What Do Women Want?
The primary goal of some women has been to achieve equality with men and to successfully compete with males in the working world. Many women today adhere to this perspective as they strive for the “superwoman” ideal to climb the career ladder while still trying to manage family and household responsibilities. Other women see this as an unattainable goal and believe their talents are best used caring for their children and home full-time.
While some others see womanhood primarily in terms of physical appearance. They may put on pretty dresses, sparkly earrings, red lipstick, high heels and pink bows in their long hair and look very feminine indeed. Yet their words and actions may portray something totally different.
This famous question, ‘What do women want?’ is being asked but no precise answer has be given each time. Even today the question of what motivates female sexual desire continues to resound. Definitive answers have proven elusive. Books and films have been made about it; men have spent fortunes in pursuit of it, reputations have been staked upon and lost in the timeless search for the answer “What does a woman want?”
Women And Cultural Shift
Throughout history women have been regarded as the weaker of the sexes and have been afforded fewer rights which includes but are not limited to education, legal and career opportunities. For women being a wife and a mother has long been regarded their most significant and most important profession. It was only in the 20th century that countries worldwide finally saw women as a sex object with a persuasive voice. In the 20th century most women were afforded the right to go to school beyond elementary education and the opportunity to go to college, opening the door to more career opportunities than just becoming a teacher or nurse. In that century feminism also opened the door to women gaining a voice in politics with the right to vote which in turn gave women the right to run for office. Women continue to veer from stereotypical roles and expectations to make further advancements in their own education. The cultural shifts and changes in attitude toward women began in the 20th century in almost every nation and continued into the 21st century when the traditional roles of women in society continues to be rewritten.
The old school of thought was that women were the weaker of the two sexes and therefore inferior to men. Under the common law of England in the 19th century an unmarried woman could own property, make a contract, or sue and be sued but a married woman defined as being one with her husband gave up her name and virtually all her property inherited or otherwise and came under her husband’s control. In early days of the USA life for a woman was much different from that in England. In the US a man more or less owned his wife and children as if they were material possessions. If a poor man decided to send his children to the poor house the mother had no legal grounds and by all accounts was defenseless. It was only in the 19th century that things began to change significantly in the States. In the early to mid-19th century some local governments began modifying the laws to allow women to act as lawyers, to own property in their own names if their husbands saw fit and to sue for property (Lambert). As of the early 21st century in the United States and throughout many nations married or not a woman can buy, sell or own her own property, go into contractual relationships, sue and be sued, act in her own defense and protect her children.
Being denied the opportunity to be fully educated meant that women had to learn from their mother’s example that cooking, cleaning and caring for children was the behavior expected of them when they grew up uneducated. Beginning in colonial times and extending as late as 1900, the only jobs available to women were seamstress work or keeping boardinghouses. Some women did work in professions available mostly to men becoming doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, writers, and singers. By the end of the 19th century and due to increasing need for education in the above fields the only acceptable occupations for working women were limited to factory labor or domestic work. Women were excluded from the professions except for writing and teaching (Lowe, 1989). As of the early 21st century in most nations there has been progress such that women are allowed to complete as much education as they want and to choose what profession they wish.
Woman And Her Career
One dynamic outlined by feminine psychologists is the balancing act that women partake in between the more traditional role of motherhood and the more modern one of a career woman. Balancing the roles means attempting to satisfy both the need for personal achievement and the need for love and emotional security.
This does not mean that the roles contradict each other. The additional income from work may both relieve some stress and give the mother the ability to provide greater advantages (education, healthcare) to her children. Working also allows women to feel as though they are making a contribution to society beyond the family. A more fulfilled mother in most cases will be a better mother. Although this is true many children do feel neglected by their mother’s when they are more focused on their career (Parker and Wang 2013). It is normal for mothers to feel guilty when making changes to their child’s life. Twenty three percent (23%) of mothers feel that they are not spending enough time with their children but they believe that their child will become more independent and understanding once they get older (Pew Research Center 2012).
A lot has changed throughout the years; mothers and fathers both feel the pressure of balancing both work and family life (Parker and Wang 2013). Fifty six percent (56%) of mothers say that handling work and family life is difficult for them, this is because women are doing more than just housework and child care (Pew Research Center 2012). The roles of moms and dads have changed. They are both trying to balance work and family (Parker and Wang 2013). At the same time society still believes that it is the mother’s role to spend more time with the children than the father’s (Parker and Wang 2013).
Woman And Her Relationship
There’s nothing wrong with women and there’s nothing confusing either. Understanding women is simple and straight forward. You just have to be able to see what’s going on behind the surface. And when you do everything makes sense.
On the surface all women seem different. Some want rich men, some want powerful men, some want to date celebrities. It can seem really confusing until you start to dig a little bit under the surface. Think about it. Up until a few minutes ago you thought you were looking at a whole lot of different issues in your life. Could it be possible that this problem you have with understanding women could have a core issue as well?
How a man understands and responds to a woman will determine his eventual wealth, his social status, his energy and motivation for life, his resilience, his mental and physical health, how well his immune system works, how well he copes with stress, his happiness at home and at work, his self-confidence, his friendships, his connection to his children, how his children turn out and actually how long he will live.
No other single thing in a man’s life will be as important as how he understands and responds to a woman’s emotions.
Women And Her Society
It seems that any time a woman expresses a thought in a public space it’s taken as a political statement. Women are attacked in the comments sections and expected to speak for each other in everything they say. If they share a personal experience some group will attack them for making them feel excluded. Say something that implicates an imbalance with men and watch men take it personally, cry about their own troubles and tell us how we should express things to make sure we’re much less abrasive.
If the silencers had it their way, our thoughts and opinions would be diluted to the point where they’re barely recognizable anymore. We would spend all of our energy trying to preemptively appease anyone who could possibly be offended and our words would lose all power.
Woman And Her Offspring
Every woman wants something good for her offspring. She wants to advise her about womanhood, train her, embrace her so she doesn’t make the same mistakes like she did. She wants to nurture and make womanhood easier and simpler for her. Thus she asks her questions like “What do you think? Do you have a definition in mind for womanhood?” You should. As a young woman in your teens or early 20s you need to be preparing now for womanhood and you’ll be better able to do this if you have a clear understanding of what true femininity is all about.
The place to find this understanding is the Bible. God’s Word sets forth definite standards for womanhood. His design for females can be easily summed up. No matter what specific roles you might have someday—whether that of a wife, mother, single woman, career woman or member of your community or church—God desires that you cultivate a love for the home and family and a concern about the needs of others. That is the essence of true womanhood.
Women And Leadership
The evidence shows that female leaders typically have more compassion and empathy and a more open and inclusive negotiation style. This is not of course necessarily true of all women — there are many different leadership styles. That said, modern ideas of transformative leadership are more in line with the qualities women generally share: empathy, inclusiveness and an open negotiation style.
In developing nations having women at the table impacts how policy resources are spent — either through gender budgeting efforts or simply such as in the case of climate change, showing how women in the developing world experience issues differently than men. The involvement of women in the climate movement for example has led to better policy making and spurred solutions like clean solar cook stoves. Women’s leadership also helps drive direct change in structural policies including parental leave, child care and pay.
As the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has noted, “Women typically invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men.” USAID meanwhile says that when “10% more girls go to school a country’s GDP increases on average by 3%,” adding that when women have the same amount of land as men, “There is over 10% increase in crop yields.”
It’s not just developing countries that can benefit from increasing female participation in the workforce including in leadership positions.
Thankfully there have been noticeable advances for women in leadership roles and in the workforce more generally.
Today’s global problems require leaders that have diverse skill sets and innovation that can only come from diverse ideas and players. Women bring the skills, different perspectives and structural and cultural difference to drive effective solutions. In short, female leaders change the way global solutions are forged.
That’s why it is important to keep pushing forward. Fairness and equality are admirable goals in themselves. And women have consistently proven that they are able to benefit policies in important ways.
Woman And Security
Every woman has a need to feel secure. This need derives from the basic human need for safety, security, and stability (Maslow, 1943). To some it’s financial security or emotional security and to others it’s physical security. To most it’s ideal to have all three.
For women financial security is important in relationships. But if a man doesn’t also provide emotional security or is a physical threat then she doesn’t feel secure at all.
Thus I believe some women perceive security in a man by his ability to solve problems and make decisions, both being in the best interest of the relationship/family. But one of the things that frighten women about being in a relationship/marriage these days is…what if a man falls way below her expectations of the security she requires to feel safe and secure? This threat to her safety, actual or perceived makes a woman feel like she needs to take control of the relationship in order to protect herself and her interests.
Love, acceptance, respect, to be desired, security and passion are all things a woman may want in her relationship. As a matter of fact these are the basics that probably everyone wants. There are certainly others and each person has specific desires. What I want to focus on here is the specific aspect of emotional safety in relationships.
The challenge in satisfying this desire is that the feeling of “safe” is sometimes generated from opposing dynamics and this can create conflict. How a woman feels with a man can change moment to moment depending on the opposing forces. This can lead to confusion about what she wants. It can also confuse the man as she appears to want two different things. If we become aware of the conflicting beliefs paradigms this can begin to make a lot more sense and clear up the confusion.
A man’s unconditional acceptance of a woman means that there is no judgment and criticism. She can communicate honestly, be herself and feel emotionally safe. There are also physical and financial factors that can appeal to a woman’s sense of safety. Sometimes a woman will trade one of these comforts for another in her relationship.
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