year in review

The Year Men Flopped

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Try to name even one good man. You can’t. The only thing close to a good man is Chris Pine, and he is not a man; he is a demigod. The unfortunate, painfully obvious truth is 2022 will heretofore be known as the year when men simply flopped.

There are many ways for a person to be questionable, some objectively worse than others, and men found every single one this year. There were the men with an unbearable lack of self-awareness, screaming “cancel culture” to an audience of millions. There were the men whose long history of abuse allegations did nothing to dissuade people from coming to their defense or giving them MTV VMA cameos. Did you know Louis C.K. won a Grammy this year? If anyone is concerned that these men haven’t gotten the opportunity to apologize, learn, and grow, you can rest assured — they are being given awards instead.

It was a particularly embarrassing year for men with too much money. Over the summer, Jeff Bezos reportedly wanted to pay to disassemble and reassemble a bridge in the Netherlands so his big stupid boat could pass through. Eventually, the superyacht was rerouted after locals threatened to pelt it with old eggs, something that should, in any case, just be a consequence of being one of the richest men in the world. Earlier this year, Elon Musk officially acquired Twitter, and we were gifted many months’ worth of subsequent terror. After firing nearly half of Twitter’s employees, some of whom happened to have spoken out against Musk, we were made to bear witness to the bizarre internal email Musk sent to the remaining Twitter employees. (The words extremely hardcore in a work email should get you automatically reported to HR — that is, if Twitter still has an HR department.) Then, for reasons unbeknownst to humankind, Musk tweeted a picture of his bedside table, adorned with several cans of caffeine-free Diet Coke, two revolvers, and various water stains presumably from the many Cokes. If nothing else, this is further confirmation that all the money in the world cannot buy you taste.

Speaking of bad taste, Drake decided his collaborative album with 21 Savage was a good time to claim that Megan Thee Stallion lied about being shot by Tory Lanez. (Lanez is currently on house arrest, awaiting trial.) Why? Probably the same reason he thought making a fake Vogue cover was a good idea. (He and 21 Savage are now being sued by Condé Nast over the promotional stunt.)

Among the most notable questionable men of the year were the cringey men — men who embodied “the ick.” There’s Adam Levine and his terrible texts. It’s only a matter of time before we get a Maroon 5 single called “I May Need to See the Booty (Fuckkkkkkkkk).” It will unfortunately feature Robin Thicke. There was the Try Guy cheating scandal that validated our cultural suspicion of Wife Guys. And while Liam Payne claiming that Simon Cowell “started with [his] face and worked around the rest” to create One Direction doesn’t directly relate to his dating life, it feels representative of it. Payne seems like the kind of guy who can’t shut up about how much he loves to go down on women (i.e., someone who is bad at oral sex).

I’d be remiss not to mention the year’s Whiny Little Baby-Men. These are the men who had to overcome such adversity as omelets and pens. They are not to be confused with the men who refuse to act their age, as evidenced by the people they date: 50-year-old men who met their fiancée when she was a teenager and 47-year-old men who had an affair with a woman who could have gone to high school with their daughter. To paraphrase an old adage, you aren’t into MILFs; you’re 30 — those are age-appropriate women.

Somehow, in 2022, there are men who are still making hypermasculinity their whole thing. These range from supplement-scamming Liver Kings to men who proudly embrace the title “King of Toxic Masculinity.” These men share a singular, collective brain cell with the men who will inevitably comment on this post with some variation of “WhAt If a MaN sAiD tHis AbOuT WoMen??” Babe, wake up. They literally are.

Then there are the truly sinister men, the ones whose names don’t really bear repeating lest they get even a modicum of attention. They have either been a guest on Alex Jones’s podcast or are Alex Jones himself.

Oh, no! My Questionable Men Play-Off Music is starting, and there are still so many people I haven’t mentioned. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you, Ricky Gervais, Matt Gaetz, Brad Pitt, Tom Brady, Tristan Thompson, and most of the men on Love Is Blind!

Men, I’m rooting for you! Here’s hoping you can pull it together in 2023.

Looking Back At 2022

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The Year Men Flopped