Sunday, May 28, 2006

Models of Manhood

The third model of manhood that sticks out to me is the scholar. The scholar defines himself by at least one of the following: his SAT scores, his GPA, his college alma mater, and the last twenty, nay, thirty books he's read. He sniffs at the boyish conquests of the animal kingdom that characterize the sportsman. He has forgotten entirely how many points he scored in high school, unlike the jock, who can tell you by the game how many he scored. No, the scholar occupies a higher sphere, the realm of the mind. Many scholars do in fact practice an unconscious Platonism in which they devalue the body and exalt the mind. There's some good to the scholar's lifestyle--he certainly learns much and works hard on intellectual things. But he has a tendency to snobbery.

The fourth model of manhood is the normal guy. This is the guy who hasn't killed any moose in the last year, who didn't make even the junior varsity team, and who didn't take any AP classes. He plugged his way through school and now has a solid job. He works hard, maintains a close relationship with his family, and likes watching sports. Generally, this is the guy the beer commercial advertisers target. The normal guy is the least likely of the four to talk about himself and the most likely to dislike those who do. The normal guy usually votes red (Republican), likes slightly cheesy movies, and is the type to loan you a wrench when you need one. He's never going to push his way up the achievement charts, but neither will he cut you down as you try the same.

Next: more models of manhood.


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