Strangely, despite the title, this is a very unpolitical post.
I’m going to tell you male-identifying folks – those of you who seem confused about “what women want” and who complain bitterly about how “girls like bad boys” or “women only want rich men” – I’m going to tell you what we REALLY like in a person, regardless of gender.
It’s not rocket science, and it won’t cost you a dime.
Women – and I use the term loosely here, because this is not about genitalia in any way – women like people who hear them.
When a female-identifying person says they like someone who listens, we don’t just mean that you shut up long enough for us to complete a sentence (although that is nice, as a starting point).
We want some eye contact. We want to feel your attention. We want your response to not automatically be a statement of one-upmanship.
Women-people want to feel valued for more than our visual appearance.
One of the most seductive moments in my marriage was when I was involved in an argument about racism. Pat did not say a single word in that conversation, but sat beside me as I took someone else’s statements apart with a metaphorical scalpel.
Afterward, in the car, I asked him if he had been silent because he agreed with my opponent’s position.
“Hell, no,” he said.
Then why hadn’t he spoken up and supported me?
“Honey, you argue better than any ten other people I know. You didn’t need me.”
If I hadn’t already been madly in love and lust with him already, that would have sealed the deal, kids.
Women-people love to dance, and we especially love other people who dance with us.
Hit any club on a Friday night, and note the number of women-people dancing with each other, if you need some kind of proof.
This is not some kind of “display” for your benefit. This is because we like dancing, and we will dance with practically anyone. If you want to endear yourself to a woman you’ve just met – dance with her.
We like this so much that you do not even need to be good at dancing. All we ask is that you do this simply for its own sake – that you do not automatically see this love of movement and music as any kind of “come-on” or equivalent to foreplay.
Just get out there and dance.
Women-people want to have our interests acknowledged, not trivialized. Music, movies, literature, all of it: we want to be free to like what we like without having some male-person tell us we are juvenile or ignorant or un-hip.
In fact, what we want more than almost anything is that male-people honour those likes and respect those likes, not deride us. We want you to at least *try* out our stuff: listen to a few Taylor Swift tracks, watch “The Remains of the Day” with us, read “Wuthering Heights” without judging it in relation to Clive Cussler – meet us halfway and stop trying to hog all the culture.
If we need to spend every Saturday in Sephora, evaluating the relative merits of different brands of lip gloss – you should support that, not mock it.
If we cannot watch a documentary on the History Channel without critiquing the lack of scholarly research displayed by the narrator, you should honour our commitment to academia, not complain that we don’t “get” contemporary media constraints.
And once in a while – hand us the damned remote.