Womanly Things We Wish Women Still Did?

Last month the website Madame Noire posted a list of the “7 Manly Things We Wish Men Still Did.” I don’t recommend clicking over there, because they do that super annoying website thing where each item on the list is put on a different page and there’s a pop-up audio play ad running. So here’s the list:

  • Move Out of Their Mothers’ Houses
  • Insist on Paying the Bill
  • Dialing Our Number (as opposed to texting)
  • Hold the Door Open for a Stranger
  • Keep Us Warm (give a lady your jacket)
  • Help Us with Our Bags
  • Have a Signature Aftershave

What’s interesting, is that over the years people have sent us several iterations of this kind of article, but we’ve yet to see a list by men of things they wish women still did. Because of course, writing such a list would get you clobbered over the head with charges of sexism. This double-standard generally extends to all articles about the sexes these days–it is generally okay to complain about the deficiencies of men, but never women. One cannot imagine an article entitled “The End of Women” or “Where Have All the Good Women Gone?”

Whenever you read an article like this, in the comments there are always complaints that women want to have it both ways–to be equal and independent and be treated with chivalry. And some guy always says something like, “Well I’ll go back to doing some of these old fashioned things for women, when women start bringing back some old fashioned things too.”

So a few points for discussion:

-Are there old fashioned things that you wish women still did?

-Or do you think that neither men nor women should be expected to do any old fashioned things?

-Or do you think that men should have to still do old fashioned things, but not women?

Hat tip to Darren for this link.


{ 127 comments… read them below or add one }

Magnanimous_J December 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

First of all, I don’t know what you guys are talking about in regards to women’s clothing, I went to a very strict Christian school through high school and if I never have to see another little house on the prairie school marm outfit on a beautiful young woman again, I’ll be thrilled. In my city anyway, many women dress to kill anytime they’re out in public, and quality denim can look very stylish and flattering. And in 2011, there isn’t anything wrong with showing a little skin. So lets knock off the puritan routine. Saw a girl in a low cut shirt riding a bicycle over a rough patch of asphalt this morning; made my whole day. But if I could bring back some old fashioned values, I suppose I would start with:

1) Get some hobbies or interests. It seems many women today have absolutely no curiosity about the world and have no interests outside of fashion, celebrity gossip, and trendy restaurants and night spots.

2) Control yourself around alcohol. No one enjoys the pack of super loud, drunk chicks on girl’s night out who think they are entertaining the whole bar.

3) Know how to cook. I really enjoy cooking and like cooking with the women I date. You don’t have to be Giada De Laurentis, but knowing how to cook a chicken breast makes you look way more put together.

4) Make me work a little bit for it. Shooting a zebra at the zoo isn’t a safari, and a woman throwing herself at me isn’t a conquest either.

literati February 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

Up at the top in the url it says 1897, my guess is that’s the year these comments are coming from what with all the awful sexism and misogyny. Americans in this thread, be sure to recognize Philippine independence otherwise you’ll get into some pretty nasty atrocities! Caio

les July 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Perhaps the reason there are not as many lists from men about what they wish women
still did is because we still do a heck of a lot of stuff our mothers did. I for one, being a mother of 5 kids, still cook, still clean, still do the washing and the ironing, mending, sewing, tucking in, and owie bandaging. On top of that I pay the bills, fill my gas tank, check my oil, and fill my tires. Sadly, I have to check his oil, fill his tires too if I want it done, cause he won’t. The only reason he fills his tank is because we live on base abroad and I’m not allowed to. So, yes I wish there were a few traits of “old fashioned” men in my man! I feel a song coming on–Even it up! by Heart!

Matt Tanous January 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm

“Whenever you read an article like this, in the comments there are always complaints that women want to have it both ways–to be equal and independent and be treated with chivalry.”

The real problem here is that when you are trying to get to know a girl, it is extremely difficult to tell whether that girl is the type that will lash out at you for being a “chauvinist” or appreciate you offering to hold her bag, etc. Many men, unfortunately, aren’t all that willing to drop those girls that are the former “do everything for myself” kind of person.

Bill April 5, 2013 at 9:14 am

i wish that we had women like June Cleaver and Donna Reed around again, and they were very committed to their men too.

Raquel Simone May 31, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I actually clicked on this link to find the list of womanly things men wish women did… I am not sure about other women, but a fair portion of my time is spent reading articles on how to improve myself as a girlfriend, as a cook, and as a person in general. I want to know what men look for so I can surprise my boyfriend with something special. And if you think there aren’t lists of things that women can do to improve themselves for their man, you aren’t looking very hard.

Also, if the girl is the kind of person who is going to go crazy on you for being sexist either she isn’t worth your time, or you are being sexist and you aren’t worth hers. But why be afraid to post the list, and then complain about all of the comments you never received?

Kate June 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Like Raquel I am a girl trying to find nice old fashioned things to do for “my guy”, who is not yet my bf.

Not impressed with a lot of guys out there, so I definitely want to keep a really good one!

Mister June 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Silly I know, but I really like it when a woman curls her legs up underneath when she sits; especially when riding in the car.

Will July 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Cook, sometimes even make his plate, Clean, do laundry, Be submissive in the bed room, rub his back and feet with out being asked.wash his back if you shower together, but in turn he must hold/open the door for you, lift heavy things, get things you can’t reach (if you’re shorter) hold you when you’re cold, do the yard work, and fix things, be willing to work as hard and as long as he may need to, to provide. I don’t think a woman shouldn’t or can’t work, but she at least shouldn’t have to work as hard out side the home.

Halle August 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I appreciate the thoughtful responses here from both men and women and echo many of them. As a fervid reader of Art of Manliness, I recently started a blog to be the female equivalent of AoM. It’s called Being Womanly, and we want to restore the dignity, grace, and art of womanly charms while exploring the future of femininity. Stop by and let me know what you would like to read about and see!

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bella March 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I am by no means model material. At best, I can fit ‘the girl next door’ description (or did in my early 20′s…) and keep myself healthy, though I wouldn’t go as far as saying I am “fit”. I hate the gym with a passion.

Yet, I have been proposed to four times in my life by great guys.

Not because I’m drool-worthy, as previously mentioned. I sincerely believe it is because I was raised with strong influence from my (very old fashioned) grandparents. My maternal grandmother was 14 before her village acquired electricity, and being descended from English colonists in north eastern Canada, she and her family/culture are fairly archaic. Knowing how to properly clean, cook (from scratch) sew, knit, etc…were absolutely necessary for their survival, not necessarily due to gender roles. My grandfather is equally capable of mucking out a bathroom and hemming his own pants…at the age of 80 . An unkempt house meant rodents and bugs when they were growing up. There were no restaurants or grocery stores for 100 miles in any direction. Even when my grandparents moved to the U.S. in 1950, they never lost the habit of waking at dawn and getting straight to work. To this day, my grandmother wears these flowy cotton floral dresses with aprons around the house, and I love it. My grandfather wears wool pants, suspenders and button-downs. He even carries a pipe. They are the definition of old fashioned. You walk into their house, and almost everything is hand-made, from the hook rug you stand on to the bread you smell baking in the kitchen…comforting doesn’t even come close to describing my grandparents.

I picked up a lot from them…simply because I love it. Their habits are homey….I like to recreate that sense of home with my friends and family. I am a modern woman, in high school I joined the wrestling team, I am an atheist and have held down consistent jobs since I was 16, purchasing my house when I was 20 (alone, before I even met my husband) and currently finishing my Bachelors in Environmental science . I would say I am a feminist, though I don’t think that means I have to sacrifice femininity to advocate for equal gender rights; a female should never have to be expected to be happiest barefoot in the kitchen, like I am. For my sisters, my lifestyle choices and hobbies would be absolute torture, and the ‘happy homemaker’ role would never suit them. However, they appreciate what I do tremendously and occasionally pick up a thing or two…like packing their partners’ lunches or surprising them with hand-made gifts.

Yet, I can bake just about anything, from scratch. I garden, make my own cleaning products, knit, sew, or crochet many of the textiles in my home (from clothes to curtains) and know the ‘proper’ way to set a table for tea (or any other meal).

I feel these are cultural skills Americans of both genders (as well as the genders in between) is losing to convenience. Why knit a scarf when you can buy one? Why bake cookies when the bakery is just down the street? Or worse, when you can pick up a bag of chips ahoy….why mend that hole in your pants when new ones are fairly cheap? When was the last time you saw a person built a birdhouse, or bookshelf, or chair?

See what I mean?

When people step foot into my home, I like them to feel at peace. When I married my husband, I didn’t expect to become his surrogate mother or house-maid, yet, we have an unspoken understanding; give as much as you take. I hate chopping wood (but will if I have to) so he does it for me (I like watching him do it anyways…something hot about a guy getting sweaty and dirty doing manual labor). In return, I keep the fireplace soot-free and ready for it’s next fire, so it’s not just practically warm in the winter, but nice to look at. I hate washing dishes with a seething passion, but we worked out a deal; if I change all the baby’s diapers at home, he’ll do every last dish, right when they need to be done and not hours or days later. I pack his lunches for work, he gives me the money he saves on eating out to spend however I wish (now that Im a mostly stay at home mom/college student). Even though our income is combined, he still uses his debit card when we are in public, just because it makes him feel manly. And he loves it when I am running around the house in my housedress and apron, for some reason. Or when I’ve packed a picnic in my grandmothers old wicker basket.

Like stated, I believe this has less to do with gender roles and expectations and more to do with comforting social customs that we as Americans are losing. Convenience can be quite ugly…paper plates, plastic forks and vinyl table cloths will never be as elegant or charming as an old quilt and mismatched (albeit coordinating and real) ceramic dishes and silverware at a picnic, for example.

As for the mentions of hygiene and clothing others have made….I don’t read gender stereotypes in peoples’ wishes. I hear people simply asking others to take care of their appearance…there is nothing wrong with enjoying a man who smells like old spice and knows how to wear clothes that fit more than a man who reeks of mildew and yesterdays’ take-out who hasn’t bought a new pair of drawers since high school. Same goes for women. Nothing wrong with enjoying the sight of a freshly showered woman in a pretty dress, let alone one who smells like flowers or fruit over a woman with BO and grime on her ill-fitting sweat pants.

So, for my official lists, I wish women (and men) would
1. Bring back the art of making a guest feel at home
2. Appreciate archaic arts and crafts
3. Ditch the plastic and pick up a second hand set of dishes for your picnics
4. Cook from scratch whenever possible
5. Sit down to dinner with family whenever possible
6. Put away the cell phone when having a conversation. Seriously.
7. Groom…it’s not that difficult. Really, it’s not.

Angie April 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

There are men who also want things both ways. I see them posting on FB pics of women in dresses with garter belts and stockings and wishing to have a sandwich made yet if you ask them, they’ll say yes, they still want a woman bringing home a paycheck.

Amy May 25, 2014 at 9:38 am

I wish women… including myself:

1.) Cursed less!
2.) Dressed fashionably yet respectfully
3.) Respected themselves
4.) Stopped being so Kim Kardashian and started being more Ingrid Bergman

I also agree with the 7 manly things we wish men still did!

Mindi August 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Cook, Clean, Act like a Lady in public, take care of her man and family, still get up and go to work everyday. I do all of these and when I see all of these young girls cheating on there men or just giving it up to anyone its sad. WE as a whole lowered our standards on how we want to be treated and how we treat our selves. Bring a little class back.

Seriously Speaking November 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

I wish that i could find a good old fashioned woman since most women today are Not like that.

serrin January 6, 2015 at 12:35 am

Coming to the party way late here but oh well.

I’m a woman, and I found it interesting that some of the comments about things men wish women still did are things I wish men did more of too. Maybe it’s just that people in general no longer dress nicely, cook decent meals, develop their handy DIY skills, pay attention to their manners, and make intelligent conversation. Either way I wish more men did all of those things, but I am quite happy for women not to (reduces the competition! haha)

The main thing I wish more men would do is appreciate women as people, rather than as things that are created purely for the enjoyment, use and entertainment of men. It’s true that some women treat men that way, but I feel that there are far more men who think our purpose as women is to serve men. It’s pretty depressing at times and makes it hard not to become bitter at society in general.

Something I love about my relationship is that my partner and I truly feel we are each other’s equal – we recognise each other’s superior skills in certain areas and it creates a sense of overall balance.

Jenn February 21, 2015 at 1:47 am

I wih men were manlier nowadays. Too many guys out there who cannot for the life of them change a tire, check the oil, use tools, etc. But even more important than all those traditional masculine tasks are the importance of being a provider and protector for their wives. And sadly most guys nowadays cannot or don’t want to be either.

RealityCheck January 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm

It is a real shame that there are so many Stupid Loser women out there today which their always complaining about us men that are Not doing this and Not doing that since so many women these days are Nothing like the real Good old fashioned women that we once had years ago. At least the women in those days really knew how to be very faithful to their men which today Most of them are the biggest Cheaters of them all.

Big Guy February 17, 2016 at 10:25 pm

There are lots of things that I wish women still did, but it’s a two-way street. Anyone who wants his wife to do the cooking and cleaning and take care of the kids can’t expect her to have a job on top of it. Contrary to poplular belief, not everyone had higher wages in older times. There were a few, but the media doesn’t show the majority of men who worked two jobs and sixteen hour days to make sure their wife could stay home and the wives who knew how to make meals from scratch very cheaply and find good deals at the market. What it all boils down to is that we live in a lazy, selfish society. Many men aren’t willing to work long, hard hours and many women aren’t willing to be homemakers simply because it is VERY hard work. Ask anyone who’s ever done it. This isn’t to say it’s all of men or all of women. After all, those who aren’t like that will often do it anyway to fit it. The bottom line is, we can’t blame one gender or the other for society’s problems. The fact of the matter is both sexes have a hand in it

The Very Truth Of All October 1, 2016 at 9:14 am

Well i do have to certainly say that the Real Good Old Fashioned women of years ago Definitely Did put the women of today to Real Shame.

Nameless October 2, 2016 at 8:35 pm

I would like it if people in general would be more polite. Men and women hold doors, be considerate, that kind of thing. While the here and now is cool, there’s technology like smart phones, flat screen televisions, etc., it would be nice if people had more manners. Though, I was not exactly around for the golden age of manners. I will admit that. But the women and men of the past definitely beat us out in the regard of manners, being a gentleman, and being more… conservative with what we do and wear. Hopefully no one sees this! I’m not being a man AT ALL right now.

Ron October 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm

When you really think about it which is a real shame how most of the women have really changed over the years since they have no manors at all and their personality really stinks nowadays more than ever unfortunately when years ago Most women in the old days were so much different than now and certainly very pleasant to meet as well. The Media has caused many of these women to become very pathetic over the years and they’re so very nasty to us men when we will try to talk too them. Quite a real change from the old days when most women were very ladylike. It is very obvious why there are many of us good men that are still single now since the women of today have really changed unfortunately for the worst.

K October 30, 2016 at 7:38 pm

I think things are looking up! The fact that there are many young people trying to be more true to themselves as women and as men – learning to cook properly, groom, be kind, and having respect for the other sex – is demonstrated by this website and others. (Here is another good blog: http://www.elegantwoman.org/elegant-self-confidence.html.) Don’t lose hope – but also, don’t be like me and spend more time reading this cool website than on homework. Cheers. Okay, one more point: since when does being hard-working and manly or womanly mean old-fashioned? It’s, like, the new cool, man.

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