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What Women Want: Ho-Hum Heterosexual or Mr. Metrosexual?


Tags Media and Culture

04/26/2008Doug French

Making the case for settling just for Mr. Good Enough, rather than a soulmate or Mr. Right, Lori Gottlieb, insists that what women really want are children and someone to help support them. Forget all that feminist rhetoric about independence, self-sufficiency, career goals and that "I am woman, hear me roar" stuff, the best-selling author and NPR commentator tells women — especially in their 30s — to "Settle! That's right. Don't worry about passion or intense connection. Don't nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling 'Bravo!' in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics."

Atlantic magazine allowed Gottlieb 4,000 words or so to make her case that heterosexual women should settle for Mr. Heterosexual Ho-Hum. But she really makes a compelling case for hetero women to hang out with, or live under one roof with, homosexual men. To that point, "when I think about marriages nowadays," Gottlieb writes, "my role models are the television characters Will and Grace, who, though Will was gay and his relationship with Grace was platonic, were one of the most romantic couples I can think of."

What Gottlieb, along with many other women, wants is a buddy to live with. As she puts it, "a partner in crime." She even tells of a friend who knows a couple of women who married men that are likely not straight. "Maybe they understand something that I didn't," the friend tells Gottlieb. Right, forget the bedroom fireworks, just find a guy to provide another income and some help with the kids and/or household chores. Because, eventually, as Alan Jackson sings, "There ain't nothing left to do, cause we already done it."

Let's face it, on a day-to-day, run-the-household basis, most women have more in common with gay men than straight. Anyone who has watched "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" on Bravo sees the dichotomy. Each week, the Fab Five go in and do an emergency makeover of some poor straight slob's life. The guy doesn't know how to cook, can't decorate and doesn't know proper grooming or how to use "products." Some don't even know how to propose. So, the premise of the program is that the average straight Joe, needs five gay guys to clue him in.

"Queer Eye," according to the show's website, "is a one-hour guide to 'building a better straight man.'" You see, the Fab Five are: "An interior designer, a fashion stylist, a chef, a beauty guru and someone [they] like to call the 'concierge of cool' — who is responsible for all things hip, including music and pop culture." These are all the skills and interests that women value but that the vast majority of (straight) men couldn't care less about: thus straight men are inferior and must be improved upon with some gay expertise. Notice how many women openly view their spouses as being just like one of the kids that they have to raise. If only the Fab Five could make their men more woman-like and less child-like.

For those who haven't tuned in to "QE," the Fab Five are: Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley and Jai Rodriguez. Suffice it to say, these guys won't remind you of John Wayne or Sean Connery. And, while women may swoon over traditional macho men while watching them fight the bad guys on the big screen, in their real worlds they'd actually rather be hanging with Carson and Jai, watching the E! channel and discussing fashion or decorating ideas.

But perhaps it is just women on either coast who want Metrosexual males, and that in flyover country there are still women who want to put up with real guys — as described by country music star Brad Paisley when he sings: "I don't highlight my hair. I've still got a pair. Yeah honey, I'm still a guy." — rather than the ones the Fab Five feminize.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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