I really got to wondering after reading istara’s response to another thread. She’s explaining why she would or would not be attracted to a man she happens to meet.
Another way of looking at it might be that men who have an aesthetic appreciation for women’s beauty, because they feel it makes life worth living, are better men for it.
Yes, I agree it is unfair.
This was what started me thinking about the issue, but my main thoughts go beyond matters like hair and clothing. All men by now are familiar with women’s complaints that macho men are disgusting brutes. Men who also aren’t into the whole macho trip, who are culturally refined and interested in women as people, might take heart from women’s dislike for machismo. Alas, they are in for a rude awakening when they get stuck with the stereotype of being “effeminate” and “gay”.
In logic, the “excluded middle” is a fallacy. Those are not the only two choices for real men, are they? Because if so, you can’t win either way. If there are in fact any women who do prefer the macho stereotype, then culturally refined men wouldn’t be interested in them anyway. If women are repelled by men who are interested in what women think, then would they prefer their guys to be interested only in the usual tools/guns/hunting/beer/football stereotype of “guy stuff”? I have never been gay, but as a kid I was always accused of it because I was into science and classical music instead of football. It would be a world of awful shallowness where people only accept stereotypes.
I ask because I think there should be a place in the world (and in women’s hearts) for heterosexual men who are versed in any of the following: poetry, classical music, art, dance, intellectual pursuits, feminism*, Goddess religion, vegetarianism, herbalism, yoga, and those sorts of things. Who are hip to the things that women say are important to them.
Because — wake up! — in the real world there are a lot of non-gay (heterosexual) men who fit that description. Masculine men who love women for their womanhood, and who honor their inner feminine not by turning androgynous but by loving women, since they admire and cherish the Feminine (Shakti) above all else in existence. A spiritual teacher I respect once said “Macho means to be easy on yourself and tough on the world. But real masculinity means to be tough on yourself and easy on the world.”
Maybe I’m starting to get on a Great Debates type of soapbox here, but I just wanted to explain what I really think deep down inside. This is IMHO, so I’ll shut up now and ask: Women, what do you really want in men?
*AHunter3 could explain better, but until he shows up I’m doing my best to put this into words.