On the “Modern Man”

ONCE EVERY FEW YEARS, the editorial sections of magazines introduce us to the “modern man”. At one time, this simply meant a man who thought his wife was a person and not an object Then it came to mean a man who merely groomed himself and took pride in his appearance (see: the rather ridiculously titled “metrosexual”). Now it moves further still to include his politics and personality. The “modern man” must be a feminist, but not overpoweringly so. He must want to break down the social hierarchies and injustices around him and, in doing so, relegate his privilege in a way that is neither showy nor self-serving. He will talk openly about his feelings, but only when those feelings imply vulnerability, not when they might encompass murkier things such as anger or jealousy. He will be willing to stay at home with his kids, be comfortable with domestic tasks, and champion women in power. He should have a job he loves, but not one that overwhelms his life or makes him too busy. He should feel comfortable experimenting with his clothes, be willing to “push the envelope” on male fashion or, at the very least, paint his nails. He should listen to non-fiction books on Audible. He shouldn’t vape, he shouldn’t brag on social media or post any photos from his workouts, and he should be okay with his partner putting a finger in his arsehole during sex (at least, according to GQ).’

You can read the full column here.

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