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Jewish World Review Feb. 13, 2004 / 21 Shevat, 5764

Tom Purcell

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Consumer Reports

Dr. Laura plays Cupid | I have an important Valentine's Day message for women: Dr. Laura is right about men.

In her book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands," Dr. Laura says that men are simple creatures. That all we want is some appreciation, respect, a full belly and a little lovin', and she's exactly right. (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Unfortunately, too few men are enjoying such treatment anymore. No, many are getting the precise opposite: disdain, hypersensitivity, criticism, bullying and nagging.

Why? It's because, says Schlessinger, women no longer know how to use their "feminine wiles" to bring out the best in men. This traces directly back to the feminist movement.

  "Since Gloria Steinem said 'women need men like fish need bicycles,' more than a generation of women have foolishly bought that destructive nonsense and have denigrated men, marriage, familial obligation, and motherhood - all to their own detriment."

I'm glad Dr. Laura is able to say this, because a man could get shot for making such a charge. But she is not suggesting that women should become the subservient little wives of old. No, she is simply saying that too many women have been biting off their nose to spite their face.

Look, ladies, we men ARE simple creatures. It's true there are a million things we don't do right. Men are more likely than women to leave the groceries on the roof of the car before exiting onto the interstate. We're more likely to not notice that the diapers need changed or that the kitchen sink is overflowing.   But there are two ways to approach us: negative or positive.

The negative approach is the popular one these days. For 40 years now, the world has pointed out our numerous shortcomings. To be sure, we were guilty on a number of counts and we worked hard to correct our wrongs, but now we don't know don't know what women want.

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You see, what we have always wanted most is to please our women. In the old days, even a bald chubby guy could win a women's appreciation just by earning a CPA. But now the persistent dissatisfaction of our women is becoming the ruin of us.

To please you, many men are exhausting themselves at the gym to improve their looks and perfect their six-pack abs. Others are at the mall, dolling themselves up in the trendiest fashions and talking hours to their hairstylists about the latest goop to put in the hair. Some are taking sensitivity classes to get in touch with their feelings, which is ridiculous. We men have feelings! We may not use them, but we have them.

And the more sissified we become, the less happy you become — the less able we are to figure out what it is that you want. Heck, I was raised the only boy with five sisters and even I have no idea what women want. I think it has something to do with changing the toilet paper roll when the toilet paper runs out, but who knows.

In any event, ladies, there is a better way to approach us: The positive way. Instead of dwelling on what we're doing wrong, why not consider what we're also doing right. Why not help us get better at doing what is right.

One of Dr. Laura's listeners summed our situation up in a nutshell:

"A husband is like a horse. If his master drives and beats him, he'll go just so far before bucking and rebelling. But if you love him, if you coax him, he'll drive himself till his heart explodes before he will let down his master."

That is the absolute truth about most men, ladies. Our happiness is directly related to how happy we make you. Your happiness is directly related to how happy you help us to become. It's not complicated. Men and women need each other to be happy.

But don't ask me, ask Gloria Steinem. She got married a few years ago.

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02/06/04: The Investigation
01/23/04: Weighty adjustment
01/16/04: Bucks for betrothals
01/09/04: Decisions, decisions
01/02/04: Making New Year's resolutions for others
12/27/03: Holiday Pork
12/19/03: FOUND! The captured-Saddam transcript
12/12/03: Peace, Man
12/05/03: Who are you, Miss Manners?
12/01/03: Joyless, selfish children
11/21/03: Thanksgiving, updated for our times
11/14/03: Hang in there, tubby America, your day in the sun will come
11/07/03: Morale at Veterans' Day
10/31/03: The Big Picture
10/24/03: A sorry bunch
10/17/03: Conversation with a typical poll respondent?
10/10/03: Men and women and brains
10/03/03: Iraqi Pork
09/26/03: They would not leave
09/19/03: A radical idea
09/12/03: Food Guide Pyramid has a "stupidity factor"?
09/05/03: Flag waving and football cheering
08/29/03: People who have it all, too often don't
08/25/03: Attack of the 'virus twits'
08/08/03: Why not have a whole slew of the world's dignitaries and leaders come by to visit you?
08/01/03: Do you really want to live until 500?
07/18/03: "Ain't-my-fault" lawsuits are becoming more creative
07/18/03: The real story never makes for good summertime drama in Washington
07/11/03: Government bureaucrats, not elected officials, are really the ones determining what people and organizations can and can't do
07/03/03: Overworked Americans
06/27/03: The Metrosexual Male
06/20/03: Crime Etiquette in Washington, D.C.
06/13/03: My Father, the Thief and the MGB
06/05/03: An Open Letter to Bill and Hillary
05/30/03: We are a busy people
05/23/03: Liar, Liar
05/16/03: Laffer all the way to the bank
05/09/03: My mother's house
05/02/03: Teaching the Iraqis how to protest
04/25/03: Iraqi TV
04/21/03: Explaining Democracy to the Iraqis
04/11/03: Major increases to the beer tax? That's a cheap shot right to the beer gut
04/04/03: War humor
03/31/03: Dolphins, PETA and the USA
03/21/03: Traffic Wars
03/14/03: Ronald Reagan's St. Patrick's Day
03/03/03: My Family's Tragic Secret: We're French
02/21/03: I'm worried about my people
02/14/03: George Washington Makeover
02/07/03: Making quiet sacrifices
01/24/03: "Gimme the, goo-goo, gah-gah, remote!"
01/21/03: "Misunderestimated"
01/10/03: Republican night life
01/06/03: Exercise pills
12/31/02: They provide unending joy to those who are wise enough to let them in
12/13/02: Hurried Man Syndrome
12/06/02: In DC, snowstorms have important ramifications --- or, at least, they should
11/26/02: Police advertising
11/15/02: An Interview with Osama
11/01/02: How to vote in America
10/25/02: On edge in Washington, D.C
10/11/02: Giving new meaning to "selling your body"
10/04/02: Bush's Angels
09/27/02: Conservatives, Liberals, Dick Armey and Barry Manilow
09/20/02: Are SUV drivers are the new GOPers?
09/13/02: Bubba is Dubya's man
09/06/02: The Freedom to Picnic
08/16/02: Ah, the $izzle of anti-terrorist pork
08/09/02: Vacationless prez and gutless Americans
07/26/02: Study gives women permission not to hide their emotions
07/15/02: Patriot food
06/28/02: Eavesdropping on a San Fran classroom
06/21/02: The crowded skies
06/14/02: Contemporary Father's Day: A conversation for the ages
06/07/02: Legal rights for animals?
05/19/02: Advice for prom goers this year: Hold onto your money
05/10/02: Don't take her for granted
05/03/02: Letter to the parents of a tubby teen
04/26/02: Zacarias Moussaoui gets expert legal advice

© 2003, Tom Purcell