Frequently Asked Questions: Part I

by Brett on May 3, 2010 · 33 comments

in Blog

We get a lot of frequent questions about the site. I created a page that answers some of these questions, but a lot of people don’t visit it, so I wanted to address some of these questions in a blog post. But instead of writing out a text blog post, I thought it would be fun to do it in video format.

Below, you’ll find the first in a series of short videos answering some of the FAQs we get around here. In this edition, I talk about:

  • how and why I started AoM
  • the difference between manliness and things that are simply manly (hint: whether or not you have a Mad Men haircut has nothing to do with your manliness)
  • that the site is meant to be both serious and philosophical and fun and practical
  • whether I’m an expert in the field of manliness (spoiler: I’m not)

Let me know what you think!

Edit: I’ve been getting emails from people asking me where I got the shirt I have on in the video. I got it from TankFarm Clothing, the same gentlemen who design and print the AoM t-shirts. I’m actually wearing Tankfarm shirts in almost all the AoM videos I’ve done. Dudes make nice, manly stuff.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Curtis McMinn May 3, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Great video!

Not everyone is going to be pleased with the content given. Personally, I enjoy the witty articles along with the deeper ones. Keep up the great work!

2 Steve May 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm

I appreciate your humble approach to enriching your life and many of ours, too!

3 Richard May 3, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Nice work. A question I’ve gotto ask, given the video and the podcast, what is that music that intro’s these things? I love it.

4 Ryan Pratt May 3, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Bret, your desire to teach generation xers the art of manliness is inspiring to say the least. This generation is losing touch with our founding fathers. True men like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Samuel Adams. Keep up the good work, your articles are very important and influential as evidence by your growing fan base. Please inform myself and other xers what type of man this country was found on.

Ryan W. Pratt-AOM fan

5 Brett McKay May 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm

@ Richard- The music is from Duke Ellington. The song is called “Flaming Youth.”

6 dkines May 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm


I definitely respect you and your opinions/knowledge of what manliness is. We are all students… we never stop learning.

7 Playstead May 4, 2010 at 12:07 am

That was pretty cool. As a fellow writer, I always like to hear how people got their project off the ground. For me, it was hearing Oprah bash one too many dads — I felt I needed to do something out there for all the great men who raise good kids (the ultimate sign of manliness). Keep up the good work — love the site.

8 Chris Mower May 4, 2010 at 12:37 am

The fact that you’ve never claimed to be an expert on the art of manliness is one reason that I love this blog. It keeps the articles interesting and fun to read. When I first came across this blog earlier this year, I thought it was all going to be serious… and after reading a number of articles (the one about how to become a man in different cultures is still my favorite) I’ve learned that it’s a healthy mixture of it all.

By the way, that bust in the background is a nice touch.

9 Michelle May 4, 2010 at 1:03 am

Loved the video, Brett! Even though I’m not a man myself, I thoroughly enjoy your website and share articles with my boyfriend all the time. (I’m desperately trying to get him to become a regular reader, too. Hoping to buy your book as a Christmas present for him this year!) I read my fair share of feminist blogs and am constantly seeking out the idea of what it means to a woman, so this site is a real treat for me in that it gives me some perspective from the other side. )My favorite is the “So You Want My Job” series. Fascinating!) Keep up the good work, and thanks for helping me understand the man in my life a little better!

10 Kyle F. May 4, 2010 at 1:04 am

Enjoyed the video, Brett. I personally like the blog’s mix of serious and not so serious stuff. It keeps it interesting.

What you said about the men’s magazines always having the same stuff isn’t hyperbole! Check it:

11 Chris May 4, 2010 at 1:04 am

I appreciate what you do, Brett, and I know the guys at my office do, too. (We talk about the articles when we get a chance to.) Keep on doin’ it!

If I’m ever in your neck of the woods I’m buying you lunch.

– Chris

12 Todd S. May 4, 2010 at 8:43 am

I think self reliance is the key to it all.

Of course, a good dose of boobs never hurts. Especially Megan Fox’s boobs. ;)

13 Dan May 4, 2010 at 10:33 am

I was waiting for the FAQ about why you shaved your mustache…

14 Tyler May 4, 2010 at 10:49 am

I love this site and so appreciate the vision of this site. The articles are practical, encouraging, inspiring, and make me want to be a better man. Our world is full of boys who are consumers and full of entitlement. What the world needs is passionate, inspired, creative men of character and virtue.

15 Adam Marple May 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm


You are a real inspiration for us all. In just two short years you have reintroduced and redefined the lost art that we all are aspiring to. Some of us didn’t have fathers to teach us these things, but you have given us a community and forum to teach each other.

Proud of you buddy. Thanks for helping us help ourselves

Adam Marple

16 Nick May 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm


Why in the hell are you wearing a ring on your right hand? Are you selling cars in the evening or does that have some significance?

Hoping for the latter

17 Etienne May 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Well done!

And whatever you do, please, please do not launch a magazine.

Best wishes.

18 Gortex May 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Hi Brett,
I’ve never posted before, but I thought I’d take the time do say “Thank you!” for creating AOM. I’ve had similar thoughts about manliness for years now, but I’ve only been able to articulate them in a coherent way since I’ve found your site. The articles (and the comments appended to them) have helped me realize that I’m not alone in my desire to bring back a little touch of formality and class into modern masculinity. Bravo, sir!

Second, instead of t-shirts, can you look into AoM golf / polo shirts? The cost would likely be more, but I’m of the opinion that anything with a collar will look better than anything without one. Just a thought, not a complaint or criticism!

19 Brett McKay May 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone!

@Dan- The mustache comes and goes. I think it’s time for it to return…

@Nick- Yeah, the ring on my right hand has a significant meaning for me. That’s why it’s there.

@Gortex- I’ll look into Polo shirts. You’re right, they’re a more expensive, so that’s why we’ve stuck with t-shirts.

20 Nathan May 4, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I’d love to grow a mustache, but I don’t want to look like a pervert :( haha

21 Lucas May 5, 2010 at 1:23 am

Bret, great blog & website. I look forward to getting the daily emails with quality men’s interest topics. I sometimes wonder how many people work at the AoM since it seems like there is always new & fresh content. Thanks to you and to the contributors!

22 Richard | May 5, 2010 at 2:20 am

You can never please everyone and trying to do so will make your message filtered. keep up what you’re doing Brett, it’s fantastic stuff!

23 DMD May 5, 2010 at 11:16 am

I’d like to know where you get and how you choose the old time photos and illustrations that accompany the articles on AoM. I love the illustrations. I’m guessing they’re old magazine ads.

24 Jeff May 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Well done Brett. There’s a delicate balance between confidence and humility in your demeanor. Both are traits I think men should be able to call upon as the situation merits it.

Oh, and you are definitely doing something right on here. I changed a spare tire for the first time the other day (it was oddly satisfying once I finished) and your article was one of the top search results on google. Not sure the exact phrase I searched for, but was happy to see you’ve written about it, and that it was so helpful.

25 anthony hanks May 6, 2010 at 10:05 pm


Not that I was bored with your video, but the first thing I noticed was your bookcase behind you–top shelf, far right: “The Way you Wear Your Hat–Bill Zehme”. I first read this Sinatra biography when I was 15 and have used it, along with your website of course, as my “manliness field manual” ever since. If you do another “Top 50″ book list, I vote this little known gem be added. Keep up the great work!


26 Men's t-shirts May 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Great insight there. It’s nice to see a face behind the source!

I look forward to viewing the next one!

27 Eric May 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Great explanation. And I like the statue on your shelf.

28 Steve May 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm

hmmm, I like what your saying, but you say “umm” a lot and your lack of hat and tie are suspicious.

Just kidding. I just found this site the other day and loved it! I am currently learning how to tie a tie. Regards
– Steve

29 Drewski May 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I have recently found this website and have quite thoroughly enjoyed every article I have read. I also enjoyed this video on the FAQ’s. I look forward to your future endeavors on the AOM and I continue to recommend this site whenever I see someone who is in need of some direction.

30 Kibwe May 10, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I love the site. My brothers and myself have recently found the art of manliness and are addicted. But we have noticed a skewing of the articles. We would like to suggest more articles from the perspective of colored men. Views about facial hair and other cultural norms of manliness can be different. I think it would be good to explore them as well. Keep up the good work.

31 Welmer May 11, 2010 at 5:39 am

Well, I think you’ve done a pretty good job. I didn’t know about TAOM when I started my site, but when I found out about it I was pretty impressed by how popular it was. Of course, we’ve got a very different approach — you’ve got a less controversial and political focus and broader appeal. But it’s part of the same trend. Frankly, I’m glad you’ve got the lifestyle parts covered, because a lot of those magazines you mention have diverged so far from the interests of the ordinary guy that it’s demoralizing to see them, and it’s nice to know that someone else is rising to the occasion to take their place.

If there’s anything I’d like to see, it would be inspiring stories of men who overcame the ravages of divorce and remained close to their children. Please don’t forget the men and children who have been wronged by merciless family law.

Keep it up, Brett. I wish you continued success.


32 David May 13, 2010 at 7:21 am

love the site! I visit it every other day!

33 John Thorp May 6, 2013 at 8:04 am

Do you have any articles
Concerning the spiritual
aspect of what we are all
about, as individuals or
John in Homestead, Florida

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