Thursday, 2 April 2009

Quick hit: Man-boyz?

From Stuff today, via Azlemed on Facebook:
"A common query [really a complaint] today, especially from women, is, 'Where have all the men gone?' "

Men such as Hugh Hefner, comedian Andy Farley, Charlie Sheen, Mick, Keith and the other Stones, who, despite being in their 60s, are still "prancing around as if they are 20 years old", are typical boy-men.

So what's happened? Why this strange, new tribe?

"We haven't really solved what a guy is supposed to do in a world where the most natural and easiest position to have is that of a playmate to his children, and a banker, so there's been a tendency for men to kind of withdraw from fatherhood responsibilities and into a world of private play," says Cross.

He also blames men like himself, who rebelled against their fathers in the 1960s and embraced social changes, such as feminism.

"This is the rub - how do you come up with an idea of male maturity or manhood that isn't a return to older ideas about male power? I think that's been a very difficult thing for my generation. We all thought we'd be new men and abandon the old patriarchal ways of our fathers.

"Our idea was that you're more of a man if you live in a world where women are equal with you, and you're nurturing as well as powerful. And that's still a value - we just haven't been able to pull it off. The culture has done very little to encourage it."
Click through for the whole thing.

I've been thinking about this recently, in terms of the Western cultural expectation there seems to be that men avoid commitment for as long as possible, and women are trying to tie men down or trap them into marriage, babies, whatever. Which is so not my experience. Yet what we see on telly, and read about in many books, is the old trope of men as boys and women as schemers/long-sufferers seeking personal growth in the opposite sex.


Anna said...

Interesting idea...most of us have in our minds an image of 'new age' men, but not one of 'old age new age' men.

In my experience, though, most men (and women) do mature as they get older, and being a bit less gung-ho and Mick Jaggerish is usually a part of that! Most middle-aged or older men I know don't behave quite like that, thank God. There are very few people in this world that I want to see prancing about in tight leather pants.

A Nonny Moose said...

Mr Moose is telling me I'm starting to sound like my father in law, the way I gripe about ads.

Specifically, I get really PO'd at the dominant bitch wife vs the "I'm just trying to do my best not to piss off the hormonal lady" meek husband. The Tower Insurance ad is a prime example. Another is the Toilet Duck cartoon where the hubby cleans the loo, but it's not QUITE good enough because he left the seat up.

Do women come up with these advertising concepts? Because using stereotypes like that in common media does not help get across the idea to women that is ok to be equal and speak your mind in a relationship. It's like guys doing the fingers at feminism behind our backs, but in plain view.

Anonymous said...

Not entirely on topic but,