I began updating blog posts and checking for broken links as part of my effort to reengage myself with Man-o-pause.com. I just added photos to a series of posts I wrote in 2005 on Masculine Virtues, so imagine my surprise when today I read that 60 Minutes, the popular news program, had combined forces with Vanity Fair to poll Americans on what constitutes "the perfect man."
I'm happy to report that moms come out on top with a wide margin stating that mothers exert a great deal of control in making her son the perfect man.
Sixty-three percent disagree with the statement 'Chivalry is dead' while 28 percent agree. From the poll: "In medieval times a knight took a vow to protect the weak while being gallant, courteous, honorable and ever truthful. Talk about aspiring to be the perfect man. Think about the millions of little acts of human kindness and charity that happen every day in our cities and towns that can be traced to those noble ideals."
A healthy margin of those polled consider a man to be at his worst when either drunk (46%) or angry (21%). For angry midlife men, this could be a sign of andropause challenges.
From my experience and observation, at the root of anger is fear. Women are uniquely equipped to demonstrate compassionate listening and help their man unearth and heal his wounded center. It's been said that money is the root of all evil, but I believe that anger and aggression wreaks more havoc on lives and nations; money is simply the hammer frustrated frightened people wield.
Thich Nhat Hahn, Buddhist monk and world peacemaker, recommends ways to reduce fear and anger in a recent talk.
There's good news for midlife men, however. It's not until your deathbed when you are most likely to be judged for whether you've attained success. At that point, I don't think you'll much care!
But woe to the guy suffering a midlife crisis; a majority think it's just an excuse for bad behavior, so don't expect much sympathy.
On the bright side, 30% of women polled wouldn't change a thing about their man.
Read the complete poll for a few surprises here.
What would the perfect man look like to you?
photo credit: One lucky guy via photopin cc