Similar mindsets may also exist in those pro-life men who are angry at girlfriends or even wives who chose to have abortions without consulting them or against their wishes (this despite the reality of the overwhelming numbers of said men who, despite their insistence that they would have raised their children if given the chance, often pressure their girlfriends into sex–“If you love me, you would”–tend to believe birth control is a woman’s problem, refuse to wear condoms during sex because it’s not “macho,” then bail on their partners when the words “I’m pregnant” are uttered.)

    On the “need” side, we are not so many years removed from the time when women did “need” men, because society told women that their only purpose in life was to marry, get pregnant, and raise as many children as their bodies could produce. Women were blocked from entering most career fields even if they wanted to, and even in the few fields open to them a woman was expected to quit her job as soon as she married. Women were completely dependent on men to support them abd their children financially, they had no money of their own. A woman had little to no control over when or how often she got pregnant, short of saying “no” to her husband (which did not happen often since women were told from birth, by church and parents, that they must “obey” the men in their lives and do as they were told, or they were sinful, uppity tramps.) Before she got married, a girl was taught that she must maintain her virginity at any cost, despite the pleadings of boyfriends, desperate to prove their own manhood by “making it” with a girl. (No one asked boys to remain virgins any cost; indeed, in the world of boys, virginity was a badge of shame.) If a girl dared to be human, grew tired of her boyfriend’s begging and threats to dump her, and gave in a moment of weakness and became pregnant, then the boy must propose, and she must accept immediately, for there was no more shameful, sinful, filthy creature than an unmarried, pregnant woman. My own family tree is replete with such “shotgun weddings,” which more often than not turned into unhappy, dysfunctional marriages.

    With the advent of feminism, birth control, legal abortion and welfare programs in the 60s and 70s, this dynamic began to change, and women no longer needed to depend on men to support them financially.. They could chose to go to school and make careers and support themselves, buoyed by birth control that meant they could control their reproduction and choose when and where–and with whom–to have children. They could even (gasp!) have sex for pleasure and enjoyment, and take their time and choose the right man, instead of being forced to marry the first schmuck that “knocked them up,” as so many of their mothers had to do.

    Obviously this changed the game for men as well, and created the “need” dynamic that the author refers to. Men have yet to figure out if they are “needed” anymore in this new paradigm, and they also don’t feel “wanted.” To me, that is why most of the same (male) politicians that want to make abortion illegal also don’t support good sex education, don’t want wider access to birth control (and some would make most birth control illegal as well) and want to dismantle welfare programs, and many of the laws that allowed women access to college and careers. It may seem contradictory, but what it really is, is a desperate attempt to return to the old paradigm. To make women dependent on men again. These (overwhelmingly older, male, and conservative) politicians are trying to force a return to the days when a woman had no choice but to wed the first guy she had sex with, even if he was completely unsuitable. She would have no choice because she was pregnant with his child, and without his income, she and her child would not survive.

    I am oversimplifying a bit, of course. But I wish I could get a few of these pro-life politicians to do a little self-introspection, something they seem completely incapable of, and do the hard work of healing their own wounds, rather than trying to punish all women for the sins of the women in their own lives. Or accept that the past is the past, quit trying to bring it back. Grieve and move on. And try to figure out where to go from here.

    • Actually I think your dichotomy of Pro-life= man /prochoice= women to be completely false. The pro-life movement is pushed by The Churches and it is women, not men, who keep those churches running. Men may be the figureheads in the church the “leaders” but it’s really the little old church ladies who are keeping that machine humming along.

      Women make up the majority of churchgoers, not men.

      • Tom Brechlin says:

        I guess my atheist pro-life male friend is actually not atheist at all. That’s good to know. Curious how the pro-life/pro-choice debate shakes out when it’s debated with someone who is pro-life and not influenced by God, faith or religion.

        ““I was pro-life the instant I learned what abortion was,” said Hazzard, who is a legal fellow at Americans United for Life. “But my position became much stronger in college, when I took a course on prenatal development.”

        • Please, point to me where I said only religious people can be (or are) pro-life. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

          • Tom Brechlin says:

            Everything you said reflected pro-life being a religious. Nothing you said reflected anything else. Show me where you said anything that included the non-religious?

            • Fallacious reasoning. Just because I speak of chocolate ice cream and don’t mention vanilla does not indicate that ice cream can not also be vanilla flavored.

          • “Fallacious reasoning. Just because I speak of chocolate ice cream and don’t mention vanilla does not indicate that ice cream can not also be vanilla flavored.”

            Good enough. Just remember that only because the first commenter speaks about white man politicians and don’t mention religious women does not indicate that religious women can not also be big on the pro-life side.
            You just didn’t want to follow her reasoning.

    • I like the reference to the cycle of abuse.

      I think that a lot of the misogynists in the world were raised by adult women who treated them terribly. Obviously adult men are responsible for their choices, but it is much easier to respect women if the women who controlled your early life were worthy of respect.

      • “Obviously adult men are responsible for their choices, but it is much easier to respect women if the women who controlled your early life were worthy of respect.”
        Hell yes, I became a misogynist after having a string of abusive n bullying women in my life, it took some great women to undo that damage and make me realize that it’s not women that were the problem but individuals. If you do not get to see decent women whilst your interactions with women are negative, then you will most likely think negatively of them. Luckily I got rid of that shit and those people and love women like anyone else.

    • FeliciaD says:

      KatyD, this makes a ton of sense to me. 6000 years of misogyny might have had a hand in screwing up men, too…

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      KatyD … and what “complex” do women have that are staunch pro-life?

    • Where is your evidence that it is driven by Old white men. Most of the people Isee in the footage ae a mix of fanaftics, including a great many women. I get your point but throwing in the classic feminist ‘male and pale’ stuff injures your credibility.

      • Don’t you know, old white men ruin the world, even in China!
        The most anti-abortion people I know are 30-something MOTHERS.

        • Archy….

          “Don’t you know, old white men ruin the world, even in China!”

          This is just being a bit absurd Archy. Yes, “Old White Men” did harm to the world. BUt, Old White Men such as,

          Abraham
          Moses
          Julius Caesar
          Marcus Aurelius
          Homer
          Sophocles
          Aeschylus
          Euripides
          Constantine the Great
          Alexander the Great
          Voltaire
          Rousseau
          Disraeli
          Marx
          Mill
          Adam Smith
          David Ricardo
          Kafka
          Pope John Paul II (you should read his “Love and Responsibility”)

          Just to name a few of my favorites, brought the world many great things too. Let us not dwell on just the bad things.

          • It was sarcasm to highlight the fact so many blame white men for all the world’s troubles, probably even in countries where white men have no power 😛

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      this is a super simplification there are also pro-life women (and in my experience they are the majority) and you dont need to neither be white, male or religious to oppose abortion.

      I think that all the over simplifications are the part of the problem. The reality is complex so all the generalizations are matter of fact bogus. There are women (of all races and cultures) who are pro-life, and men from all races and cultures who are against abortion and vice versa. Its not binary men = prolife women = pro choice.

      Finally, your analysis is a bit to gynocentric or woman centric. Yes the woman had no choice than marry the guy she had sex with. But the same thing was in reverse, he had no choice than to marry the woman he had sex with. I dont know why this part always get glissed over. Perhaps it is based on the cultural assumption that all women is to be desired with no exceptions and men are barely human beings. In reality man or woman, its painful to live with somebody you dont love or maybe you dislike. There is always to sides, and it is always symmetric. No exceptions.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I’m pretty solidly pro-choice. I think access to abortion should be increased, not restricted. But, I’m not so simpleminded as to see it in terms of absolutes. I’m really queasy about late term abortion. In China, there are abortions performed at around 40 weeks, as the head is crowning. I’d say that’s f*ckin’ too late, mate. Even for me, there’s a moment where you’ve crossed line and exceeded the limits of reproductive choice. No, I don’t know where to draw the line.

  83. Maybe we can create special article for Iben, Jules, and Tim for debate. Its getting boring reading same debate again in every article.

    And I agree with Webz post here ,”So long as men are putting all their focus on being NEEDED and being USEFUL, they actually retract from putting effort into being WANTED, often to the detriment of the relationship.”

    While Webs give an excellent example about listening and “fixing” problems in relationship, I will give example in physical attractiveness between men and women.

    Why most men dont care for their appearance, and men who care for their appearance like women do, considered unmanly and gay? Is it because “being pretty and attractive and beautiful” is not men role?

    As long as we still believe that men dont need to care for their appearance, men cannot be seen as beautiful and attractive as women. Why women considered the attractive gender? Is it because their natural state is more beautiful than men? No, its because most women takes more time and thought for their appearance, they find nice clothes, shave body hair, apply makeup, care for their hair and change their hairstyles every month, dieting, etc. Its no wonder in average women looks more attractive, because they strive to be attractive. Men dont. Most of us ( think ) our attractiveness lies only in what we do, not what we looks. And its wrong. If we care about our appearance, we can be as attractive as women. Why do you think women love handsome celebrity? Because they are famous, rich, confident, funny? Bullshit, its because like men, women also like beautiful men. Notice I dont use term handsome for men, but beautiful . And when it comes to attractiveness, women WANT a man, not NEED. I dont said attractiveness is only about looks, but it helps. And like men, women also have various taste in men. There are many women who lust for fat men like there are many men who lust for fat women. Taking care of your appearance doesn’t mean you need to have six pack abs and brioni suits, but AT LEAST take a regular daily shower, put a nice cologne ( not Axe please ), throw your cargo pants/short, baggy t-shirts, and flip flops to trash, find nice clean and fitted clothes and nice shoes. In fact, put your though in your appearances just like you put your thought in your jobs and family. Then its okay.

    Men, embrace your attractiveness and your confidence! If women not desire men, just need us, our species would have vanished long time ago. We can be attractive and beautiful too

    • Hi John
      Well said.
      Time to move on. You have many good points here.

    • Yes.

    • @John…

      “Taking care of your appearance doesn’t mean you need to have six pack abs and brioni suits, but AT LEAST take a regular daily shower, put a nice cologne ( not Axe please ), throw your cargo pants/short, baggy t-shirts, and flip flops to trash, find nice clean and fitted clothes and nice shoes. In fact, put your though in your appearances just like you put your thought in your jobs and family. Then its okay.”

      I am in 100% agreement with you. I am 50, soon to be 51, in a few days. I take a lot of pride in my dress and attire. I think it should be a crime for any man to wear flip flops (JMO). My clothes are custom tailored. I shave every day. I shower or get in the jacuzzi everyday. I cannot tell you how many women have told me how clean I appear and how great I smell (Pour Monsieur by Chanel). No cargo pants, Dockers, soft bottom shoes (all Allen Edmonds). No strip ties (they are boring to me).

      Yes, men should take pride in their appearance. We are beautiful. If I were a womanizer, there is no doubt in my mind I could have a harem. But, that is not me.

      Men need to also get in shape. Stop demanding think and beautiful women and you look like Foghorn Leghorn.

      • @Jules:

        Thank you for your comments…I love it when men wear suits and look all trim and fine…I am glad you get it—women do look and appreciate a well-dressed man…

        My doctor is European and dresses so well…it is so striking because most men kinda roll up their sleeves and wear the tie almost as an afterthought…plus he is rather good-looking and slim (some American men get that pot belly and it just gets bigger and bigger…)…guys need your help, Jules!

        • @Leia…

          And we men need to make sure our shoes have been shined!!!!

          The pot belly comes from: 1) lack of exercise, 2) poor eating habits, 3) maybe too much beer and wine….

          When you dress well, it really reflect how you see yourself. A well-dressed man is going to immediately jump into the top 20% of all the better looking men. Why? Because the other 80% is so poorly dressed.

          I do not understand you guys who wear like these soft rubber looking bottom shoes. I much prefer a high quality slip on with tassels or a dress shoe with laces (NO WING TIPS PLEASE).

          Lastly, men please dry clean you shirts (100% cotton only), herringbone, or basket weave patterns. I like all colors except pink. Women love the lavender and purple colors. I also like the English tab collar or the European Varsity Spread collar.

          • Really. this is what you want. Really. If a man address you on looks alone. Would you let him a. take you out to town or b. toss him in the trash.

            If your statement was turn 180 degrees. I’m sure that the fire of your anger would melt mountains.

            Men like rubber bottom shoes because they are quite and soft on the feet. Men do not shop for looks. They shop comfort, function, then may what is not in the closet. ie Black, Brown, work, sports, and beach.

            Get to the real person not the show guy.

            • @Terence,

              All I am saying is you can dress the way you desire in life.

              But….But, if you want to be appealing to the opposite sex, you gotta have some oomph! I love women who wear dresses and skirts. Not that I don’t find a woman attractive and beautiful in a suit and/or pants.

              The point is men need to start looking more stylish. We need to dress better. I have traveled to Europe, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Chile, Argentina, Spain….American men are by far the worst dressed, in general. And the fattest too. But, what wrong with looking and feeling good about your attire?

              Btw, leather bottom mens dress shoes are also quite and comfortable. Even a good pair of cowboy boots is comfortable. You can shop for comfort and function. Go for quality! Not everything has to be custom tailored. But, it must be good quality and have that oomph. Just saying.

              • There you have it folks. To attract a woman you need to be well dressed, wear nice cologne, etc. So we need to be wearing 500bucks or more worth of clothing? Or can you be well dressed on a budget? Because practically every fucking time I see a woman describe a well dressed man it’s because he looks like the stereotypical metrosexual or business man who has 500bucks+ hanging from his body and his clothing style is a direct indicator of his wealth, and success.

                So tell me, what do people who don’t have a spare 500 laying around wear? I have to wear large size clothing so I already wear probably 200+ worth of clothing when I decide to go out somewhere nice, even just to the movies. Can I be dressed nicely on a budget?

                Leather bottom dress shoes in Australia = 150+, especially for big feet like mine. You can get athletic style shoes for 50, or “reef” sandals” for up to 50.

                Then you have the issue of heat where I live, personally I love how I look in trousers BUT for about 8 months of the year it is incredibly hot in trousers and if you aren’t in airconditioning then your comfort will GREATLY suffer, especially for folk like me whom are big.

                I’ve tried looking for dress styles for tall, large muscle frame + overweight frame bodies but it’s incredibly difficult to find because most style mags for men are on people who are barely 6 foot (I am 6’6) and are for frames of men whom are lucky to be 80kg wet, 90 if they’re “cut” whereas I am 145kg. I’d love to know where to find styles for a big body like mine, my friends think I am a giant since I am tall, strong, and fat so I do look a bit like a hulk (my actual hip bones are as wide as standard airline seats, shoulders even wider than the arm rests BEFORE fat is taken into account) and that makes it quite difficult to find clothing that is stylish n fits.

                There is one place in Australia I can get some stylish clothing that fits nicely however they are 100bucks per shirt and 100bucks+ per pants/trousers, even shorts are 60+. The cost to look good probably requires a middle class income unless you stick to the basic streetwear look such as the printed tee’s, cargo pants, etc that are in the more budget shops like target.

                So what would you recommend for tall n big men for styling?

                • @Archy…

                  Well, since I do not live in Australia I don’t know all the places you can get clothing for big and tall men. We have lots of places here in the US.

                  I think a man can look good without having to spend big bucks. I spend around $700-$800 just for my dress blazers. But, I am high income and can easily afford this. Also, because of the nature of my work (financial), I need to NOT look cheap. So long as you don’t look cheap and sloppy, I think it is OK.

                  I think being successful with women is really not much different than being successful in life. You need to do things that set you apart from the crowd. I believe if you follow the crowd, you will end up like the crowd. So, be above the crowd. Stand out and apart from the crowd.

                  Now, it seems like you are 6’6 and around 300 lbs. You say your friends say you are tall, strong, and fat. OK. You are two thirds of the way there Archy. You need to work on the fat part. Get in shape unless you have physical limitations. Set a goal of dropping 20 kilos by the end of the year. It is possible!

                  Lastly, I am not saying it is so simple as being well dressed and looking like Mr. $$$$$ to get women. I am a charming guy by nature. It’s because I grew up the Southern US. We are naturally more friendly than people from the North USA. I have not problem whatsoever approaching and asking a woman out. I have not problem giving a woman a complement. Yesterday in Target (department store) I complemented a woman on this beautiful sun dress she was wearing. It was simply a complement and not an attempt to hit on her. I have a girlfriend and believe in monogamy.

                  There are three things I believe to be true about women: 1) They are more intelligent than men, 2) they are more perceptive, intuitive, and innately more spiritual, and 3) They make better decisions than man. #2 is the sweet spot. Men MUST understand this aspect of women.

                  • “There are three things I believe to be true about women: 1) They are more intelligent than men, 2) they are more perceptive, intuitive, and innately more spiritual, and 3) They make better decisions than man. #2 is the sweet spot. Men MUST understand this aspect of women.”

                    I’m not so sure about number 1 and number 3. But no.2 about perceptive and spiritual, YES. I’m a Muslim, and most people I know who hate Islam and think Koran teach us to kill others who have different religion than us and teach us to beat women are like, 80 % men. That’s why although I believe we are equal, maybe because the way they are raised, I find women are more open minded and less judgmental about things like religion, race, and sexual orientation. That’s always one of the many reason why I love women so much :). Sorry If I’m wrong, its just my experience as a Muslim Asian male.

                • I have to say, Archy, I feel you on a lot of posts…this especially, because although I’m a ..well, lets just say wiry dude, I’m 6’1.5”. That said, most people are square and rectangular shaped in the world. My body type is of the minority. It’s hard to find stuff in my sizing/dimensions, let alone afford stuff. I mainly shop online because going to malls and stuff became a drag…but even then, it’s still disappointing. Just not as bad because I’m sitting here in my mesh shorts and old tee and don’t have to deal with all the b.s. that is included in actually going to the shopping places.

                  to find stuff, I literally have to make it a project and endeavor, whereas I could be enjoying more of my life (as limited as it is). Trust me, when I did/do put a lot of effort it requires..well a lot of effort. The payoffs aren’t as good as if I were a woman, too. Lets not forget that. All they have to do is show up.

                  Factor in, the best clothing that are fitted/form-fitting (they’re different) are always more expensive, sometimes ridiculously. A pair of jeans that fit my leggy bottom …2/3rds of my body well (and comfortably)–waist and inseam? Good luck finding some, even. If I do, they’ll be too expensive for someone living off of disability to afford. Though, I gotta say, ironically, Levis has gotten closest. But according to this gal here, that’s just not GQ enough.

                  But honestly, seeing her say she’s also born and raised from SOCAL made me think back to when I was a kid and used to live in Palm Springs and this girl would follow me around and literally make fun of me because I was poor and my clothes weren’t from the gap…

                  saddening.

                  • oh, I meant to say, that this is particularly a MALE issue on the lack of affordable fitted/form-fitting stuff, at least in my case. But lots of jeans, even for guys wider than I am, are just rectangular, that is, unless they are “Designer” brand… that’s a term we should use to distinguish between the two.

                    • @AB
                      I am tempted to start learning how to sew just to adjust my clothes! Problem is being so tall a lot of clothes are shorter for me, it seems big men’s clothing assumes you are short a lot lol.If they were too long I could just trim back, resew but too short is impossible 🙁

                      I did find some great fitting tee’s a while ago, nice n long, good cut on the neck n shoulders which was great. They actually MAKE ME feel a lot better about myself when the clothes fit better.

          • Wow. This thread kinda makes me sad, honestly.

            This is you all saing that looks and style beeing the most important thing to be wanted. I was close to 26 before i ever felt wanted and 28 before i felt loved for the first time. If that had all been due to me changing my looks, i would have lost all hope for humanity.

            But since i didn’t, i mainly changed my attitude and matured a bit mentaly, and kept my looks, my baggy pants, my scrangly beard and my cheap-ass shirts and tees, i know it’s my personality that makes me attractive, not my theoretical fancy-pants or 6pack-abs.

            Putting all that focus on looks can be good for your self esteem i guess, if your the kind of person that has looks going for you. It also makes you shallow, a person wearing someone elses apperance. Hearing this kind of shallow chatter makes me wish there wasn’t this kind of pressure on others that are down on their luck as far as their relationships are concerned. This is the kind of discourse about whats “acceptable” that creates body-issues and self-esteem problems.

          • katansi says:

            Dressing well does not reflect how you see yourself, it is one aspect of how you may see yourself. If you are poor or oddly shaped or outside the average size range then it’s incredibly difficult to dress what your society deems as “well.” Personally, while I appreciate someone who does wear well-fitting clothes, I don’t take that into partnership evaluation. I care that my partner, their clothes and living place are clean, and that I want to have sex with them. There are a couple other things that are personal to me (like I don’t like septum piercings on anyone) but what you wear is of least importance to me when it comes to attraction because I understand having a body that does not fit well into off the rack clothing and the effect of being poor on one’s clothes. Your viewpoint is a really common one and quite harmful to men and women who do not fit into the mold well.

        • A guy’s style is not even close to something important to me and I’m a woman. Don’t say “women appreciate” when you mean “I appreciate.”

      • Mark Neil says:

        Seems to me you (and to a lessor extent, the author) would impose onto men the very objectification, body issues and constant judgments that women are constantly trying to shed. But worst, you suggest doing so in a manner that continues the male success objectification too.

        I say no thank you. I’d rather be comfortable and real, and alone than made up as you describe and with someone who wants the farce you would have me project. I’ll keel my cargo shorts, loose shirts, sandles and pot belly, and if women don”t like it, well, then they never would have wanted the real me anyways, they simply would have wanted the success I projected through my facade.

        • Hi Mark Neil
          I love well groomed ,slim men that dress with care in good colors and smell good. But look at this photo from The Guardian.
          http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/21/beach-ready-no-one-cares

          We must love each other as we are even when our bodies is not ” beach ready” but we can at the same time try to look good as best we can IF we feel like it.
          And men that want to be desired are smart to put in some effort. It does not mean you are not loved as you are. And the concept wanted and desired is not exactly the same thing is it?

          • Mark Neil says:

            “And men that want to be desired are smart to put in some effort”

            And suggest that to a woman in the presence of most feminists and you would get blasted with an earful of objectification and patriarchy femsplaining (outside of a conversation where they have already made the statement to a man, and would therefore look like a hypocrite for doing so). I’ve witnessed such blastings more than once.

            • Hi Mark Neil
              Women can let themselves go just like men can. We know that most men are less attracted to us then. . It is a personal choice we all have.
              Yes sometimes we express bitterness and anger over this,but we know it matters to most men how we look,at least that is my experience. Some women have stronger feelings of self worth than me,and can raise above all this.

              Some say:”I am tired of all this” and I understand them. I also understand all those that put in an effort all their life to be attractive or simply express who they are this way.

              My father was like that all his life. He was just like Jules tells us this is who he is. Some of us are like that.
              He shaved twice a day, took care with colors and style when he dressed,and watched his BMI. And he always smelled good. My mother wanted him and was obviously attracted to him until the day he died as an old man. And of course she also needed him and he needed her even more.

              • Mark Neil says:

                All I’m saying is that it appears like Jules (and you) are attempting to stick men under the same yoke women have been chaffing under for ages. One were they are expected to make themselves up for the benefit of the other sex. Do keep in mind, the original comment I responded to wasn’t discussing the benefits of style, it was mandating how men should behave (it should be illegal to wear flip flops?). I suppose it’s a way to attain equality, not really one I’d support though, as I don’t believe in tearing one group down to gain equality.

                • Dress style often indicates a person’s wealth and success. I get the feeling they’re basically saying you need to look like you’re rich or well off, at least middle class. Street clothing such as printed tee’s, etc are usually worn by the lower income brackets here in Australia, and I would guess it’d be similar in the U.S.

                  Quite frankly if a woman is such a snob that your dress sense turns her off then you’re better off without her. I like to look good where I can but that is just basic guess work as I don’t really have any women around to help style me to a standard that looks attractive to women. I do however wear clean clothes, I shower twice a day and take care of my hygiene bigtime as I am a fussy person like that. I dress up to goto town, and by that I mean wearing decent clothing whereas most people here wear pretty “bogan” like clothing and usually thongs, dirty shirt, etc. Funnily enough those people have plenty of gfs and bf’s…..

                  These comments I’m reading are coming across like major classism to be honest.

                • Hi Mark
                  I live at outer fringes of Europe in a harsh climate. Few people here have any sense of style at all. We all dress like we are going for long walks in the mountains or out sailing. **smile** .

                  All I try to say is that I am more attracted when my man are aware that women are visual just like men are,and some women are more visual than others. The colors a man wear influence me strongly,and since I like art and good design I like to look at persons that use their artistic talent when they dress,just like so many French do. It can be bought second hand and in inexpensive stores,but chosen with care.

                  We are all free to express ourselv the way we want.
                  I do not want to stick men under the same yoke as women! But many tells me that sexuality are important to them and they like it often,and they dream of a women that wants them enthusiastically. Well……not all women are turn on by your wallet if that is what you like to think.

                  . So many men on GMP tells us they they want to feel desired,want to be wanted, want women to be love them also sexually then I as a women tell when attracts me. Other women have other views on this.

                  I never wear high heels even if men like it. Fuck me shoe as Weiner calls it .( what is this man doing,by the way. He is on our front pages all over the world ….)

                  We all have a choice.
                  Young men look great no matter what they wear,but mature and elderly men does not alway in my eyes.
                  To e

          • I recently found myself some t-shirts that were ACTUALLY LONG for once, in the big men’s range. Usually they are made for short fat men, not tall ones like myself and the shoulder cut was great too. By simply wearing the clothing that fit better, and not having to buy a size bigger to get length, I had people thinking I lost weight although I was the same. Dressing well definitely helps but the problem is there is very little to teach men of it, especially big men as it’s mostly geared towards small or “cut”/athletic men.

            • ogwriter says:

              Archy What’s up Arch? There are cultural considerations one should include in this conversation.For African American men there are many stylish clothes for big guys.African Americans don’t let body image influence their fashion sense.A black woman isn’t likely to self-consciously ask,”Does my butt look big in these jeans?” It damn well better.

            • ogwriter says:

              Archy What’s up Arch? There are cultural considerations one should include in this conversation.For African American men there are many stylish clothes for big guys. You might consider a different style for yourself.The Elvis Presley,before Vegas,wore custom made “black clothes.” African Americans don’t let body image influence their fashion sense.A black woman isn’t likely to self-consciously ask,”Does my butt look big in these jeans?” It damn well better.

              • Ah, I have no idea what african american styles are like as I’m in Australia but I’ll try keep an eye out for it.

                • ogwriter says:

                  Hey Archy.In every major city there are places to get quality clothing reasonably priced.However,I would if I were you,get a trainer or take a fitness class and get my body in order first.As I suggested before if your body looks good women pay attention.Because my body looks good,I don’t have to wear ridculously exspensive clothing to get attention.I can go to the Burligame Coat Factory and spend $100 and look like a million dollars and get attention– even though I’m 58.Not every woman goes gaga for a suit and tie.

        • @Mark Neil…

          I am comfortable and real too! Like I stated: I take pride in my dress and attire.

          Just because I wear the clothing I do, does not mean it is a facade. It is who I am. I am very comfortable with myself as a person.

          Btw, do you get pedicures? I do. But, I don’t do manicures. Nor do I shave my body hair. There is nothing more disgusting than men in sandals with dirty ass feet! Seriously.

          Be the man you desire. Just remember it does have an influence on how attractive you are to women.

          Cheers!

          • Mark Neil says:

            I’m not sure what this has to do with the attempt to impose onto men the same expectations women have been chaffing against for, apparently, centuries, or the assertion that “it should be a crime for any man to wear flip flops” which leaves no room for those who don’t care to impress anyone, and are quite content with themselves. Looks more like attempting to prop yourself up as a man worth being considered while minimizing opposition with attempts to shame and demean them. Just saying.

        • Terrence, Mark, its okay if you both are comfortable with baggy shirt, cargo shorts, flip flops, and pot belly. If you are confident and comfortable with it, and don’t want to focus on your appearance, I said go for it.

          But the things that bother me is that I find many men, who don’t care for their appearance, grooming , and hygiene, expect women to really care for their appearance. They dont give a shit about their clothes, but expect their women to have a sense of style. They wear baggy shirts and cargo pants, but expect their women to wear nice and sexy clothes. They are fat, but complain when their spouse get fat. And how many men who think men who care for their appearances are superficial, but expect women to shave their legs and think hairy women disgusting? If you don’t give a shit for your appearance and think men who do it is superficial metrosexual fagg*t, why do you expect your women to look good with smooth hairless skin and slim curvy body? Is it not superficial? Hypocrite, isnt it?

          Those are my problem with many men who dont care for their appearance. I dont think both of you Terrence and Mark are these men, but I notice many of my friends are like that. I like women who looks good and have sense of style, thats why I care for my appearance too.

          • Mark Neil says:

            That’s an entirely different discussion. Keep in mind Jules stated “it should be a crime for any man to wear flip flops”, which makes the discussion into setting expectations men are expected to live up to, rather than about “be who you want to be, just don’t be a hypocrite and let others do the same” as you are presenting. My objection is to the former and Your arguing for the later is completely irrelevant to that discussion.

            • I agree that what Jules stated was wrong.
              I could never understand what it is about Americans and flip flops, though? Here in Brazil we wear them all the time, and they can be considered even classy!

          • “But the things that bother me is that I find many men, who don’t care for their appearance, grooming , and hygiene, expect women to really care for their appearance. They dont give a shit about their clothes, but expect their women to have a sense of style. They wear baggy shirts and cargo pants, but expect their women to wear nice and sexy clothes. They are fat, but complain when their spouse get fat. And how many men who think men who care for their appearances are superficial, but expect women to shave their legs and think hairy women disgusting? If you don’t give a shit for your appearance and think men who do it is superficial metrosexual fagg*t, why do you expect your women to look good with smooth hairless skin and slim curvy body? Is it not superficial? Hypocrite, isnt it?”

            ^
            ^
            ^

            THIS. THIS, GUYS, THIS! All American men should read this and see if they are not like this themselves.

        • Stop, please. That is about vanity and being attracted to people that are at least as vain as you (or me, as a woman), and not attraction to any “success” I could perceive behind it. God, it seems that it is YOU guys that can only see successful (financially) men as important or attractive, so you guys project it all the time on women. I and I’m sure most women see his body and/or style and looking at how much time he puts on his appearance, that is all, so stop projecting. That is getting irritating and even insulting.

          If anyone wants to keep being a clumsy dressed man, that is up to them. North American men are, for all I have seen, some of the worst dressed men, and that is ok if you want to keep like that. Just please don’t go and make fun of the men that want to dress something else, or that is into fashion. That is not shallow. And no, you CAN be poor and still be interested in fashion – maybe go shop on online Asian shops? Great, appealing and fashionable pieces for very cheap (sammydress, yesstyle…). That is what many Asian men dress, and they look gorgeous.
          And while we are at that, I hope the guys that don’t care about style or more vanity for them are not hypocrites that care about fashion and more vanity for the women they want to date. If you still want the girl that dresses more gracefully and sexily than you, takes care of her long(er) hair while you keep your practical super short one, shaves her legs and armpits while you never do the same, plucks her eyebrows while you have fuzzy ones, diets to always try to keep in shape even if she fails sometimes while you are so proud of your pot belly… I guess we have a problem.
          Many guys are easily entitled, don’t think deeper and just believe the average girl puts the same little effort in their appearance the average boy does, and that couldn’t be any more wrong. Just think about it: would most guys feel attracted to a girl that dresses like the average boy (themselves)? No shaven body, super short hair, no make-up, fuzzy eyebrows? I’m sorry, but they would just call her a “dyke” and move on. And even though maybe in North America most girls would also want a boy that is not really as feminine as them (though many would like it as well), I am sure many, many of them wished guys would care more about their appearance. The emo/scene boys and their lovers can not lie.

          I know that males that actually try to look better, that are metrosexuals or, God forbid, feminine, are the ones that get the harshest and constant judgements there in North America, Australia, etc. I just feel sorry for them, and wish they could be free to be whoever they wanted to be.
          And again, no, that is not for the benefit of the other sex. Sometimes people feel attracted to the same sex as well and hey, haven’t you seen how many gay guys dress better than straight guys most of the times? Ha. But really, that is for personal benefit.

      • Wow Jules, your’e 51 years old and have great style. I love seeing men in , 50s, 60s, and 70s who looks good and have great style. It give me such a warm feeling and admiration. I’m still 23 and recently graduated from college, I dont really wear fancy and expensive clothes ( because I dont have money on it ), but I really put my thought on the way my clothes fitted and flattered my slim athletic body shape, also the fabric and construction of the clothes. Even in my country in Asia when men put more thought about looks (but mostly its about shopping for expensive and fancy brand) than in US, many men still dont know how to wear clothes that fit their body and bring up their masculine body shape. Men have curves too in our body ( our v shape torso, firm toned butt and thighs ) and women love seeing that.

        • @John…

          Thanks.

          I am very please to hear a young man who believes in having a high standard of dress and attire. I lived in Japan for 8 months in 1986. They dress well in Tokyo, especially the business men. The women do too! I also notice in Japan, Korea etc that they are more into designer label. Nevertheless, they like and appreciate high quality stuff.

          Congrats on your recent graduation from college. Best of luck to you in life.

          Cheers!!

          • Thanks for the congratulations. Yeah, many men here are really into designer stuff. Men carrying Hermes and LV handbags are not weird anymore in Hong Kong. But doesnt mean they know how to dress. Lots of them still wear awful fitting clothes ( if not baggy its super skinny ) . But about your comment on Japanese men, I agree, they are one the best dressed men in the world, and their street wear also the best. I almost exclusively only wear Japanese Jeans . Yes they are far more expensive than regular Levis but the fabric and fade are so beautiful. And Japanese shoemaking also awesome. Lots of them are apprenticed under British , German, and Italian shoemakers and make shoes there.

            The good thing about Hong Kong is we have many awesome and skilled tailor here.

    • Jameseq says:

      Maybe we can create special article for Iben, Jules, and Tim for debate. Its getting boring reading same debate again in every article.

      not me, i enjoy the iben v jules duels.

      • Hi Jameseq
        Thank you.
        Jules know I am fond of him. I have been hard on Tim, but the fact is I feel compassion for him. If he was my brother I would never say that he must accept to be alone.
        We all want somebody to love and share our live with,and fold our arms around. That is what life is all about .
        When I say to Tim that he can travel to look for love,I do not mean look for the second best. My family has members from five different nations and half of all my closest neighbors are from born outside my country.

        I like Tim and Jules but see I can be too hard on Tim.

        • @iben…

          Hello!

          “Jules know I am fond of him.”

          Yes, I too am quite fond of Iben as well:)-

          • Hi Jules
            I have just broken my ankle. Thank you for the warm words.

            • @Iben…

              Hello Iben!

              Wow!. Sorry to hear about your broken ankle. That’s serious. Were you running or exercising?

              I will pray that you have a very speedy recovery.

              Cheers!

              • Hi Jules
                I am a passionate bicyclist. And like most cyclist I have accidents,lost some teeth,hurts shoulders.
                But what it took to break my ankle was trip on large stone 10 yards from my front door.

                Walking on crutches makes me more empathic with others that are immobile. I feel more compassion with them.

    • ogwriter says:

      @ John and Jules John: Why,in the name of common sense, would a man want to look as beautiful as a woman? The obsession women have with their looks, in my view, is closely linked to all kinds of body image problems they experience.We are now seeing some of the same issues creep into male culture.The style that you and Jules reccomend is hopelessly narrow and strictly European.I haven’t worn herringbone antything and tassled shoes since prep school!?Your style is mainstream but that doesn’t make it right,its just an opinion of what looks attractive.Remember,there are millions and millions of men,if not billions, from other cultures that have completely different standards of attractiveness for men that have nothing to do with loafers,suits,ties,pedicures or starched, cotton, dress shirts.In fact,the traditional look you gentlemen and ladies appreciate is, historically speaking, new.AND is limited to European traditions. Are you invalidating those thousands of other cultural traditions of aesthetics for men as illegitimate?Probably not,at least,not intentionally. I do agree that taking care of one’s body is THE key to looking and feeling good and confident.That being said,even at 58,because I hit the weights,get my sprint,core work and flexibility work done too:I think I look just as good in a pair of straight leg jeans,clean white sneakers, t-shirt or old navy polo, as the suit and tie guy.Am I saying that a suit and tie doesn’t have it’s place-no,I’ve got a Hugo Boss and Cole Hahn in my closet too-but it ain’t THE only way.

      • @Ogwriter…

        Hey Bro what up!? I hope all is well.

        “Are you invalidating those thousands of other cultural traditions of aesthetics for men as illegitimate?”

        Absolutely not Og. My taste in dress clothing definitively is European.

        However, I do like the fashion styles, with bright colors, of the Caribbean. I even wear my genuine Mobutu leopard-print hat some days. I find many Latin dress styles appealing. (Except those pointed toe cockroach killer shoes). On a typical weekend, I dress with various ethnic and international styles.

        I am not into Anglo casual styles at all. I would never ship at Abercrombie, I own not one single Polo shirt. I don’t khakis……..I do like Tommy Bahama shirts and shorts.

        • Tom Brechlin says:

          So glad I’m out of the corporate world where people would in fact judge you on what you wear, how well groomed you are. But I will admit that when I had functions where a tuxedo was required (I had/have four of them) it was nice lookin all fancy and stuff. I have two diamond rings and 5 expensive watches that haven’t seen the outside of the jewelry box in 15 years … way too pretentious. No, I didn’t buy the rings. One was my dads (which will be left to my son) and the other my wife bought me for our 25th.(will be buried with it)

          Now? My favorite clothes shops are any one of the four thrift stores in the area. Kill two birds with one stone….. I contribute to a good cause AND I buy some damn good clothes. When I’m asked where I got my shirt or slacks, people are freaked out that I bought them at thrift stores. When ya live in an area which is considered middle to upper class, people donate some really good stuff..

          My favorites are my dark blue Dockers, light blue button down shirt and my blue/gray “grandpa” sweater with pockets. I like looking like a good looking grandpa. Total cost? Maybe $10.00. So at those prices, it’s not expensive to have 15 pairs of slacks and 30 to 40 shirts.

          And ladies, thrift stores are great for you too. Wife just bought a pair of Michael Kors shoes with the tags on them for $2. LOL, she saw that at Macy’s two weeks ago.

          Why people pay retail is beyond my understanding.

  84. Another view says:

    Reading all the pain in these comments (from
    both men and women) makes me consider the Buddhist idea that all our desires are ultimately empty, in the sense that complete fulfilment of desire is never possible and whatever we do manage to achieve will inevitably end.

    Having compassion for others, accepting yourself and seeking to do good in the world are the things that will bring you happiness.

    As a couple of the commenters noted, a lot of the problems between men and women are rooted in biology. Cave women and cave women looked for partners who provided high utility. Because the only thing that matters to cave people is survival of themselves and the tribe. This is our animal nature. But we are more than our animal natures.

    Have a good day everyone.

  85. The hard truth that no one likes to say is that in reality NO ONE is necessary. No individual is absolutely needed by someone else, with the possible exception of a conjoined twin situation, and even then they can often be separated. Finding someone who really, truly needs you is chasing the end of the rainbow. The best you can actually do about that is to *feel* needed or for someone to *feel* like they need you. Even then, you shouldn’t bank your self-worth completely on the desire to feel needed. That will always fade at some point, just like youth, and you can’t ever control how someone feels about you in the first place.

    That may sound really depressing, but it can actually be quite liberating. Just imagine for a moment that you could be totally unnecessary and the world would not come to an end. Then what would you do with your life?

  86. Men’s utility, like women procreative utility, is a function of the reptilian brain. the most primitive part of us that is looking for a successful procreation partner. it is not the whole story. Women will always look for male utility and men will always look for female utility, but they will also form close emotional bonds and real conscious relationships.

    The more psychologically mature someone is the more they are able to have human relationships. The less mature they are the more they will objectify others. We cannot transcend utility in human relationships, but we can evolve ourselves and our society into a more integrated and loving place.

  87. Hi Tim
    I will answer you some other day. I sprained my ankle seriously today and must rest with my feet high.
    Right now I need a husband and some tender loving care. To be single and ill sucks.

    Of course we have language problems . My high school English is not good enough.

    You see Tim we are many women that like and desire more than 20-30% of all men. So why insist that we do when it is not true?

  88. Noah,

    Overall, this is a very good job you have done on the challenges men face, internally.

    But, this is rather baffling to me,

    ” I like feeling needed because even for me, even with all my ever-so-educated awareness of gender roles and stereotypes, even with all the women who’ve told me I’m sexy and desirable, I still can’t quite convince myself that I’m wanted. Even if I am, being wanted can only be a nebulous and fleeting state. Being needed, now, that’s solid. That’s a reason to keep going.”

    Why do you and I guess a lot of other men have such a strong desire to be needed. I do not feel this way at all. Nor have I ever felt like this. I certainly find needy women unattractive.

    I think most human beings, including men, feel a need to be cared for and loved. Some do not even care about being loved. This thing about feeling you have to be needed just does not resonate with me, period.

  89. Is this the so so called scientific evidence behind this myth about women?
    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/

    Somebody should take a closer look at this report,it methods and premises ….it makes me angry .

    And to conclude from what pictures women like of men in online dating and make this the truth about women is just silly.

    • Sorry everybody.
      This comment was indented for an other thread about dating.
      I sprained my ankle severe today,and did not concentrate on what I was doing.

  90. Here’s another issue you might be interested that likely derives from this. You might be interested in it, Noah, if you haven’t discovered it for yourself already.

    So long as men are putting all their focus on being NEEDED and being USEFUL, they actually retract from putting effort into being WANTED, often to the detriment of the relationship.

    I often hear women saying that they talk about their problems to men, asking only for sympathy and a listening ear. But what they get instead is a guy who keeps leaving to try to FIX said problems.

    And I myself have done this in at least one past relationship. Luckily, despite her rather manipulative tendencies, this woman was also very analytical, and was able to give me a fairly good description of what I was doing wrong. (Like a really good error code. lol).

    But to describe what was going on in my head; when she came to me for this personal problem, I was so used to interpreting it as a call for help, so I put on my hard hat and my “Mr. Fixit” uniform and got to work trying to report the guy for violent behaviors. What I did instead was betray her trust by spilling the beans on personal information. But I couldn’t see that. I was too focused on being something useful in her life so that I would feel she had a reason to keep me around. (THAT’s the part she was good at. Questioning my usefulness and making sure I always wondered why she stuck around.)

    But that really is groundbreaking, and I really loved this article. Instead of dismissing the explosion of comments as “oh, those are the whiny guys. They’ll ALWAYS show up.” You took the time to analyze WHY those comments are so common, and WHY it’s such a touchy issue.

    And the theory I present here is yet another example of how these issues in men are very much intertwined with similar issues for women, and that dismissing the former has only poisoned the latter.

  91. wellokaythen says:

    “There is no Plan B.”

    Spot on. Men tend to be evaluated based on their usefulness or necessity, and many men feel a very strong desire to feel needed above all else. For many men who might otherwise be sympathetic to women’s issues, the idea that women don’t need men cuts a little too close to the bone.

    Consider it from the negative, insulting side of things. One of the most damaging labels you could make about a man is that he’s “useless.” It is practically the worst thing you could say about a man’s value as a human being. I bet feeling useless to the world is the most common feeling among men who commit suicide. There are devastating insults that women face, but somehow I don’t think being called “useless” hits women anywhere near as hard as it hurts men.

    On a related note, just look at all the hand-wringing over the whole “end of men” meme. In almost every article decrying or disproving the idea that “men are obsolete,” the argument boils down to whether or not men are “necessary” or “useful,” and almost exclusively whether men are necessary or useful for women. That’s an extremely narrow way to define value.

    (And the historian part of me can’t help but laugh at all the things that were at one time predicted to become “obsolete.” The internal combustion engine has been on the verge of becoming obsolete for several generations now. For the past 150 years, “the state” is supposed to wither away, what with revolution making government unnecessary. Talking movies were never supposed to catch on, because it’s just a gimmick. How’s all that going, by the way?)

    I do think it’s a little overstated to suggest that men are never objects of desire or that women only see men in terms of utility. Obviously there’s more than just the question of usefulness going on, but the loudest messages men get from society is to be useful.

    I like to think I’ve mostly gotten over this whole utility thing. As I’ve said several times before, I prefer to be wanted instead of needed. Tell me I’m not necessary and I just say that I’m a luxury item. Who prefers to live a life doing only what is absolutely necessary?

  92. Hi Tim
    Are you sure you want women to take part in the debate Tim?

    You live in a society where women’s worth as a future partner and wife depends on the number of sex partners she has had. She knows she should have as few as possible.
    Lets say she think she must keep her number to maximum 4 men during her lifetime.

    And then she meets you,a 28 old man that abhor commitment and marriage . A bitter man full of hostility towards women because he responds emotionally to sexual rejection with anger and resentment.

    Can you give us five reasons why this woman should choose YOU as one of that four sex partners she can have during her entire life?

    Can you give us five reasons why she should choose you that only want to get laid but abhor commitment and marriage.

    Give us five good reason Tim!

    • @iben….

      Hello!

      I know you’re remarks were directed to Tim. But, I am going to join the battle!

      You write,

      “Can you give us five reasons why she should choose you that only want to get laid but abhor commitment and marriage.”

      OK. Fair question Iben.

      Here is the flip side. How about all the women here in America who give their bodies to men who “only want to get laid but abhor commitment and marriage.”? Do you deny this? It’s called a fling by most women here.

      Therefore, why do you single out Tim for castigation when what you are chastising him for is an everything and mindset for many many American women?

      You will not get five reasons. Why? Because, many of these women only need one! He is HOT and I want to fuck him. It’s really that simple Iben.

      I think you have an issue with some of us men here on GMP because of our tone. Maybe the way we express ourselves is perceived as being caustic and belligerent. In my case, it is not intended to be. I don’t care if a woman rejects me. Hell, I just go on to another one. That’s life.

      • Hi Jules
        I do not get annoyed with you Jules,for some reason. Nor will I ever get angry at Archy.
        But I agree Tim triggers aggression in me. Why is that?
        He shows his feelings and that is his right.
        I have to think deeply about why I get angry at Tim.
        He does a lot more than tell us how he feels. He puts all the blame on women and attacks as if it is women’s DUTY to have sex with with him,

        Women have the right to say no!
        And men that get angry when women reject them sexually or simply reject them is a red flag. All women should trust their deepest instinct with men that can not handle rejection.

        And now we are not talking about marriage Jules. Tim is not discussing sex in marriage but causal sex between strangers like when men pick up women in bars and nightclubs.
        How hook ups happens in your colleges I don’t know .

        • Iben, your comments are incredibly offensive to me, and simplistically self righteous.

          Of course women have the right to say no, and men have the right to have feelings about being rejected. A man getting angry is not a red flag,a man getting violent is a red flag. I understand why many women fear anger in men, they fear it will lead to violence despite the fact that most of the time it doesn’t, but that doesn’t give you the right to demand that men suppress their feelings or make sweeping statements denigrating the character of men because they too experience the human feeling of anger.

          Most women have no idea what it is like to experience and live with rejection the way men do. To be expected to initiate courting – then be vilified, ridiculed, and dismissed for it. Women just put on your makeup and sit around twirling their hair until he takes all the risk and approaches her. Warren Farrel recruited several women into an experiment where they had to take the traditional male role and initiate – most of them freaked our after one attempt and couldn’t handle the impact on their ego of having to risk rejection that way. Several got really angry and threw a major tantrum.

          • Adam, I can tell you from personal experience(although quite a few years ago) that Women DO NOT handle ‘rejection’ any better than Men. I think it may be tied to that old fallacy that ‘Men want it all the time, and they don’t care who it’s with’ Therefore, if he rejects me he’s saying there’s something wrong with me.

          • Hi Adam
            For me and lots of women it is a red flag when a men gets angry when he is rejected sexually .
            Rejected politely is the normal way to do that.
            You have no idea the anger women meet when we do not satisfy men’s “needs” ,you have NO idea.
            And this will be a red flag for women even if you dislike it.

            But I end commenting more now on mens problems with getting women into bed or being desired sexually .
            Others are tired of the discussion so we end it here.
            But it is a red flag. You do not decide what is red flags for women,we decide.
            Have a nice day Adam. Sure you can feel offended when women show how they feel. That is life .

            • Tom Brechlin says:

              See, that’s what’s cool about holding off with sex until ya get married. People fall in love with who they are rather then what happens in bed. Of course what would I know, I’ve only been married for 38 years. Worked pretty well for my siblings too. 🙂

              • PursuitAce says:

                That’s crazy talk Tom. Sex is preeminent in this society. I could use an emoticon right now, but I’m not sure which one.

            • I do not decide anything for women, and I will readily object to you perpetrating a stereotype that every man who gets angry about being rejected should be red flagged. Ref flag meaning that women should see him as a threat or a weirdo.

              You say ‘we decide’ but your original comment attempts to decide for all women. You also do not get to decide what a red flag is for all women, which is what you are claiming the right to do. DO you really feel qualified to represent all women in advancing your generalised judgments about all men?

              • Hi Adam
                That is true. I do not get to decide what is red flags for all women,nor do you.

                This advice was given me by a friend of mine, a professor of Psychiatry at the universe I was a student. I had done some bad choices with men and asked for his advice.
                His advice was :” find a man that can handle rejection well”.

                How you react emotionally to rejections tells a lot about you,your personalty,your emotional robustness.,attitudes,values, mental health…
                you may dislike this ,but I have found this is a great advice when you want to figure out who you are dealing with.

                It also screens out persons that feels entitled .

                • @Iben….

                  “How you react emotionally to rejections tells a lot about you,your personalty,your emotional robustness.,attitudes,values, mental health…
                  you may dislike this ,but I have found this is a great advice when you want to figure out who you are dealing with.

                  It also screens out persons that feels entitled.”

                  Yeah!!!! We agree on something!

            • Hi Iben,
              “And men that get angry when women reject them sexually or simply reject them is a red flag.”
              Anger is pretty normal but it doesn’t necessarily mean anger at HER for rejecting you. I experience anger in rejection, anger at my LUCK, it’s annoying to have your hopes crushed. It can be especially angering to see heaps of women dating guys who are literally treating them like shit or abusive, and when you are told you’re nice yet remain single it is very frustrating. Kind, decent people should be dating, abusive people should remain single until they fix their issues is how I look at it, but life isn’t always fair.

              Something that would anger me is if a woman is misleading me, hitting on me, leading me on and THEN rejects me. She has the right to say no, but I’ll feel rightfully pissed off for being fucked around. My brother had that, my friends have had that, I’ve had that anger before, and my female friends have had it too (especially when they have sex and he lies about his intentions to date, etc).

              Being violent n aggressive when rejected however is a bigggg no no.

          • Adam, you didn’t enjoy a comment Iben said because you believed it made a sweeping statement denigrating the character of men because they too experience the human feeling of anger. Yet you then turn around and make your own sweeping statement about what you believe is the experience of “most women” who you classify have no idea what rejection feels like the way men do. Rejection, like anger, is also a very human emotion and can and IS equally felt by women as it is men. I do not know a woman who has not experienced rejection and whose rejection was worth less than the rejection men may experience.

            I do now know what women you speak of but I do not know most average women who just have to put on make up and “twirl” their hair to find male companionship. It’s actually a lot harder than that for a good deal of us and it would do you good to acknowledge that instead of making your own sweeping generalizations about how easy you believe women have it.

            Women and men may experience different issues in dating and women may have certain things easier than men but men also have certain things easier than women. One thing I know for sure that no human woman or human man has never experienced rejection or anger. By the way, there are many ways rejection happens. No standard formula exists only one way.

            • Hi Erin,

              at no point did I suggest that women don’t experience rejection the same way men do, only that they are not constantly set up to be rejected by the socialised roles where men are expected to do the initiating. Not a generalisation, a simple fact.

              • Women in general get rejected differently to men, doesn’t make it less painful but it is different in many cases. Take 2 situations, a man who wants to date a woman getting rejected and a woman who is stuck as the fuckbuddy of a guy she wants a relationship with. Both are rejected but she has some form of relationship already going on, he is still stuck at step 1. She can have some sexuality fulfilled, he gets none. Both rejections hurt a lot, but they’re different forms of rejection.

        • Mark Neil says:

          “He does a lot more than tell us how he feels. He puts all the blame on women and attacks as if it is women’s DUTY to have sex with with him,”

          Ever read one of those “where are all the good men”, “failure to launch” or “marriage strike” articles writen by a feminist, from a man’s perspective. It’s not any different, with the exception that the blame and shame of men for not fulfilling women’s needs tends to get high level media exposure and generally positive public and media support. A man who likewise complains about the friend-zone gets torn to shreds..

          Ever read anything from feminists from a man’s perspective? if you don’t like being blamed, perhaps you should learn the golden rule, and take your complaints to the group that is speaking for you and setting the precedent on how women get treated in response.

        • @Iben–

          In America, PUAs have an English term for a guy who puts the blame on women and attacks as if it is women’s duty to have sex with him = CHODE….

          Tyler Durden (Owen Cook of RSD = Real Social Dynamics/PUA leader and a self-professed “creepy-looking, balding ginger”) says on video (youtube) that chodes have a self-esteem problem and should inward at their issues….men, like himself, who used to look bitterly at beautiful women and blame them for rejecting them have to really look hard in the mirror….I don’t agree with a lot of what PUAs say, but I found that interesting….

          If Megan Fox or Paris Hilton blew off Tyler, he doesn’t blame them…he just keeps trying on the next girl….if a girl is not attracted to you, she is not attracted to you….go to the next one and try the same lines…and if that doesn’t work for you, maybe you might want to try something else…

        • The resentment comes, I think, from being socially forced into the role of having to take on most of the risk when it comes to social ritual of getting laid..that is, unless you’re socially seen as a stud (ie being rich, good at sports/physically fit, confident, etc). Rejection is just the sting of that reality coming to bear down on the average man who isn’t much of any of those things I listed. So when they try to point to a source for this constant pain they have to deal with..they point (wrongfully) to the women who say no to them, rather than pointing collectively at a society that coerces them into the role of having to ‘man-up’ and step up to the plate of male objectification and competition for female affection (in other words: they have to jump hoops just to have a human connection with a female beyond that of friendship). Women don’t have such difficulties so they’re spared this anguish.

          It’s not right, but I understand it. They should focus their energy on the source of the problem: the social expectation of males to devalue themselves and chase for social approval via sexual and romantic success with women. That shit just DOESN’T work.

    • Iben

      I’m sure its a language issue. I don’t remember insulting women in any comment I’ve made recently. Maybe you interpret it the wrong way. Can you point out the particular comment?

      Which comment are you replying btw? I did comment on this thread addressed to you, but it hasnt appeared yet.

    • @Iben…

      “Therefore, why do you single out Tim for castigation when what you are chastising him for is an everything and mindset for many many American women?”

      Should read,

      Therefore, why do you single out Tim for castigation when what you are chastising him for is an every day occurrence and mindset for many many American women?

      Sorry.

      PS: Remember this from Noah’s last paragraph,

      “It’s easy to dismiss them as angry losers or some other convenient pejorative, but I’ve walked a few too many miles in their shoes to call their pain baseless.”

    • Iben

      There is not one reason why she should have a fling with me.
      I’m not hot, well built, popular or exciting.

      I have no qualities that men, who are chosen by women for flings, possess

      Youre right. I should get a decent career going and get married.

  93. Hi Tim
    I you want to draw women into a dialogue then you have to change the offensive way you express yourself right here.

    You start by insulting women and think you know everything about all women.
    But you know nothing Tim and will not be any wiser by writing like you do here.

  94. Mostly_123 says:

    Intense, and deeply resonating on many levels. Thank-you Noah.

  95. Awesome article. I’m not too proud to admit I had tears in my eyes toward the end because I am dealing with this right now. I have a girlfriend but feel neither wanted or needed.

    • If you’re with someone who makes you feel that way then you should walk away. If being on your own is too difficult, you’ll have to put up with someone who certainly doesn’t have your best interests at heart. It’s a form of slow-suicide, imo, by remaining co-dependent like that. Take care of yourself, man!

  96. I think this article strikes at the core of the plight of young men today. The whole culture is telling them they are neither wanted or needed. It’s really not hard to imagine them turning to street gangs and skin head organizations when that is quite probably the only place they are getting a sense of belonging and purpose. The suicide rate is just another effect of this lack of value our western society places on these young men. It effects aren’t limited to young men but its more concentrated in that group because of the work and cultural environment they exist in today.

  97. I like it, but it falls into the same trap the feminist notions of a purely ‘socially constructed’ reality have succumbed to. The reality of men needing to be useful is predominantly an evolutionary one, just as the reality of women needing to be desirable. Nature doesn’t care in the slightest about our evolved sensibilities or feelings, she wants genetically superior offspring, which means big strong healthy useful men and curvy, sensual healthy women.

    Ergo, there is no solution to this ‘problem’. Women will continue to require men to be useful and men will continue to privilege beauty. Fortunately, men mostly enjoy being useful and women mostly enjoy being beautiful. However, the situation is not as one sided as we are led to believe. The ‘beauty premium’, the reality that better looking people do better in career and romance, is actually larger for men according to several studies. It turns out that men are even more ‘objectified’ on the basis of physical features than women are. This means that being ‘wanted’ is actually a large part of men’s reality, whether they recognise it or not. that’s what the PUA industry is all about, bringing men back to the awareness of the power they do have in the mating game.

    So why don’t women let on how much they are influenced by men’s sexual and physical attractiveness? The answer is power and vulnerability. Being the chasee is an incredibly powerful position, and being the chaser is an incredibly vulnerable one (as most men know). Odd then that feminism sees it the other way around, characterising men as the powerful ones in the mating game when it is actually women making most of the decisions.

    But that is what feminism is about, continuing and expanding the privileges and power that women have, well beyond the point of equality.

    • You are wrong in some aspects, and trying to read biology and evolution through your own biased socioculturally conditioned glasses.
      In nature it is females that privilege beauty on males. Males only need a female that is fertile, and in heat. Sure, a female body that is fertile is a curvier one (let’s not call it “sensual”, or at least not the only sensual one – sensuality is a construction, personal and changes from culture to culture, both females and males can be sensual in their own way or not sensual at all – like some tribal cultures, for example, still believe so); but that doesn’t say anything about males being attracted to it NATURALLY. You (and most straight men [and lesbian women]) find women’s bodies attractive and sensual, that is great – now that has nothing to do with it being necessarily biological. We know females are the ones to choose males for their bodies because they need the strongest ones for good genetics and to protect them while pregnant. Also, and that is important, to get a sure hit – their most (or only) fertile period doesn’t happen everyday, or even every month for some species. While males have a different fertility set, so they can impregnate a female everyday, and that is the reason they are usually looser and usually just go for what is available, with some exceptions, as always. Also remember, the most accepted theory is that humans mate for a short period of time: 1 year at the max, since the caveman times. That is the reason we still today stay “in love” for a similar period of time.
      In many cultures, some still alive, it is men that need to make themselves the “beautiful” ones for females to choose from; men usually get turned on only by being desired. Our own culture derived from Rome/Greece were men were considered the most beautiful and sensual ones.
      All in all, everyone needs to be desired by the other sex (or the same sex, if you are not straight).

  98. PursuitAce says:

    I think men are missing the freedom they now have in not being needed. The freedom to create their own worth. Of course there is always the relentless media defining what makes you valuable. I fear that will take a long time to alter. If you can embrace that freedom it will change your life.

    • wellokaythen says:

      “I think men are missing the freedom they now have in not being needed.”

      Yes. Being called useless should not be the insult that it currently is. Many of the best things in life are completely useless. No one actually needs bacon, but I’m sure glad I live in a world that has bacon.

      Become the prosciutto you want to see in the world.

      (Still working on the slogan.)

      • wellokaythen –
        “Become the prosciutto you want to see in the world.” is definitely going to be my new mantra. Love it.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          Well becoming a prosciutto, will free and transform yourself and you will come out in the world renewed. But in reality you will come out from somebody else anus in the form of feces, since the prosciutto is food. you cant expect a different fate 😉

          So IMO become something else then food….

      • I think someone else put it best, that being needed makes you feel far more safe than simply being wanted does. Theres also the matter of a power imbalance. I get the feeling that many men feel their in a position where they need women more than they need them. After all men are far more dependent on women for offspring. I’ve read stories from successful independent women who decided to have families without men through the use of sperm donors. Many of them reported that the men in their life responded with uneasiness when they told them this, the idea of women not only deciding they don’t need men, but actively seeking to create families without them. I think its a very innately human desire to want to matter. When you’re at your job, you want to feel like you’re an invaluable member of the team, not the guy who just sort of makes things more enjoyable. I simply can’t see a world in which most people are comfortable being told that they’re unnecessary.

        • wellokaythen says:

          You’re right about how many men derive a sense of security from feeling needed. I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I’m not saying it’s easy to let go of the desire to feel needed. You’re right about feeling needed as feeling more permanent than feeling wanted, because feeling wanted often feels really superficial or transitory somehow.

          I would, however, make a more general point that too often people talk about a “need” when what they’re really talking about is a “want.” That goes for “being dependent on” as well. If a man wants to be a father, he’s pretty much dependent on a woman at some point for that to happen. His desire to be a father is still a want, however, and not an actual need. (Maybe it’s a larger “need” of the human species, but it’s not actually an individual need.)

          Perhaps one way forward is for men to be clearer with ourselves about the difference between a desire and a requirement.

          Another way forward is to take a harder look at our desire for external validation. I tend to think the search for validation from other people has gone unexamined for far too long. It’s almost enshrined at this point, as if it’s the only way to get any sort of validation. I tend to think that relying on external validation has become something of a crutch for people who don’t want to bother with any sort of internal homework, but I also recognize that could just be my own issues talking.

          • Hi Wellokthen
            No,this is not only your issues.

          • PursuitAce says:

            I often forget that many people look for validation in others. It sounds horrible. This is the explanation for a lot of strange and sometimes bad behavior.

  99. John Anderson says:

    There are other movies though were the boy is wanted, but not by the girl he thinks he wants, like Teen Wolf. I think Secret Admirer was plotted the same way. 13 Going on 30 has the girl not realizing that her soul mate is her friend who cares about her. She doesn’t realize her priorities were wrong until she sees the future. He doesn’t change. She does. The Sure Thing had both protagonists attracted to other people. Each finds what they’re missing in the other and change.

    I started lifting weights for utility. I wanted to accelerate my kick boxing. Then it became a competition among the boys. Then I started liking how I looked and was getting a lot of attention from strange women. I like how I looked and I couldn’t tell you if it was the toned muscle or the confidence / arrogance that attracted them. It could have also been them reacting to the protector role. I’m not sure all I know was during that time I felt desirable and desired by women. Heck, I had the confidence to hit on college women when I was 15 during retreat and scored like The Great One.

    I don’t feel desirable now that I’m in my 40s. I don’t react well when I’m hit on or complimented. It doesn’t seem deserved, but women have said the same thing when they’ve turned 40.

  100. Hi Noah
    I look forward to read all the comments to your interesting article.

  101. Steve Adams says:

    Nice piece, Noah Brand.

  102. Kate Bartolotta says:

    I agree, and this is a wonderful conversation to have. I do wonder how much of this is socialized and how much is evolutionary biology, but even if it’s the latter, perhaps it’s coming up because we are all ready to evolve past it.

    • Perhaps you can take some initiative and reflect on why you don’t desire men for their bodies, sexuality and genitalia as much as generally men desire women’s.

      Perhaps you can reflect on why you require more from men than they require from you when you chose a man for sex?

      It is a wonderful debate, just so happens women are rarely willing to engage in it.

      • PursuitAce says:

        Two completely different visions here. A lot of men see this as reality. A lot of women say no chance is this true. I don’t think a real conversation is going to happen. Just check Noah’s comment in the last paragraph, “It’s easy to dismiss them…”. That’s where it stands.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          I tell you one thing, the one who dismiss stuff, male or female, are either trolls or ignorants. Because there is no way a woman can know or understand the male experience. And there is no way a man can know or understand the female experience. So who dismiss experiences from the opposite gender is always wrong. Sound radical but if you think about it its actually true.

          • @Mr Supertypo…

            Yes, you are correct.

            This is where empathy, compassion, and understanding come into play. These are all individual attributes. However, they can all be learned. You (not you personally) must be willing to be open to such a thing.

      • I think it’d be good to add in some psychology into the mix as well. Evolutionary-psychology helps speak to some of the biologically driven motives behind gender interactions, rules, etc in society, but I think basic psychology has a lot to offer in way of elucidating this problem, too.

        For example, a gentleman by the name of TherminTrees on youtube has some videos that are pretty

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKNyFSLJy6o <— Title: "Transactional Analysis 1: ego states & basic transactions"

        Looking at gender through the backdrop of what he's talking about really adds depth and perspective to the subject.

  103. I like how this article dances around it but doesn’t quite name it – the thing reinforcing the realization in men that they need to be ‘needed’ is called male disposability. Or put differently, its’ that men, in the eyes of society, have no intrinsic value in and of themselves – men are only valued as a means to an end. Men are a series of ‘doings.’ This is a societal phenomenon: a reinforced pattern of interaction between the entire collective of people within society and the whole gender of men. It’s a SOCIAL phenomenon, reinforced by men and women alike. And yes, women reinforce this idea based on the very assumptions that underline their interaction with men: http://youtu.be/2NTnfL0H8AM via

    Those women make no bones about being upfront and honest about it, but in North American society we paint it up with a nice looking (but phony) story about romance and fairy tails. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Modern wage-slavery is a distillation of this idea of value being tied to utility: men (and women) are subjected to the disciplining (read: dehumanizing) forces of capitalism in the ever-forward march towards creating more profit.

    Everywhere men go, they see a reinforcement of this idea that they are a means to an end, and so they then seek out look through being used. It’s a pragmatic strategy in a world that does not find value in your personhood. http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person/ Note that this article attempts to use universal language to speak to its audiences but it’s really just an article aimed at men. ‘You’re disposable; you’re not valued for who you were (or what you are, like women are) but what you DO. Get over it or fall by the wayside).

    A redditor by the name of ‘YetAnotherCommenter’ wrote about this in a way that was spot on:

    “This is ultimately the underpinning of the basic gender role in our society; the subject-object dichotomy. Men are seen as subjects, i.e. actors and agents, beings with the capacity to choose a goal and strive to achieve it. Women are seen as objects, since action is not a necessary component of femininity. Men do, women are. Men have to act, women do not. Men are actors, women are acted upon.

    But there is a twist here – as stated before, the gender system ascribes value to the fulfillment of both the male function and the female function. Since females are (assumed to be) automatically capable of fulfilling this female function, they possess an innate value. Males do not have this assumption on their side – they must prove their capability to serve the male function, and thus they possess no innate value. Women are innately valuable objects and men are innately valueless subjects (with the capacity to acquire some value”

    So in order for a man to be seen as a man, he has to simultaneously ‘do’ something and fulfill some ‘need,’ ‘purpose,’ or ‘function’. It is not that men ‘need’ to be ‘needed’, but that society tells them that they ‘need’ to be ‘needed’ based on how the genders interact in society. And *everyone* reinforces this dynamic each time they show antipathy towards a male not operating within these lines. We have ‘cowardly’ men; we despise men who are ‘unproductive’ (the proverbial ‘losers’; also known as ‘man-childs’ or whatever other derogatory shaming term we can think of to emotionally and psychologically whip men with aberrant behavior into entering ‘adulthood,’ aka ‘male-disposability.’).

    Society has complete antipathy for men who are seen as ‘weak’ or ‘unproductive.’ As that redditor comments here, saying:

    “As a consequence of this model, I think there are in fact four “genders” (at least), based on which kind of value a person contributes. Traditional femininity provides feminine but not masculine value. Traditional masculinity provides the opposite. A woman that exhibits masculine traits provides BOTH kinds of value and is thus socially androgynous. However, as feminine value is biologically limited to female-bodied persons, men who DON’T provide masculine value are social neuters. They aren’t seen as honorary women (like Paglia’s model alleges), rather they’re seen as “boys” – as immature males who aren’t men.” (

    And this is so true. When is the last time you’ve seen or order of a man being appreciated for ‘not being a man’? It just doesn’t happen. It’s like we, as a society, reinforce this notion of ‘maleness’ and then turn around and blame men for it, as if they are the sole architects of it or wouldn’t opt out of this toxic notion of masculinity in a heartbeat if given the chance to. So when I read well-meaning articles like this, I can’t help but feel a sense of irony: yet another situation in which men are taking the blame for something they didn’t create. Oh, and the sad part in all of this is that men engage in this toxic notion of maleness solely for the reason of wanting to be valued and loved.

    If we’re to have men that are loved and valued in society, we NEED to address this toxic way of social association; we need to place emphasis on valuing character and personhood, over disposability, exploitation, and viewing people as a ‘means to an end.’

    • Kate Bartolotta says:

      This could be a response article of its own! Have you ever seen this piece on feminism and male disposability? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp8tToFv-bA

    • John Anderson says:

      It’s not an issue of disposablity. It’s an issue of utility. Men are valued for what they can do, provide, etc. Men are disposable in that they are considered interchangeable. No man has an intrinsic value so any man will do. Not that I’m disagreeing, I just want to tweek the terminology.

      • But in the process of being ‘useful’, you are ‘used up’. If you do not perform your role, society shames you or flat-out throws you away. When you work until you can’t work no more, you’re thrown away. Even if you’re a hero, you’re still thrown away (look at homeless vets). If you are only valued for what you do (as a means to an end) then by DEFINITION you are disposable. You are not a person; you are an appliance.

      • Cornelius Walker says:

        The word you’re looking for is “fungible.”

    • PursuitAce says:

      Absolutely brilliant comments. But don’t expect society to suddenly gain a moral compass. It will take enough men to start building their own lives outside the demands of society to begin to make a difference and a change. I think it’s already happening.

      • Mark Neil says:

        It is, and they are getting routinely attacked for doing so. This very article does it in the line ” littered with embittered men who get very upset about what they can’t help but perceive as their own failure. “. “littered” and “embittered”. The line is a projection of anger and ego onto men who have chosen to opt out for a number of reasons, which include, but are not limited to being bitter. But the most common are the “man-up” and “man-child” articles, which usually involve being responsible and marrying a woman because …. that part is never really explained. But given how divorce and child custody tends to work, it’s not that hard to figure out.

    • A beautiful response, both yours and whoever you are quoting. Strong, considered, sophisticated and worthy of its own column. Why the hell are you publishing under pseudonym? I want to know who you are and who you are quoting. I want to know how to bring you into my networks of people who are formulating the future of gender. We need people like you to stand up and be counted. If you are not willing to go public, then at least contact me privately to let me know how to contact you.

      • Because this is the distillation of other people’s thoughts, with some of my own added into the mix. People who already have blogs and videos going into detail about this stuff. Like Warren Farrell, Girlwriteswhat, TyphonBlue, etc. People who are exploring the idea of gender from BOTH sides, which is the key here. No, I can’t take credit for any of that; i’m just happy to be able to participate in the conversation.

        Cheers.

  104. OirishM says:

    Wow. Fantastic as ever, Noah. Thank you so much for this.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Men Must Be Needed Because We Can’t Be Wanted […]

  2. […] An interesting article from the “goodmenproject”. Read it here. […]

  3. […] como en el trabajo independiente, la paternidad cariñosa o incluso el amor en sí mismo. Noah Brand escribió que, puesto que solo conocemos una forma de ser necesitados, tenemos problemas a la hora […]

  4. […] be in close fulfilling relationships, independent work, caring fatherhood, or even love itself. Noah Brand has written that because we only know how to be needed, we have trouble being wanted. We have […]

  5. […] “men must be needed because we can’t be wanted” by noah brand, published on goodmenproject.com on 2013년07월18일 […]

  6. […] friend of mine recently sent a link to an article on The Good Man Project that I thought was worth some consideration.  The writer, Noah Brand, […]

  7. […] brilliant, openminded physicist friend from grad school shared the first essay, Men Must Be Needed Because We Can’t Be Wanted.  I read it avidly, hoping to discover some secret about men that I have been missing all these […]

  8. […] That’s a slightly edited observation from Noah Brand, editor-in-chief of The Good Men Project, and author of a top-read post entitled, “Men Must Be Needed Because We Can’t Be Wanted.” […]

  9. […] We believe we have to be the heroes only because we can't yet see other roles for ourselves.  […]

  10. […] I realized I censor myself. My friends posted an article on Facebook recently. There is SO much in this article that resonates with things I’ve been feeling for a while. I thought about sharing it, but then I censored myself. I thought it might cause a potential mate to pass me over… or that someone might argue with it or be offended. Here it is: http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/brand-men-must-be-needed-because-we-cant-be-wanted/ […]

  11. […] a great post was published by Noah Brand on The Good Men Project.  Now, you may ask “Why am I linking to this?  It seems really far off from the general […]

  12. […] addition, this is partly a rebuttal to this post that my friend DP linked on his Facebook. He did not write this article, simply was interested in […]

  13. […] This comment is by KatyD on “Men Must Be Needed Because We Can’t Be Wanted“: […]

  14. […] We believe we have to be the heroes only because we can't yet see other roles for ourselves.  […]

  15. […] just read an article on The Good Men Project called Men Must Be Needed Because We Can’t Be Wanted. It really hit home for me. I’m dealing with this a lot with my girlfriend and I think […]

Speak Your Mind

*