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The Late Great Manly Man

Bethany Mandel of PJ Media cites a New York Times article to argue that "women prefer manly men" by inferring from the frequent use in the NYT of the word "submission" some sort of innate desire for a masterful quality. But as the Telegraph points out, submission is often directed towards incompetence. In an article titled "Why women can't resist bad boys," Caroline Kent writes:

like many women, I have an illogical soft-spot for massive jerks. There is something about bad boys that we find incredibly appealing, even though we often regret the experience afterwards.

I'm so drawn to their powerful/sensitive/artistic (delete as applicable) natures that it allows me to rationalise away their abusive, selfish, sarcastic or psychopathic side, until it's too late. I don't know whether it's chemistry or foolishness on my part, but let me try to explain why we - or at least I - do it.

Many women are now attracted to men who can't find their way out of the woods and not to the sort of men who own the woods.  The appeal of such lost men is considerable and they go out of their way to enhance it. Woody Allen consciously adopted the persona of a nebbish. "As a comic, he developed the persona of an insecure, intellectual, fretful nebbish, which he insists is quite different from his real-life personality." Why? Because being the loser gets the gals.


By contrast, who likes the manly man today, really? For thousands of years -- at least from Beowulf -- it was customary for men to stand for the "ashes of their fathers and the temples of their gods." Now these are the guys we send off to die. We don't even want them to win. And in fact, the job of every modern enlightened president is to stop them before they do.

Do you think any of us are ever going to marry a movie star? Do you think any of us are ever going to marry a movie star?


Somewhere along the line, things changed. It became cool to be the anti-traditional manly man.  As Roger L. Simon realized, there was no market among the best and the brightest for Lone Survivor. Roger writes, "I was thinking about that this morning while perusing the Oscar nominations for this year. As an Academy member, I had voted but did not see my number one selection for Best Picture — Lone Survivor — anywhere on the list of the nine nominees. I can’t say I was surprised. Lone Survivor is a patriotic film and patriotism isn’t high on the list of positive traits for Hollywood these days, except perhaps to that group of once-secret outliers known as the Friends of Abe."


It is now unfashionable to be the old manly man. When the Obama administration launched a campaign to attract enrollees into Obamacare, did they they front up a two-fisted, hard-drinking, cigar-chomping he-man?  Hell no. They employed "Pajama Boy" to lure the mice into the trap. This is who they reckoned the rising generation would admire. The heck with aspiring to be a test pilot or an astronaut. What people want today is the "funemployment" guy; the thing who drinks hot chocolate in his parents' basement preparatory to selling them on subsidized, crap insurance. Pajama Boy is the new beau ideal.  Why would the PR men have used his visage to grace their ads if women preferred "manly men"?

Fatal Attraction Fatal Attraction

You can make the half-serious argument that in order to be a winner in today's world it pays to be a loser.  After all, you get subsidies. You get sympathy. You can play the victim card. Above all, you get the girl.