Come to think of it, I haven’t met a manly man in quite some time. Maybe because most of them live in Montana. Or Texas. Or Sicily! They’re certainly rare sightings in New York City because here the abundant local species seems to be the metrosexual.Oh! Metrosexual. I haven't seen that word for a long time. I'm thinking it fell out of fashion because... Barack Obama? But it's reviving because somebody at the NYT thinks Obama is manlier than Mitt Romney. (He just points at a name on a list and a guy half a globe away explodes — to smithereens.) But, no, maybe it's not that. Maybe it's "50 Shades of Grey" being a big bestseller and somebody at the NYT inferring that their female readers are tired of less manly men, so it's time to bring back the old epithet. Or, hell, maybe ladies are reading "50 Shades of Grey" because of Barack Obama. Whatever. Anyway, back to Natasha Scripture (love the name):
And as much as I can appreciate a man who knows his sashimi, the more carnal, female side of me wants to see him tuck into a heaping plate of meat and potatoes; and to toss aside the cologne and let pheromones take charge. Yes, gentlemen, you’re allowed to sweat in my divine presence.Lots of things are weird. Like longing for masculinity, then calling yourself "divine" and dispensing precise instructions for just enough but not much manliness. But it's not so weird to sigh about how everyone you think you might want is somewhere other than on the small island where you live. But what can you do? Go to Montana?
Also, when it comes to so-called manly traits, I would be kind of a masochist if I didn’t want a man with some level of emotional availability. But please, is it too much to ask that he not cry on a first date?...
I hope we don’t become so much like each other that we end up essentially morphing into one androgynous being. That would just be plain weird.
There are 7 other essays in this NYT set....
Mark Simpson, author of "Metrosexy: A 21st Century Self-Love Story," says:
Continuing to fret about [manliness] means men being sold prissy lists of “manly” dos and don'ts. Or reactionary ideology, such as the mendacious “menaissance.” Or a dodgy daydream of a “manly” past, such as an impossibly pretty, fastidious advertising creative, who is also a basket-case army deserter. And entirely fictional.What? Those are words, and I know what they all mean. But I don't know what they mean together. Presumably: Stop thinking about it.
Joel Stein, author of "Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity," says:
I got messed up by my feminist mom in the 1970s, who taught me that gender was a social construct. I can’t believe that social experiment went on as long as it did, since it’s clear by month six of having a child that William does not want a doll....His boy is masculine. Problem solved for Joel Stein.
Still 5 more essays, but that's it for me.