I’ve been in blog hibernation for almost a year now, but I just thought of a new feature that could bring me back on the scene: Misogyny Monday. Or maybe just a Misogyny Monday, May 6, to get things moving.
It was around noon today when I took my lunch to my desk and started scheduling and reading Tweets for work. I’m a sucker for all kinds of Twitter bait, and the headline “7 Flaws I Like In a Woman” predictably hooked me.
I don’t know how I expected the article could be anything more than misogynistic drivel, but I read it. I got irritated (again, predictably) — being a career-oriented risk-taker is the trademark of a flawed female? That’s news to me.
I looked into the author, Mark Manson. He runs a “self development website designed to help men adjust to the necessary social and sexual realities of the post-industrial, post-feminist and post-modern era.” He also penned a piece on the Thought Catalog titled “Why Is Every Woman You Date A Crazy Bitch?” (That tidbit presented without comment.)
So, for good measure, here are my 7 (or more) flaws with Mark Manson’s 7 flaws he likes in women.
1. “She’s Slightly Neurotic”
Girls who are slightly neurotic feel right to me for two reasons: for one, if there’s something I should be worrying about, but I’m not, they’ll always catch it.
I am slightly neurotic. I’ve told myself that past relationships were successful because of the yin and yang between my neuroses and his laid-backness. There’s something to that, but only to a degree.
If you should be worrying about something, then you should be worrying about it regardless of whether I — your girlfriend — advise you to worry about it. I’d rather be with a guy who already knows his staggering credit card debt is a problem, than a guy who really appreciates it when I advise him that it’s a problem.
Manson sounds like he’s looking for a mother, or a life coach; not a girlfriend. Flaws I don’t like in men: inability to prioritize or recognize when it’s time to worry.
Ah, but it’s not just about what your woman can do for you, it’s what you can do for her:
And secondly, when they’re worrying about something that’s unnecessary, I enjoy being able to help them relax and feel more secure about it. It’s a nice dynamic, as it makes me feel needed and they’re always appreciative.
They’re always appreciative? Are we still talking about women (human beings, for those of you keeping track at home), or have we started talking about house plants and domestic animals?
2. “She Blames Herself Too Often.”
The way Manson writes sends shivers up my spine. The bad kind of shivers. He prefaces flaw #2:
This one’s a little twisted, but I like it. It makes me feel more at ease.
I’m imagining him typing this on his laptop from a Buffalo Bill-esque basement. He goes on:
My biggest pet peeve in the world…
(In the world?!)
…is people who do not take responsibility for their actions. So if a girl blames herself too often, then I never have to worry about her shirking responsibility for things going wrong.
Ah, so you want to date a woman with a guilt complex to ensure that she takes responsibility every time something falls apart. Even when it’s not her fault. That’s… totally healthy.
When I feel like I’m being blamed unfairly, my tendency is to either shut down or to simply leave.
Well, that’s one approach to problem-solving. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the woman whose 7 Flaws I Like In A Man list includes handling conflict (nay, shirking it) with the maturity level of a child.
3. “She’s a Work-A-Holic.”
I agree that it’s important for a partner to be fulfilled professionally — I can’t fill that void in my partner and I would not expect anybody else to fill that void in me. So, fair enough.
That said, the “I find ambition sexy” line is another one straight out of the creepy-basement playbook. I also enjoy that he snuck in a bit about his own workaholism, lest us ladies think he’s not bringing home the bacon:
I run my own business and will often pull 14- or 16-hour workdays and I need her to understand and support that.
Finally, let’s talk about agreement here:
Women who work their ass off for something just tend to be much more interesting.
Mark, I’d channel some of your ambition into brushing up on grammar. Women do not have one collective ass.
4. “She’s a Risk-Taker.”
I want a girl who if I say, “Hey, I just bought us plane tickets to Dubai tomorrow, let’s go!” she won’t hesitate to say yes. She won’t complain about work or worry about what her mother would think or whatever. She’d drop everything and go.
You know what I want, Mark? A man with the foresight to tell me that he’s going to buy plane tickets to Dubai. How about, “Hey Lauren, I’m thinking about a trip to Dubai, would mid-summer work for you?”
Mark, Marky, Mark, Mark. You dedicate the intro of this article to bemoaning the quest for the perfect partner, because that perfection is “bullshit.”
But your favorite flaws are bullshit, too. You want a slightly neurotic, hard-working, mildly self-loathing woman who would flip the bird to her boss and go to Dubai with you at whim? Check your math, because these qualities don’t add up. This woman does not exist.
The 90 minutes in the bathroom before we go out to get dinner? I like that. I want her to look stunning.
This is how you make “I want a hot chick” into a flaw. I get it.
6. “She’s Pushy.”
“…some times I pull away from the person I’m seeing even if I really care about them and feel strongly about them. It’s an unconscious reaction and habit. So I need someone who won’t let me off the hook easily, because I know at some point I will try to get off the hook.”
Mark, this sounds like a personal problem. As in, you should spend some time looking deep within yourself to learn why you’re hesitating in relationships and relying on women to “keep you on the hook” for your own sake. Because that’s not your girlfriend’s job.
If you pull away and she starts to feel like the affection/love/whatever is no longer reciprocated, she can leave.
Women don’t need to wait around on men who are unsure, or constantly waffling over their feelings. Figure it out, buddy. This one’s on you.
7. “She Wears Her Heart on her Sleeve.”
And things just took a turn for the racist.
Women who let their emotions just flow out of them tend to be incredibly passionate. I get weak in the knees for passionate women. It’s why I love Latin women and Eastern European women so much. Their emotions are so intense you think the world is going to crack in half some times. As a boy who came from an emotionally-stifled family in an English-speaking culture, I can’t get enough of it.
I thought this article would stop at misogyny, but I’m impressed with Mark’s ability to squeeze in a few more generalizations of the cultural variety.
In attempting to challenge the idea of the “perfect” woman and partner, Mark Manson really just redefined her.
So here’s to the baggage, to the imperfect women, warts and all. Here’s to the girl of my dreams and her issues, her traumas, and her deepest flaws. And not just the faults that I can tolerate, but the faults that I can love.
Were you really talking about faults that whole time, Mark? Because it doesn’t sound like it. It sounds like you just filled out the “Looking for” section in your online dating profile and posted it to the Thought Catalog.