As a paid-consultant on “masculinity” (yep, that’s right: hired by the Miller-Coors Brewing Company to help them reach-out to today’s masculine market) I consider myself something of an expert on men. I have, after all, been one most of my life. That aside, I have led what most would consider an enviably active and adventurous life; leading some of my friends to call me the “REAL most interesting man in the world” (forget that aging Latin lothario!). So it is with some degree of authority and an even greater degree of disgust that I say: I am sickened by my fellow men today.
As a man raised by a WWII veteran with a strong sense of chivalry (particularly toward women), I am disgusted with what passes today for manhood. So many men are mere shadows of what their gender represented in generations past. Military service members excepted (which include an amazing collection of very fine young men) most men today aren’t fit to carry the water of the “Greatest Generation”, my father’s generation; much less the dauntless knights who originally defined “chivalry”.
Where have all the Gary Coopers gone?
Now, I suspect, this has always been the case. Every generation laments the declining standards of the next. You just know that the very first cavemen sat around looking at their sons sitting around the fire; and complained, “Look at these wimps, cooking their meat with fire! We didn’t have fire! In our day we ate it RAW!”
But I digress.
My point is that men aren’t what they used to be. My father fought World War II; then got a Master’s Degree on the GI Bill while working nights and supporting a family. Me? If I have to balance my check book and go to the store on the same day, I need a nap!
But I was strongly reminded that by modern standards I am a veritable John Wayne compared to most men today; by what happen on 13 January 2012; when the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Tuscany.
When this occurred we were treated to the sickening sight of men elbowing women and children aside in their frantic, rat-like scurry for the life-rafts. When the first of these life boats arrived on shore, aid workers were expecting to see them filled with women and children. Right? Instead, they saw lots of burly Tony Soprano-wannabes accompanied by their well-dressed wives and “goomahs”! Damned the women and children, it was every man for himself!
Think how things have changed in the 100 years since the Titanic catastrophe.
When RMS Titanic went down in the icy waters of the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, that ship’s women and children boarded the life rafts first; the crew strictly enforcing this custom. Captain Edward Smith was the last to leave the ship, and that after all lifeboats had been launched.
It is telling that although the First Class passengers comprised the very elite of 1912 “Society” (including some of the richest men in the world); more men from the First Class section chose to “go down with the ship” and die that night than did women of the underprivileged Third Class section (67% and 92% of First and Second Class men, respectively, died that night; as opposed to only 54% of Third Class women; and only 3% of women from the First Class section). Clearly, gender counted for more than wealth and privilege on that bitterly cold “Night to Remember”.
Captain Smith told his crew: “Men, you have done your full duty. You can do no more. Now it’s every man for himself.” One witness recalled seeing him, probably washed overboard, clutching a child in the water as the Titanic disappeared beneath the waves. A member of the crew always believed it was Captain Smith’s voice he heard from the water after the Titanic was gone, urging him and others on: “Good boys! Good lads!”
How different that is from the Costa Concordia captain, Francesco Schettino, who along with other young brutes apparently launched himself and his Moldavian 25 year old bimbo into one of the lifeboats early on, elbowing women and children aside!
Today the cry of “women-and-children first”, has become “brutes andn bimbos” first!
Too many young men don’t respect women. They don’t seem to respect much of anything. I see it every day in the way men treat their ladies. Or any woman, or the old, the young, or the infirm: the only thing they hold in esteem seems to be what hangs between their own legs; and what they can do with it.
When I look at today’s young men I see a bunch of pierced, tattooed, slovenly louts. These are not men: they are “manlings”. Boys that never grow beyond their toys.
A beautiful 29 year old acquaintance of mine complains that her husband spends much of his time at work (in his parents Real Estate business) playing online poker. He then comes home, eats the dinner she has prepared for him, and then flops down on his Lazy Boy and plays X-Box most of the night! Never mind that his very sexy wife has needs of her own. When he is too tired to continue playing, he goes to bed and passes out.
Not a man: a manling.
But women must accept at least some of the blame for the current deplorable, degraded state of modern manhood.
Not to blame the victim here, but consider: Its women, after all, that raise men (all too often without a man in the house). It’s mostly young female teachers that teach our boys in their most formative years. And, ultimately, its women who accept and give themselves to “manlings”; rewarding thuggish, uncouth behavior by going out with and marrying such cretins.
Were women to choose wisely in their mates, picking the “nice guy” over the “bad boy”; then the old adage that “nice guys finish last” wouldn’t be so sadly true. Were women to demand that the men in their lives not treat them like slutty sex objects; but instead commit to them and family before mating, than many more boys would have involved fathers providing male role models in their lives.
Were mothers to raise boys to be gentleman with a sense of honor, they would grow up into men those mothers could be proud of.
Feminist politics, political correctness, and (most importantly) lack of male role models has left this generation of men with no clue how to behave as MEN!
When the ship is sinking and no one taking charge, wouldn’t it be nice if men were made of the same stern stuff the men aboard the Titanic were; when women and children really did come first, and men went down with the ship?
I will leave you with the immortal words of Rudyard Kipling, poet laureate of the British Empire; someone who knew more than a few “real men” in his life:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!