Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Here's a nice little article on the death of the "macho man". Evidently, men all over the world (not China, though) are discovering that the men shouldn't be "men [add grunt here]". On first glance, this should be rather obvious considering the different routes the modern man has taken towards "maturity". But I guess I'm more concerned with the lack of specificity about "ought" and "is".

'Arnold Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone are being replaced by the 21st-century man who "no longer wants to be the family super-hero", but instead has the guts to be himself, to test his own limits.'

In this line, the writer finds the need to quote the concern about the family super-hero type of man, and then continues to talk about having guts in oneself and testing his own limits as though they just occur to him (ie he is emphasizing the merit instead of quoting some other guys who's beliefs are just his beliefs). Also, it seems to be making the rather odd assumption that a guy who "has the guts to be himself", which I always thought meant being the best me I can be, not just what comes most easily to me, will not turn out to be a family super-hero.

I guess my concerns are really two-fold.

1. Only the "super-hero" ideal deserves to be stereotyped in the ideal developed within the article. And as the article is meant to be presenting fact and not analysis, there is no attempt to think critically about the ideals, even though one is quite obviously preferred.

2. Being oneself has become incredibly ambiguous. There seems to be no standard that one is reaching out to grasp, but merely a static "me" who is not just who "I am", but who "I should be" as well. I describe this as static because although who "I am" might change, there is no looking towards that change. In other words, the person is accepting ignorance as a replacement for ought-ness. Eg "why should I be somebody else when I'm just being me?"

No comments:

Post a Comment