Caveman or Mr. Nice Guy?

LADIES and gentlemen, there's some good news and there's some bad news. And then there's some confusion. The good news is that these days it's not just women who are stressed out juggling their traditional role as homemakers and their relatively modern role as successful professionals.

Men are equally confused about whether they should let their masculine traits speak a little more than their egalitarian gender views or should it be the other way around? The bad news is that this confusion is making relationships between the genders more complex and stressful than ever. The confusion that ensues is only natural.

While the rise of feminism, girl power and economic independence in the last few decades has ensured that the right noises are made about women's rights and freedom for a more balanced society, the men seem to have lost their voice somewhere midway not knowing what's expected out of them in this age of political correctness. A new book, Manning Up: How the Rise of Men has Turned Women into Boys, by American author KS Hymowitz, talks about why the New Age Woman has turned men into bitter and unreasonable preadolescent boys who would rather spend time with their Playstations or porn than woo a woman! Her theory is simple. The culture at large is uncertain about what it wants from its men.

We give a lot of mixed messages. To quote her from the book, "Men perceive a bait-and-switch in society's set-up of male-female relationships because women may want equality at the conference table and treadmill, but when it comes to sex and dating, they aren't so sure." In other words, women today compete at the same level as men in professional situations, but they still expect men to follow 19th-century standards of behaviour in relationship settings. Do they?


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