In life, as well as in a relationship, it’s all about context. For example, the number one thing a woman needs while camping is a can opener. On a cold morning, she might need a hairdryer that plugs into the cigarette lighter in her car. In Saudi Arabia, she would need the legal right to drive that car.
In some parts of the world, a woman still needs to live without the threat of having her genitals mutilated. Kind of hard to follow Buzzfeed’s “10 Tips To Get Your Lady Orgasm, Every Time” when someone has cut off your clitoris. Tricky, that whole coming without a clit thing, and not something that will be fixed in this article, but I promise it’s relevant.
In other parts of the world women who are not yet technically women, are forced into marriage by misguided relatives with the threat of disgrace or death. Other women are sold or forced into prostitution by yet more life circumstances, afflictions, and events and become trapped worse than an LA chick who can’t get almond milk for her latte (sad face.) The number one thing all the aforementioned women need is (not an almond latte but) protection; not the patronizing kind that assumes they will be forever helpless, just a leg up out of hell.
Even in the United States, where we like to think of ourselves as being reasonably good to our humans, women can certainly vote, and walk where they choose (in theory.) And said women, if they choose not to believe a multi-million dollar Cabal dedicated to making them feel like shit every waking moment for being the wrong color, size or smell (ew, deodorize that pussy) can manage to have quite good self-esteem. For such a woman the number one thing becomes avoiding the images, words, memes, and individuals who seek the ruination of her light, but if she does accidentally partake in such a message, knowing how to scrub it from her consciousness with a combination of burned sage, pole dancing classes and locally sourced artisanal pie.
Women in the United States are harmed at the rate of 1 in 4, but at least can prosecute someone who does them harm by law, as long as that person hasn’t already gone ahead and killed them first (LOLz)– which will happen roughly three times today. Likewise a woman in the United States has already been sexually/physically assaulted at least three times since you started reading this article, so the one thing those women need now is not just the protection of our (supposedly) enlightened society, but a destination of hope that life can be worth living, and the wisdom to understand that whatever happened to them is not their fault.
Sadly there is a loud contingent in our country and the world of (mostly) men that hate the female, that seek to eradicate our agency over our own bodies, that believe we should be “punished” for being women, who wish to deny us access even to early detection of cancers, who are indoctrinated and possessed by some imagined Divine right, when no Deity could possibly seek to destroy something as beautiful as the female form. The number one thing women need in this case is that aforementioned vote (don’t worry, you don’t have to watch that turgid Hillary Swank “Suffragette” movie) or any political way to agitate against the taking away of the inalienable rights we have been given, and then to take a nice relaxing bath with Epsom salts until those motherfuckers can’t even.
On the other hand, women who have their own inner demons to contend with, who cannot so easily point at outside foes to their own peace of mind, need one thing most of all. As one such woman, the number one thing I have needed is willingness. Willingness to overcome whatever obstacles exist to obtaining indispensible care – medical, psychological, emotional, medicinal (natural and alternative) and feel lucky that many of these have been afforded me for most of my life, where in another lifetime I might have either died alone in a sanatorium or been burned as a witch for the extra insights my illness affords me.
So let’s say that you are a woman who has her basic rights intact, who lives in a country or a state where she has (at least) access to what she needs to be safe and empowered to live as she pleases, and correspondingly date whomever she chooses. Let’s say, you clicked on this because you are in a relationship (heterosexual or gay, or alternating between gender identities, monogamous or any other permutation of non-monogamy) and were curious to know what the number one thing was that you might need to thrive in such a relationship.
Perhaps you hoped you might be able to pass this knowledge on not so subtly to your partner(s), or you are the partner, trying to figure out why you feel like you can’t seem to get it right with your ladyyyyy. Or you’re a guy/girl who is frustrated and fed up because you can’t get a date, because women seem to see you always as just ‘friend’s; the one you want just doesn’t seem to want you.
So here it is- the magical need that would transform every situation from the guy in the bar who is trying to get laid (I’m trusting you to use this knowledge for good and not evil) to the woman trying to have a deep, impassioned relationship, to the woman who is at risk of physical abuse or sexual violence…
TO BE SEEN.
That is all we women need, really- to be seen. Not your projection, not your lust, not your idea of us or the idea handed to you by the hegemony. (I know it’s weird to read an article that includes both the word “pussy” and the word “hegemony” but this is the marvelous dichotomy of women that you can now start to embrace.) Of course being seen and not heard will not cut it (the way we used to think of children) of course
and given both autonomy,
and the benefit of the doubt.
If you really SEE someone, see their humanity, with all the messy quirks and foibles that entails, you cannot help but see a beautiful being worthy of the highest protection and care. Eyes not clouded by their own projection could not possibly look at another human being and rape, murder or mutilate her. And when we able to SEE ourselves we are also less likely to perpetrate our own misery, or allow it from others.
We do not need protection foisted on us by possibly well-meaning autocrats; we are not frail and helpless, though some of us have these qualities as well. We do not need our morals guarded against. But if you truly SEE us, you will see what kind of protection we might actually need, and provide the kind of safety we are looking for at both a personal and cultural level, instead of the kind that makes you feel safer because our untrammeled female wildness is locked away.
If you SEE us, you might lose your expectation that we owe you anything (including sex) but that we also have sexual needs, just like you do, and they are no less acceptable or possibly kinky because they are ours. We might be as ravenous and libidinous as you are, for which we do not need your permission, only your participation. As soon as you truly SEE us you will know that we are muddling along just like you are, wishing to find the deepest human connection possible and feeling safe enough to explore that with you. And yeah, that shit will totes get you laid, bruh…