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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

OPINION: America Needs More Manly Men, Like the Hardworking Boys of “Newsies” (Op-ed by Ben Shapiro)

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

American masculinity is a decline. Harry Styles wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue is not the beginning, but certainly a troubling sign, which is why I am employing all good American to find a proper set of masculine role models. My suggestion? The hardworking, labor-friendly young boys of the musical Newsies.

Nothing those young men do can be perceived as not traditionally masculine in my eyes, and therefore, we should all do as they do (DISCLAIMER: I have not actually seen the show, but I skimmed the Wikipedia summary, so should be fine in dying on this hill).

Newsies is a hardened, rough and tumble look at self-made men and the rise of labor unions, and I’m assuming there’s absolutely no frilly dancing or breaking out into song, which should be a rule of thumb for all men. Let’s not pretend that the idea of masculinity is entirely made up and can be tweaked or even erased in whatever manner we as a society decide. No, being a man means dirty cheeks, calloused hands, and an indisputably matchio nickname like “Crutchie”.

It doesn’t just end in America, though. The rest of the world needs role models as well.

The UK, for example, could take solace in the fine shoe factory workers of Kinky Boots - another show which I haven’t seen, but which I’m sure the title refers to the outfits worn by the men’s loyal wives and absolutely no other possible context. If that show’s about anything, it’s almost certainly how living snugly within the confines of generations past is absolutely healthy and leads to no internal or societal struggles. Triggered? I thought so.

Men should especially follow the path laid out by the character Lola, who I assume is the factory’s bushy-bearded shift manager who pours whiskey over his cereal. This is something all men should do by the way - I haven’t had a pleasant breakfast in years, and that’s a huge part of being a man.

Finally, I implore all men to include elements of Javert from Les Misérables, another character who I am almost certain never sings and showcases no negative results of blindly following authoritative voices even if they no longer serve the mindset of the public at that time. I assume that Javert fully respects himself for contributing to the woes of a world that needs to move forward rather than stay stagnant, and he almost certainly ends that show smiling, surrounded by friends and family, and definitely not drowned in a river.

So, in conclusion, we need more manly men, and the best place to find them is in the words of others - specifically the shows I listed above, which, again, certainly do not showcase the pitfalls of regressive politics and the need to implore the will of previous generations of the lives of the current.

Now, “seize the day!” (I can guarantee this scene in particular features absolutely zero dancing from the Newsies, right?).


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