I love to watch old movies, movies from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, movies that were made when there was a real threat to this country, either from the Nazi’s or the Communists.

Certainly this country has enemies, but the threat of defeat or destruction by another country has receded, replaced with localized violence.

If you watch these old movies, you’ll see interactions between men (and women) that today would be considered shocking. Back then, they were considered run of the mill, because men had very thick skin.

There was a draft, and almost the entire male population had served in the military, played a tough team sport, or done manual labor that required a group of men to work as a team.

Every man that entered the group went through a rite of passageto toughen him up and see if he was able to function as a reliable member of a team, something you’d better know before you go to war or before you go to work.

Part of that was tolerating others trying to get under your skin, breaking your balls, most in a good natured manner, a few bad apples in a sadistic manner. I’ve done that several times, in the Navy (to a small extent), in the oilfield, and in business, which is a unique challenge to your mental toughness.

I know plenty of other men who do the same, and when we hang out, we give each other the business, make fun of each of other, swap funny stories, and break each other’s balls. If you’ve seen the excellent coming of age movie, Gran Torino, starring Clint Eastwood, you’ll see a few examples of this.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed a thinning of the male skin. Football players throw down their lunch trays and quit on their team (something that used to be the worst sin any man could commit), people whine about mean things that were said to them, and males are traumatized by being spoken too sternly by a superior so much so they think they need therapy.

This is, as you might imagine, unattractive to women, because no matter how brutal your guy friends can be, women can be more brutal. They try to get under your skin to see if you can take it, because if you can’t stand up to them, you can’t stand up for them. It’s a test for strength, and most men fail by arguing, throwing tantrums, fighting and pouting. The man who passes is the man with thick skin who recognizes the test for strength, and happily accepts it.

One of the most important attributes of being a real man is the ability to take what others throw at you, without letting it disturb your good humor. That is an attractive attribute, one most of today’s males with thin skin lack. Thicken yours up, laugh at whatever is thrown at you, overcome it, throw it back, and associate with other thick skinned men. You will discover your thick skin attracts opportunity, and it attracts women. Being thin skinned repels both.

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