The Death of Manliness

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Author : Ong Doen En
Description : A journal response to an article on "The Death of Manliness" by Harvey Mansfield in a local daily.

If Harvey Mansfield's sources of reference can be trusted, then manliness means "having a man's virtues of courage, frankness, etc". But how true of men is that definition today, in the 21st century society we live in? To some extent I agree with Harvey Mansfield in that manliness is indeed a dying virtue.

Most men generally still possess some qualities of manliness, but a great deal of these qualities are demonstrated not so much out of a compulsion to uphold honour and be faithful, but more out of selfish pride and a need for recognition. The truth is, what we perceive today to be manliness isn't true manliness at all - it's male chauvinism. Manliness is fast dying, and many men, though not particularly manly themselves, see the downfall of this virtue as the beginning of a revolution in which the roles of men and women get reversed.

It is not that the number of "real men" in the world are inversely proportional to the number of feminists. However, the greater-than-thou mentality of men that so adamantly insists that all men be a cut above women creates a greater illusion of manliness. Not only does manliness allude to courage, chivalry and honour, it now also means "being superior to women". It is a neverending vicious cycle - women fought for their rights in the late 1800s, men felt threatened and did all manner of things to overthrow the female usurpers, women continued to display qualities of manliness even more than men did, and now men, seeming helpless, are equal to women - and highly displeased with that revelation. If we go by the new, distorted definition of manliness, then as long as men are not at least one step ahead of women, they are not manly.

What appears to be the death of manliness is also, to a great extent, due to the increase in women who want to be treated by men as equals. I do not agree with...
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