I interviewed six of my very brave male friends; Simon, Sean, Luke, Vince, Andrew and George. I asked them questions about women’s issues and relationships.
1. IS SEX OR FRIENDSHIP MORE IMPORTANT IN A RELATIONSHIP?
2. THERE WAS A UK SURVEY WHERE 56% OF PEOPLE BELIEVED THAT WOMEN SHOULD TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR BEING RAPED IF THEY FOR EXAMPLE ACCEPT A DRINK, ARE DRESSING PROVOCATIVELY, BEING FLIRTATEOUS, ETC. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WOMEN SHOULD TAKE RESPONSBILITY FOR BEING RAPED?
ANDREW: Provocation is no grounds for assault in any shape or form.
SIMON: They’re not provoking them.
ANDREW: If a woman is dressing provocatively, it’s not her fault that she’s been raped.
SEAN: There is a boundary all the time, unless she is the one pushing it on, than she should have no responsibility.
LUKE: I think the men have to possess a certain amount of self-control, if a woman is dressing provocatively, that’s fine, she has a right to do that if she wants to do and men have to respect that.
GEORGE: I think rape is purely the responsibility of the perpetrator and not the person who’s being raped, at no time is a woman ever responsible, if she says no, that’s it.
ANDREW: If at any time no is said, a woman has no responsibility beyond that point.
3. THERE HAS BEEN AN EGGTIMER TEST THAT IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR WOMEN. IT’S A BLOOD TEST WHERE THE ANTI-MULLERIAN HORMONE IS MEASURED WITH A STATISTICAL VALUE AND IT GIVES A NUMBER OF HOW MANY EGGS A WOMAN HAS LEFT. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT DESPITE WHERE WOMEN ARE IN THEIR CAREERS, NO MATTER HOW HIGH UP THEY ARE, THAT THEY SHOULD SETTLE DOWN AND HAVE CHILDREN AT SOME POINT?
ALL: It’s their choice.
4. DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHOULD TAKE THE EGGTIMER TEST?
SEAN: I think they should take it, if they think they want to have children. They might change their mind later on, but if they are not interested.
SIMON: It’s up to them, they shouldn’t feel pressured.
GEORGE: Why wouldn’t they want to know?
LUKE: If a woman wants to have children and she’s interested in knowing if she physically can have children, than she should take the test, if not, then don’t.
ANDREW: If it’s covered by Medicare, I say do it (it’s not covered by Medicare).
GEORGE: It depends on what information they want and can get out of it.
5. DO YOU BELIEVE WOMAN SHOULD RECEIVE EQUAL PAY? DESPITE WOMEN’S LIBERATION PROTESTS YEARS AGO AND MOST WOMEN IN MOST COMPANIES ARE RECEIVING EQUAL PAY, THERE ARE STILL SOME INSTANCES WHERE WOMEN ARE NOT RECEIVING EQUAL PAY.
SEAN: If it’s still happening it’s not right.
ANDREW: Equal pay is good.
GEORGE: Wouldn’t you negotiate? Isn’t it regulated by the government?
6. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE “COUGAR” CONCEPT (OLDER WOMEN DATING YOUNGER MEN)?
VINCE: It’s hot.
SEAN: It could work, if they like it.
SIMON: It varies for every individual
ANDREW: If the guy’s ok with it, I wouldn’t personally go for a cougar.
ALL: Yeah, If the guy’s ok with it.
7. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WOMEN NEED MORE HELP IN ESCAPING FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
SIMON: There are cases where women abuse their husbands.
ANDREW: Men don’t usually get physically abused, they get mentally abused.
GEORGE: Men are more likely to assault a woman, than the other way around.
SEAN: Men don’t seem to talk about it as much.
8. I READ THIS ARTICLE WHERE WOMEN PROPOSE TO THEIR BOYFRIENDS AND GIVE THEM MENGAGEMENT RINGS, IF YOUR GIRLFRIEND GOT ON ONE KNEE AND PROPOSED, WOULD WEAR IT?
SEAN: Tradition doesn’t matter anymore.
ANDREW: No, it doesn’t. I never thought of it, I thought it was a woman’s dream to have their man propose to them?
SEAN: I’d wear it, why not?
LUKE: Yeah, you’re getting married.
9. YOUR THOUGHTS ON GAY RIGHTS? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT GAYS SHOULD BE ABLE TO CLAIM BENEFITS AND HAVE LEGALLY RECOGNISED MARRIAGES AND ADOPT CHILDREN, ETC?
ANDREW: I think the religions should make up their own rule but I think a binding contract marriage, it should be allowed. Outside of their religion, if they want to get married and declare that they are Christian, they should be able to do that, but if the church doesn’t want to do that, that’s within the church’s rights as well.
10. WOULD YOU TRY ONLINE DATING?
a) Why not?
GEORGE: You never know what you’re going to get.
LUKE: To split yourself up into the categories; likes, interests, am I compatible with this person? It just seems mechanical.
GEORGE: The compatibility part of it is odd because you’re only basing it on their looks and what they choose to write. You don’t really know if you’re compatible at all until you go on the date.
ANDREW: A relationship has got to have time to grow, develop, you’ve got to spend time with the person and I don’t think internet dating allows you to do that.
SIMON: There are cases where people have met on the internet and have ended up getting married.
11. CAN A WOMAN BE TOO SKINNY?
LUKE: They look unhealthy.
12. DO YOU THINK WOMEN ARE HYPERCRITICAL ABOUT THEIR OWN BODIES?
LUKE: Some women are, I know women who aren’t.
SIMON: It’s an individual thing.
a) CAN SOME WOMEN BE TOO CONFIDENT?
SEAN: It’s not something you should boast about.
GEORGE: There are a lot of levels of attraction. There are some women who are gorgeous and know it, but if gorgeous women have a nice attitude to go with it, than it’s a plus.
SIMON: There are some people who are good looking who develop a total ignorance about people who are as not as good looking as they are.
SEAN: If they know, it’s ok, but if they exploit that, it’s different.
13. ARE MEN TOO CRITICAL OF THEIR OWN BODIES? DO YOU COMPARE EACH OTHER’S BODIES?
ANDREW: If I like a girl and she’s with another guy, I kind of compare myself to him and think what does he have that I don’t? The first place to start is looks.
GEORGE: I don’t think guys think in that kind of way.
ANDREW: If I notice myself getting a bit chubbier, I go for runs and bike ridings.
14. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR MOST FAVOURITE PART OF A WOMAN’S BODY?
SEAN: Teeth, their smiles.
GEORGE: I like to see girls that are happy, if they are smiling and have a good attitude.
a) HOW THEY ARE PERSONALITY WISE WOULD EFFECT HOW YOU SEE THEM PHYSICALLY OR LOOKS WISE?
SIMON: If someone looks sad they don’t look as good if they were happy.
SEAN: Even if they put so much effort into their make-up and hair and clothes.
GEORGE: Their mood affects their face the most. Happy people are much more attractive than unhappy people.
15. WOULD YOU CONSIDER GETTING PLASTIC SURGERY? FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN YOU GET OLDER.
SEAN: Unless you’re the kind of person who enjoys changing how you look, that would be an extremist case of that though.
16. WHAT IF WOMEN GOT IT? WOULD YOU GO FOR A WOMAN WHERE IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT THEY HAD PLASTIC SURGERY?
ANDREW: No, because then they’re too plastic.
VINCE: They’re like Barbies, too fake.
ANDREW: When you see that it’s fake, you’re wondering “What else are they hiding?” “What else is fake?”
SEAN: Some people get surgery because they broke their nose or something.
GEORGE: I don’t think there is anything more unattractive than plastic surgeon boobs. Fake is fake.
17. IF YOUR GIRLFRIEND WANTED TO GET PLASTIC SURGERY, WOULD APPROVE OF IT OR BE SUPPORTIVE OR WOULD YOU BE AGAINST IT?
SIMON: I’d try and discourage her.
SEAN: I would try and discourage her.
LUKE: I’d say “don’t do it for me, but if you want it, if it’s going to make you happier or more confident, that might be the way to go.”
ANDREW: Discourage her in a positive way.
a) IF SHE SAID SHE WAS DOING IT FOR YOU WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
SEAN: I would discourage her.
LUKE: I would say “No, you do not need to do that.”
GEORGE: We’re already with them
SEAN: Why would they need to do that?
GEORGE: If we’re with them, we’re happy with them.
18. SHOULD WOMEN PUT SO MUCH EFFORT INTO THEIR APPEARANCE? EG. HAIR, MAKE-UP, CLOTHES, ETC.
SIMON: I think it gets a bit overboard
SIMON: I remember girls wearing make-up to school and it got a little competitive and when it gets competitive, then it’s getting a bit over-the-top.
LUKE: Sometimes it backfires.
SIMON: You can see it caking it up.
LUKE: You can always see the line between the face and the neck.
a) SO ARE YOU MORE FOR THE NATURAL LOOK OVER THE MAKE-UP?
SEAN: Make-up’s good, but no theatrical-like; it doesn’t work in real life.
ANDREW: There’s a fine line
GEORGE: Being prepped and making yourself look pretty is good, but there’s a fine line.
ANDREW: To me, when someone has caked it on, they’re trying to cover something up, but when someone just puts application on they are happy with their looks and more confident with themselves.
GEORGE: But they can do what they want.
b) SO WHAT WOULD BE YOUR FINE LINE BETWEEN TOO MUCH AND JUST RIGHT?
SEAN: Just getting out of bed and going. Just so they’re happy with how they look.
ANDREW: Girls know better than we do.
GEORGE: It would depend on the girl too. It’s all individual, how much a single individual needs make up, and it depends on what they want to bring out, what features are enhanced, what they do with their face.
LUKE: I suppose the main reason is so they can go out into their day, into the world, feeling good about themselves and how much make-up that requires is up to them.
c) WOULD YOU PREFER MAKE-UP OR A NATURAL LOOK IF YOU SAW A GIRL?
ANDREW: It depends.
GEORGE: I like make-up
SIMON: As long as it’s not over-the-top
LUKE: Yeah, not caked on.
19. WHY DO MEN TAKE THEIR TIME TO CALL A GIRL? IS IT FOR AN EGO BOOST OR TRYING TO BE SMOOTH?
ANDREW: It’s trying to be smooth
SIMON: I think it’s an ego boost on many occasions.
GEORGE: With a lot of girls, if you respond too quickly or too eagerly it scares them away, very quickly. A lot of guys prefer to take their time. Some girls generally like to be pursued or not get things to easily, if they get things too easily, it’s easier for them to give up on it.
ANDREW: Keep them guessing.
GEORGE: Not necessarily guessing, but you’ve got to keep the level of anticipation there, I think ladies like a little bit of a challenge and it’s way better to respond three days on than 30 seconds after you’ve dropped them off. Because they’ll be like “What the hell, this guy is weird!”
a) WHAT WOULD BE THE GOLDEN RULE? HOW MANY DAYS WOULD YOU GIVE IT?
ANDREW: It depends. I’d text back probably the next day.
GEORGE: The night after.
ANDREW: I’d do it in the afternoon. Because then if they ask “Why so late?” I would say “I didn’t want to interrupt your day.”
GEORGE: You always know how well it went by how they respond to your question.
SEAN: If they don’t respond at all.
VINCE: Or if they’re just not interested.
GEORGE: If they respond, it’s good.
b) WHY TEXT AND NOT CALL?
SEAN: It’s less invasive.
ANDREW: In this day and age, a call is a little bit weird, if I got a call from a woman the next day I’d be wondering “why is she calling me up? I’d probably be better off being texted” People feel a bit more comfortable with text, it’s a little bit less interpersonal, but it gives you leisure time to respond as well.
VINCE: It gives you time to think about what you want to say.
ANDREW: It gives you time to confer with your mates and you don’t get to do that when you’re on the phone.
c) DO YOU GET YOUR MATES TO HELP YOU, TRYING TO WRITE SOMETHING NICE OR SMOOTH?
ANDREW: With my mates at the time, I would ask “What do you think I should write?” I would get a group consensus. Doesn’t mean I take their advice, but I ask for their advice all the time that I don’t take.
GEORGE: There’s nothing worse than taking your mate’s words instead of your own.
ANDREW: You get group consensus and make it your own words.
SEAN: I confer after I’ve sent the text.
ANDREW: You’d say “She said this, I’m thinking of saying this, what do you reckon?”
20. IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOUR MATES TO APPROVE OR LIKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND?
SEAN: They don’t need to like her
GEORGE: Who cares if they like her?
LUKE: It’s not them.
GEORGE: What do they have to do with him liking her?
21. ABORTION IS ONLY LEGAL IF IT PRESERVES THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH OF THE MOTHER. DO YOU BELIEVE ABORTION SHOULD BE MADE LEGAL IN AUSTRALIA?
SIMON: I think it should be made legal if they have personal objections to killing the foetus, than they’re not going to do it, but it should be up to them.
SEAN: It’s such a daunting thing, being pregnant and having a baby. I think a lot of people, who do not want to go through with it is more of a nervous reaction rather than a decision. Right at the start, they think “I’m not ready and I can’t go through this.”
GEORGE: With abortion there’s a lot of guilt associated with it, guilt that you don’t hear about, like 10, 15 and 20 years later. There’s a lot more research that needs to be done on that mental anguish. In some cases it sometimes might be better to have the child and then do with it what you will. That guilt could ruin lives.
ANDREW: But at the same time, having the child could ruin lives as well.
SIMON: It kind of comes down to whether the woman thinks it’s a being or a foetus.
ANDREW: It’s up to both parents, if one of them is not ready. For example, if the mother doesn’t want the child and the father does, and I know that’s a weird situation, I think the father has the right to the child as well even though he isn’t the one carrying it.
GEORGE: A lot of people argue that it’s not the property of the father.
ANDREW: But he procreated it.
GEORGE: It’s still a woman’s body and her right to carry it or not.
LUKE: I don’t think you could put into “Abortion’s good” or “Abortion’s bad” It has to be dealt with case-by-case.
SEAN: I think if it’s freely available, there should be compulsory counselling before it to make sure they’re making the right decision.
22. DO YOUR PARENTS NEED TO APPROVE OF YOUR GIRLFRIEND?
ANDREW: It depends. I don’t have a great relationship with my parents, but if my parents didn’t like her it would make it a lot harder. At the same time I don’t think she should change because my parents don’t approve, I think I should change. I wouldn’t want to go to a Christmas dinner, have an excellent time and leave and know in my head that my parents don’t like her or don’t approve. I would hate to do that. To me it would be more of a double cross on my partner than on anyone else, because I know they would be thinking that and I wouldn’t be able to tell her that.
SIMON: It wouldn’t bother me what my parents thought.
23. IS IT OK FOR A GIRLFRIEND TO HANG OUT WITH AN EX?
SEAN: I guess so.
VINCE: If you’re alright with it.
SIMON: It’s hard to put that into a category it would be more case-to-case.
GEORGE: It’s highly not advisable.
ANDREW: I think it should be allowed, if I had a girlfriend that wanted to see an ex-boyfriend, I wouldn’t like it, but I wouldn’t be able to stop it.
GEORGE: What if she travelled to see him, say for a day and then asked you “What if I stay at his house tonight?”
ANDREW: That would be different.
VINCE: That’s just weird.
a) WOULD YOU TRUST HER ENOUGH TO HAVE SELF-CONTROL?
ANDREW: If it was a two week long relationship, I would be more sceptical than I would be if it was a four year relationship and if she went out with the ex for say, two months, I would be a lot more at ease, if we were in a four year relationship than if it was a month.
GEORGE: There’s always a level of trust there. But there was emotions and intimacy there that could come flooding back.
It’s not that you don’t trust her; there are two sides of the coin. The girl’s like “you’ve got to trust me.” But why put your guy through that.
SEAN: Why does she want to go and see him by herself?
b) HAVE YOU EVER TESTED A GIRLFRIEND IN ANY WAY TO MAKE SURE SHE WANTED TO BE WITH YOU?
GEORGE: I wouldn’t know how.
SEAN: Why would you do that?
GEORGE: I would respect her enough not to do that.
ANDREW: A guy knows when he’s being tested as well
GEORGE: It’s very hurtful.
24. DO YOU PREFER FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS OR A RELATIONSHIP?
ALL: A relationship
GEORGE: A lot of things can go wrong with friends with benefits.
25. DO YOU BELIEVE ONCE A CHEATER, ALWAYS A CHEATER?
ANDREW: Not necessarily
VINCE: You should always have control
ANDREW: A one-off thing I could understand
VINCE: I couldn’t
LUKE: I couldn’t.
GEORGE: I couldn’t.
ANDREW: If she cheated on me that would be different. If she cheated on another guy and than two years later, goes out with me, than I wouldn’t suspect her of cheating on me. It depends I guess.
GEORGE: There’s always going to be an issue of trust and trust is everything in a relationship, if you can’t trust your partner, where’s the line, where’s the limit of your trust? It’s individual with the guy on what level of trust he’s willing to give, and a lot of maturity comes into play with different levels of trust. If a relationship is younger than one year, there isn’t a lot of maturity there.
26. IS CHIVALRY DEAD?
ANDREW: Chivalry is dead and women killed it.
LUKE: You should always be a gentleman
VINCE: I reckon it’s cool.
SEAN: You don’t do it in the interest of impressing someone you do it anyway.
GEORGE: There are a lot of women who get annoyed by it
GEORGE: All guys always want to be chivalrous and want to open doors for women.
ANDREW: I don’t think its chivalry; I think its manners now.
a) ARE YOU ALL FOR CHIVALRY?
b) WOULD YOU PREFER IT IF WOMEN LIKED THE CHIVALRY?
SEAN: Yeah, take it.