A question for men – #2

June 26, 2012

In my kitchen there is an interesting piece I found in an antique shop when I was in my 20s. Its rustic, wooden frame contains a page from a Home Economics book circa 1950. Its title is:

Tips to look after your Husband.

When my daughter was about six and really getting into reading, she stood in front of this and started to read. I was cooking dinner and giggling as she read lines such as:

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking of him and are concerned about his needs…

….. and would then turn to me and say, “Have you done that?”

Or then there’s this snippet of wisdom:

Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner – count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day…

“Have you done that?”

It sounded ludicrous and that’s why it was so funny to hear, in this day and age.

BUT at the same time, it got me thinking about how women seem to have always been instructed on how to behave towards men – 1950s: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” 2012: …I wouldn’t even know what to write here – I imagine it would be very sexual.

As I have said many times over – I was your poster girl for teen-girl feelings, hopes and dreams – I wanted to find the perfect guy.

How was I going to do that? Get advice from Cleo and Cosmopolitan magazines, of course! Haha! Tragic.

These magazines, which I religiously read throughout my university years in the late 80s/early 90s, provided every young woman with everything they needed to know – chock full of advice on how to look, what to wear and most importantly – how to snag a guy…including ENDLESS sexual activity ideas – especially with his penis.

Ironically enough, Jezebel just published a list of Cosmopolitan’s Most Ridiculous Sex Tips article here. Gee, there are some CLASSIC suggestions in this list – and if anyone can remember, it was more of the same – issue after issue.

Instructions for women.

So I just have this question:

Question #62: Where are the instructions for young men about how to treat a woman, in their popular culture?

It’s concerning that girls are continually being groomed to satisfy men – only.

Again, ladies and gentlemen, there ain’t nothing wrong with wanting to satisfy your partner. It’s important to learn what makes them tick and want to please them.

But what are boys being taught about women? What are their magazines (for example) teaching them?

Well, all that seems to be out there for boys are specialty sports magazines and ones like Zoo Magazine – which is basically soft-porn/porn, with sections such as: ‘Booty Bank’ and ‘Strip Search’.

How are boys supposed to have a respectful attitude towards women, when they don’t get an ‘instruction manual’ like women seem to have?

Of course, I KNOW men would cry out collectively and say the manual would look something like this:

Well, it would be a start boys…it would be a start.

Deep Breath.


6 Responses to “A question for men – #2”

  1. Gravitas said

    Thanks QFW (or should it be QFM?) for an interesting prompt.

    Ok I’ll let you in on a secret. Males, especially from the time of puberty, generally want to get laid – this ‘need’ is also reinforced by peers and the media (are you all too young to remember the Porky’s movies?) primarily. This priority may fluctuate at certain times in life but generally is ‘up there’. So, with this primal desire burning inside you – how do you get laid when you are a spotty, awkward teenager – ready physically but not emotionally or mentally? First of all, if it is with a woman ;), you have to find out more about them – information is derived from a variety of sources. If you are lucky you would have parents that explain things to you and give you the benefit of their life experience – otherwise you would have to combine a variety of locker-room talk, with media images (inc porn) and advice, observing other couples interacting and the actual interactions you have had with the oppositie sex.

    So let’s assume (big, fat assumption alert) that a girl you are interested in, is interested in you. You still want to get laid, but you also want to get close to her. You are at a crossroads. Normally one of three things happen:

    a) you realise she’s an idiot and do a runner
    b) you get to know each other more, sex may eventuate, but let’s try to connect on different levels
    c) she realises you’re an idiot and does a runner

    NB: Both a) and c) may occur pre- or post-coitus. b) is usually only successful if the physical, emotional and mental needs are met – also spiritual needs may need to be met if you live in Byron. Also b) may unravel at any time into a) or c).

    All three have happened to me and if I was being brutally honest my understanding and appreciation of women has only increased with age. I cannot help but feel this may have improved if my parents had been more instructive, but they probably didn’t know how. So I’ll try my best to fix this with my kids to ensure they are more rounded at an earlier age than I was.

    Also I have just touched on one element of the male psyche here, albeit a driving one, and there are many other instances, believe it or not, when men interact with women and are not trying to get laid. Women can rest assured that any insight you have gained here, does not mean that every man is undressing them in his mind when interacting with them, although it’s probably just the ones between the ages of 15-25. 😉

    • questionsforwomen said

      Thank you for your great response. It made me laugh! My impression of men comes from my experience too and I found myself nodding to what you just wrote – I really enjoyed it. You sound like you’re around my age. I see my generation of male (teen-80s / 20s-90s) as the benchmark…together we felt the same feelings as today, but we were a bit daggy. Even Porky’s was daggy…imagine what the remake would look like today?
      Of course I believe that we, as parents, can do what we can to guide our kids – afterall, there’s a BIG push from people questioning what our kids are being exposed to.
      That’s what I’m doing.
      I see two big problems:
      1. Sex is being exploited – all around – turning our girls into ‘looking’ (and sometimes acting) professional and making our boys look dumb and mindless – desiring the ONE look they’re being brainwashed with. And MANY people who are famous in their popular culture (many regardless of whether they have an additional talent or not) are paid lots of money by US to typify these looks and fickle attitudes – AKA Jersey Shore etc. etc. etc.
      2. The reach of this.
      It’s become popular culture. It’s the images in magazines, ads, music videos, shows…and it’s saturating everything they watch via the internet = more to come.
      Porky’s was a movie about the rigmarole of getting to a brothel bar – now your child can pick up a phone and get all of the above in the palm of their hand.
      That’s the difference between our time and the current one. I fear that my good parenting intentions (which come from my experiences and upbringing) will not be able to go against what our kids are being bombarded with.
      I think we need to start becoming INTELLIGENT about what we show and teach our kids. You can’t (and don’t want to) reverse the technology. They’ll have access to it anyway, so shouldn’t we take some action to slow this down, turn it down a notch?
      TO DAGGIER TIMES! *wink*
      Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂

      • Gravitas said

        Worry not! Here’s why… you can’t possibly prevent your kids being bombarded with media tripe. You can try and teach them what is tripe and what isn’t. I know a few Gen Y women who are affected by this tripe and some who aren’t. I suspect it was a similar ratio in our era. I think your good parenting intentions (providing they are intentions with action) will serve your family well – and stick to your guns, I see many friends with kids and because of work/life commitments, they are just too busy to give proper guidance and attention. It is in these instances, that kids go to the media et. al. for their upbringing. But one day, they’ll be big enough to make their own decisions and mistakes. As much as it will pain you, you will let them and love them nonetheless.

      • questionsforwomen said

        Again, another great response and I concur! *wink* I’ve been in my daughter’s ear since she’s had the ability to question and so far so good! Hahaha! She’s only nine and a half, though. I did things that went against my parents’ advice at times (it’s a rite of passage, really) and I know my girls will most DEFINITELY do the same! I just worry about what the current ‘trend’ is that they’re being saturated with – so ‘nasty’.
        It’s nice ‘talking’ to you. 🙂

  2. Harls said

    A couple of points. Firstly, the internet (and presumably mens’ mags) is brimming with advice on how to treat a lady (a la the Cosmo example) – a quick Google and this was the first item returned: http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/girls/articles/2011-06/27/gq-sex-and-relationships-good-oral-sex-tips-advice-cunnilingus . There is a plethora of such material. So on the sexual side, it seems there is about equal time given to both sexes. Now, on the non-sexual side, it’s not so one sided either is it? A dearth of articles on both sides of the fence. If there aren’t any (non sexual) articles about about how men should treat a lady, it seems there is also the same shortage about articles about how a lady should treat a man. (You can’t count that 1950’s item because you were (rightfully) mocking it.) Just sayin’!

    • questionsforwomen said

      OF COURSE you can find anything on the internet. That’s logical.
      I’m talking about popular culture and I’m looking through the eyes of the youth around me every day, as well as my own. You have to stop thinking that I’m addressing men our age. I’m looking at what our youth is being exposed to and taught…and NOW it’s getting bad.
      Women – especially teens and young women – are buying magazines by the truckload with this sort of stuff still in it. Even Woman’s Weekly can instruct a little too. Boys are buying ZOO. NEITHER does women any great favours.
      Is it the man’s fault? NO! It’s WOMEN who buy into it. That’s why I write this blog.
      Do men play a big part? YES! In two ways – by perpetuating it or by doing or saying nothing.
      Just sayin’ back! 🙂

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