I originally heard this term while watching a George Carlin special and it was again brought to mind by a recent airing of Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher in which he was addressing the issue of the repression of the male ego.

This term refers to the tendency of American males of the last decade to soften their natures in response to a perceived desire by women to have less masculine men.

The first difficulty is that most women don't want less masculine men. We like masculine men. What we don't like are assholes. And while all men are pigs, not all men are assholes, and it's an unfortunate occurrence that the terms asshole and manly have become intertwined. Some might point to the feminist groups as being responsible for this misconception, and while I acknowledge that they have put forth this concept, they represent all women in much the same way the men in feather boas and makeup at the gay pride festivals represent all gays.

Another hurdle is that men are more aggressive. It's genetic. It's part of their role as the hunter and protector as it's part of women's nature to tend to be more nurturing. Of course, everyone is different, and so too are the strengths of their tendancies. When a man, or anyone, denies his nature, it will lead to a wide variety of difficulties. Repression is never good. Redirection is preferred. This is part of why we no longer have legal duels to the death and instead have hockey, boxing and football. Aggression is a fact of life in men and women. Outlets are required and must be allowed or there may be dire consequences.

This trend is not the fault of women. It is also not the fault of men. It is, rather, the result of miscommunication between the two caused by differing values. Women don't want men as their slaves, in general. Women also do not want women with dicks (unless they're lesbians, but that's a different node). Regardless of any other qualities, women want honesty.

Women want honesty in relationships, whether they are platonic or romantic. It may be pointed out that some women like to play mind games (men too) in their relationships. My answer is that anyone who feels it necessary to pretend that he or she is unlike themselves in order to attract a mate or lover is likely not mature enough to sustain any sort of meaningful relationship in the first place.

If you cry at romantic movies or when you stub your toe, then cry, but don't do it because you think it'll impress girls. By all means, watch tennis and figure skating if you enjoy it, but if you'd rather be watching monster trucks or the World's Strongest Man competition, let her know and be democratic in what you watch. You could get lucky and find out she likes monster trucks, too. You can be macho without being disgusting or rude and you can be gallant without being a chauvinist. If a woman doesn't like you the way you are but you are happy with yourself and don't see any need to change, then don't.

It doesn't matter how many people like you if you don't like yourself.

There are still plenty of asshole guys out there, but the rapidly spreading idea that men who are married or in stable relationships are automatically pussy-whipped is both reinforced and shown to be more and more prevalent in American culture by the institution of television. Any time I walk out into the living room to see what kinds of images my folks are letting themselves be brainwashed with, it doesn't take more than about 10 seconds before I see some guy who is

  • trying to subvert his wife's regime by buying a motorcycle or sneaking a beer or a candy bar behind her back
  • begging her forgiveness for an earlier infraction of the rules she set for him
  • just being undeniably much much stupider in every way than she is
Why do sitcoms exploit this idea? Because it's good for a laugh to see the classic gender roles getting violated. Unfortunately, the more you watch TV, the more you think of it as a reliable source of information, and so lots of stupid couples who watch 4 hours of TV a day start believing the characters are acting like normal people do, and eventually start to emulate their behavior (monkey see, monkey do). The man gets more and more convinced that he's stupider than his mate, and the woman is convinced that it is appropriate for her to watch him become whipped.

"Wake up, Gregor, you’ll be late for work!" That was how the worst morning of my life started.

Mother knocked on my bedroom door for the third time that morning, but I just wanted to curl up under the covers. I tried to pull them over my head, but couldn’t seem to get a good grip. So, grudgingly, I lifted my head off the pillow.

Or tried to. I yowled in pain as my left cheek suddenly felt as if something were trying to tear it off my face. Or several somethings, pulling themselves out from under my left arm. I jerked it back; there was a tearing sound.

More pounding on the door. "Gregor! What in God’s name are you doing in there!"

I opened my eyes, but the sunlight streaming through the curtains was blindingly bright. I tried to sit up, managing only to roll over on my back, dumping the covers on the floor at the same time. Finally opening my eyes, I noticed that my outstretched arm was covered with yellow-orange fur.

"What the FUCK??" I tried to yell, but it came out as "rrrRRrRrrRROWR!"

Eventually, I collected my senses and rolled back over. Gingerly, I extended my left leg over the side of the bed until it touched the floor. Then the right. I pushed my body off the bed and tried to stand up, but started to fall. I barely got my arms out in front of me.

On all fours, I managed to make it over into the bathroom. Over in a corner of the bathroom there was an upside-down pallet my Dad had fixed up for me. Did my business and cleaned myself up. I walked back through the bedroom and out through the flap Dad had cut in the door for me. Nobody was waiting there for me, of course. In the old days, Mom would be standing there, pick me up, and calling me her "little Gregor-wegor", carry me down the stairs. I’d long since learned to climb down the stairs myself.

A wonderful smell came out of the kitchen as I padded in. There was some of yesterdays' fish in my dish. That was a change; they were being extra nice to me today.

I heard footsteps behind me, but the fish was too tasty to ignore. "There you are. Come on." A hand reached down and picked me up by the neck. The hand turned me around to look into it’s owner’s face. Not a cheerful Mom dangling a mouse on a string, but my father, looking drawn and rather worn-out. I followed him out into the driveway, he held the car door open for me to jump up. He started up the motor and pulled out.

It wasn't until I climbed up on the rear dashboard that I realized we weren't driving to the small printing firm where I was HR director. I emitted a small "rrorwr?"

"Gregor, we’ve tried to be patient. You can’t keep on being so dependent on us. Your poor Mother’s an emotional wreck after having to clean out your box every day. And God knows we gave you several months to try to find your own place.

"That was the fourth mattress you’ve torn apart this week, and it was the last straw. And so, instead of taking you to work, I’m going to drop you off at the shelter."

Apologies to Franz Kafka, or possibly Scott Adams. But not both.

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