Posted in Gender

Can We PLEASE Stop With this “REAL MAN” Crap?

Ladies, seriously, I know you think you are doing us a favour by making suggestions on how we should be in order to make your life the world easier, but I am getting quite sick and tired of women (especially feminists) deciding – for men – what men should be like. If you were not born a male, then you really don’t know what it is like to be a man. I’m sorry but that is all there is to it… and you have no right to decide what a man should be.

real1Sadly this sort of thing isn’t just prevalent, it is positively encouraged by woman-centric media. It is here, herehere… and this one which presents an impossible ideal… ad infinitum really. I find it amusing that a lot of these magazines are written for the modern liberated woman yet while their mothers and grandmothers fought for the rights they now enjoy, they want to keep the right for themselves to decide on what men should be and how we should act. You are more than a mother, a wife, a cook and cleaner and we are more than a provider and protector. A man is more than his utility to you.

If that is what you look for in a man then I wish you luck. I doubt you will find him because what you appear to be looking for is a reflection of yourself and an ideal that doesn’t exist. However, you do not get to decide for men what men should be like.

Right lads, you don’t get off lightly either. Yes, we too are to blame. Obsessed with cars, breasts, beer and sport, typical male-centric media adds nothing to the changing role of men in society… desperately pushing an image that few really live up to and promoting the image that men have no depth. They present a ridiculous standard to which we should all hold ourselves. A real man likes fast cars, a real man likes women with fake boobs, a real man has stubble and doesn’t show his emotions, a real man goes to strip clubs and comes home drunk and don’t listen to no woman on what time he should be home.

It’s equally frustrating because it feels like Cold War rhetoric. Every time one side does or says something, the other has to outdo them to show that they are more right. It’s a pissing contest and at the extreme ends we have militant feminists who think men should be banned from doing just about anything, and at the other we have the MRA who long for the return of the day when women were in the kitchen and squirted out babies. Sorry to both sides, but you are never going to get what you want. The world is changing and deciding that you and you alone should decide what all men should be like and how we should act helps nobody.

So let me finish by saying – with no small amount of irony – that a real man knows the importance of his own individuality.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

10 thoughts on “Can We PLEASE Stop With this “REAL MAN” Crap?

  1. I think all of the “real man” and “real woman” needs to stop immediately as well. If you ask enough women (often times, even asking one will suffice), they will give you completely contradictory ideas on what a “real man” should be.

    1. Absolutely right 🙂 with so many mixed messages about how we should all be, it’s no wonder people feel lost and confused of what is expected of them from the opposite sex.

      Have we become so hostile to individuality? Or is it merely gender-specific media along with social media encouraging narcissism which we then project onto others?

  2. I completely agree with everything that you say, with one minor objection: it is not ‘especially feminists’ that are perpetuating this illusion of desired ‘masculinity’. The feminist ideal is simply that all people – both women and men – are treated equally.
    You claim that the publications you refer to are aimed at the ‘modern liberated woman’, but in fact they are not. The modern liberated woman would shun these stereotypical notions of masculinity/ femininity. The media articles you have linked to are just another cog in the patriarchal machine. If they continue to churn out ideas of the ‘real man’, then they are also subversively reinforcing ideas of women as submissive, passive, needing to be rescued by strong dominant men, etc.
    It is not feminists making the ‘real man’ statement – it is actually an anti-feminist media.

    1. he feminist ideal is simply that all people – both women and men – are treated equally.

      Maybe it was once, but not any more. Many feminists refuse to accept there is such as thing as female gender privilege, let alone would actually campaign against it… but that’s off topic slightly.

      The modern liberated woman would shun these stereotypical notions of masculinity/ femininity.

      I agree with this, but those who make the most noise about being a feminist and The Patriarchy (which in its title appears to blame men rather than society as a whole) from what I have seen are the ones who adhere most to these stereotypes. It’s a strange dichotomy I know, but sadly it is common.

      I’m sure you remember the first woman I met when I was online dating (I called her Little Red… we’re still in contact by the way) I see her as a true liberated woman because she had no qualms about asking me out to dinner, no qualms about buying me a coffee.., she is comfortable enough in her femininiy not to persistently keep emphasising it. That’s how I see – I suppose I should call them “Faux Feminists” or “Cosmo Feminists”.

      If they continue to churn out ideas of the ‘real man’, then they are also subversively reinforcing ideas of women as submissive, passive, needing to be rescued by strong dominant men, etc.

      Yet surely the very notion of deciding what men should be like, how we should act and think purely and entirely for the benefit of women – aside from its arrogance – is that not the very opposite of passivity? You can’t be passive and tell decide how everybody else should be.

      1. That’s because the women you’re referring to are not feminists – you’re just mistakenly labelling them as such (and I’m sure many are mistakenly labelling themselves without a true understanding of what feminist principles truly are). The term ‘Cosmo Feminists’ sums it up rather well.

        1. I’m only going by personal experience, and not every man who has a negative view of feminism is because they are a misogynist – perhaps they have seen too many double standards, have been taken for a ride by too many women who expect equal treatment except when it means they will lose out.

          As far as I am concerned, feminists themselves must do something to combat the hypocrisy of the “Cosmo Feminist” because they – along with the irrational and angry man-hater – are responsible for the negative stereotype that tars rationalist and reasonable feminists.

          Sadly, I think it has just become too easy to blame “The Patriarchy” for these things as a way of excusing that behaviour. The concept of a man’s place in society, his role and function is not just a construct of his fellow males. Women must also accept their responsibility here and accept that men are more than our value as a provider and protector.

  3. LOL at the Jackie Chan meme. Again not up on the current feminists spiel is but apparently it is pissing off a lot of guys online (guys don’t really talk about this in person).
    I do think advertiser’s and society give mixed messages to both genders and it’s really about trying to sell an idea to us so we’ll behave a certain way (and buy certain things). But it mostly brings us confusion and misery!

    1. Couldn’t agree more, but I think for men the “Real Man” concept goes far deeper than media ideals. We have a real problem when fathers are telling their sons never to show emotion and to man up or they are somehow less worthy. For me, the suicide statistics speak for themselves.

      1. Well the media plays on social and cultural norms and helps reinforce them. In most cultures, men are not supposed to express or show feelings and so the media and society perpetuates that. But there are other traits ‘manly men’ are supposed to have which may or may not help or hurt them. I think the emotional aspect is the most damaging and self sabotaging, I agree with that.
        Women are also defined to fit in small box as well, a different box from men, which can also be damaging. But we at least are encouraged and expected to share and show our feelings, which is a plus for us….sometimes. Sometimes it is used against us too.

        1. I think the emotional aspect is the most damaging and self sabotaging, I agree with that.

          Personally, I think the suicide statistics speak for themselves on that.

          But we at least are encouraged and expected to share and show our feelings, which is a plus for us….sometimes. Sometimes it is used against us too.

          True, the stereotype of the “hysterical woman” is often used to shame women for showing emotions.

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