| April 25, 2009

Blog, Roundup

The Art of Manliness Weekly Roundup: Esquire’s “How to Be a Man” Issue Edition

It seems a lot of people are talking about what it means to be a man lately. There’s a man movement afoot, and it’s creating interesting fodder for discussion. Esquire is getting in on the action with their newest “Be a Man” issue. It’s a worthy theme for a magazine, and I thought we would devote this link round-up to the issue’s hits and misses:


The American Man: What I’ve Learned.Esquire interviewed 40 regular joes and asked them for a pearl of wisdom. Some are profound, others superficial. But an interesting idea for an feature nonetheless.

25 Essential Skills Every Man Should Know. I always love these kinds of lists-they’re just fun. Of course, like most lists, the explanations for each skill only scratch the surface; I prefer something more comprehensive. But I guess that’s what the Art of Manliness is for.

What is a Man. A list of manly attributes. Some I agree with, others not so much. But a decent compilation overall. (Hat tip: Ron)


How to be a Better Man. Lance Armstrong on fatherhood and being a better man? Really? Step 1: Divorce wife and mother of your children. Step 2: get engaged to a woman who clearly loves you and wants to have kids-then break it off. Step 3: Get your girlfriend pregnant and then don’t propose marriage. Classy.

The List of Men: 66 Guys to Emulate.Esquire here lists 66 celebrities that regular joes should look to as role models. There are a few good celebrity men out there, but generally, celebrities are not really men we should be seeking to emulate. And some of their picks made me really scratch my head: Charles Barkley (“for what he said to police”)? Martha Stewart?

And finally:

Masculinity can’t still be about steak and moose-skinning, guys. Here’s one woman’s take on the recent Esquire issue. She sets up a dichotomy between the ripped meathead man and the more andronygous sensitive guy, but hopefully we can find a happy medium between those extremes. A new way forward, perhaps? (Hat tip: Tara)

A Needed Shout-out

Last week Kate and I wrote up a response to a NYT article about gender. I was so impressed by the quality and civil tone of the comments. I truly enjoyed hearing what others had to say. One of the comments was so excellent that I wanted to re-post for everyone to read. Kari articulated exactly what I was trying to say in my response but was not  able to express very well. People sometimes ask why we talk about virtues like honor, integrity, and courage on a site about manliness-after all, aren’t these virtues women should pursue as well? Kari’s comment, particularly the final paragraph, sums up my answer to a T. Thanks Kari.

“One of the problems that we face in society is that our models of power and influence are almost exclusively all masculine. Women who went out into the work force were being told to act like men and we’re still being told this. We’re obsessed with the idea that real ‘power’ comes from being aggressive, hypersexual (once only a trait of ill-bred men), and dominating and somehow we’ve told men that if they are not these things, they are “gay”, and if women are these things they’re to be lauded for keeping up in a man’s world.

I am an assertive, confident, no-nonsense, logical woman who deals with conflict head-on and likes to fix things and people tell me I’m very masculine! I don’t conduct myself in a masculine, ‘butch’ or ‘macho’ way. I consider there to be traits universally appealing in men and women directness, honesty, bravery, resolve under pressure, good sense, the ability to step outside of a situation and look at it unemotionally if necessary, self-confidence (not the lousy self esteem of pop culture, but confidence in your proven abilities), and the ability to speak up for one’s beliefs and principles. These are not masculine traits. They are essential for being a happy and virtuous person.

And what do we call ‘feminine’ qualities? What are the ‘gay’ qualities we so poo-poo? Sensitivity (to one’s self and others), compassion, attention to detail, intellectual curiosity (since when did reading and doing well in school become a girl thing to do?), an appreciation for fine things (I have a wonderful friend who loves gourmet cooking and people call him gay all the time for no other reason), expressive affection for one’s family and friends, and a creative spirit bent towards performance, music, or the arts. I ask you how are these qualities feminine?

To be a well-balanced person we must have a combination of traits that universally must be encouraged and taught. Men and women express these traits differently but we shouldn’t be telling people œcooking is feminine, hunting is masculine or doing math puzzles is masculine, liking literature is feminine. We didn’t create gender, but we define what it looks like in our culture. Art of Manliness is redefining gender to create an image of masculinity which is to be admired: a man who is thoughtful, courageous, brave, attentive to details, honest, personable, loyal, caring (particularly towards family), and compassionate. These traits become masculine when real men seek to live them out in an authentic and genuine way. These traits become feminine when real women seek to live them out in an authentic and genuine way. There is nothing androgynous about this; in a truly gender equal society people will start acknowledging that manliness and womanliness is simply different expressions of the same values.

What’s Happening Around the Community This Week

As a new feature in our weekly round-up, we’re going to start covering  what’s going on in the AoM community. There’s always lots of cool things popping, and it’s easy to miss some great stuff. Here are some highlights from this week:

The Book Group is reading and doing a discussion of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Community member the huhman has posted a ton of cool pictures.

The Album of Old School Manlinesscontinues to grow with awesome vintge pics of manliness in action. You can add your pics by tagging your uploaded photos with “vintage.”

One of my favorite groups to keep up with is The Man and The Woman, started by a female community member that goes by The College Student. Lots of interesting and intelligent discussion on gender and the interaction between men and women.

Tyler Wainwright started a discussion about the Spartan Diet in the Manly Meals Group. This is a diet I might start trying to do. Anyone want to join me?

The Smoking Lounge is discussing their recommendations for  a great cigar.

Shaun Daws has posed this question in the Philosophers Group: “Can Manliness be described in a few words though? If so, what words would you use?”

One of the cool things about being a member of The Art of Manliness Community is that you earn “Man Points” for participating. If you upload a photo, write a blog post, or take part in a group discussion you earn points. Earn enough points and you can cash them in for some cool prizes.

  • Earn 1000 points, get a FREE Art of Manliness
  • Earn 4000 points, get a FREE $60 Hawaiiabera Shirt

What are you waiting for? Join the man community today!

Art of Manliness T-shirts


Finally, I want to give a shout out for our Art of Manliness T-shirts. This is our newest design, and it has been very popular. We have just a few left in every size but medium. Head to the shop and buy yours before they run out.

Last updated: October 20, 2010

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