Apparently it's not only women's magazines that spout terrible advice on how to look and act.
In the November issue of Men's Health magazine, author Eric Spitznagel interviews Steven Watts, a history professor at the University of Missouri. Watts wrote a book about John F. Kennedy as a cultural icon rather than a political figure.
Spitznagel begins his own commentary in the article (which does not appear to be online right now) by talking about Kennedy in political terms, but wonders why "politicians love comparing themselves to him."
"It can't be the sex, can it?" Spitznagel asks. "OK, maybe it's a little bit the sex."
He then introduces Watts, who wrote in his book, JFK and the Masculine Mystique, that Kennedy promised to "revive the modern American man as youthful and individualistic, cool and vigorous, masculine and urban, tough-minded and athletic, and a sexual conquistador."
Well, that's one way to describe a notorious philanderer who allegedly hosted prostitute hotel parties while president.
This doesn't seem to concern Watts, who admits that it is "a mind-blower to think that the leader of a global power like the United States would get away with something like that." Yet to Spitznagel's very next question, about whether there is "anything" about Kennedy that men should emulate, Watts responds: "He had a cool detachment that was remarkable."
Watts claimed Kennedy could "take the emotion" out of anything, whether it was politics or his infidelity.
In the end, Watts gushes that "[w]e could all stand to be a little more like [Kennedy's 'cool customer' demeanor], to not always be driven by our emotions."
This kind of glorification of Kennedy continues to make me laugh, because it's not just magazine authors and professors who do it. Democrats continue to hold him (and Bill Clinton) up as paragons of their party while claiming Republicans are the anti-women party.
Now we have an entire book telling men that being like Kennedy is the cool thing to do.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.