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What is a Real Man?

Cissy Fiano posted a commentary yesterday over on Classic entitled "The Shortage of Real Men" which caught my attention. The posting centered around a five-year-old essay by Kim du Toit, "The Pussification of the Western Male," which asserted that men are becoming more feminine.

Here is what I consider to be the most revealing section, talking about a television commercial:

Little girl (note, not little boy): Daddy, why do we eat Cheerios? Dad: Because they contain fiber, and all sorts of stuff that's good for the heart. I eat it now, because of that. LG: Did you always eat stuff that was bad for your heart, Daddy? Dad (humorously): I did, until I met your mother. Mother (not humorously): Daddy did a lot of stupid things before he met your mother.

Now, every time I see that TV ad, I have to be restrained from shooting the TV with a .45 Colt. If you want a microcosm of how men have become less than men, this is the perfect example.

What Dad should have replied to Mommy's little dig: Yes, Sally, that's true: I did do a lot of stupid things before I met your mother. I even slept with your Aunt Ruth a few times, before I met your mother.

That's what I would have said, anyway, if my wife had ever attempted to castrate me in front of the kids like that.

But that's not what men do, of course. What this guy is going to do is smile ruefully, finish his cereal, and then go and f*ck his secretary, who doesn't try to cut his balls off on a daily basis. Then, when the affair is discovered, people are going to rally around the castrating bitch called his wife, and call him all sorts of names. He'll lose custody of his kids, and they will be brought up by our ultimate modern-day figure of sympathy: The Single Mom.

You know what? Some women deserve to be single moms.

The author says a lot about himself in these few words. The first thing is that he has a big gun. He couldn't just say that he was tempted to throw a rock through the screen -- it had to be destroyed with his Colt .45, which apparently, he carries with him at all times sort of like proxy genetalia...

And then there was what du Toit considered to be an appropriate riposte to the wife's words -- to say that he'd slept with his wife's sister. If you want to insult your wife, you can't really get much lower than that. And then of course, her words would justify him having an affair with his secretary. After all, his wife had "castrated" him, and as a Real Man, he had to vent his natural needs somewhere, and his secretary doesn't "cut off his balls." And this will end up with a divorce, his "castrating bitch" of a wife will get the kids and become the epitome of evil -- the Single Mom, no doubt turning his male seed into simpering metrosexuals.

Wow. Have you ever seen so much sexual insecurity in your life? Well, maybe that recent rant by Ted Nugent.

So what's the appropriate role for women in Kim's perfect world? He answers that in a later comment:

("The Man Show" was better, at least for the first season--men leering at chicks, men f*cking around with ridiculous games like "pin the bra on the boobies", men having beer-drinking competitions, and women on trampolines. Excellent stuff, only not strong enough. I don't watch it anymore, either, because it's plain that the idea has been subverted by girly-men, and turned into a parody of itself.)

They are to be the objects of male lust. I guess men can go around leering at any woman they choose. I wonder what he thinks he should do if he found his wife even glancing at another man? Probably beat her until she learns her proper place...

Another example:

When Annika Sorenstam was allowed to play in that tournament on the men's PGA tour, all the men should have refused to play--Vijay Singh was the only one with balls to stand up for a principle, and he was absolutely excoriated for being a "chauvinist". Bullshit. He wasn't a chauvinist, he was being a man. All the rest of the players--Woods, Mickelson, the lot--are girls by comparison. And, needless to say, Vijay isn't an American, nor a European, which is probably why he still has a pair hanging between his legs, and they're not hanging on the wall as his wife's trophy.

So if a woman challenges a man in an athletic contest, the proper response of the man is to run away? Hardly seems masuline to me, but I guess mere women are not supposed to intrude when men are playing their games.

Or is it more than that?

The common theme running through this essay is fear. The author fears that his wife might demean him in front of the kids. He fears shows like "Queer Eye" because they challenge his perception of masulinity. He fears having the wrong dog, the wrong advertising, and being told that flirting at the office is wrong. I hate to even think what his reaction would be to the subject of gay marriage...

But a real man is confident in his sexuality. He doesn't need to flaunt it by posts that are full of pointless obscenities, references to his firearms and assurances that watching women jump on trampolines is his idea of entertainment.

A real man doesn't have to worry about a little zinger from his wife because the way he leads his life is his testimony to his kids. If he responds with insults and affairs, the message that sends is not that he's a real man, but that he has no respect for his wife or for the institution of marriage.

A real man doesn't fear a wife who is an equal partner in marriage because he knows that marriage is not a contest, but rather a covenant. And that covenant extends into the person's thoughts and attitudes. If you truly love and trust your wife, a little good-natured ribbing is not a threat. But clearly du Toit believes that all women are just looking for opportunities to usurp what he believes to be his rightful place.

I want our literature to become more male, less female. Men shouldn't buy "self-help" books unless the subject matter is car maintenance, golf swing improvement or how to disassemble a f*cking Browning BAR. We don't improve ourselves, we improve our stuff.

And as you can tell from the quote above, as the man, he is right. Period. He doesn't need any personal improvements, he just needs to know how to operate his big gun -- both literally and metaphorically.

I'm glad that I don't have to try so hard to justify myself. I respect my wife and so I honor her with everything I do. I don't consider it "feminine" that I avoid lusting after other women, or that I am willing to give up some of the things that I might want for the sake of our marriage. I get a greater pleasure from making her happy than from making myself happy -- that's called love and it's something that the author of this essay scrupulously avoided mentioning, probably because he considers that to be a "girly" emotion.

I will close with one more excerpt from the article:

Young males are aggressive, they do fight amongst themselves, they are destructive, and all this does happen for a purpose.

Because only the strong men propagate.

And women know it. You want to know why I know this to be true? Because powerful men still attract women. Women, even liberal women, swooned over George Bush in a naval aviator's uniform.

As I said at the top, this article is five years old, so I'll forgive the author for so badly misreading Bush's political stunt. But the ultimate misconception is that any woman (or man for that matter) would be impressed by the fact that George Bush, president of the United States, impressed anybody by playing dress-up. And when you put it into the historical perspective of the fact he avoided serving in a theater of war during his time in the military, it makes it even worse.

While I won't make the mistake of assuming that know what all women want, as the author did, I hope that most women seek a husband whom they can respect for who he really is, not who he pretends to be. And they also want someone who will respect them, and love them with a sacrificial love, not someone who will treat them like dirt because that's supposed to be manly.

[Edited to correct link to du Toit's essay]
[Edited to redact profanity]

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Comments (6)


Isnt it funny how the people that want to "challenge the perceptions of masculinity" are always the same people who compare poorly to those same perceptions of masculinity?


Hilarious! This chubby-but-not-unattractive Fiano chick making the chickenhawks at BigWiz "smell the glove"!


"Hilarious! This chubby-but-not-unattractive Fiano chick making the chickenhawks at BigWiz "smell the glove"!"

I had to go look that up. But now that I have, I understand better the culture and narrative that informs your opinion.


HughS, You do a great Felix Unger impression!

Try this one:

"You said you'd be home at 6.
Dinner was ready at 6."

Lee Ward:


Do you have ONE rebuttal that isn't an ad hominem attack? The best you can do is to insult him rather than refute any of his arguments. Do you have anything to say as contribution to the discussion or are playground insults all you know how to do?

Everything you've included is cliché.

Then a commenter attacks Cissy for being fat as if being plump someone invalidates anything she has to say... this demonstrates what, a respect of women? Hardly.

There is not one word in Kim's post that in any way suggests that men should not love and respect their wives. In fact, he even says that real men do that. The point of your last paragraph actually states agreement with his point.

The only thing you're not getting is that love and respect should be mutual, not women behaving as "Mommy" to their husbands.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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