Dudes Say Don Draper Is The Most Influential Guy Of 2009

Guess who AskMen.com readers voted the most influential man of 2009? Don Draper, who, technically, is a not a “real” man but a fictional character. Sure, I love me some hot Hamm every Sunday night, but, at the end of the torrid hour, I realize that “Mad Men” is just a television show and that Don Draper is just a caricature of a man struggling with his own demons, unwilling to face his problems head-on. So why are guys so obsessed with Don, to the point that they treat him as an actual person?AskMen.com explains:

“Draper’s hardass 1960s persona represents something about male identity that is enduringly captivating but has nonetheless vanished. The man that Don Draper is—value-driven and thoroughly masculine—is the product of a bygone era … yet, as removed as his persona may be, it is also contemporary and familiar. He’s a postwar archetype, both a brilliant career man and a temptation-swayed philanderer who sincerely wants to be a family man. Like most men, us and our fathers both, Draper is permanently conflicted over how to reconcile his morals and his desires.”

Of course, I have no idea what it feels like to be a man. But I think all human beings are conflicted about how to reconcile their morals and desires—that doesn’t seem like a specifically male dilemma to me. Is it that the men today have a case of nostalgia for the good ol’ days when it was less confusing for them? Because what’s changed most since the swinging ’60s is not the male identity but the female identity. Gender dynamics have shifted drastically in the home, in the workplace … just about everywhere. There’s no simple prescription for how men can adapt to that change, but I know it’s certainly not by worshipping an identity-less, drunk-driving, philandering and somewhat sexist mythical man. Yes, the “Mad Men” era is gone. So now it’s time to evolve and break the mold of your fathers and grandfathers. We want strong men who seem at ease with their place in the world—not men who spend a lifetime in inner conflict. Happy men. [AskMen.com]