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25 Times Feminists Won with Protest Signs

16 Aug

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What Men Want from Women, But Won’t Ask For

15 Aug

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A Hot Meal

Learn to cook ladies. Seriously. No guy should expect Gordon Ramsey in drag in his kitchen (unless he is in to that), but some basic knowledge of how to season and cook food properly is a baseline for survival in the real world and in relationships. Men want a woman who is comfortable in the kitchen. And, yes, all the old sexist standards for women still run through a lot of guy’s heads whether those men admit their preferences or not. That does not mean that men can not fend for themselves in the kitchens, but it does mean that some guys would prefer to have a woman who can cook in some place other than the bedroom.

 

Independence

A man wants to feel needed, but he also needs space for himself. Ladies can move a little more quickly than men when it comes to emotional connection, and that means that a guy may feel like his personal space is being invaded by her. Even if a couple moves in together, each person having their own personal time apart from their partner is important to the relationship. A man wants to know that his wife or girlfriend has her own life and is adding him into it. He does not want to be the focal point of her life. So, every woman who is looking for a long relationship should make sure that she has hobbies that she enjoys outside of it.

 

Your Respect

In a relationship, women usually want to be loved and desired first and foremost with respect on the list of relationship priorities somewhere. But, men need to be respected before anything else. Respect is a pillar of manhood. It comes before being liked, before being loved, and before everything else in any relationship. Part of a man’s being is his worth to others. And, a man has to be respected by the person who he is closest to. A guy who is being disrespected by his woman will inevitably leave or do something to ensure that she leaves.

feel love

Your Love and Affection

Men are taught to be the stoic members of their family from the moment that they are born. People expect men to be emotionless and dependable. But, men need to be hugged and kissed just as much as women. Because of the lack of emphasis put on talking about and acting on emotions, guys can be awkward when it comes to expressing their feelings. However, they need to cuddle and be told that they are loved too. Men are not taught to express themselves, so there is a great misconception that guys are superhuman robots incapable of emoting. It just is not true. Guys show their feelings through their actions, and desire for those feelings to be returned by their loved ones. To keep a man, you have to make him feel loved.

 

Basic Maintenance

Any wise man knows that he has to make his significant other feel beautiful, but after a couple has been together for a while, sometimes they let themselves go. Because each person in any given relationship has seen their partner in their most vulnerable state, people can neglect the type of grooming and hygiene that initially attracted their partners. Your husband/boyfriend always wants you to look your best even though he will never say it. And more importantly, he wants you to look your best for him. Women tend to dress up for their girlfriends, for their jobs, and in any other social setting, but slouch around in frumpy clothes when they are around their lovers. Men want the same attention to detail in your appearance that the rest of your social circle gets.

 

Your Support

In most relationships, the man has a leadership role within his immediate family. He is expected to be confident and decisive in his role at the head of the household, but men are subject to the same self-doubt and insecurity that any other person fights against daily. Men need encouragement. They need their significant other to believe in them when they doubt their own abilities. A man will love and appreciate a woman who provides him with the assurances that he needs to make the difficult decisions that are thrust upon him. And, he will cherish the woman that encourages him even when he fails.

 

He Wants You to Take Charge

A man wants a woman who will occasionally take him on a date. He does not mind planning the events for the evening on most nights. He does not mind paying for everything. And, he does not mind initiating sex most of the time. But, every now and then, a guy wants to be treated like a king. Sometimes you should plan a night out at the game for him without asking him about it. And, once in a while catch him at the door and rock his world sexually. He will appreciate you for it.

Why is Sade So Underappreciated?

13 Aug

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I’m pretty much convinced that Sade is the most underrated singer/group of all time (Helen Folasade Adu, Sade for short, is the full name of the famed lead singer, and group’s name is actually Sade).  Sade and her group have been out for 25 years, produced 6 iconic albums, and some of the most ethereal tours in the history of music.  To get a better understanding of how slighted Sade has been, I’ll examine her success versus some of her contemporaries.

I used to appreciate the hallowed company and dignified distinction a Grammy award provided, but then I dug deeper.  In terms of success, I fully understand that Sade is not in the same company as the Beatles, Michael Jackson, U2, Stevie Wonder, or Frank Sinatra.  That being said, what sense does it make for such a talented singer to only have 4 Grammy awards?  What’s worse, she only has 8 career nominations!  Her four victories are in the following categories:

  • Best new artist (1986)
  • Best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals- No Ordinary Love (1994)
  • Best pop vocal album- Lovers Rock (2002)
  • Best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals- Soldier of Love (2011)

 

The two most interesting conclusions I can make are that she wins an award roughly every 8 years, and the committee isn’t sure if she’s an R&B artist or a pop artist (further confusion is that she has won only one American Music Award … and it was in the category of favorite adult contemporary artist).  Matched up to artists with similar time spans, she rates fairly well considering comparative success.  Michael Jackson has 15 Grammys, Prince has 7, and Madonna also has 7.  That is acceptable, but how does Beyonce have 4 times the number of Grammys as an iconic singer?  I won’t argue with Beyonce’s commercial success, but I’m fairly sure anyone who actually knows anything about music will agree that quality wise she has nothing on Sade (by the way, doesn’t it seem strange that Beyonce has more Grammys than Michael Jackson, and more than Prince and Madonna combined?!).  To put Sade’s paltry 4 awards in perspective, the Black Eyed Peas have 6 Grammys, Amy Winehouse has 5, and Nora Jones won 5 awards at the 45th ceremony in February of 2003.  I believe that Nora Jones is a very talented singer, writer, and piano player; I even own her CD Come Away With Me, but no one can convince me she’s better than Sade.  In retrospect, it’s obvious that Grammy counts are more of an indictment on the current pitiful state of music, not the actual talent level of the artists.  To provide more examples of the lunacy of Sade’s awards, she has never won a Soul Train Music Award.  These awards honor the best in African American music and entertainment … allegedly.  Somehow Sade was able to win a Grammy for her album Lovers Rock, but wasn’t able to win a Soul Train Award despite being nominated.  In addition, in 2011 Sade won a Grammy for Soldier of Love (the single, not the album), but once again not the Soul Train Award she was nominated for.  Am I the only one confused?

 

Earlier I made reference to Sade’s 6 iconic albums; here’s a more detailed description of each of them and one of their compilation releases.

 

Diamond Life

This album came out in 1984 and includes two of Sade’s biggest hits to date Smooth Operator and Your Love is King. It made it all the way to #2 in the US, and is 4 times platinum.  Smooth Operator reached as high as #5 on the Billboard charts.

 

Promise

Just a year later, 1985, Sade debuted this album, which was also a critical success.  Two popular hits were The Sweetest Taboo and Is it a Crime. Promise made it all the way to #1 on the charts, and is also 4 times certified platinum.

 

Stronger Than Pride

Sade got lazy and waited three years, until 1988, to release this album.  Maybe they needed a little more time, as it didn’t do as well as the previous two releases.  The album did include Love is Stronger than Pride and Paradise. It reached #7 on the Billboard charts, and is 3 times platinum.

 

Love Deluxe

In 1992 Sade came out with another gem; it had the three classic hits No Ordinary Love, Kiss of Life, and Cherish the Day. Love Deluxe peaked at #7, and is 4 times platinum.

 

Best of Sade

In 1994 Sade released their first compilation album.  It contained all the hits from their four albums, as well as several splendid songs that never achieved mass acclaim.  This greatest hits LP contained 16 songs in total, reached #9 on the Billboard charts, and once again went 4 times platinum.

 

Lovers Rock

The year 2000 was graced by another awesome Sade release.  Lovers Rock the album, not the similarly named track on the disc, won Sade a Grammy thanks to such prizes as By Your Side and King of Sorrow. It got as high as #3 on Billboard, and was 3 times platinum.

 

Soldier of Love

After a 10 year hiatus, Sade returned with a long awaited album and accompanying tour.  Maybe because of the long wait people began to appreciate their artistry more, but this is the first Sade album to top the Billboard charts.  So far the only major hit is Soldier of Love, but my personal favorites are Skin and Bring Me Home. Soldier is already a platinum CD, and it hasn’t been out a year yet (that is quite an accomplishment now considering that the last time Sade released an album people actually purchased albums, not just picked and chose songs from iTunes or the like).

I may be completely off base and biased, but I think Sade is one of the most gifted singers (groups) of this generation.  Unfortunately the music they release doesn’t pander to the instant gratification, Youtube generation where everything matters about the artist except the actual music they make (examples include people care about Kanye West’s irrelevant political views and odd glasses more than his music, people are much more taken by Beyonce’s videos than her actual songs, and Lady Gaga/Katy Perry are lionized much more for their daring costumes than actual musical feats).  Despite being completely underappreciated hopefully Sade will continue to crank out music and perform tours that are more experiences than just events.  I won’t expect a new album quickly just to gravy train off the success of Soldier of Love thanks to this awesome quote by Sade herself, “I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something. Sade is not a brand.”  If more artists kept to that mantra the music industry probably wouldn’t be in the pitiful state that it is now.

How to Pick An Engagement Ring

9 Aug

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The decision to marry a woman is one of the most pivotal and most important choices that a man will ever make in his lifetime. And, a man asking a woman to marry him is one of the most nerve-racking times of his life. The moment is vulnerable and intimate, and the answer that the woman gives him changes both of their lives forever. First, the guy has to find the right woman to marry, then he has to work up enough nerve to ask her to marry him, but first, he has to pick a ring. The ring decides whether a woman will blown away by her proposal or just be thrilled to get the offer. And, most men do not have a clue about finding the right ring. Buying the perfect ring is a combination of a few different factors, but the most important features of getting your girlfriend the right ring is knowing her ring size, understanding the four C’s, and finding the right price point.

There is nothing that is worse than asking a woman to marry you, hearing her say yes, and finding out that the ring that you bought does not fit on her finger. Failing to get a big enough ring is like saying that she is too fat to be your wife and proving that you do not care enough about her to find her correct ring size all in one ignorant and malicious gesture. Nothing says ‘I hate you, and you need to lose some pounds,’ like jewelry that will not fit over your woman’s swollen knuckle, so do your homework before you buy a ring. The first method to try when procuring your lady’s ring size is simply taking one of her rings to a jeweler. But, if your girlfriend is the feminine, human version of Smeagol (yes, that was a Lord of the Rings reference), a certified ring hoarder, and she counts her jewelry collection everyday, then you may have to use another tactic. You can wait until she is out of the house and trace the outline and inseam of the ring, or you can make her best friend an ally, assuming that the best friend is a woman. If her best friend is a guy, then you have another set of problems. Ask her (female) best friend to be discreet and to find out your girlfriend’s ring size for you. She will return with the correct ring size for you, and she will probably also give you your girlfriend’s preferences in order of priority for the 4 C’s of a diamond ring.

Most men have no idea what the 4 C’s are, but that acronym is actually the most important part of deciding which ring to buy for your prospective wife. Cut, color, clarity, and carat almost exclusively decide whether your girlfriend will be thrilled by your choice in a ring or just relieved that you finally asked her to marry you. As a rule, relief is not what you want from a woman to whom you just presented a diamond ring. Each category that describes the diamond represents an equally important factor in assessing the worth of the ring.

diamond chart

The cut of the gem reflects your girlfriend’s specific taste. Diamonds are generally cut into princess, round, radiant, emerald, asscher, marquise, cushion, and heart shapes, and each design changes the way that light is reflected in the diamond. Clarity refers to the number of inclusions or imperfections in the diamond and is measured in order, from F1 (flawless) to VSI1 (very slight inclusions) to SI (slight inclusions) to I (inclusions). Most diamonds have mineral deposits and small fractures internally and on the surface of the stone that can only be seen through a monocular handheld loupe, so they are arranged by the number of defects in the stone. The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the better the diamond is. The color category ranges from completely colorless to yellow on a scale from D to Z. D-F is considered to colorless, G-J is nearly colorless, K-M is faintly colored, and N-Z is a colored stone. The less color that a diamond has, the more valuable it is with only one exception. Certain colors like pink, canary, and chocolate are more desirable in diamonds, but only because those colors are extremely rare. And, an engagement ring is traditionally supposed to be colorless. The last ‘C’ alludes to the weight of the gem. Diamonds are measured in carats, and the more carats a diamond weighs the more people will pay to own it.

Your girlfriend may be a size queen and want a big diamond or she maybe more interested in the sparkle and shape of her diamond. Each of the four C’s and the setting of the gem drive the price of ring up. You as a consumer have to decide what type of ring will make her proud to wear her ring and how much you can afford to spend. The rule of thumb for buying an engagement ring is that the ring should cost you three month’s salary, but that number is more of a reference point than an absolute. You have to find the type of ring that will make your girlfriend happy and allow the two of you (assuming that she is going to marry) to live comfortably after the marriage. The perfect ring should meld perfectly between  both of your desires. You should not go directly to the bigger, franchise jewelers to buy an engagement ring. Jewelers know that men come into their stores to buy a beautiful ring for their future wives, and they take full advantage of the ignorance of these guys. Always use an independent jeweler when trying to buy an engagement ring. They set their prices to compete with the larger chains, and you will usually find a better deal there. And finally, the price of a ring drops precipitously once the weight of the stone goes below one carat. A 0.9 carat diamond ring will cost considerably less than a one carat ring, plus you can dress up a smaller diamond with a halo setting (a cluster of small diamonds surrounds the bigger diamond).

Shopping for an engagement ring can be a daunting task for any man without the right information. However, with a little know-how and a little help from her girlfriend, you can pick the perfect ring for your girlfriend. Knowing her ring size, understanding the ways that rings are evaluated, and buying a ring that you can afford insures that your proposal will go well. Use those tools to your advantage.