A PubSub feed for "Lakshmi Chaudhry" leads to Feministing pointing to AlterNet reprints of a March 2006 article by Chaudhry [reprint] and Susie Bright [reprint] writing about the same topic, that is, men's portrayal as sexless consumers in recent advertising campaigns. Chaudhry points to a study which suggest that “women may still bear the greater burden of domestic work, but American males today do more at home than their fathers, and are happy doing it”. As somoene who regularly irons his clothes, I bristled at Tina's assertion that men aren't going to anytime soon take up half the housework. It's probably true that men will never make up half of the housework, but the point Chaudhry makes is that increasingly men take up some duties. Granted, I currently live alone, but let the record reflect that I will happily iron my sweetheart's clothes while we listen to music or a lecture. Taking a look around on any nice Vancouver day, you'll probably see quite a few men taking their bouncing baby out for a walk. Not half of parents with babies out for a stroll are men, but more than, say, 10 years ago.
Chaudhry cites Mark Simpson, evidently inventor of the term 'metrosexual': “Consumerism wants to make us as atomized as possible -- because the more individualized we are the better consumers we are. This is why masculinity is so fragmented today and incoherent -- and irresponsible. It used to be the tradition. Literally passed down from father to son. But we live in a society where tradition stands in the way of profit. So bye-bye daddy.” This sounds sympathetic to Post-Modern Conservative's idea of The Smithereens (an idea I readily admit to not understanding fully).
Both articles argue that North American advertising and popular culture express correctly North American masculinity, that is, neither how men desire to express it not how they actually do express it. Big surprise. But two feminists, both "sex-positive", point this out, showing an awareness outside of male writer circles that masculinity are not uniform and that those that come to use from the television screen are much further off from reality than we're led to believe.