I’ve been guilty of present masculinity as rather one dimensional as of late, and that’s not good. So far, it’s hard to tell whether I’m talking about men in most of my posts, or the Terminator. I get that.
Today, I’m going to balance that a bit by talking about what men aren’t.
Every day, you’ll see guys kidding one another about turning in their “man card.” They’ll say real men do this, or real men do that. As a result, guys who are shunning every aspect of masculinity possible are also declaring what real men do. Honestly, it’s confusing.
However, real men aren’t worried about some things, and I don’t care what your friends say about it.
Real men aren’t worried about the kind of vehicle they drive. It might be a truck or a classic muscle car, or maybe it’s a Prius. They’re not hung up on image so much as having a vehicle they want for whatever reason.
Real men aren’t expecting the wife to be the only one to do housework when both of them work all day. If your wife is a stay at home wife, this doesn’t apply to you, but if you both work? Step up and do some stuff around the house. Yes, it sucks but you think it doesn’t suck for her?
Real men aren’t looking for the next woman to sleep with just for the hell of it. Nothing pisses me off more than someone who gauges masculinity by notches on a bed post. That’s not being a real man. Being a real man involves looking for that one woman and making your whole damn life be about her and the children you two bring into this world.
Real men aren’t itching for a fight. Yeah, I write a lot about violence, but it’s because I believe it’s an inevitability of manhood that someone will try to test you at some point. That doesn’t mean you go looking for it just because you think you can kick everyone’s ass. If you just need to test yourself, set up a sparring session and forget picking a fight in a bar like a movie cliche.
Real men aren’t sitting in front of the TV every night, doing nothing. This is different than helping out around the house. Real men aren’t Al Bundy, sitting in front of the TV doing nothing night in, night out. They’re engaged in something at least semi-productive, even if it’s just reading something. At least then your mind is engaged.
Real men aren’t judged by their hobbies. Your buddy has taken up the least masculine hobby of flower arranging? No way he’s a real man, you say? Dude. Samurai practiced flower arranging. You want to tell them they’re not real men? Hobbies do not make the man. At least not in the way some guys think.
Real men aren’t judged by their jobs. This should go without saying, but it probably has to be said anyway. There are always some guys who are in traditionally male fields that love to pretend that guys with other jobs are somehow less than masculine, especially in traditionally female fields. That’s bull. Based on the criteria laid out for what makes on a man, anyone in any job can fall short. In contrast, a man can have any kind of job and still be a man.
Real men aren’t intimidated by their partner’s success. Since man is the provider, he’s supposed to be the primary breadwinner, right? Nope. Think again. It means a man should be working, trying to provide for his family, but if his wife makes more, it’s not skin off his butt. Frankly, a woman making more than her husband means she can handle something happening to the husband far better (from a financial standpoint) than if she didn’t.
Real mean aren’t necessarily sports fans. I love football and MMA. Friends of mine are die hard baseball fans. Others like golf for some reason. Still others simply refer to all of it as “sportsball” and get annoyed at the discussions on social media. It has no bearing on whether they’re real men or not.
Real men aren’t wimpering little whiners. This shouldn’t be needed either, but there are those in the world who think men should “express their feelings” to such a point that they stop being men and have started to be women with penises. Real men share their feelings, but it’s with people they trust and value, not society as a whole.
Real men aren’t interested in ditching their responsibilities. There are sites that claim “toxic masculinity” has men fathering children, ditching the mothers, then bragging about how many kids they have. This is an image that modern feminists have of men, and it’s based on bull. Real men don’t do that and never have.
Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list. I could write an entire book the length of War and Peace and still not have a comprehensive list of what men aren’t.
As for what men are, more or less, I’ve already written that book. If you haven’t read it yet, head on over to Amazon and pick up your copy of The Essence of Man: A Real Guide to Masculinity in the 21st Century.
So what do you think? What are some things you believe real men aren’t?