Alternative labeling – such as “dominance” and “submissive” – only became necessary when men stopped acting like men and started trying to please women by becoming more feminine. Before the age of political correctness, it was generally understood that men behaved one way and women another. When the two genders came together as a couple, they fit like parts of a puzzle to form a whole that was greater than the sum of their parts.
To be sure, there were always the Professor Higgins types about, wondering aloud why a woman could not be just like a man. Yet, when women tried to behave like men, they became more neutered than manly – a lot of bark without much bite.
Meanwhile, as men tried to behave the way that self-professed gentlemen thought that women wanted them to act, a strange thing happened. Instead of being more liked, they became less respected. The result, which more closely resembles a heap of jigsaw puzzle pieces, has been thoroughly confusing to men weaned on the pabulum of political correctness.
Dominant dating is not a lifestyle
For millennia, women have sought out men able to protect them. That urge did not suddenly go away just because entrepreneurs began marketing electric lighting and sliced bread. In reality, at some point, most women want a man to behave like a man. Part of the expected behavior includes taking them in hand for an old-fashioned straightening out. It is part of the test of a mate's manhood about which women are, before the fact, seldom explicitly forthcoming. If he never does so – especially if the woman's needs are ignored – the woman will come to despise the man whom she once loved.
It is not that women relish pain and most certainly not cruelty. Rather it is that they respect strength – especially when coupled with honor and honesty. Along with things such as diligence and thoughtfulness – the combination creates a man with whom a woman can form a lasting and fruitful bond that will withstand the ravages of time and the onslaught of events beyond their control.
Dominant dating is not a lifestyle. It certainly is not an alternative lifestyle. Instead, it is a successful survival strategy that has withstood the test of time in both Eastern and Western cultures.
I really dislike the term "feminization of men." I agree that sometimes men could take a better leadership in their families and marriages. The men I know are not like women, even the ones who are not taking a great leadership role in the family. The are still very much men, with veins full of testosterone. They grow facial hair and tend to be more aggressive in sports. They tell different jokes and the like to read different reading material. They do not in general talk like women, or socialize like women. The are taller, and more muscular. They are not feminine. They smell like men, they lose their hair like men. They do not have babies, or breastfeed, or mother for that matter. They are not growing breasts.
Maybe men are acting more asexual. I do not mean to cloud the issue, but there is a difference from being manlier, and less feminine. Since my husband stood up the to the plate to take a leadership role in our family he has not become less feminine he was never like a woman, not even a little feminine. It would be the last word anyone would ever have used to described him. Maybe he is just using his sexuality differently now.
I wish that relationships were more the norm. I would rather not feel that we had to hide the way we are from everyone. I do not think that most women have this need for their husbands to dominate the way I do. I believe that the majority of women would like men to take more ownership in their families and marriages. I have known many women who lose respect for their men, because they are too "wishy washy." Women do not want men they can walk all over. Men can be more assertive, use their masculinity more, even if they are not physically dominating their spouses. I need my husband to dominate physically, but I do not think every woman needs this.
Gender Differences, Movie Stereotyp
What I got from that text was not a feeling of men growing breasts or lacking testosterone but a feeling of more mental changes or behavioral changes that have reduced the feeling of difference between the sexes. I feel the changes are of a different kind - that they are not becoming more like women - they don't seem like women, it just seems like they're not so strong, confident, authoritative, courageous as in our perceptions of how they were in the past and it seems like they're still as emotionally isolated as they've always been. But you know what? Women are not like THEY used to be either. We're not like the women in the movies from the 1930s to 1950s and who would want to be? Those movie characters make me want to scream they're so pathetic. Is it that we don't arouse men's protective instincts anymore because we're now more competent and able to take care of ourselves?
I believe that most women respect a strong man. However, what makes a man "strong" in the view of a woman will vary from individual to individual and from era to era. For some, it is the strong, masculine, classical role-model -- stubborn, honest and physically stronger. For others, it is the ability to provide a home and security, possibly financial. For others, it might be the ability to look after babies and do the ironing (thus the "new man" - ugg).
I agree with Sarah that a Taken-In-Hand relationship is not for everyone, and it's probably a mistake to romanticise the past as being all sweetness and light, with men being "men", and women being feminine. In years gone by, it was assumed that a man was in charge whether the partners wanted that or not -- a situation that resulted in pain and frustration for many women, held to the kitchen and stove, at home bringing up children. Many men of the time (I would call them weak by today's standards) felt threatend by any challenge to their authority, especially by a woman, so they "kept women in their place". Whilst I accept that this may have resulted in the *appearance* of a society where the man was in charge, and was dominant, I would question whether many men were truly dominant in the sense we use that word today.
I cherish the fact that in today's society women can do pretty much as they want to -- have a career, have children, have both (tough to combine, but some do it). I cherish the fact that a woman recognises me as a strong man, and chooses to submit to me of her own *free* will. If there is no free choice in that decision (as it used to be in the Victorian era, or even the 30's, 40's and 50's), then the "choice" is meaningless, as Sarah has said. I treasure that a woman, given a free choice on what she wants from life, chooses to submit to me as head of the household. For those who do not -- good luck to them, and I *truly* wish them well and hope they have a happy life.
In closing, I suggest that in the past, though people may have accepted that men and women are different, they *also* enforced an image of what was acceptable and what was not -- as bad (or worse) as the "feminisation" of men today.
I'm baffled by your comment about pathetic women stereotypes, what movies from the 30s to the 50s have you seen? The films I've seen from that period are bursting with intelligent, strong-minded witty women, who are usually the equals of the men they come up against, and sometimes even manage to outsmart them. You must have been watching all the wrong films. To suggest that women in those days weren't capable of taking care of themselves is ridiculous, plenty of women did just that, and often in considerably tougher circumstances than they would have to nowadays.
I quite agree it should be about choice, though whether in the past women were all that frustrated being at home with the children I don't know, it is worth remembering that the role of housewife was not always regarded with the contempt it is now, moreover in the past most people who worked, whether men or women, did so out of economic necessity rather than because they regarded it as some sort of privilidge (this is still true of most of the people I know).
In cases where the man being in charge resulted in pain and frustration I would think it was more often because a woman was stuck with a brutal or abusive husband rather than because she was yearning to be out at work. When domination of the female by the male is sanctioned by law, as it still is in those Eastern societies Noone romanticises, it can lead to savage acts of cruetly and opression. I recently read a newspaper interview with a Dutch woman MP who comes from Somalia, she wrote of her feelings on being circumcised when she was five, worse than the pain, she said, was the knowledge that women existed only for the pleasure of men.
Patriarchy has an ugly face as well as a benign one, though you'd never know it from reading the above article. If submission is compulsory, rather than freely chosen, it can be nasty. It would be no pleasure to me to sumbit at all if I was living in a society where it was required by law, and enforceable by violence, and there are still many such societies in the world.
Incidentally, my husband fits all the different definitions of 'strong' that you give in the first paragraph!
And this is the trouble with feminism as far as I am concerned, the fact that you can contemptuously dismiss women at home as doing 'nothing but' raising children, as if this was a trivial thing to do. Looking after children is exhausting, but it is also very rewarding, and somebody has got to do it, otherwise there isn't going to be anybody around to look after all you lawyers, doctors and businesswomen when you hit your arthritic old age.
I don't personally know any women in high-powered careers, most of the women I know who work do it in order to pay the bills rather than because they regard it as a liberation, and I think this has always been the case for the majority of working women (and men for that matter). After the industrial revolution brought about the separation of home and workplace, vast numbers of women worked in horrific conditions in factories, sweatshops and down mines. A lot of working-class women thought themselves lucky if they married a man who could afford to support them, being able to stay at home with the children was a luxury few could afford. And it didn't always mean the man having all the power, there were some men who handed their wage packets unopened to their wives, and the wives had total control of the money.
As for your grandmother not being able to work as a doctor, how old is your grandma exactly? Elizabeth Blackwell, the first American woman to qualify as a doctor, was awarded her MD in 1850, your grandma must be very old indeed to pre-date that.