Editor’s Letter: The Evolution of Man

Maybe you should try to get to know them again

There’s been a spate of writing lately questioning the relevance of men.

Like you would an old lawn mower or Mustang your dad never quite got around to restoring, Hanna Rosin, in The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, essentially throws a big, blue tarp over the rusting relic the gender has supposedly become.

I understand the demographic and the forecasting research behind the Death of Men trope. But personally, I’m not ready to hand in my XY card just yet—and with good cause, it turns out.

In our annual Men’s Issue, we take a differentiated look at how men function in the transitioning media and marketing worlds. Rather than being over, men are shifting their behavior and consumption patterns to stay linked to the content and communication they value. Equipped with digital media tools like Xbox, the DVR and Twitter, they can deftly and aggressively avoid the cookie-cutter marketing assumptions foisted on them for so long. They take great pleasure in this avoidance, and in defying convention.

In the feature The Anti-Millennial, staff writer Sam Thielman pierces some myths about young men and their relationships with marketing and traditional media—and, ultimately, the validity of the millennial label itself.

Data Points shows that men, despite being generally seen as anti-advertising, are actually quite receptive to messages in the mobile space, as long as they offer real or perceived value. Finally, contributor David Gianatasio considers the rise of “hunkvertising.” It would appear the better-looking segment of the gender is still good for something.

Women are the professional peers and, increasingly, the bosses of modern men. Men work, and so do their wives, and they co-parent. Men support their daughters and female friends to do things their great-grandmothers could only dream about. To discount that role and the value of men based on actuarial assessment is an easy talking point, but ultimately disconnected.

Enough with the tarp already.