I can remember watching a few episodes of The Man Show back in 2002 or 2003. I was finishing my degree at the time, and although I was much older than most of my college peers then, I actually had offers from fraternities to join during ‘rush’ week. I never took them up on it; my being at least 10 years older than even the oldest ‘brother’ didn’t sit right with me, and the fact I was working 40+ hours a week didn’t leave me much time to ‘go greek’. Of the few friends I had time for then, at least 4 were frat guys, and they loved The Man Show.
These guys knew of my interest in gender and personality studies in (my then minor) behavioral psychology, but it was mostly due to my presenting them with something they could agree with about how women were. They innocently suggested I check out The Man Show thinking I would be interested in it because “it’s finally a show for guys.” Back then I was dissecting the masculine ridicule and caricaturizations of male roles in movies and TV and these guys were enthusiastic about what I was writing and telling them.
I thought the show was pretty funny at first. I still love and reference Adam Carola, and his insights on gender. However, after watching the show for a while, something wasn’t sitting well for me. I couldn’t put my finger on it then, but at some point I thought, “man this is stupid, can’t we do better than this?” The realization I was making was if this was a “show for men” then men were, well, kind of stupid.
I was already well aware of the dumbing-down of the masculine roles in popular media (TV, movies, etc.), but when what was supposedly an exclusively male oriented show is offered it seems that masculine ridicule is only reaffirmed. I’m using The Man Show as an illustration of a bigger dynamic here – if all we had to go on was popular (i.e. feminized) culture to help us characterize what is masculine then we’d be bad off enough, but it appears that men themselves are almost subconsciously complicit in reinforcing these feminine-defined cartoons of ‘how men really are.’
I love football. I would probably bore you to tears with my enthusiasm about next season and how the pre-season can’t get here soon enough. Ask me about baseball, I’ll tell you I like the Dodgers, but I know relatively nothing about America’s pastime. Soccer, golf, tennis, hockey, I couldn’t carry a conversation about any of them. I like big boobs (fake or real), I like women’s long legs and great assess. You all know I’ve worked in the liquor industry for over 9 years, so I have a vested interest in booze too. However, these natural interests of mine are only small component elements of who I am as a Man.
Granted, sex and alcohol seem to be the top two elements contributing to human happiness, but there is much more to me, much more to my existence as a man, than my base impulses. The problem with defining masculinity in terms of our root interests is that men begin to believe that’s all we have the potential for. For all of its social influence, the Feminine Imperative has no real frame of reference when it comes to the male experience. So in its effort to marginalize the masculine, effectively emasculating society, its only recourse is to define manhood in terms of what best demonizes masculinity. The Imperative can’t afford men to define masculinity for themselves, so the real roles of men are either ridiculous buffoons in need of uniquely feminine correction, or they’re boorish, brutes, poisoned by testosterone and little more than alcoholic, easily manipulable, walking hard-ons.
That’s what men get in their man-space. Hooters, football, beer and boobs. Even in their ‘man-caves’ this is what a woman can expect to find. Left to their own devices, men would simply turn the world into one grandiose Bro-Culture. Nowhere will you find the dreamers, the leaders, the thinkers, the artists or engineers – in girl-world, the majority of men are either pigs or damaged goods.
But if the Feminine Imperative is anything, it’s self-effacing and self-contradicting. According to the Feminine Imperative, for all of the feral worst it characterizes masculinity as, it’s not enough to accept men’s nature as so. You see nothing, not even the feminine reinforced pig-man nature is actually real, it’s just a mask men are socialized to wear.
So what is real masculinity? Make no mistake, the confusing redefinition of masculinity is a deliberate effort in social control on the part of the Feminine Imperative. Pointing out its schizophrenic misunderstanding (or intentional distortion) of the masculine is easy enough, but men have unwittingly adopted and reinforced their own gender role confusion. Either by embracing the Bro-Culture lie or by subscribing wholesale to the feminine identification of what masculinity should be, men are complicit in limiting themselves from defining masculinity for themselves.
Understand this now, a fem-centric society wants you to believe that masculinity is loutish, beer-swilling frat boys AND horribly damaged male psyches socialized into being so. A fem-centric society can’t afford to allow men to self-define masculinity, because it throws that deep feminine need for security and control over to the men they cannot trust because of the same definition it encourages for its own control.