Women: Prefer macho men or men who are hip to women's issues?

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.

Well, this is just one woman talking, but I feel most comfortable with a balance. I would prefer a partner that knows how to fix things, or is comfortable getting dirty, AND has all those qualities you described. I’m attracted to intellectual men, and most of my ex-partners are more in line with your non-macho men. I want a partner that I can relate to and I can’t relate to “tools/guns/beer/football”. At all.

What plain_jane said. But even more important that a guy’s specific likes and dislikes is how he shows his tolerance for people who have different ones than he does.

Personally, I like a lot of typical girlie stuff: music, art, theater, etc. Baseball bores me to tears. But I’d waaaay rather be involved with a guy ho wasn’t, say, a music freak, but didn’t bitch abut me not being a baseball freak, or even worse, make disparaging remarks about other men who aren’t into sports or other “guy stuff.” And a guy who can cook a nice dinner, or who is a good listener, or who offers with genuine interest to give me a backrub, will get a lot of mileage out of those abilities!

:cool: I wasn’t even doing a vanity search or anything!

I see no shortcomings in how you’ve said anything.

::pulls up seat and waits for the women to arrive::

Personally, I find it a little odd that a man who comments on a woman’s hair or clothes automatically gets shoved into the gay or effeminate category; I tend to believe that men have been kind of conditioned to do these things (“Your hair looks nice,” “Wow, what an attractive dress,” “You have beautiful eyes,” etc.). On the other hand, when a man makes what I would consider to be an insightful comment (i.e. not the standard ones listed previously), I see no reason to fault him for his good observations?

I tend toward partners who are either interested in or can be respectful of some of the things you mentioned, Jomo. Deal only in the stereotypes offered (macho man, girly man), it becomes difficult to suggest, as plain_jane has, that a balance is the ideal, because I think it lends itself to men thinking women want the best of both worlds or want contradictory things.

In the end, I chose and value a man who engages in great conversations with me about art, who makes me marvelous dinners (way more than 50% of the time) and who has taught me about football and car maintenance. I don’t appreciate the latter two because they’re “manly things” that I expect of him…but because they’re new things he can introduce me to. I feel the same way about photography and baking.

So why am I single?


I consider myself well balanced guy whos a little rough around the edges.

That being said I don’t know didly squat about sports but I’m really into motorcycles. What I like to do when I’m with a woman is make fun of those things that might make me seem a little girlie like not knowing anything about sports. When I do this I’ve found that it works pretty well becuase it shows an amazing amount of self-secureness on my part. So basicaly what I’ve done is taken what some might consider a hinderence and turned it into something I can capitolize on.

BTW the thing I love about sports is you don’t need to know squat in order to have a converation with some one who does.

Heres an example of what I’m talking about:

SPORTS DUDE: “So hey man, how do you think the Cowboys are gonna do this yeaar?”

ME: “Oh I think last year is a pretty good indication of how they’ll do this year”

SPORTSDUDE: “yeah you got that right.”

I did this once in front of a female friend of mine who knows I don’t know jack squat about sports; and she couldn’t stop laughing for a week.

I could care less if a guy new how to fix a car or even owned a hammer. In fact I prefer when a guy has more creative interests(i.e. in a band, draws, writes). Macho comes across as very dull and makes me wonder why he feels such a need to posture and impress. I want to get past all that garbage and just be two people finding each other.

Mr Jim, did you log under the wrong name or something?

I kindof regret saying ‘why do women hate’ in my post because i’ve known for a while that women are individuals. You might as well say ‘why do chinese people like X’ . I’m sure there are some generalizations that apply to most, but aside from that it is up to the individual to decide what they stand for.

I’m not a woman, but i’ve met women who saw macho men as ‘real’ & considered artsy men gay, and women who consider artsy men desirable and macho men coarse.

Lol…nah I’m just a girl with a weird nick.

Why can’t you work out how to fix things yourself? What do you want, a boyfriend or a plumber?

I like men who are comfortable in their own skins and don’t feel a need to prove themselves to anyone. I’m a sucker for self-confidence, integrity and sensitivity. It’s important, too, that the man not make me responsible for his happiness. Throw in mind-boggling intellect and a sense of the absurd and I’m hooked.

I also would like someone to watch Titans games with me. And I dearly love it when a man knows that a discussion of women’s issues is not about hair-dos and fashon.

I have found that many women SAY they want a man who is sensitive, listens, etc., then turn right around and hook up with a neanderthal. (not accusing any of the women here of that)

I think that when talking about the issue, (some) women use their intellect and describe what they want in their mind, but when it comes to mating, their primal instincts kick in and they go for the macho man.

Oh, yeah, (some) men do it, too. They can go on and on about wanting a woman who shares their interests, etc., but will go for the bimbo if they get a chance.

Maybe he is just being a bit polite instead of what he is really saying.

For instance, if he says “Thats a great looking blouse” he might really be saying “Thats a great looking pair of tits in that blouse”. I think generally women get the hint when we phrase stuff that way. Most know we really don’t give a damn about the blouse

Oh yeah, I forgot something. I grew up in Arkansas, where if you didn’t play football or weren’t a hyper-macho goatroper, you were a “faggot”. I was into music, liked sports but didn’t play on any teams, and was generally lightly regarded by the female population of my town.

Then I moved to the DC area, which is heavily populated with effete intellectuals, and suddenly I became Macho Cowboy Man, and actually got positive attention from women.

I guess what I’m trying to get to is that this concept differs from place to place.

I’m a space alien in a woman’s body so relating to humans is quite a challenge. But, it’s oh so much fun! :smiley:

I prefer a fella what’s secure in hisself. He’s intelligent, open, and honest and makes an effort to be on the best terms he can with folks. He won’t mind if I beat him at cards and stuff, but he’s gallant and concerned about my feelings if he beats me at cards and stuff. [giggle] He can cook. And just in general he’s a gentleman with whom I can talk and respect and who respects me. Oh, and most importantly, he’ll giggle with me. :slight_smile:

Lol. I know how to do quite a bit on my own–I’ve been on my own for 5 years now, so I’ve had to learn.

I just like the idea of a complementary partnership. I can’t easily move very heavy furniture alone. Having someone around who is strong enough to help me out is a bonus. Also, there are certain things I cannot do, like wiring or computer problems, and it’d be nice to have someone around who can. A woman could easily fit this bill, it isn’t dependent upon genitalia.

Basically, what I meant was I like a complementary partnership, and a partner who (as well as having a strong intellect) also has practical, everyday skills. It’s nice learning new things, too–it isn’t about free labour.

i can change and wire a plug, build any piece of flat pack furniture and programme my own VCR, so “handiness” isn’t a problem.

i’m not tall enough to reach things on top shelves or to change lightbulbs, and i’m not good with computers, irishfella helps me out.

i don’t like housework, irishfella does. so he cleans, i cook.

i like watching rugby and international soccer on TV, so does he.

i like james bond, die hard and back to the future movies, so does he.

i like amelie, the wizard of oz, ice age and casablanca, so does he.

i can get ready to go out in 1/2 an hour, so can he.

we’re pretty good together.

Never mind the excluded middle, what ya got there is your run-of-the-mill false premise. I’m pretty far from the macho end of the spectrum. I’m soft-spoken, wear whatever the hell I feel comfortable in, (even lavender, if I feel like it,) I usually find sports terminally dull, I get rhapsodic over orchids, I’ve read (and reread) Jane Austen’s entire body of work, I’ve dabbled in needle-point (fractal designs, 'cuz I’m a math-geek,) etc, etc…

No woman I’ve ever been interested in has ever (as far as I know,) had the impression that I was gay. The last time I was “stuck with the stereotype of being … gay” was in high-school, when I was called a fag because I spent all my time hanging out with the girls, instead of roughing it up with the knuckle-draggers. The spotty machos who held this opinion of me were the last folks I’d ever have had any sexual interest in, so it didn’t bother me much.

Who the hell knows what people find attractive about other people? It’s sure-as-hell not a simplistic macho/sensitive dichotomy. Anecdotal remarks about what women have told me first attracted them to me run a gamut that is largely incomprehensible to me – from “You have lips you could park a bus on” to “Your posture reminded me of D.H. Lawrence,” whatever that means.

It’s that obscure object of desire.

Sometimes I like a frail, petite woman, sometimes a women is irresistable to me because she looks like she could casually snap my neck by flexing her thigh muscles. Whatever goes into erotic attraction, trying to pigeonhole it into a binary value is ludicrous.

I think there already is. I don’t quite understand why your thinking is so narrow on this? Maybe Istara’s comment pre-disposed you to it. I’m with Larry, here we are with a false premise. You can’t take what a few people say and extrapolate it to half the population. I’ve met lots of men in my 40-plus years, some I’ve been attracted to, some not. These men fall all across the spectrums of 1) sexuality and 2) interests. Their attractiveness is a function of their personality and soul, not necessarily whether they looked like John Wayne or listened to the opera.