A bunch of people sent me the link to this article. I think it’s because I’ve got something of rep for fisking this kind of goofy, metrosexual, try-hard, male-feminist, gibberish. It all started years ago, when the New York Times wrote this article about how to be a Modern Man http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/10/02/fisking-the-new-york-times-modern-man/
This article is just as vapidly useless, but thankfully has less bullet points.
Here is the link to the original article from a site called “Ask Men” (which from this would appear to be an unfortunate misnomer) https://uk.askmen.com/entertainment/austin/obsolete-man-skills-you-should-ditch.html but you don’t need to give them any clicks (it’ll just encourage them to write more crap like this) because I cut and pasted all of it here. As usual the original article is in italics, and my comments are in bold.
Obsolete Man Skills You Should Ditch
7 Obsolete ‘Manly’ Skills and What to Replace Them With
A click bait title, by:
Who I bet owns a troubling number of waifu pillows…
Approximately 29,000 of those shares were guys making fun of it. How do I know this? I think I was tagged in most of them.
When you picture a manly man — a guy who every guy wants to be — you’re often picturing someone pretty rugged. Since strength and success are so intertwined with masculinity, a man’s man has to be someone who’s good at things and unlikely to fail or fall short.
Right out the gate you can tell that this is going to be one of those weepy projection laden articles that tells you a whole lot more about the author’s issues and hang ups than it does the topic it is supposedly covering.
In other words, in the popular imagination, a man has to possess skills in order to be a real man.
Well if you don’t possess some skills, then you’re basically a useless lump of protoplasm, taking up space and breathing my valuable oxygen.
Not just any skills will do, however.
And here we get to the part where Ian got picked on as a kid, and still has a chip on his shoulder about it.
We know this because, frankly, some skills are openly mocked. You could be the world’s best crossword puzzle solver and be made fun of by a mediocre car mechanic for being a geek. You could be the world’s best opera singer, and get razzed by a middling boxer for your high-pitched voice.
First, I’m assuming this evil mechanic/boxer is imaginary. But if you’re an actual man, you won’t give a shit that some chump thinks you are having fun wrong.
Some skills just aren’t considered very manly.
Well, that’s because they’re not stereotypical “manly” skillsets. However, real men don’t give a shit what others think about them.
To put this in perspective, I’m a 6’5”, 275 pound, farm boy, competitive shooter, who loves lifting weights and punching things. Stereotypical manly stuff right? Oh, but wait. I write fantasy novels for a living, and my hobbies include role playing games, and painting tiny metal dudes for war games. Ooooh, so unmanly. (you think doing crosswords makes you a “geek”, bitch please, get back to me after you’re the guest of honor at a science fiction convention)
But wait. Let me check to see if I care about some random dipshit’s opinion of my man card… Nope. Still out of fucks to give.
And that is the essence of real manliness.
The skills men aspire to are the Man Skills, an ability to solve real-world problems, often involving physical strength or technical know-how, rather than creativity or emotional intelligence.
It isn’t an either or, doofus. Physical strength and creativity are not mutually exclusive. One of my best friends is an award winning poet who did strong man competitions. He can bend heavy duty nails with his bare hands and then write a haiku about it.
What we’ve got here is Ian projecting. He sucks at one side of things, so he’s trying to dismiss that side as bad, dumb, or obsolete. That’s chicken shit. It is just the mirror version of the judgmental men he’s whining about.
Unfortunately, however, as the technology in our lives shifts from analog to digital and from a luxury to a necessity, a lot of the traditional Man Skills are lessening in importance.
That there is called wishful thinking.
What that means is guys still care about being good at things that have no (or little) practical usage today, while ignoring the growing importance of developing experience and comfort with new types of skill sets.
So everything Ian sucks at is bad, while everything Ian likes is good. He’s basically the same as Evil Mechanic/Boxer, only more self-righteously smug about it.
Now, if you want to stay focused on being the coolest guy ever circa the 20th century, knock yourself out!
Ian lacks the upper body strength to knock himself out.
Nobody can make you respect 21st century manliness if you don’t want to.
Yeah, if this crap is 21st century manliness, my lack of respect is the least of your problems.
But if you’re at all interested in being ahead of the curve and exploring how to be the kind of man who’s tops
-I’m not thinking Ian’s on top much
in the near future rather than the distant past, then read on to discover which skills are becoming obsolete, and what you should be looking to replace them with.
Oh fucking goody.
Hunting was a hugely important skill for much of human history,
It still is in many places for sustenance, but I’ll get into the cultural and conservation reasons for the first world shortly.
but in light of the rise of cheap and readily available factory-farmed meat,
A subject I’m betting Ian knows fuck all about
hunting’s relationship to the food we actually eat has disappeared for the overwhelming majority of the population.
That’s actually part of the problem. Smug fucks like you are disconnected from the stark realities of where your food comes from. You buy a neatly wrapped package of meat from your Upper East Side deli, after a guy like me raised the animal, another guy took it to the slaughter house, and another guy hit in the brain with a pneumatic hammer, so that another guy could hang it up and chop it into neat pieces for your convenience.
Having hunted a lot, mostly pest control on the farm, and having raised a lot of cows so that smug urbanites like Ian don’t starve, it’s still killing animals. Hunting or farming, same difference. Just one is more efficient. But at the end of the day there’s still some dude covered in blood with a big ass knife chopping up a dead thing.
Deal with it, crybaby.
If you grew up in a rural area, there’s a good chance you learned to shoot game at some point, but as much as many contemporary guys fantasise about being able to kill a wild animal and eat it (Mark Zuckerberg, anyone?), particularly if you live in a big city, there’s really not much real-world benefit to that glorification.
Holy shit, that is so incredibly profoundly smug and ignorant I’m actually impressed. Yes. Particularly if you live in a big city, you are distant and detached from the nasty, brutish, and short circle of life. That doesn’t make the killing and butchering obsolete, it just makes you sheltered.
As for hunting, it is a necessary part of wild life management. In places where morons like you manage to get it banned as barbarically obsolete, within a few years the state is paying absurd sums of tax money to have deer tranquilized and neutered, because too many suburbanites are smacking them with their cars.
Also hunting pays for most of the conservation efforts on the planet. You might not like that fact, but deal with it, crybaby.
Instead, Learn How to Cook for Yourself
Which just shows how sheltered Ian is, because most hunters I know do know how to cook. Elk is friggin’ delicious. It’s like shooting a cow.
Meanwhile, the average millennial man is probably more adept at ordering dinner online than actually making it, which is too bad.
Well, at least Ian is an equal opportunity judgmental bitch.
Cooking your own meals is a lot of fun, generally cheaper than eating out or ordering in, and typically healthier, too. It’s also something that, while it may seem impossible to a beginner, is actually not as complicated as it seems. Join a cooking class — or even watch some YouTube how-tos or try a meal kit delivery service — and you might be surprised at how handy you become in the kitchen. And yes, it will impress people.
Oh my gosh, I actually agree with something Ian said! Here’s an article where I fisked another self-righteous urban liberal who claimed poor people were too stupid to cook http://monsterhunternation.com/2018/02/12/fisking-the-stop-telling-poor-people-to-cook-doofus-with-special-guest-my-mom/
The problem isn’t that cooking is a useful skill. It’s a great. The problem is that Ian is trying to say one useful skill is garbage, while another useful skill is great.
It’s a pretty common conception that at the root of every male confrontation is the possibility of physical violence.
If by “common conception” you mean what we’ve learned from all of human history and human nature, no shit, Sherlock.
Road rage incidents, bar standoffs, most guys have found themselves in a situation that felt like a prelude to fisticuffs.
That’s because whether you like it or not the world has many violent, predatory assholes in it.
And in a violent dog-eat-dog world, there’s a certain logic to that approach.
There is a great deal of logic to it, unless you have a magic wand that can make murder vanish. In the meantime you can either be prepared to defend yourself or you can just be a victim.
But how many of those situations actually evolve into a fight?
Trust me. One is enough.
And why should any of them?
Because the other asshole gets a vote too.
Physical fighting literally doesn’t solve anything — it just leaves people angry and bruised, or worse.
BULL-FUCKING-SHIT. That is some sheltered, Pollyanna, Kumbaya singing, wishful thinking, delusional nonsense right there. That attitude is the most “white privilege”, ivory tower, I Live In A Gated Community, nonsense I know of. And I think the very concept of “white privilege” is idiotic, but if it exists, it’s that shit right there.
There are evil people in the world. And I’m not talking about the car mechanic who called Ian a sissy. There are murderers, rapists, terrorists, and people who want to hurt you just because it makes them happy to see you bleed. In addition to those actual evil people, you’ve got morons, who sometimes do stupid shit that gets out of control.
People who claim violence never solve anything are profoundly, painfully ignorant of the world. Violence solves lots of things. It doesn’t solve them pretty, but it solves them.
Bad things happen. Period. You might win the lottery and never have a violent encounter in your life. But if you do, then having some measure of knowledge and skill to keep from having your skull caved in is mighty handy.
Instead, Learn How to Mediate
Problem-solving with an eye to compromise and healthy conflict resolution is something that, by and large, men just aren’t taught growing up.
An absolute lie.
I grew up rural poor, surrounded by men with what the APA would surely say are guilty of “toxic masculinity”, and though we learned to fight, we ALSO learned how not to. And it mattered MORE, because we were dealing with strong people who could really fuck you up when it mattered.
That’s one of the reasons many of us are so quick to start swinging or shoving rather than handling things with our words.
Ian is projecting.
In reality, guys who know how to really fight, also know how badly injured the human body can be by a proper strike to the head, or a bad fall. And so we tend to avoid pointless conflict.
But if we start thinking that the real loss isn’t losing (or walking away from) a fight, but rather getting into one in the first place, what would we really lose?
You’d lose your life if an actual evil person decides to take it from you.
The old-world caveman mentality of brute force’s dominance is dying out.
I’m betting Ian don’t get out of his gated community much.
If you’re someone who can work through a confrontation without needing to beat the other person into submission — physically, verbally or emotionally — you’ll see it pay off in your close personal relationships, too. Next time things start getting heated, try recognising that you’re angry and trying to engage the other person with your words (or just walking away).
That is so naïve it makes me want to puke. It assumes that violence only occurs between frat boys and strutting peacocks. Ask any bouncer what really happens, is some hipster like Ian who talks a big game about non-violent conflict resolution gets one too many appletinis in him and starts a slap fight with some dude in a Tap Out shirt because he looks like the football player who gave him a swirly in middle school, and then gets knocked the fuck out. So in their super limited experience fighting can only be about dick measuring and egos (which in Ian’s case, I’m betting small and huge, in that order).
In reality, violence exists on a broad and complex spectrum, where knowing how to deescalate or avoid is vital AND knowing what to do when you can’t is even more so.
I was a concealed weapons instructor for many years. I taught people to shoot people, but I spent more time on all the reasons not to shoot people and how to avoid having to. The shooting was saved for when you didn’t have any other choice.
I’m a big guy who works an 80 pound heavy bag for fun, but I still carry pepper spray, because that’s just another intermediate level tool in the tool box. Only a fool would think about a terribly complicated and dangerous situation and want to face it with FEWER tools.
- Repairing Your Car
In the popular imagination, the greasy car mechanic wiping his sweaty brow as he peers into your car hood is always a guy.
Well that would probably be because 98% of car mechanics are male. (thanks cursory google search)
Concordantly, the idea that a car is a guy thing and a guy should be able to fix his car as a result is something that’s pretty ingrained in our cultural beliefs.
Well, and the fact that 98% of the people who do it are guys, so…
But as cars shift from analog behemoths
I bet Ian drives a Prius or a Leaf… Any takers?
to digital devices, some of the basic functionality in your car is now completely out of the fixing range of even the handiest of men.
Again, it’s complicated, and that would depend entirely on what needs fixing.
Not to mention that increasingly, electric cars, public transit, and cycling are becoming more attractive options for environmental reasons, and ride-sharing or car-sharing services mean the link between being in a car and being responsible for its functioning is as tenuous as it’s ever been.
And that last bit is just Ian once again crowing about how he is an elite urbanite, and not one of you poor dumb rednecks out in flyover country. Cars are so passé. You should be glad to be packed like sardines into a filthy, graffiti covered tube that stinks of vomit and urine.
My career has required me to travel to a lot of big cities, where I’ve done the subway/train/taxi/bus thing. The last time I was in London (which is shockingly clean compared to New York, but still shit) I had to stand next to two drunken Brits loudly sucking on each other’s faces, and the locals were shocked because I kept standing up to offer my seat to boarding women—which is apparently one of those “obsolete male” things over there—but which impressed the hell out of the women.
Anybody who thinks riding the subway is better than having the freedom to just go where you want, when you want, in your personally owned vehicle has Stockholm Syndrome.
Instead, Learn How to Code
What the fucking fuck? I know he’s big on the false Either-Or, but it’s either change a tire or LEARN TO CODE? Couldn’t he have at least kept it kind of transport related? Like learn to cycle? Or learn how to avoid catching hepatitis from a subway car?
The 20th century mythos of the car as a vehicle that gave you freedom — to cross great distances, to discover new things, to leave your past behind — is perhaps now more accurately applied to the internet.
Ha! Oh man, that is pathetic. 😀 Seriously, go back and read that line out loud and tell me it doesn’t make you sound like a weenie.
There’s a pretty good chance you spend more time online these days than driving (ideally not at the same time, though), but the average person probably has little idea how any of the internet actually functions, let alone how to build a website or make an app.
Just like you don’t need to understand every part of the internal combustion engine to use a car, you don’t need to be certified in C++ and Java to use the internet.
Considering the way the economy is increasingly shifting toward the digital, having at least a solid grounding in what makes the internet tick is a good idea generally.
Honestly, considering why most businesses fail you’d probably be way better off taking Accounting 201.
There are a lot of free or cheap how-to coursesdesigned to help you learn how to code these days. Give one a try and see if it doesn’t come more in handy than learning to replace the alternator.
Sigh… There’s nothing wrong with learning basic coding, nor is there anything wrong with learning basic car maintenance and repair. What kind of pathetic shit weasel has to denigrate one skill set in order to fluff up his own?
I’m not very good at either car repair or computers. Which is fine. A real man’s self-esteem isn’t damaged by there being someone out there better than him at something. But I suppose if I was a whiny little bitch like Ian, I’d say instead of learning to code, you should become a rich and successful bestselling novelist. Fair’s fair.
But seriously, you should at least learn how to change a tire, or you’re useless. And that’s not even a male thing. My daughters know how to change a tire. It’s not that complicated.
- Fixing Things at Home
Power tools are such a de facto man thing that you’d be hard-pressed to find examples of women using them in most movies or TV shows. Men just are the mechanics of the world, right?
Yes, because movies are just filled with dramatic scenes of people sawing.
As with car maintenance, however, the idea that a man owns his house and should therefore know how to take care of it is increasingly an outdated concept.
This is basically Ian’s way of saying that because he is trash at something, that particular skill must not be useful for anyone. Home repair is a very useful skill for anyone who wants to save money.
With most millennials having no real shot at home-ownership,
Bullshit. Get out of the city sometime, you twit.
there’s a good chance your landlord will be the one in charge of fixing anything that goes wrong in your place — or, more likely, paying someone else to.
Snort. My wife is way better at home repair than I am. I learned to do what I needed to do because of necessity (comes with being poor!) but I don’t like it. My wife actually really enjoys it. And I’m not talking about basic repairs either, she’s finished a basement, can build furniture, and likes to lay tile. She mostly calls me when she needs heavy lifting.
Repair isn’t a manly skill as much as it’s a basic human skill, just far more men tend to do it for a living so they’ve got the knowledge. In this case my wife is good at it, so I don’t have to be. But since Ian is probably one of those Male Feminist Allies trying desperately to get laid by yelling about how evil men are on Twitter, the idea of a strong female equal partner probably frightens him.
Real men think that’s bad ass, because laying tile is a pain.
Instead, Learn How to Decorate
Oh you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
It’s a sort of running gag in contemporary culture that women put a lot of effort into decorating their homes and filling them with the basic household necessities while men, well, sleep on a mattress lying on the floor.
While it’s not as cut-and-dried as that, the average guy probably has some catching up to do with regards to interior design.
Again, if the dude is happy to sleep on a mattress on the floor, why is it any of your business?
It’s not something that women are innately better at, after all; it’s something that you can make serious strides in by committing yourself to.
Why would they want to? Quit telling people they’re having fun wrong.
If you have the time and/or the money, investing in how your space looks, feels, and functions can really change how you feel about the space (and how any potential dates you bring home feel about it).
If you spend that much time and money decorating your apartment, no wonder you can’t afford a house.
- Being a Leader
For much of human history, patriarchal societies meant women were expected to stay home and raise children, and men were expected to run everything else. Meaning, while there’s a good chance your mom wasn’t a CEO, your grandmother almost certainly wasn’t.
No offense, Ian, but I’m not going to take a history lesson from someone who claims violence never solved anything.
Not to mention that lead in doesn’t make any sense. More women are in leadership now than in the past… which shows that leadership is important. That’s ass backwards to the point you are trying to make. This shit right here is why morons should leave the writing to us professionals.
But in today’s world, the notion that a man will or must be a leader is increasingly vanishing.
No. It isn’t.
I’ve been in a lot of job interviews in my life, on both sides of the desk. Anybody who tells you that leadership isn’t valuable is a moron. Leadership, or the capability to step up and fill that void if necessary, is a huge draw for employers.
Figure that out and maybe you’ll be able to buy a house someday.
What that means is that guys who were brought up expecting to be in control are now having to accept that — gasp! — their boss is a woman. What to do?!
That’s an asinine false dichotomy. A man can learn to be a leader, and have a female boss no problem. I’ve had three powerful female corporate bosses over my career. The first was a nightmare who sucked to work for. The second was brilliant, I learned a lot from her, and the only reason I stayed in that career (military contracting) as long as I did instead of making the jump to full time writer, was because she was so awesome to work for. And my current publisher is a genius who has forgotten more about this business than most people will ever know.
Odd… They were all different individuals. It’s almost like females are people too!
But anyways, Ian’s screed was obviously written by a moron who has never led shit. Organizations don’t have one leader. They have layers. And just because you answer to one person doesn’t mean that you don’t have people who answer to you. There’s a chain of command, and I wish it was the ruttin’ chain I could beat you with.
And it isn’t just business. Leadership applies in all aspects of life. Because human nature means that if you want to get shit done, the buck is going to stop with someone.
Instead, Learn How to Collaborate
Workplaces of the future are likely to be less reliant on men’s top-down leadership and more dependent on open communication between coworkers of all genders and utilises a lot of different peoples’ skill sets.
And that naïve shit right there is why you can’t buy a house.
Rather than a bunch of guys all competing to nail down a corner office, a healthy workplace is one where ego takes a backseat to communal success.
No. It is not. That’s so silly that I’m now wondering if you’ve ever actually held a real job.
Unrestrained ambition and a need to be in control all the time will hurt your chances at a promotion, not help them. So instead, try to focus on building soft skills such as supporting co-workers, building links between different divisions, and knowing how and when to compromise.
Working with a team and collaborating are great skills. But that team still has a boss. And that boss has a boss. And that boss has a boss. And you’re a fucking moron if you think an office is just some big clump of people happily churning out product in some communal labor of love.
Also, you want an example of learning leadership and team building? Sports. But I’m sure Ian would consider those too obsolete and manly.
- Being a Disciplinarian
For a long time, the most important aspect of being a father was simply providing for your family, and second, perhaps, was molding your sons into men.
What do you mean for a long time? It still is.
That meant being stern with them — even harsh. That meant toughening them up by teaching them how to shoot, how to fight, how to push through their pain, how to overcome their fears. All the old Man Skills, basically.
You say this like it is a bad thing.
The archetypal disciplinary father really wasn’t setting his sons up to have emotionally healthy lives, though, meaning possible repressed trauma, difficulty communicating about feelings, and a dire need to see a therapist are far more common than you’d hope for adult men.
Oh fuck you, Ian, you disingenuous mope. What you just did there was intellectually dishonest and shockingly lazy. Fathers do this and this, AND some kids still have trouble! Ergo it is because their father’s disciplined them… That’s so half assed you should be ashamed of yourself but I doubt you lack the self-awareness.
Correlation does not equal causation. Children of single parents have a much higher instance of behavioral and psychological problems (thanks three seconds on google!) and of the ones who had a father, you’ve got no fucking clue what that father did or did not teach them.
Instead, Learn How to Communicate With Your Children
If you really want to have a positive impact on their lives, it’s vital that you prioritise being there for them and encouraging them to be open with you about what they think and how they feel, rather than pushing them to fit into a narrow model of how to be. Don’t be the father who punishes his son for exploring more feminine things — he’ll resent you. Instead, be the father who encourages his kids to pursue their own interests and to become their own people, and who’s there to listen when something’s gone wrong.
These things are not mutually exclusive. You can discipline and teach your children, and also encourage them and talk about their feelings. I’ve got four kids, three of them teenagers at the same time. They don’t just talk about their feelings to me, they won’t shut up about them. I’ve got an awesome relationship with my kids, and they’ve all turned out to be good human beings who I’m extremely proud of.
That said, I really want to know what Ian’s dad did, and then do the opposite of that. Because, man, he sucks.
RELATED: How to Be a Better Father, Explained
I would rather suck start a shotgun that take parenting advice from this shitty website.
- Holding Your Emotions In
Oh, no danger of me doing that here.
For a long time, the model man was stoic: the strong, silent type who never cried and wouldn’t admit when something made him sad or afraid. Let’s leave that whole concept in the past where it belongs.
Some men actually are the strong silent type. Ian wants to shame them for being themselves. Fuck you, twerp. Men are individuals. They have the right to act however they want, even if you don’t approve.
Aside from just valuing communication, kindness, and empathy, this is a life-and-death issue.
Who says that strong men can’t be kind or have empathy, you judgmental pussy.
Men’s inability to open up can cause them to struggle with forming friendships and meaningful bonds with other people, which scientists have linked to early male mortality rates. That’s right: Being emotionally walled up is literally killing men.
You know what is literally killing men? Nonsense like this.
Men are constantly being berated and blamed for everything. Whatever they do, however they act, some sick fuck like this has to come along and tell them that they are being men wrong. The APA labels their behavior as toxic masculinity. Every time they turn on the news they get to hear a bunch of liberal feminists shriek about how all men are rapists. Everything they enjoy is attacked as being hateful. And if they do express their feelings they are shouted down for “mansplaining”.
Men are told that they are obsolete. Their feelings don’t matter, unless they are proper groupthink liberal feelings, but everything else, shut up. They get told every day that they are racist, sexist, homophobes, and you can tell just by looking at the smirk on their face. All crime is their fault. All war is their fault. Everything bad is their fault.
When men get offended by something, they are mocked, ridiculed, and insulted, because our society has said it is okay to yell at men. It’s good and expected. Mega corporations cash in on this, and run ads, saying that not all men are scum, but many are, so we can do better… Can you imagine if a mega corporation ran an ad saying that not all Latinos are scum, but many are, and we can do better? Or what if a mega corporation said not all black men are criminals, but many are, so we can do better? People would be outraged, and rightfully so, because that’s incredibly insulting.
We just had Martin Luther King Day. That’s supposed to remind us not to judge big groups of people, but rather remember that they are individuals… But not men. Oh no. They’re all shit, and here are five hundred articles why they should change. Bigotry is alive and well in 2019, as long as you are bigoted against groups that the predominate media narrative says it is okay to vilify.
Instead, Learn How to Talk About Your Feelings
Fuck your feelings, Ian.
As a man, there might not be any single more important skill you can pursue than emotional maturity.
And I am emotionally mature enough to recognize and despise manipulative click bait designed to shame people.
Understanding what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling it, and how to handle that feeling is something that few men are taught growing up, and it’s hard to overstate the negative impacts the absence of that skill can pose.
I feel that you are a useful idiot, and that I can’t overstate the negative impact of articles like this.
If you have the means to, consider going into therapy. Even if you don’t feel that you’re struggling and haven’t been diagnosed with any mental health issues, therapy is a proven effective way to work through problems that have been plaguing you and become a happier, healthier version of yourself.
If your therapist is telling you that you should make irrational judgments upon millions of complete strangers based upon your own unresolved childhood issues with masculinity, then you need to get a new therapist.
And I cut and pasted the little click bait headlines that came after the article too, because they were deeply ironic:
FROM THE WEB
THE REASONS SO MANY MARRIED WOMEN CHEAT ON THEIR HUSBANDS
I’ll save you time. They’re like Ian.
BEHAVIORS THAT ATTRACT WOMEN THE MOST
See above. Don’t be like Ian.