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Ken Doll Syndrome

I’m a social feminist. I believe in gender equality. I think women are treated poorly in this society, and that we need to take measures to make us all equal. I think fundamentalist religion and the old guards of power and authority are unfairly holding women from advancing in this world. But at the same time I’m not a supporter of the extremist variation of Feminism that exists in our society: The concept of putting a women’s wants and needs over a man’s because man has been deemed inferior for whatever reason of the week. If we truly are equal, and if we’re all striving for equality, then we should follow the golden rule and treat each other how we ourselves want to be treated

This ridiculous double standard where a woman can bash a man for hours, and the second they’re insulted cry “sexist,” is bullshit. The fact that most men portrayed on television are portrayed as socially-inept retards, while women are portrayed as well-rounded and perfect, is bullshit. The idea that you’re not a man unless you put on your Axe, wax yourself, and bow to your girl’s every whim is bullshit. And the loss of any kind of identity for the modern male, and the opposition to finding that identity is not only unacceptable, but it is just plain bullshit.

My brother Eric could best be described as a metrosexual. For those of you not in on this fun little game of linguistic diarrhea, the term refers to a straight guy who acts gay. The term does not go both ways. (Get it?) You are not a metrosexual if you’re a gay guy who acts straight. But if you were a straight guy who acts gay, then you would be considered a metrosexual. To me there is nothing wrong with being gay or being straight. That’s your preference, and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. But I have a big problem with the concept of metrosexuals, or Ken Dolls, as they will be referred to from now on. A Ken Doll is not the identity we should accept for the modern man.

You know how to spot a Ken Doll from a mile away, and a glue gun shoved up your nose. They have popped collars, pink shirts, gelled hair, and may or may not have those fashionable Lance Armstrong bracelets on their hand. You might also be able to smell them, despite the noticeable handicap of the glue gun, because they felt the need to bath in Axe and other cheap colognes. Ken Dolls also do things like man-scaping, waxing, and spending over an hour in the salon getting their hair done. They care about fashion, their self-worth, and their interior decorating skills. They hope to graduate and take a mid-level position in a company for the rest of their lives, decorating their Ikea apartments, and counting the days until they retire. They don’t go against the grain. They are content with the idea they represent the modern man. They don’t dare to dream.

The concept of a man coming home from work and asking his wife what she made for dinner is antiquated. We can no longer be tough guys, because then we’re accused of being chauvinists and macho. We can not continue to treat woman the way the sewage end of the hip-hop culture treats women, because that is pure exploitation that shouldn’t be tolerated. We can’t be a Ken Doll because then we’re just followers to another’s whim.

So the question is then raised as to what we can be. What society would permit us to be without generating opposition? I’m convinced that any kind of movement to create the modern man would be greeted with cries of hysteria from the liberal media, claiming that we’re just looking to upset the delicate progress women have made since the feminist movement. The reality is the modern man will continue to be an amorphous blob of lost souls with no general direction. Sure people might emerge every so often to point us in their direction, for whatever their goals might be, but we don’t have a leader. We don’t have a spirit or a soul.

My solution is a relatively simple one. That we as men always and above all else treat women with respect, chivalry, and love. We should not allow ourselves to be bullied by any one ideology or agenda. We should fight for what we believe to be true and speak out against injustices. And we should stop popping our collars, because that’s really fricking lame.

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Edited: PC

About Brandon J. Mendelson

  • Bob A. Booey

    I like anyone inspired by Fight Club, but your piece is kind of conceptually muddled. Is it that metrosexual “Ken Dolls” have lost the traditional masculine values that allow us to come home and demand a steak on the table when we enter the door? Or is it that men need to be more in touch with their feminine side and need “respect, chivalry, and love”?

    The tough, abusive, traditional “man’s man” (Where’s my dinner, woman?!) was just as much, if not more, an Organization Man who looked only for job security and a career in mid-level Babbitry. The economic and consumptive behavior of the men you describe hasn’t changed at all, despite their changing tastes in fashion and culture. The only difference now is perhaps that consumerism has become more flamboyant and narcissistic. In the 1950s, men worked to get money to build boring white flight suburban houses for their 2.7 children away from the inner cities. Today’s young semi-professional man is probably more likely to reside in some gentrified urban yuppie enclave, living an extended adolescence into his early or mid-30s, going out with the same friends from college, and spending and shopping conspicuously on things for themselves that they can hardly afford. Morality isn’t as important in the world of today’s “Ken doll” as it was in the Puritan legacy of the 50s Company Man, because the “Ken Doll” ascribes to be a narcissist (with limited success, often leading to frustration in dating and social activities) akin to his favorite role models in popular culture.

    That is all.

  • Jones Violet

    I hate men who wear pink. They look like silly sissies.

  • Bob A. Booey

    Even if it’s me wearing it, baby? :)

    I think I own one pink shirt.

    That is all.

  • Jones Violet

    1. Don’t call me baby

    2. I can, maybe, make an exception for you. Maybe.

  • Bob A. Booey

    OK, but only if I can call you “baby” while wearing pink. All broads love that.

    That is all.

  • Victor Plenty

    As a sign of just how bad things have gotten in today’s world, I find myself impressed with you (on a coolly detached intellectual level, of course) just because you know enough to capitalize both of the letters in “OK,” Bob.

  • Maximus

    Brandon, you’re all wet behind the ears mate. You wrote – “My solution is a relatively simple one. That we as men always and above all else treat women with respect, chivalry, and love.”

    You guys crack me up with this antique sop. You’re maintaining a double standard here. This is the twenty-first century, the age of equality, remember?

    And you want to promote this romantic nonsense from the days of Romeo and Juliet – like get real.

    I’ll start – maybe – treating women with respect, chivalry, and love about the same time they start treating me, a man, in that same way. And let me tell you fella, that’s likely going to be one of those days hell freezes over.

    For now, the hip-hop treatment of women will do just nicely thank you. But if women want respect from me, they have to earn it, just like other any man does.

  • sharon wortman farnhamn

    I think people should be who they are and should be proud of who they are not try to be a stereo type of someone else . I don’t believe people should push one another around and try to force them to change into someone different then who they are . The only person you can change in life is you. No one living nowhere on the planet is perfect except these to concepts and you will have a great life .

  • ManlyMan

    WTF are u talking about phaggot!!

  • Toxovaginapaloxis

    Metrosexual – a young, urban, heterosexual male with liberal political views, an interest in fashion, and a refined sense of taste. What you’re referring to is someone who’s extremely vain, not “gay”. Therefore your article is also ignorant and renders your article under the “bullshit” category as well, paradoxically.