‘The End of Men’? I May Have Married the Last Manly One

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It’s true that women are taking over the traditional cultural roles. We’re smarter, more streamlined, more capable.

When it comes to our jobs, our lives, we don’t need men anymore. And guys have allowed this shift to happen, because we haven’t given them a choice. Equality is our God-given right, no question. And it’s true: Women are better at running the world.

But is this truly the end of man?

I don’t think so. I think we have a different issue. Not the end of man, per se, but the end of men. Real men. As the roles between the sexes continue to blur, I find fewer and fewer men who are unabashedly male. All it takes is a quick look around to see that many men have gotten a bit too much in touch with their feminine side.

Where have all the cowboys gone, indeed?

I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m happily married to a man’s man, a gentleman, a scholar, a romantic. He can cook if he’s going to starve, manages the finances and the house, is the primary breadwinner, looks good in a pair of jeans, likes sports and beer, and takes good care of me. He’s one of a kind. If I were out in the dating world right now, I might just throw up my hands and give up.

In the beginning, women had to be protected, because they were the only way to propagate the species. Since men can’t nurse, the dynamic was born – men hunted, women tended the home fires. Tended them extensively, since myths show that early hunters spent several days in seclusion following a kill in order to thank the Gods, and show respect for the animal’s spirit through reflection and prayer. Someone had to cure the meat, and that fell to the women.

The pattern that developed stood for a millennium, until the men started going a wee bit overboard and took away all of the rights of women as partners in a human world — education, voting, you know, the little things. I don’t know many modern women who aren’t filled with horror at the idea of being forced to wear a burqa, not be allowed schooling, or a voice in both your marriage and the legal system.

I think it’s safe to say the end of man began with the death of manners.

Our divergent social roles aside, in recent modern societies, women were cherished, protected, treated with the utmost respect. Men rose when a woman entered the room. They scrabbled for a chance to share a dance. Duels were fought over their honor and attentions. Men were courtly, refined, intelligent, witty and, when in the presence of a woman, watched their mouths, their actions and their dress. Can you imagine a chevalier in jeans that hang off his ass and oversize sunglasses, calling you “be-atch” when he ends his text message? Sigh.

Clint Eastwood is a great example of a real man. He could go from “Bridges of Madison County” to “Dirty Harry” to “Unforgiven” without batting an eye, and is completely convincing in all those roles because there was never any doubt that he was a man. And the way he seats a horse, you just know he’s going to rock your world. There aren’t a lot of actors nowadays who can play those roles, but there is one. Watch “Justified,” with Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, a federal marshal from the deep south of Kentucky. Givens is a real man. He’s rough, tough and ready, unfailingly polite, incontrovertibly sexy in jeans and boots and a hat. He plays the role of the protector to perfection. And, yes, I’m well aware I’ve had to choose fictional men as an example.

What makes a man manly? That’s a personal preference, obviously, but eyeliner and lipstick doesn’t quite scream “caveman” to me. We’re all in love with the idea of the perfect man, but when we find one — that casual, smart, witty guy who’s cool and somewhat reserved — we toss him over in favor of a man who’ll go shopping with us, who understands the difference between Louboutin and Choo.

Air dry, wear a pair of Levi’s and an old shirt, play golf with the boys on Sunday afternoon, drink a beer. And what’s with all the crying? Keep it manly already — misting up or a cough to cover the emotions is more than enough.

The past few generations have been so busy worrying about Janie getting a fair shake that no one’s bothering to teach either of the sexes proper manners. There’s a reason Emily Post was so popular. Being treated well is addictive. It’s pleasant. Having a chair pulled out for you, having a man open your door, escort you to your door, heck, buy you dinner without expecting to be paid back with sex …

The current crop of reality television is supposed to be an example of the empowerment of women. It fails miserably. “The Bachelorette,” for example, is time and again consigned to the annals of history not for finding true love, but for being cuckolded by her choice.

Look at “Sex and the City”; talk about a massive step backwards for womankind. There’s something so sad about their lives, all of which revolve around finding and keeping a good man. If we’re going to talk about true empowerment, then finding a hottie to date can’t be paramount.

Real men do exist. They’re out there. It’s not too late. We can teach them how to treat us. They’ve shown themselves malleable. Let’s take back the gel and the hairdryers, ratchet back the designer jeans, get them some movies and start asking to be treated as women again. We can resurrect the good stuff, and leave the bad in the dust.

By J. T. Ellison for Loveawake.com.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Totally agree with you about Sex and the City. Beyond pathetic. My first dating rule was always to avoid men who spent as much or more time on their hair than I did. It worked out very well.

  2. I understand the “Sex and the City” comparison, but I don’t think watching sports and drinking beer defines a man, just as red wine and nail polish don’t define a woman and to say otherwise is stupid. Yes, women are more equal now that ever before, but that doesn’t mean men are less equal or somehow losing. It means that neither sex need depend on each other for anything but companionship. Which is a good thing. If everyone were self-sufficient and only needed other people for company, there would be fewer instances of people remaining in an abusive relationship.

  3. This entire article is an observation of one individual about the relationship she has with her husband. Honestly, today each one of us, male and female have different preferences on what they find attractive qualities in prospective partners. What this author finds to be the ideal man may not measure up to the person sitting next to her. The “real men” haven’t gone anywhere. They’re still here, and there are people who find the aforementioned qualities of a “feminized man” more attractive than its opposite.

    It’s all about a person’s preference, and being a “real” man (or woman for that matter) has nothing to do with personal appearance or what potential stereotype they can be catagorized in. It has everything to do with how they choose to live up to their own self imposed standards. What makes me a “real” woman has nothing to do with what I watch on the weekends or what magazine I am reading. It has everything to do with how I choose to carry myself through the day to day. The same goes for a man.

    People today need to realize that we can no longer catagorize people into the black and white. We’re a giant melting pot of grey, the most important thing is finding the person who makes YOU happy. It doesn’t matter how that person acts, dresses, their nationality, gender, or what their shopping and tv preferences are.

    The bottom line is people are changing. Expectations are changing, or moreso evolving. Can we say with an absolute, this is better than that or that was better than this? No, we can’t. It’s all about perspective. You’ll find women and men lamenting about the old days, the days of “manners” and the predefined roles men and women were expected to uphold. On the other hand, you have other men and women scoffing at these old fashioned ideals.

    Each one of us has an ideal of how they want their mate to be like. And it could be a Cary Grant or an Audrey Hepburn for one person, and it could very well be a Jersey Shore Guido/Guidette for another.

  4. While I think the author is a bit over-the-top in her article, I do believe she is on to something in regards to the lack of manners shown by men these days. Women are trying to “have their cake and eat it too” by trying to be overly independent and self-sufficient, while at the same time they are dreaming of finding the perfect man to sweep her off her feet. For starters, women need to realize that they don’t NEED a man to be happy. And second, when the DO find a man they want to spend their lives with, they should demand to be respected and treated like a lady – there is nothing wrong with a man that holds a door for a lady, or pulls her chair out for her. It’s romantic, gentleman-like, and just plain polite.

  5. As the article points out, when it comes to our jobs, our lives, we don’t need men anymore. And guys have allowed this shift to happen, because we haven’t given them a choice. Equality is our God-given right, no question. And it’s true: Women are better at running the world.

    Yeah, sure. Until the first time the oil needs to be changed. I’m always floored by the female’s capacity for self-delusion.

    You want to know why men started wearing oversize sunglasses and pants falling off their ass? Why they call you “be-atch” at the end of a text message? Because those are the guys who get attention from women. If this is a problem for you, talk to your sisters – it’s not our fault, be-atch.

  6. “And it’s true: Women are better at running the world.”

    The bigotry here is so thick you’d need a chainsaw to cut it.

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