Warrior babes: Must men lie even about what we find sexually attractive?

Moderate disagreement here on the idea that men don’t want physically robust wives. I don’t know that this fainting dame thing should be taken so far by anyone into traditional living. The sturdy, stocky, physically strong woman is a common enough wife-type throughout history and the idea that those husbands really weren’t sexually attracted to their strong, muscular wives who could toss hay bales and catch stray calves solo is weird.

Men want women who are less masculine than they are, that much is true. But the cute physically frail woman is a luxury good and not exactly a traditionally desired wife-type for the average man.

Warrior-woman, no, that’s taking things too far, men mostly aren’t interested in their own personal shieldmaiden. But the delicate blossom who can’t lift more than a teacup is not exactly what a lot of men want either.

Throne and Altar

Many years back, I came across a show on the TV guide channel called something like “The top ten sexiest women in sci fi”, and I decided to watch it to gain some insight on early twenty-first century cultural…oh hell, you know why I was watching it.  Anyway, “science fiction” was defined broadly to include a bunch of science fiction, fantasy, and superhero TV shows.  (In case you’re wondering, yes, ogling women is a bad thing.  Do as I say, not as I did.)

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10 thoughts on “Warrior babes: Must men lie even about what we find sexually attractive?

  1. It all depends on what a man is looking for and finds attractive. I’m built a bit on the thicker side and my frame is very broad-shouldered for a woman, and I have been told by men who have dated / married me (so obviously a self-selected sample, but I work with what I got) that they liked my build because it signaled strength. The big, burly guy felt like he could be vulnerable around me because I could handle taking on the world on my own if I needed to.

    If a man is looking for an accessory, then yes I don’t make a very good accessory. If a man is looking for a partner, they look for me (or others like me) because I make an excellent partner.

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  2. I was never anyone’s definition of “stocky”, but at 5’9″ and never rail thin, I tend closer to Amazonian than a petite, cute, fragile woman. And I have never starved for male attention. But never from anyone under 6 feet tall either, so I assume most men would prefer to be able to look down at their bride, or have her look up to them.

    I noted the follow up comments to yours over at Bonald’s, asked m own husband, and his answer was the same as it always has been: “I’m glad to have a wife who can help move an armoire, board up the windows when a hurricane is coming, and spare me a considerable amount of yard work. I needed a woman who can do something.” I wasn’t much use the first few years as my father outsourced just about every large household job except yard work. My hubs was raised in a DIY house so I had to learn quickly, and he put my frame to good use.

    He’s also raised our girls in such a way that their husbands (should they marry) will find them most useful. So it’s not necessarily true that modernity has made physically capable women obsolete. And even if it has, when the SHTF, they will certainly come back into fashion.*

    Wealthy men who can afford to hire out almost every bit of manual household labor and work too much to do any themselves, are probably less inclined to see a wife’s value outside of the post modern definition of “traditional” homemaker; cooking, cleaning, laundry, and child care. In fact, I know many families who never have their girls doing anything remotely physically challenging.

    *This is not an attempt to stealthly interject fat acceptance. I am as far from a fat acceptance advocate as you’ll ever “meet”, as our gracious hostess is aware.

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  3. A thought… perhaps men like women (and women, men) who are built like they belong to their own “tribe” more often than not. So, men are generally bigger/stronger/bulkier than women of their tribe, but if you cross tribes you will find far smaller, more slender people and far bulkier people.

    In other words – men like women who look like women, but what “women” look like differs. And yes, they prefer women who are smaller/more slender than they are… but not every man is the same size. (And slender does not necessarily equal weak, or vice versa).

    I looked up a very bulky, strong lady and here’s a pic of her and her BF – who is even stronger and bulkier. http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03143/Annie-Thorisdottir_3143778c.jpg

    My personal stats, even if I were as thin as I’m ever likely to get? I’m still going to be bulky and short. And my husband can tuck me under one arm and walk off with me. /shrug.

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  4. I am 5’10” and a size 8 and I’ve always had plenty of male attention. I don’t know if I’m stronger than the average woman. I think that most “weak” women are faking it so that they won’t be asked to do any heavy lifting.

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  5. I’m 5’4″ and a size 8, which is relatively wide for my height. Only men significantly more muscular or tall than me find me attractive. So, all those short scrawny dudes who mock chunky chicks on the interwebs are out.

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    • What about fat, bald dudes who mock chunky chicks on the interwebs (e.g. Matt Forney)?

      I don’t dislike “warrior women,” but I understand that such a woman may not be attracted to someone like me. I also agree that attraction may be molded by pragmatic realities–for instance, a woman who can pull her own weight would have been very valuable during the westward expansion of the USA.

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  6. 5’10” and a size 8

    You’re like a model, LOL. I am a 10 on top, 12 on the bottom and up at 6 running every morning like someone is chasing me trying to change it and get back to my pre-motherhood 8 on top, 10 on bottom, to no avail.

    My point wasn’t so much that smaller women are weak. It was more an objection to the notion that stronger women, or women who look stronger (again, not obese) are automatically lacking sexual appeal, or even broad sexual appeal. It just hasn’t been my experience

    Women like that -like me, I guess- have been courted and getting married with ease and regularity for many, many years. And still do, even in this, the age of the very slender trophy wife.

    Most of my comments were a mix of reactions to both the post here and the comments on the OP that was linked to, hence the possible confusion.

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  7. I’ve been thinking about human bio-diversity and physical types, and I keep coming back to dog breeds. Each breed of dog was bred to have a certain physical conformation based on the work it was supposed to accomplish. And the “beauty” of a dog is based on how closely it conforms to the standard of its breed.

    How does this relate to women? The popular type of woman today, it seems is slender, long haired, long-legged, narrow-hipped and …er… deep-chested. A saluki-type woman, if you will.

    But not all dogs are salukis. Some dogs are dachshunds. Some dogs are mastiffs. Some dogs are chihuahuas, and some, Heaven help them, are bulldogs. No amount of diet and exercise will make a dachshund look like a saluki.

    In order to be intellectually consistent, those who believe in human bio-diversity must also acknowledge this. That if there are different breeds of human, women from one breed are not going to be physically capable of conforming to the standards of another breed. The best a woman can do is be the fittest, healthiest example of her human breed that exists.

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  8. In sci-fi way back in the 30s, Flash Gordon’s girlfriend/sidekick was Dale Arden. I haven’t seen these movies in years, but as I recall her primary purpose was to be kidnapped by Ming the Merciless who wanted to marry her. In the 1950s, Hollywood produced many fun sci-fi B-movies that usually starred a beautiful woman who knew how to scream and faint. In the 1960s, along came Star Trek and women played minor roles as either support staff or love interests. Then in the 1970s, we enjoyed the original Star Wars movie and Princess Leia. It seems like that was a turning point. Princess Leia was both damsel-in-distress and heroine. Since then the screaming-helpless-victim women of sci-fi have morphed into warrior babes (e.g. Lara Croft and Xena).

    Did men find the helpless women pre-Star Wars more attractive? Personally, I find their helplessness to be annoying, but I understand it created a necessary conflict point in the plot and set up the climax rescue scene and the final satisfying resolution. In reality, men are often attracted to strong, capable women and marry them. But sci-fi is fantasy – I believe that men prefer to be the hero doing the rescuing in their fantasies.

    I agree with the OP. I think feminist dogma has interfered with the sci-fi genre and corrupted men’s role as the hero. At best now the male character can be a co-hero with an equally capable woman by his side. At worst his character is the damsel-in-distress.

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