What Women Want: Then and Now

1. According to “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” and the story of Dame Ragnell, what is it that women most desire? Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

According to these two tales, women desire sovereignty over their husbands, to be treated as masters over their love. Women wish to be given the ultimate say over whichever decisions might be brought into their household. They wish for their men to behave without arrogance and supremacy, to step to their every move in unison. We women simply ask that a man might think with his head and not with his ego, he should think about the impact his behavior has on us.

I would agree to with this statement. However I think that is the nature of HUMAN desire to try to control everything surrounding us, to be able to think and decide on our own how something may affect us, and to decide whether or not our decisions will make our lives better or worse. Humans also like to have control over another and to be able to be so important to someone that no decision is ever made without your consultation. More often than not, even in contemporary culture, men dictate to the household what will be done because they make the money. Then, again as times have changed, this fact becomes fallacy and women have begun to step up to the plate, claiming this right for themselves. Women in the fourteenth century had almost no legal rights and were claimed as their husband’s property for dowry. Presently and thankfully, such tremendous circumstance is uncommon.

What men do not understand is that women already have control over everything. They just hide it in subliminal messages so that the man will think any idea his own and find himself brilliant in his pronouncement of resolution. All the while the woman has been furtively planting the idea in his head. It is a matter of arrogance, if you ask me. Men need to feel as though they are the foundation of a family; they are the means by which it might survive. Women are sensible enough to understand this arrogance as a fact, and use it to work in their favor. Women know that so long as they propose the idea as their husband’s, the men will think it great.

For example, pretend you need a girl’s night out. You have been working for hours; your kids are driving you up a wall, and your husband thinks that he is the only one in the world with stress. He counts on you to make dinner, give the kids a bath, have them tucked in by nine, and watch Monday night television together in the den in your PJ’s. It has understandably been a long day for both of you. Directly telling him of your night’s plan will most likely surprise him, making him a little argumentative. And it could always come back to you when he wants an all-day golf excursion with his friends on a day the family is supposed to visit your mother. The solution is simple. You leave the room to answer a phone call and return to tell him, “Tasha is having a crisis, complete mess, boyfriend drama again. She can’t be alone right now, so I told her it would be alright to come on over. Sorry, hon, but we need to be here for her right now.”

By now his head is swarming with “oh no’s!” You can see that he is trying hard to be understanding, but he is completely anxious dealing with the thought of women talking about relationships for hours. You look over at him and suggest, “You don’t have to…”

Quickly, he flips the situation, “I think it might be best that the two of you be alone to talk together. Why don’t you have a girl’s night, make her feel better?”

Your eyes light up, mission completed. You very slowly and cautiously, so to sound inconspicuous as to having planned this out, say, “Are you sure that would be alright? You will put the kids to bed and give them their bath? What about dinner?”

He is swift to assure you, “Don’t worry about it. I will take care of it. We will order a pizza. You just call Tasha and tell her you will pick her up and go to dinner and a movie or something.”

Mind you, not all women can pull this off. It is not exactly honest, but I would not call it dishonest. All girlfriends do always have boy drama and will most likely want to talk about it. He is the one who made the suggestion in the first place that you have a girl’s night, and it doesn’t hurt him not to know it was your intention all along. While, yes, it should be easy just to tell him what you want to do for the night, it is not that simple. As a relationship grows, it turns into a sort of routine that is very comfortable. Disruption, without warning or notice, more likely than not will cause a minor dispute. But, as I said, when men think that they have made the decision it will make you carrying out your night’s plan a lot easier.

In conclusion, I would agree that sovereignty is the ultimate wish for all women. However, women are smarter than a man might think. They say behind every man, there is an even better woman. It is true. Men need to believe undoubtedly they have this control, while women, I think, are just more content controlling their men discretely. If you ask me, I think we’ve already got control, and in some form, always have.