Are guys useless morons? Do we need to go back to our traditional roles? We’d like to hope not, but that’s what James May thinks.
May, a host of the popular British show Top Gear, is crusading against the current generation of emasculated men. “I think women are getting a bit bored with blokes being useless,” May said.
I keep reading women are better at school and now better at parking, better at navigating. We are sort of laughing at it going, “Ho ho ho, I’m just a bloke,” but really in my lifetime men only will be required to keep sperm at operating temperature and they will have no other function.
It’s never a bad thing when a man examines his gender’s role in society and how it’s changing. That’s what we’re all about here. But there are other more productive, non-sensationalist ways to go about it.
In response to these feelings, May now hosts a new series, Man Lab, which is supposed to help “modern men relearn vital skills once cherished by their forefathers.”
“The decline of practical skills,” May said, “some of them very day-to-day, among a generation of British men is very worrying—they can’t put up a shelf, wire a plug, countersink a screw, iron a shirt.”
Now, practical advice isn’t a bad thing either. There’s something to be said for a man who can fix a leak or patch up a hole in a wall. You don’t learn to put up a shelf because you’re a man. You learn how because it’s a useful skill. To learn these skills because women are getting bored with you is, to put it plainly, ridiculous.
Of the impractical man, May said, “They believe it is endearing and cute to be useless, whereas I think it’s boring and everyone’s getting sick of it.”
No, men don’t avoid learning a skill because it’s “endearing and cute.” That’s not at all what we do. It’s because of circumstances. Maybe we don’t have time. Maybe such a skill isn’t practical anymore. Maybe our fathers never taught us. But we sure as hell aren’t rejecting these traditional hobbies just to become useless little teddy bears.
And then he loses it.
“But enthusiasms are good,” May said. “Hobbies are healthy. They don’t harm anybody. It’s the people who don’t have them that end up going mad and shooting people.”
So if we all start woodworking, the murder rate will drop? And is it the current generation of feeble men that are “going mad and shooting people”? Our forefathers didn’t kill humans—only animals.
While May might’ve had good intentions, it’s hard to take this as anything more than a crazy plea for attention. Men’s roles are changing. We no longer have to build our own houses and kill our own food. At the same time, there are ways for men to still be men in the changing environment. But it’s an environment we need to embrace and change with. Reacting against it and turning our backs, like May suggests, isn’t the way forward.