So, the “menaissance.” It’s a thing! Granted, it was also a thing in 2008. But it went away. Presumably because people figured out what a stupid name it had, and decided not to engage in it any further. And yet, the Menaissance is upon us once again! It’s a Menaissance Renaissance up in here!
What is the Menaissance, you ask? Well, it seems to have a bit to do with the recent invention of the “retrosexual” gentleman (because nothing is more clenched-jaws-and-fisticuffs-level masculine than a cute little nickname for your gender presentation), a bit to do with those deodorant commercials about how men smell really super bad all the time and that’s what makes them dudes, probably something to do with that one Burger King sandwich that’s got all the beef in it (dudes EAT THE SHIT OUT OF beef, apparently), and, as always, a lot to do with good old-fashioned heterosexual male castration anxiety.
The chicks today, they get to do so many things! Why, they can vote, and attend colleges, and even drink and smoke in public,! These chicks: An alarming number of them have jobs! And, like, financial autonomy, from the jobs, and hence a socially assured position of power from which to negotiate the terms of their relationships and lives, thereby making them not entirely dependent on the funding and/or goodwill of men for their continued survival and status, and so they’re all able to make decisions and expect fair treatment and… dude, it’s a mess, I tell you. Because it turns out, after like fifty-some years of this business, none of these chicks is impressed enough by your penis!
“Excuse me, madam, I happen to have a penis,” you say. (Because you do. A trans variety of gentleman has no place within the Menaissance!) “Would you, perchance, like to hear about all of my thoughts and feelings as they relate to this penis, and also how important it makes me, and furthermore how it qualifies me to boss you around?” And the chicks today, they don’t particularly care to listen! They used to listen. They used to have to. It was, like, their job.
Hence, the Menaissance: From “Men,” meaning dudes, and “aissance,” meaning “making asses out of themselves.” What happens, apparently, is that a dude watches a few too many episodes of Mad Men and reads one too many Raymond Carver stories and takes at least one beer commercial just a bit too seriously, and then he decides to engage in some HISTORICAL RE-ENACTMENTING, buying books with titles like The Retrosexual Manual: How to Be A Real Man, and playing dress-up in his special Don Draper costume that he got at Banana Republic, and getting his hair did at special man-focused man-salons which ensure their manliness by putting Elvis memorabilia all over the place (because women HATED Elvis, duh), and also probably pretending that he likes how scotch tastes and that cigars don’t make him want to barf his rare steaks back up onto his pseudo-vintage-trouser-encased lap, and in all other ways attempting to embody some wacky vision of pre-feminist manhood that, unless he is actually ninety-seven years old, he has only ever seen on TV.
So, yeah. MENAISSANCE! We probably can’t stop it. We probably can’t even give it a less stupid name. (Like, “sexism!” That could be a good name for it!) I’ll tell you what we could do, however: Round up all the Menaissancers and get them in one place, so that the rest of us don’t have to deal with their tomfoolery while we are trying to work. Rent out a fairground, set up some tents, and provide them with the same sort of entertainment enjoyed by all those other folks who get off on re-enacting cartoonish imitations of massively oppressive time periods while somehow also always imagining that they would be members of the privileged elite class, and not one of the lowly and downtrodden. Yes, that’s right: I am proposing a Menaissance Faire.
In fact, I have done some quick thinking, and have come up with an assortment of attractions that the Men-Faire attendants might enjoy! For example:
- COME YE AND SEE THINE BROS DELIVER ICE, EACH BRO UNTO THE OTHER, IN BATTLE MOST FIERCE: Which bro shall draw his glistening Ice upon the other? And shall the other bro parry, Blocking Ice with Ice and thereby winning the battle? To the swiftest dealer of Ice, all other bros must kneel, in fealty!
- VISIT YE THE STENCH VENDORS: Many a fine oil and unguent have we, for thine sweaty pits! Each hath a marketing campaign devoted to telling ye it is Manly, and for The Men. But which shall ye choose, Sir Menaissance Attendant? Shall ye go with a trusty Axe? Ye other one with ye confusing commercials in which, for some reason, a guy has a garden hose and a football falling out of his ass in the shower? Or shall ye purchase the Spice of Old? All choices are manly choices, at the Menaissance vendor booths!
- CHEER YE ON THE GLORIOUS BONER JOUST: This is basically jousting. But with your boner! The concept is pretty self-explanatory, really. I don’t even see why I had to type this out.
- HEAR YE THE BALLADRY OF RIVERS THE BESPECTACLED, AS HE SINGS TO YE “THE TAYLE OF A NICE GUY, AND MANYE A TROUBLE THAT BEFELL HIM, AND HIS WOES RESULTING”: Faire maide, I resemble thee / Prithee, I wait, show mercy / Much good shall I do to thee / And ye shall do to me / WOOO-HOOOO-HOOOOOOOOO!
- BEHOLD THE RUNNING OF THE DEERE: Climb ye upon this riding lawnmower! Yon trusty steed shall deliver ye well across yonder lawn, and back again, performing manly lawn maintenance as it passeth!
- I BET I COULD TOTALLY JUMP OFF THIS ROOF RIGHT NOW, DUDE: No, seriously. I could do it. I could do it. What, you don’t believe me? It’s not that high, I’ll be fine. I’ll be totally fine! I’ve only had like a few beers, don’t be such a pussy. Watch, look, I can do it, it’s gonna be sweet, watch this look watch mAAAAAUGHHH AUGHHHHH AHHHHHHH MY ARRRRRRRRRRRRM AHHHHH FUUUUUUCCK