Some say the shift was caused by the women's movement, which brought men and women on equal footing. Others argue the reason is simple economics, with men needing to be well groomed to be more competitive in a tightening job market. Still others trace the phenomenon to the proliferation of media and the changing face of consumerism.
Whatever the reasons, the men exhibiting the old attributes of manhood are held less likely to play a significant part as role models for the youth in modern civilised life. Today's examples of modern manliness are David Beckham and his courtliness, Peter Mandelson and his buttoned-up punctiliousness, and Ruth Kelly and his dogged refusal to buckle under pressure 1. The new models of masculinity, according to the growing literature on the subject, require that they no longer engage in barroom brawls and out-drink everybody. They get themselves into trouble now and then but they are not above regretting their actions and feeling contrite for these, as gleaned from the frequent outbursts of Beckham on court, for which he would apologize to the sports fans later on. More important, the new icons of masculinity are fastidious about their appearance such that this has given rise to the unisex beauty salons, which used to service an all-female clientele. ...Show more