WOMEN
05/31/2013 10:32 am ET Updated Jul 31, 2013

Whatever Happened To Male Charm?

AP

Bummerino metropolis: Apparently there was a time in U.S. history where men were actually charming. They charmed the pants off the ladies left and right with their witty remarks and suave gestures. But that's all dead now, so most of us have lived lives grateful for the mouth-breathing demonstrations of today's charmless American man, never even aware of How it Used to Be.

At least, so implies this intriguing diatribe over at The Atlantic called "The Rise and Fall of the Charm in American Men." One Benjamin Schwarz laments that male charm -- which he describes as a kind of offhand wit, playful knowingness, and a simultaneous coolness and warmth, a la Cary Grant -- no longer exists, on screen or in real life. And what's more, the men of today hold charm in "vague suspicion," don't respond to it, and hardly even know what it is in the first place:

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