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Guys, don't lose touch with your inner caveman

June 26, 2003|Samantha Bonar | Times Staff Writer

A group called Euro RSCG Worldwide has done a study of American men aged 21 to 48, purporting to deconstruct the 21st century man. If you are like me, you will find the results alarming.

According to the new study, "When asked to choose from a list of approximately three dozen words," only 20% of men described themselves as "sexy."

"The word today's men are most apt to assign themselves is 'caring,' selected by 74% of correspondents," the study said.

I don't want a caring man. I like my men moody, sullen, dark and distant. Disturbed, if you will. With deep thoughts they cannot articulate -- and big, strong arms. Caring? Ho-hum. My mom's caring.

When asked what they would choose if they could have only one wish, 35% of men said they want "to grow old with a woman I love." In second place (22%) was "to have happy, healthy kids." Third was "to have a circle of friends to support me unconditionally and whose company I enjoy" (10%).

I'd say these "new men" are more like old women.

The media has dubbed these girlie-guys "metrosexuals." They are said to be concentrated around big cities -- kind of like pollution. They are said to be knowledgeable about fashion and to enjoy shopping -- kind of like gay men -- but they are not gay.

The study results continued to sicken me. Today's men apparently care about "feeling and looking good": "In the business world, good grooming is essential for men today, according to 89% of the male respondents. Perhaps that's why nearly half the sample (49%) contend that there's nothing wrong with a man getting a facial or manicure."

I've never desired a man with baby-soft, exfoliated skin. There's something super-sexy about a man's rough lip and cheek and the "chin burn" it leaves behind. And if my date had polished nails I would escape out the bathroom window.

"The metrosexual represents the tipping point of a shift that parallels the process of the women's movement," reads a statement by Marian Salzman, chief strategy officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide.

My God. The men's women's movement? More like the fall of the Roman Empire. Onetime heroes fiddling with moisturizer and self-help books while Rome burns.

"In this new century, men are finding the courage to explore the female domain without fear of losing their status as 'real' men," Salzman continued.

It does take a certain amount of courage to face various waxing procedures, I will admit. But I don't want my men to fret about such things. I want them to worry about how they are going to sweep me off my feet, not how they are going to get those nasty calluses off their heels.

One of the best things about being a man, I have always thought, is that men get to worry about what they do and what they are rather than how they look. Why should we celebrate their joining women's narcissistic, consumerist party?

Men: Get out of Stepford while you still can!

Women want you scruffy and intense, not coiffed and chatty. It's your psychological complexity and physical roughness that make you so appealing to we on the softer, more emotional end of the species. We want the man about town, the man of his word and the man of the world, he who is his own man who works lots of man hours using his man power. Heck, I'll even take a man-ipulative man-ic-depressive over a metroweenie.

Samantha Bonar can be contacted at samantha.

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