Somewhere there is a balance between pushing a woman into obsequious servility—thus, confirming Patricia Ireland's blanket accusation of de facto female slavery—and allowing relationships to degenerate into dysfunctional verbal head butting and bickering.
That point may exist at different places for different couples. In fact, it may shift in time for a given couple. For example, my wife chose a man she believed to be capable of spanking her often enough and hard enough to straighten out a few things in her life. Now, almost forty years later, those spankings are more cathartic than disciplinary.
For a relationship to be truly successful, a man has to want what is best for both the woman and the relationship. The man has to be a tough softy—able to both blister a woman's backside as well as be plush-poodle cuddly, depending on the needs of the moment.