Tom Cruise playing the fearless hero in Mission Impossible exalts his masculinity, but then he asserts his masculinity too far when on Oprah he jumps on a couch like an alpha chimp to show how giddy and testosterone-filled he is over his supposed euphoria with Katie Holmes and suddenly he finds his manliness is in question. His public relations debacle is an important lesson to the man who tries too hard to inflate his masculine status and finds that he has pushed the envelope too far so that instead of looking manly he looks just plain desperate.
Sadly, most men fall into this common trap. If only they were more familiar with the confusing male masculinity system, with its complex codes, rules, and hierarchies, they wouldn’t feel so desperate to flex their masculine muscles in ways that paint them as emasculated clowns. Some sort of guide is needed to lay out the unspoken Male Code, to classify the Code’s essential features as they pertain to clothing, body image, cars, gadgets, dating, and marriage. Thankfully, we have Dear Herculodge: The Essential Guide to Saving Your Manhood in an Era of Shriveling Masculinity. The author, world renown motivator and masculinity expert Herculodge, has spent his entire life steeped in masculine pursuits, not the least of which are Olympic Weightlifting, competitive bodybuilding, jiu-jitsu, and combat conditioning. Rubbing shoulders with the world’s most macho men, he is privy to the irrational impulses, biases, prejudices, and apex predator fantasies that makeup the Male Code. Dear Herculodge answers those urgent questions that burn in the heart of every man who is worried about his masculine status: What taboos exist that could strip a man of all his Man Points? What deeds and conquests might earn an abundance of Man Points? What is the most masculine way to deal with rejection? What constitutes “manly eating”? What is the connection between cars and male potency? Why will a man lose more Man Points from reading The Bridges of Madison County than he will from seeing it on film? Answers to these perplexing questions and a host of others are forthcoming in Dear Herculodge, which offers a scathing, unflinching look at the imbecilities behind man’s unspoken masculinity system.