I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get that song stuck in your head.
But in all seriousness, I truly wonder what happened to the men out there.
See, it all started when my partner commandeered (kidding) the remote control, and one of his favorite shows is “Emergency”. You know, that throw-back from the 1970s that comes on after “Gilligan’s Island”. If you’re not familiar with the show, worry not–it’s exactly what it sounds like. Fire trucks and ambulances come alive and take off in response to various calls of medical distress. The patients are rushed to the hospital by early-day paramedics, where the old-school it’s-a-man’s-world MDs and little nursing underlings (don’t you despise those nurses’ hats??) obey their every word.
I wouldn’t necessarily want to revert back to that time. I’m not sure I’d be respected at all as a doctor. Hell, I’m not sure I would’ve been accepted to school.
However, there is a slightly appealing aspect to that show: the men are men. They look like it. They sound like it. I’m not referring to chauvinism; I’m talking about there being no question. They may be younger or older. They may or may not have a beard. But their voices are deeper and directive. They speak with confidence. They may not be “in touch with their feminine side” but I’d roll the dice that even the older ones can perform in bed without little blue prescription pills. And they would fight to the death for their loved ones. Whether or not they own guns is not a question; the question is how many.
Fast-forward to the present day. Guys are not guys anymore. In the ’80s they took a Giant Leap Forward and got in touch with their feelings. That’s perfectly fine, as many males were emotionally repressed before, much to the demise of their wives and their own bodies (since emotional repression or a failure to vent life stresses has a hugely detrimental impact on health).
Their journey to the Yin Side should’ve stopped there; starting around the ’90s, things got out of hand. I’m not talking about transvestites, transsexuals, cross-dressing, homosexuality, or any of that. In fact, I totally respect that. I’m talking about the guys who act–and claim to be–straight/masculine and yet, they’re anything but. An unprecedented number of males are going in for spa services and cosmetic surgeries. Most don’t even own guns or have the gumption to fight or defend their loved ones. One such type of 21st-century “man” is the oft-ridiculed metrosexual:
The metrosexuals are the most obvious because, well, they’re obvious. They flash around in BMWs or Mini-Coopers, with plenty of plastic (both in the wallet and in their bodies), and you might even find remnants of this morning’s mud mask. You’ll either see them at the A-list places or the upscale cooking aficionado boutiques at the mall. They tend to be trend-setting and well-to-do and that tends to influence the headlines. But dude–they look like girls! They’re hardly rugged or self-sufficient. They’re not exactly risk-takers or warriors. I’m not sure I’d trust a metrosexual to have my back against adversity.
And then there’s the other type–I call them the over-compensators. These are the types who chug cheap beer, drive a contemporary muscle car or a Ford F-150 only because it “looks cool”, and would step over their own mothers to watch the Texas-OU game* but underneath it all, they have man-boobs and erectile dysfunction. They simply won’t schlep into their doctor’s office for help with these issues, though (because in their minds, they’re still guys), until their wives start threatening mutiny. Is this a real man??
There is indeed a third type–these are the slackers, the throwbacks to the late-’60s Haight-Ashbury hippie scene. They have the long hair (in dreads, updated for the ’90s), blank looks on their stoned faces, and no jobs. They wouldn’t be able to tell a rifle from a toilet plunger and if their head-shop went out of business they’d wander around clueless in their own personal Zombie Apocalypse. Tell me: is this truly a man??
Sperm counts have dropped sharply in the past 20 years; maybe that’s Mother Nature’s way of saying, “enough of this shit.”
Wow, I must be impossible to please, because I just dashed every guy out there. But then, maybe not. Males, take note; this here is an example of an ideal prototype for a 21st-century man:
Now that, ladies and gents, is a true man. He doesn’t have to be macho, just masculine. He doesn’t have to be violent, just protective. He doesn’t have to be domineering, just strong. He does, however, have to have a job. Beer is optional.
That horrible song still in your head? Oops, sorry.
*(Big annual football game featuring Texas A&M University vs Oklahoma State U)