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manly is as manly does

The New York Times' Walter Kirn very amusingly reviews Harvey Mansfield's anti-feminist tome Manliness. This line made me laugh out loud:
After a section on the history of "the great explosion of manliness that took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries"(an image that gives even me, a straight man, erotic chills)....

daegaer, I think you have to read this book.

The NY Times also recently featured an interview with the goonish Mansfield. The interviewer Deborah Solomon is frankly amazed by her subject's old fashioned sexism, at one stage remarking "I am beginning to wonder if you have ever spoken to a woman.". I loved the last few exchanges:
Solomon: Yes, but fewer jobs depend on that sort of physical brawn as society becomes more technologically adept. Physical advantages are practically meaningless now that men are no longer hunter-gatherers.

Mansfield: I disagree with that.

When was the last time you did something that required physical strength?

It's true that nothing in my career requires physical strength, but in my relations with women, yes.

Such as?

Lifting things, opening things. My wife is quite small.

What do you lift?

Furniture. Not every night, but routinely.

Now we know what lies at the heart of masculinity - routine furniture lifting!

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
drcopernicus
Mar. 21st, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Classic. What a knob! Kevin Myers is probably logging onto Amazon to buy the guy's book right now. Cruiskeen Eile has identified Kevin's project as nothing less than the renormalisation of the notion of patriarchy, especially in its Edwardian, chauvinist, imperial iteration, you know like in Lord Baden Powell's little book for cub scouts.
stellanova
Mar. 21st, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
I'm sure this book will become the Colonel's new bible - it certainly suits his somewhat archaic view of gender roles (and I'm sure he can take lift furniture with the best of them). But would he dare to cite that woman of easy virtue Mandy Rice-Davies as an example of feminine wit? I have sneaking suspicion that she might have produced a (gasp) bastard baby in the past....
stellanova
Mar. 21st, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
Actually, when I looked at my "feminist mafia"-tagged entries, I discovered a few rants about the Colonel from my archives - including a time when he actually exhausted my ranting abilities. This is why I like reading Cruiskeen Eile - I can read a sort of pre-snarked version of the Colonel's vile ravings, and don't have to raise my blood pressure by reading the originals.
cloud_hands
Mar. 21st, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
Furniture? I thought we were keeping them around to open jars.
theodicy
Mar. 21st, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)
As usual for this millennium, THE ONION has prepared me for RL.
stellanova
Mar. 21st, 2006 10:19 am (UTC)
What with this and the crazy old white lady reminding black Americans that they should be grateful for slavery, the press is becoming more Onion-ish by the day...
theodicy
Mar. 21st, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)
Honey, you need to move HERE. :shakes head:

Naw, just kidding.
glitterboy1
Mar. 21st, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
The thought of the great explosion of manliness is making my brain hurt.

Can he hear himself? Clearly not.
clanwilliam
Mar. 21st, 2006 11:24 am (UTC)
*weeps with laughter*

Personally, I keep my man around to go and investigate those strange noises downstairs in the middle of the night that sound *exactly* like a demented serial killer breaking in.
oddcellist
Mar. 21st, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. The best part is that lots of people go to his lectures and come out and are all like, "That was revelatory, I love Mansfield!" without a trace of irony. And sometimes I just want to shake them and go, "what world are you living in?" But no, because that wouldn't be productive. Also, because I apparently eat babies and that might scare them.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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