Last month, ElectricLit's Terra Loire penned a loving, thoughtful thinkpiece, "In Praise Of Tender Masculinity," exploring a spat of recent films exploring masculinity in its many nuances. Loire explores masculine roles in cinema that expand beyond the tough, stoic John McClane/Rambo style of masculinity, which so often results in the behavior that gets drubbed as "toxic masculinity."

Loire sings the praises of characters like Lord Of The Rings' Samwise Gamgee or Moonlight's Chiron. Anyone who thinks these loving, deep, conflicted, loyal and, yes, tough characters aren't "manly enough" clearly has little understanding of masculinity and its intricacies. Loire's essay also offers a middle path between Toxic Masculinity and the Nice Guys™ who, all too frequently, are not all that nice.

Maryland's Gallant offers hope for all those who lament that less-than-savory characters always end up with the girl, for those who're afraid that nice people finish last, with "Gentleman." Gallant extols the virtues of gentle men and tender masculinity with his increasingly common falsetto vocals, delicate as an orchid, breezy as an April afternoon.



Gallant's vocals are on main display on "Gentleman," backed up by Teddy Walton's skeletal productions. Walton's previously worked with Goldlink and Kendrick Lamar on "LOVE." He shows a similar sense of spacious restrain on "Gentleman," accompanying Gallant's silken falsetto with a slow-crawling beat and the barest murmurations of synth and echo. It's as delicate as Gallant's tale of love and tenderness, helping both to become more than the sum of their parts.

Gallant offers hope beyond the games, beyond the chaos and confusion of modern life. Yes, things are changing in 2018 and humanity looks a lot different in the hyper-frenetic 21st Century, as technology allows us to reveal our true selves. Rather than using that technology to create a thick outer skin to "man up" and shove down anything which could be read as vaguely "feminine," Gallant steps out from the shadows, wearing his heart on his sleeve, transmitting his essence to the stratosphere. Who wouldn't want a well-rounded, brave, bold, stylish person who's not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. We Are: The Guard certainly believe in "Gallant" and sing the highest praises of its tender masculinity!


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.