Lots of messages from pop culture as to what it means to be a “real man”. Real men are supposed to only like certain things, do certain things, and above all, maintain this state of being lest they slip and become like a -gasp!- woman!
Real men are supposed to like beer!
Despite the fact that, well, aren’t there plenty of men out there who don’t like beer, or any alcoholic beverage for that matter. Yet… aren’t they still men?
Real men are supposed to ogle scantily clad women!
Despite the fact that, well, said scantily clad women might not be some men’s type or they probably aren’t into leering? Yet… aren’t they still men? Aren’t gay men still men?
Real men are supposed to like steak!
Despite the fact that sometimes they just prefer chicken. Or they are vegetarian or vegan. They might actually – gasp! – prefer salad! Yet… aren’t they still men?
Real men aren’t supposed to want to be teachers or nurses or stay-at-home parents!
Despite the fact that, well, many men excel in these jobs and are great with patients and children! Yet… aren’t they still men?
Real men are supposed to like… action movies!
According to that stupid Dr Pepper Ten commercial anyway. Despite the fact that men like all kinds of movies, even – gasp! – romantic comedies! Yet… aren’t they still men?
Real men are supposed to like… sports!
And of course women aren’t supposed to. Despite the fact that many men aren’t interested. Yet… aren’t they still men? (And aren’t the interested women still women?)
Real men are supposed to be… tough!
Despite the fact that, well, lots of men aren’t tough and have no desire to be tough nor violent. Yet… aren’t they still men?
Real men are supposed to want sex and lots of it and all the time!
Despite the fact that their sex drives don’t actually work that way, can still be “not in the mood”, and this myth perpetuates a lot of sexual misconduct towards men. Yet… aren’t they still men?
There’s this culture surrounding some ideal of manhood, some ridiculous culture. And, as I’m not a man, it seems obvious that I’d find issue with it! After all, I’m a chick, so aren’t I supposed to not understand men and just be a pain in their ass who should shut up and fuck them? Heh, well, I don’t claim to understand men as a whole, but then again I can’t say I understand other women as a whole either. People are mysterious regardless of gender, and any two people whether of same gender or not are differently mysterious.
But I also don’t see how any of the above makes one more worthy of the title “man” than one missing these traits. Or, as is often the case, you find a guy to claims himself to be a “real man” for fitting most of the above, but one he might not fit he’ll complain “why do I need to like that/be that way to be a man?” Um, good question, but that also applies to the things that do describe you!
This gender role rigidity hurts men and women! Why cling to it? There’s nothing to gain.
Let’s just say men are “them things with penises” (give or take, let’s not forget our trans friends!) and be done with it! Sheesh!