What exactly is the role of the modern man in a relationship?
Women lead the way in a relationship because they’re very demanding, especially when it comes to things like the kids and school. Men struggle to keep up, and women can feel ‘responsible’ for them.
On the other hand, some men say that women wear them out, but the reverse isn't true for most women! This is where we start to see role reversals between the formerly dominant male and the female. Men aren’t dominated by women: they’re dragged along by the force of female power, a bit like a high-speed train!
Do the popularity of the Chippendales and the trend for images of naked men mean that women are taking their revenge on men by putting them in the position of objects?
You can see it as a kind of revenge for how women were treated in the past. The Chippendales are the complete expression of that feeling : men stripping off for women is a total role reversal. But it’s only a one-off thing, a bit of fun between friends.
It is just harmless fun, though, or are we destroying the masculine image?
A bit of both. Obviously it’s about women getting their own back, having a bit of fun and entertainment, but it doesn’t go too far. At the end of the day the women know that you shouldn’t be too hard on men – there are limits, and it’s just for entertainment. Men still have all the economic power, but the male problem isn’t power, it’s that they aren’t number one any more. But at the end of the day women aren’t out to ‘get’ men, and they don't have negative feelings towards them in that respect.
Do women have the power to make men do whatever they want?
No, and this is a really strange phenomenon; there’s so much overlap and mixing of roles. We’re moving away from a hierarchical society towards a society based on negotiation and communication within the family structure. It’s not caused by a difference in character, it's because for centuries women have been assigned the role of housewife and mother, they’ve developed excellent communicative skills, and they’re more experienced in the kind of family values that are dominating the whole of society today.
What do women think of the new modern man?
For women, the ideal man - Prince Charming, Mr Darcy, Brad Pitt, whoever your dream man is – is a very important fantasy, yet it’s also full of contradictions! Women want modern men they can be equal to, but at the same time they still want them to be ‘men.’
It’s absolutely impossible to draw a picture of the perfect man, because it varies so much from one woman to the next and according to all sorts of factors – even the time of day! The only constant is that women like their men tall, because of the masculinity and strength they fantasize about. However, this in itself is a problem: the dream of physical size and strength doesn’t sit well with the equality that women seek! It’s tough for women to accept both their new equality and the old traditional concept of men they used to have - and still have, in some respects.