Good Manly America

Morning show says women want "a Humphrey Bogart who cuddles," but doesn't ask actual women.

By Lynn Harris
March 22, 2006 9:44PM (UTC)
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An outraged Broadsheet reader alerts us to today's "Good Morning America" segment on "Manliness," the book that, now that we've mentioned it once, we're trying really hard to ignore. But this we just can't: "They uncritically reported on the book, even citing statistics that say women are happier when their men provide for them," says our tipster. (Funny, other mainstream news stories about women -- say, about the medical realities of reproductive healthcare -- don't appear to be "balanced" unless they quote some crackpot droning, "Abortion is America's Holocaust.")

Also, "Manliness" author Harvey Mansfield apparently claimed (here we go again) that women only say they want "sensitive" -- or if they do, they've been brainwashed by feminists -- when what they really want is "manly." (Because no man in the history of men, which is to say history, has ever been both.) As our reader reports: "GMA" "teased the segment repeatedly throughout the program, asking viewers: 'What do women really want? A man like Russell Crowe or a man like Jude Law?'"


"Are they serious?" she asks. "Which would women prefer: a violent man with a history of anger and fighting or a man who is going to cheat on them with the babysitter? So, according to GMA, not only are women lazy, gold digging, feminine flowers, who are unequal to men and want nothing more than their man to provide for them, but they want that man to either be abusive or unfaithful? Hell, how about both?! Where do I sign up?"

(Oh, I know what letters are coming. "But women do love bad boys!" "I'm a nice guy and women don't date me because I'm not a jerk!" etc. Enough. Yes, some women have a thing for cads. And some men have a thing for beeyotches. You know what? Some people make sketchy choices. It's not a gender thing.)

And fellas, if I were you, just to reiterate, I'd be huffy about "GMA's" unexamined (and iffily illustrated) implication that you guys are either studly or sweet -- never both. It's your very own Madonna/whore complex! (Call it "Jesus/gigolo.")


Anyone else see the segment? Agree with our reader?

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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