The New Man loves spending time with his children. It’s good for them to have a male role model. And it’s good for the New Man to have backup when he gets in a huge brawl with the other dads at a peewee football game.
The New Man keeps a tidy home. He washes dishes, sweeps floors and does laundry with nary a peep of complaint. So when he and his buddies destroy a hotel room in Vegas, the missis will have to write it off as an aberration.
The New Man, in other words, will never be completely free of the Old Man. He’ll be a nurse who enjoys an evening at the demolition derby, a stay-at-home dad who totally rules at Halo. He wants full equality for women, and he wants a Three Stooges marathon.
The Chicago Tribune ran a column a few weeks back on the “New Man,” which is probably someone who practices what Newsweek calls the “New Macho,” and which makes me say that we need a “New Name” for whatever is going on here.
Anyway, it’s a straight-up column that almost lost me a couple times – the assumed link between nurturing and chamomile tea made me nervous – and simply recapping months-old magazine articles is never good – but I think the author – John Keilman – gets it very right in the end:
Exactly. We’re talking about an evolving masculinity here. It does not have to be what came before, it does not mean we all become more feminine. It means there will be a new mix.
What I really like is the Vegas bit. Not that I destroy Vegas hotel rooms and not that my wife hassles me about anything, really, but men just have to see the cover they would gain from taking more responsibility.
It is a boon of equality – the credit you have to be self-indulgent (within bounds) – and not get punished for it.
I would say that is worth packing the snack bag, changing some diapers and leaving work 30 minutes early.