I was reading an interview of Sarah Palin by Kimberley Strassel that appeared in the November 1 WSJ. I got a few paragraphs into the interview and was stopped cold by the following paragraph.
The tasks of “fixing” Washington and “shaping up” the GOP are no small things, whether from inside the West Wing, or depending on Tuesday, from some future role as a party leader. And so, after a firm handshake and an introduction to First Dude Todd, I ask the governor if we could forgo the stump speech and talk about her contribution to this ticket, and the future of the party. Why, exactly, are Republicans as a whole struggling so badly? Are the liberal pundits right that modern conservatism has run its course?
The emphasis is mine. I read and reread it and was struck by how men are really not men anymore. They are “dudes” and “guys” and “buds”, etc. But hardly ever men.
I got to thinking about how I define myself and while I am on the uphill part of 40 and have two fully grown offspring (23 and 17) I find the assertion “I am a man” a bit odd to hear and I don’t know why.
Is it because the past couple generations of women have redefined what a man is? Having children doesn’t make you a man, but being a good father after the children are born does? Providing for your family doesn’t make you a man, but being there for every significant event in your child’s life while also providing for your family does?
Or, is it because this generation of men simply do not want to grow up and old. By calling ourselves “dudes” and “guys,” we avoid old age.
Most women know the point at which they are comfortable calling themselves a woman. But, I wager that the vast majority of men under 60 are uncomfortable with the title. I also wager that the vast majority of women under 60 won’t grant men that title, preferring to call them “my dude” or “my guy.”
At 44, does Todd Palin consider himself a man? Does Sarah?