Anthropology: How to Study a Man


The trailer has arrived for Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, the directorial debut of the always adorable John Krasinski. The film is based on David Foster Wallace‘s book of the same name, the content of the book being rather self-explanatory.

In the film adaptation, a female graduate student seeks out a greater understanding the secrets of men through her own anthropological study. Like Jane Goodall, she dives into a strange culture in order to understand the citizens, but perhaps this endeavor will be complicated with romantic entanglements with Mr. Krasinski himself.

What questions could she ask to get to the very heart of what men think, feel, or just are? In an attempt to decipher what it is that men do, I present the topics I would cover in my own anthropological study of the male species:

Communication between subjects

We have previously operated under the assumption that men don’t gossip, gab, dish about their latest romantic endeavors. But does the male species communicate about their courtships with their peers? Are their communications limited to bragging? Or perhaps they seek advice from their brethren. Do they tell their cohorts about their stress over text-message-sessions or simply discuss how a female’s ass looked in a tight skirt last week?

The breadth of the male fantasy industry

Humans are known to have a variety of imaginative romantic musings. Our male counterparts are known for the frequency and limitless erotic fantasies. This much is understood; but why has the porn industry, specifically targeted at men, become so weird? Why does pornography always now involve four guys, a midget, ketchup, a broomstick, or who knows what? Has sex become too boring for this population without a specialty and/or props or is this a pandemic object-fixation within the community?

Perceptions of the opposite gender

Observed male comments of the fairer sex tend to be rather simplistic, i.e. “She’s so hot.”; “She’s not hot.” Do men notice the efforts that women put into looking “hot”? Do men prefer a maxidress or fitted jeans? Do they note the tailoring of a pencil skirt or the makeup applied to achieve a smokey eye? Most importantly, why do they always want women to take their hair down?
This study aims to further understand communication, thought process, and perception of the male gender. Although we may truly never understand this mysterious population, these are topics that can be explored through further study.

However, I am avoiding the questions that I truly want to ask: How is that I can get John Krasinski to fall in love with me?

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