There comes a time in every country’s existence when a lot of it’s low grade writers try to rehash the whole “where have all the real men” gone meme. This meme has travelled far and wide, has clocked a lot of frequent flier miles visiting almost every country, and has been groped at airports around the world (except Afghanistan of course, because in that country even real men get killed), and has now finally arrived in India.
The first to get it off ground is none other than India’s #1 non-TOI newspaper, the venerable Hindustan Times.
In this season of celebrating 'manhood' — November 19 has been the International Man's Day for some years now — I wondered why no sociologist is discussing the greatest danger that today's men face: the virtual obliteration of their gender identity.
It’s a good start. The writer establishes from the get-go that this article is going to dedicated to nostalgia about a simpler time when men were allowed to be men, and not these strange mutant creatures they are today, having been brainwashed by the feminist movement and self-help books.
While I watch younger generation of women going for breast implants and thongs, their "laddish" enthusiasm for pornography and striptease, I find increasing numbers of men dyeing or highlighting their hair, getting an earring or getting rid of excess body hair, or simply dressing in typical girly colours — hot pinks, fluorescent greens, purples, yellows and vermilions — sometimes to look like wimps. Frankly, this breed of the effete and narcissistic dandies obsessed with softening everything about themselves tickles me no end.
Exactly. Breast implants are manly! Women want to be “laddish” (whatever that means) and watch pornography, which is strange because the only reason God gave women vaginas was to enable them to provide pleasure to men and not derive any of it for themselves. What’s next? These double-breasted porn watching creatures asking to talk on the phone, or daring to choose their own career or *GASP* deciding not to have children? BLASPHEMY! SACRILEGIOUS! This is a slippery slope!
Anyway, what is up with men getting their hair coloured these days? Didn’t these daisies get the memo? Gender is a very delicate thing. The minute you get your hair coloured, your balls will recede and no one will be able to make out that under all that small amount of streaked hair, lies a masculine lump of a man. In fact, everyone will be so confused that older gentlemen will get up when you enter a room and hold a door open for you while younger men will grope you the minute you cross that door and enter a bus. And if you get your body hair waxed, you will turn into a sappy wimp as various kinds of emotions will start oozing from your skin’s pores. That’s why God gave you body hair, to keep your emotions where they belong. .
Machismo seems to be out of fashion these days. In fact, the idea of the alpha male who is the leader of the pack, eats first, gets his pick of the females (a typical example of which was Frank Sinatra, who headed a bunch of sycophantic drunks rightly known as the Rat Pack, who knocked around his wife Mia Farrow), considered as real tough guy behaviour, is now passé.
Oh, machismo. We miss you so much. Why, when you were in fashion, “seducing” a woman was considered a sport and men employed all kinds of tactics to get some putang pie. So much has changed since then.
Why just reminiscence about the sixties and seventies? Why not go back to the stone age? That was a glorious time to be a man. At that time, men were gruffy, hairy emotionless neanderthals who had the fashion sense of Tarzaan and the wit and charm of the great Khali, and they ate anything they wanted to without even cooking it or washing it in boiled water (or as we call it in India “Chinese food”). Meanwhile, the women stayed home in the cave combing their armpit hair while watching a young Larry King on their slate shaped teevee and sending tweets to each other through large parrots. Wasn’t it such an awesome time?
These sort of articles boil down to the same basic argument: WHY ARE HUMANS EVOLVING?
We must strive to preserve gender roles forever, because it makes it easier to determine whom to discriminate against!
Now, since this writer made some assumptions and generalisations about other people, I’m going to do the same thing and make assumptions about him.
Dear Hackey HT writer,
Did you have a terrible childhood? Was your father mean and distant? Did he never show you any emotion? Did he always ask your mother to shut her trap hole whenever she was trying to make a point? When you were five and you fell down while playing and bruised yourself and you ran back home crying only to be punished more for “acting like a girl”? Did your father get all his parenting advice from hindi movies? Are you still waiting for his approval because he wanted you to do something manly like cleaning shark teeth or making hip-hop videos with half-naked ladies and instead you ended up in an effete and pansy career like writing?
Seriously, all you do is sit down and hit the buttons on your typewriter.
How manly is that?
A requiem for the alpha male [HT]
(*Except on this blog. Almost everything written here is quite hackey, to say the least)