I don't know about you, but one thing I really love is when other people who do not know me try to explain my feelings and desires to me — especially if that person doing the explaining about how I feel is an aging white guy. That's why I was elated to see that today, a helpful male political consultant has put together the definitive guide to what women voters really want in a politician — and in a man.
You guys, writing about this bit written by former Bush/Cheney political consultant Matthew Dowd and posted, for some WTF reason, by ABC News is hard because the whole thing is so embarrassingly bad. It's that mansplainy article that other guy wrote about what he'd do if he were a poor black kid bad. So instead of just posting a video of me laughing ruefully until I cry all of my eyeliner off, I'm responding in the next best way: a gifsplanation.
Here we go. What Women Want in a President. By a dude.
Mel Gibson played a chauvinistic advertising executive in the movie "What Women Want" who had an accident that gave him the power to hear women's thoughts and feelings. I don't have that power, but I am going to speculate on what many women might want in a man - in this election cycle and more broadly.
Again, this is just the humble opinion of one man (and I emphasize man) who grew up with four sisters, has a daughter, two ex-wives and three sons who have dated a broad variety of women.
Sorry, have to comment: "and I emphasize man?" In my LADY EXPERIENCE, every single guy I've known who has emphasized at every chance how mantacular he is has had either serious problems with his mother or serious problems with his penis. Whatever is going on there, dude — I am sorry.
It's true that issues are important, including social and cultural matters, as well as a plan on growing the economy and affordable day care and equal pay and flex time.
But women, like all voters, also cue into the type of leader someone might be, and what their personality and communication skills say about them as a man.
I think many women are conflicted on this in their personal life choices as well as in their political leaders.
Often women express a desire that they want what has been traditionally called the "Alan Alda man" - someone who's sensitive who will key into their feelings, listen and not be overly masculine.
But often they choose the opposite. Many women think they have to decide between a man who is gentle but weak and one who is strong but mean. When given the choice, women opt more for the John Wayne type.
Many women want to be in a relationship with a man who is clear, strong, kind, knows where he is going, can stand up when confronted and can make a woman feel protected and safe. They really don't have a lot of confidence in someone who is passive, unsure and unwilling to fight the good fight when needed.
Looking at the last debate through this prism for women,
Where does one obtain a woman-prism? I keep trying to read polling data with my vagina, and I'm at a loss. Anyone?
Romney came across as strong, assertive and clear, while President Obama came across as a bit weak and passive. From this presentation - even with the issue landscape favoring Obama - women began to move to Romney.
Just as it is for many women in understanding what men want from them as they share roles as wives, moms and workers, the balance required as a man in this modern age - whether in a president or partner - is equally difficult and confused.
One day, men will be comfortable blending Alan Alda and John Wayne into a new archetype integrating strong, kind gentle and protective in a way that has both integrity and modern chivalry.
When we as men get better at constructing that model, we'll be giving women more of what they want as leaders and as men.
Now that we've finally settled, once and for all, what women really want, maybe we can move onto the next burning question I'm feeling: what the fuck did I just read?
[Gifs via Uproxx et al]