Dear Thought Catalog, I Am Not One For Writing Complaining Letters, Really…

This is a reader response from Steve Bishop, originally sent to Thought Catalog by email and re-published with permission.

Dear Thought Catalog,

I am not one for writing complaining letters, really. But when I read the article published on Thought Catalog “13 things a woman can do to be more attractive to men” I just couldn’t let the things said in that page of filth go without some form of response. What year are we living in? I’ll give you a clue – it doesn’t start with 18. Do you really think that this is how the world views women now, in this day and age?

I’m a twenty-six year old male, and I’m going to go down the entire article now, and point out where and why it is wrong. You might not read it, but I’m going to write anyway simply because I am a superior writer to this “John Smith” who wrote the article. I’ll assume that’s a pseudonym? An unimaginative one at that, and one that highlights the authors inability to stand by his own opinions for fear of angry backlash. Ironic really, for an article about what traits are found attractive by the opposite gender as any human being, male or female, will agree that confidence is the most attractive trait a human can possibly have. Which does of course mean that a woman may follow this list, or do the exact opposite, and still be attractive anyway so long as she’s confident enough, and happy with who she is.

This certainly becomes apparent when one considers the articles first point- staying in shape. Let me assure you, I’ve had terrific sex with skinny girls, curvy girls, and large girls, and the key ingredient to what made them sexy was their confidence. This is because the women in question didn’t care about anyone’s view on them other than their own. They were happy with themselves and their confidence came from that.
So given that a human is at their most confident when they stop caring what people think, when a woman eats, why should she be doing so with the thought on her mind “I should cut back, or else men won’t like me?” It’s a very ignorant view on the modern world that you think the woman needs or even wants to curb her diet around the quest for companionship anyway. People are independent, in this day and age. This article not only suggest that men prefer girls of a certain build but also gives instructions on how to achieve this. Instructions? Seriously?

Moving onto body modification, this actually made me laugh. There are plenty of tattooed models, and plenty with hair dyed every colour of the rainbow. And it looks fantastic. It’s a true symbol of expression, and confidence, as the modern human can express themselves outwardly in ways beyond natural limitations, depending on their own personal taste. Again, no woman will dye her hair so that men will like her- she’ll dye it because she likes it that way. She does not get a tattoo thinking “Men will like this.” She gets one because SHE likes it. Already reading this article, I’m starting to think “John Smith” has spent a century living in a cave blindfolded.

In regards to making their own money, I will admit you got me. I do prefer my partners to be independent and the amount of money they earn doesn’t matter. However it’s laughable that the article supports independent living when it suggests two posts down that the woman is to “be submissive.” It would seem “John Smith” would very much like a woman to serve him but would also want her to have her own income because heaven forbid he actually needs to pull his own weight every now and again. I’ll elaborate further on the submissiveness aspect soon but let me assure you for now, that “John Smiths” desire to have a woman serve him, while also earning her own income translates to “I won’t give you anything for all the nice things you do for me, as you have your own money” which effectively makes him a leech.

But before I elaborate further on the absurdity of this submissiveness, next on the list is “Be feminine.”Well, if we go by John Smith’s outdated idea of what makes one feminine, then having their own income surely contradicts that!

What John Smith really says here is “I have a fragile male ego, and if a woman is stronger than me I will cry.” Who cares if the woman is stronger than the male? Again, this is the 21st Century. Nowadays we do see “masculine” women with “feminine” men, and yet still in heterosexual couples. These are strong, independent women, who are comfortable with who they are, alongside male partners who are comfortable enough with who they are also, to the extent that they can be with a strong woman and not have their ego bruised. These people do exist and they are happy. Much happier than John Smith’s wife, I imagine.

Next on the list is “Being Submissive.”

Oh boy, where do I begin?
“This kind of overlaps with being feminine.” No it doesn’t, John Smith. I really don’t need to elaborate. It just doesn’t.

The article says “heaven forbid you do a little back bending for the sake of pleasing YOUR man because you want to keep him interested in you.”

I’m going to say straight away that any woman who needs to be submissive to a male partner in order to keep him interested is with the wrong man. And you can pass that on to John Smith’s wife. A relationship is a two-way street. Both members give, and both members obtain pleasure from pleasuring their partner. This is why we have terms for our loved ones such as “Partner” and “other half” instead of terms like “slave” and “servant.” A lot of people will tell you that gender roles in the modern relationship are becoming obsolete. Happy couples appreciate the human that they are with.

In regards to sex, if it’s not a battle for dominance then it’s just a glorified cuddle. Play fighting is part of foreplay. It’s the most obvious form of flirting. And there is nothing wrong with ending up either submissive or dominant. Of course some people have preferences, but there is also a large number of women who love to dominate and men who love to submit. Google Images can give you some good examples.

Also, your article gives instructions here too, on how to be submissive. “Rub his back, watch what he wants to watch, suck him off.”

Seriously? Are you telling women that the way to be attractive to a man is to perform oral sex on him when he wants it? What if the woman doesn’t like performing oral sex? Some don’t, just as some men don’t enjoy going down on women either. It happens. People have preferences. Some women enjoy giving oral sex, and whether they suck a guy off depends on whether they want to, not dependent on whether they guy demands it. That’s not a partnership, that’s rape.

And now that I’ve dropped the R-Word, let’s move onto the next point in the article, sex life, that one thing that any man who forces his women to meet this articles criteria doesn’t have!

“Men want a woman that has a healthy sex drive and few past sexual partners.” Why does the number of past sexual partners matter? They’re in the past for a reason. People would be happier if they stopped looking backwards.

The article then says the second point I agree with- be intelligent. Intelligence is a virtue, yes. It’s also point 7 in an article of thirteen, and I only agree with two of them so far. One is forced to wonder how the author of this article intends to get himself an intelligent woman when any woman with a functioning brain will look at the criteria required of her and run for the hills.

The next point is that a woman needs to be child free to be attractive. Now, while I’m personally in no way ready for an instant family and so would not date a woman with children, I know many men that do, because they love the woman for who she is. I guess in the authors eyes, children are a sign of “past sexual partners,” and single mothers are a sign of divorce, perhaps? And we all know how much the author loves his old fashioned vintage values. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’d have single mothers stoned to death. Simply put, there are good men out there who do get with single mothers, and they do so with an understanding that the woman in question has children. But the article also says that if a woman has a child, it’s even more of a turn off for men if that child is biracial.

Again, what century is John Smith from? It’s perfectly fine to be intimate with someone of a different race. How is that anything to be repulsed by?

The next point, and my eyes are actually sore from looking at this filth, is “be willing to cook for him three times a week.”
Now this would walk hand in hand with submissiveness. Which raises the question, why should a woman do this? To please the man? Why doesn’t he cook for her for a change?

The next point, and one I again agree with, is putting down the phone. Yes, this is true. It’s infuriating being with someone who just constantly texts away on her gadget. I do think, however, that John Smiths lady friends would probably have more time to focus on him if he wasn’t such an old fashioned ignoramus. The phone thing works both ways. Men do it too, if the woman is boring. Really, people should just try not to be boring. But this is the part of this point that made me laugh- “This is why my friends and I stack our phones on the table in front of us when we are at a restaurant/bar instead of only partially paying attention to the present company.”

WHOA, the author has friends????

The next point is easing up on the make up. I can almost see where this one is coming from, but then you need to consider what else men expect women to do- shave armpits, shave legs. But don’t wear make up, because we like them natural. Sometimes make up can be used as a form of artistic expression. Again, there are girls out there who can do amazing things with a lot of make up. But to the articles defense there are a lot of girls who wear too much make up badly. What people should do is find a style that works for them and master it.

The next point is stop cussing. Who cares? Seriously, they’re just words. Use them appropriately. Obviously if you’re in a nice place having a meal and she’s dropping the f-bomb every ten minutes then it’s a matter of her intelligence that’s brought to question. If she’s visiting the author of this article, then I fully expect her to be cussing.

The last point is stop hoarding guy friends.

I know a lot of women who have male friends, and it’s silly to assume all of them want to get on her. While I do agree, there are vultures who hover around waiting for an argument to strike, any woman worth being with can see through this and those kind of men do not make up “9 out of 10 of your (the woman’s) guy friends.” Of course, if “John Smith” argues with his woman and her guy friends tell her that he’s a dick, by all means LISTEN TO THEM! Again, it works both ways. No doubt the author is allowed to have female friends. Guess what? In this day and age we can be friends with the opposite gender and not expect sex. It’s awesome.

The article then lists six weak counterarguments to any backlash he may get from this article. Most of these are offensive, one in particular states that if a man loves a woman for who she is, he’s actually simply just accepting of her faults.

Listen, Thought Catalog, to conclude my e-mail let me just say, if you want people to take you seriously and gain a reputation, stop allowing this filth to be published. This is offensive, and outdated. And as any intelligent author or publisher knows, the trick to good article writing is to stay current. John Smiths ideas are from the dark ages. They deserve to stay there, and he does not need or deserve further publicity. The presence of his counter arguments alone proves he wrote this article to offend and for you to publish it reflects badly on you.

I hope you understand. TC mark

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