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What Is a Retrosexual? 2010-09-21 13:20:14

Word du Jour: Retrosexual

The retrosexual man is a man who deals with the crisis of masculinity by looking backward for clues. Plaid shirts, man caves (can we please go back to calling it the basement or a den?), and Don Draper can all be explained by modern men's desire to reassert their masculinity in an increasingly confusing world where women get more college degrees and dominate middle management.

But if they try too hard to perform masculinity, one author cautions, men might lose all authenticity and turn manliness into something ornamental and "about as 'masculine' as fake eyelashes are inherently 'feminine.'"

What's needed, Newsweek's huge, ahem, package on men explains, is a New Macho, a reimagination of what's expected from men at work and at home, something that will help men judge how useful they are to society. What do you think we should expect from today's men?

Join The Conversation
Lenay Lenay 6 years
As the mother of two boys, I've given up on the idea of them ever being viewed as strong, manly or athletic. They're quiet bookworms, and everyone has always remarked on how polite they are. Plus they're both handsome, but shy. I have no idea where they're going to find their place in a world that favors extroverts and sports-minded machismo. But I know my sons are good people, and hopefully when they get older they will find women who are too.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
^ Or douse the fire in his manly Axe body spray? I find the way society is trying to reassert manlihood a little amusing, honestly. I think it would be awesome if both men and women strived toward equality, not try to alienate themselves into separate spheres. The more concepts of "masculinity" and "feminity" are forced, the more disservice it does to everyone. I know they'll always exist to some extent, but looking toward "retro" models of masculinity is a little silly. How about embracing future models?
stephley stephley 6 years
I think we should expect today’s man to take any Newsweek article that refers to ‘retrosexuals’ and rip it to shreds with his bare hands and hurl those shreds into the nearest open flame. And when every hint of the article has been destroyed, today’s man should douse the fire with his hose.
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