Myth of the Modern Man

It’s amazing how a little encounter with someone who has a preconceived notion of how you are supposed to be can make you feel…  Here be a rant.  Excuse the language and the questionable science.

KISSING MY ASS

Hello, I am a forty-year old man.  And I am a pussy.  Not a simple pussy.  I am a complex pussy.  I am a raging, hormone-driven, slightly-trimmed pussy who is nevertheless indispensable to the world, to our future, to everything that we have built and hope to build: I am Modern Man, and you need to hear what I have to say.

HYPOTHESES

Men.  Are we men?  Has a woman ever accused you of not being a man in the traditional sense of the word?  Has a woman ever put you down for what you like, why you like it, for being something other than a high school dropout blue collar handyman who loves his hammer so much that it’s halfway up his ass?  Well, I don’t think we should stand for this.  Modern Man has silently embraced his evolution.  His fate.  And we should stand up for what we have become.

This is okay.  It is.

This is okay. It is.

The Lament of the Modern Woman Hypothesis: modern man is emasculated, wimpy, unable to man up or down or in any other direction.

My Counter-Proposal: and you were expecting what exactly?  Did you just wake up and realize this, dimwad?  I thought girls were smarter than this.

My Hypothesis:  I, Modern Man, am a product of evolution, the shining star that Darwin envisioned.  I am the end of the chain.  And I am a pussy.  And guess what?  That is okay.  It is exactly what was supposed to happen.

MY EVOLUTIONARY PATH: A NOTE TO THE GIRLS WHO THINK I’M A WIMP

I want to tell you about me – Mr. Modern Man.  This is me.  And I’m proud of me.

You see, I am a warrior of 6am to 6pm work followed by a pita in the car on the way to dance practice, and then a frantic fumbling with the missus on the king-size while each of us listen to the baby monitor and make sure we don’t go past 9:30 pm.  I may not be able to fix the washing machine, but I can bring down a small country with my keyboard.  That’s the type of man I am.  That’s where my evolution has taken me.  You don’t like my leather tie and my stubble?  Well don’t get too close, this stubble’s been groomed to a point and yes, that’s not the only thing groomed around here.

It doesn’t matter what people say, Modern Man is a product of evolution and is continuing to evolve, and that is actually a good thing, so if I want to sing along to Arcade Fire, I will do so at the top of my lungs.  Playing it loud, because Modern Man is still king of the clan, still master of his domain, and a little vanilla syrup in my coffee doesn’t mean that I won’t plow my woman (or man) like a freight train until the cows come home.  And then eat the cow bloody raw.

With all due respect, of course.

With all due respect, of course.

And guess what, yes I’m a pussy, a great big pussy who isn’t afraid of the word, who loves the word, who relishes the word, who wears that big bad word around my neck like it’s the badge of the Modern Man: Pussy Man, roaring like a savage as I shape my ironic beard with the latest ointments and oils.  I smell good.  I hate sweat.  And I BLARE Total Eclipse of the Heart in my hot yellow Audi because I can feel the bass in my whiskers.

You don’t like my sensitivities?  Look, I got emotions, and we got to stop suppressing the truth, that men can’t be sensitive and still be men.  Last I saw, crying during Twilight doesn’t mean my penis will fall off, any more than watching Die Hard gives you a boner, girl.  This is not gender slagging, it’s about gender fulfillment, the ongoing journey of a promise that was made by our man genes, a natural progression towards harmony and a happy household – what’s so wrong with that?  I will buy the Christmas presents.  I will comb my little girl’s hair.  But does that mean I won’t fuck up the next guy that gives me attitude in an on-line first-person shooter?  Hell no.

I am the explorer of the internet, the inventor of the automobile, I am the first man on the moon – and I did it all while sitting on a yoga mat.  I am a deep sea diver, a shark tamer, and yes I am not a lumberjack anymore, but guess what, killing trees is bad.  I will play my Abba at max volume, and if the neighbors object to the noise, I WILL invite them over for some red wine and a game of parcheese (whatever the fuck that is), and when I go to start my car and it doesn’t turn over, I will IMMEDIATELY call AAA to come and fix it, because the last time I tried to check my oil level, I got a burn off my muffler.  And besides that, we live in an age of specialization where people are trained to do certain things far better than I am – yes, we have actually grown up since those precious hunter/gatherer days when a jack-of-all-trades was important, but now it means approximately jack shit.  Please please please stop messing with what is going on here.  Please stop messing with my evolution.

In my opinion, the various characterizations of gender are starting to blend.  Hell, we have enough hormone in our water supply system that androgyny is inevitable anyway – men and women coming closer together, faster and faster, merging towards a sameness that has only one essential difference: Modern Man is way ahead of his competition in this race.

We do not look like this anymore.  We do not.

We do not look like this anymore. We do not.

DEAR GIRLS WHO DISRESPECT THE MODERN MAN

I think the problem isn’t that you don’t like me.  The issue is this: I’ve grown up, lady, and you haven’t kept pace, and as you look around this madhouse of civilization that we’ve built, you’ve realized that I am in fact where you as a woman want to go.  I get to be sensitive – I get to drink beer with the boys.  I get to be gentle – I get to shoot live animals.  I get everything: I get the cake, I get to eat it, and if I want, I get to pick it out of my well-shaped beard and do you while I smear you with the crumbs.

And that’s the difference.  We are going to become equal, no matter how much some of us will kick and scream on the way to that endpoint – men and women are going to secure equality, it’s inevitable.  It’s correct.  It’s also an evolutionary requirement, because last I looked, there does not appear to be any significant difference between the abilities of men and women anyway, so this is something that has been unequivocally proven over the years.  The difference is that Modern Man is quietly moving towards the endpoint, losing the ridiculous maleness of which we were once so proud and to which we clung so strongly because we didn’t really have anything else to shout about; and women – sure, you are more vocal about equality, but you are totally getting lapped in this race.  How else do you explain me being able to go for a pedicure while drunk on beer, and seriously considering the offer when I’m asked if I want my chest waxed?

Ladies, I don’t think you’re angry.  I think you’re envious.  Modern Man has it all.  And I think you want to be one of us.  So as a conciliatory gesture, I’m inviting you in.  Here’s a free pass.  No cover charge.  Welcome to the club, girl.  Come on in.  Learn the handshake.  Have a drink.  Have a cigar.  You’re welcome here.  I’m not even going to make you leave your vagina at the door.  I’m nice that way – I’m Modern Man.  And you, darling, are unfortunately not getting the hang of this.  So please take a seat, man up some, and stop being such a cock.

As a man, I love this chick flick.

As a man, I love this chick flick.

((To all – sorry, I got slagged this weekend, and out came the rant.  There are many more serious, real topics to be concerned about, but have you ever put something really wet into your pocket and then dealt with it for like five hours straight?  This whole topic is like a wet pocket for me.  We are equal – across genders, races, any division that we choose.  That is all.))

160 thoughts on “Myth of the Modern Man

  1. I love a good rant. I regularly give the local Italian coffee shop owner the dirty looks I reserve for French pastries. But this. This is fucking sublime. That is all.

  2. Wow. Sorry that someone called you a pussy, but, um, you know I hope that the sexes are not evolving toward a sameness because, you know, I would miss the dirty male bits.

  3. Don’t know who the cavewoman was that slagged you…but is it too much to hope that she reads your blog? As a bona fide vag-card carrier, I can tell you that I know MORE than a few Modern Men. In fact, now that I ponder, most of the knuckle draggers in my life left behind the caveman mentality long ago. I don’t think twice about seeing a man cry through a sad movie or a daughter’s wedding; belt out in all his glory, the latest theme song from a Disney movie because his kids love it; stare like a deer in the headlights at the dark and scary place under the hood of the car and reach for the telephone rather than a wrench…none of these things make a man a man. All of these things make a man huMAN. I’m enjoying the evolution; am glad they don’t know it all or have all the answers…if they did, what am I here for? Someone has to hand them the instructions when it is finally clear what they are assembling has beaten them. Someone has to witness the miracle that is ‘asking for directions’. I like the Modern Man. In fact, I love the Modern Man…it makes being a Modern Woman much more interesting. Any cave dweller can sit there chest pounding and barking orders; scratching his balls and picking his nose. They bore me…bore me silly! Give me a man who thinks macho is just a word in a Village People song and I’ll give him two thumbs up every time. Give me a man who knows the only real difference between the sexes is measured in inches and cup sizes, T levels and Estrogen…and I’d jump on him (figuratively of course) any day!

  4. This is fucking MAGNIFICENT.
    Trent, this is why I BEG you to blog non fiction – even though your fiction is amazing – when you write this stuff, no one can touch you.

    This:
    “I get the cake, I get to eat it, and if I want, I get to pick it out of my well-shaped beard and do you while I smear you with the crumbs.”
    As delicious as cake.

    When it’s this dangerously well written, Trent, it doesn’t even matter if I agree or disagree. It’s THAT good. (yes, I agree. Calling a male a “pussy” went out in the 4th grade.)

    rage on, my friend.

  5. Here’s the fun trick I’ve learned: I simply don’t care what anybody thinks. Well…I care what my wife thinks. And my daughters. But, honestly? That’s about it. I don’t care what my in-law think or even my siblings. It took me years to get here but I can’t tell you how liberating it is. I’m quite happy with myself and don’t care what anyone else thinks.

  6. Wonderful! I thank you for this perspective from a man who is willing to give his side of the story. I will admit I am horribly guilty of calling men pussies, however the man you are describing here does not fit into my description of a pussy. My description of a pussy is a man who will not stand up and care for his family, and I don’t mean just financially (this is also the case of some women).

  7. I may have already shared this with you, but my wife has said a number of times that I wasn’t the type of guy she would have dated in high school. I’m still trying to figure out why that is a point worth making. And my boys regularly poke fun at me because I don’t like cars and guns and all things that bleed testosterone. To which all I can say is this … I’m the one that provides for every f’in’ thing they have.

  8. So, really what you are saying is that it is status quo. Women are still trying to have everything men have. We haven’t really gained any ground because men are evolving quicker. Every step we take you take a bigger one. This explains a lot. Seriously, a woman should have noticed this.

  9. I never laughed so hard and thought so much at the same freekin’ time!!! It also made me proud of the fact that I am highly evolved, in touch with my feminine side, artistic, sensitive and still huge and manly. Sorry.

  10. I’m so sorry you got slogged. Rant away. Get it off your chest. Don’t keep it all bottled up. Just be happy with you because that’s all that matters in the end. I’ve learned I will never make everyone happy anyway, so look out for yourself. Hey, you changed the look around here. I like it!

    • Well, it wasn’t that bad. It’s one of those things that made me angry after the fact, and made me further wish that I had been quick enough to rant about it at the time… everything is delayed rant with me…

      My wife changed the look of the blog, I thought it was about time – she’ll be tickled that someone noticed – thank you Amy!

  11. I am fucking clapping at my desk, no lie. This is one of the best things I have ever read on the internet, and since I actually have good taste and am not overly fond of cats, that’s saying something. I just printed a copy to share with my potential future sons. I’m giving a copy to my husband. I am so excited that this piece of prose exists on the internet, and I really want to buy you a drink. “Gender fulfillment?” You (and that phrase) WIN.

  12. The douchey guy in me says, “men and women coming closer together, faster and faster” and the me in me says…you’re a great dude.

    I understand what I said and ignore that first part, I’m drunk and you’re awesome.

      • So I’ve had half a bottle but I’m like 5’3 so it’s the same kinda. You know, it’s Monday and we like wine. That’s cool. You’re the perfect kind of man, really. Some dudes are cowards for not embracing stuff because it’s “unmanly.” Whatever that shit means. I am not all the feminine sometimes. And you know what? I fart a lot. We meet in the middle and I like it. So, I hope that makes sense.

        • I always need a full bottle… I love Monday wine. I love any day wine. Perfect, eh, now I’m flattered – I bet my wife would disagree, but she farts all the time too so what does she know. She’s not very feminine in the traditional sense. I don’t care. Meeting in the middle… I’m so down with that. I’m so down with that I’m gonna have another glass of wine, and if I get really sloppy, will have a shot of scotch. La La, you are an inspiration. And you do make sense. Strange, wonderful sense.

          • Well you also make sense and she and I would be fart buddies so that’s neat. I just looked and I have an embarrassing shot of Fireball left so I am going to town. Cheers to meeting in the middle. I love that plan.

  13. I don’t think you should be bothered by the fact that you can’t fix your car. Those hairy and manly Neanderthals wouldn’t know where to begin either.
    P.S. Congratulations, your blog has now been blocked by my office internet firewall. I don’t know if that’s because of excessive manliness or abundance of the word “pussy”. (Oh, there’s another one.)

    • Well, I’m more proud that I don’t know how to fix a car, and espousing my pride on the topic… not something that’s important to me. Like the gun thing.

      X, please give this message to your IT guys: pussies. Just kidding. Oh well, it happens I guess.

  14. “This is not gender slagging, it’s about gender fulfillment, the ongoing journey of a promise that was made by our man genes, a natural progression towards harmony and a happy household – what’s so wrong with that? I will buy the Christmas presents. I will comb my little girl’s hair. But does that mean I won’t fuck up the next guy that gives me attitude in an on-line first-person shooter?”

    That is the perfect definition of a real man. If only we could replace the male ego brains that are running the world and replace them with the real men brains. We could sneak in while they’re sleeping and . . . no it would never work . . . or would it? It’s really not any more farfetched than leather diapers is it?

  15. Evolution? What’s that? I don’t want to evolve… I want to know what my grandparents knew. I want to be able to fix everything around the house, and put my car back together after taking it apart just for the god damn hell of it. I want to be the rock that holds the house together or smashes it apart. I want to make The Queen swoon over my strength. I don’t need emotions. Who has the time? I don’t need to be sensitive. I don’t want to be sensitive. I’ve got alcohol, that’s all the sensitive you are going to get from me…

    • Ha! Matticus, there’s like what, twelve male bloggers around here, so like 0.1%? And I figure all those guys are by virtue of blogging somewhat along the lines of the modern man theory… so while I’ll guzzle scotch with you ad nauseam, I warn you that I will likely eventually get emotional and a little weepy. It ain’t pretty, but it is what it is.

        • Oh, most of the time, it works out. I just don’t fit the Modern Man stereotype as you’ve explained it. I believe divisions of labor in the home are arbitrary. (Cimmy and I switch up fairly regularly unless it’s electrical work.) I am a butchy bear of the teddy sort, i.e. I believe that men should have hair on their bodies and their faces, but I am gentle and cuddly. Home Depot is my second home but I’m Cimmy’s fashion consultant; I comfortable shopping for clothes with her. I won’t use a “manbag” but am unafraid to hold her purse. I will endure or even enjoy chick flicks if the selection is right, but Cimmorene knows the Marvel Universe better than I do and therefore knows the backstory on comic book movies.

          • I think you are both a tribute to modern families. We should not let conventions dictate how we live our lives, I think, or rather, we should go ahead and define the future.

  16. Trent-Excellent rant-should I feel a tad responsible lol-I think one of the keys to real men’s lib is that all types of men (sensitive artists types and macho lumber jack car fixin types) need to join hands and declare solidarity.
    Where I have problems with the usual argument-which I didn’t really see in your rant-is when sensitive men(like myself jes don’t tell anyone) join in with the overly loud chorus of modern women to denigrate their more macho brethren.
    Women like Ms. Vernon & Ms. Jones above reflect much of modern society declaring that bein a man is equal to bein (only) a destructive unit to society. Which of course is a truth, but not the truth.
    I too often wish I was more like my father and g-father (as djmatticus mentioned above), was that bastion of quiet strength and fixability, and feel that we as a gender are losing this ability, which is (in general) worse for society not better.
    Like you I am a sensitive male, no matter how much it at times discourages me, but I can and do appreciate what other men bring to the table and feel that as a society, a culture, those other men are jes as vital to keep things rolling forward.
    I do feel though that this moving toward “sameness” that you describe is not only impossible, but undesirable, (in general) men and women are different, and that difference is needed to achieve balance.
    This new truth is as much b.s. (men and women are the same) as many of our others (ex:no child is born with hate in it’s heart: if that’s true why does it take so much [in general] training to teach children to share and play nice with one another) and that like the boy n the “Emperors New Clothes” tale my main purpose fer writing my blog.
    Okay I of course could go on and on on this subject n’ would love to have more discourse over the issue (which I am often let down that nobody challenges some of the more outlandish things I say in my own posts.) But don’t wanna be too annoying oh it is to laugh.
    Thanks T

    • Yeah, solidarity all right. We got to get together and stand proud. And yes, I know, I was being facetious about the sameness thing. We are different, and it’s the differences that should be celebrated, not erased out of existence, and as long as the door swings both ways on that, we will be all right. I believe that we will be all right.

      You’re not annoying at all – I would like to hear more of your thoughts on the subject, so perhaps you could whip out a blog post?

      • Oh it is to laugh….I probably post more about that topic than anything else. Won’t be hard to find

        Though I always love a chance fer a little palaver, or would tete de tete (or possibly argy bargy?) be more appropriate yer part of the frozen North.

        No matter what people read from my posts, I believe (n have always believed) that man and woman, the masculine and the feminine are equal.

        I also believe as you believe, that we are different, and those difference’s should be celebrated.

        I also believe that woman are not only (in general) superior as a gender, but more important(in general) to the foundation of a solid society.

        I also believe however that life should be a balance n it doesn’t help us to make up fer one imbalance of “power” with a equal n opposite imbalance.

        While I think woman are (i.g.) superior in most ways, I think that the male has key qualities that women are (i,g.) weak in, thes couple of qualities carrry such weight fer the success of a family, society, country (what have you) that we hold our own in value.

        Therefore we are forced to rely on each other (the masculine and the feminine no matter the physical gender).

        Anyway, most of my arguments are specifically, solely about the use of language, how we are or attempted to be manipulated by…(insert powerful poli/socio/religi organization and or group, )words n how we utilize them have a large impact on society.

        Take fer instance this nu-truth

        “A woman can do any job a man can do.”

        As an example female firefighters could not be firefighters if the rules to become such had not been adjusted to allow women in…

        So again it’s a language issue. to say a woman can do the firefighters job at the same level as a male is not true.

        That is not saying that women cannot make good firefighters, I have the feeling that (i.g.) they do.

        I’m jes saying that the above statement as new age dogma does not hold up (in the way they suggest it does) as the truth…

        Here a real world truth counter to much of what we here that women hate to hear…fer all the talk of how evil males(western white more specifically) are so sexist the truth is of course not so…

        And as I often remind ladies I know…they only have as many rights as we give them…I know it sounds sexist…I don’t mean it so, (I’m really a lover more than a fighter)it’s jes the truth.

        Oh it is to laugh

        Bla,bla,balbbity bla, Trent thanks again, preciate the chance fer back and forth with you. Yer fiction rocks n yer non-fiction is well executed n thought provokin and far more precise n less…umm…wordy than mine L and his fabulous o l boys.

        • Dude, you really rock for telling your truth like this. I hear what you’re saying. I don’t know what I think, I just hate dividing lines between all people, I hate presupposing what someone can or can’t do. I’ve known some really downtrodden, yokel-type people who blow me away with their insights. I’ve known some captains of industry who make me sick to my stomach. I want everyone to have the chance to prove themselves; I’ll take them for who they are.

  17. Hey you know what? My ex was a manly man. He could fix a car, shoot a gun, fix and ride and race his motorcycle with relatively low damage, he could drink and swear with the best of the sailors. he also proved I could take a punch like a man. and it didn’t matter how much or long he slapped me around I survived.

    You know, I have a romantic belief in love. I don’t think there is a partner for me but I was never really into the make a ton of money. I was more make an honest living and we will get by. I don’t need to be put on a pedestal, but I do want my hand held. I don’t need furs and diamonds. Hell, I don’t even really need more than a couple pairs of shoes (as opposed to dozens) I would like a companion, but I sure don’t need one. (huh oh…am I gettin on to my guest post topic?)

    I am happy to let you rant Trent. I agree with you, I think….. 🙂

    • Julie, if I ever meet your husband, I’m calling Art and we’re going to go to town on him. I hoped you were kidding, him slapping you around. But not sure you are. He sounds like pond slime to me.

      I hear you, my friend. My wife wouldn’t even take an engagement ring. Like you, I think she could have done without me… but I’m glad she didn’t.

      Want to rant with me?

      • EX husband. And sadly, not kidding. So who’s the stronger of the two of us? I would say me since I raised two beautiful people, kept a roof over our heads, sent the two beautiful people thru college (one just graduated, she’s a teacher now) survived the deaths of my parents and some very good friends along the way. He has drifted, always looking for a place to stay rent free. ah, I don’t wanna dredge that up. He is worse than pond slime.

        You and your wife are lucky. I was gonna say she is lucky, but clearly you also feel lucky. So you guys have been blessed to find each other. They say there is a lid for every pot, but I need to be comfortable with the idea that my lid got lost or just doesn’t exist. That is why God made cats, so I won’t ever have to be alone.

        • I would never have such a contest. I’m glad you saw through to your kids, Julie. That is what matters.

          Lids, pots and luck. That is what we have. And cats too.

      • HA! I got an engagement ring. He went and picked it out and bought it with my credit card. I paid the bill. I used to say that I would have bought myself a much larger diamond as I feel I am worth it!

  18. Pingback: Size Doesn’t Matter. It’s How You Foolishness that Counts. | Guapola

  19. I need to spend more time reading and less time working! Magnificent rant!
    I have also been called a pussy in my time, as in “don’t be a pussy.” Except I’m not sure what that actually means so I just ignored it. Cause the opposite of that would seem to imply that I should be a dick. And that is supposed to be an improvement?

    • Don’t sweat the small stuff, my friend. I think, as perhaps I jokingly put it, there is a good spot between being a wimp and a dick; a spot where many of us sit, I believe.

  20. Pingback: gender problems? | kizzylee

  21. Quite a way to rant. You do it with some skill and wit. If I may beg to say, it is an issue that may have no end because the very definition of modern man changes across time and space. Of course, it still stands that it will always generate reactions of all sorts.

    • Dude. Totally. Do you by chance like that movie? Me and my brother are the only ones I know who do. I flippin love it. I was so let down by Man of Steel as a result.

          • Haha, y’know, Trent, I have a long, long backlist of movies that have been recommended to me. I guess I need to budget some money for Netflix again, or something like that.

            As Aussa already knows, I’m no stranger to the psych ward, so that’s some of what else piqued my interest in this movie.

            • It’s a bit of a mindbender… but there’s a message there, if you can get through to the end, that I thought was pretty awesome. Something about fighting no matter what, through the hordes of demons if you must.

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