Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wash and blow dry

I was with a pal recently who has sons and he asked me a question, or rather he admitted a thought. Is the way he parents (the opposite of his own father) making his sons a wee bit wet and feeble? Has his saying "I love you" often, being available and open and constantly meeting their emotional needs made them go a bit soft? An instance or two he has witnessed over the past few months has made him think his sons just need to toughen up. I recommended Do hard things to him.

It is a good thing to ask such questions. In fact I might extend that from kids to men in general.

This week, I found myself in a wonderfully engaging and amusing conversation with two male friends and their hairdresser. Yes, I did say '....and their hairdresser'. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with hairdressing and they would defend their right to sit under a blow dryer vehemently I know, but this would never have been a situation my father, who fought in the Korean war, would ever have found himself in. He would have looked quizzically at the scene and said "A hairdresser............for a man?"

Why am I telling you this? Well, I read the Spectator each week and more often than not Toby Young makes me laugh out loud. He too, like my friend and his sons, is worrying about the state of modern manhood. He called his article 'What happened to the chaps?'

"Bad news this week for those who fear we’re becoming a nation of girlie men. According to a survey carried out by Demos, a third of men who graduated from university this summer would give up their careers to care for their children. In addition, more than half the men surveyed said they frequently dress up in women’s clothing, while 66 per cent admitted they still hide behind the sofa during Doctor Who.
Okay, I made that last part up, but I wouldn’t be surprised. The feminisation of the latest generation of young men never ceases to amaze me. With their long, blow-dried hair, their expensive designer clothes, their ‘man bags’ and jewellery, they are like some terrifying new genetic hybrid: half-man, half-Barbie doll. God help us all if President Ahmadinejad ever decides to launch an invasion. If these milksops are responsible for the defence of the realm, the mullahs will be in Downing Street within 24 hours."

Can that Demos statistic really be true? Half of all men dress up in women's clothing. Really....

I would be happy to hear the case for the defence for modern manhood as well as hairdressing and all related matters.  Is Toby Young right to be concerned?

Do read the whole article and let me know your thoughts (would be interesting to have comments from men and women).

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