Are You a Man-Woman? (.and Is Your Loved One Really a Woman-Man)
Byline: SAM TAYLOR;DR RAJ PERSAUD
WE'VE had the New Man, the New Lad and the Ladette, all claiming in different ways to be most in touch with the times. Now comes the Man-Woman, and her counterpart the Woman-Man. She's busy being logical and tough; he's tactile and likes chatting about his relationships. Here, FEMAIL investigates the species.
HE'S JUST so caring,' my love-stricken friend enthused. 'Can you believe that he says he actually looks forward to going shopping with me on Saturdays?' If our conversation had taken place ten years ago, any sane person would have advised my friend to check the number of dresses left in her closet.
But we have evolved. This is the late Nineties and man, as we knew him, has metamorphosed into a much more complex beast.
Man, in fact, is now a woman. Or, to be more precise, he has adopted all the traits of what we think of as being a woman.
He phones, just for a chat. He cries, openly, during romantic movies. He intuitively knows when something is upsetting his wife, instead of shouting 'You're mad' and dashing off to the golf club. He's read Nick Hornby and knows that if he's single and wants a date, he'd better be prepared to 'process' his feelings.
Tony Blair, the most powerful man in the country, married, with three children, is doing a fantastic job as a paragon of female sensitivity - and he's not alone. Feminine role models, despite having to shave every day, are all around us.
Take Richard Madeley sharing with us his anxiety about his wife's illness; Robert Kilroy-Silk empathising for England on his talk show; Robbie Williams daring to reveal that he felt emotionally damaged after the band Take That broke up; Leonardo DiCaprio making sensitivity sexy; the Prince of Wales earnestly striving to be a better parent.
But is this feminising trend a one-way street? Well, no. There is a growing band of women who have become men.
Or rather, they have now become what men used to be.
The Man-Woman has dismissed her emotional existence as unwieldy baggage.
Why act on instinct when you can deconstruct a situation and come to an empirical conclusion? Kate Adie takes risks, but no doubt they are carefully calculated. The same applies to boxer Jane Couch. And Ulrika Jonsson soon realised it was a shrewd career move to hang out with the boys.
Some, like Baroness Jay, always insist on having the final word - after all, it comes with the job. And with a Woman-Man for a husband, perhaps it was inevitable that tough barrister Cherie Blair took up the slack at home and became a Man-Woman. Radio presenter Zoe Ball is now more Lad than Gazza, another man who has dumped his machismo act in favour of a more socially acceptable vulnerable side.
In short, as a nation we have become so sensitive that men will soon be clambering to give up their seats to other men carrying heavy shopping.
But if it means that we all get to be nicer to each other, then that can only be a good thing.
NOW TRY OUR QUIZ
EACH statement is followed by two possible responses: Agree or Disagree. Read each statement carefully and decide which response best describes how you feel. Then put a tick over the corresponding response, A or B. If you are not completely sure which response is more accurate, tick whichever you feel is most appropriate. Do not read the scoring explanation before filling out the questionnaire. Do not spend too long on each statement.
1 If a piece of art makes no sense to me, I think the artist has wasted their time producing it.
AGREE (A) DISAGREE (B) 2 If it would help my career to lose a game against my boss, I could do it easily.
AGREE (B) DISAGREE (A) 3 Incentives and penalties are the best way to get people to do what you want.
AGREE (A) DISAGREE (B) 4 I would prefer to be understood by someone rather than rewarded. …