Look, I was trying – really trying – to keep my mouth shut. But the assault on manhood continues unabated. It goes on and on, like the girl who won’t stop talking frantically about her cat, or her Pilates. To the point at which you make the remarkable decision that it’s actually not worth trying to bed her. Just not worth the price of submission.
The worst kind of attack on masculinity, of course comes from within. That fifth column that insists on chipping away at the things that make men… men. Like the fact that we don’t wear makeup. Men do not wear makeup. That’s for ladies. It’s supposed to be a self-evident fact.
I was at a normal business-social cocktail function, in a normal city. A man in his early 30s, with whom I’d been in a normal meeting hours earlier, greeted me heartily, lager in hand. He had questions about the proposed deal and the companies involved, but I couldn’t stop staring at his eyes. They were outlined in black. He was wearing eyeliner.
What’s wrong with your eyes? Have you been injured? “It’s guyliner, mate. Makes me look fresh after a long day.” I was appalled. Does your wife know you do this? “Yah, she wasn’t too chuffed I was using hers, so I got my own.”
It turns out that major cosmetics manufacturers are enthusiastically enabling this nefarious new front in the battle to emasculate us, and to undermine another bastion of maleness. They sell not just eyeliner, but blush, concealer and foundation. For men. MAC seems to be a leading offender. Jean Paul Gaultier has an entire line of testicle-shrinking products it calls Monsieur, as it slowly transforms us into madame.
Men don’t have many natural rights left, granted to us by God or Nature or both, and that’s fine. Too many of the old natural rights just turned us into walking hindquarters anyway. But one privilege that had survived the ages was the right to look like Hell, and still be seen as tremendous, titanic and worthy of deference. We could let our hair go gray, or fall away. Our skin could become pasty and dry. These were badges of courage, battle scars, announcing our stamina and prowess in work, our command of resources and our power in the realm.
Gentlemen, I am extending a hand to you. Join me not simply in resisting, but also in condemning “man-makeup”. This is a bad thing for men. It needs to be crushed. And we’re good at crushing things, such as beer cans and other people’s dreams.
For the record, there are some personal grooming steps in which it is acceptable to indulge. You may use conditioner on your hair. A masculine cologne is not only attractive to (the right kind of) women, but also proclaims a traveling space around you as your personal territory, thereby increasing your power. If you absolutely must, you may use some kind of moisturizing goop on your face at night, but only if you never tell anyone.
But if and when you encounter an erstwhile member of the Man Club sporting makeup worthy of a representative of the gender with which we spend so much time trying to celebrate la difference, it is imperative that you follow this process:
1. Express shock and concern.
2. Inquire about the individual’s gender identity. (If that’s at issue, abandon discussion. There may be legitimate things at work here, and we’re defending masculinity, not promoting homophobia or trans-whatever-it’s-called.)
3. Apply derision, thickly.
If we fight this abhorrence now, with force, there is hope that it will die away in time, like those ill-fated “man-skirts” from the 1980s, and talking after sex.