I’m Working On A New Shelved Dolls-Like Column! What’s Some Hot Stuff Guys Used To Do? Other Than Dueling.

dueling in history

So, I spend a lot of time on this series called Shelved Dolls, which, I don’t know, maybe you read, maybe. I really like finding out facts about women in history, especially when those facts are like “this one used to sleep upright in a meat mask made out of veal.” But I have noticed that there also exist men in history. I figured I could do a bookend to Shelved Dolls that was like “Shelved Ken Dolls” which seemed hilarious except… men just aren’t as interesting? I mean, they are, they do things, but part of what I think makes Shelved Dolls interesting is that the limitations of the times means that women who might have plenty of freedom to pursue their interests and desires today at the time they lived were constrained in ways that made them wear meat masks and strap themselves to the front of ships. Men pretty much had the freedom to pursue their interests in any age.

But I do want to do something with men. So, my idea is to do something on “hot stuff guys don’t do anymore.”

My first thought, obviously, was dueling. My second thought was carrying lady’s favors in battle

My third thought was that, back in Sparta, a test of virility was to keep a weasel under your shirt and see how long you could hold it there scratching against your belly without releasing it. I mean, that seems dumb, but also, these were Spartans, so guys disemboweled themselves with weasels.

That might be that whole column, honestly. I guess it will read “Hot Stuff Guys Used To Do: Weasel Disembowelment.”

Ashley also suggested sewing, which I guess could be hot, maybe, under like… I don’t know. I don’t know about sewing.

Do you have any suggestions about things that will be fun? I’m planning it for next Thursday, so if there seems like anything you’re interested in, let me know right this minute.

Pic via Wikipedia

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    • Sean

      Holding the door for a lady?

      • http://twitter.com/JenAshleyWright Jennifer Wright

        What about the coats in puddles thing? I heard a crazy rumor about how that started.

      • Sean

        I suppose, but I’ve always debated the truth of that. Why ruin your coat if you could guide the lady a foot or two outside of the puddle?

        Oh, and I agree with “see a woman home”, but add “with no ulterior intentions”.

    • Candace

      Wearing monocles

      • http://twitter.com/JenAshleyWright Jennifer Wright


      • Ara


    • Malkovich

      Wearing cuff links.

    • Lastango

      My social shortlist first:
      == Ask a woman out on a “real” date.
      == Relate to a woman face-to-face.
      == See her home.
      == Carry around a clear idea of wanting to get married and raise a family.
      == Better himself because he feels a responsibility to be a good provider.
      == Watch TV dramas.
      == Own a suit even if he doesn’t need it for work.
      And five for the guy-stuff list:
      == Build cars. (We’re talking hotrods. A ricer with a few aftermarket bolt-on’s doesn’t quality. Neither does a pickup the owner paid a shop to ruggedify.)
      == Think manual. (Some guy in the parking garage with a flat tire on his big SUV asked if he could borrow a compressor, and looked startled when I gave him my hand pump and a tire gauge. Weenie… didn’t your dad teach you anything?)
      == Know how to use a handsaw.
      == Venture into the outdoors without blowing $2,000+ on gear first.
      == Own an axe, or know what to do with it.

    • Brittany Anne

      Shaving with a straight razor. My husband does this. I think it’s the greatest thing ever, but apparently it’s not something that anyone does anymore?

      • Scarlett

        Ummmm … Brittan Anne your a lucky lucky lady. That is so manly and hot … very lucky. Wish my boyfriend could.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar

      I’ve always thought dueling scars were incredibly interesting. Also, dueling in general!

    • Lastango

      “Men pretty much had the freedom to pursue their interests in any age.”


      Absolutely false. We don’t have to go very far back in history to reach an era when very few people had choices. From a material perspective, the vast majority of people did little more than get through their lives. If they had a roof over their head, three meals a day, and shoes on their feet they were doing well.

      • Margauz

        Well, yes. But what she maybe saying is that you know, men get to choose who they marry while women by the way, have to marry ASAP. I mean this like, when she hits eleven years old or something. And don’t even get me started on mistresses. Women just had no choice. Like, never.

    • Scarlett

      Butchering meat/ growing food. My boyfriend has a vegetable garden and grows all kinds of veggies all summer. I kill plants by looking at them. Also, he works as a fish monger, seeing him use crazy sharp knives and cut up 100+ lbs fish … kinda hot. He knows he’s beef steaks too…

    • Lastango

      Manly Steampunk stuff?

      == Box bare-knuckle.
      == Drive horses.
      == Wear hats! (An awsome custom… I hope it comes back. Fedora, porkpie, boater… all the classics.)
      == Tip that hat to a lady.
      == Go to church on Sunday, so no one would think they were a rounder.
      == Carry a walking stick.
      == Pocket watch & chain… with a vest pocket to put it in.
      == Build wooden models of ships and those newfangled aeroplanes.



      == Smoke a pipe. (Died circa 1970′s.)
      == Suits. All the fellas in a Doris Day movie looked sharp always. They didn’t want to disappoint Doris.
      == Watch their language around the fairer sex. (Died in the late 1940′s.)
      == Drink highballs & lowballs.
      == Carry a Zippo.

      • Selahmarie11

        My fiance smokes a pipe. I just think it makes him look like an old mountain man. :P

    • The_J

      What about exploring the wilderness? Straight up Lewis and Clark style. That’s hot.

    • Ellen

      codpieces! you could definitely do an entire column about codpieces. they were super popular for, like, 200 years or so.

    • RM

      For some reason I think welding is really hot (also, yeah, literally.) And the idea of a dude being able to chop up some wood and make me a fire (I mean, I can make my own quite competently, but you know) or build me a log cabin. Those dudes are hot.

    • Lastango

      Write letters longhand, on nice paper. With a fountain pen. Wouldn’t you love to get one?

      • Lastango

        A letter closed with sealing wax, of course. And if he writes with a quill instead of a fountain pen that’s ok too.

    • Em

      Hm. Pioneer stuff, like salting pork and building log cabins? Getting your squire to load you up with so much armour you can’t get on your horse if you fall off it? Being a squire? Or knight? Or crusader? JOUSTING!

      What else…. Wearing, then doffing, your hat! An older English gentleman (the type who owns half of Lord-knows-what-part-of-England and who loves hunting) once doffed his hat to me, and believe me, it’s awesome.

      Roman baths, and the naked wrestling that went on inside them! Having the ability to maintain a mustache, and look hot in it, as opposed to looking like a creepy would-be porn star. Being a blacksmith! Though, maybe that’s not hot enough, figuratively speaking, since no one nicer than Pip’s sister went for Joe….

      • Selahmarie11

        Double yes to JOUSTING!!!

      • Cordelia_Gray

        Years ago, an older English gent once doffed his hat to me also. It was so cool, I still nag my husband about his non-doffing ways.

    • Lastango

      Kissing her hand. After bowing. Bowing after rising when she walks into the room.

    • Amanda

      Look up antimacassars.

    • Guest

      I like the lady favor idea.

    • Cate

      This is awfully late, but
      -Writing letters
      -Giving a damn about what they wore (Hats, but never in the presence of a lady! No t-shirts! Fashion can be manly!)
      -Straight-razor shaving has been mentioned, and I must second it.
      -Dueling, of course.
      -Car maintenance and repair
      -General good behavior around women.
      -Lighting of ladies’ cigarettes

    • Lastango

      Once upon a time, did not suitors seranade the ladies from below the balcony? And then attempt to scale said balcony in the dead of night?

    • MR

      Melee. The early 19th century Marine version, wooden ship to wooden ship.

    • Lastango

      Wear bowties — the kind that tie, not that clip on. Lots of possibilities for creative colors and patterns here!

      • hmhque

        Also cravats and all the intricate was they had of folding them