Mike Rowe Compares The "Modern Man" And "Man's Man"

The derision heaped upon the New York Times for their piece on what it means to be a “Modern Man” was well deserved seeing as it described an emasculated man that no woman would want to have in her life as anything but a friend. (I can't speak for Third Wave Feminists, but I have a feeling even they would not be inclined to have such a wimp in their lives because 'he' isn't really male despite having a 'Y' chromosome.)

As much as I wish I could have had the time to do a thorough fisking of the the NYT piece, I find that Mike Rowe has done a far better job of it than I could.

A few of my favorite excerpts:

New York Times: When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.
Mike Rowe: A Man’s Man would not buy shoes for his spouse, or be familiar with the vagaries of various female footwear brands. He might offer to pay for them, and he would definitely compliment her choice. And if he knows the size of her feet, it’s only because he rubs them from time to time.

NYT: The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.
MR: A Man’s Man feels no shame in admitting uncertainty, because he knows that doing so will make him more certain. He’s transparent about his flaws and shortcomings, and makes no attempt to be more secure or knowledgeable or competent than he actually is.

NYT: Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.
MR: A Man’s Man knows that self-reliance is born of experience. He encourages his kids to look after their own stuff, and suffer the consequences when they do not. The wife is another matter.

This last one is something all kids should learn. It is something both his mother and I have instilled in BeezleBub from the get go. Does he still forget to take care of things now and then? Sure, but he doesn't do it nearly as often as he did when he was younger and he rarely makes that mistake twice. That's sign he's grown up.


NYT: The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.
MR: A Man’s Man is less worried about using the right word, and more concerned with being understood. But under no circumstance, does he “dumb down” the language.

I have always disliked it when people dumb down their language because they think we won't or can't understand. When they go too far it's condescending and doesn't win them any friends. While I won't often use terms, phrases, or slang that someone not in my line of work would have no way of understanding, I will put them into plain English that, even if they don't fully understand, won't leave them feeling ignorant. That isn't dumbing down the language. That's courtesy.

A few more:

NYT: The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.
MR: A Man’s Man prefers his gas tank full, his weapon loaded, his pantry stocked, and his checkbook balanced. He also likes his phone sufficiently charged, and takes the necessary steps to accomplish that.

NYT: The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.
MR: A Man’s Man owns at least one firearm. He knows how to use it, clean it, and store it properly. He understands it’s importance, and sees it for what it is - a tool that can protect him and his family.

That last one almost had me cringing, but Mike explained the reality well enough. Then again I had to force myself to remember that the Modern Man more than likely lives in a high rise with a doorman and armed security guards. A Man's Man lives where he wants, more often far away from anywhere the Modern Man lives, and he doesn't depend upon someone else he doesn't know to defend him and his family from criminal miscreants. A Man's Man also makes sure his missus and kids learn how to handle firearms and use them properly.

Mike has the right of it.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.