December 17, 2009
What is a MANsch?
“Mansch” is a word I adapted from the Yiddish word “mensch” to describe the kind of man a woman generally wants: a MANsch. A mansch is a man—Jewish or not—who exemplifies characteristics commonly attributed to a mensch—integrity, kindness, and sensitivity—but who does not compromise on the masculine qualities that make him desirable to women.
After reading what is commonly known as “pick up art” (PUA) literature, starting with the groundbreaking book The Game by Neil Strauss, I can confirm, as a woman and singles columnists, that the teachings of many PUAs are right on target, only American Jewish men (Israelis excluded) who do not want to be perceived as “bad boys” or players might find their lessons and techniques offensive.
Naturally, much of PUA literature is concerned with one question: how to bed a hot woman. (And some women like to be bedded—especially when given the guilt-free permission to do so.) Most pick up artists teach that women are attracted to the “alpha male”—the leader of men who exhibits confidence, high socioeconomic status, mental and physical strength, humor, strength, pro-activeness, and leadership.
I know from experience, and my friends’ experience (and complaints), that women aren’t always attracted to the proverbial “nice guys”—the mensch. Often, mensches don’t know how to turn on the heat with a women because they try to be, well, too nice, which sometimes comes across as weak, wimpy and feminine.
For example, women like men who ask a woman out on the date, rather than hint at one; men who take the lead in planning a date; men who intelligently court a woman with a sharp mental and emotional engagement; men who aren’t afraid of indicating their comfort with their sexuality—and a woman’s; men who are comfortable in their own skin—inside and out; and men who know how to handle themselves in the company of pretty women.
I’ll likely elicit the ire of many men with my next incrimination, but I know many Jewish women will thank me. Without generalizing too much, I have found through my dating experience that American Jewish men are often pretty clueless when it comes to dating effectively, or else they come across as nebbish and dorky.
I have some theories for this. The size of the Jewish community lessens competition so Jewish men don’t have to try as hard if they want to marry within the faith. Jewish families emphasize education over sport games, bars, and poker nights where men often form societies to dish out secrets for getting women, which often include a healthy degree of chauvinism. The Jewish emphasis on intellectualism devalues the importance of the body, so American Jewish men don’t develop their physique and comfort with it.
Most of all, in trying hard to be mensches, Jewish men often emasculate themselves by underemphasizing their sexuality and assertiveness when dealing with women.
The challenge is to remain a mensch while also being a man. The challenge is to become a MANsch!
So welcome to my new blog where you’ll hear advice, interviews, and anecdotes relating to the way men and women date and how men can attract more women through alpha-male characteristics but without compromising on what should be the hallmark of a good Jewish man: good middot (character).