Women like Farah Averill from askmen.com, who explains to us the Top 10 Appearance Turnoffs, and the Top 10 Resolutions That Will Improve Your Appearance. Women like menshealth.com’s Madeline Haller, who lists the 4 Sex Positions Every Man Should Try, or the celebrity women on esquire.com who give us 75 (seventy-five!) pieces of information we didn’t know about women. Or Keeley Hazell on fhm.com, who answers readers’ questions such as “What drink should I be buying for girls to make them horny?” and “My girlfriend has got tiny tits. Do you think she’d be offended if I offered to pay for a boob job?”
This is terrible. These columns are doing terrible things. Not to the men who read them, but to the women who write them, and the countless other women they represent.
Telling men how men should dress, what cologne they should wear, telling them not to talk about how much they earn or how many times they rimmed their ex-girlfriend when they’re on a first date – this doesn’t fix douchey guys. It doesn’t make them better. What this does is just makes it harder to tell the decent (confident, self-actualised, literate) guys from the crap (slobs, Ralph magazine readers, date-rapists) guys. If you convince everyone to stop wearing white running shoes with blue jeans, then you won’t be able to tell the – well actually you will, they’ll be the guys wearing flat-peaked caps with the stickers still on. But what if you write a column telling men not to do that either? It’s a slippery slope. Before, you could tell an arsehole from a mile away. Now it’ll be three dates and some regrettable sex before you realise that he’s actually a massive tool.
The problem is that changing the surface doesn’t actually make the man underneath any better. A self-absorbed moron who’s been convinced to buy jeans that fit and stop wearing ‘Same shirt, different day’ t-shirts isn’t suddenly going to be any smarter, wittier or more considerate.
And the few decent (yet unaccountably style-less) men whose chances are improved by your advice will be overshadowed by the un-self-aware morons who’ll have a veneer of class glossed over their shit. Chipboard with a layer of woodgrain plastic glued to it doesn’t suddenly turn into mahogany.
But so what? Decent women will still rate guys on their actual values and personality, they’ll see past fine wool cardigans and just the right length of stubble. And who cares if some shallow women wind up with some shallow, magazine-following men?
We should care. The human race should care. Because there’s far too many of us already. And every couple that gets together could produce more. Why give the genes for barbed-wire bicep tattoos and denim three-quarter pants a chance? Why give them a genetic hand-up? Even if you can train a guy out of the three-quarter pants, that predisposition for un-thinking, unaware decisions will stay. And it won’t be going into his fashion choices (because your column will make those for him), so all his energy will be directed into politics, or religion, or raising his douchey yet well-dressed children to be selfish fake-tanned monsters. No. Let these genes die out and watch our species get better. If all the men who wear Lynx over the age of 18 die lonely, childless deaths, then eventually we won’t need women to tell them not to wear Lynx over the age of 18 because everyone will have moved on to Nivea for Men or Old Spice, and probably given up on fossil fuels and war crimes as well.
I’m all for self-improvement, but forced evolutionary advancement just leads to men given power past their control. And as any cautionary science-fiction story tells us, this is only going to lead to trouble. Don’t tell men how to dress or how to go down on you because if they can’t figure it out for themselves they don’t deserve the attention.
Okay then, you say. You’re right, I shouldn’t be giving men grooming and dating tips, because this is ruining the world. But I still have to write my column for askfhmenzmenwebsitemen.men.com this week! What will I talk about?
Well I don’t know. Sorry. But maybe you could try something like this:
7 Surefire Rules for Being a Man We Can Respect
1. Don’t be a dick.
2. Listen more than you talk.
3. Don’t treat women like they’re objects.
4. Don’t treat objects like they’re more important than people.
5. Treat people like they matter, even people you don’t want to fuck.
6. Read a book sometime.
7. Oh, and if possible, try and be a bit more like Don Draper.