Not So Macho Man: How History Diminished The 'Man's Man'

by Elena Laurenti

It seems dating has become an endless and very bad breakfast buffet of skinny jeans, excellent shoes, beards, man buns and delicate leather satchels.

There's nothing wrong with being well-dressed, or even passably-groomed, but that aside, it's 2015, which is — as my friend Matt eloquently puts it —, "The year of the emotional male."

I've recently noticed this disturbing trend of weakness, being emotionally lost and an overall loser behavior amongst the bulk of men.

I don't even like to call them men; they aren't men.

They are oblivious, whiny and emotionally incapable children. Maybe this is nothing new or maybe I've just gotten older and wiser and am only now realizing what women before me have known for centuries.

But lately, I feel like it's more prevalent than ever before.

Men are in extraordinary need of coddling and ego stroking and women want to be present for this. I don't get it. Why the steady decline of real men?

Where — true to 90s music form — have all the cowboys gone?

Some might argue that I am biased. Perhaps, yes. My dad is pretty freaking awesome, and as far as manly men go, he's definitely on the macho end of the spectrum.

He's astoundingly capable for not being a blue collar dude; he handmade 80 percent of the furniture in our house.

He plays sports, he can cook like a mofo and he looks like Bruce Willis. But, really, so what? Yes, he was the first man in my life and I'm sure that influences my views somewhat.

But seriously, even if someone other than him raised me, I'd still look around today and be like, "Okay, umm what the f*ck, gents?!"

Why would I be asking this? Because I exist, and because I attempt to interact with guys; I've been asking this for months now.

Granted, considering my rather extensive dabbling with men and peens, I should have been posing this question for years.

I've been so patient and great about giving guys the benefit of the doubt, partially because I was still acting a kid myself.

I was kind of an assh*le to guys I dated, and was happy acting and thinking "like a guy." I saw myself and guys on the same page, but now I'm going to be 30 in a month.

I've realized I am miles ahead of most guys self-awareness wise, and truthfully, aside from being able to compartmentalize, I've come to admit that we really aren't alike at all.

I now find myself choking on the fumes of boys who have stubbornly staunched hold in men's bodies and I can't breathe.

I need an explanation, and for the love of god, for someone to please crack open a f*cking window.

So, if it's not my bias of having an awesome pops, then clearly something is amiss here. Let us take a brief look at the history of humans.

We can probably jump ahead a few thousand years, avoid the Darwin versus Jesus boxing match and skip to, oh, the 20th century.

So, up until then, as we know, men had their roles. They were the providers, held the top positions of power, plowed the earth and plowed the women.

This is not to say men were at the top just because they were naturally better than everyone else — though, in a primal sense, maybe they were.

Rather, they simply ruled the roost because they… kind of claimed it for rule

And there they stayed.

They had it going on for real, and for a decent stretch, too. I'd say nearly a millennium of being the top of the food chain is a nice run.

Aside from ladies winning the right to vote in 1929, not much else changed, gender-wise during the 20th century.

The 20s and 30s still didn't see much of a shift in terms of why men wound up as the hopeless messes they are today, either.

But then, the 1940s happened, and aside from Carole Lombard and her epic leopard print wardrobe, there was also that little thing called World War II.

What happened there? Dudes in uniform killed Nazis and dropped bombs and sh*t. Sounds manly to me. And when they came home? Unending sex in the city.

Not Carrie Bradshaw, dear ones, just the zygotes of a million future baby boomers being made while listening to Glenn Miller Band.

Women went back to the kitchen; men went back to the workplace.

The still-powerful male gender got busy drinking martinis, being classy and smacking secretaries' asses. So, still no answer.

But then, the 60s and 70s: You know what happened then? The pill. There's something to be said about gaining power over one's body in such a strong way. And, it was the start of something huge.

Women, who gained a taste of working only half a decade before while the men fought overseas, emerged from behind the suburban curtains, a la Hamlet, and wanted back in the offices.

Odd, but somehow, they seemed to like not being chained to the kitchen oven, baking cookies while wearing pearls.

The hippie movement gave more of an even ground, gender-wise, to that generation, what with communes and free love.

And of course, with the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam, no one seemed too focused on "man vs. woman" anymore (unless you were sticking it to The Man. Ba-zing!)

The 80s brought women even more to the workplace forefront, complete with shoulder pads and power suits. And then… today. Do you have an answer yet? Or do you just hate me?

Well, the answer is surprisingly simple, and was there all along: If we look back to life post-WWII, at every advancement that took place afterward gender-wise, they all revolved around women. Nothing fun or interesting happened with guys.

I guess that's the thing about being at the top: The only way to go is down. And therein lies the answer.

Men today pretty much suck and cannot handle strong women because women have changed, but men have not.

Part of me thinks this is because they are resistant to change and part of me is starting to believe they were never manly to being with.

Maybe all this time, they were just hiding behind a strong, cologned, masculine façade because they were raised thinking that's what it means to be a man.

I'm not saying I want to believe this; I want to believe these men's men are still out there, that if anything, they're just on the endangered list. I mean sh*t, they better exist.

I want ruggedness, and that don't-give-a-f*ck mindset in a man. I want men who can match a strong woman and balance her, not try and talk her down and abuse her into submission.

But for now, the only people not giving f*cks these days are the ladies. To them I say, don't let pussy men stop you, hold you back or make you afraid to be yourself for fear of being judged.

Males will have to come to terms with the fact that roles in society are indeed shifting quickly and permanently.

For now, look at them like they're baby deer, feeling out the new ground beneath their pretty toes.

But, at the same time, we are not their mamas.

We are not here to handhold them through this, nor to downplay our strength and needs to meet their own.

It's time for guys to come to terms with reality, and until they do, well, try and learn to like hipsters.