Home' Scoop : Scoop 55 Autumn 2011 Contents AD
the gender divide (as men become supposedly
more feminine) needs to cease forthwith.
Although evidence is scant to the etymological
origins of the colloquial usage of the ‘Man-’ prefix,
I’d wager it was popularised by comedians Merrick
and Rosso when they were on Triple J in the late
nineties. Describing the soft pecs (or gynecomastia)
of the more portly male as Manboobs had been
a staple of their live patois since the pair beg an
performing stand-up. It has become part of the
vocabulary of the obesity zeitgeist and spawned
many imitators, with varying degrees of pith.
All create a masculine version of a traditionally
female pursuit. Manscaping: grooming body hair.
Manbag: a satchel. Mankini: the meat-and-veg
splitting cossie Borat wore. Man-date: catching
up for a beer. Mangina: from the lamentable
Rob Schneider movie Deuce Bigalow. Manssiere:
a garment to disguise Manboobs, now also
more lyrically dubbed Mancans.
The tipping point came towards the end of
2010 when a PR company sent out a media release
for a concept called Mancation. With Warwick
Capper as the ambassador.
There are two problems with this. Firstly: MEN
HATE WARWICK CAPPER. We do not think
of him as a legend. We think of him as a feckless
tit worth less to society than even a lifestyle
jour nalist, no matter how poetic his aerial
manoeuvres in the square were 25 years ag o.
Woz, we don’t care. Please bugger off.
What. The. What?
The campaign promotes packages for boys’
weekends: g olf, surf, fishing, etc. Which is hardly
new. Every bloke I know gets away with his mates
for at least one weekend a year, and we are all
encumbered with kids and mortgages.
Ten years previously, before this encumbrance,
it happened monthly. Guys in their 20s aren’t
spending their Saturdays and Sundays in the kitchen
trying to prepare a six-course Masterchef feast for
“It matters plenty because it cheapens
manhood. It is another bullet in the
ongoing barrage to classify men as
thick bruisers suited only to fightin’,
rootin’ and diggin’”
their flatmates. They are on the trail of the
nearest jet ski. They live for boys’ weekends.
The tourism industry’s recovery has been slow
since the GFC, so all stops are out to promote local
tourism. Fair enough. The more young men in
three-star hotel rooms overlooking a beer garden,
the better. But, again: Mancation?
Mancation is guilty of two cardinal sins
in advertising: it’s clumsy and daft. It doesn’t
make it as a pun or a concept. It’s not even
phonetically easier to say than Boys’ Weekend.
And it features Warwick Capper, as unmanly
a man as has strapped on footy boots.
Yeah, who cares, right? The world is being
shaped by revolution, natural disaster, taxation
blunders and environmental shift, so what does it
matter if an advertising campaign treats men like
brick-headed arses (yet ag ain) and its attempt to tap
into our lizard brains and funny bones falls flatter
than the Eyre Highway?
It matters plenty because it cheapens manhood.
It is another bullet in the ongoing barrage to classify
men as thick bruisers suited only to fightin’, rootin’
and diggin’. We’r e idiots, we w on’t notice.
Try harder. S
Daniel Murphy is the Deputy Editor of FHM. He is a
connoisseur of deft catchphrases and wishes he had chosen
a life as a for eign cor r espondent (well, sort of).
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