The shortage of real men

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The shortage of real men

I came across a post today that apparently is about five years old. It’s an essay called “The Pussification of the Western Male”. I read the entire thing, and loved it. Here’s some of what the essay had the say, written by Kim du Toit. There is some profanity, but it’s a great read (if you’re easily offended, then I suggest ignoring this post). I sincerely hope he doesn’t mind my reposting a large portion of the essay here, but it really is such a great read, although be sure to follow the link to read the entire thing:

We have become a nation of women.

It wasn’t always this way, of course. There was a time when men put their signatures to a document, knowing full well that this single act would result in their execution if captured, and in the forfeiture of their property to the State. Their wives and children would be turned out by the soldiers, and their farms and businesses most probably given to someone who didn’t sign the document.

There was a time when men went to their certain death, with expressions like “You all can go to hell. I’m going to Texas.” (Davy Crockett, to the House of Representatives, before going to the Alamo.)

There was a time when men went to war, sometimes against their own families, so that other men could be free. And there was a time when men went to war because we recognized evil when we saw it, and knew that it had to be stamped out.

There was even a time when a President of the United States threatened to punch a man in the face and kick him in the balls, because the man had the temerity to say bad things about the President’s daughter’s singing.

We’re not like that anymore.

Now, little boys in grade school are suspended for playing cowboys and Indians, cops and crooks, and all the other familiar variations of “good guy vs. bad guy” that helped them learn, at an early age, what it was like to have decent men hunt you down, because you were a lawbreaker.

Now, men are taught that violence is bad—that when a thief breaks into your house, or threatens you in the street, that the proper way to deal with this is to “give him what he wants”, instead of taking a horsewhip to the rascal or shooting him dead where he stands.

Now, men’s fashion includes not a man dressed in a three-piece suit, but a tight sweater worn by a man with breasts.

Now, warning labels are indelibly etched into gun barrels, as though men have somehow forgotten that guns are dangerous things.

Now, men are given Ritalin as little boys, so that their natural aggressiveness, curiosity and restlessness can be controlled, instead of nurtured and directed.

And finally, our President, who happens to have been a qualified fighter pilot, lands on an aircraft carrier wearing a flight suit, and is immediately dismissed with words like “swaggering”, “macho” and the favorite epithet of Euro girly-men, “cowboy”. Of course he was bound to get that reaction—and most especially from the Press in Europe, because the process of male pussification Over There is almost complete.

How did we get to this?

In the 1950s, the TV Dad was seen as the lovable goofball—perhaps the beginning of the trend—BUT he was still the one who brought home the bacon, and was the main source of discipline (think of the line: “Wait until your father gets home!”).

From that, we went to this: the Cheerios TV ad.

Now, for those who haven’t seen this piece of sh*t, I’m going to go over it, from memory, because it epitomizes everything I hate about the campaign to pussify men. The scene opens at the morning breakfast table, where the two kids are sitting with Dad at the table, while Mom prepares stuff on the kitchen counter. The dialogue goes something like this:

Little girl (note, not little boy): Daddy, why do we eat Cheerios?
Dad: Because they contain fiber, and all sorts of stuff that’s good for the heart. I eat it now, because of that.
LG: Did you always eat stuff that was bad for your heart, Daddy?
Dad (humorously): I did, until I met your mother.
Mother (not humorously): Daddy did a lot of stupid things before he met your mother.

Now, every time I see that TV ad, I have to be restrained from shooting the TV with a .45 Colt. If you want a microcosm of how men have become less than men, this is the perfect example.

When I first started this website, I think my primary aim was to blow off steam at the stupidity of our society.

Because I have fairly set views on what constitutes right and wrong, I have no difficulty in calling Bill Clinton, for example, a f*cking liar and hypocrite.

But most of all, I do this website because I love being a man. Amongst other things, I talk about guns, self-defense, politics, beautiful women, sports, warfare, hunting, and power tools—all the things that being a man entails. All this stuff gives me pleasure.

And it doesn’t take much to see when all the things I love are being threatened: for instance, when Tim Allen’s excellent comedy routine on being a man is reduced to a f*cking sitcom called Home Improvement. The show should have been called Man Improvement, because that’s what every single plotline entailed: turning a man into a “better” person, instead of just leaving him alone to work on restoring the vintage sports car in his garage. I stopped watching the show after about four episodes.

Real men … have big f*cking mean-*ss dogs: Rhodesian ridgebacks, bull terriers and Rottweilers, or else working dogs like pointers or retrievers which go hunting with them and slobber all over the furniture.

Women own lapdogs.

Out there, there is a huge number of men who are sick of it. We’re sick of being made figures of fun and ridicule; we’re sick of having girly-men like journalists, advertising agency execs and movie stars decide on “what is a man”; we’re sick of women treating us like children, and we’re really f*cking sick of girly-men politicians who pander to women by passing an ever-increasing raft of Nanny laws and regulations (the legal equivalent of public-school Ritalin), which prevent us from hunting, racing our cars and motorcycles, smoking, flirting with women at the office, getting into fistfights over women, shooting criminals and doing all the fine things which being a man entails.

I don’t see why men should have become feminized, except that we allowed it to happen—and you know why we let it happen? Because it’s godd*mned easier to do so. Unfortunately, we’ve allowed it to go too far, and our maleness has become too pussified for words.

At this point, I could have gone two ways: the first would be to say, “…and I don’t know if we’ll get it back. The process has become too entrenched, the cultural zeitgeist of men as girls has become part of the social fabric, and there’s not much we can do about it.”

But I’m not going to do that. To quote John Belushi (who was, incidentally, a real man and not a f*cking woman): “Did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

Well, I’m not going to quit. F*ck that. One of the characteristics of the non-pussified man (and this should strike fear into the hearts of women and girly-men everywhere) is that he never quits just because the odds seem overwhelming. Omaha Beach, guys.

I want a real man as President—not Al Gore, who had to hire a consultant to show him how to be an Alpha male, and french-kiss his wife on live TV to “prove” to the world that he was a man, when we all knew that real men don’t have to do that shit.

And I want the Real Man President to surround himself with other Real Men, like Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft, and yes, Rice (who is more of a Real Man than those *sswipes Colin Powell and Norman Mineta).

I want our government to be more like Dad—kind, helpful, but not afraid to punish us when we f*ck up, instead of helping us excuse our actions.

I want our culture to become more male—and not the satirical kind of male, like The Man Show, or the cartoonish figures of Stallone, Van Damme or Schwartzenegger. (Note to the Hollywood execs: We absolutely f*cking loathe chick movies about feelings and relationships and all that feminine jive. We want more John Waynes, Robert Mitchums, Bruce Willises, and Clint Eastwoods. Never mind that it’s simplistic— we like simple, we are simple, we are men—our lives are uncomplicated, and we like it that way. We Were Soldiers was a great movie, and you know why? Because you could have cut out all the female parts, and it still would have been a great movie, because it was about Real Men. Try cutting out all the female parts in a Woody Allen movie—you’d end up with the opening and closing credits.)

I want our literature to become more male, less female. Men shouldn’t buy “self-help” books unless the subject matter is car maintenance, golf swing improvement or how to disassemble a f*cking Browning BAR. We don’t improve ourselves, we improve our stuff.

And finally, I want men everywhere to going back to being Real Men. To open doors for women, to drive fast cars, to smoke cigars after a meal, to get drunk occasionally and, in the words of Col. Jeff Cooper, one of the last of the Real Men: “to ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth.”

In every sense of the word. We know what the word “is” means.

Because that’s all that being a Real Man involves. You don’t have to become a f*cking cartoon male, either: I’m not going back to stoning women for adultery like those Muslim *ssholes do, nor am I suggesting we support that perversion of being a Real Man, gangsta rap artists (those f*cking p*ssies—they wouldn’t last thirty seconds against a couple of genuine tough guys that I know).

Only the strong men propagate.

And women know it. You want to know why I know this to be true? Because powerful men still attract women. Women, even liberal women, swooned over George Bush in a naval aviator’s uniform. Donald Trump still gets access to some of the most beautiful p*ssy available, despite looking like a medieval gargoyle. Donald Rumsfeld, if he wanted to, could f*ck 90% of all women over 50 if he wanted to, and a goodly portion of younger ones too.

And he won’t. Because Rummy’s been married to the same woman for fifty years, and he wouldn’t toss that away for a quickie. He’s a Real Man. No wonder the Euros hate and fear him.

We’d better get more like him, we’d better become more like him, because if we don’t, men will become a footnote to history.

I know that was incredibly long, but even as a woman, I loved it. I loved every word.

It is ridiculously hard to find real men today. I’ve dated every antithesis to the real man that exists. One guy was the biggest metrosexual I’ve ever encountered. He highlighted his short hair — when he asked me to do it, he complained over and over again about how pulling strands with the tiny metal hook through the cap on his head hurt his scalp so badly. He took baths, in this gigantic tub, with bath beads, bath salts, bath bubbles. He’d light candles and play Enya. He liked to shop. Apparently, he watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy a lot.

I’ve dated guys with no brains or spines of their own — they just follow the crowd, doing whatever their friends will do, without ever giving a thought for themselves. I’ve dated guys that get mad when I don’t cuddle at night, or get hurt when I don’t want to go into deep discussions about our “feelings”.

Are there honestly women out there that are attracted to these kinds of men?

My boyfriend is not one of those men (thank God). I am always shocked to find women attracted to men that take more than half an hour to get ready, or have to get all spruced up to go to the grocery store. I hated it when a guy I was dating wouldn’t do anything — or care — when other guys hit on me right in front of him. I just wanted to shake reality into them! As Kim’s wife noted, it could just be a look or a change in his stance — but a real man won’t just let it pass him by. You don’t have to go beat the asshole down, but if someone’s hitting on your woman right in front of you, do you really think you should just put up with it?

I don’t want a man who doesn’t know anything about sports, cars, and guns. I also don’t want a man to sit there and blather on for hours about his “feelings” — I’m the woman, not you, and that’s my department (although any kind of smart woman will try to reserve those conversations for other women only). As much as I may joke about it, it isn’t really exciting to hear about a man watching Sex and the City, or wanting to go see the latest Jennifer Lopez chick flick.

Men and women are different. If I wanted to date someone who was sensitive, emotional, stylish, cuddly, and always prepared to talk about “feelings”, I’d be a lesbian and date a damn woman. I, and I’d be willing to say most women (real women, anyways), want a real man. When I get married, my husband will be the head of the household, because that’s where he should be. It doesn’t make my thoughts or opinions any less valid or worthwhile, but he should be the one running things. Ultimately, he’s the one who should be in charge.

Real men understand honor, loyalty, camaraderie, duty, valour. They understand the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, and will stand up when needed to simply because it is what’s right. They won’t care about what the rest of the world thinks about it, because they know they’re doing the right thing. Real men are honest, respectful, and loving, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a little rough around the edges. They’re respectful, and I’d be willing to bet don’t want a doormat for a wife or girlfriend — a strong man will want a strong woman who can understand him.

There’s a reason men like Clint Eastwood and John Wayne have timeless appeal with men and women alike. It’s because they’re real men, men who do tough work, who get sweaty and dirty, who stand up for what’s right, who can be menacing and hard, but kind and loving at the same time. They aren’t ashamed of being men, most importantly.

We need more men in this country. I have a good feeling you could find a lot of these men in the military, and that’s probably why so many women are attracted to the man-in-uniform bit. Soldiers, firefighters, police officers — that the uniform is sexy is not because of the clothes. It’s because of what that uniform represents, and what it signifies to us.

We should be encouraging boys to be boys, not trying to feminize them (sorry, Gloria Steinem). There’s a shortage of real men in this country, and I’m lucky enough to have found one of them. We need to start encouraging men to be men again, though — otherwise, we could end up with a bunch of European girly men… like, say, in France. And that’s an ugly thought.

Hat Tip: Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler (and where the inspiration for this post based on a five-year-old essay came)

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  • Rickvid in Seattle says:

    Eeeek! Oh, Cassie, how cooouuullddd you? Trying to push we men back into, well, into the stone age! Oh dear oh dear, what are these young people thinking?

    Why, just this weekend in my Alan Alda Adoration Club and Sensitive Male Support Group we had an intervention with a poor fellow who was ever so sorely tempted to STRIKE another man who said upsetting things about the first fellow’s wife. We did not find out just what the brutish thug said, our friend was just too too upset to repeat it. But we listened attentively, sympathized with his predicament, and after a few good long man-hugs we told him he just had to be a real man and hold back his feelings and channel them into positive pathways. That’s what a real man does. Nicht wahr?

    It was ever so thrilling. Far far better than wanting us to resort to, to, … violence. Jiohn Wayne indeed.

  • Gothguy says:


    I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago, and it is now one of my ‘required’ blogs to read, every day.

    I agree with every iota of that article. I am not a ‘girly-man’ in any stretch of the word, never have been, never will be. I work hard, drink hard (at times), and play hard. I am not adverse at voicing my opinions, even to my friends chagrin at times. I am not PC, for being PC is the epitome of phoniness…PC speak to me smacks of libtardness.

    I am a veteran of the U.S. Navy, own guns, love the outdoors, My God, My Family, and My Country.

    I was taught by my Father to respect my Mother, and both of them taught me to be a man. My Father taught me to always open a door for a woman first, open the passenger side door in a car for her to get in and out, pull the chair out for her at a resturant for her to sit down. And, archaic as it may sound, order her meal for her (after finding out what she wants first) and NEVER, EVER, go ‘Dutch’ at a resturant unless she makes it known beforehand.

    I abhore the phrase ‘…getting in touch with your feminine side’ because if I had a ‘feminine side’…guess what…I’d be a girl! Euroweenines have yet to figure that one small item out yet.

    Men and women ARE different…rather then attempt to discourage those differences, we should embrace them as you wrote in your editorial…that is what makes us tick…our differences, as men and women.

  • Cas says:

    Thank you, gothguy! And welcome to the blog!

    I abhor girly men as well, and it’s always great to hear about those rare real men that exist!! Keep it up! 🙂

  • Huck says:

    Question: By Kim du Toit’s criteria, do real men write in complex sentences and use correct grammar and punctuation on blog entries like Kim du Toit does? Do real men (and not the computer geeky kind) spend as much time as Kim du Toit apparently does in front of the computer posting blog entries? In fact, do real men “love” doing blogs in order to be able to keep a journal of “manly” things like Kim du Toit does? Do real have to lace their statements with profanity in order to get their “manly” points across like Kim du Toit does? And, finally, and most importantly, do real men ever, ever, ever let themselves go around in public with the name “Kim du Toit”?

    Well …

    Here’s what I think a real man is: A real man is someone so absolutely self-confident in his masculinity that he doesn’t need to go around convincing himself that he is not a woman as he tries to defend and preserve his vision of what a real man is and foist it on others.

  • the pistolero says:

    By Kim du Toit’s criteria, do real men write in complex sentences and use correct grammar and punctuation on blog entries like Kim du Toit does?
    Being a man and being good with the written word aren’t mutually exclusive. And he wasn’t trying to foist anything on anyone.

  • USpace says:

    Good post, great article too, I had to put it in my favorites.
    You may find this interesting, from over at The Brussels Journal:
    The Feminists’ War on Boys

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    be a girly-man…

  • Aegis says:

    That essay is one of the many reasons that Kim became my first regular stop on the blog-tour several years ago. He’s a good man.

  • Huck says:

    pistolero – Funny, I thought Kim du Toit’s “real” man needs to grunt in monosyllabic utterances as he chews raw meat directly off the cow bone. I would think that the effete grammarian and the punctilious speller are part and parcel of the … what did he call it in crude man-speak? — the “pussification” of masculinity. His vision of a “real” man is so stereotypical caveman that it make one wonder about the masculinity of such “refined, pansy” thinkers and entrepreneurs as Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Bill Gates. Heck even folks like William F. Buckley, Jr. come across as less the man than Kim “grunt and curse” du Toit. One would also think that the quest to find a “real” man of the kind Kim du Toit envisions would lead men to make pilgrimages to Brokeback Mountain.

    The fact is that Kim du Toit has no clue about what being a real man entails. If he did have a clue, he wouldn’t be writing such tripe.

  • JamesT says:

    Given the time Kim DuToit spent crawing around the veldt trying not get shot by the ANC, coupled with his ability to write, play music, appriciate art, enjoy films, drink hard, love his children and wife and settle in with a good book, yes, he is a real man and knows what it is about. He has been tried and tested, makes no excuses for who he is, and allows none for others, does not suffer fools or apologize for his opinions and beliefs or actions, he is a true victorian gentleman.

  • Anonymous says:

    “Huck” seems to be taking this personally. Could it be that he is wearing lavender underwear?

  • Kim du Toit says:

    “And, finally, and most importantly, do real men ever, ever, ever let themselves go around in public with the name ‘Kim du Toit’?”

    Ah, yes… playground insults, always so effective as a debating technique among the metrosexual set.

    As for the amount of time I spend blogging, you no doubt think that Ernest Hemingway also spent too much time behind the typewriter to be a Real Man’s writer…

    It is, as they say, to laugh.

  • LC Scotty says:

    I’ve been reading du Toit for a few years now, and never have I heard him endorse or advocate any sort of anti-intellectual mindset.

    If you liked this essay, Kim’s wife has recentl posted a response to this 5 year old rant.


    If “A real man is someone so absolutely self-confident in his masculinity that he doesn’t need to go around convincing himself that he is not a woman as he tries to defend and preserve his vision of what a real man is and foist it on others.” then why are you here trying to foist your vision of manhood on us?

    Allow me to answer for you-it’s part of a conversation, and this is your stance. Kim initiated the converstion with his stance. No foisting, just a bit of bluster-it is after all a rant and not a how to manual for manhood.

    I don’t know du Toit personally, so I can’t attest to his “manliness”, but most of his writing and arguments are right on.

    Perhaps it would be helpful if rather than assailing the general tone of the post, you could point to specific things that Kim has said are “manly” that you believe to be oafish, brutal or unmasculine. If we knew which societal trends he bemoans that you think are good things, or which historical assertions you disagree with we could actually discuss the article.


  • LC Scotty says:

    Try this for Mrs. du Toit’s response

  • Stephen J. says:

    A man who doesn’t need to talk about his feelings isn’t the same thing as a man who *can’t* talk about his feelings. Mistaking one for the other, in either direction, is problematic.

    How a man feels about using violence and how capable he is at using it aren’t the same thing. Mistaking one for the other, in either direction, is problematic.

    What a man will tolerate from those he chooses as his family, and what he will tolerate from those he does not, need have no correspondence. Assuming that what a man will take from his kin shows what he will and won’t take from strangers is problematic, and vice versa.

    Any definition of a “real” man that claims a man incapable of doing something he may need to do for the sake of his faith, family, friends, or nation, is problematic.

  • T.Ferg says:

    Geat find Cassy! Kim’s essay was fantastic and your post on the topic was fantastic as well. It is always refreshing to come across folks who think alike on these things. It is especially refreshing to come across a lady with your perspective. Cheers.

  • Anonymous says:

    A real man has some sense, and knows exactly what Kim’s saying–something I don’t see coming from the lot of you having hysterics over his essay.

    in your midst

  • Anonymous says:

    Fabulous, fabulous! We indeed need more real men around and I am doing my part as a mom to raise a real man. What did it take to truly bring out the character of a real man in my son? A tough, military summer camp that not only toughened him up physically, but also gave him the type of discipline he needed (from another MAN not MOM), all the while stressing character. He came home a young man who is making me very proud and his change is apparent to all who know him.

  • Gothguy says:


    Seriously, why are you so threatened by what Mr. du Toit wrote?

    Instead of attacking his opinion on this matter, and using amaturish put downs and name calling, why don’t you write what you think constitutes a real man?

    For reasons that I cannot figure out, it really seems as though you are taking this writing a little too personally.

  • Anonymous says:

    Now I know why you like ME. ;o)


  • Huck says:

    Saludos, all. My what an interesting thread. Kim du Toit does have a point about my joke regarding his name. It was a cheap shot. For that, I apologize. The reason why I mentioned it, though, was to respond it kind to what I think was Kim du Toit’s entire rant, which I thought to be a cheap shot at all the men, I mean “pussies,” who, perhaps, eschew violence, who don’t own big mean dogs, who don’t threaten to punch someone and kick him in the balls because he issued a playground insult about his daughter’s singing, and who don’t like to tinker with the engines of semis, among other things. All of these things, like one’s name, have absolutely nothing to do with manliness. It is Kim du Toit’s construction of a masculine identity that he find appealing. My reference to Brokeback Mountain tried to get at the contradictions of this attitude. Was Heath Ledger’s character in Brokeback Mountain a “real” man? By Kim du Toit’s standards of aggression, violence, and strength, one would have to say absolutely yes. But then, would Kim du Toit say that “real” men have a sexual relationship with other men? I don’t know, but I’d suspect not.

    jamest – Other than that you agree with him, what makes Kim du Toit’s version of what a real man is more valid than my version? Better yet, what makes him more of a man than I am?

    anonymous the first – Is that comment about the color of my underwear wishful thinking or evidence of your own manliness?

    lc scotty – fair point about this being part of a conversation. My point is that I know very good men, real men, who are so opposite to many of the criteria he presents as examples of a virile masculinity that my response is intended to be a defense of these real men. He essentially calls many of my friends “pussies,” and a “real” man would defend his friends, would he not?

    My comments also contain reference to what I find oafish, crude, and brutal in his comments. And I would say that being oafish, crude, and brutal does not equal being masculine. A real man doesn’t need to pepper his conversation with profanity, which du Toit does, in order to make his point. A real man doesn’t need to threaten violence for any childish playground insult of one’s momma or one’s daughter’s singing. In fact, a “real” man doesn’t belittle and demean the physically “weaker” men among us, the “pussies” out there, or those who despise guns, warfare, and smoking. A real man doesn’t go around calling other people with penises “pussies” because they aren’t as macho as he is. Instead, a real man defends the timid “feminized” trumpet player on the marching band who is bullied or humiliated by the quarterback on the football team simply because he is weaker or more timid. A real man knows he is a man without having to get all defensive and angry about how others treat his version of manhood.

    gothguy – First, I did offer my own definition of what a real man was in an earlier comment. Second, I’m not threatened at all by what Kim du Toit says. I’m challenging his take on it. In fact, let me suggest that you think of my comment in Kim du Toit’s own terminology: I’m not being a “pussy” and just letting Kim du Toit get away with his attack on people who I think don’t deserve to be attacked. I’m standing up for all the good men in the world who don’t think, behave, or look like Kim du Toit thinks a real man should, but still do great things as the men they are. In essence, I’m being a “real” man when I stand up for my own opinion and for others in the face of Kim du Toit’s judgmental rant on the masculinity of many men.

    I can appreciate the manliness of the John Waynes in the male world, but I can also appreciate the manliness of the Bill Gates, Benjamin Franklin, Atticus Finch, and Colin Powell types, too.

  • Brian says:

    Huck, you’ve been shown to be pussy here and at Rightwingnews so give it a rest.

  • Huck says:

    brian – Is that the best you can do? Come on, now! If you’re going to insult me, do it like a “real” man would. You should consider yourself lucky that Cassy’s a tolerant and forgiving woman, because otherwise you might have your comment deleted (see: for gratuitous profanity and name-calling. Or does that threat only apply to liberals who do such things?

  • seanmahair says:

    The fact of the matter is that men and women are different. They think differently, they act differently, they are fundamentally different.

    While I agree with the things Mr. du Toit had to say there is something else that needs to be addressed. Women should be women. While I want my daughters to be “all that they can be”. I do not want them doing jobs that they are neither physically, emotionally or mentally able to do.

    My spouse was in the Navy and he once ran into a woman Aviation Mechanic. This woman was perfectly capable of fixing the plane. What she couldn’t do was carry around the tool box. She was assigned a Seaman to carry it around for her.

    While man and women are different they complete each other. They are the keystones in the essential unit needed to keep civilization from spiraling out of control. Respect, which is something sadly lacking today, is the mortar of any relationship. I’m not sure most people even recognize the word much less know it’s meaning. And that is the saddest fact of all

  • Richard Aubrey says:

    I used to read du Toit regularly. He was interesting in his discussions of Africa and other issues.
    I am mildly interested in guns. (“Browning BAR” is redundant. “BAR” stands for Browning Automatic Rifle, an excellent squad automatic in WW II and Korea.)

    His combination of vile language and constant interest in guns would certainly wake up somebody whose psychology background is limited to “Intro to Freud for Non-Majors”.

    That could be seen as discrediting some of what he says. Others have addressed the same issue in more measured terms, including many women who talk about the shortage of real men.

    However, he is right on the money about the Cheerios ad. The mother in the ad doesn’t just give Dad a quick zinger. She makes him look like a real idiot in front of his daugher, inviting their daughter to join her in the assessment.
    This is simply not done in a relationship. The ad not only makes Dad look like an idiot, it makes it completely justifiable for Mom to make the case to the daughter, and for daughter to agree.
    On instance is too many–although not sufficiently rare–in a relationship. But du Toit’s point is that the ad is not a one-off. The theme is constant and inescapable.

    Suppose, in a real estate ad, or an ad for a mortgage company, the father said to the son, “Once I convinced your mother that she didn’t need a new two-hundred dollar dress every week, we could afford this nice house.”
    And the son then looked contemptuously at his mother, who looked ashamed.

    Nope. Women, including those pretending not to see the issue here, would complain.

    The larger point, the shortage of real men, is, I suppose, in the hands of women. Do they want real men or not. How “real” is a real man?
    Men will be what women want. There was an unfortunate confusion between what most women want and what the feminists convinced the popshrinks women wanted. The popshrinks got all the ink. Many men took the latter for reality. Too bad for them.

  • Heather A says:

    Good stuff, Cassy!

    Huck, I’m sorry…I’m of the school that yes, there are manly men who are gay, and they probably don’t whine as much as you do.


  • mkfreeberg says:


    If you liked the Pussification of the Western Male, you’ll love Gerard Van der Leun’s observations about the “American Castrati”. I’d really love to see your insight on that one.

  • Cylar says:

    If I could weigh in for a moment. I believe Huck and his detractors both bring up some valid points. Is true masculinity defined by a man’s hobbies and interests, or by something else? As Huck says, would you refer to history’s famous thinkers as not “real men” simply because they do not fit into the “macho” mold?

    Du Toit’s article, while interesting, was frankly all over the map. Reading through it, it’s hard to nail down exactly what a “real man” is, and he doesn’t really allow for the possibility that one guy could be very different from the next in their personalities and hobbies, and yet both be “real men.”

    Where his article hits on the head most squarely is where he mentions the need for “real men” to stand up for what is right, regardless of what the world says. To me, that’s the enduring appeal of famous macho historical figures like George Washington, Gen George S Patton, or perhaps Moses. They were genuine men not because they were gruff, but because they showed courage and did what was right at least most of the time.

    I’m a Christian, and so that is the part that resonated most closely with me. I have been to many all-male Christian events in my life, some spanning several days, and at these retreats, breakfasts, etc, the topic of genuine maleness has been discussed. We aren’t afraid to get personal, or get emotional, or talk about how something has hurt us. I will not listen to anyone who tells me that this disqualified me from being a “real man.”

    My example is Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate “real man.” He was a very emotional person during His earthly ministry, but He also stood for what was right and didn’t accept excuses. This talk of “real men” actually extends far deeper and goes down into the qualities that Christ showed us as being associated with good character.

    Should God bless me with a son, I will be teaching him to emulate Jesus above all. Anyone can curse, spit, drink, work on a car, or fire a gun. Those things don’t make you a “real man,” doing what’s right does.

  • edward w bergonzi says:

    Interesting article, although there has to be room for men being intellectuals also. The great George Carlin referred to the “pussification of men”. As a teacher, I’ve noticed a change.To be a boy today is to be perceived as having something wrong with you. Yes, girls mature more quickly, but boys do catch up eventually. The physiology is different. I’m an older man (72) and I cannot stand listening to contemporary music, especially the shrill female singers and the “girly-man” male singers. I guess I’m a curmudgeon (I resemble that remark), but even though I grew up as a rock and roller, I can’t get enough of Sinatra, Ella and the great singers of the middle of the 20th century … and I love the “Rat Pack”.

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