Kim Du Toit (who is a man) decries the, um, girlification of the American male by politically correct cultural elites. He is also expletive-deleted sick of a lot of the manifestations of this phenomenon and wishes men would go back to being 1950s-style manly men. Like Don Rumsfeld.

Venomous Kate is a bit, shall we say, skeptical:

If you want to spend your time pursuing such “manly man” pursuits, so be it. But the corollary of your position is that you – and men who share your view – should not ask anything from women beyond typical “girly girl” pursuits: getting our hair and nails done, shopping for clothes (on your dime), casting come-hither glances at the postman but “thinking about England” during your 2-minute performances in the sack, and gossiping about all of that with our girlfriends over leisurely lunches of crustless sandwiches and white wine spritzers while the children are in school, pausing long enough to pay Hazel or Alice or whatever housekeeper/nanny we’ve hired with the money you earn because working – also known as being a provider – is a “man thing.”

Well, actually, most men who lived the lifestyle Kim describes couldn’t afford to have their wives live the lives of the idle rich. Indeed, neither could 99% of the men in society. Few of the women of the 1950s were sitting around sipping Chardonay with FiFi at the yacht club.

Few of the advances women have made over the last 20-30 years (it really has been that short a period that the true cultural acceptance of career women has been a reality) have come at the expense of men. Indeed, men have benefitted from many of the changes. But there is no denying that some of the things that Kim alludes to have been a byproduct. Perhaps the worst part of the change in gender roles, though, has been the ironic fact that, for most men and women, there are now fewer choices rather than more. We’ve created an economy that virtually demands two incomes, making the choice to sacrifice one’s career to raise the kids amazingly difficult for couples earning modest incomes.

Update (1222 11-5):Michele has weighed in as well, here and here

Update (1242 11-5): Alex Knapp is not a manly man.

Update (1331 11-5): Kevin Aylward weighs in, including a priceless P. J. O’Rourke reference.

Update (0925 11-6): Matthew Yglesias has found Kim’s post and sees him as representative of conservatism. [Update 0931: He’s less sure of that now.]

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. James, what is WRONG with you, presenting a balanced post like that? Don’t you GET blogging, man?

  2. ilyka says:

    Yeah, James, quit being so DECENT already. Damn, man.

  3. Kate says:

    I have only one response to Monsieur Du Toit…. (apart from 95% agreement)

    Not all women want a nanny society, either.

  4. raj says:

    KdT’s post isn’t a satire? I thought it was so dumb it had to be.

  5. Duncan Stevens says:

    It took me a while to place what Kim’s post reminded me of, but it came to me today.

    Ever seen Neil LaBute’s In the Company of Men? If not, go rent it. If so: if Chad ever took up blogging, I think he would sound an awful lot like Kim.

  6. Trish Wilson says:

    When I saw your words “1950s-style manly men,” all I could think of was “The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit.”

    The “1950s-style manly men” were a sham back in the 1950s. And a lot of men knew it.