Friday, 12 December 2014

13 Things A Woman Can Do To Be Attractive To Men

I came across an article this morning that quite frankly had be taken aback for a while, so I thought I'd write a post addressing some of the issues which it raises, and try to forge a discussion between my lovely followers and anyone that reads this article, about whether this is acceptable journalism or not.

The article is entitled "13 Things A Woman Can Do To Be Attractive To Men" and is written by a Mr. "John Smith" - false name, almost certainly, because he realises the backlash he's going to cause. This is John's first and last article on the site, unsurprisingly, and was published back in June of this year. I'm unsure why it's taken me this long to discover it.

I'm sincerely hoping that this article has been published as somewhat of a bait from Thought Catalog themselves, in order to get people to click through to their site and read their other content. It worked for me - I clicked through to the site, but I have not checked out any of their other articles. This one was repulsive enough in its own right, I didn't need to hear more.

The article addresses a list of things which, in a man's eyes, a woman should strive to achieve in order to keep him happy. May I begin by stating that not one thing I do in my life is solely to keep my partner happy. His well-being and happiness is always on my mind, yes, but I, as a 24 year old woman, live my life for myself primarily. I will never pursue an activity or task thinking "If I do this, he will love me more." No, girls, just no.

The first on the list is that a woman must "stay in shape" because a man wants "to be aroused by the sight" of his partner naked. The author then goes on to explain how men "don't want a bag of bones, nor do they want a woman who looks like she is smuggling beach balls". STOP. Since when were you the ambassador for all men, everywhere, and their tastes? Every man desires a different woman, every man has personal tastes, and under absolutely no circumstances should we, as women, be fretting about our body shape because we're worried whether men find it attractive. News flash: no matter your size, shape or BMI there are men that find you hot as hell. The fact that the writer of this article then goes ahead to suggest 3-4 cardio sessions a week and advise women as a whole on their diet is absolutely insulting to our gender.

His next "recommendation" as it were, is to lay off the body modification. This one I can strongly relate to, being heavily modified myself. I therefore can say with complete confidence that there are men out there who find body modification incredibly attractive, my fiancĂ© included. The author speaks of his own taste yet generalises men as a whole in the same sentence by saying "Men gravitate to natural hair colour, tasteful and coverable tattoos"..."and piercings that are not out of control". By stating his opinion as a fact which applies to all men is obviously a tactic he's using to attempt to "troll" people I hope.

Later in the article he asks women to be feminine, as "men want to date WOMEN, not men with vaginas." Wait, wait wait. There's few things more satisfying than slinging my hair up, wiping off the make-up and kicking back on the sofa in my comfy pyjamas, playing Xbox and munching pizza with my partner for me. Of course, that's only my personal taste, but at the same time I know there are girls out there who agree with me. Does this mean I'm not feminine? Does it make me a man with a vagina? Is it unacceptable behaviour because it's destined to make me less attractive to my partner? Hell no.

He goes on to suggest that women should be "submissive" and tells us that as women our duty is to "rub his back, watch what he wants to watch, suck him off," as well as other things in order to get our partners to "reciprocate". I shouldn't feel like I need to use sexual favours and submission in order to earn the kindness of my partner. I definitely shouldn't feel that if I don't do these things I am seen as unattractive. This raises further issues on a more extreme level - women who find themselves trapped in abusive relationships, according to the author of this article's theory, will find themselves wondering "Oh, because I didn't give him oral sex, is this why he's behaving in this way?" There's a lot of self blame in women in abusive relationships and this sort of mentality can only encourage that, which is both upsetting and disgusting.

A healthy sex life, for me, is an important part of a relationship. But again that's not to say that this applies to every relationship, or every female's opinion. The author of this article states that a woman should have "few past sexual partners," and that a man will not be attracted to someone who used to be "the town bicycle". It is entirely up to a woman how many people she wants to sleep with in her life, and the double standard between men  and women needs to stop. Different people will have had different sexual histories, and when entering a new relationship these histories should not be used in any way against one another. The fact that this author feels that this is an acceptable thing to mention suggests he has judged an ex on her number of partners before. Why should it be that because you've slept with more people than average (apparently eight by the time you're thirty), that you become someone who it is perfectly acceptable to treat as a target for abuse. We're taught all our lives to live how we want to live, and this should include all aspects of life, not just those that other people may find more socially acceptable than others.

Perhaps the most insulting of all of the author's suggestions for making yourself more attractive to the opposite sex, is where he suggests we should be child free. If a former relationship has failed or, hell, even if you're pregnant due to a one night stand, that should not negatively impact your chances of finding a happy relationship further down the line. For men to rule out women that have children is shallow and ignorant, yet unfortunately I know that it does happen. A child is a blessing, a positive addition to the lives of yourself, your friends and your family, and hopefully the father of that child too. To label a child a stigma and something to be avoided when looking for a potential partner is narrow minded, and ignorant, and to be perfectly honest if someone holds that opinion of your child, do you really want to be with them anyway?

Other points in his suggestions include the fact that we're not allowed to have male friends, we must wear less make-up, we need to put our phones down and we need to cook more. I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that we'd flown back to earlier last century, when it was seen as socially common for men to tell "their" women what to do and what not to do. We are an independent gender with freedom of thought, speech and action, and the way in which this original article was worded was insulting and derogatory.

He does address some points at the end of the article which people make, but they're so pre-emptive, devoid of thought and substance that I'll not include most of them here, aside from this one; Where someone has stated that their boyfriend just the way they are, he has replied suggesting that this person's partner has obviously "settled" in some aspect. Someone that is more than willing to essentially tell a woman she is incredibly flawed and her partner has cut his losses and "settled" for her, is not someone who earns my respect at all.

For someone to raise all of the above points, and more, in a bid to attempt to convince women that if they don't abide by these rules they will be seen as unattractive by all men, especially in modern day where young girls seem more impressionable than ever, is irresponsible journalism. The internet gives people a platform to express their opinions, sure, but sometimes those opinions are more dangerous than constructive.

What do you think of the original article (HERE) and the points which it raises? Have you ever found yourself striving to do things to impress your partner, or the opposite sex as a whole? I'd love to hear your experiences.

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