Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Art of Manliness - separating the men from the guys

While there are a lot of men's interest Web sites out there, a lot of them only touch on the very superficial aspects of manhood. A lot of them are simply about "stuff" - cars, clothes, big-screen TVs, gadgets, etc., or about how to pick up women (who are written about as another category of "stuff"). If they're not writing about things to buy, then they're talking about the quickest way to get six-pack abs or a promotion.

Basically, a lot of men's web sites are about how to GET things, but Brett McKay's The Art of Manliness is about how to BE things. Specifically, how to be a good man.

The site has a distinctly retro sense of style, which suits its mission of finding the best qualities of traditional manhood and adapting them to the modern era. Brett's belief is that a lot of young men are stuck in a perpetual boyhood, forever being "guys" rather than true "men." The site's aim is to promote old-fashioned manly virtues such as responsibility, self-confidence, pride in appearance, manners, respectfulness and a get-things-done attitude while also embracing the progress we've made in the modern era in terms of tolerance and women's equality. It also avoids the "drums in the woods" flakiness of the pop-psychology based men's movement books. The site is less about getting in touch with your inner whatever than working your butt off to be a better man, plain and simple.

AoM updates pretty much daily and features essays by Brett and other contributors on all sorts of ways to be a better husband, father, brother son, or man in general. There are pieces on historical role models, manly skills, style, careers and - unlike many other men's sites - family and morality.

The Art of Manliness stands out as a sincere effort to find a better, more satisfying life and definition of manhood which is not defined by how big your television set is.

No comments: