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From the Fringe

Changing Attitudes Ring Death Knell for the German Macho

It seems, according to a new German survey, that the ladies don't "love it" when a man "treats 'em mean to keep 'em keen." The last sparkle has finally worn off the fake gold chains nestled in thick chest hair.

Robert Redford

Those styling themselves on Robert Redford circa 1976 are in for a shock

Gone are the days -- if they ever existed other than in 70s aftershave commercials -- of the little woman fawning over her denim-clad man as he regales his mates with stories of sexual conquests, heavy drinking and brawls with other open-shirted Neanderthals with chests so hairy they could have "Please Wipe Your Feet" stenciled on them.

A survey, conducted for science magazine P.M., revealed that as many as 89 percent of Germans find macho men distasteful, while 61 percent of those harbor even stronger negative feelings towards the testosterone-charged beefcakes who swagger and strut their way through Germany's streets.

The macho's penchant for preening, bragging, overt sexuality and misogyny rate highly on the scale of attributes that turn people off. The survey showed that showing-off received 81 percent in the hate-stakes, followed by 74 percent for arrogance, 65 percent for the macho's treatment of women and 63 percent for male pride.

Bodybuilders show their muscles at the the FIBO World Fair for Fitness, Wellness and Leisure in Essen, Germany

"You look like a big girl in those pants"

While there is no mention of souped-up cars, excessive jewelry and offensively tight clothing, many of those holding a grudge against the macho may well have felt the urge to write them in underneath the choices provided in pencil.

However, not all people find the crowing and posturing of the macho to be annoying. Seven percent find these men to be desirable. There's no accounting for taste...

Rate of annoyance increases with age

The survey showed that the tolerance for machos also declines with age. Respondents over the age of 50 were the most against, saying that it was the arrogance of machos which most annoyed them. A cranky 77 percent of 50-year-olds said that the macho attitude was the least acceptable attribute, compared to 64 percent of 14 to 29-year-olds who have a problem with it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks holding a rifle in the Tuva region of Siberia

Machos tend to grow out of it in later life -- mostly

German men, on the whole, also tend to distance themselves from the macho image as they get older whereas younger men actually seem to take pride in being a macho. In all, 68 percent of men between the ages of 30 and 50 would not consider themselves to be macho. Only one percent of those over 50 would ever consider themselves to fit the profile.

German women also have differing ideas as to how their men behave. The survey showed that 14 percent of those who took the poll said they lived with a macho man while a fourth of all the women over 30 said that they co-habited with Mr. 18th Century Sexual Politics.

The rest, presumably, had replaced their partners' bedside reading material of Playboy with an essay on gender equality.

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