The satire prompted others to write their own “Real ________” pieces, including my contribution, a “Real Lancers” piece in my high school’s student newspaper, as well as Real Men Don’t Cook Quiche, Real Women Don’t Pump Gas, Real Pets Don’t Eat Leftovers, and Real Kids Don’t Say Please.
Thirty or so years later, the New York Times apparently found an actual stereotypical quiche-eater to write this, responded to in boldface by the writer of the Monster Hunter Nation blog, with creative expletives retained:
Being a modern man today is no different than it was a century ago. It’s all about adhering to principle. Sure, fashion, technology and architecture change over time, as do standards of etiquette, not to mention ways of carrying oneself in the public sphere. But the modern man will take the bits from the past that strike him as relevant and blend them with the stuff of today.
My sons, as you go through life you will learn that libprog rags like the NYT, Slate, and HuffPo usually start their bullshit articles with a paragraph that sounds all sorts of reasonable. Beware. It is a trick.
What follows is one dude’s bizarrely specific pronouncements, which range from preachy but passable, to full turnip. Now, if this jackass had just lived his life according to his own code, real men wouldn’t give a shit, but of course not… This is the New York Times, bastion of bullshit, which will not be content unless it is telling you how you’re living your life wrong.
1. 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.
Who the hell buys shoes for their wife? As you grow older you will learn that many women like to shop for clothing and shoes. No. I don’t understand it either. But as a manly man, your duty is to work and provide money to your woman, so that she may go and do this sort of thing if she wants.
As for knowing sizes, no. As children, your mother buys clothes for you. Right now your requests for her seem to be “Get a shirt with Deadpool on it” and that is good. But as men large of stature you will eventually purchase your own clothing from the Extra Large Casual Male Outlet or the Cabela’s Catalog.
For you who are descended from giants, you know man sizes starts at 2XL (or 3X if you need to carry your pistol concealed under an untucked shirt) and shoes sizes begin at 15, but unlike the wimpy New York Times reporter, manly men understand that all men are different, and we do not judge them, even if they shop in the children’s section.
As for knowing your woman’s sizes, no. Your mother owns like 40 pairs of running shoes. She doesn’t even know which brands run big or small, and she has a uterus.
2. The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.
This sounds like good advice, boys, but it is trickery. A real man assesses his situation and does what is best. A real man must know when to ask for help. You have had the opportunity to grow up around warriors, and some of them have experienced terrible things. Even these great men need help at times. Hiding depression leads to things like suck starting your 12 gauge.
3. The modern man is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.
Or you could just close your stupid face hole as you chew your food, you slack jawed idiot.
And by “ruckus” I’m guessing he wasn’t watching something like The Expendables, but rather he’s talking about the song and dance numbers on Mamma Mia.
4. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.
A real man lets other men eat what they want and isn’t a self-righteous prick about it.
But this talk of steak is just more trickery, sons. This is a Pajama Boy trying too hard to sound like a man, because steak is considered a manly food. Note that he spells filet wrong. That piece of meat isn’t fatty, and what kind of doofus burns a good piece of meat?
5. The modern man won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.
Again, a real man doesn’t care what other men do as long as it doesn’t infringe upon him.
In real life, park wherever you feel like. You will either spend time looking for a close space, or you will spend time walking from a far one. That is your decision to make.
6. 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.
No. That is their problem. If you fail to plug your crap in, and you run out of power tomorrow, then you’ll learn. If your father comes and bails you out every time you make a stupid little mistake, then you will never become accountable for your actions, and then you will grow up and make foolish choices, like becoming a New York Times reporter.
7. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.
Look, boys, nobody likes a bossy asshole. I like Coke the best, but since I’m not a pretentious dickweed, I don’t presume to speak for other men. The thing about “taste” is that it is subjective, and so can’t be wrong.
Besides, do you know what manner of man drinks Mountain Dew? Coal miners and Boyd Crowder. Men like your uncle Jack, who can bench press like 400 pounds because he pulls industrial electrical cables at construction sites all day, drink Mountain Dew. Do you truly believe that this effeminate, limp wristed, debutante could “show them the door”?
Also, Dr Pepper isn’t even a cola, idiot.
8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.
Yet “GET TO THE CHOPPA!” will always remain a thousand times cooler than anything this Pajama Boy ever says.
I am a bestselling novelist. Words are my profession. So I really hate the Word Police. Beware anyone who tells you what words you can, and can’t use. They only want to control you. That said, when you see somebody using the word “gauche” they’ll usually prove to be a pretentious dipshit.
9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.
I have daughters as well. I actually agree with this one.
Don’t worry. I’m sure he’ll fuck it up somehow.
10. Te modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.
Can’t the “modern man” afford a dishwasher?
Boys, as you are aware every family will have a division of labor known as chores. You will take your assignment and fulfill it to the best of your ability. Doing a half ass job is unacceptable. This Pajama Boy is bragging about merely not doing a half ass job. It is sad that he is so proud of this minor achievement that he felt the need to put it on this list.
11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.
I do not know what these words mean.
However, because each generation is more technologically savvy than the one that came before, I’m not going to presume to tell anyone else what they can and can’t do. That is naïve. That would be like your grandfather telling me not to “internets” or his father telling him that color TV is a fad.
12. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.
And Real Men have more important things to do than worry about how another man bathes himself.
I don’t care if you take all the little bits of soap and smoosh them together into a ball of mutant soap. I don’t even know what brand soap we have, because your mother buys it. The only time a real man cares about the bathing habits of another man, is if he smells bad, because then his stink is now intruding on your turf. Then you will inform him to get his shit together.
Besides, I’m betting this New York Times reporter smells of lilacs… and shame.
13. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.
Who is she?
Okay, seriously, yes, I do know who Wu-Tang Clan is, but only because of the Dave Chappelle Show.
Here’s the thing. In grown up life, nobody gives a flying fuck what you listen to, and only pretentious cock nozzles feel the need to judge others based upon their tastes. He could have changed that to Frank Sinatra, Pearl Jam, or Garth Brooks, and it would be just as pointless. Being a fan of something doesn’t make you inherently better than someone else. That’s hipster nonsense.
14. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.
No, really. You write it on a piece of paper, put it on your phone, scribble it on your hand with Sharpie, fly by the seat of your pants buying whatever you feel like, or your wife does the shopping… NOBODY GIVES A FUCK.
You sensing a trend yet, boys?
This guy is a symptom of a much bigger problem. People like to make themselves feel more important by telling other people that they are having Wrongfun. Judging others makes them feel special.
15. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.
Most real men have whatever flooring their wife wanted when they built their house, because we don’t care, because we’re working all day so don’t get to stand on it much. Or they have whatever flooring came with the house when they moved in, and eventually when they can afford to they’ll put in whatever flooring their wife wants, because they don’t care. Some men do care, and they can put in whatever floor they feel like. Good for them.
All of those men think this reporter is a douche.
I don’t even know what a Kenneth Cole is. I’m not sure what an oxford is, but from the context I believe it is a type of shoe. As a man who usually wears size 15 Danner boots, this is my Not Impressed Face.
16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.
This one sounds good, but as we go down the list you’ll see the reporter is completely full of shit again. His ability to fight off an intruder is as questionable as his understanding of manhood.
Plus, kids, your mom isn’t going to “get away” she’s going to go for her gun too.
17. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?
I’m picturing an Army Special Forces A-Team, somewhere in Afghanistan right now, questioning their manhood because of their complete lack of melon ballers.
My sons, when you grow up, if you want to uniformly shape cantaloupes, I will not judge you, but I will profoundly wonder where I went wrong.
18. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.
Hell, I’m surprised this fucker didn’t say what brand of shoehorn was mandatory!
19. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.
Boys, this is actually good advice. So I think we’re at 2 for 19. But since you both understand sports, you can see that he’s not doing well.
20. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down or vulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.
See? That’s the kind of bullshit that you just never need to know about another dude! This is just as bad as pontificating on what somebody else does in the shower.
But hang on. Isn’t this the same inconsistent twit who wrote #2?
Fuck it. Real talk time, boys. Women don’t respect pansies. Those who say they do are lying, and once they marry their sensitive little Pajama Boy, they will dream about actual manly men, who take care of business rather than fretting about melon ballers.
21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.
That is so insanely specific… What is this, Leviticus? But if thy daughter doth sneeze while eating a maple bar, though shall beat her with a rod!
22. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.
My kids were all like, what’s a newspaper? …
And next, half-naked? Which half? Are the neighbors going “Damn it, there’s that Lombardi asshole without his pants again!”
23. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).
I call bullshit on this one. This is a Pajama Boy trying too hard. The only thing he has on Blu-Ray is the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.
I like Michael Mann movies. I’m trying to think of a Michael Mann main character who wouldn’t call this reporter a pussy to his face. …
24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.
You are out of batteries because you were plugging in your kid’s shit in #6, you inconsistent spaz!
Now kids, listen carefully. If you’ve got a friggin’ clue, you know that a phone is just another tool, and if you’re going to carry the stupid thing around, you might as well have it charged, that way if you need it to call 911 after you see this Pajama Boy get beaten up for insulting Mountain Dew drinkers you’re ready.
25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.
This is probably the stupidest one in the whole bunch.
You have no use for the gun? What about in #16? Oh, that’s right. We’re dealing with a chickenshit talking out of his ass about a subject he doesn’t even begin to comprehend.
So, you’re going to fight off that intruder with what? Your shoe horn? Clue time, fuckwit, the kind of guy (let’s call him T-Bone) who invades your house in the middle of the night doesn’t give a shit about melon ballers. Uh oh! T-Bone drinks Mountain Dew. SHOW HIM THE DOOR. Only he spent time in prison learning how to fuck people up, and his idea of winning at Modern Manhood is being a pitcher rather than a catcher in the prison showers. What are you going to do to defend your wife and children now? Talk to him about your shared love for Wu-Tang? Show him your Kenneth Cole oxford collection?
No. T-Bone is going to hurt you in ways you can’t even imagine, and then you’re going to lie on your hardwood floor, bleeding, praying that your wife got to the phone in time so that a Real Men with guns might come and save your pathetic hipster ass.
Boys, the single most important responsibility of a man is to provide for the safety and well-being of his loved ones. Period. The gun is simply the single most effective tool to stop a violent aggressor. Real men understand that. Which is why I’ve also taught you, your sisters, and your mom to shoot, so if I go down, you still have a chance.
This bullshit modern man is a selfish, irresponsible child, banking on good intentions and wishful thinking to ward off evil. Only real evil simply does not give a shit about your good intentions.
26. The modern man cries. He cries often.
I’d cry too if T-Bone murdered my family because I was a useless sack of crap.
But wait… #2 is pretend everything is okay, but #26 is cry like a big baby.
To my sons, I’m not going to feed you a bunch of nonsense about how real men never cry, because I’ve seen some bad asses cry. But damn it, I try to save it for a good reason, like somebody died, or one of you did something that I’m ridiculously proud of. You’re overcome in a particularly spiritual or emotional moment, and you tear up? Great. I’ve known men far better than I who do that.
All that said, if you cry all the time like this doofus, then you’ll be seen as a loser, and if you’re lucky enough to trick a woman into marrying you, she will eventually cheat on you with the mail man, because at least he isn’t a wimp. Women don’t desire men who cry freely about wanting to be the little spoon.
27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.
How much you want to bet his jam is really “It’s Raining Men”?
If this is modern manhood, then I’m proud to be an old fashioned man.
One good thing about reaching the age I’ve reached is that the older you get, the more you can ignore others’ opinions of you, as well as opinions like Lombardi’s. (Assuming it wasn’t satire as well.)
I admit to not fitting Monster Hunter Nation’s stereotype of he-manness. I’m a hideously bad athlete and a poor shot. I am pretty inept with tools. (My abilities go up to assembling toys and Ikea furniture.) I do know how to cook and wash dishes and clothes. (Of course, MHN is an accountant and fiction writer, neither of which qualify as macho vocations.) To quote Bill Belichick, by now it is what it is.
One point in which Lombardi is completely wrong and MHN is completely correct is the gun issue. I’m always amused when I hear a Wisconsin liberal preface comments in favor of gun control by talking about his or her gun ownership or use. (Which is a rhetorical feint, but that’s a subject for another day.) I am unconvinced Lombardi is from the Midwest (he’s listed as living in DeKalb, Ill.), because Midwesterners hunt. With guns. And even if you’re not a hunter, the husband in a family must protect his family if a situation comes up by any means necessary — guns, knives, baseball bats, your own fists, whatever.
As for the rest, while Dr. Pepper is clearly not a cola and Mountain Dew is something you drink only to rot your insides, I agree more with MHN than Lombardi that most of the stuff on Lombardi’s list isn’t anyone else’s business. John Boehner is one of the most powerful politicians in the U.S. (for now), and apparently his personal waterworks flows for few apparent reasons.
Manhood is more about doing what you say you’re going to do, doing your work and other things well, and setting an appropriate example for your own children, your sons and daughters. (For one thing, children’s models of how they should treat their future spouses inevitably comes from their own parents, for better or worse.) I’d add knowing when to use, and not use, profanity is a helpful skill as well, which is why I don’t use it in this blog except when quoting others.