Things About 20th-Century American Masculinity I Actually Love -The Toast

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masculinityThere’s a lot of playful misandry here on The Toast, so I would like to take a brief moment to list in full the aspects of 20th-century American masculinity that is actually, unqualifiably great. Thanks, American guys from the last 100 years.

  • The way Chuck Connors looks at the camera right after he squeezes off like a thousand rounds in the opening credits of The Rifleman
  • The way Charlton Heston used to say “Oh, my God
  • Pocket squares
  • That scene in The Maltese Falcon where Humphrey Bogart slaps Peter Lorre for not being tough enough and then tells him “When you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it”
  • The fact that Fred MacMurray used to bring a brown-bag lunch every day to the set of My Three Sons and that also this possibly happened:

“I remember once the wardrobe man coming in and saying, ‘Fred, I really think that we should buy a dozen new shirts for you.’ And Fred replied, ‘Buy a dozen new shirts? Why don’t you just turn the collars around?'”

  • That movie about arm wrestling
  • Short fingernails
  • Taking stairs two at a time
  • That part in High Noon where Gary Cooper knows he has to stay and fight Frank Miller and his woman isn’t going to stand by him and she talks to his last woman and his last woman says “If he were my man, I would never leave him” and his new woman says “Then why are you leaving?” and Katy Jurado just fixes that milquetoast, mush-mouthed Grace Kelly with a look and says “He is not my man” and Grace Kelly changes her life and stands by Gary Cooper and endeavors to be worthy of him
  • The ending of Shane
  • Ossie Davis
  • When young, laid-back male baristas smile genuinely at you and say things like “For sure, yeah” and “Oh, it’s no problem” and “Right on, right on”
  • Slouching
  • Starting meetings by saying “Is everybody here?”
  • Saying “Yeah, that’s cool I guess”
  • Always having an extra set of keys
  • Inviting people to watch you smoke weed or do tricks on your bike
  • Saying “No thanks, I’m good”
  • Fred Astaire
  • Lighting other people’s cigarettes silently
  • Filming it when people get hurt
  • Calling people “champ” or “sports fans”
  • Walking through the front door and calling out “I’m home!”
  • Leather bracelets
  • Opening a newspaper crisply over the breakfast table
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Curt yet friendly head nods
  • Ernest Borgnine
  • Spats

That’s it, thanks guys!!!

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