A Love Letter To Confident Men

January 30, 2014

Scaachi Koul is a senior writer at BuzzFeed Canada, formerly the managing editor of Hazlitt. Her debut collection of essays, The Pursuit of Misery, is...

To confident men everywhere,

I love you. I love all that you are and the confidence you bring to each new day. I love that you make your opinions known in restaurants, legislatures, bedrooms, social causes, and your relationships.

It’s so brave of you to make sure your voice is heard. To stand tall with your convictions. To make sure you are always the centre of every conversation. I aspire to one day master your air of easy superiority, the way you let women know if and when you’ve gifted them with your approval.

And most pressingly, I love how much you tell us how much you love “confident women.” Sure, we’re confident with or without your permission. But it’s really nice to hear it, finally, from a male, nature’s arbiter of what women are or are not to do.

I knew there was a reason I hated Medium. Today, Warren Talbot wrote a piece for “Life Learning” (oh my god, shut up) titled, “A Love Letter to Confident Women.” Goodness, all the confident women in the world thought, blushing. Someone’s noticing us!

“I want a partner, not someone who swallows her words because she’s afraid to rock the boat or disturb the peace,” Talbot writes. “I want boat rockers, floor shakers, and earth movers in my life.” I know he’s trying to explain that he likes women who make things happen, but this just makes it sound like he’s aroused by natural disasters. You want a hurricane? You want an earthquake to make all your china fall off your shelves into your dry-sink? Well strap on your water wings and get thee to the bomb shelter, you kinky motherfucker.

Talbot further outlines all the qualities he loves in confident women, which is great, and helpful, because society at large usually does such a poor job of dictating the actions and characteristics it would prefer we exhibit. “Men love knowing a confident woman will not wait to debate something at some distant point in the future.” Okay, so you don’t mind if I tell you when you’re wrong? That’s good. Because I’m telling you right now that you are wrong, and also I hate that you’re wearing a hat in your avatar photo. We’re not at the beach. Take your hat off.

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret,” Talbot writes as women everywhere lean in closer to hear, perhaps, the mystery behind splitting an atom or the purpose of life. “We men generally do not know if you are actually enjoying yourself during sex.” Talbot implores us ladies to tell our men where the clitoris is. (I’m going to let you in on a little secret: it’s where it’s always been, Magellan.) Also, telling a person “thank you for being vocal in bed” is the best way to get someone to kick you out of that bed and then immediately throw themselves into a Silkwood shower.

There’s more of the same on women engaging in discussions, women who have big dreams, women who take the lead. Isolated, Talbot’s piece isn’t more egregious than your average teenaged boy talking about how he prefers it when a girl asks him out. In context, though, it’s another example of how “confident men” somehow think they need to give women permission to be adults. You confident men don’t hear this, but confident women are often praised for being confident. When men are ballsy, that’s just them being men. When women do it, people actively think about it, and men get to feel weirdly turned on by it, like it’s a rarity, like seeing a bird wear shoes.

“Thank you for dreaming and sharing those dreams with us”? What am I supposed to say? You’re welcome? This has nothing to do with you!

But I digress: there are so many more things that confident men do that just drives me mad with desire.

Make Your Voices Known
A confident man really knows how to make himself feel like he’s the only important person in the room, and boy, do they love the sound of their own voice. So go on, talk some more! Let more nonsense words drool out of your face-hole. Is anyone listening? It doesn’t matter, you’re a confident man! All that’s important is that you are talking.

Engage in Discussions
No conversation is complete without an old white dude getting his two cents in. Is it relevant to you or your interests or your life experience? Who cares, get in there! Does not having a uterus stop old Republican men from bossing women around on reproductive rights? Of course not. They’re too confident to not speak their minds.

Are Vocal in Bed
Maybe instead of waiting around for us to tell you what we want, you could ask. Need I really suggest that you may want to take an interest in my ability to have an orgasm? A more confident man might ask for directions before waiting for someone to offer them. This is just like that trip to Prince Edward County.

Be Condescending
Maybe the best part about being around a confident man is the way he talks to you like you’re an idiot. Being told how great it is when women are confident is the equivalent of being patted on the head and told you’re doing “a real good job.”

The intent is great. How nice that you like confident women! But there’s no reason you shouldn’t. It’s like proclaiming “I love soup the most when it’s hot!” What, are you going to eat cold soup? No one does that. It’s not a thing that people are doing. Only the lowest echelons of society are making and consuming gazpacho willingly.

Telling us about how much you love confident women only signifies that you’ve allowed yourself the most baseline respect that any man should have for any woman. Are we supposed to give you a medal for your ability to be interested in women when they aren’t weeping in bathtubs or struggling to do math equations? After all, nothing encourages women the world over to be more confident like telling them they’re not doing enough to stimulate you, a strange random man.

But surely, you confident men are fine with this critique! You love when a sassy lady tells you what’s what! And boy, do I ever feel a lot more comfortable in speaking my mind now that I know what a boner it gives you.

Thanks for everything.

Get away from me,

Scaachi Koul is a senior writer at BuzzFeed Canada, formerly the managing editor of Hazlitt. Her debut collection of essays, The Pursuit of Misery, is forthcoming spring 2017 (Doubleday Canada).

Are you trying to sound out her name right now? You probably are.