Tuesday, October 12, 2010

new "men's magazines"

Relationship advice in a men's magazine? While old-school magazines like Playboy and Esquire celebrate sex *without* relationships, and encourage high-end "manly" products like cigars, whisky and $3000 shoes, newer websites are catering to the concerns of men in the 21st century.

The Good Men Project recently wrote "Many men are in crisis. Most guys I talk to quietly acknowledge that they’re struggling to 'do it all.' Sound familiar? That’s what women have faced all along: how to have a career while also being a [parent]...The most macho thing in the world is to be a loving father. To be a faithful husband. To put food on the table. Even more macho is to come clean about how hard it is to try to try to be all those things at the same time."

Not all the new men's mags are *that* touchy-feely; The Art of Manliness offers advice on how to keep a long-distance relationship alive, but it also includes tips on "basic" manly skills like tying a tie, building a fire without matches, and lists of "Men's Essential" books and movies.

Made Possible focuses on younger (under 35) men: it offers "an inside look at the Made Possible Generation: Its hopes. Its fears. And the game-changing strategies emerging for the decades ahead." These strategies run the gamut from investment advice to how to form/find a supportive men's group.

Man of the House works in the "fatherhood" niche. In addition to fashion advice, and how to buy inexpensive groceries, it also has an articles on prostate health, and how to buy musical instruments for your children.

I am grateful to Greg Beato, for teaching me about some of these sites, in his article in slate.com. However, I am a little peeved at his tone. He rightly cautions, "In feeling the pain of today's beleaguered males, these new men's mags also co-opt the dog-whistle decree that has informed women's magazines for years: You're not good enough. Try harder. With these 13 steps you can be a better person," but then he goes too far. Calling these new magazines "intolerable," he writes, "Just as there's an unwritten law that you can't show traffic jams or trips to the mechanic in car commercials, you can't show the real responsibilities of male adulthood in men's magazines."

I am as sex-positive as the next person, and I enjoy a cigar once in a while--and I *do* need advice on how to use handtools properly; I have been considering shaving like my grandpa; and I absolutely yearn for real relationship.


At 9:26 AM, Blogger Scott Wells said...

Definitely change the way your shave. I actually use my grandfather's razor, and it's a pleasing and economical habit. I blogged about this shift a few years ago: http://boyinthebands.com/archives/revisiting-my-shaving-posts/

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Jeff @ManoftheHouse.com said...

Chip ...
Thanks for the shout out in your post about the "new" men's magazines. I hope you find ManoftheHouse.com useful as we do cover a good amount of topics. If there is anything that you want to see covered, please let us know.

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