I now believe that all girls want to marry horses. Not just little girls. Grown women. In fact, it has become clear to me that every personality flaw in a man, as perceived by a woman, is his failure to be more like a horse.
This occurred to me last night, while I was reading a parenting manual called Raising Girls. So far this book has been full of advice so obvious that it’s simultaneously insulting that someone thinks I need it, and alarming that some people might—advice such as, “try to build her self-esteem,” and “understand that not all girls like traditionally female toys,” and, “don’t have sex with her.” Then I came to a section on how pre-pubescent girls tend to love horses. As I read, I realized that it also perfectly described the personality type that many women seem to want in a man:
Qualities that at first look like opposites—greatness, strength, and speed versus submission and obedience—can be combined in this powerful companion, which encourages the young rider to try it out herself.
A girl thus learns that modes of behavior like empathy and gentleness, in combination with their opposites—such as assertiveness and exercising power—can work for the horse, for herself on horseback, and for herself in everyday life.
—Quoted from “Developmental Crises in Girls,” by Dörte Stoll, 2002.
So that’s been the problem all along: horses making us blokes look bad. All we need to do to make ourselves more attractive to women in any given situation is think: “What would Black Beauty do?”
I would like to balance this theory out with a complementary one about what men find attractive, but all I’ve got so far is that men want women to be soccer balls, and I didn’t want to sully my site with a gratuitous picture of Pamela Anderson.