Why Gentlemen Have Been Replaced By 'Bros'

Acting like a jerk is nothing to be proud of, Bro.

attractive man EugeneEdge / Shutterstock

I look around at the typical man today and I can't help but feel disappointment.

What happened? What happened to honor? To integrity? To common courtesy and manners? When did derogatory comments about a woman's anatomy become an accepted way to show her you're interested?

I'll tell you when. It happened the moment swiping right on Tinder replaced courtship. It happened when women started falsely believing that they need to accept mediocrity and second-best love or they will end up alone.


It happened when gentlemen were banished and "the Bros" were left in charge.

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The unfortunate and sad rise of 'Bro' culture

Before you send me your hate mail, I'm not referring to all men. There are many great men out there, but the obvious shortcomings of these self-proclaimed Bros make great men look bad. The Bro has replaced the gentleman, and it's pathetically sad.


These Bros are all about themselves. For them, it's about providing the bare minimum, usually across the board.

They put in just enough effort and charm to gain a woman's interest; just enough emotional connection to make her think he cares; just enough phone time to keep her guessing, like a cat with a string; and just enough foreplay to assure his own satisfaction.

These behaviors not only cause confusion on the part of many women, but they also brand more and more men as Bros who don't care about anything but themselves.

Maybe I've got it wrong. After all, I am the son of a man from a completely different era. My father was not only born in 1914. He was 56 when I was born. He instilled in me (and most of my schoolmates) a sense of what's "right" when it comes to men, women, courtship, and behavior.


There were things that men did, and things men didn't do. Period. No grey area. No wiggle room. It was the unspoken, unwritten rule book of proper behavior for men, with full understanding and recognition that how you act was a direct reflection of who you are and what you stand for as a man. You were not only responsible for how you carried yourself, you were also accountable.

And that's part of what's missing today — accountability.

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An unacceptable masculine standard

These Bros, steeped in douchebaggery, run amuck like middle schoolers, acting without the slightest thought about the ramifications of their actions or behaviors. They run in packs — because there is security in numbers — and leave disappointment, halfway love, broken self-esteem, and confusion in their wake.


They outnumber the gentlemen for one reason: Women accept this obnoxious behavior as "the way men are today."

Men who treat women as options and objects are the unfortunate reason thousands of women write to me every week. They aren't looking to get out of their relationships (because that's as simple as leaving and never looking back). Instead, they are looking to understand why men have fundamentally changed — embracing the parts of their psyches that minimize connection and letting honesty, loyalty, and straightforward talk fall by the wayside.

If you back up a few short years, men generally had a strong sense of accountability, self-worth, and class (save for politicians and lawyers, many of whom still have negotiable ethics and values). Today, much of that is out the window and I hear about it every day from women around the world with multi-page letters that reverberate their frustration, surprise, anger, resentment, and confusion.

These Bros walk around comfortably as kings of half-witted, half-brained behavior.


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The demise of the gentleman

These are the guys who outwardly portray false confidence and smooth, insipid pick-up lines. Gold chains and new cars give off a sense of outward wealth, but in truth, these items showcase their insecurity and inner emotional bankruptcy.

These guys claim Alpha Male status, not realizing that Alphas provide for their pack — they don't take blindly — not to mention that real leaders don't have to claim anything. They're recognized for the true inward and outward strength they actually have.

In truth, the world around us has assisted in the demise of the gentleman. The traditional role of men has shifted, been marginalized — even viewed as superfluous.


Feminism (of which I am a staunch advocate) defines itself as "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men." But so many women have turned that message of equality into trying to replace men.

As such, for many women, it's not enough to fight for equality. It's also about relegating men to a subservient position. This is where things get tricky, especially for men trying to find their new roles in today's equality-centric society.

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The ever-changing role of 'real men'

Many men simply don't know their role in today's environment, and they hear mixed messages on what "real men" should and should not do.


In one ear, they hear that chivalry is dead and that men don't know how to treat women anymore. But in the other ear, they hear, "I don't need a man to open a door for me or pay for my dinner! I'm not some weak woman who needs a man to take care of her."

In this dichotomy, one thing is clear — being a gentleman is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" proposition, and the Bros are fueling the negative view women have of men who do it either way.

If a man does act chivalrous, he must have an ulterior motive and is merely trying to get her in bed. But if he doesn't, he's a Bro who isn't worthy of her in the first place. It's the proverbial Catch-22 — which the Bros don't care about — leaving gentlemen caught in the crossfire.

A man showing interest by treating a woman with value shouldn't be viewed as anti-feminist or somehow perpetuating inequality. He's showing he's interested in his actions. Yet, some women mistake "men acting as gentlemen" as "men treating women like victims."


Let's get this straight: A gentleman will open doors, pull out chairs, walk on the side closest to the street, and pay the bill.

He doesn't do these things because she isn't capable. He behaves this way because he's interested. He values her and wants to show that he values her.

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There's room for chivalry and feminism

An empowered woman can do all those things herself, but she can also afford a gentleman his place to show his interest. To those women who have it confused — a man can open a door for a woman, treat her to dinner, and do traditional things that make dating about courtship. It doesn't diminish her power or her independence.

If it does, she might want to think about why a simple gesture of kindness — or an overture of romantic interest — can render her inept and somehow unequal.

Today, we view a gentleman who steps up with honest intentions as special or unique, while accepting the Bro as the representative of a "normal" man. Behaving like gentlemen shouldn't be considered unique ... it should be the norm.

And to the Bros, I would ask you to hinge your sense of masculinity on something other than how many women you can manipulate. Stand up with honor and integrity or please sit down so she can see the gentleman behind you.


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Charles J. Orlando is a bestselling author and relationship/interpersonal relations expert who has spent the last 10+ years connecting with thousands of people.