Episode 23: Where have all the cowboys gone?

She says:

Where have all the cowboys gone?

The `macho’ man seems to be slowly becoming extinct, as cities get overrun with over-hyped, overdressed metrosexuals. (A clotheshorse wrapped around a dandy fused with a narcissist: Wordspy.) There’s no point blaming David Beckham, the man with painted nails and ponytails. The fact is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the men from the girls.

I was at a pub with a big gang of friends watching football recently and, in between goals, two guys intensely discussed hair straightening, swapping tips on techniques and stylists. Men strut in and out of beauty parlours, getting pedicures and facials done. They colour, perm, straighten, twist and tease their hair, probably pouting prettily in front of the mirror all the while. At gyms, they narcissistically work on every part of their body, toning here and shaping there. Muddy sports are out, unless they’re being watched on a flat screen television, accompanied by butter-free popcorn and low fat white wine.

And don’t even get me started on their diet. Chocolate chip cookies are a fate worse than cellulose. I actually know a man who called for the chef and made him list out ingredients in a low fat milkshake, adding up the calories till he went white and so weak that he had to be revived with a spray of Evian from his `man bag.’

I even have a friend who follows fashion with such a passion he actually made his cousin go back inside and get out of her platform sandals because he was horrified at the thought of being seen with a woman wearing last season’s shoes.

And talking of fashion, what’s with them masquerading about in all our colours? Pinks, bright greens and aquamarine. Whatever happened to the time when men didn’t even know what `aquamarine’ meant? What next? Pink lace-trimmed folders at the office? Leave granted by the office for bad hair days? Having to knock out women who whistle at your boyfriend?

From the looks of it, soon country crooner Paula Cole won’t be the only one singing, “Where is my John Wayne? Where is my Marlboro man? Where is my lonely ranger? Where is my happy ending?”

He says:

Maybe women hang out with gay men because they feel safe. Maybe that’s why they believe that cowboys do not exist. But wait, going by Brokeback Mountain, maybe even the cowboys were never straight.

Cowboy: A hired man, especially in the western United States, who tends cattle and performs many of his duties on horseback. (Dictionary.com)

Firstly, we do not live in the western United States. Our cowboys have always worn pink and yellow. Ask the cows about a certain Mr. Ramarajan.

The Marlboro man found himself dead and left behind a valuable lesson: Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Man, being the more intelligent of the species, decided that smoking did not make him macho.

Macho: Used of men; markedly masculine in appearance or manner.

(Dictionary.com)

Men have not started getting silicon implants (transvestites excluded), but maybe they are grooming themselves a little more seriously. But then, so have women. Just because they did it first does not mean that they can patent the hairless body as `feminine.’

Because, going by the same logic, many women are tomboys. They wear shirts and pants, some of them smoke, drink beer and some, even womanise.

Yes, what is wrong with keeping track of fashion? Maybe once upon a time, denims, hats and biker beards used to be fashionable, now it’s all about whatever makes you look good. Which also determines what men eat.

That’s exactly what her problem is: Men look so good these days that she has too much competition to snag him over. Add jealousy to that insecurity and you find a woman wishing for a man who is his simple basic self. You get Paula Cole.

Besides, if hairy men in faded jeans and duller chappals are what you are looking for, maybe you should get out of the `effeminate’ circuit and check out the boys at the bus stop. The good old macho man is still alive if you care to look beyond Page 3-types. He still burps, scratches, smells, smokes, drinks and does all those disgusting macho things you hate about him.

Think again. You’re safer with wuss company. What are you complaining about?

(A fortnightly column on the battle of the sexes)

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Sho-Buzz

August 2006
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