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They’re everywhere just have a look

Seems about once every year or so some blogger mentions the end of men, real men, manly men or whatever. Or talks about the pussification of men. Men and women both do this. The former do it in a woe is me sort of way that other men aren’t manly like they remember men being. And the latter tend to do so lamenting they can’t seem to find a real man or how equality ain’t all it’s cracked up to be and, gosh darn it, they want a cowboy to sweep them off their feet. Yet, all they run into are best buds who take them shopping.

The latest one I’ve run across is this piece, wherein our heroine asserts she may have married the last manly man. A new twist on an old classic. And I can sympathize.

Except that it’s nonsense. Manly men, real men, etc. are everywhere. They’re out working in their yard now; at the office; working on a car; playing with kids; teaching a dog to fetch a beer; getting manicures; or where ever else. Yeah, that’s right. Getting manicures. A lot of folks seem to think there are certain lists of specific behaviors that indicate what is and isn’t a real man. That’s also ludicrous. Personal grooming preferences make you no less a manly man than drinking beer, farting and scratching your ass make you more of a man. Real men are still there but perceptions have changed. Social roles have changed. Men may or may not be the primary breadwinner and that doesn’t make them more or less a man. And men now take a far more active role in childcare. Hell, that definitely makes them more of a man. Being a real man or manly man is more about stepping up or down when you have to.

Also, social perceptions of the ideal man have changed. We’re quick to jump and say that this person is or isn’t a real man. Even though that man is portrayed as a sex symbol in popular culture. Before, it was rough and tumble men of action. Now, it’s men of action who wear nice clothes and get manicures. There’s not a man I know that hasn’t looked at a trailer for one of the Twilight movies and laughed at the feminine male vampire lead. But none of us have met Robert Pattinson and don’t know if he’s a real man or not. Meanwhile, soccer moms are acting like the hyper tweens they were when they attended that New Kids on the Block concert in high school.

I do agree with the author that a lot of the issues with men these days are the result of the death of manners. It costs nothing to be polite. Take your hat off. Open the door for a woman. And ladies first. But I think the death of manners is because people don’t get their asses kicked any more. That is, folks don’t encounter one of these manly men for guidance that often. A good friend of mine has a son older than both my kids. His son is into sports and as rough and tumble as they get. But he opens the door for my little girl, lets her go first, and offers her the first juice box. He’ll be a manly man. His dad has done well.

Via Glenn.

26 Responses to “They’re everywhere just have a look”

  1. breda Says:

    Real men even wear questionable sneakers!

  2. pdb Says:

    I resemble that remark, ma’am!

  3. Tam Says:

    That woman has some serious issues.

  4. nk Says:

    My daughter asked the “girliest” boy in her class if he wanted them to be boyfriend/girlfriend. She asked, not he. I’m not worried. I’ve known people where the husband played guitar and the wife knew how to repair a flat tire. 😉

  5. divemedic Says:

    Real men are genuine. The problem today is that being genuine gets you a sexual harassment complaint for doing nothing more than saying “That outfit looks nice on you.”

    It gets you called a racist for saying that welfare is theft.

    It gets you called a terrorist murderer for having a CCW permit.

  6. Rustmiester Says:

    When someone whips out the “REAL men don’t _____” on me, I respond “Real men don’t concern themselves with being ‘REAL’ men.”

  7. sburch79 Says:

    I completely agree with Rustmiester. I also think the whole “Man Card” thing is stupid as well. If you need a card to show others your a man, then your the one with the issues.

  8. bwm Says:

    Men generally say this to make themselves feel better about their status in relation to other men.

    Women generally say this to excuse their inability to attract the type of man to which they refer.

    The heroine who proclaims she has found the last of these men is more like the former.

    The qualities to which both really refer is a man who displays confidence, drive, and self assurance (ie – “Alpha male” tenancies) rather than passivity and wishy-washyness, and self-doubt. I firmly believe that – mainly due to the “feminism” movement – the ratio of “alpha” to “beta” males is significantly lower than it has been in previous generations.

  9. Jake Says:

    To paraphrase David Weber (from his War God series):

    “A real man is one as does whatever it’s needful to be doing.”

    ‘Nuff said.

  10. chris Says:

    Part of being a man is being a gentleman.

    My parents taught me manners at an early age, and it is a habit I maintain to this day.

    It was kind of a Southern thing back then.

    And part of being a gentleman is being a man.

    Men and women are different, but complimentary.

    My wife provides design and decor and I provide safety and security.

  11. SayUncle Says:

    Real men even wear questionable sneakers!

    Because some times their wife buys them for them and they man up to wear those to please his wife 🙂

  12. JKB Says:

    Real men, like Superman, appear when needed, do what’s needed and then go back about their business. The rest of the time they could be standing right next to you and you’d never know it. If you want to see a lot of real men, go to a disaster and look for the ones doing what’s needed even though it isn’t their job or their family or their community.

    If you feel you have to talk, dress or act like what people perceive as a real man, you aren’t. If you do it to prey upon the stereotypes women have, well…

  13. wizardpc Says:

    It gets you called a terrorist murderer for having a CCW permit.
    ^This^

    By your sister. At your birthday party, even.

  14. j t bolt Says:

    No one talks about the dearth of womanly women, only the disappearance of manly men.

  15. workinwifdakids Says:

    Part of this has to be the rise to adulthood by girls who grew up during the inception of the Boy Band phenomenon. You mentioned the New Kids On The Block, but I think it’s had a very real impact on women’s view of a ‘target’ male.

    The reason they flocked to these boys, and the train of boys after them in the same “boy-band” genre, is because they’re absolutely SAFE. You have two things a young girl can psychologically deal with: the effeminate male, and the male she can never have.

    Now, as they grow older, they seek that which sparked their first sexual desire: effeminacy. The difference is, now they have access to that. This isn’t a perfect explanation, but it may be part of an answer to why we have a rise of effeminate males.

    By the way: I love my shotgun, and I love pedicures. Does that make me a real man, or less of one? Or does it make me a real man because when someone calls me a queer, and I know I’m straight, it doesn’t bother me one bit?

  16. bwm Says:

    @ workinwifdakids

    Interesting read here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1218808/Contraceptive-pill-women-attracted-masculine-men–interested-boyish-looks.html

    Claim is that the reason for womens’ increasing attraction to feminine men correlates to the rise in the prevalence of birth control.

  17. breda Says:

    @j t bolt:

    try “real women have curves” – they even made a movie with the same title.

  18. Beaumont Says:

    @wizardpc — you should take auditions for a new sister.

    Personally, I like farting, belching, and scratching, but I always tender my apologies to the wife afterwards.

  19. Sigivald Says:

    It costs nothing to be polite. Take your hat off. Open the door for a woman. And ladies first.

    Well, on the hats thing, I think the real issue there is that there isn’t a culture of nearly universal hat-wearing anymore. It’s a lot more uncommon than it used to be – and remember that politeness is, unlike many other things people wish were such, literally purely a social construct.

    Being polite means doing whatever the mass of people considers polite – I would not be shocked to find that there was a culture, somewhere and sometime, such that removing one’s hat in public was deeply offensive. Doesn’t mean it would be in the US in 1950; doesn’t mean that leaving a hat on is impolite in every place in the US now.

    Given that, so few people see keeping a hat on as an offense anymore that it’s questionable to say that it “is rude”; rudeness must necessarily cause offense, if not in a specific person, then in the generic normal one.

    A lack of hat-doffing might well be becoming “not impolite” at this time.

    (As for “ladies first” and opening doors – I suspect more than a few people have stopped doing them because they’ve been chewed out by an angry college-age New Feminist for it. More’s the pity, if they let someone like that sway them.

    Like I said, manners are inherently relative, but that doesn’t mean we should automatically throw away useful traditions because they’ve gotten a little tarnished.)

  20. Brass Says:

    As an aside, with the advent of two sets of doors back-to-back to keep air-conditioning in, how do you open both while still letting the women enter first?

  21. Egghead bob Says:

    There were a couple of articles that are relevant to the issue:

    Women prefer less manly men because they are on the pill:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=birth-control-pills-affect-womens-taste

    Men are less manly because of all the extra estrogen in the environment released via the urine of women on the pill. It is reducing testicle size across all vertebrate species.

    http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/birth-control-estrogen-diminishes-fertility-in-rats

  22. mikee Says:

    Regarding womanly women: in the 1970s at the small, southern, Baptist-affiliated college I attended, I once saw two young ladies walking side by side down a hall, up to the exit door. Both stopped, hands at their sides, and looked at the other, waiting for the door to be opened for them.

    And yes, of course I stepped up and opened the door for both, keeping my laughter to myself in as manly a fashion as I was able.

  23. Bugei Says:

    She says that men have proven to be malleable. Men, maybe. Not real men. The feminist movement caused women to go for “malleable” wimps. Some men became malleable wimps in order to gain the company of those women. But again…not real men.

    The real men never changed. And they’re not going to just suit the women who got off track.

  24. Kim du Toit Says:

    “I think the death of manners is because people dont get their asses kicked any more.”

    Amen.

  25. Jerry the Geek Says:

    Sigivald Says:

    It costs nothing to be polite. Take your hat off. Open the door for a woman. And ladies first.

    Well, on the hats thing, I think the real issue there is that there isnt a culture of nearly universal hat-wearing anymore.</i?

    I remember walking into the NCO club in Cu Chi, RVN, and taking my hat off as I entered. And those who didn't? The bartender rang the bell, and the inconsiderate with the hat on ended up buying drinks for the house.

    Difficult to believe that the favorite watering holes of American Sergeants would teach us manners, but they did. It was a matter of policy. We weren't Officers, but damn we were gentlemen. At least when it came to buying ten-cent beers and twenty-five cent drinks for a room-full of grunts who had spent just as much time in the boonies as you had, and were damn ticklish about their prerogatives.

    When you've spent a year being mannerly to smelly, dirty, rough men … you soon learn how easy it is to be mannerly to a soft, sweet-spoken lady.

  26. B Smith Says:

    What Rustmeister said.
    When I was in middle school, there was a popular book titled, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”. My derisive (even then)response was, “Real men eat whatever the f*ck they want.”