Are Men Still Men?

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Remember those bygone days when men were men? You know, when a man would get home from field dressing a buck to put on his tails for dinner? When a man would finish his fifth martini and, barely buzzed, dance a perfect waltz with his adoring wife? A far gone time when a man would eat out his special lady for hours, pausing only to braise a pork loin and pour a glass of Barolo? Neither do I. But apparently a guy named Paul Hudson does, based on his semi-recent, oft-tweeted indictment of the modern man for online rag Elite Daily.

In the article, titled “Why Men Aren’t Really Men Anymore,” Mr. Hudson unironically uses his computer to take to task the cowardly men who, ummmmm, hide behind their computers. He writes “get off my lawn” pronouncements like “Generation Y is the instant gratification generation,” and “people are using the internet as a shield.” When he’s not taking shots at these “lazy pussies,” he’s using whole, honest-to-God sentences to break the news that “people date online now as well.” Beyond blowing our fucking minds with that kind of intel, he makes vague, sweeping statements about men not being “manly” and blaming it — I think — on the internet? There’s no real insight; it’s basically just a list of the way modern men are awful. At one point in this rambling mess, he even takes a moment to point out — entirely off topic — that when it comes to “Fight or Flight,” he’s ONLY capable of fighting. Ladies, did you hear that? Did you all just slide right off your seats? If a volcano erupts, guess where he’s running? Directly at the hot molten ash to punch it right the fuck back where it came from. And I bet he NEVER farts.

It’s lazy writing, but there are worse things. If the editor of the New Yorker stumbled upon my musings, they’d probably gouge their own eyes out; it’s all relative. Ultimately, that’s not my issue (but I had to get my shots in, didn’t I?). My problem is that this surface-level “moral code” is straight up offensive. The subtext of the article is this: I’m a real man. That’s it. Seriously. 800 words devoted solely to his ego (of course we could argue every word ever written is devoted in some way to ego, but I digress). Barely hidden beneath the thesis of “men aren’t men anymore” is the blatant suggestion that he is a demi-god of masculinity — after all, he’s the expert, isn’t he? And I’ve talked about this in previous articles, but these guys who apologize for the rampant sexuality of men need to remember that it takes two to mamba (or is it tango? I don’t know how to dance because I’m apparently too busy masturbating alone). To paint men as reproachful instigators suggests a kind of anti-feminist protectionism. This is the “noble savage” idea applied to sexuality, as if women are quivering little girls who only give up their vagina because vicious wolf-men demand it. Stripping women of their power in an article devoted ostensibly to “respecting females” would be considered offensive, if I actually believe this guy was capable of thinking through those subtleties. And I don’t want to ruin this guy’s T-giving, y’all, but I desperately want people like this to go away for a very important reason: they fuck up a human’s expectations for real interpersonal relationships.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but practically the only people reposting this Elite Daily (and ones like it) article are women. What princess vision do you think they have for a relationship? Do they believe they need only to let down their hair and a charming prince will come climbing to have slow, missionary, constant-eye-contact sex? Do they believe there’s a man out there that doesn’t watch porn? As Mr. Hudson suggests, we’re all watching too much of it. Or perhaps they think that only men use the internet as a means of communication and dating? I can’t believe any self-respecting female would ever even want that fantasy of a chivalry so bland. I also can’t believe these scorned women are such VICTIMS. All men like Mr. Hudson do is make it okay for some women to continue this masochistic cycle. He washes their hands of any of their indiscretions — it’s the man’s fault! — only so they can continue to make poor relationship decisions and ignore the simple fact that there’s a thinking, feeling human being on the other side of the aisle. Listen up, toots: if you want respect, respect yourself. And if it’s never your fault, then you were never in control.

As for the article’s thesis: isn’t real manhood forgetting about the notion of manhood altogether? It should be as simple as filling your air with lungs — you are man, therefore your manhood is intact. To prove it, question it, to make wild, inarticulate claims about the lacking masculinity around you belies an insecurity, which I would think wouldn’t be very manly at all, if I cared about those things. But mostly, I’m just into internet porn.


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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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