American men aren’t charming? Why ever not? The ladies haven’t lost any of their charm, now have they?

25 May




This morning the Atlantic has a new article up, bemoaning the loss of charm in the American male.


Few possess it, and few want to. Explaining men’s ambivalent relationship with an amoral virtue.


So claims Benjamin Schwarz. This is Benjamin, by the way:




I find the image hard to reconcile with the words. To me, Benjamin looks like an enormously charming man, with a great sense of humor and an ability to poke fun at himself. What other kind of man could possibly wear his hair like that?!?!


Oh, he’s gay. Okay. That explains a lot.


How does Benjamin being gay explain why he understands charm, and why he might not be seeing a whole lot of it? Well, let’s start with the definition of charm:





The power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration.


Delight greatly.


noun. spell – glamour – glamor – fascination – enchantment

verb. bewitch – enchant – fascinate – captivate – enthral


Given that most men are heterosexual, and assuming that they have little interest in “delighting” another man, it makes perfect sense that Benjamin doesn’t routinely run into a whole lot of charming men. They’re probably more interested in not sending mixed signals than anything else.


I’m still taken aback by Benjamin’s words, though. On the topic of Cary Grant, he writes:




Grant had developed a new way to interact with a woman onscreen: he treated his leading lady as both a sexually attractive female and an idiosyncratic personality, an approach that often required little more than just listening to her—a tactic that had previously been as ignored in the pictures as it remains, among men, in real life.


That’s quite a portrait. Men don’t treat women as sexually attractive females with idiosyncratic personalities and generally fail in the simple act of listening.




I wonder why?


In order for a man to treat a woman as a sexually attractive female, she needs to actually BE a sexually attractive woman, no? Certainly, it’s the Advanced Charmers who can take a sexually unappealing woman and treat her as if she WERE, in fact, appealing, but the baseline for a charm offensive requires a minimal degree of attractiveness.




What do men find MOST attractive about women? We’ve been over this before, but what the hell, let’s go there again:


A nice rack

A pretty face

Expressive eyes, preferably blue or green

Long, lean legs

A firm ass


And what do men find LEAST attractive about women:


Being fat

Being a miserable bitch*


*You can be a bitch, just not a miserable one. Judgy bitches are A-OK!!!!


I posted a link to Heartiste because I find him hilarious. Sometimes I read his stuff and think, “oh, brutal, dude. That is way too much truth.”




And other times I read his stuff and think, “oh please, dude, you would have failed so hard with me if you pulled that shit.”


But no matter what he writes, I find Heartiste ….. charming.


I have absolutely no shortage of charming men in my life (although some may claim if I find Heartiste charming, my standards are way too low). JudgyAsshole, CleverGuy and PrinceCharming (obviously) are all very charming men. It is a matter of course for us to express “delight” in one another. I have a ton of admiration for all those guys, and I have no compunctions about showing it.


Why not? It’s fun and flirty and affirming and makes everyone feel absolutely terrific! And it is not to be confused with cock-teasing, which is something altogether different. While there is an acknowledgement of sexual attractiveness in charm, there is nothing more than that.


I’m going to theorize two reasons WHY the art of being charming is not lost, but is definitely being curtailed, particularly by men. First, the ideology of the market economy has taken over and infected our most personal and cherished relationships. Children are economic burdens that you pay someone else to raise. Marriage is a financial partnership in which separate bank accounts and spreadsheets governing the distribution of housework are de rigeur. Parents are dead weights that require governing and managing. Friendships must be nurtured through the art of shopping (mostly for shit you don’t need in the first place).




I think we’ve gotten to the point where people literally cannot think about these relationships without attaching some sort of market value to them. The irony, of course, is that the most economically sound approach to family and marriage and relationships is the single-breadwinner, nuclear family ideal. In his book A Treatise on the Family, economist Gary Stanley Becker makes the argument that a family engaged in task specialization is better off in the long run, because when one person stays at home and takes care of all the domestic issues, the other person is able to dedicate more resources to earning money, and ends up earning more as a result. It’s great argument, and the Nobel Prize committee agreed, awarding Becker the medal in Economics in 1992.


Sadly, Becker didn’t seem to see the Divorce Train coming, loaded with fish that don’t need no bicycles and when the train crashed, the breadwinners were left with a bit of crust for a lifetime of work and not much else.




When relationships are reduced to mere transactions, what is the incentive to behave in a way that is charming? What will the price be? For men, it’s gotten to be just a little too high. Charming men are one bitter, fat bitch away from a sexual harassment allegation or worse!


Why would any man behave charmingly to a woman he does not know, and even to those he does?


The second reason men are keeping their charm under wraps is that there just aren’t very many women left to be charming to! Women are stressed out, depressed, overweight, miserable cows for the most part, and men being charming is regarded as so much “benevolent sexism” that must be eradicated from the face of the earth. The harsh truth is that women were the ones who insisted on this new world where their value would be measured in economic terms, and it turns out the new world sucks and now the ladies need someone to blame.


Guess who that someone is gonna be? Any man that dares to wander the earth acting happy and pleasant and attempting to arouse delight is in for a giant fucking wake-up call! How dare you be happy? How dare you be pleasing? How dare you affirm a woman in a way designed to suggest admiration?


This whole mess is your fault because PATRIARCHY!




I’ve been looking for a reason to post this awesome link to Captain Capitalism, and today is the day!


To be physically attractive, just like a career or anything else worth doing in life, takes effort. You need to work out, you need to run, you need to eat right, you need to dress right, and above all else, you need to have self-control and discipline. You also have to be selfless to a certain extent, considering the preferences and tastes of others in order to prove appealing and attractive to them. You may not like the maintenance required in having long hair, but you’re not having long hair for you, you’re having long hair for him. You may not like lifting heavy blocks of metal repetitively as your brain atrophies, but you’re not doing it for you, you’re doing it for her. In short you have to have a personal philosophy that is opposite of most leftists – hard work and altruism with your own resources.


There is a very, very simple way to encourage the re-emergence of charm from the average American male: act like someone worthy of delighting. Be pleasant, be pleasing, be cheerful. Be as attractive as you can be, and cultivate a personality to go along with your physical appearance. Assume the best in others, listen and above all, be kind.




Charm is a circle. Don’t be afraid to go first.


“Charm is often despised but I can never see why. No one has it who isn’t capable of genuinely liking others, at least at the actual moment of meeting and speaking. Charm is always genuine; it may be superficial but it isn’t false.”

― P.D. James, The Children of Men


Lots of love,







31 Responses to “American men aren’t charming? Why ever not? The ladies haven’t lost any of their charm, now have they?”

  1. thehumanscorch May 25, 2013 at 15:42 #

    “The harsh truth is that women were the ones who insisted on this new world where their value would be measured in economic terms, and it turns out the new world sucks and now the ladies need someone to blame.”

    Exactly this. I love to open doors for women, and still do for my friends, but enough dirty looks from other raging bitches have convinced me that it’s not worth the effort.
    Ditto on the marriage thing. I only think now in terms of how much I could afford to lose financially if we were to divorce. Most women try to emotion me out of that mindset, and start screaming about ‘love’ and ‘how wrong my attitude is.’
    Ch-yeah. Whatever.


  2. earl May 25, 2013 at 16:00 #

    It is truly a sad outside and inside world we live in. The only hope I can find is to make the inner world as best I can to bring some happiness to the outside.


  3. danny May 25, 2013 at 16:16 #

    Feminists cultivated this social climate and now you can find an endless supply of articles on “where have all the good men gone?” Well this one unplugged from the matrix and left the mine field of society a long time ago. I spend my free time working out, playing /writing music, (just bought a new bass n love it). I have no kids and no wife and happy that way, too much risk in america. I own my house, my property, and my ride is paid for. I will not set myself up to let someone take what I have worked hard for. It is not worth it.


  4. LostSailor May 25, 2013 at 18:01 #

    There is a very, very simple way to encourage the re-emergence of charm from the average American male: act like someone worthy of delighting…be kind.

    There are indeed very few women left who are generally kind. Oh, women can be kind to someone they love, on occasion, but women who are overall kind to everyone are rare. Because this kind of mindset requires women to be more outwardly oriented and our feminized society constantly teaches women to be more inwardly oriented, more self-focused, more solipsistic. And then they start to wonder why they’re depressed and unhappy. And, of course, since they’re so wrapped up in themselves, having been told relentlessly that they’re fabulous, it must be that men are somehow to blame.

    And, of course, kind is the polar opposite of bitchy.

    As for judgybitchy, even that ultimately comes from a place of kindness…


  5. Marlo Rocci May 25, 2013 at 18:46 #

    The most important point in the article: Be charming and your ass gets hauled to HR.

    And it works like a form of terrorism. Just like those two muslims in London who beheaded a soldier managed to put the life of every muslim in London at risk to outraged mobs, one woman in a company can kill the entire mojo by getting a single man fired for being friendly.

    Get used to the world you created, feminists, because you’re going to have it all to yourselves.


  6. I’ve found that whenever I’m nice and charming to a woman I’m not attracted to, she ends up getting the wrong idea. I guess I’m above average looking, so, they like the attention, but, too many times I end up feeling like a jerk when I have to tell her point blank that I don’t feel that way toward her. I learned to hold back a bit, which was sad because I’m usually the type of person who likes to be open to people and talk to almost anyone.

    I think that is the reason that some women act cold and aloof. It comes off as arrogant, and often is, but many guys get excited when a beautiful girl has a simple conversation and laughs at things they say.

    BTW, my problem totally vanished once I got married, or maybe my charm button stopped working.


  7. feeriker May 25, 2013 at 22:35 #

    Oh, he’s gay. Okay. That explains a lot.

    That explains it all. I think most of us probably figured it out as soon as we saw a masculine name associated with the quote. It’s difficult (at least for this straight man) to imagine any straight man who would seriously bemoan the lack of charm in other men.

    So, are there/will there be any “what he said” articles by women from the feministasphere echoing Benny’s sentiments?


  8. Ter May 25, 2013 at 23:32 #

    Re “You may not like lifting heavy blocks of metal repetitively as your brain atrophies, but you’re not doing it for you, you’re doing it for her.”

    Although I normally enjoy working out & benefiting from it (feeling healthier, stronger, more energized, looking better, positive disposition, etc) I notice that I actually do more of it when I’m in a relationship. I don’t consciously do it “for her”, but on an unconscious level I just feel more motivated. Whenever I have discussed this with friends (male & female) they all seemed to either feel the opposite, or no different (as if health/exercise is a burden). I find that rather curious.


  9. David Sutton May 26, 2013 at 00:23 #

    What a terrific article! When I got married, it was to the most charming girl I had ever known. She is still the standard by which everyone else is measured. Her kindness, soft voice, and genuine femenine mannerisms (not to mention the finest ass on campus) definitely saved me from a life of MGTOW.


  10. fr0xxy May 26, 2013 at 02:16 #

    I made a comment the other day about how my husband finds a variety of different women attractive (different body types, hair (though he prefers long), skin tone, etc.) and I asked if he just likes pretty faces, regardless of body type, and he stated “I think I just like faces that are built for smiling.”
    I myself have noticed how much a smile can improve a woman’s looks, which I think fits in with your theme of women not being such miserable bitches all the time.

    But oh noes! telling women to smile is just another way the *~patriarchy~* oppresses them! Be a frowny cunt! that’ll show ’em as they avoid that end of the bar.


  11. sqt May 26, 2013 at 07:25 #

    I agree with you JB- charming men are not at all hard to find. All a lady has to do is make sure the bitch-switch is turned off and most men will go out of their way to be nice.

    And I agree with Fr0xxy too- a nice smile goes a long way. My husband also has varying taste in women and I think his radar is attuned to a certain gentleness in women. It doesn’t matter how hot a woman is- if she doesn’t smile she loses several points off the hotness scale right from the get-go.


  12. Nicky May 26, 2013 at 08:22 #

    That top 5 things men find physically attractive article really wound me up! Let’s look at what men say they find physically attractive, and then mock them for being shallow and, um, finding certain things physically attractive…?


    What d’ya think women’s 5 things are? I can think of TWO things I’ve read repeatedly that women care about (other than generally not being fat). First ‘a nice smile’ – yeah, any man who thinks a WOMAN should smile is being controlling and entitled, but women are perfectly at liberty to think MEN should do so. And the other one… well since I’m English, this is something I’ve never encountered IRL, since it’s rare here. But apparently, there are a LOT of American women who wouldn’t even consider sleeping with an uncircumcised man.

    Kinda puts a prefence for big boobs or long legs into perspective, doesn’t it? ONLY surgically altered people are attractive to what is, apparently, a sizeable number of women.

    But *men* are the shallow pigs, of course.


  13. Liz May 26, 2013 at 12:18 #

    Yeah! I love it when men praise their women. 🙂


  14. Liz May 26, 2013 at 12:25 #

    I find lots of charming men around. My husband is the most charming man I’ve ever known. He is nice to everyone (unless he encounters a real as$hole or see-you-next-tuesday), but in general he treats everyone like they are a worthy individual. So do I.

    Have to say, though, if a man is only nice to the good looking ones he isn’t a nice person in general. I’m reminded of a time back in college when I was walking across the parking lot and two young guys walked by a couple of large women trying to carry something heavy, and after they were out of earshot the one turned to the other and said, “Haha! I’ll bet they were hoping we’d help them out”. You never know who you’re going to need in this world and it puts the oopid in stupid to burn a bridge for no good reason.


  15. Brigadon May 26, 2013 at 14:11 #

    Why, exactly, should you be nice to women who do not take care of themselves? I do not follow.
    Generally I am nice to people who deserve it…. a pair of slugs that can personally replace the ballast on a submarine need the exercise a lot more than they need my assistance.

    I am sick and tired of the whole ‘fat acceptance’ movement. Fat is ugly, unhealthy, and in all but a few of the rarest cases entirely attributable to laziness. (less than 1 in 10 million have a rare genetic condition that does not allow their body to reclaim body fat efficiently)

    Encouraging bad behavior is how this all got started in the first place.


  16. Brigadon May 26, 2013 at 14:13 #

    BTW, the above does NOT apply to the elderly.


  17. Liz May 26, 2013 at 14:48 #

    I’m nice to everyone, unless they aren’t nice to me. First, because I am a nice person and this comes naturally. Second, because it often pays to be nice.

    It almost never pays NOT to be nice. Treat a fat woman badly because she is fat, she might have a good looking friend, other good looking people might notice you are an a$shole, her brother might be your boss some day, or any number of things. You might end up in a car crash and oops…she’s your nurse of doctor. Of course professionalism kicks in and she has to behave professionally but it’s hardly in your benefit to create a socially awkward situation with no reason aside from the fact that you don’t like fat people.


  18. Emma the Emo May 26, 2013 at 14:49 #

    “Have to say, though, if a man is only nice to the good looking ones he isn’t a nice person in general.”

    You’re right about that. However, charm, as I see it, is not about looks. I think it’s a pleasant, attractive personality that radiates warmth. I tend to avoid people who radiate unfriendliness, as being nice to them often doesn’t help.


  19. Liz May 26, 2013 at 14:57 #

    BTW, it isn’t the fact that they didn’t help which brought it to my attention (sometimes people are in a hurry, or whatever), it was what I overheard. They were a couple of a$sholes. And that does make an impression on good looking people who overhear it. And if I were in a position to hire I wouldn’t hire those types. They could be sitting across from me at a job interview, and I’ve already been privy to an assessment of their character that says much more than any canned response to a question.


  20. Emma the Emo May 26, 2013 at 15:00 #

    I agree, Liz. Even if someone is fat because of laziness and lack of self-control, it’s hardly an unforgivable trait! That’s one of the least problematic traits for friendship, for example. It seems kinda stuck-up to claim they don’t deserve nice treatment, cuz they have that little negative trait. Acting like that person threw a puppy into a vat of acid, geez!


  21. Liz May 26, 2013 at 15:04 #

    I agree. If someone unpleasant I usually avoid them. Which goes back to the point about being nice. No need to be ugly because people will avoid you and get ugly right back.


  22. Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta May 27, 2013 at 05:45 #

    Mrs. Bitch,

    Very interesting remarks, but I beg to differ on the lack of classical female fitness and beauty as being the reason that men aren’t being charming.

    Life is really too short to spend it being unpleasant, brittle and harsh. I may not be a Christian in the religious sense, but I really like the philosophy of trying to see the good in other people.

    In fact as a man it’s certainly easier to be “charming” to those who are not potential objects of sexuality, e.g. senior citizens, the handicapped, other men,…

    With these folks there is no suspicion of “Ulterior motives” of being charming and so many more “attractive women” have their perpetual bitch shields powered up.

    While I do sympathize with attractive women for constantly being hit on and wiping that scowl off their faces and replacing it with a friendly open smile and kind eyes might attract too much exhausting and unwanted attention…

    So ladies, you don’t have to be gorgeous, you don’t have to be fit. if you show a sweet, friendly and charming disposition yourselves, you might be surprised at what you reap…


  23. freetofish May 27, 2013 at 17:42 #

    I always enjoy conversations about being charming and chivalry in today’s world. So many articles about “no good men” or on how men should or should not be. Open the door, don’t open the door, who pays on dates etc etc etc.

    The thing I always find amusing is that they almost universally comment on what men are or aren’t doing. Rarely do they ask the question JB asked here, what are women doing or not doing to warrant the behavior they want in a “good man”.

    I’ve been in sales for almost 2 decades now and one thing I have learned is you rarely (never) make a sale by being an asshole. So, if women want men to be charming, well maybe try smiling every once and awhile?

    I just turned 40 and have been dating the same demographic of women for the last 10 years. 27-32 (something I’m sure will piss off the feminists) . I find it incredibly interesting how the women in that demographic have changed over those 10 years. The women currently in that age group have almost never experienced charm or chivalry. They mistake fawning behavior that reinforces the idea they are all perfect princesses, for confident male behavior. Not surprising really, as I find it much less common to find a woman who is worthy of it. More and more it’s “girl power”, “sassy” and bitchy in all the wrong ways.

    I am always charming and try to provide a good date, even when I know I won’t be pursuing anything further with them. Which always seems to shock them when I tell them thanks but I don’t feel there is a match. Like how dare I, the man, decide that they aren’t up to my standards for a longer relationship.

    The flip side though is nice. When i do find a women who is truly a nice person, pleasant to be around, attractive and someone who I find interesting, they seem to appreciate my old school charm and chivalry. My current +1 was shocked when I actually extended my arm for her, walked her to the car and opened the door for her. She, at 32, had never had a man do that.


  24. Reggie May 27, 2013 at 17:52 #

    The problem is not that the gentleman is no longer a gentleman, but rather that the lady has become a tramp. Finishing schools would be a great idea:


  25. Lil May 27, 2013 at 18:53 #

    Cary Grant was English, hence his charm.


  26. judgybitch May 27, 2013 at 18:56 #

    He was also gay. Hence, his charm?


  27. wdodman May 27, 2013 at 20:05 #

    Possible Homersexual?


  28. A. May 28, 2013 at 23:05 #

    I agree with the concept of working to make one’s self attractive as a service to others.

    When I graduated from college in 2008, I had a useless liberal arts degree, about 35 extra pounds, and very strong liberal ideas about “Everyone should just live and let live!” My dream job would have likely been writing for something like Jezebel, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Not wanting to work in a call center or be without health insurance, I got a job as an acute care nursing assistant at a large US hospital. It’s not an easy job. A CNA is grossly underpaid and under-appreciated, it’s messy, it’s draining, and sometimes people die. But it’s active (My pedometer has indicated that I walk between 4 and 6 miles during any 12 hour shift), and not confined to any sort of cubicle. And you spend your whole day stepping outside of your own world, talking to people. You see a lot about life and death, and I will forever be thankful for that education.

    I didn’t start out size-ist, but I have seen a lot of very large people. I have also moved a lot of very large people, and cleaned god only knows what out of their various folds, and generally tended to their very basic needs, and done so in a way with general respect to their privacy and dignity. They ARE people, after all, and they DO deserve my kindness. That said, I have come to the unavoidable conclusion that allowing yourself to become overweight is inconsiderate. It’s inconsiderate to the nursing staff who will inevitably have to haul their asses around, and very likely be injured, when they can’t even turn their hefty bodies from side to side. It’s inconsiderate to their families, who would much rather have a clean, well and able loved one, who instead must see their person sloppy, ill, miserable, and odoriferous… And let’s not even go too far into the financial aspect… who exactly is bankrolling these excessive hospital bills? And on a basic “there are limited resources on the planet, why does a person get to weigh 600 lbs when there are malnourished children everywhere?” level, it’s inconsiderate to pretty much everyone.

    All that walking, and lifting, and daily exposure to people who have eaten their way into miserable, putrid oblivion… it didn’t take long for me to become a lean vegetarian. I run 10K’s. I do yoga. I live off kale and quinoa. And then, I started wearing light makeup, and prettier jewelry to work, tidy updo’s because I found that when I do that, the adorable little old ladies, from times when young women did strive to be charming, are much happier to let me help them. I mean, I could show up with wet hair, wrinkled scrubs and a brusk demeanor, and get paid the same either way, but it’s a better work day.

    I don’t work there as much, lately. I decided that I wanted a higher-paying, very portable career option wherein I could make my own part time hours, so I could work occasionally, when I want, while raising the children that I hope to have soon, and also take part time classes to deepen my nursing specialization so I can be paid much more when they reach school age and I return to work. So I used my time as a CNA to help pay my way through a massage therapy program.

    My boyfriend is an academic professor, older than me and much more credentialed, and of the male-feminist camp that women shouldn’t HAVE to shave their legs (doesn’t complain too loudly that I do…) or wear heels (I am 5’10, and I am generally a Doc’s-go-with-everything-girl, so stilettos don’t come out much, but when they do, his jaw drops every time and he makes sure he is right by my side with a hand on my low back, just in case I ‘need steadying assistance’). He seems delighted to be with a slim LMT with long black hair and forethought toward how to be at home to raise our potential children. He should be. His dating pool would involve a lot of bitter 30-something career girls.

    He’s pretty charming, himself, with his impish sparkling blue eyes, long red hair and his inherent ability to engage meaningful conversation with anyone, of any culture, age, or gender, in pretty much any language. I admire him greatly and seek to honor and assist him by being the best me I can be. This is an undeniable truth: He would not have been interested in me when I was 23 and sloppy, and stressed out. He doesn’t have to. I am better than that now. I like me more, too.

    Being thin, groomed, upbeat and using nice manners is just a much better way to be.


  29. Kyle March 11, 2014 at 02:03 #

    As an average guy, it’s a bit scary that a nobel prize couldn’t secure that mans marriage. Very, very scary thought.



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