No hero necessary
WHAT do women want? That's a question you'll hear in earnest, from men who are expressing their frustration or lack of understanding about women to a mate or, occasionally, a counsellor, to satirical, from men in the pub who are scratching their heads about "sheilas”.
It's fair to say that, in this great sunburnt land of ours, confusion about gender roles has never been more prevalent. We're caught in a kind of rip left by sexism, feminism, gender politics and abuse. At the same time, women's anger about still being lower paid overall, and the most common victims of violence, including domestic violence, simmers beneath the surface.
It's not a great equation for love and happiness, as the number of relationships that fail demonstrates.
So if you're wondering what women want, I'll tell you.
Women want equal pay, equal opportunity, safety in their homes and on the streets, and their voices to be taken just as seriously as the men.
Women want respect and they want a man who isn't afraid to be as strong as them, and as gentle when required.
On a personal level, women crave romantic gestures, kindness, laughter and spontaneity. Just like men. Some women, today, don't want the door opened for them, or a seat held out, maybe because they have found that, in the past, some of these gestures were made by men who also thought women shouldn't have a voice in the boardroom. But, go easy, because men who do this are often the caring kind and not meaning offence.
Men often say women want a bad boy. Well, most women are impressed by a daredevil, cheeky, physical guy because that's just the way we're built. We still prefer the guy who can hit the woolly mammoth over the head and drag it home for dinner over the guy who goes to pieces because he's never seen a woolly mammoth and he'd like us to deal with it.
Most women want a guy who can take charge and, when necessary, bury the dead animal or fix the leaking tap. As I said, that's just the way we are.
Certain qualities women want - attractive, smart, clean, resourceful, curious, fun - are universal, not gender related.
So what don't women want? Women don't want to be patronised, compared to models, sexually harassed, abused, or overcharged by the mechanic or the plumber. They don't want to be involved with a liar, a cheater, a narcissist or a sociopath.
Women want hot, raunchy sex and slow, romantic sex; they want to be kissed and touched and, when necessary, enveloped in hugs. They want to be acknowledged as sensual and sexual beings, but they don't want to be forced to being intimate.
I hope that's helps some of the confused men out there. What do men want? Well, that's another column.