TRADITIONAL MALE SKILLS: I’ve mentioned before that we’re in something of a cultural moment, and here’s more evidence — an interesting dialogue on Rush Limbaugh (thanks to Ed Driscoll for the link). The topic is a commercial for Lowe’s, where the husband keeps saying that he doesn’t know how to do anything and the wife keeps encouraging him. A caller said it made men look dumb (which is common for commercials, of course) but Limbaugh disagrees here:
But this could have been appealing from the Lowe’s standpoint to men’s aspirations. They want to be able to fix things but they aren’t sure they know how, and they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of the girl. They don’t want to be embarrassed in front of the woman. They don’t want to look dumb by screwing it up. The commercial, actually from the Lowe’s standpoint, Lowe’s could say, “Hey, look at the ending of our commercial. This commercial affirms that men can learn to fix things.”
Now, that’s kind of insulting itself, but given where we are in our culture today, who knows.
He even mentions The Dangerous Book for Boys.
I think he’s onto something with this business about the loss of traditional male skills and men feeling unhappy about it. Here’s an essay that a bunch of readers have emailed me: I Can’t Do One-Quarter of the Things My Father Can.
And guys, visit the Skill Sets page to learn some of this!