Death of the masculine man?
- Over 60% of young British blokes admit they’re not masculine -
A study into the state of masculinity in Britain by iconic men’s grooming brand Brylcreem reveals a shocking insight into the masculinity of blokes today. Conducted to celebrate 80 years of the Brylcreem brand’s heritage, ‘The Brylcreem Mandom Report 2008’ delves into the changing behaviours and attitudes of men aged 18-29 over the past eight decades, asking the eternal question – what maketh the man?
The results of the study show that over the last 80 years men have steadily lost touch with their instinctual masculinity and the traditional roles that defined them, as they’ve put down their handyman tools, lost their foothold as the ‘man of the house’, become obsessed with their image and abandoned emotional restraint.
An average young bloke in the 1920s and 40s considered himself to be masculine and was at ease with his role as stoic provider and protector. He was adept at traditional ‘manly’ chores, with 73% competent at motor mechanics, 90% able to change a fuse and 80% able to put up a shelf for his Mrs. He was the head of his household and would rather die than cry infront of someone, with half never shedding a tear at all. When it came to the home, only 25% knew how to turn the iron on and just 27% were comfortable in the kitchen.
Over the decades a lot has changed - these days, a young British bloke is more comfortable ironing than getting under his car bonnet. Over 60% are competent ironers, with only 10% able to maintain a car and almost half can’t even change a tyre. Three quarters regularly don an apron in the kitchen and almost 80% take on housework. Young men are so in touch with their emotions, a whopping 85% are comfortable crying in front of others.
Young blokes are also more obsessed with themselves than any other generation, with today’s young gun taking 26% longer in front of the mirror than his counterpart in the 40s and two thirds striving to attain a perfectly toned body.
James Brown, founding editor of men’s magazine, Loaded, who fueled the 90s era of the ‘Loaded Lad’, believes British blokes have been sliding into the process of what he coins ‘Gender Surrender’:
“A bloke’s masculinity used to come effortlessly and his place in the world was clear cut. Nowadays, women are confident and men are confused. As men have been reacting to being told ‘how they should behave’ rather than ‘how they really are’, they’ve crossed the line from just ‘changing with the times’ to committing outright gender surrender”.
According to The Brylcreem Mandom Report 2008, young British women agree that men have stepped too far into the feminine domain and want their ‘real men’ back, with two thirds of women aged 18-29 complaining they think men are not as masculine as men of yesteryear. A girl also still wants her leading man, with 60% saying they’d prefer a man to take control in their relationship.
“There’s no need for men to head back to the cave”, Brown says, “but it’s clear from the research that a more defined identity needs to be established.”
So come on men, put down your manbags, leave your eyeliner at home and reclaim your Mandom!
- Ends –
Notes to editors:
20s 60s 80s 2000s
Admit to not being masculine 35% 34% 53% 61%
Competent under the bonnet 73% 61% 25% 10%
Know how to iron 25% 32% 36% 62%
Admit crying 52% 66% 72% 85%
Time taken to get ready 23 mins 25 mins 26 mins 29 mins
*The research for Brylcreem was carried out online by Tickbox.net between 08/02/08 and 21/02/08 amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,291 UK men aged 18+ and amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,439 UK women aged 18+.