Monday, November 14, 2011

Manliness - a reviving art

A positive alternative to the child-man described so well by Kay Hymowitz and depicted in the media by the likes of Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell.  It seems that many younger women who come across this site do what this author did - send the link or a sub to all their male relatives.  Between the 'sensitive man,' forever (and despite his best efforts) associated with Alan Alda, and the child-man who is self-absorbed, irresponsible and crude (Sandler, Ferrell, and in a less offensive way, the characters of Seinfeld), we seem to have lost something.

Manliness - a reviving art
About a year ago I was picking up an older family member from the airport. As she made her way to the car with her large suitcase in tow, I jumped out of the driver’s seat with the intention of heaving her suitcase into the trunk. I’m no weakling in that sense and take a certain pride in being able to lift my own heavy loads, but I stood by flabbergasted when a twenty-something guy walked over and without a word picked up her suitcase and deposited it into the trunk. He then opened the passenger side door for her. I’m sure my mouth was agape.

That occurrence got me thinking… There is a problem that manliness of this sort shocked me.
These days, chivalry is not a commonly found virtue among men. And it’s a shame. To me, and to every one of my girlfriends who I’ve discussed this with, a guy is so much more attractive when there is a true sense of manliness and chivalry about him.

I had forgotten all about that event until I accidentally stumbled across The Art of Manliness – a website dedicated to reviving the lost art of manliness. When I first landed on the page I flipped through with cautiousness, expecting to suddenly be bombarded by male dominance articles. But this site is the exact opposite!

The site is run by a husband/wife team and some male freelancers. According to the about section, “My idea for the Art of Manliness came about as I was standing in Borders bookstore looking at the men’s magazines. It seemed to me that the content in these magazines were continually going downhill, with more and more articles about sex and how to get six pack abs. Was this all there was to being a man?” Isn’t that great?

Oh and it gets better… “And as I looked around at the men my age, it seemed to me that many were shirking responsibility and refusing to grow up. They had lost the confidence, focus, skills, and virtues that men of the past had embodied and were a little lost. The feminism movement did some great things, but it also made men confused about their role and no longer proud of the virtues of manliness. This, coupled with the fact that many men were raised without the influence of a good father, has left a generation adrift as to what it means to be an honorable, well-rounded man.”

I read that and immediately began posting the link to this site to every Facebook page of the guys I knew. My brothers, friends, cousins… they all needed this positive reinforcement. And with more than 115,000 subscribers apparently they are not alone.

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