Of Manliness and Men
Deborah Solomon has an interesting yet somehow bizarre interview with Harvard political scientist Harvey Mansfeld on the topic of his new book, Manliness. It’s difficult to tell when Mansfeld is being serious or tongue-in-cheek.
How does someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger stack up?
I would include him as a manly man.
But doesn’t he exemplify the sort of man whose overdeveloped muscles are intended to mask feelings of insecurity?
Yes, but then he stepped up to become governor of California. He took a risk with his reputation.
What about President Bush? He’s a risk taker, but wouldn’t his penchant for long vacations be a strike against him?
I wouldn’t say industriousness is a sign of manliness. That’s sort of wonkish. Experts do that.
What about Dick Cheney?
He hunts. And he curses openly. Lynne Cheney is kind of manly, too. I once worked with her on the advisory council of the National Endowment for the Humanities.