I look around at the typical man today and I can’t help but feel disappointment. What the hell happened? What happened to honor? To integrity? To common courtesy and manners? When did “Oooo! Damn! That ass!” become an accepted way to show a woman you’re interested in her? I’ll tell you when. It happened the moment swiping right on Tinder replaced courtship. It happened when women started falsely believing that they need to accept mediocrity and second-best love or they will end up alone. It happened when Gentlemen died and the Bros were left in charge.
Before you send me your hate mail, I’m not referring to all men. There are many great men out there, but the obviously lackings of these self-proclaimed Bros make great men look bad. The Bro has replaced the Gentleman, and it’s pathetically sad.
These Bros are all about themselves. For them, it’s all about providing the bare minimum, usually across the board. They put in just enough effort and charm to gain a woman’s interest; just enough emotional connection to make her think he cares; just enough phone time to keep her guessing, like a cat on a string; and just enough foreplay to provide lubrication to achieve his own orgasm. These behaviors not only cause confusion on the part of many women, but they also brand more and more men as Bros that don’t give a shit about anything but themselves.
Maybe I’ve got it wrong. After all, I am the son of a man from a completely different era. My father was not only born in 1914, he was also 56 when I was born. He instilled in me (and most of my schoolmates) a sense of what’s “right” when it comes to men, women, courtship, and behavior. There were things that men did, and things men didn’t do. Period. No grey area. No wiggle room. It was the unspoken, unwritten rule book of proper behavior for men, with full understanding and recognition that how you act was a direct reflection of who you are and what you stand for as a man. And you were not only responsible for how you carried yourself, you were accountable.
And that’s part of what’s missing today; accountability. These Bros, steeped in douchebaggery, run amuck like middle schoolers, acting without the slightest thought about the ramifications of their actions or behaviors. They run in packs—because there is security in numbers—and leave disappointment, halfway love, broken self-esteems, and confusion in their wake. They outnumber the Gentlemen for one reason: they are accepted as “the way men are today” by the women around them. Men treating women as options and objects is the unfortunate reason thousands of women write in to me every week. They aren’t looking to get out of their relationships (because that’s as simple as leaving and never looking back). Instead, they are looking to understand why men have fundamentally changed—embracing the parts of their psyches that minimize connection, and letting honesty, loyalty and straight-forward talk fall by the wayside.
If you back up a few short years, men generally had a strong sense of accountability, self-worth, and class (save for politicians and lawyers, many of whom still have negotiable ethics and values). Today, much of that is out the window, and I hear about it every day from women around the world with multi-page letters that reverberate their frustration, surprise, anger, resentment, and confusion. These Bros walk around comfortable as kings of half-witted, half-brained, half-assed behaviors. These are the guys who outwardly portray false confidence and smooth, bullshit pick-up lines. Gold chains and new cars give off a sense of outward wealth, but in truth these items showcase their inner emotional bankruptcy. These guys claim Alpha Male status, not realizing that Alphas provide for their pack—they don’t take blindly—not to mention that real leaders don’t have to claim anything; they are recognized for the true inward and outward strength they actually have.
In truth, world around us has assisted in the demise of the Gentleman. The traditional role of men has shifted, been marginalized—even viewed as superfluous. Feminism (of which I am a stanch advocate) is defined as “the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men”. But so many women have turned that message of equality into trying to replace men. As such, for many women it’s not enough to fight for equality as it is to put men in a subservient… and this is where things get tricky—especially for men trying to find their new roles in today’s equality-centric society.
Many men simply don’t know their role in today’s environment, and they hear mixed messages on what it should be and what they should do. In one ear, they hear that chivalry is dead, and that men don’t know how to treat women anymore. But in the other ear, they hear “I don’t need a man to open a door for me or pay for my dinner! I’m not some weak woman who needs a man to take care of her.” In this dichotomy, one thing is made clear: A Gentleman is damned if he does and he’s damned if he doesn’t, and the Bros are fueling the negative view women have men who do it either way. If a man does act chivalrous, he has an ulterior motive and is merely trying to get her in bed. But if he doesn’t, then he’s a Bro who isn’t worthy of her in the first place. It’s the proverbial Catch 22—which the Bros don’t care about and the Gentlemen are caught in the crossfire.
A man showing his interest by treating a woman with value shouldn’t be viewed as anti-feminist or somehow perpetuating inequality. He’s showing he’s interested with his actions… yet some women have mistaken “men acting as gentlemen” as “men who are treating women as victims.” Let’s get this straight: A Gentleman will open doors, pull out chairs, walk on the side closest to the street, and pay the bill. He doesn’t do these things because she isn’t capable. He behaves this way because he’s interested… he values her and wants to show her that he sees her as valuable. An empowered woman can do all those things herself, but she can also afford a Gentleman his place to show his interest. To those women who have it confused: A man can open a door for a woman, treat her to dinner, and do traditionally things that make dating about courtship. It doesn’t diminish her power nor her independence. If it does, she might want to think about why a simple gesture of kindness—or an overture of romantic interest—can render her inept and somehow unequal.
Today, a Gentleman who steps up with honest intentions is viewed as special or unique, while the Bro is accepted as he Normal Man. Gentlemen shouldn’t be viewed as unique… they should be viewed as the norm. And to the Bros, I would ask you to hinge your sense of masculinity to something other than how many women you can bullshit. Stand up with honor and integrity… or please sit your mediocre ass down so she can see the Gentleman behind you.