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Thread: The Male Image

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    The Male Image

    I've been thinking about general issues such as masculinity, effeminacy, what these two concepts mean, and how they've changed over time. There seems to be a general feeling (on this forum as well as in society in general) that modern men are becoming "effeminate," unlike the "masculine" men of the past. From a strictly exterior/cosmetic perspective, I think this is untrue, at least in the United States. I'd like to limit this discussion to image/appearance, as the change in accepted male emotions is a matter for consideration elsewhere.

    If anything, I would argue that modern men have actually shunned hygiene and pride in appearance. The "typical" modern man is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. He doesn't really comb his hair, leaving it either shaggy and unkempt or so short that it can't be combed. He hasn't shaved in a few days and he uses the same general "body wash" substance on his hair and body in the shower. He spends much of his time watching sports on television, which his girlfriend/wife doesn't seem to mind for some reason.

    Contrast this to the supposedly "manlier" men of the past. From 1900 to the 1960s, men were clean shaven every day, combed their hair perfectly, and always had a neat, clean cut. They wore suits, and generally seem to have put more emphasis on appearing as a gentleman.

    Victorian men grow their facial hair in ways which rival the creativity of women's hairstyles. Go back to medieval times and the noblemen were wearing fancy gowns and jewelry, with long flowing hair, etc.

    I know these are generalizations, but I think they show that - from a personal appearance perspective - modern men are not more effeminate, but less effeminate. What's more perplexing to me is that women in general seem to not only tolerate, but prefer this 'relaxation' in personal appearance. Personally, I'd like to see a return of the neatly groomed 1900-1965 man, but such a return does not seem to be welcomed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonCeorl View Post
    I've been thinking about general issues such as masculinity, effeminacy, what these two concepts mean, and how they've changed over time. There seems to be a general feeling (on this forum as well as in society in general) that modern men are becoming "effeminate," unlike the "masculine" men of the past. From a strictly exterior/cosmetic perspective, I think this is untrue, at least in the United States. I'd like to limit this discussion to image/appearance, as the change in accepted male emotions is a matter for consideration elsewhere.

    If anything, I would argue that modern men have actually shunned hygiene and pride in appearance. The "typical" modern man is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. He doesn't really comb his hair, leaving it either shaggy and unkempt or so short that it can't be combed. He hasn't shaved in a few days and he uses the same general "body wash" substance on his hair and body in the shower. He spends much of his time watching sports on television, which his girlfriend/wife doesn't seem to mind for some reason.

    Contrast this to the supposedly "manlier" men of the past. From 1900 to the 1960s, men were clean shaven every day, combed their hair perfectly, and always had a neat, clean cut. They wore suits, and generally seem to have put more emphasis on appearing as a gentleman.

    Victorian men grow their facial hair in ways which rival the creativity of women's hairstyles. Go back to medieval times and the noblemen were wearing fancy gowns and jewelry, with long flowing hair, etc.

    I know these are generalizations, but I think they show that - from a personal appearance perspective - modern men are not more effeminate, but less effeminate. What's more perplexing to me is that women in general seem to not only tolerate, but prefer this 'relaxation' in personal appearance. Personally, I'd like to see a return of the neatly groomed 1900-1965 man, but such a return does not seem to be welcomed.
    Well Short Hair, for men really started with men as a aspect of the Roman Soldier.

    As far as the men of the 1960's it sort of depends on which ones you are talking about. the Abby Hoffman Hippies or the Harland Guys we sent to Vietnam.

    My Opinion is this, I wear my hair short, and dress neatly because that is a reflection on my Character. I'm not into long hair, for guys, but then again, I would not disrespect a man because he chose to wear it long.

    As far as today's men not being manly, well it depends on the men, I can show you lodes of young men today that are way more macho then the ones of the 1960's who were weak willed idiots. In fact I think the majority of Boomer men that I have met are in fact wimps, because of the time they were brought up in.

    That being said, I would say that many Gen X guys are more manly because of the late cold war military mentality here in the US. Also they were brought up in a time, when there was a backlash at the coward draft dodgers of Vietnam Era. Then you have Generation Y, who strikes me as very much like the Boomers, in the since that they are weak willed and wimpy, metrosexuals.

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    The 21st century is a physically diverse place, this being the product of divergent cohesion in self-identification. The effeminacy of men is weighted to a greater extent in the mentality rather than the physicality particularly when the subjective and evolutionary nature of the visible symbolism that corresponds with masculinity is considered,

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    No doubt about it that men these days are less masculine in general.

    Masculine behaviour isn't about acting hard its about being hard mentally. If something goes wrong masculine men don't fall to pieces and go to counselling. Thats happening more and more these days.

    I think fashion has always been important because you can tell alot about a person by how they dress. It changes over time though so its not a great way to judge masculinity over time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropkick View Post
    No doubt about it that men these days are less masculine in general.

    Masculine behaviour isn't about acting hard its about being hard mentally. If something goes wrong masculine men don't fall to pieces and go to counselling. Thats happening more and more these days.
    We are probably shaped as persons by the expectations that society places on us. If society expects less masculine behaviour, that is what we will show. We might also speculate if not the modern behavioural standards are a luxury made affordable by a more affluent society.

    I think fashion has always been important because you can tell alot about a person by how they dress. It changes over time though so its not a great way to judge masculinity over time.
    Indeed. By modern standards Edward, the black prince, would probably be thought of as the queen poof.


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