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Why Can’t a Man Be More Like a Woman?

In My Fair Lady (based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion), Professor Higgins asks why can’t a woman be more like a man?  But these days, the sentiments underlying that question are more likely to be reversed.

In this article, a 50 year old woman laments the behavior of men.

There seems to be a gender imbalance, vis-a-vis [appearance]. All the women I know are tolerant of middle age showing itself in a chap. We quite like a late flowering, in fact: the silvering, the smile lines, the coming of bodily sturdiness.

By contrast, she notes that 50 year old men favor younger females:

It’s true that men don’t see me any more. It’s sobering to walk down the street observing how the 50-year-old men behave, paying attention to what they’re looking at as they stroll along. They are not looking in shop windows. They are not looking at me. They are looking at women half their age.

The suggestion is that men are somehow more superficial and really inferior.  Women are after substance; men are after looks.  And so, why can’t men be more like women?

But this story is a mirage – a false tale that our age seems to repeat.

The conventional wisdom is that men of all ages like attractive and younger women, while women like tall and successful men.  No doubt there are many exceptions, but since we are talking generalizations, these seem quite accurate.

And our author seems to admit as much.  She is not interested in younger men.  She writes: “It’s the 55-year-old, slightly rumpled silver foxes that I stare at, the tall well-travelled well-used ones. But they don’t see me.”  [Italics added.]

Our author admits to the tall.  How about the successful?  Well, she does not quite admit to it, but I am thinking that the “well travelled” is a reference to a sophisticated, successful man.

If this is true, then our author is no less superficial than the men.  Height is simply a physical feature that is unrelated to substance.  And while success often is the result hard work, it does not mean that the man is a better partner.

What would our author say to a short man, who is not economically successful, but is a good man – a man of character?  We can hope that she would be nice to him, but I am guessing she would overlook him as much as the silver foxes pass over her.

The point is that both sexes like what they like.  And often what they like is not substance, but form.  Our current culture seems to recognize this about men.  But sadly it is overlooked as to women.

Reader Discussion

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on March 02, 2015 at 11:27:33 am

"What would our author say to a short man, who is not economically successful, but is a good man – a man of character? We can hope that she would be nice to him, but I am guessing she would overlook him as much as the silver foxes pass over her.

The point is that both sexes like what they like. And often what they like is not substance, but form."

I would not be so quick to dismiss or overlook the biological aspects. Young women are fecund, they are still fertile and while a man in his 50's may well have no conscious desire for children, may even be horrified at the very idea, the biological drive to pass on his genes remains.

As for women, "I am thinking that the “well travelled” is a reference to a sophisticated, successful man."

Bingo, give the author a gold star. Women seek security as well as companionship. Biologically, she has a subconscious need for the security of a well defended, comfortable, stable 'nest'. A successful man is much more likely to provide for those needs than an unsuccessful one. Even the height aspect applies, a tall man 'measures up'...

Men and women are of course, not controlled by their biology but we are affected by it, far more than most wish to credit.

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Geoffrey Britain
on March 02, 2015 at 11:41:18 am

Speaking for myself, I am 61 years old and I appreciate the younger female form but its the maturer female that I prefer for company. I enjoy the experience they bring to the table that. That said, between two women of equal maturity and intelligence I naturally prefer the more attractive once. Between two equally attractive women I prefer the more mature and intelligent one. In other words when it comes to women I'm no one trick pony nor I believe are most men.

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JD Bryant
on March 02, 2015 at 12:03:09 pm

"The point is that both sexes like what they like. And often what they like is not substance, but form. Our current culture seems to recognize this about men. But sadly it is overlooked as to women." Exactly, and that is sad, but I am afraid there is more to it than that: there is no payoff (at present) of attention or influence for admitting this about women.

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Alice
on March 02, 2015 at 14:36:16 pm

Reminds of a meme I saw either on Twitter or Tumblr:
A woman had posted "When his height starts with 5'..." followed by a photo of the woman with a facial expression containing a mixture of uncomfortable dissatisfaction and mild disgust. She received many comments from women in support.

A man responds "When her weight starts with two hundred..."and was subsequently pilloried for fat shaming.

#DoubleStandards

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J.D.
on March 03, 2015 at 12:02:18 pm

"Why Can’t a Man Be More Like a Woman?"

Of course s/he can - in this age of gender fluidity, one can be any one of (is it now) 50 different gender types - at least according to Facebook!!!!

One assumes that in the transition ONLY the best gender traits will be so transferred, right! RIGHT???????

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gabe

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.