Culture · Relationships

what women want

Dennis Prager writes a perceptive article about what women really want.

First, Prager suggests that “what men most want from the woman they love is to be admired.” So the correlation is not really surprising. “What a woman most wants is to be loved by a man she admires.”

“And what is it that women most admire in a man? From decades of talking to women on the radio and, of course, from simply living life, I have concluded that an admirable man is one who has three qualities: strength, integrity and ambition.

All three are needed. Strength without integrity is machismo. Integrity without strength or without ambition is a milquetoast. And ambition without integrity is a successful crook.”

In a world where “sexy” seems to be the only measurement that counts, the idea of being admirable can seem a little old-fashioned. But here’s why it matters:

“The beauty of all this is that it all comes together for men, for women and for society.

Women get what they want most: to be married to and loved by a man they admire. Men then attain what they want most: to be admired by the woman they love. And society gets the thing it most needs: admirable men.”

5 thoughts on “what women want

  1. Jan, thanks for sharing this article. I followed the link and read it in its entirety. I must be honest; it comes off as sexist to me. Yes, women want to be loved by men they admire, but don’t women also want their men to admire them as well? (I know I do!) And don’t men want women to love — not just admire — them? The last sentence, especially, strikes me as unnecessarily exclusive. Doesn’t society need admirable men AND women? Instead, the paragraph implies that if women would admire their men, and men love their women, then “society gets the thing it most needs: admirable men.” Perhaps I am one of those crazy feminists the author refers to, but I believe that men and women should respect (or admire) AND love each other; the two are not mutually exclusive, and I have not found support for the notion that a “Biblical” relationship is one in which the husband is “respected” (as the patriarch), while the wife is “loved” (like a child, or the family pet).

    I so rarely disagree with you, Jan, that I must confess that this is uncharted territory for me. I look forward to the dialogue!



    1. Wow… thanks for your comment Nora. Those are great observations that I confess I didn’t think of when I read the article. I think you know I am also a biblical egalitarian, so I generally read things with the “bias filter” in place.

      I do agree with all your points – men also want to be loved and women want to be admired. But I think I read it from a more traditional understanding – while men & women are equal, they’re still different in how they feel valued. In today’s culture women are “admired” for their figures and “sexy” quotient, and men are accepted as irresponsible. I think given a choice, women would rather be loved by someone they admire than someone they believe will dump them at any minute because that seems like the only option.

      Plus, as long as we live in a world that is still largely tilted towards male heirarchy, I think having more admirable men would only help. (Think banking senior management and government…) I look forward to your thoughts!


  2. I have some agreement with both of you on this issue. Nora – I have been a Dennis Prager listener for years – have found myself less intrigued by some of his musings of late. I do think that he does have some sexist tendencies…however he does recognize the reality of male animal response mechanism. Which does seem to reinforce his “men want to be admired by the the women they love.” for men ADMIRED is the operative word and for women it is LOVED. I really think that this issue revolves around semantics – love and admiration may not be gender neutral in their definitions. And Jan I think that you focused on that point. I think we all do have that need to be “loved and admired” – and the key is that who is admiring or loving us.

    I do think that his “Strength – Integrity – Ambition” explanation is very insightful and accurate and probably the best take away from his article.

    But then on the other hand -what do I know – I’ve been single my whole life and still would welcome that love or admiration.


  3. Jan & Jackie,
    Thanks for your thoughtful responses. I am certainly in agreement that admirable men are a good thing, ergo, more admirable men are an even better thing. And certainly, women should be in positive, loving relationships with men they also admire.

    What I am taking issue with here is that Prager’s essay seems to be a rehashing of the old “men need respect/women need love” paradigm for marital harmony that many have extrapolated from Ephesians. The implication then becomes that women (who need love) don’t need respect, and the principle is used to reinforce marital hierarchy and patriarchy. (I will say that I’ve never heard the reverse applied — that men don’t need love — but that too is a dangerous implication from a very literal and explicit reading of the text.) If that is not what Prager was getting at, then I’m all wet, and feel free to disregard everything I’ve said, if you haven’t already. πŸ™‚

    Secondly, why didn’t Prager simply issue a call for more admirable people, period? Aren’t admirable qualities desirable in everyone, even in the less powerful 50 percent of the population? I still contend that his focus on admirable men carries with it the implicit assumption that admirable women are not as desirable as admirable men.

    Well, that’s enough hot air from me for today. I don’t comment often, Jan, but you’ve heard enough from me now to last you for another year. πŸ™‚



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