Just the other day back in 2002 I was riding in the car with my older brother and his friends and ‘Wannabe’ came on the radio. One of his friends, in a moment of epiphany and star alignment, said, “This is where all this girl power stuff started, the Spice Girls. God damnit.”
As pimple-faced freshmen in high school, these boys weren’t exactly the voice of the American male, but nonetheless, their opinions have been echoed by academics across the country. A new field of academic study is growing in popularity and notoriety; Male Studies. Apparently, us females, with all of our ‘You Go Girl’-ing and our bra burning, and our higher wage earning have been making men feel less manly. Thus they must combat this with a look into history to uncover all the great things men have done in an attempt to reaffirm their masculinity. Great things like discover new lands, fight wars, build governments from the ground up, make laws, rape, pillage, oppress marginalized groups, and star in action films.
And it’s not just the men in dusty classrooms who are feeling the pressure to grab their proverbial balls and unleash some aggression. Men are shying away from the pretty boy look and glam ideal in favor of a more dominant, husky image. Take pop culture for example, Entourage is now being played on Spike . Which can mean only one thing; the boys from Brooklyn are no longer something to be idolized. (Because lord knows anything sandwiched between episodes of CSI: New York and WWF: Smackdown is no longer in the limelight.) Vince’s chill demeanor and Drama’s tight T’s and manscaping seem a little soft. Instead the new stud on screen is Don Draper of Mad Men. Don doesn’t cry, he rarely even emotes. He says things like “Mourning is just extended self-pity,” and has extra-marital affairs. He wears suits and rules a successful, misogynistic advertising firm. Now, that is the kind of man our men should want to be.
So out with the skinny jeans, man-purses, Zac Efron-esque hair dos and dudes who are whipped by their girlfriends.
And in with the suits and ties, superiority complexes, un-sculpted facial hair, and men who know what they want.
In the words of Don Draper, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
And in the words of Colonel Sanders, “I’m too drunk to taste this chicken.”