IMPORTANT NEWS FOR EVERYONE EVERYWHERE APPARENTLY

I can’t believe that in this, the year 2015, there are still articles like THIS. So I’d like to take a minute and say what, exactly, does and does not make one “a man.” Ahem:

  • Liking sports does not make you a man.
  • Not liking sports does not make you not-a-man.
  • Having a beard does not make you a man.
  • Ogling women and making comments about their bodies does not make you a man.
  • Watching a movie only to comment on how “hot” the Academy Award winning actress is does not make you a man.
  • Enjoying a movie featuring well-rounded lady characters played by Academy Award winning actresses and enjoying it for their acting abilities and not their “hotness” does not make you not-a-man. (Please forward me a list, I’d like to see those movies.)
  • Calling other men “faggots,” “wusses,” “pussies,” et al because those men do not share the same “manly” interests as you does not make you a man.
  • Grilling does not make you a man.
  • Baking does not make you not-a-man.
  • Going hunting or fishing does not make you a man.
  • Not giving a shit about hunting or fishing does not make you not-a-man.
  • Sharing in household chores (even cleaning the fucking bathroom) does not make you not-a-man.
  • Reading a book written by a woman does not make you not-a-man.
  • Having a “man cave” does not make you a man. (It does make you a douche, though.)
  • Enjoying movies wherein a lot of shit blows up does not make you man.
  • Enjoying movies that feature less shit blowing up and more talking does not make you not-a-man.
  • Having nothing to do with raising your child does not make you a man.
  • Raising a child does not make you not-a-man.
  • Bringing home the sole income does not make you a man.
  • Being a stay-at-home parent does not make you not-a-man.
  • Knowing about cars does not make you a man, nor does your ability to fix them without the aid of a mechanic.
  • Liking the band Rush does not make you a man.
  • Not liking the band Rush does not make you not-a-man (it does mean you have better taste than those who like Rush.)
  • Being repulsed by the mere mention of a menstrual cycle does not make you a man.
  • Feeling that your masculinity is threatened because women are allowed the same rights as you (sort of, mostly, kind of) does not make you a man.
  • Gettin’ laid does not make you a man.
  • Rape, threat of rape, or sexual violence of any kind does not make you a man.

So what does, then, make someone a man? Well, if you ask ME (and you didn’t and I don’t care because I’m writing this, and you’re reading it):

  • Not being a woman makes you a man. (If we’re sticking with the ol’ M/F binary, which, in this case, we are.) (I’m not excluding transgendered folks either – if you identify as a man, yeah, I count that.) (Just keep reading.)
  • Taking care of your responsibilities makes you an adult, and since men are adults, this qualifies you as a man (if you’re not a woman).
  • Taking responsibility for your actions and not blaming the world for your problems makes you an adult.
  • Not giving a shit about gender norms and what men are and are not supposed to do or like makes you a fucking adult.

As you can see, being a decent, respectful person is really what’s paramount in being a “man.” Oddly enough, it’s what is paramount in being a “woman” also, despite what you may have heard about shopping and child-rearing. Maybe if we all just crawled out of each others’ asses and quit trying to compartmentalize and classify every damn action we take, the world would be a little easier. If we weren’t so concerned with how “appropriate” a pastime is, or if you can wear pink and have a wang at the same time, or if having ovaries automatically disqualifies you from understanding the fundamentals of football – maybe we could actually just enjoy our lives. Do what you want as long as you’re not hurting those around you – whether you’re a man, a woman, or a glorious shade in between – just be a fucking adult. (Most of that last part was by Elizabeth. Had to give props.)

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