Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Backlash Against Modest Men (and the Need to Stop Writing Trend Articles about Men)

Interesting -maybe we need to stop writing articles about the "new men," especially when no one seems to be getting it right.

The Backlash Against Modest Men

Nobody likes them.

Re: The Backlash Against Modest Men

Monday, August 2, 2010

Are men penalized for being modest? A team of researchers at Rutgers thinks so. They asked volunteers to watch taped job interviews and rate the male and female applicants, who gave similar “modest” answers to the questions. Who would the volunteers want to hire: the men or the women?

The researchers found that the men were judged to be equally competent but less liked than the women—by both males and females. Why? Because modesty, says Corinne Moss-Racusin, a doctoral student who led the study, is viewed as a sign of weakness and uncertainty in men, and these are considered “low status” traits. As she explains in a write-up of the study:

For men and women, there are things they must and must not be. Women must be communal and other-oriented, but they must not be dominant. Historically and cross-culturally, men have been stereotyped as more agentic, that is, more independent and self-focused than women.

Over at The Good Men Project, they've grown weary of all these articles on the "new masculinity" and would like to see an end to them.

New Masculinity Trend Pieces Must Die!

photo via Sydney Morning Herald

Americans aren’t the only ones being barraged by masculinity trend-pieces. Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story titled “The Age of the Gentleman,” which announces, “for a new generation of local Brisbane lads … it is the era of the Modern Day Gentleman,” or MDG, for short. Money quote:

He is chivalrous, but not patriarchal. He is well-groomed without being pretentious or dandy. He’ll open the door for someone—not because they’re female—but because it’s a nice thing to do. He doesn’t mind meeting his mates at the pub, but he has no qualms inquiring about the riesling.

Let that sink in for a minute … have you been too patriarchal lately? Well, that puts you behind the curve. In Australia.

But don’t worry too much, because, as a blogger for Pedestrian TV points out, the MDG “is completely fabricated for the purposes of this article.”

Thank you. If we’re going to generalize about the Modern Men, we should start by pointing out that we’re not that much different than we were last year. Or seven years ago, when trend pieces were telling us that we were metrosexuals. What’s so ridiculous about these attempts to define modern masculinity is that most men don’t model themselves after someone else’s idea of what they should be, and they certainly don’t follow the latest trends.

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