I have results from the six-question survey about what men really think about women, in response to a related article, In Praise of the Modern Gentleman. An encouraging number of Manly Men responded, and I was astounded by their feedback. Some of their answers I expected (What would you say to all the women in the world? “Show us your ____!”), but mostly I was [pleasantly] surprised.
Essentially, every one of the guys who answered sound like real-life romance novel heroes to me. You’ll see what I mean shortly.
Married men, single men. Men with a Ph.D. or GED and everything in between. Black belt in karate, computer whiz, pilot, special ops soldier, truck driver, security officer, auto mechanic, musician, university lecturer. Age twenty-one to forty-something. Overall, impressive diversity.
Granted, they are all social-media-savvy, the type who have a Facebook account and are willing to respond to a survey. Hey, you can’t blame them, I did bribe them with gift cards to Outback Steakhouse. (Winners announced below.) Anyway, the men who answered are the type to want a good woman and a real relationship. I’m sure there are bitter jerks out there who would give less admirable answers, but I think you’ll find these men more interesting – they defy stereotypes.
Queue the chocolate and take the phone off the hook – you’re about to find out what men really think about women. Another surprise: Not only were they very candid, but they had a lot to say, so I’m breaking the article into two parts.
Today’s portion includes: What makes men respect women or not, what women get wrong about men, and what turns them on or off. Here are the best answers from the respondents, 100% genuine and unedited (but censored when necessary):
1. What makes you respect a woman, or not?
— One of the things that makes me lose respect for a woman is when she acts like the main character of a movie. I hate it when women try to act all tough, like Judge Judy. With the exception of Jennifer Garner, few women can pull it off.
— Showing that she respects herself and takes care of herself.
— I really respect someone who can admit their mistakes and weaknesses.
— How a woman carries herself, how she presents herself, along with how she treats other people.
— I respect a woman who is polite, who acknowledges a gentleman and lets him be a gentleman.
— When she can do what the “stereotypical man” can do, i.e. ride a bullet bike, skydive, rock climb. Also, a woman who knows what she wants and does it.
— I really respect a woman who has respect for herself and others. I know it sounds clichéd, but it’s true for anyone – even men. If someone has no respect for themself, it really makes it harder to respect them. With that comes how they dress, speak, treat others, and carry themselves.
— You respect different women for different things. I respect my mother for her endurance and forbearance. I respect my wife for her humanitarianism and concern for animals – her vegetarianism. I’m not a vegetarian but I think it’s amazing that she hasn’t eaten meat for all these years. I respect women when they show strength enough to be themselves, and not worry too much about having to conform to changing models of perfection that society impresses upon them. Which is not to say they need to be ****ing hairy mingers, but when I get a sense that they’re in control of who they are and who they want to be – not that that’s being determined by external forces. And I respect women who are intelligent. And don’t act dumb.
2. What is something you think women get wrong about men?
— Is this a trick question?
— I think in a lot of women there is a preconceived notion that men don’t do cleaning and cooking and the housewife-thing, but I do every bit of it and more, and I don’t think it emasculates me any.
— They think we don’t listen or don’t care. We just don’t listen and care 100% of the time.
— Some women think they can change men and turn them into their ideal man-slave. Never!
— That we are all heartless, farting, self-absorbed pigs who are nothing but a male body part walking around intending to use it. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot out there who fit such a description. I know quite a few men who are just plain jerks, however, I know an equal amount of guys who are just huge teddy bears and have a heart of gold. They treat their family (especially their lady) and friends right and put every ounce of strength and love into making sure they are taken care of and that they are loved and appreciated.
— That we’re a uniform commodity. We’re not. Gender theorists have argued that differences among a group of men, or differences among a group of women, are often far more pronounced than they are between men and women. I think women often attribute aspects of a man’s personality to his gender – he is this way because he’s a man – whereas what I am is a whole complex of forces. There are patterns of behavior, but I think they’re often quite superficial and they’re there alongside all the things that make us different. There are aspects of my personality that make me seem very male–I like sport, I drink beer–but that’s not really a definition of my identity. Those things exist in a peculiar relation with aspects that aren’t of a particular gender type.
— Men are fairly simple, and subtle hints usually do not work with us. Many times, we just need to be told plainly what you need or feel.
3. What turns you off?
— Bad breath, crying, bad moods.
— Selfishness, cruel-natured, vain and spending half the day or more in front of the mirror instead of being out in the world living life.
— Doesn’t share my moral beliefs, wears a rubber band for clothing.
— Vulgar language, stupidity or ignorance, you know, the blond-thing. Wearing clothing that doesn’t fit her anymore and probably wouldn’t fit a 6-year-old either.
— Smoking, dreadlocks, not physically fit, immodestly dressed, acts “too cool for you.”
— Probably burping and farting before we’re fully acquainted.
— Square-shaped toes.
— Women who wear skimpy clothing can at first be alluring, but if the brain is properly attached to the body, and the hormones aren’t rampaging, one would know that the ones who walk around in skimpy clothes have been around enough to give you sloppy 200ths. It’s not a turn-on to share the same woman with 200 other men.
— Narrow-mindedness. Cruelty. I don’t like judgmental people. Well, they’re all right if their judgments are the same as mine. (smiles)
— Gossipy women.
— Poor hygiene, grumpy (whether or not it’s that “special time of the month,” it is not an excuse to treat others like crap), dramatic, high maintenance, foul language, smoking or other unhealthy habits.
3 1/2: List a few turn-ons:
— Confidence. Pretty voice. Pretty smile. Some brains. (laughs)
— I like a very natural appearance. I hate very obvious makeup. It’s not that you can’t wear makeup, but I don’t like that makeup women put on their face – like it’s all a mask and I can see the join at their neck. I like skin. I like to see a woman’s complexion. Someone who’s recognizably the same woman the morning after. Seriously, you feel cheated if she looks radically different in the morning. It’s like alcohol, lack of light and her makeup all work to deceive you.
— Being goofy is a turn on, when done at appropriate times.
— Dresses classy, clean habits, is happy.
— Funny, knows how to laugh and does so often. Great personality, positive person, kind eyes, likes to go places and experience life.
— Spends time in service to others (non-selfish causes).
— Likes my race car and doesn’t call me fat.
— Elegance, good sense of humor, not afraid to get dirty – oh, sorry, is that rated PG? – healthy, creative, patient, goofy, independent.
— One thing that’s really important to me is a woman’s voice. If I don’t like the way someone speaks–the pitch, the tone, their accent, their dialect, whatever – it will really turn me off. And vice versa. If I like a woman’s voice, it’s a real turn-on.
— Friendly, lace underwear (cheekys), big bra size, low-cut shirts and short shorts, long hair, red hair. [Note: This man has a wife, whom I believe he’s describing. It’s not me.]
There you have it, dear readers. Come back Wednesday, March 28 for Part 2, including: How he fell in love with his woman or what he’s looking for in a woman, and what he would say to all the women in the world if he had the world’s largest megaphone and 30 seconds.
And now for the winners of the restaurant gift card giveaway: Anonymous respondent #2 won the author’s choice, and #9 won the random drawing. (Answers were posted out of order. No one but me knows who they are – I promised.) The winners have been contacted and their steak dinner is on the way! A special thanks to all who participated and helped spread the word.