What Women Want in a Man: Lessons to Learn from The Berenstain Bears

What Women Want in a Man: Lessons to Learn from The Berenstain Bears

Want to know what women want in a man? You’re not alone.

The good news is: it’s not that complicated. Women want a man who gets along with his family and remembers his friends’ birthdays. A man who engages you in interesting conversation and doesn’t want to just hear himself talk. Women want a man who respects her interests, even if he doesn’t share them.

The bad news is: it’s not that easy. 

Let me introduce you to the concept of Modern Man Points (™). Every time you take an action that helps you become a more considerate, thoughtful, desirable man, you earn an MMP. 

What kind of actions?

Actions that push you outside the bubble of your own upbringing. Actions that work to uncover unconscious bias. Anything, basically, that interrupts the This is what I think and do because this is what I’ve always thought and done cycle that we’re all guilty of falling into.

These actions could be:

  • Consuming media by female creators (congrats, you’re reading this so you just got one MMP!).
  • Joining activist efforts for women’s rights.
  • Speaking up when a friend is talking shitty about a woman or women in general. 

All these actions earn you MMP’s. But! Here’s the catch. You don’t get to just “cash them in.” 

I’m reminded of an SNL sketch after the 2020 election where men at a bar kept approaching Cecily Strong and saying one “right” (aka, progressive, empathetic) thing and then basically demanding she slept with them. 

Modern Man Points don’t get traded in for sex. They accrue. 

Do you remember The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners? Like much of the Berenstain oeuvre, the story, and its lesson, has lodged itself deep in my hippocampus.

Mama Bear was sick of Brother, Sister, and Papa Bear acting rude towards one another, and instituted a politeness plan, where the penalty for forgetting their manners were chores around the treehouse.

The three offenders were like, “We’ll show this b-” and came up with what they thought was a devious plan.

The three bears proceeded to act SO POLITE at home with a hazy goal of getting Mama Bear to call the whole thing off. But instead, guess what happened? They realized it was NICE to live in a house were people (well, bears) acted kindly to one another.

Before you knew it, they stopped exaggerating their good manners and simply acted with kindness towards one another.

And because Mama Bear is a goddamn saint, she didn’t make a big deal out of it. She was just like, Good, I get to live in peace without everyone crabbing at eachother and at me. 

So, make an effort for as long as you need when it comes to earning MMP’s that help you gain the traits of what women want in a man.

Set a goal of reading one book by a female writer every quarter. Here’s a great list to get you started.

Bribe yourself with rewards if you need to! For instance, when you realize you’re in a meeting with zero women present, treat yourself to latte if you bring up how that’s not a great look to a superior. 

And if every so often, you want to give yourself a little pat on the back for all your MMP’s stacking up, great. Do it!

But the hope—the goal really—is that accruing these MMP’s goes from performative to just a part of your day, like the Berenstain Bears saying “please” and “thank you” at the dinner table.

That, after watching Frances, Ha and Little Women, you would be psyched for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

That after seeking out news on women’s issues (like this), you would have your local representatives on speed dial and would be involving yourself because you couldn’t not. 

That you would go to therapy just because.

And hey. If you find yourself needing some validation for all the MMP’s you’ve accumulated, we’ve got you covered. Our DM’s are open. Consider it the opposite of confession. “Applaud me, SG, for I have been a good guy today.”

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