Wussification Of Men
I read an article by Dan Avenell called ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone‘. In it he points out the decline of men being portrayed as real men on TV. And now it’s all I notice. The men of yesterdecades were tough, hairy, took women home, shot people, drank, smoked, said something awesome and politically incorrect. They were bad ass.
Now they are slender, sensitive, unsure, weak, buffoons, and use their brains over braun. You know, all of the things a woman looks for when picking out a mate. If you are about to get mugged, you want a guy who empathizes with the mugger, not someone who will break his vertebrae and say an awesome one liner afterwards. While young Brass was growing up, my dad and most other men in my life were confident. They woke up and went to work. They came home and took care of whatever the manly term is for chores. They said what they felt, and kept quiet around senseless chatter. They understood how to fix or get something done. Point A to Point B. They weren’t hitting points C,R,H,O,U and S to make sure someone feelings didn’t get hurt.
When you compare the TV shows I grew up with like The A-Team, Magnum; P.I., Knight Rider, The Fall Guy – those men are tough, they say and do dumb things, they leave a wake of destruction behind them. They call ’em as they see ’em. They are role models for men.
The saddest thing in Dan’s article, which you should have read by now, is what happened to the male over the past 20 years. He sites dead on Sam Malone from Cheers starting out as confident, cocky, loving the ladies, making jokes and not caring about who gets offended. By the end of the series he is limping away from battles with the liberated and feminist Diane and the new age thinking man Frasier. These two ‘modern’ archetypes force Sam in the light of being to archaic to change or understand their new witty outlooks and thought processes. And poor Sam was just a nervous and pathetic shadow of what he used to be.
There are an awful lot of ‘men’ out there trying to be hip or cool or trendy. Be the best friend! Be in the know! Be-E-Aggressive! And they all come off as tools. If your dad owns a Ed Hardy ANYTHING or jeans with bedazzling on the back pockets, or even pops most of his collar – he’s not a man. My dad let me know stuff growing up. Like if my long hair looked femmy. Or if that earring might get me the wrong kind of loving. Or if that Paula Abdul/New Kids On The Block tape was crap. He’d ask what was wrong with me if I used the word ‘like’ more than 3 times in one sentence. Baggy pants or pegged pants got the look of WTH? Women make sure you feel good about yourself. Men tell you when you look and act like a fool.
The worst/best example he gives is the boys on Friends. Ross and Chandler reflected 90’s man as mostly confused and emasculated, and Ross even had a symbolically lesbian ex-wife. Only the borderline-retarded Joey was allowed to be confident with women. Joey was the only man on that show! And ironically, the only man able to get women consistently. And Sienfeld was hopelessly fumbling about in the cave-man trying to evolve playground. At least Jerry pulled his share and could easily brush off the consequences of his actions. As smooth as Jerry was though, he was still wishy washed over every little thing. The only pimp and real man on that show was Kramer, and like Joey, he had to be borderline-retarded.
Some genius tried to bring back a shadow of the great male, but it is mostly parody or portrayed as a lesson in look how far we have matured in shows like Mad Men. So as you women are complaining about how there are no good men anymore, this is what happens to men when you take away what makes us awesome. Pick any show out there. The adult men are confused or trying to evolve. The adult women sit and wait patiently for the men to come to their conclusion. The 20-something males sit around figuring out the most inane and pointless problems. And are probably the most hapless and least offensive men ever. The 20-something women sit and wait patiently for them to come to their conclusions. Something ironic? How I Met Your Mother‘s best character is a gay guy who acts like a man about decision making and taking what he wants. That’s why you like his character so much. So now all the women are secretly in charge, and the men are dimwitted, confused fools. Unless they are special or gay. Think about that.
When you have TV shows where every guy has to be confused, effeminate, politically correct, ‘man enough to wear pink’, crying – you wind up with the cast of Glee crowding your local clubs and dating scenes. Now we have all these skinny jean wearing, forward thinking, man-scaped, sensitive men roaming the world. On paper it looks like a great idea. In reality, women need their real men.