many have said I look hot pic.twitter.com/Kwu7B16VRd— Alex McElroy (@abmcelroy1) January 13, 2022
“If true vulnerability seems scary, it is — but that doesn’t make expressing it any less necessary, for men as for everyone,” writes the author @abmcelroy1. “The strong, silent type is losing some of his allure.” https://t.co/CsHRZqSNAr— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) January 13, 2022
and shout out to the other glamour girls out there–this is for Mx Emma pic.twitter.com/QVwLJNjL7Z— Alex McElroy (@abmcelroy1) January 13, 2022
I was just thinking about this last night.
A century ago, New York City was on the way up in American culture. It was surging in wealth, population and cultural influence. It had superseded the previous era of regional cultures to become the metropole like Paris in France. The “mainstream” was in its youth and the nascent liberal intelligentsia was headquartered there. New York was in the Jazz Age and was associated with glamour and the future like in The Great Gatsby. It enticed the rest of the country which from the 1920s forward got its values and news from a tiny cultural elite New York in a way that had not previously been the case.
“Toxic masculinity is so 2017.
It hasn’t disappeared, of course, but in the years since #MeToo, many men have been trying to drop the stoicism and anger that have long warped masculinity. Some are seeking therapy. Others have enrolled in workshops and men’s groups in an effort to get in touch with their feelings and become better men. For better or worse, everyone you know is watching “Ted Lasso.” The strong, silent type is losing some of his allure.
My personal relationship to masculinity is fraught. I spent my first 31 years moving through spaces where I didn’t feel I belonged, and I was often told implicitly or explicitly that I wasn’t performing maleness correctly. I cried often as a child, and a cousin once pulled me aside to tell me that as a boy I should never cry unless I had a cut running from my eye to my ankle. In high school, after telling my best friend that my grandfather died, he asked me to please leave his house if I was planning to cry.
Two years ago, I came out as a nonbinary trans person. Expressing my true gender identity did not immediately fix my relationship with vulnerability, but it led me to delve deeper into what vulnerability is and how it can operate. …”
2022 is a long way from 1922.
Do you get the sense that this has changed over the past few decades? While New York values still enchant some people, it seems like its soft power has declined from, say, the Johnny Carson days in the 1960s.