What Makes A Man Manly?

You might have missed this item in the news over the weekend. Sperling’s  Best Places, which ranks cities around the country on everything from pizza to traffic, has now decided to break down the top 50 metropolitan areas of the country – according to their manliness.

OK, there are many ways to rank cities … but manliness? How the heck to you gauge what’s manly and what’s less than manly ( for lack of a better and more politically correct word ). Let me end the suspense right now. Pittsburgh placed 29th, which is going to no doubt upset plenty of people in this so-called “Shot and a Beer Town”. Here’s the top 5:

1. Nashville

2. Charlotte

3. Oklahoma City

4. Cincinnati

5. Denver

So why does Nashville, the town that stomped on the Terrible Towel, take top honors as most macho city in the U.S.? The researches identify its passion for NASCAR, barbeque as well as hunting and fishing. Well, what about us? Is there anything more manly than football? Also, what about a town known as the “Steel City”? Isn’t that the definition of a manly occupation?


Fishing without a shirt on in the cold. Is that the definition of being a man in today’s society. I think not. ( Courtesy AP Photo )

That got me to thinking about the whole concept of manliness and being a man. It used to be a pretty simple concept. Breadwinner. Patriarch. Macho. Man of the House. Of course, that concept was appropriate — in 1969. Fast forward 40 years and the roles of men and women have not only changed, but virtually have been reversed.

Thanks to the economic downtown, we have about as many women in the workforce as men. Men know longer can walk away from their roles as parent and homemaker. In some families, that is their job. The “boss” at work is just as likely to be a woman as a man.

Then, there are things that “men” do. Watching football? In the city of Pittsburgh, its fair to say as many women enjoy the sport as men. Plus, we don’t just drink beer anymore. We cook, we compose, we shop and we create. We, and I am speaking of men, are no longer defined by a small group of interests shared by our gender but a wide range of interests.

Finally, being a man is about being responsible … as a husband and a father. It’s about owning up to those responsibilities. It’s about sacrificing for the good of the family and its about being true to the people that matters most.

Given that definition of  manliness, I don’t think you can rank cities.  Still, Pittsburgh placed higher than Philadelphia and New York City came in last.

%d bloggers like this: