It’s A Man’s World is a book about men’s ‘adventure’ magazines from the post war period, a mostly unwitting document charting rampant misogyny, rape fantasies, homophobia (and also homoerotic comics, often involving Nazis) and racism.
How do you even choose what to tackle here?! Well, this quiz, taken from the pages of something called ‘Real’ from 1954 is such a bold statement of what underlies some of the myths of masculinity in our culture, and pours such an awful lot of cold water on those fantasies of domestic bliss from that period, that I couldn’t resist. If you want to know how feminism benefits men, and how patriarchy hurts them, look no further:
It’s a long quiz, but here are some notable questions:
3. What is your chief sexual outlet?
a) women (non prostitutes)
d) other men
It should come as no surprise that the fuckers who wrote this test gave a score of zero to any readers who answer ‘d’.
5. How long are you about to continue during intercourse?
a) Two minutes or less
b) two to five minutes
c) more than five
And then, mysteriously:
7. How much hair is there on your head?
a) full head
b) it’s thinning
c) completely bald
You actually get zero points for answering ‘a’. “Brutes” are bald (no joke, the term applied to men who score 90-100 on this quiz – followed in descending order by “real he-man”, “good man”, “man, all right”, “a man, but not by much”, “weak sister” and “scratched”).
20. Which of the two choices do the following words make you think of?
TRAIN a) travel A) engine
DEVIL b) tempt B) hell
DESPISE c) dirt C) coward
MACHINE d) sew D) engine
FRESH e) flirt E) meat
I particularly like how the sophisticates who wrote this have cunningly indicated the ‘correct’ responses with a capital letter.
OK, so this dates from some time ago. But I thought it was an interesting example of how men’s adherence to masculinity has been hysterically policed. It’s all set out there – ‘real men’ don’t sew, hate dirt or sleep with other men.