The Decline of Manliness: Downfall & Revival(also known as help me with finding sources)

Hello AoM, 

I'm not going to delve into the subject of how Manliness died, but I do want to spread the word on how it was dying and is now reviving. Fellow men, and young men in the journey to become men, I need some help finding sources for a speech I'm  going to present.

I was largely influenced by Brett's performance at Ignite Tulsa, and I wanted to emulate that somehow. Today, I was given the privilege by my professor to present a speech on "Cultural Awareness" that is due within two weeks. He wouldn't mind if I delved into subcultures, so I wanted to do something different and difficult. I want to tell how Manliness isn't necessarily wrong. Before I discovered AoM, I believed manliness to be only what I found in media and magazines. These were buff, burly men who acted like jerks and had sex everywhere they went, gathering the women as a farmer does with wheat. I wasn't a jerk, but I believed there was a change in the way men were. Now, I know there is an alternative to this a. I have pledged to being counter-cultural, and help spread how to be a better person through becoming a real man. A man of strength, virtue, and intelligence.

Of course a man must help himself before asking others for help, so I have already found some sources myself:

And what has been a real great help, was studying speeches of other men. I had Brett's Manvotionals with me a few months ago, but I lost it. But the words of MLK and William Ernest Henley have stayed with me, even now. Pericles' funeral speech was a big booster of support for me. If anyone else has a problem with making speeches, look to other men who made great speeches.

However, there are many variables that prevent me from actually doing this:

1.) There are a lot of girls in this class. In my Speech class, there is a 2:3 ratio of young, bright young women to men who dream of a future for themselves. How bad would it be if I came into class with my ideas of reviving "manliness" in their faces? Of course I attempt to be polite daily to both genders, but the results seem unpredictable right now as I sort through what could happen. Maybe they'll raise their standards for the men they date, hopefully.

2.) I am a giant square. I try to be chaste, I never try to use coarse language, and I read books all the time. Now I will be a bigger square by presenting this speech. I shouldn't care about what others think, but someone has to think about their standing with the other students and professors. 

3.) I'm very guilty of being both the metrosexual and man-boy that Brett presents in the video. I enjoy buying fashionable clothing, and I do play video games. In fact, I am soon to buy a custom computer on which that I can make mods for PC games. But I know my limits, and I never try to spend what I cannot afford by being frugal nor do I frequently play video games from dusk-til-dawn inside my room. I also try to believe there is a manly way to game but that's an entirely different discussion for another day if I manage to get there.

So please, could you help a young student? Are there any other articles, or books from the library that I can read to cite as a source? Are there any other speeches that can I study? Thank you for reading.

tl;dr version: I have a speech due in two weeks about the decline of manliness. Could you help me find sources, please? 

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Chivalry Today

I don't know. Do you want to angle more towards the scientific, such as the declining levels of testosterone in Men and the lowering sperm count, do you want to lean towards the socioeconomics, such as the loss of skills sets among Men as our society has moved out of the country and into the cities along with it's corresponding loss of reverence for Women and the increasing fragility of the economic base as we become more dependent on essentially non productive service oriented work, Do you want to lean towards issues of gender roles, what?

Thank you for the link.

Edit: What I meant to add, was that I just wanted a very rounded view on the decline of manliness. The socioeconomic aspect behind the fall piqued my interests, and i you would I would like to know more about that.

Again, thank you for the link. Chivalry is just as important to me as becoming a man. 

How does 'loss of skill sets' correspond to 'loss of reverence for women'? (Also why do you capitalize women? They're human beings like the rest of us).

Speaking from personal experience, I know far more misogynistic blue collar folks (those presumably with the skill sets whose loss you lament) than service sector folks. Ultimately I think there is no correspondence so I submit that you are wrong.

1. It would be a possible progression from blurred gender roles. Men don't reverence women because men are doing women's jobs, and vice versa. Familiarity (with the work) breeds contempt.

2. He's studied too much German. He did capitalize "Men" too.

Thank you Ma'am. 

 Yea, purtty much what she said. 

The economic aspect is also one to look at - Men have been hit harder by recessions and off-shoring as manufacturing was a male dominated industry. The move to families requiring 2 incomes also led to a man's role being less defined.

I think the cultural aspect is worth looking at too - I think the whole nice guy/friendzone phenomenon is a product of people having a distorted view of relationships and not seeing real role models.

Of course, some look at the baby boomer generation is probably essential too as this is the generation which has in social and economic terms been dealt the winning hand. They've had a huge influence and it's the children who they've brought up who are the current young men and women.

For your research

Really the question is about the rise of feminism and men's interaction with that movement.  The radical feminists told men to step aside, hop an the couch and do nothing.

Moderate Feminists of which I count my self as, tend toward the goal of equality between the sexes with the tasks/roles divided to he most capable person.  This is at work and at home.  You see stay at home dads or one partner is the cook etc. 

The problem with the radical feminists especially and feminism in general is that it disrupts the easy default roles.  This means that one has to think about it more.  

Also I think the cult of casual may be dieing down.  People are rediscovering the joy of looking good, and being responsible.  They don't want to laze about, they want to be in the moment not just let it pass by. 

The problem with the radical feminists especially and feminism in general is that it disrupts the easy default roles.  

Are those the "easy default roles" or are they man-made (emphasis on man) constructs that artificially define our roles? Sure a woman can breast feed and I cannot, but that doesn't mean I can't be nurturing or that my wife can't earn the bigger paycheck.

This means that one has to think about it more.

Oh man, let's avoid that hard thinking if we can. Derrpppp.

I was reading about one example yesterday of the "easy default roles." A wife was slightly younger and was in a lower-paid profession than her husband. When the household had to choose who would work more hours to bring in income, and who would take on more of the chores, there was a "default" answer. And it would become more and more so the longer the couple gave in - She'd work fewer hours over her career, get fewer promotions/raises, forever earn significantly less, and the cycle repeats.

The hard thinking for us as a society is what of this we can change and what we should change. Here I think about statistics from Europe showing that women don't want to work as many hours as men, even when policies are put in place to make it easy, such as free or subsidized childcare, even cash incentives for hiring women.

Returning to my example, should we rethink pay scales to make the salaries of "traditionally female" jobs closer or equal to those of "traditionally male" jobs? Should we require both parents to take some form of parental leave, which evens out issues about childbirth and breast feeding? And for individuals, perhaps career fulfillment for the materfamilias is more important than just the money issues, and the couple should make life decisions accordingly.

In preparation for marriage  my wife and I discussed who's carrier we would follow.  The answer was whoever was earning the most.  I also said that I would follow my wife but that it would be a mental adjustment because I was raised to be the bread winner.  It is the social role I was expected to assume.

Later in our marriage, my wife and I discussed multiple kids and I did calculate the cross over point where it would be cost effective for one of use to stay home.  Life is a juggle of balancing factors.  She wants a career out side the home.  Have greater earnings, together we make enough to live the life we wish to live and provide the foundations for our son.

It is all balance

The issues I'm raising are whether society, through changing attitudes and/or laws, should radically change the balance. The cross-over point is way different if childcare is free. The fulfillment considerations change when more people work from home, i.e., the work opportunities for stay-at-home parents aren't considered "side jobs" but very respected careers. And, again, which parent earns more would change if we reevaluated professional pay scales.

While your choices are about the norm, there are also families that decide one parent values work more than the other, apart from the money involved, and so the family takes an income cut to support that career. In societies with less income diversity, I'm guessing there's less juggling.


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