What do you want from a man?


The recent hype about the book “Porn for Women” has gotten me thinking. Yes, I can laugh about how nice it would be to have a hunky man-slave to cook, clean, and to listen to everything I say. But is that what I really want? Hmm…

I think the reason this idea has resonance with today’s women is that it’s inverting the image from Fascinating Womanhood. Rather than the docile, feminine, and dutiful wife that Andelin suggests (and that more recent authors like Dr. Laura have proposed, too), it’s the women who get to come home and be adored, revered and served by a member of the opposite sex. Yes, that would be quite a thrill (in an empty sort of way) to have someone to dote on and care for me, to put my needs above their own. I can’t quite imagine what that would do for the ego–to have someone at my beck and call, to scrub the toilet and wipe up the cat vomit, to worry about the smog test for the car and the bare shelves in the pantry. And what would it be like to have freshly-ironed clothes and no dustbunnies clinging to anything that rolls under the bed? Or to step into a shower each morning knowing that I don’t have to do a mental inventory of soap, shampoo, and when I last washed the shower curtain? What bliss would it be to bathe without such thoughts or concerns….

But, really, that’s not what I want. Yes, it is a lovely fantasy, but I don’t think it would help me grow and learn if I no longer had to struggle and work things out myself or with my partner. Fortunately I have a spouse who actively, even enthusiastically, participates in household work. And he listens and cares about my feelings, too. And I do the same for him as well. There’s no expectation that one of us is royalty and the other is a servant. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Jana

Jana is university administrator and History professor. Her soloblog is http://janaremy.com/pilgrimsteps/

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  1. Caroline says:

    I’m with you, Jana. It’s kind of a nice fantasy to think of your spouse waiting on you hand and foot. For about two seconds. Then it becomes creepy and totally wrong. It’s just not my idea of what marriage should be.

    Like you said, this Porn for Women is clearly an inversion of ideal womanhood that was promoted 50 years ago. I know that marriages like that probably were very common back in the day, but for me, it in no way takes away the overall ickiness of such a marriage.

    What i wonder about is this… do marriages like this (woman waiting on man hand and foot) still exist in Mormondom? Thank goodness I don’t know of any.

  2. Brooke says:

    Love this post, Jana.

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