As a woman, I find this discussion very enlightening. I don't know what sort of women you know, but you don't appear to respect them very much. Women do, as a whole, have a deep need to be mothers; its in our dna. However, the fact that you discuss treating women like they have no clue what they want is really astonishing. Perhaps it is what most men are truly thinking. Perhaps your women respect you too much to believe that this is really the way you feel. Perhaps if they read your comments they would see some part truth and some complete misunderstandings that are so far off base as to be funny. And by the way, I am a conservative, stay at home, homeschooling mother of five. And although I know what I want, I also know that I can't usually have it because my children and husband are more important than my dreams. That doesn't mean that my dreams are less valid ore important, it just means that I am willing to give them up for the good of my family.What could possibly be astonishing about treating women as if they have no clue what they want when they observably do not? Remember, we're not talking about momentary desires here, but rather dreams, those life objectives that fundamentally reflect the deepest and most sincere aspects of the individual's personality. If a grown man tells me that his dream is to be a NFL quarterback, I correctly conclude that he is deluded because it's not possible for someone to start playing football post-college at such a high level. If a young man tells me that his dream is to be a nuclear physicist and a marine biologist, I correctly conclude that he doesn't know what he wants because the two objectives are mutually exclusive. And if a man says he dreams of becoming a rock star but can't sing and doesn't bother learning to play an instrument, I correctly conclude he is not serious about it.
So, why would one reach conclusions that are any different when one hears women express dreams that are either a) impossible, b) mutually exclusive, or c) totally at variance with their present course of action? HM5 says that the female need to be a mother is in every woman's DNA. I think she is correct, so what is a man to conclude when literally every woman his age tells him that she does not want to have children? He can either take them all at their word, which is what HM5 is implying, or he can do as I advise and ignore what they say they want.
And in retrospect, considering that every single one of those women eventually changed their minds, it is readily apparent that the latter choice is the correct one.
To illustrate the nature of the problem, we need look no further than HM5's mutually exclusive assertions that 1) her dreams are no less valid or important than her children and husband vs 2) her children and husband are more important than her dreams. (NB: note the tell-tale order there). While we can, and should, laud her for putting her family first, there is no way for us to take her at her word because she contradicts herself.
Most men understand on some level that they cannot hold a woman accountable to her words in the same manner they do men, even if they are reluctant to articulate this or admit it to themselves. Women habitually say no when they mean yes, pretend they don't want what they desperately desire, and tell people things they don't actually mean. And women can't afford to have men take their words seriously, for if they did, only gammas and low deltas would ever stay with any woman more than a few hormonal cycles. In fact, one of the coldest things any man can do is take a woman literally at her word and quote her words back at her when she reverses course, as she will inevitably do over time.
"Oh, so now you want children? Well, that's just too bad. I respect you far too much to not take your past declarations on the subject as final." "What's that, you want to stop working and stay home with the kids now? Oh no, you said you wanted to continue with your career, and I absolutely respect that decision." "You hate me? Very well, I'm out of here... after all, you wouldn't have said it if you didn't mean it and I respect what you're telling me now."
It is said that one should be careful what one wishes for. There is a price to having one's words taken seriously, and I very much doubt it is a price that most women would be wise to pay. They do better to prefer the luxury of being able to change their mind. This isn't to say that one can never change one's mind, after all, situations change. But one cannot simultaneously expect to enjoy the flexibility of changing one's mind at any moment as well as respect for one's consistency.
The observable fact is that women are intrinsically more dynamic than men. We see this from a very young age, when "yes... no" and "no... yes" becomes such an important part of every young girl's vocabulary. This dynamism is one of the things that makes women such fascinating creatures to study, but it also renders it impossible for the sufficiently experienced man to put too much credence in anything a woman says at any one time. A woman may know what she wants today, but experience informs us that we can be fairly confident that whatever it may be she wants tomorrow, it will not be that.