Halfzachte macho

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Leesclubjes. Mooi woord vind ik dat. Beetje halfzacht ook wel. Niet macho-achtig in ieder geval. Want het wekt bij mij gevoelens op van, laat ik nou ook eens sentimenteel doen, tederheid, van het samen over één onderwerp hebben, een boek dat je in je uppie leest om er dan later in groepsverband met ‘gelijkgestemden’ over te kunnen praten. Om het verhaal uit te diepen, naar diepere achtergronden te zoeken, de zin van het leven proberen te doorgronden. Etcetera. Kijk, dat is natuurlijk niets voor ‘ons mannen’. Wij staan het liefst met beide benen in de blubber. Daarom zijn er ook maar weinig mannenleesclubs, hooguit dat een verdwaalde mannelijke geest deel uit maakt van een hoofdzakelijk bevrouwde leesclub. Echte mannen lezen niet. En áls ze dan, min of meer noodgedwongen want slecht weer op vakantie, lezen, zijn het vooral sportboeken. Gijp, Kieft, de gespierde Zlatan en natuurlijk de avonturen van die geile Andy van der Meijde, want d’r moet natuurlijk wel seks, liefst veel, in zitten.

‘Echte mannen lezen niet’, stond er onlangs ook boven een pagina’s lange lees-analyse in De Volkskrant. Daarin kwam ook ene Maxim Hartman aan het woord. Misschien hebt u hem bij het zappen op de tv wel eens op RTL7 – dat zich afficheert als ‘De Zender Voor Echte Mannen’- zien langs flitsen. Hij wordt wel de mannerigste van alle mannerige mannen in Nederland genoemd maar hij is een hartstochtelijk lezer bovendien. Dus toch ook een beetje halfzacht? Deze Maxim noemt drie punten, waarop een boek tóch bij een man kan scoren. ‘Het levert opwinding; het bezorgt je binnenpretjes door de meedogenloze humor; of het maakt je door het lezen ervan nóg beter dan je was. Alle andere boeken zijn overbodig en zonde van de bomen die zijn gekapt.’

Over mannen die lezen zijn heel wat vooroordelen diep geworteld. Als je hen dan ondanks hun afkeer van lezen toch een boek cadeau wilt doen, mag het desnoods ook over barbecuen gaan, want dat bevestigt hun exclusieve kunde op dit gebied. Weet u, wat ook een gevestigd vooroordeel zou zijn? Dat lezende vrouwen het heerlijk vinden om een niet-lezende man te hebben die van voetballen houdt en naar eerlijk zweet stinkt. Maar die vlieger gaat bij mij toch niet op. Mijn vrouw en ik lezen graag. Weliswaar hebben we allebei onze eigen smaak maar we kijken getweeën ook graag naar voetbal op tv. Of ik naar zweet stink zult u mijn vrouw moeten vragen. Maar ik voel me ook helemaal geen macho. Misschien neig ik wel meer naar het halfzachte type. Hoewel: ik ben geen lid van een leesclubje.

Henk Hendriks

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