After many misadventures in the realm of the heart, I have decided to stop and ponder some of the many questions that life throws at me. For the purpose of this article I have decided to concentrate on what I and my fellow man should strive be like in the present day and age. Now I have to admit that I don’t really remember the seventies because I was a bit too young to appreciate them properly but, nevertheless, I remember the eighties vividly, and I’m sure we all know what was happening in the nineties. I think that the problem for most men today is how those two decades differed so much in what they expected from a man.
Now during the eighties the media bombarded us with images of the masculine, muscular man, from Rocky and Rambo to Schwarzenegger’s Terminator. And if one were looking for a more sophisticated breed of man, one could always turn to James Bond with his legion of Octopusys and Pussy Galores; a man who saved the world and charmed at least four women per film, caring nothing for their feelings. Even cartoons were violent: instead of the Teletubbies we had He-Man. The political atmosphere of the world was one of strife, with Star Wars becoming a reality under the inauspicious eyes of Ronald Reagan, Iraq and Iran fighting a devastating war, Afghanistan fighting a deadly conflict against the USSR, and the Cold War at its height. The man that was expected then was the classic strong, silent type; a man who didn’t divulge his feelings and a man who wasn’t worried about the trivialities that concerned the fairer sex.
Then came the nineties; a decade that was to revolutionise Man and prepare him for the millennium. All of a sudden, men had to care about their looks, had to confront the child within, had to be sensitive and to be caring. This coincided with the change that women were undergoing, taking up traditionally male roles, becoming more prominent in politics, business, and eventually in relationships.
Back to the point, the man of the nineties was in complete contrast to his counterpart of the preceding decade. This change can be seen most noticeably with the shifting characteristics of the nineties male role models. Yet again I ask you to look to James Bond as he is now portrayed by Pierce Brosnan. In comparison to his predecessors, Sean Connery and Roger Moore, Pierce is weedy and weak. He actually cares as much about the feelings and well-being of his lovers as he does for the future of mankind which needs be saved from one arch-villain or another. What sort of hero is that?!
Now I am left at an impasse. Am I to be the tall, tough stranger whom I was raised to emulate, or am I to be a new age sensitive man who reads men’s magazines looking for the “in” haircut as worn by Brad Pitt. Well, women tell me that the women of the new millennium want a mixture of the two types. They want a gentle Rambo; a man who could protect them, but leaves to them the decision of when to do so. They want a poet with the heart of a warrior. Well, you can’t really be a mix. The truth is ladies, most men are either one… or the other. Wouldn’t you agree?