I find myself being charmed by the brash and often oafish inappropriateness of some men — the way they clumsily flirt by making crude penis jokes, the way they eagerly want to fix things around my house, and in my life, by offering up unsolicited advice. At the same time, these feel like betrayals of feminist views I have come to hold. I now see how inappropriate sexual jokes are part and parcel of an objectifying culture; I know that “mansplaining” indicates a guy might underestimate my capabilities and intelligence; and I can see that a man suffering from White Knight Syndrome has a keen lack of self-worth. Yes, I know.
But any man who can confidently fix my plumbing or my computer has my attention. Just as I am prone to contradiction, my intuition tells me these men are, too.
I know many woman who would be incredulous if a man displayed such machismo as to put his hands on her body — as if he were owed access to it — within minutes of meeting. And I don’t blame them. Women are becoming more rigid in the behaviors they’ll accept in a mate, which is leaving a lot of men confused.