Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Do Women Want a "Dominant" Man?


Yesterday, Ferdinand Bardamu hosted an open thread on the subject, Dominance and Women.

He quotes HughRistiks of Feminist Critics, who writes

For an actual relationship partner, I do NOT want someone to rule over. I’m very individualistic and I admire women who are, also. I want a woman who is her own person…

I don’t consider a relationship characterized as me “ruling over” a woman in general as either necessary or desirable. I do grant that due to the nature of some women’s desires, a relationship of equality might not be possible with them, but I don’t know how typical that tendency is…

I’m suspicious of expectations that men “rule” over women, whether they come from religious sources, or from women themselves, and I wonder whether such expectations are really in men’s best interests.

This is what I wrote in response…

This is an interesting topic, and I hope a few women will stop by and share their opinion. I haven’t researched this issue enough to have a definitive opinion, but I’ll offer a few thoughts…

Whether because of biology or culture (or both), it does seem that the vast majority of women (even in a “modern” society like America) prefer their men to “take the lead” in their relationship, as opposed to having “true equality” in the way that feminists have advocated for generations.

Having said that, I don’t see much evidence that most women (at least those women worth spending time with) want to be “dominated.” "Dominated" is a pretty strong word. “Take the lead” is more subtle, and dare I say, accurate. To the extent that Gamers advocate that women should be (and want to be) “dominated,” that strikes me as poor advice – especially when we consider one last point I’d like to make.

The whole point of living in society is to overcome our base urges on behalf of a greater good, so even if women want to be “dominated” on a biological level (which I’m not convinced of), it doesn’t necessarily follow that we – as men – should encourage this instinct, and adjust our lifestyles to accomodate it – anymore than we might encourage a child to urinate in public because that’s its “instinct.”

The good life is about overcoming “instincts.”

The discussion continues from there.

Also, Hope - a woman whose judgment I usually trust - weighs in here.

One of her quotes that I like...

Great men have real class. They are good-natured and treat others with respect. They hold the door open for strangers, give an attentive ear to friends, and act politely toward people working in the service industry. Likewise, masculine men adore feminine women who are classy, kind-at-heart, who treat others with respect, and who act graciously towards those with disabilities or who are less fortunate.

A man who is truly dominant is comfortable to be magnanimous. He has a nobility of spirit, taking on masculine and sexy qualities of protectiveness and romantic flair. He is confident and secure in his knowledge of his self-worth. A woman who wants to attract such a man should be dignified and behave in a ladylike manner herself, embracing her femininity and infusing her every action with nurturing kindness and sweetness.

Dominance is seen as a trait necessary to leadership. In the next post, I will discuss what constitutes a good and a bad leader.

I look forward to it.


Jennifer said...

I despise the idea of a man dominating a woman, and see it as a result of the curse from Eden. Leading in a relationship, when it comes to courtship especially, is important for men to do, because it shows their level of interest. When it comes to later relationships, I'd say power and influence are more circular. Nor, I should add, is letting one spouse make more decisions a sign of that spouses's "dominance"; it's nothing more than a matter of convenience.

Todd White said...

JENNIFER: "Nor, I should add, is letting one spouse make more decisions a sign of that spouses's 'dominance'; it's nothing more than a matter of convenience."

TW: There's a lot of truth to that. I know in my relationship - still going strong after 7+ years - we kind of have an unspoken agreement to always make important decisions together but going back to the "convenience" thing, usually the person who knows most about the topic - to take two examples, in my case, financial stuff, and her case, social stuff - will get the result they want because there's mutual respect for what each of us bring to the table and because of that respect and love, decision-making is relatively easy, "convenient," and positive for both the man and the woman, and nowhere in the process do terms like "dominance" or "submission" enter the scene.

Jennifer said...

Exactly! Sounds like you have a perfect understanding.

Todd White said...

Ha, thank you, Jennifer! I'll tell her you said that! :)