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Dennis W. Neder
Real Social Dynamics
Meet people from all over the US interested in no-strings attached fun.
Do Men Respect Women?Dear Dennis:
I wonder about this from time to time, but I figure that I need an answer from an insightful man in order to get a truthful answer on this:
Do men respect women in general? Do men pity women in general, because of our vulnerabilities? Or do men have a certain "hard-to-explain" admiration for women at times and pity other times? What can a woman do to get and earn men's respect in most cases? A lot of men speak in a condescending way towards and about women. Can a woman have a lot of sex and still get a lot of respect? Can a woman talk about having a lot of sex and still get respect? Why do many women seem to never grow out of that adolescent unsure-of-themselves phase, while men tend to realize their strengths and utilize them to their benefit?
Okay, it's a lot of questions - but they all really center around one general principle of respect. It seems to me that many women can't seem to get a grip on the power that they possess, and forever see themselves as being in a position whereby they have to compete and prove their worth - rather than being in a position where they already understand their worth and are just looking for a man who meets "their" standards. I see that women constantly compromise, when they don't need to - turn themselves into whores and fake bi-sexuals sometimes - just to compete with ambitious attention whores.
What are your thoughts?
Yes, that IS a lot of questions! However, there is one simple answer to them all: yes and no.
Some men respect all women and some don't respect any women at all. Many women ("feminists" in particular) demand that all women (as a group) are given respect whereas many male chauvinists follow the policy of giving no woman respect whatsoever. In fact, in every case these are all stupid and ignorant philosophies!
I've done many interviews wherein the interviewer (most often a feminist herself) accused me of not "respecting women"; usually because they read some small part of my book or an article that they don't like. My response is this: "You're right!" In fact, I don't respect "women". I also don't respect politicians or dog trainers or Christian fundamentalists or boy scouts or school teachers or those in the military or computer programmers or any other particular group of people. I only respect individuals; and then, only based on what they say and do. Indeed, there are many women that I have absolutely no respect for, and some of these have even earned my disdain. On the other hand, there are many women that have earned my highest respect.
I would never presume to speak for every man out there, but according to my own research, and the huge number of letters I get everyday from readers, I believe that in general, most men feel very good about women. Is this "respect"? I can't say specifically, but I think there has to be at least some respect involved in order to have these kinds of positive feelings. If men are guilty of any respect-based crimes, I think it's giving away too much respect too soon, but in fact, this isn't a huge, rampant problem and most men learn to deal with this early on.
On the other hand, men view women very *differently* than themselves. That difference in view doesn't mean that they don't respect women (or that they do either!), it's just "different". For example, I'm sure that you know many women that also view men differently than themselves. There's a reason why most women prefer a man that's taller - it's because they view these men as able to protect and even nurture them. This is a natural, inborn need for these women in order to feel love. On the other hand, they don't feel the same way about women that are taller than themselves however.
Is that "respect"? Not really. It's just a different way of feeling about the opposite gender. Respect may be involved, but it's not the foundation of how they feel.
In my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World I & II" I talk pretty heavily about these gender differences and specifically how they affect our relationships with each other. I want both men and women to learn to play into these differences for their own advantages. What you call "power" I simply call natural advantage, and I believe that each of us possesses different sets of these advantages in different measure. That's a good thing - especially when we learn to use them to improve our lives and even the lives of others around us.
It's because of these differences however that I can't specifically answer your questions! For instance, "Can a woman that has lots of sex still be respected?" That's impossible to answer generally. For me, yes, she can earn my respect since the amount of sex she has had has no bearing on how I respect her. In fact, I think that someone that is highly sexually mature can be very respectable! What's more important to our very beings than our sexuality? I don't know of any particular attribute that is more foundational than our sexuality. Thus, someone that has worked hard to build theirs in a healthy way is someone that is likely to earn my respect. Likewise, someone that has avoided building and understanding their own sexuality is someone that is likely to NOT get my respect!
Other men however see this either as a threat or view it negatively for some other belief. They might very well not give respect for this. Is that "wrong"? To me it is, but that's just one opinion. They feel it's perfectly right to believe as they do.
What I advise people is to create their own yardsticks based on their own beliefs, desires, experiences and philosophies and to be clear about them. There's nothing wrong with adopting a particular belief system that someone else creates as long as they know WHY they believe as they do. Simply adopting something to fill in a gap isn't a respectable action. Knowing why someone believes in something and how it affects that individual - and adopting it because it fits well their own belief system - is.
Then, when situations come along, they can simply apply that against their own yardsticks and see how they fit. If they fit well, then this person might (based on many other factors) be worthy of their respect. If not, they may choose to no respect that individual.
Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? I answer all email. You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" (volumes I & II), and other products visit: www.beingaman.com. Check out the discussion group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beingaman.
Copyright (c) 2005, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
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