Are Women Too Demanding?
By Umbreen Ali
October 20, 2011, 3:27 pm

According to a male friend, women today are far too demanding. We want our men to be groomed and well maintained, yet we will mock those who are all too image conscious and brand them as narcissistic. 

We crave male attention yet when we receive it we are quick to shun and dismiss it. According to my friend, today’s woman wants too many things. We want a man to be raw, yet emotionally sensitive too.

He claims that men are not a complicated race and simply cannot handle these two things collectively. When they are too emotional, we reprimand them and want them to act like ‘men’.

When they embrace their manliness and act like men they are then told they aren’t emotional enough. Does that mean that there is a raging feminist in existence in all women, armed with a tedious ideologue and a rather weighty chip on her shoulder? And is there a superman that can adopt a balancing act?

Socially, we are comfortably at a stage of equilibrium with our male counterparts where the archaic male hierarchy no longer exists today. Times have evolved.

We now study together, work together, change nappies together and cook and share recipes together. Yet what is it that leaves us demanding more from men? Are we just an insatiable race? Or are we trying to mould men into the perfect ideal? Yet one woman’s ideal will differ significantly from the next.

And to explore further, when today’s man evinces an interest for example in expanding his culinary skills, and when successful to the point that our efforts appear rather mundane are we a bit too swift to feel they have posed a threat and invaded our territory?

Will men ever be able to display what we estimate to be the correct protocol? We may train and scheme to produce the perfect man, but no doubt it is a very one sided process. One friend made it clear to her husband that she expected him to attend all her family events and partake in them wholeheartedly. She on the other hand abstained from reciprocating the favour. This only left the poor husband feeling exacerbated and frustrated.

Another friend told her husband that due to her own weight gain she did not feel comfortable in engaging in any kind of intimate relations.

Yet when he respected her wishes and kept a distance, she incessantly complained that he was paying her no attention. It’s no wonder the poor man is balding from the stress of the incongruity of it all!

And the classic example: ‘Do I look fat in this?’

Yes, I get it, why do we ask if we expect a fabricated response. Is it the reassurance of the white lie? It’s a known fact, we women cannot tolerate ‘constructive criticism’ when it comes to our appearance or fashion sense.

And we are all too quick to jump to our defence, ’Well, what do you know anyway?’ Yet we are quick to offer criticism to men and expect them to adhere to our advice!

Perhaps there is a shift in balance as now men consciously fear that they will never be able to satiate our demands entirely-why do I feel a satirical sense of redemption when writing that? Exerting further demands is us demonstrating our complex and ultimately never content mindsets. Yet one friend’s incessant monologue has become all too tiresome.

The verbal tirade against the husband consists of the following.

According to her, her husband’s contribution to family life, including working all week, taking the three children out every Saturday, as well as dropping them to school every morning and putting them to bed every night simply was not sufficient. She was more than disgruntled at his insistence at playing golf every Sunday. Surely if she needs 'me' time, than so does he?

Do we unfairly expect men to comprehend and dissect this type of bewildering psychological prerogative? Can men ever win due to our own inherent complexities?

Despite the social evolution, I must admit that we do still expect men to retain an element of chivalry about them, enough to be applicable today, nothing outdated. Simple polite etiquette such as holding open the car door, allowing us to order first from the menu, nothing too unreasonable.

Why am I keen to uphold certain traditions but render others as archaic and outdated? Is this why there is an element of confusion that men face?

The dichotomy and prevalent contradiction of attitudes seems to lie with women. Do we really want it all? We want equality on the domestic front, in the work environment, and most importantly, the male mind set should have evolved enough to accept that this is the norm and not an exerted effort on their part. Do we really want it all or is my friend right, are we simply too demanding?

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