Why do women find men in uniform so attractive?
Who says a tuxedo isn't a uniform?
I do like a man in uniform--
Why does the sight of a clean-cut man in a dress uniform look appealing? (I'm sure we can all agree that no one really likes to see a man in combat gear -- unless he's coming home safely, that is.) There is something about the presence of a man in uniform that implies several factors to which women respond favorably (whether consciously or unconsciously).
It took me a couple of decades, however, to get over the dislike that immediately arose in me when I saw any military types at all (and since I taught university courses for about six or seven years at the Marine Corps Air Station and on Parris Island Recruit Depot, both Beaufort, SC -- before I got tenure, that is, and could teach solely on the home campus -- it was a problem for me).
I grew up in Belfast, "Norn Irn" (Northern Ireland, for those of you who need all those other pesky consonants and vowels); frankly, all I saw for years in the city were British soldiers in flak jackets. None of them looked friendly, never mind attractive. They had little reason to look friendly, by the way. They were all about 19 years old, and probably scared shitless that they were going to be picked off by a sniper or blown up without a second's warning. I always felt sorry for the guy at the back of the patrol who had to walk backwards and scan the rooftops, street level, and pay attention to where he was going all at once.
For some years the army searched pedestrians as they entered the central fenced off shopping precinct of the city (before the police, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, took over this duty). They were not gentle or good humored. The women soldiers who frisked us caught us roughly by the back of the collar and worked down from there.
Handbag contents were also opened and examined -- all packages and cartons had to be open for inspection, including tampons and cigarette packets. This search took place in a shelter with a roof but no walls. No one enjoyed any of it, and any attempt I ever made at smiling or talking to the soldiers was ignored. Now, I understand why. Then, I resented everything about them.
One day a young soldier pointed his rifle at me and stared hard into my eyes. I have no idea why he did this. I was in a car at the time, in the passenger seat, on my way to school. One night a car curb-crawled behind me for a block and a half as I walked home from the pub. I was about to duck up into someone's driveway, as I was sure it was going to be another drive-by shooting and that the bullets were just about to pin me to the wall. It was two policemen (the police did not wear caps or indeed headgear of any kind when they were driving, as it made for too easy a target for snipers). They asked me why I was in such a hurry. To get the fuck away from the car following me, I said, somewhat tersely. We were all caught in that mutual fear and distrust that comes from, say, learning not to kick an empty can in the street, in case it exploded.
So I didn't much care for men in uniforms for a long time. They represented an ugly imposition. Ask any young teenage girl in Afghanistan if she finds men in uniform attractive. Bet she'll say no. But meanwhile, back in the States, young men are learning how to look attractive in the military. . . here are some of the reasons I think women like a guy in a uniform -- let me know if you can think of more reasons, or if I'm too far off the mark:
- A man in a uniform knows how to look after himself. (Who wants to be some guy's mother?)
- A man in a uniform knows how to bathe, shave, and dress himself (I'm not saying the rest of you don't . . .).
- A dress uniform is flattering to the male figure (Ooh-YAH!).
- An officer is a gentleman (or at least has really good tablemanners).
- The whole demeanor of a man in dress blues, or whites, or whatever is confident and dependable. Very Sexy.
- Since a man in uniform knows all about responsibility and duty, he could well be counted on to take out the garbage. Theoretically, at least.
- Any military unit that has had to serve in a combat zone anywhere in the world (yep--even in Norn Irn) comes back changed. These men (if not too deeply disturbed by their experiences) (and my heart goes out to all vets of any combat anywhere who go home broken, either physically or mentally) know the value of a sunset. Or a sunrise.
- Other uniforms, not just military, work just as well, if the training behind the spit and polish is as extensive. Who is more welcome at an accident scene that a paramedic or a fireman? Women know that they will be rescued by these substitutions for knights in shining armor.
Well. Am I far wrong? I'd love to hear other opinions on the matter. (Incidentally, since coming to the States, I've dated a couple of Marines. And yes, they were both gentlemen.)
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