But then men should be men.
Here’s good news for the men of today! If you happen to possess any of these—solo or in combo—a mind-blowing deo, a mouth-refreshing toothpaste, rippling muscles, a high-powered bike, and yes, even a magically world-conquering paanmasala—then you are the stuff of all girls’ dreams, because girls never, ever look beyond these things!
Hey, I mean, c’mon…isn’t that what the TV commercials would have us believe? In that case, I seem to have somehow missed all the fun, because there’s this guy I love…(aw shucks! don’t get that glint in your eyes because I am simply talking about my same old one-and-only hubby dearest!) who has, you could say, almost none of these “must-haves”—his deo is, well…..just a deo; it doesn’t magnetically pull females towards him (thank gawd!), he doesn’t let out a whiff of fresh air every time he opens his mouth after brushing his teeth, has no whipcord muscles to flaunt, drives sedate cars (ah yes, and a Thar jeep too), and detests (yeah, actually detests) paanmasala. Boring, eh? Not by a long shot, I assure you! Period.
What the hell, is this trend in advertising simply a mirror of what is actually happening in society (who can save the planet in that case!) or girls no longer know what REAL men are because advertisers don’t WANT them to (how else will they get to sell off products on inane premises such as, the world will stand up and salute a man if he’d only flick a spoonful of paanmasala into his mouth, or a man’s deo will make someone else’s newly-wed wife throw away her wedding ring and mangalsutra and walk away from her wedding night right into his arms!). If that’s all it takes to be a man, heaven help us! Then “men” like my significant other definitely missed the chauvinism train, poor souls!
Well, what IS the definition of a real man? The media would have us believe a real man is one who is most importantly drop-dead handsome with rippling six-pack abs, wealthy, or one who resembles Tom Cruise or, nearer home, HrithikRoshan. Aw….c’mon! Sure, such men are pure eye candy and make you drool and go jelly-kneed and…whatever; BUT this is all superficial stuff! Do they really have what it takes to be REAL men? And, equally importantly, do women know the difference? I sure hope they do. I, and women of my age, did, because when we were growing up, men were simply men—without descriptive adjuncts such as metrosexual or alpha and so on. I am NOT into man-bashing. Quite the opposite, actually. I believe in the celebration of the grown-up man who knows how to treat a woman.
I agree that a lot has changed in gender roles over the years, as a result of which the expectations from men and the standards they are held up to has morphed a little. But there are certain fundamental traits which define masculinity that still remain the same… – er, at least that’s what I think. Naw, don’t get me wrong…I am not being obsolete and this isn’t a question of backwards thinking or outdated sensibilities. I am simply talking of the primary characteristics that most men personify – strength, reliability and action—which are all still core parts of what makes a man.
Like I mentioned earlier, men today are compartmentalised into alpha, beta, omega, delta (I had heard that some men resembled Greek gods, but ALL men resembling the Greek alphabet… – oh-oh, times have changed indeed!), with alpha males being proclaimed at the top of the social status hierarchy and are the “bad boys” but are typically described as the “real men”, because they have style, confidence, money and a swagger that proclaims “veni, vidivici”. (Pssst…. I personally feel that an alpha male is a marketing gimmick). In contrast are the beta males: the weak, submissive, subordinate guys who are low status, and only get access to mates when women decide to settle down with a “nice guy” (now that’s real mean!). Omega men supposedly whiny while the delta males usually enjoy being dominated and tormented by alpha males (oh my, my!). And yes, the metrosexual male is so meticulous about his grooming and appearance that the envious of his breed see him as effete and preening (and we women are the ones who gossip and snigger, eh?).
This distinction paints a very black and white picture of masculinity. Not only does it greatly simplify the multidimensionality of masculinity, and grossly underestimates what a man is capable of becoming, but it also doesn’t even get to the heart of what is really attractive to women. Realistically though, most males fall under hybrids of two or more categories.
What they seek
Guess what, real women (oh yes, there are the snazzy versus substance types among us too!) seek internal qualities in men over external qualities and know the ones to root for! And which are these? Ah, now we are cutting to the chase at last…..
A “real man” is what young folks might call old-fashioned. He has good manners, is polite, honest and considerate. He fights for and stands up for the people he loves. He shows appreciation for all of his blessings. He is strong, physically and mentally, and does not shy away from exhibiting strong emotion. A real man knows who he is, what he wants, and is grateful for what he has. As a woman, there’s nothing better than being in the presence of such a man who relishes his masculinity in a way that doesn’t involve the obvious muscle-flexing and flaunting of washboard abs, but the confident reserve of a gentleman. Trust me on that one. Now, allow me to elaborate.
He knows himself
A real man respects himself and others at all times. He knows what his strengths and weaknesses are and what he can offer to the world. He knows that, like everybody else, he is not perfect and believes that his imperfections allow him plenty of room for growth. He has a strong value system, courage of convictions, takes responsibility for his own actions and is honest with himself about himself. He treats women with respect (that is such an endearing quality!), is dependable (a BIG plus point, trust me), and honours his commitments and promises.
Er…, while we are on the subject of a man’s strengths, let me share with you some beautiful lines by Jacqueline Marie Griffiths, which will really set the tone for this write-up :
The strength of a man isn’t seen in the width of his shoulders.
It is seen in the width of his arms that encircle you.
The strength of a man isn’t in the deep tone of his voice.
It is in the gentle words he whispers.
The strength of a man isn’t how many buddies he has.
It is how good a buddy he is with his kids.
The strength of a man isn’t in how respected he is at work.
It is in how respected he is at home.
The strength of a man isn’t in how hard he hits..
It is in how tenderly he touches.
The strength of a man isn’t how many women he’s loved by.
It is in can he be true to one woman?
The strength of a man isn’t in the weight he can lift.
It is in the burdens he can understand and overcome.
Hmmm, now that’s the kind of guy you could call really, really desirable…..
Now for the “real” man’s score on the little things which seem insignificant and I may sound silly even mentioning them, but can make or mar his image and his relationships. So get a load of this:
He is hygienic, and cleans his nails and trims his nose hairs. (No LOL please, this IS important).
He opens doors and takes coats, not because he wants to show off or feels a woman is weak, but because he is strong enough to show that he cares about the comfort of those around him. (Wow, doesn’t he deserve a hug for that ?)
He reads actual books and newspapers and holds opinions on everything from art to world events, all the while understanding that not everyone has to agree with his opinions in order for him to maintain his relationships or his manhood. In fact, he enjoys it when people disagree with him because it means he gets to indulge in a good debate and engage those around him in some interesting conversation. Hmmm, quite the life of the party, but with intellectual overtones—oh-oh, fatal combo that one !
He looks for a woman who doesn’t need him, but wants him, not for money or a safety net, but solely for who he is.
He’s not the bad boy, a good boy, or a boy at all; he’s a man. That’s it!
Which means…what we women actually seek in our dream man (wouldn’t the guys just l—o—v—e to know!) are:
For one, intelligence. Period. Women seek men who can talk about everyday things, put a sentence together with substance and depth, and have the ability to listen to what their mate has to say. That’s not a very tall order, eh guys?
Women seek men who make them feel good about themselves. We have egos that need pampering too.
We want men who have integrity, morals and nobility. Nothing is more attractive in a man than great character and dignity. And no, guys, I DON’T mean saints, just honourable MEN.
Kindness is a key ingredient! If a man treats his mother with sensitivity, kindness and respect, he will do the same with his woman too. So, we make note of how men treat their moms!
Women seek men who respect their beliefs, opinions, ideas, goals, dreams, and passions. Don’t treat us like inferior human beings and you can be sure we’ll put you on a pedestal !
This one may sound bird-brained but we ladies really want our man to have a good sense of humour. A man who can make us laugh is a man who can capture our hearts. Without humour, a woman is left with a man who takes himself too seriously. But a man who can relax, have a hearty belly laugh, this is a real man. And this is NO laughing matter !
Women seek men who’d make wonderful fathers and will be available for the children.
We of the female gender adore men who are spontaneous and fun loving (y’know, who embody a little bit—just a little bit, okay?—of Napoleon dynamite!) A man who will jump in the car and exclaim, “Come on, babe, we’ll go for a long drive in any direction you wish, and will stop wherever you want.” Women seek men who celebrate, experience, taste and chase life (and he doesn’t have to drive an Alto K10 !).
Show us you care. We need to be constantly reassured that we are loved and cared for. Acts like holding our hand while walking down the road, or a surprise hug means that you are proud to be seen with us and care for us. However, we don’t like exhibitionism, mind you. Your show of affection should be straight from the heart.
They say that women – at least most of them – tend to get harrassed and frenzied. Well, if that is somewhat true, then we women need men to be the calming factors in our lives. It surely doesn’t help if men too get all frazzled or fly off the handle.
Does this “man” sound yummy? Mmmmm…loving it? Hey, hey, girls, it’s time to snap out of the dream mode and KNOW when you’ve actually FOUND this guy, because, for all you know, a man may be able to put across a great image or totally faking it to ‘get the girl’.