"'We live in more of a pussy generation now,' Clint Eastwood told Esquire magazine last year." So begins Katherine Miller's rant on — you guessed it — the decline of manhood. Did you know that guys wear scarves now?
Miller's essay appears in Jonah Goldberg's Proud to Be Right, "a collection of essays by 22 young conservative writers." You can read an excerpt at the Student Free Press Association, where Miller is an editor. Here's her thesis:
America's elite has a problem. It's skinny jeans and scarves, it's Bama bangs and pants with tiny, tiny embroidered lobsters, it's Michael Cera, it's guys who compliment a girl's dress by brand, it's guys who don't know who bats fourth for the Yankees. Between the hipsters and the fratstars, American intellectual men under the age of twenty-five have lost track of acting like Men-and these are our future leaders. We have no John Wayne, no Clint Eastwood. And girls? Girls hate it.
We have, of course, heard things like this before — and the trope of lamenting for the Manly Men of yesteryear is (at least) as old as ancient Rome. Miller's is actually a confusing formulation — she complains that today's girlie-men are both too committed ("Backstreet Boy No. 16 informed his girlfriend of three months when he would propose") and not committed enough (the Homme Fatale who leaves behind a "trail of unconsummated, unsatisfying, undefined faux-relationships"). But it's as good an opportunity as any to implore opinionators everywhere: please, can we put this shit to bed?