Machismo and the modern man
March 8, 2012Posted by on
Machismo is central to the theme in the novel ‘The Honorary Consul‘ by Graham Greene. While the novel was a risible take on machismo in Latin America, it never sought to alter the meaning of the word. I can’t remember if Greene’s novel was my introduction to machismo but when I read it, the loanword machismo wasn’t in common use. Neither was the calque ‘macho,’ now widely used by females synonymously with Neanderthal.
Language being one of the many subversive elements used to change society, which is now moving inexorably towards that portrayed in ‘The Worm That Turned’. How long will it be I wonder before this transformation is complete? The male becoming mere chattel, a plaything, not worthy of education, relieved of his suffrage. How long I wonder before his role in the reproductive process becomes a myth, leading to his acceptance that procreation occurs when the female turns her hindquarters towards Boreas?
Personally, I place a large part of the blame for all this male feminist stuff on that Australian export Germaine Greer. Her trite comment,“The tragedy of machismo is that a man is never quite man enough” being widely used to undermine man’s self-esteem. Her liberation of women from their bra’s, a bra that would later make Madonna famous, a liberation resulting in generations of men unable to make eye contact with women. Buds were appearing that needed nipping.
But perhaps it was already too late, Greer’s empowerment of women, when accompanied by the new genre of theatre and cinema such as The Rocky Horror Show and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, was all part of a cunning plan. Such entertainment encouraged men to openly display their feminization. Men were so busy looking for high heel shoes in their size and straightening their seams, that they never saw their outing as Dorothy being the first step on the yellow brick road to perdition. The expression ‘getting in touch with your feminine side’ became a common idiom.
Being unaware of the cunning plan, following generations became emasculated through seductive advertising promoting the use men’s deodorants, men’s shampoos, and French knickers disguised as ‘boxer shorts’. Devoid of any pheromones and unwittingly feminized, modern man became putty in a woman’s hand. Thanks to the wizards of Oz, real men are rising up in their sheds, firm in their resolve.
Given the Australian heritage of Germaine Greer, it seems somewhat paradoxical to discover the Aussie male leading a machismo revival, and the source of this revival being found in a shed. As I understand it, the point of shed machismo is the total exclusion of females and the selective inclusion of males. So my plan is to build a shed. Not from a kit, I mean building a ‘real shed’ from cut timber.
In a machismo environment, where image is everything, and size really does matter, I now need to buy a hard hat, steel capped boots, check shirt, jeans and braces and I shall then look the part. When the shed is complete, I intend to fill it with in real men (just like in Oz) and break out a cask of real ale. If becoming a convert to real ale is a necessary sacrifice in this pursuit of machismo (at least while in the shed), then I’ll not resist this change of wind. I’ve already taken a machismo stance by telling my wife of my shed plan, I’ll order up the materials when my wife tells me where I can put it.