I read that a Trump aide described Trump as the most manly president in history.
I bet Trump wants to be thought of as manly. Many men do. The theme song of the TV show Two and a Half Men lauds manly men.
Men do all sorts of things to prove to themselves and others that they are manly. Some beat their spouses. Some get in fistfights. Some pretend to be heterosexual.
Other men play rough sports or engage in dangerous activities. Some bully others, physically or psychologically.
Some men own huge dogs. I used to see that often in the USA.
Then there are men who carry big guns wherever they go. That is an American pastime. Freud would have a field day with those guys.
I started thinking about manliness after I saw photos of American insurrectionists. Some wore animal pelts. Maybe they personally killed the animals and skinned them. What could be more manly?
Some women want to be womanly. I have a female friend who dislikes being called mate or champ. To her, those terms are too masculine.
Being an unobservant man, I do not know how women try to be womanly or feminine. By being kind? Taking care of kids? Speaking softly (and not carrying a big stick)?
Some women gravitate toward manly men. I suppose that these women consider themselves womanly. OK with me — I like role playing. One problem is that these roles limit both the man and the woman, as would roles in a play. Think of Hamlet and Ophelia.
I am not a sterling example of a manly man. You might consider me androgynous. Or a girly man, to use a comical expression made famous long ago by Hans and Franz on Saturday Night Live.
So you won’t see me wearing animal pelts or beating a police officer. I think of violence as a failure.
I like the Jewish concept of a mensch — a person of integrity and honor. I would rather achieve that status than be known as a manly man.
Do not think that I look down on aggressive, hardy men. They are good in sports and as soldiers. I admire their courage and persistence. Aggression is valuable when it is directed in precisely the right direction and is kept within the rules. But I hope that these tough men spend most of their life as a mensch.