Hurt my feelings, why don’t you. Tell me about how awful men are. That’s the entirety of this muddled mess titled Masculinity Is Dead: Why Weak Little Boys Have Replaced Real Men. Gosh, it’s harsh.
Once upon a time, the vast majority of men were really proud to be men. They went to work, provided for their families, and actually behaved chivalrously towards women. They were good fathers, protectors of those they cared about, and actually tackled problems assertively. Of course, those times are long dead.
Once upon a time, men were men, but now they’re not. It’s not a substantial premise. But the way she keeps hammering at it makes me start taking it personally.
Everywhere I look, I see women lamenting the loss of actual manly men.
I hear girls bemoan the fact that guys are now too frightened to get into a committed relationship with a woman. I hear single moms talk about how men bailed on them after they became pregnant. I hear single women of all ages talk about how their last relationship dissolved because the guy they were with never actually brought anything to the table.
OK, I begin to see the basis of her definition of what makes a manly man: they commit to a relationship. That’s not a bad argument, I agree that commitment is what makes a person a strong partner. One could build on that idea to write a good article, but no, she’s just mad.
Make no mistake about it, there is absolutely, positively, nothing manly about most men in my generation.
“Most”? Is this a quantitative argument? Or did your last couple of dates go badly?
We’re now populated by whiny, insecure, entitled, lazy little children that are looking for a second mommy more than a wife and partner.
For the Millennial generation, old-school masculinity is as dead as a parrot in a Monty Python sketch. F-boys, Nice Guys, and Mama’s Boys are symptomatic of the problem.
The older I get, the more I realize how totally screwed up Millennial men’s attitudes on sex, relationships, and women really are. In this sense, many modern male dating stereotypes really are true.
So far, I’m seeing stereotypes all right, but no evidence that they’re true.
I’m going to skip over a whole lot of sweeping generalizations to what I think is a kernel of a good point: media mischaracterizations, which the author has swallowed wholesale.
A large part of the problem is that media tends to warp what we see as masculine. Music and media glorifies men who “pump and dump.” Media constantly talks about why men shouldn’t date gold diggers, or why Nice Guys™ should always get the girl.
Guys are told, constantly, that they aren’t sh*t unless they’re banging a million women. In many cases, the media makes women to be the enemy, regardless of what happened. From what I’ve seen, men are all too happy to find someone to blame for their shortcomings.
Andrew Tate is not “all men,” I assure you. He’s one spectacularly garish example. It is true, however, that a certain kind of loud, loutish, entitled man has become a symbol of one side of modern masculinity, and it is one that is popular among naive teenage boys, but unless the author has been dating MRAs or 15 year olds, it’s not generally representative. Don’t mistake media stereotypes for reality.
This is not a new problem. Back, way back, in the 70s and 80s, the caricature we young men had to deal with was the endless, annoying movies that portrayed us as callous horndogs on a constant quest to lose our virginity — think Porky’s or those Nerds movies. Nobody I knew was as obsessed with virginity as those movies made it all seem, and while we might have been a bit obsessed with sex, the media idolatry of virginity was just sick, warped purity culture.
This is not reality.
It’s a stupid meme. Don’t write articles that pretend it is accurate.
Matt G says
Incels at the other end of the gender spectrum? The more I think about what it means to be “manly” or “womanly,” the more I realize that people just need to be peopley.
Mike Pence calls his wife “mother” but it is definitely only millennials who “are looking for a second mommy more than a wife and partner”.
Sounds pretty much like the usual role of the man in traditional marriage to me.
A brand new complaint, never heard before. Truly, a unique symptom of our age.
Reginald Selkirk says
I see a couple references to “Nice Guys”, but I missed the explanation of how they are “symptomatic of the problem” and deserve to be lumped together with those other groups. Perhaps this is some ironic use of “nice”, as in “Minnesota nice.”
Reginald Selkirk says
It seems to me that is exactly what the writer is doing.
Ian King says
I wonder if this writer considers herself a feminist, or yearns to be imprisoned in her home raising a gaggle of children while her man ‘provides’. I despise this tendency to bemoan ‘modern men’, especially from anyone who claims to be supportive of womens’ liberation. For all the good that has come of deconstructing patriarchal gender roles, the absence of anything being built in place of the old system is the cause of any real harms this person is capable of referring to.
IIRC, whining about how unmanly men were becoming was a thing as far back as Theodore Roosevelt’s day.
There may be something “new under the sun,” but this isn’t it.
Leo Buzalsky says
I’m basically here to repeat what mordred said at @3. I wonder what she thinks of the post-war attitude of the 1950’s when women, who were allowed to have “real” jobs in the 1940’s to support the war effort, were sent back to the kitchens to be house wives? Or what she thinks of this “trad wife” trend I hear members of Gen Z have been promoting? Or, for that matter, what she thinks “trad wife” is supposed to mean in that movement? How can Gen Z be calling this lifestyle “trad” (which, if it is not obvious, is short for “traditional”) if it was a lifestyle that Millennials supposedly started?
Allison @8, as I recall, very similar complaints were made back then as well. Obviously, it’s entirely new ground. Just as a man running off when a woman becomes pregnant is totally new, why they just invented a word last week for it – bastard.
Oh wait, last week, in geological terms.
So, the author failed in sociology 101 and history 101, wonder how many other areas she failed in as well?
Well, other than life in general, reasoning at all and quality of thought in writing.
…at least ancient Greece. Probably further.
Here’s a suggestion: If all your dates are bad, instead of blaming the folks you date, try adjusting your algorithm for who you choose to date. After all, it was your choice to date them. You can’t control other people, but you can control your choices,
@Reginald Selkirk: In this context a Nice Guy is someone who acts nice but it’s just how they mark time before they get something from you. An older version of this is the expectation that you will get a lot physically closer with your date if they order something expensive at a restaurant and you’re paying. Nice Guy is the same thing but more generalized.
So what I get out of this is “Millennial men are shiftless and wishy-washy. They are Not Real Men.” She didn’t use most of that phrasing of course because it fell out of general use before I was around and I’m middle aged. But I’m sure you could go back to depression era gossip rags and read something similar. The solution of course is to bring back toxic masculinity. That’s always the solution: more of the problem, please!
I really only have one way to respond to things like this. “It’s nice that you had some thoughts. Too bad they’re a dumpster fire in a shit factory. And as far as bringing back toxic masculinity just so you can have something different to complain about? No thanks, fuck right off with that.” It’s not that I don’t recognize any problems in the rather wide-ranging list of complaints she made. But when you get so indignant and frothing at the mouth over things that inconvenience you that you start suggesting we all revert to the situations that caused all this mess in the first place? Yeah, that’s not worth a moment’s consideration. It’s not even a solution. It’s just straw-manning everything else to try and make it look worse than the initial problem.
Raging Bee says
So…which men did she vote for last year?
@Reginald Selkirk, lanir:
Yes, in this context ‘Nice Guys(TM)’ almost certainly refers to ‘guys who pretend to be nice right up until the point where the woman says she’s not going to sleep with them, at which point they start whining about how they’re really nice guys and that doesn’t work because women are all [fill in the blank]’. In other words, they’re not actually nice at all, and even their pretending rarely works well or lasts for long.
As far as I can tell, the ironic term “Nice Guy” originated in feminist language, to describe a certain type of straight men whose approach to women and dating is characterized by two toxic elements. One is treating human relationships as primarily transactional, as described by lanir at 13. The idea that men in particular should succeed in dating and relationships by being generous, chivalrous or just generally “nice”, as in not abusive or abrasive or a deadbeat.
The other element of Nice Guys is an unwarranted sense of entitlement over their own perceived niceness, and resulting bitterness when that entitlement isn’t granted. These men often have nothing going for them except minimal social decency, if they in actuality have even that. They often have a negative view of other men, and a sense of unfairness that many of those other men are succeeding better with women, despite supposedly not being that nice. They have a creeping suspicion, which they often complain about, that women are actually more attracted to “assholes” than “nice guys”. What they are really observing is that other men are actually often more genuinely nice than they are, or more interesting, and sometimes women do fall for abusers.
(Often, the term “Nice Guy” is capitalized to highlight the irony, and distinguish from genuinely nice men)
That said, I’m not sure the OP is using Nice Guy in this specific sense. She may have picked it up somewhere and misunderstood it slightly to mean whiny, entitled men in general.
Autobot Silverwynde says
It’s YourTango; any one or any thing with a functional pulse can cobble together words and get published. This is the same site that had a “feminist” complaining about childfree couples, using the old “Stop being selfish!” canard. They’re about as trustworthy as OAN and Newsmax.
… and which in return is just capitalism, mad marketing and consumerism in action. The ideal body-type for both men and women is extremely unhealthy and unrealistic.
Raging Bee says
…and subject to change without notice.
I learned everything I need to know about being a manly man from reading the ads in sports magazines in the 1960s.
A manly man is a hulking brute who goes to the beach, kicks sand in the face of the skinny guy, threatens him, and steals his girlfriend.
Or, he is the skinny guy, who goes home, bulks up on the Charles Atlas plan, returns to the beach, and there punches the hulking brute who stole his girlfriend, thus winning the girl back.
Life is simple, really.
Raging Bee @20, which precisely describes my body type. ;)
Raging Bee says
Well, there ya go — as long as your body type changes along with the official ideal, you’ll be okay…
Raging Bee says
Masculinity Is Dead: Why Weak Little Boys Have Replaced Real Men
Not quite as click-baity as the one I saw earlier this morning:
No One Knows How Airplanes Stay in the Air
…but kinda close…
But does she expect men to pay attention to an article written by a woman? It sounds like she expects “manly men” to scoff at her. :)
She used “nice guys” wrong. Can’t even write bullsh-t right. Where have all the journalists that do a bit of research gone? Maybe they left with the manly men?
It’s more like something you’d read on a reddit post than something someone doing this as a job!