Thursday, March 27, 2008

My New Favorite Word

Menaissance. Let that just roll of your tongue. Men-ai-ssance. Menaissance.

This comes from an article Jeromy linked to on the decline of respect for traditional male traits. It's a good article and a topic I have certainly thought about especially since I saw and read Fight Club. No other book or movie for me has so perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the emasculated male and the anger that feeling engenders.

I do not have the feeling as strongly as many men, I think in large part because I have never been a "typical" male. I am of course a dork, nerd, geek, or whatever you want to call it. Reading and role-playing games are more likely to be on my list of activities than football and strip clubs. I am, though, completely comfortable with who I am. I feel secure in my masculinity without having to resort to activities enjoyed by a more average male.

That said, even I feel the change our culture has gone through with respect to what it means to be a man. Men are different from women and you can't expect to take away what it means to be a man without having men wonder what it is they are supposed to be and be angry when there are no good answers. This is one of the reasons I enjoyed last year's 3:10 to Yuma so much because one of the main themes explored by the movie is 'what does it mean to be a man?'

While I ponder this very serious topic, I intend to use the word 'menaissance' as much as possible. In fact I think when I go back to work on Monday, the first thing I'm going to say (loud and proud) is, "What this hospital needs is a menaissance!" Maybe I'll blow a party whistle, too, while I'm at it.

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