"I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American Dream" - Bruce Springsteen
Nouvelle Man is the exploration of the distance between traditional American masculinity and the reality of where it needs to go in order to stay relevant. .
In the same way New York Jets fans scream at the top of their lungs when one of their ever rotating QB’s trips over a snap, or a mega fan of Stranger Things blasts the lates season on the message boards, criticism comes from a place of love. I am critical of the current state of male masculinity not because I “hate” what we have become, but because it is in our hands to do better. For too long we have taken the easy route, yes the easy route, by diminishing the rights of others so that we can stay in power. That is not power, that is weakness and it is time that we reckon with that fact. The deck has been stacked in our favor. We didn’t earn it. It was like that when we were born. In a civilized world where equality must persevere, men need to stop and think about the reality of their masculinity.
The IDEA of the American male is that we are rugged, explorers who fix the problem ourselves. False, the reality at the nearest mall is that we are instead overweight, New Balance wearing, corporate enthusiasts. Somewhere along the way we traded forging our own path to climbing the ladder. I understand. It’s safe. It’s reliable. It takes care of the family. However, come to terms with the fact that in that environment, "rugged" and "explorer" are not the first words that come to mind. Husbands are no longer the breadwinner while the wife stays at home- that arrangement is on its way to extinction. Therefore, the duties at home need to split more evenly, as in, men will need to take on more of the roles that were traditionally set for women. Why? Time. Also, of course, fucking fairness.
One may argue that the toughness of men, the resiliency of warfare are what protect us from harm. Simply, re-watch the climax to A Few Good Men, no pun in intended. The times are changing and men need to evolve with them. The Boss, with his name, that he actually doesn't like, rolled up sleeves and rasping yelling voice has been the epitome of American ruggedness for 40 years and yet, he has made his living trying to describe the reality around him and how it fits within the hypocrisy of advertisement of America. Same thing.
Ultimately, there is a huge disconnect between who a man is and who he thinks he is… and what he does to close that gap is up to him, right up until society and markets make that decision for him.