The Metrosexual Man vs. The Cowboy- What Do Women Want?
The Metrosexual Man vs. The Cowboy- What DO Women Want?
He always looks perfectly put together. He can be in a t-shirt
and jeans or heading out to a black-tie event. His hair never
has a bad day. His nails are clean and buffed. His clothes are
perfectly pressed and exquisitely coordinated. He smells like
flowers and spice. Is he gay? No, he's the new metrosexual man.
As many of you know by now, the term "metrosexual" was coined by
a journalist (and gay man) named Mark Simpson, to describe a new
kind of urban male who is straight, but in touch with his
feminine side and not afraid to show it. Essentially,
metrosexuals are guys who take on behaviors and show an interest
in things that have traditionally belonged in the female domain.
You may have a metrosexual brother, male friend or boyfriend
(ex). These are the guys you can shop till you drop with. They
can discuss fashion, will notice your great new shoes, buy their
grooming products from the same places you do and have no qualms
about having a manicure, pedicure or facial. You can actually
TALK to these guys about something other than sports, cars and
other traditionally male interests. These are the guys you can
take to the opera, symphony and ballet. The perfect man, right?
Depends on whom you talk to.
Let's step back a minute and look at the where and how of the
existence of the metrosexual man. Simply put, he is a by-product
of feminism and the changing roles and related expectations of
women. As women have moved into (previously) male dominated
environments and roles, it has caused a shift in the male-female
balance. Women are now active participants in industry, politics
and the professions- to name a few. However, as they have left
their old jobs as homemakers and full-time domestic caregivers,
they left a lot of empty space to be filled. Childcare providers
and the domestic cleaning industry could provide some of this.
The problem was all the "other" stuff women had always done.
Men were therefore called upon to contribute more to the raising
of children, housework, cooking, shopping, etc. Their sons were
being exposed a new role model, a dad who took on jobs and
chores that had traditionally belonged to mom. Young boys
themselves were also being tapped to do housework and help with
siblings, exposing them to a new way of being a male in our
society. Women had become more independent and financially and
professionally successful. Men had become more domestic and had
to soften their style as they moved into more traditionally
A new social order had evolved that worked for everyone, right?
Not necessarily. We never take on something new without giving
something up. So, what has been discarded? Clearly defined
social roles and the expectations that come with them- for
starters. Suddenly there was a new blueprint for how men and
women should relate- especially in the world of dating. However,
it was unclear and depending upon whom you asked, you would get
a different answer. Usher in the confusion and frustration
surrounding dating in the new millennium.
Women ask questions such as:
* who asks who out * who calls who * who pays * who makes
decisions about where to go, etc. * What are the expectations at
the end of the date * how soon should we become intimate
Women comment on:
* his lack of initiative in calling or asking her out * his
expectation that they will go dutch * how he never offers to
pick her up * his overall lack of assertiveness * his saying he
will call, but not following through * his too polished style
which lacks a certain spark of masculinity * his taking longer
to get ready than she does * his crudeness or over aggressive
style * his expectation that they will have sex
Men ask questions such as:
* what do women want * why should a guy have to ask a girl out *
why should the guy always pay * why do women say they want
sensitivity, etc., but see guys like that as wimps * why do
women give out such mixed signals in general * why do women seem
to reject nice guys and go for jerks * why can't a woman be the
Men comment on:
* women acting spoiled * women wanting their independence, etc.
but not wanting equal responsibility and weight * women
expecting a lot from men, but offering little in return * women
not knowing what they want * women playing games * women's
attraction to "bad boys"
Both women and men verbalize that they are ok with the current
roles that have evolved for them in our society, yet I hear both
talk wistfully about how it was in previous generations. Back
then; everyone KNEW what was expected from him or her. Life was
predictable. Dating was much simpler and "safer". Men were men
and women were raised to be wives and homemakers. We have gained
something and we have lost something. One thing for sure, we can
never have it both ways.
What's the answer? It is never simple. However, it does involve
better communication in general between men and women. Singles
need to clarify for themselves (first), what kind of partner
they seek and what their expectations from a relationship really
are. Once a person is clear about what they must have and what
they can't live with, they need to go out and HONESTLY seek
that. Knowing what you want is good. If you turn off someone by
your frankness, he/she was not the someone for you.
So, begin with a self-assessment. Then go out and pursue
interests and environments, which maximize your chances of
meeting compatible singles. And remember, there is no perfect
person. He may be overly fussy with his hair, take longer in the
bathroom than most women, be less ambitious in his work life
than you are and put your cooking to shame. However, if he's
sensitive to YOUR needs, easy to talk to and fun to be with,
great with kids and very supportive of your goals, he may be the
guy of your dreams.