Where Have All the Real Men Gone?

One woman's plea for the manliness of yesteryear.

Back in the day, men had a formidable reputation to uphold. To be a man was to be strong, enduring, and capable of killing an elk with your bare hands. Chest hair and an identifiable musk was indisputable proof that you had indeed successfully completed puberty and could now hold your own among the ladies. To be a man was to be adventurous, self-assured, and driven.

But oh how times have changed. In a world now deemed “emotionally overwhelming” by the vast majority of kid-gloved psychologists, the definition of “a real man” has somehow become skewed to mean “a woman capable of producing semen.” The breed of man Montana once produced on a consistent basis has slowly given way to a new, impeccably groomed spin-off obsessed with brand names, expensive jewelry, and pedicures.

Now, I understand that no one wants to live in the presence of a foul-smelling, inconsiderate ogre, but the possibility of having to wrestle my own sweet-smelling deep-conditioning avocado mask from the perfectly manicured fingers of a “man” is downright depressing. Not to mention the disturbing thought of sharing half the mirror so he can effectively camouflage his under-eye circles by applying a delicate combination of foundation and pressed powder. It’s true: men’s “Cosmetic Concealer Sticks” have been circulating the market for some time now, their uses ranging from obscuring razor bumps to highlighting cheekbones. Even bronzers and rosy blushes are in high demand, and what perfectly bronzed man is complete without a little lip gloss and mascara? At this point, let’s just roll out the eye shadow samples and call it day.

I’m a hot-blooded American woman, but with such an overwhelming abundance of men tweezing their eyebrows and shaving their legs, I’m beginning to find myself sexually confused.

But wait, there’s more. Spanx, the company known for creating smooth and slimming lines under clingy cocktail dresses, now has a line just for men. Finally, special formfitting undergarments that allow men to be out on the town without having to worry about those pesky panty lines. In addition, wedge heels have been popping up on men all over the country. I see nothing wrong with a sturdy heeled boot (the cowboy boot is a great example), but a three-inch leg-lengthening, calf-accentuating heel is only going to attract me to you for one reason—so I can swipe your shoes while you’re out getting a facial.

For the record, a man willing to partake in household chores, to spend time gladly with his children, and to participate actively in a conversation during a Sunday night football game is more of a man than most women can ask for, but there’s a noticeable difference between helping out around the house and raiding my bathroom for lavender hair conditioner. A man folding my lingerie is attractive; a man wearing it is not. The second he starts using hand lotion for its actual, intended purpose, my mental picture of the burly, confident specimen I thought I was dating becomes a soft-skinned teenage girl.

So help a lady out. I’m a hot-blooded American woman, but with such an overwhelming abundance of men tweezing their eyebrows and shaving their legs, I’m beginning to find myself sexually confused. If I wanted to be in a relationship with someone who spends as much as I do on haircuts, tanning, and stylish accessories, wouldn’t I be, well, a lesbian? Where can I find the almost extinct species of strapping farmhands that buck bales of hay two at a time? I’m not asking for a man to stop a bullet with his beard, or for Jeremiah Johnson himself to proposition me with an impressive collection of pelts; but please, for the love of God, at least let him have some hair on his chest.