As I mentioned in my last post, before we dive into our series on spring trends and OD on fabulous femininity, I wanted to balance the equation with some masculinity.  Taking a couple of posts to cover a very interesting wave that's been coming ashore. The real men who seem to be making a comeback.  And it's fabulous.  Real women need real men.

It all started when I saw this Dockers advertisement.
  • Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. I love a man who knows how to wear his clothes, instead of them wearing him. Or trying to escape from him, as we'll discuss in another post.
  • Women rarely had to open doors... my husband is so good at this. Real women know it's a sign of respect.
  • ...and little old ladies never crossed the street alone.  I actually witnessed this several years ago.  I was in Manhattan for work, freezing my biscuits off the first week of December and hoofing it as fast as I could the two blocks to the MOMA to warm up for a few minutes.  A group of us left opposing corners at the same time and not far behind me was an old women working her way across the street.  It was incredibly windy and the couple of small grocery bags she was holding were whipping around furiously.  It was the plastic rustling sound behind me that caught my attention.  I turned to see what it was and saw a man who had passed me a moment ago stop, turn around, fall in step beside her and, while asking if he could help her, blocked the wind with his bag and coat.  I actually got teary-eyed.  He didn't wait for the long thank you I'm sure she would have delivered, he just saw her to the other side, where the buildings now offered wind protection, and took off again.  I yelled, "You're a stud!" and hoped he heard it.
  • Men took charge because that's what they did.  Do any of you follow Pioneer Woman's blog? I can so relate when she says that her husband taking charge makes her go weak in the knees. Her heart to go rapidly pitter-pat.  Does the same to me.  Makes me feel safe and secure.
  • But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men.  Gloria Steinem said, "Women need men like fish need a bicycle."  Excuse me while I gag.  I'm a firm believer that femininity needs masculinity in order to thrive. Yin and Yang.  Period.  I'm not saying you're nothing if you're not married, just that, if you're a woman, stop short of saying you need no men in your life.
  • Disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny.  I'm not a coffee drinker so I can't speak to the emasculating power of foam and I've never been to a "disco" but I do know that real men aren't afraid to dance.  They spin and dip their wives in the kitchen. They slip an arm around their girlfriends and sway a little in line at the theater. 
  • But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for.  When a girl wants to learn to be a woman, some of the best lessons will come from good men in her life.  How they'll help teach her to be respected and treated well.
  • The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. Even the sweetest children mount a full-frontal attack on a daily basis, as they test the boundaries and learn what they should and shouldn't do.  I think too many men have checked out of real parenting and even the strongest of moms will crumble over time, facing that onslaught day after day.  Everything is easier when you face it as a team.
  • For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes.  I have many male heroes in my life - my husband, father, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, and brothers-in-law - all of whom have risen to be heroes, both large and small, at a time when I needed them.
  • We need grown-ups.  I know a few guys who would rather play online games than help put the kids to bed.  NOT grown-ups.
  • We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. I love the image this line calls forth of the world as a damsel in distress, tied to the train tracks by a dastardly villain twirling a handlebar mustache. Too many of the good aspects in life are being held hostage today by villains. And while I don't know what's wrong with plastic forks, I do chuckle at how often I push the husband to eat salad.  For his health, of course!
  • It's time to get your hands dirty.  As an 80's child I am a lover of John Cusack movies.  Remember Say Anything?  I love the line from his best friend Corey, "Don't be a guy. The world is full of guys.  Be a man." And since I don't like to get dirty, yes, I prefer the man do it.
  • It's time to answer the call of manhood. I called Mr. Darcy (aka husband) and asked him how he would respond to this line in one brief sentence.  He was apparently feeling cheeky today, because he quickly answered, "It means turning the tide of the namby-pamby metro sexual trend and embracing our masculine nature.  Certain things are hard-wired in us and there's nothing wrong with that!" Well said, honey!
  • It's time to wear the pants.  Be they suit pants, overalls, chaps or even the Scottish version of pants (a kilt!)... WEAR THEM!  And wear them well. 

I hope this masculine wave that's resurging isn't a passing fancy.  Some critics blasted this ad as sexist - which is, I think, exactly the problem the ad addresses.  Nowhere in here did I feel slandered as a woman and there's nothing wrong with being a man.

Whether we know it (or admit it) or not, femininity is a huge part of a woman's style.  It is enhanced when it has the contrast of masculinity to play off.  Much like my clothing style, I really like the old-fashioned mixed with the new-fangled.  A man doesn't need to sit in his chair in the living room waiting for wifey-poo to bring him his dinner (we've all had a long day!) but it's great if he makes sure to always take out the trash, open her door, and fill her car with gas.  Or remember to walk into a dark theater first. Take her hand to help her exit  when wearing heels so she doesn't have to grab the dirty car. 
The little things make the man.  And we women benefit.


06/09/2010 17:03

Aaah, if only we had more men and fewer guys. I only wish perpetual adolescence were against the law.

06/09/2010 17:05

So true about perpetual adolescence, Lisa! They make laws against everything else - how has that one missed the list?

06/09/2010 17:06

Oh my word - couldn\'t agree more! There is nothing sexier than a chivalrous man and you can STILL be a feminist but be treated like a lady. They absolutely CAN co-exist and should!

Do you know of the song by Brad Paisley called \"I\'m Still a Guy\"? It\'s exactly about this. I love it!

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

06/09/2010 17:07

I love this post! There is nothing sexier than a Real Man. Whether he is sitting in front of the highchair feeding the baby, changing the oil in the car, or looking amazing in a suit for work. Awesome..........I just discovered you via The SITS Girls, I\'ll be checking back. (Thanks for your comment on my blog.)\
Wink ;)

06/09/2010 17:08

I soooo agree with this post. That's why I have a Feminine Friday meme. I feel that we have lost our femininity.

06/09/2010 17:09

I ADORE this post, and the ad...
I am sorry but I love a dirty man... my Man comes in from yard work, mowing the lawn, working on his dunebuggy... I love it! I love a manly man.
This I too hope is the wave of the future! It is a beautiful thing!

06/09/2010 17:10

ooh - I love that quote from Say Anything... wonderful! I agree - we need grownups & men who aren\'t afraid to be present. Coming by from SITS - so glad to have found you :)

06/09/2010 17:13

(stopping by from SITS)

Excellent post! I don\'t think a man has to be the work-with-his-hands type to be a Man, it\'s an attitude and an outlook. I\'ve dated all over the spectrum and am happy to be with a man who, sure, works with his brains and not his hands, but will totally rescue me from a spider in the kitchen :)

06/09/2010 17:13

Wow. So true. Thanks for sharing!!!

Working Mommy
06/09/2010 17:21

AMEN SISTAH!!! I couldn\'t have said it better myself! I usually have a difficult time accepting the fact that the man enjoys opening my door...I feel like - I\'m a woman, I can do it is nice to have that reminder that says - you can still be a woman while being a lady!

06/09/2010 17:24

I love that ad and I love a manly man. I like calloused hands from work and for a man to display strength. Forget those latte-drinkers!


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