A lot has been said about the pussification of today’s generation of men and I think I’ve pin-pointed the beginning of the end. It all started in 1974, with this ad for Roman Brio aftershave.
Notice how the man in the ad admits that he’s willing to try playing backgammon. Granted, he knew well enough to distance himself from the limp-wristed backgammon by assuring the reader that he’s a poker player at heart. With its emphasis on reading body language, emotional cues, and other nonverbal communications, poker is truly an exercise in manliness. But tell your poker buddies you’re playing backgammon and they might think you’ve gone soft.
After all, Poker has a long tradition of being a game for Americans. Backgammon has been around for over 5000 years, but it’s no poker. It’s practically European. What’s next? You start shaving your legs and lisping like a Spaniard?
Sure, the man in the ad was probably just trying to please his girl and show her how forward-thinking he was. It was the 70s. Times were crazy. Women’s Lib was practically as big as fondue! But I can’t help but think how much damage could have been avoided had men like Mr. Brio put their foot down, said no to aftershave. As history has shown us, it was a slippery slope from a good-smelling skin-soother to playing questionably anti-American board games.