• Wed, Aug 25 2010

Jane, You Ignorant Slut

By now, I’m sure most people have come across Jane Gilvary’s essay entitled Skinny Jeans, John Wayne and the Feminization of America. However, in case you haven’t, here are a few choice excerpts.

Despite what feminists might argue, real men don’t wear skinny jeans. Real men also don’t wear V-neck tees, or accessorized scarves, and they avoid purple and pink like the plague. The mere idea of a pedicure or waxing makes a real man nauseous. If a woman hangs out with this kind of girly-man routinely, it’s only because she wants to share his wardrobe and his non-fat caramel macchiato. A woman can’t imagine a man reloading his double barrel shotgun or chopping wood when he’s donned in Donna Karan and drinking an Appletini. Men were meant to wear rugged Wranglers, leather jackets and boots, like they belong in a James Dean movie and not an episode of “Will & Grace.”

American men aren’t men anymore because feminists have equated maleness with everything that’s repugnant and have molded men to be more like women. Feminists have slayed the real man by suppressing his desires for adventure, beauty, and competition, his yearning for greatness and excitement. John Wayne once said, “I’m the stuff men are made of.” America needs more John Waynes.

Look, you don’t want men wearing skinny jeans? That’s fine. Neither do I. Lilit, on the other hand, loves dudes who wear skinny jeans (I suspect she means Zac Efron). But that’s a matter of personal preference, that has absolutely nothing to do with the state of America.

But that’s not the problem with the article. The problem is that I deeply suspect that if Jane actually got the world she was asking for, she’d be miserable. As far as I can tell, as of last year, she was a graduate student, so I’m guessing this isn’t an 80 year old woman with nostalgia for the good old days, so much as someone with nostalgia for days she never actually experienced.

And as such, I’m grouping her into the same camp of 20-somethings who bemoan how safe New York is now, and how you don’t get mugged on the subway. To whom I’m always inclined to reply “dude, talk to people who actually lived here during the ’70s. They’re pretty happy they’re not getting mugged anymore.”

Ditto, Jane. Honestly, Mad Men has probably made us romanticize old-fashioned masculinity more than ever, but talk to your Grandmother about what life was actually like for women during that time. The ’60s weren’t filled just with dashing Don Drapers and Roger Sterlings. They were filled with season 1 Pete Campbells who kept saying weird shit about hunting knives and sex and waving guns in their secretaries faces.

As for the rest, no, I don’t need men shooting dinner or chopping wood because I have central heating and access to a bodega. Also because I do not fantasize that often about being a time traveler (this is a lie, but my time machine will only be big enough for me, not some wood-chopping-deer-hunting companion). I’m not in much need of a John Wayne. I do, however, need men who are cool to talk to, and considerate of my feelings, and who will occasionally let me split their non-fat caramel macchiato with them.

Ultimately, a John Wayne movie about the past is not the same as the past. Men have evolved, and for the most part, I think that’s a good thing. Even if I don’t like skinny jeans, either.

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  • Eileen

    Thank you for articulating better than I ever could why I get annoyed every time a modern woman claims to be nostalgic for the ’60.

  • Jessica Pauline Ogilvie

    You just made my day with that headline.

    • porkchop

      Mine too! Dan Aykroyd was so cute on SNL. Also, real men do wear pink (and, sadly, skinny jeans…)

    • Jennifer Wright

      God, why isn’t SNL that good anymore? Although I do really love it when John Hamm is on.

  • edi
  • Jenny

    Jane Gilvary’s editorial, if we want to call it that, makes me sad. It’s poorly reasoned, badly written and bred of a closed-mindedness I forget Philadelphians can possess. I’m guessing this li’l lady is younger than me (I’m 32). I was raised by a feminist mother; I can’t even understand the other perspective. Also, the men she seems to be longing for are really what made America the butt of so many Victorian jokes. Do we really want a bunch of uncouth mountain men populating our landscape? I hope she finds her Ted Nugent because I can say pretty safely she shouldn’t be a published writer; I, for one, am happy to live in a relatively enlightened time period in which we have toilets, the right to vote, and the ability to hold jobs.