There has been a recent spate of things written here, there and everywhere about real boys and real men. It is a reaction to the feminization of the male that has infected American culture. These days boys are to be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and drugged into stupor and men are to be taught to cry in public at the whim of any female. Violence of any kind is to be roundly condemned and we are told that the only thing worth studying in college is Peace Studies with a minor in Lesbian Poetry.

Real men—military guys, cowboys, meat eaters, gun owners and whiskey drinkers—are to be substituted with metrosexual-men—queer eyes for straight guys, public pouters, vegetarians, Chablis drinkers, lisping and swishy sorts and Oprah watchers.

There have appeared books to remedy such anti-male agit-prop, such as The Dangerous Book For Boys, and many lists of things ‘real men’ are supposed to do. Here is an old list from Robert Heinlein.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Here is a new list from Popular Mechanics.

Patch a radiator hose, protect your computer, rescue a boater who has capsized, frame a wall, retouch digital photos, back up a trailer, build a campfire, fix a dead outlet, navigate with a map and compass, use a torque wrench, sharpen a knife, perform CPR, fillet a fish, maneuver a car out of a skid, get a car unstuck, back up data, paint a room, mix concrete, clean a bolt-action rifle, change oil and filter, hook up an HDTV, bleed brakes, paddle a canoe, fix a bike flat, extend your wireless network.

Before any males start to cry and lament their supposed lack of the manly arts, they need to remember that these sorts of lists are geared to the times. They no more apply to all men in all ages than do trends in male sartorial elegance. Consider the greatest society of men that ever existed, the Roman Republic (509 – 30 BC).

Here indeed was a men’s club of men’s clubs, any member of which would put to shame most of today’s mincing and prancing delicate little dandies whose claim to maleness rests solely upon the possession of a penis. So few Roman men could perform those things above, yet they brought the entire ancient world under their thumb.

Here is a list of things every Roman male over the age of 18 needed to know in 100 BC.

Handle a short sword, throw a javelin, walk 30 miles a day with full military panoply, bake bread on the march, build a small city every night, sew and repair clothing and sandals, work in teams of 100, handle mules, be accustomed to slaying men while stepping in urine, intestines and feces, kill men until the centurion tells you to stop, build and repair siege machines, siege works and artillery on the fly, become a master at taking well-defended towns, become acquainted with the price and maintenance of slaves around the Mediterranean, become expert at pick, axe and shovel, be well-rehearsed at close order drill, small infantry tactics and hand-to-hand combat, plant and harvest wheat, understand political propaganda, obey orders, give orders, construct latrines, forts, roads and aqueducts.

Not too shabby, all things considered. And who among us outside of the US Marines can do many of these today?

A list of what a real man needs to know should be tied to the nature of ‘maleness,’ an immutable thing which has not changed since Cain clobbered Abel. We men are simple creatures, and whatever things we absolutely and positively must know needs to be arranged around our nature, which is—and ladies, please take notes—based on the following:

We are naturally aggressive, competitive and violent. Any sort of gooey, multicultural and PC pap that tries to remove such behavior will only ruin the lives of those poor males who are forced to undergo such idiocy as non-competitive ‘sports’ and ‘transgender’ training. A male adapted to such feminist propaganda is scarcely qualified to fornicate, yet alone act like a man.

We like noisy stuff—guns and NASCAR and Bruce Willis movies.

We like to protect stuff—our homes, our women, our children and our nation. Even the most degraded lesbian, if her neighborhood is invaded by 100,000 Chinese soldiers, would rather be defended by a bunch of Oklahoma boys than by the questionable males who inhabit San Francisco and New York.

We respond to words like Honor, Loyalty and Duty. We don’t really get Chastity too well, but here is where real women are needed to teach it to us. We can learn it if you ladies are patient.

We react to fleshy things like food and sex. You ladies, while courting us, should encourage one part of our flesh—the food part—and deny us the other—the sex part—until we marry you. Most modern ‘Sex and the City’ women get this exactly backwards. These poor females end up as well-used and well-divorced skanks, lonely and empty wombed like Maureen Dowd.

We need to be in the wilds with other real men from time to time. Thus our habit of taking trucks, buddies, six-packs and guns into the woods. Do not try and deny this to us. If we did not do this you would love us less—or not at all.

But all of this can really be boiled down to a single sentence. It was spoken by the most complete Man who ever lived. His advice on masculinity was simple:

A man should love the Lord with all his heart.

Everything else is extra credit.

(Hat tip: Sippican Cottage.)

(Update: And since I brought it up, here—in no particular order of importance—is my own list.)

A man should know how to:

Shoot a pistol, prepare meals, handle a manual transmission 4-wheel drive truck, talk to God, clean a home, read and understand history, administer basic emergency medical care, walk ten miles a day with full pack for at least two weeks, set up any tent in any weather, save a drowning man, teach an adolescent about his life and times, read and understand women, handle teenagers in the wilds, work a machete, repair a camp stove, tent, pack and boots while in the woods, run 5 miles, swim one mile and bike 20 miles all without a break, ride a motorcycle, set up and operate computers, explain the purposes of music, literature and art, laugh easily, tell the difference between sham and real, survive alone for days at a time, recover when defeated or lost, cook meals on long trips in the wilderness, handle unexpected encounters with dangerous animals.

I can do all the above, but only a great fool will trust me with hammer, saw and drill.