What Do Women Want?
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10/15/09 | David Gregory | 4 Comments

David Gregory, Moderator, Meet the Press

What do women want?  I’m asking as a husband, as a father, as a professional who works closely with women.  I ask it in the context of all that we are learning about the changing role of women in America.  I ask because I still don’t think I have the answer.

I’m blessed to be married to a wonderful woman who is successfully negotiating a path as mother, prominent trial lawyer and former business executive.  Our life reflects many of the struggles of modern couples: We both have careers, requiring a great deal of negotiation about who does what, set against the backdrop of shared, 50-50 parenting.

And yet, our life is more marriage than merger.  It needs to be if we are going to stay connected to each other as a couple.  That gets to the point of asking my question.  As the role of women changes, some of their basic desires do not.  Yet, I think many men are having a hard time keeping up.  We get that the days of “Mad Men” are over (my wife reminds me of this when we are watching the show), but we sometimes lose the complete picture of what the women in our lives need.

In my experience, women expect flexibility from their partners as they negotiate their lives. They expect an openness to reexamine traditional roles.  But women, and particularly working mothers, also are seeking reassurance about their path.  Many professional women want to know that they are striking a good balance between work and home.

The other crucial factor to a good relationship is staying connected.  In the Bible, God asks of Adam, “Where are you?”  So, too, as men we need to pause to ask where our wives are: How are they, what do they need and want?  Are we making the space for each other as a couple – time spent separate from the business of our busy lives?

The key is making the time to ask.  I don’t think I have all the answers, but if I’m trying to be the best husband, or colleague or boss I can be, I’m asking, “What do women want?”

Good shoes.  Right, that part I get.

David Gregory is the moderator of NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” He is also a regular contributor for “Today” and serves as a back-up anchor for the broadcast.  He is a regular contributor and analyst on MSNBC, and lends his voice and reporting to all NBC News broadcasts including coverage of special events.

David Gregory will be speaking at The Women’s Conference 2009.

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  • "What Women Want" & "Who Women Want" is the name of the first Women's TownHall I organized back in 2002. Here we are 7 years later, at this defining, and transformational point in women's herstory: 51% of the population, 54% of the voters, and now 50% of the workforce! Now, if we could only achieve that goal: 50/50 gender balance in elected office by 2020!

    Posted by Elena Ong, 26 October 2009.

  • Hello Dave, what women want is to be equal, and to become truly equal in my opinion, is for women to have half the Senate. How can you have a Gov't. that represents the people, when half the people are not represented. Can you understand you wife at times ? Dave ? We both know the answer to that. Then how can a man represent n speak for a woman ? One Senator should become 50% Female to repsresent the 50% female population,... 714-287-8950

    Posted by Joe_Miechowicz, 26 October 2009.

  • The answer is happiness and having the time to take care of myself so I can love my partner. I am not married, nor do I want or have children. I have however been in a loving relationship for more than three years now. As a 10-year (and counting) sober woman, I have learned that making the most of a relationship means finding equal happiness with my partner. Being content at home and designating a "a place of joy" in our home has been the solution to both of our happiness. It’s like sliding in to home plate after a long day.

    Happiness is knowing I am paying attention to my partner's and my physical needs, my self-image needs, nutritional requirements, exercise and keeping my separate interest which keeps me focused on my "otherness." By "otherness" I mean the work I do, the hobbies I have, the friends I talk to. What I want, starts and ends with me. When I take care of myself, I am in open and free delight to love and accept my partner in our "place of joy." Whatever riches come along with is a blessing.

    Posted by Alexandra Datig, 23 October 2009.

  • I first wanted to thank you for reading my email on Meet the Press Sunday morning; I really appreciate it.

    Like you, my husband and I have a great relationship in our household. We both pitch in and help each other with housework, bills, school, and talk about what we want in life. We compromise in our strengths and weaknesses. He makes the coffee while I tend to the bills. I can load the wash machine, but he takes them out of the dryer (my bad back).

    Since I am a woman, I want respect, be heard, and be given choices. I hate to be ignored.

    Posted by Julierose, 19 October 2009.