20 January 2008

Men weigh in? Please?

I wonder how many male readers I have. I certainly have very few male commenters.

Suzanne wrote a column on sexism and misogyny over at BlogHer and that, on top of last night's viewing of SuperBad, started me thinking about what it is to be a man.

When we talk about sexism, it is usually from a female perspective, but my belief is that a sexist system oppresses all people, not just women. Men aren't free to act how they want because to not "be a man" at all times garners them just as much scorn and consequence as a woman who doesn't know her place.

We were joking the other day at work and offered Matt $250 to walk into his gym wearing a headband รก la Jane Fonda, midriff top and Daisy Dukes. We were all laughing and I know Matt could use the money, but he refused and I don't even have to tell you why because you already know.

I have 5 questions for the men out there. If you aren't male, perhaps you could ask a man in your life or weigh in with your own opinion on how sexism affects men.

1. What do you like about being a man?
2. What don't you like?
3. How do you feel about being a man in our culture?
4. If you could magically make one thing better for men, what would it be?
5. What would you like women to know about being a man that you think they might be unaware of?

Thanks in advance for participating.

30 comments:

mdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mdog said...

sorry, that was me. reposting so the link isn't all screwy. what i said was...

i am not a man. :)

just posting this because i think it's relevant.

SUEB0B said...

Thanks, mdog!

jonniker said...

I'm not a man, obvs, but I'll weigh in anyway.

Personally, I can't stand the way men are portrayed in sitcoms, a la "Everybody Loves Raymond." It has, it would seem, become socially acceptable for men to be portrayed as dullards with little more than a vague sense of humor and an astonishing lack of competence in all things domestic. They bumble around, being called "stupid" and getting yelled at by their shrew-like wives and mothers. And they are mocked CONSTANTLY for the fact that they are men.

It really pisses me off, and I think may be part of the whole "Boys are stupid" T-shirt movement that I find equally reprehensible.

And -- AND! -- while I'm on the topic, I find that it is increasingly socially acceptable for women to yell at and borderline abuse their husbands and worse, we're supposed to agree and/or find it funny, because boy, those men! They sure are idiots, aren't they?

My brother's wife, for example, beats the bag out of him, yelling at him and berating him right in front of us. And the truth is, if Adam treated me that way in front of my family, I'm pretty sure they'd be talking to me about leaving him. But in her case, it's somehow acceptable, and that's just one example of many.

I'm all for humor and a certain degree of stereotyping is expected and even natural, but I can't help but wonder sometimes if the shoe were on the other foot, what we'd be saying about the men who commit such offenses. I don't think we'd be laughing.

jessica said...

Also not a man, but this is a timely post for me....

Tonight I found out that my new boyfriend has a HUGE issue with his 2 yr-old son having his fingernails painted by the child's mom. She paints his nails because he has a twin sister - and when she paints her nails, he also wants his done - naturally.

At first I gave him a ration about his attitude - and quite frankly I was really surprised, because while he is kind of traditional, he's far from macho or sexist. But he was adamant. So then I asked him WHY he felt that way, and he said he really couldn't articulate it - which I think speaks volumes about how men feel about their masculinity. He understands that the nail polish means NOTHING to his son other than it being a form of play, but he said that since he's the only boy of his four children, he wants him to be "a boy."

When I asked him how he would feel if his son turns out to be gay, oddly, he said he'd fine with it.

Talk about being conflicted!

SUEB0B said...

Thanks, Jonniker - I agree. Men are the new women, sitcom-wise, if that makes any sense.

And Jessica - I think the reason that parents, esp. men, so want to model societally-approved male behavior to their sons is that the penalties are so severe for those young men who choose to act differently. Wear nail polish and you might get killed. That isn't an exaggeration - it's a very real possibility, considering the state of gender identity. Your man thinks it is easier to work within defined roles, and he might be right. I can see how he would be scared for a boy who wasn't seen to be a "real" boy...

Mamma said...

Interesting we still haven't heard from the menfolk yet. I'll be checking back. Good questions. And I do plan to ask the husband/father of my three boys.

Karl said...

Am I really the first man to comment on this post? Interesting.

Well, I'll do my best to answer your questions. Interesting comments thus far.

1. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT BEING A MAN? There are a lot of things when I think about it. I can have messy hair and go unshaven with nary a negative comment from lookers on. I like having a penis. It means I get to stand up and pee without always worrying about those that came before me and can't manage to pee IN the toilet, not ON it. I enjoy not having to wear makeup, not having PMS or a period and/or cramps on a regular basis, not having to wear high heels (no WAY were those invented by women!). Seriously, I don't know how you women do it.

2. WHAT DON'T YOU LIKE? I don't like being the defacto person to turn to when it comes to killing spiders or doing certain chores. Men are stereotypically responsible for all things related to yardwork, auto mechanics, and handyman stuff. Hell, I barely know the difference between a screwdriver and a hammer. That shit just doesn't interest me. Yes, I do it when I have to, but I'm much more comfortable in my element...the Uber Geek element, that is.

3. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING A MAN IN OUR CULTURE? That's a tough one. Like others have mentioned, there are stereotypes associated with both men and women. And yeah, lately the men come off looking totally stupid on sitcoms, but sitcoms are pretty much always unoriginal stereotypical messes, anyway.

There's a lot of forced guilt about being a man. For example, men are the ones who start wars. Terrorists are almost always men. Men are the ones "keeping women down" in the workplace (glass ceiling and all that mess).

Also, men aren't allowed to like children. For example, years ago I was at a friend's house during a big family get-together. I complimented my friend's cousin...she was 5. I told the girl's mother that she was had a beautiful daughter and the mother looked at me like I was a pervert. I said, "I have twin daughters myself." "Oh," she said, as if this qualifier made the statement okay. Women don't have that shit pushed on them. They can enjoy children without being labeled a perv.

4. IF YOU COULD MAGICALLY MAKE ONE THING BETTER FOR MEN, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I'd like to be able to compliment a woman's figure without being called a sexist pig. If I say a woman has a nice ass, for example, don't read "pervy" into that. I just admire women in all senses of the word. It's not like I'm saying, "I'd like to bend her over a table and go at it like animals." Course, I'm not saying that I WOULDN'T say that. Well, not out loud, anyway.

5. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE WOMEN TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A MAN THAT YOU THINK THEY MIGHT BE UNAWARE OF? All of the above would be wonderful. I guess most of all I'd like women to know that all men aren't pigs, just like I know that not all women are nagging bitches. Some of us really ARE enlightened, even if lots of men are trying to make the "good ones" look like assholes, too. Course, I'm also of the mindset that any man that shows up at BlogHer is probably of the more enlightened variety.

Great topic, thanks for raising it.

SUEB0B said...

Thanks for taking the time to reply, Karl. I appreciate hearing from my 1st and most faithful male reader. And though I hate to admit it, given my history or complaining, I DO enjoy having you at BlogHer.

FENICLE said...

I'm not a man....but I enjoyed reading Karl's responses.

SUEB0B said...

I wonder how enlightened I am. I remember having a BF who was really in touch with his emotions - he cried easily and often - and I HATED it. I wanted him to be more like a "real man." Sigh. This gender stuff is difficult.

Average Jane said...

Great conversation! I've posted about it today to see if I can draw some of my male readers over to participate.

The Misanthrope said...

1. I suppose fine since I don't know what it is like to be a woman.

2. Women generally have the upper hand in sex. I would like to be capable of multiple orgasms during one episode of sex.

3. At a disadvantage. I think women have all the advantages. I have never worked any place where women made less than men if both were equal. However, a smart, good looking woman can use her brains and sex appeal to manipulate things to her favor.

4. See answer #2.

5. Attempting to be stoic all the time is not so easy, especially when Hallmark commercials make me tear up.

mikey said...

OK, I'll give this a go...

1. What do you like about being a man?

Well, I don't know life as anything else (well, a boy, I guess, but I figured you just wanted a male perspective, and weren't concerened so much with maturity level... although that does matter. Geez, I'm already babbling on, and it's just the first question). So, basically, like/dislike doesn't matter - I'm a man, and that's just how it is.

Now, some of the benefits of being a man? Sadly, better pay. Also, not having to worry so much about hair. And shoes. OK, so maybe I'm stereotyping women a little bit (all in good fun, though. no offense meant) let's just go to...

2. What don't you like?

I don't like that there are so many other douchebags out there who give us "regular" guys a bad name. You know, men who treat women like shit, beat them, play mind games just to get in women's pants, all that stuff. Oh, and I also don't like if you don't want to play in those reindeer games, you can get called a pussy. Listen, just because I respect women and I'm not trying to bang every piece of ass from here to Norfolk doesn't mean that I'm a pussy... it means I have respect for myself, and for women.

Really, I hate all the peer pressure that guys use on other guys to make them do really stupid things. You know what I'm talking about. "Hey, I'll bet you can't drink this bottle of Tabasco Sauce." "Oh yeah? I dare you to do it!" Yeah. I never really got into dares like that.

Note: most of my best friends are women. Had to be said, since... yeah, no male peer pressure that way.

3. How do you feel about being a man in our culture?

I think society puts a lot of pressure on a man to fit a certain stereotype - works on cars, loves sports, has a beer belly, scratches his nuts and belches, etc. I think it's a bit unfair, because, while I do a lot of those things, there are some things (like working on cars) that I don't do. Does that make me any less of a man? I don't think so, but society might.

But really, compared to some of the shit women go though (MY GOD NONE OF YOU ARE THIN ENOUGH!), I'll take the guy pressure. Plus, I've finally learned to deal with it in the past few years. See, I was a total nerd in high school. And in my 20s. I didn't want to admit it, because it's not "manly" to be a nerd or whatever. Sure, I got picked on. But I survived, and now I'm comfortable in my own nerd skin.

4. If you could magically make one thing better for men, what would it be?

I'd rather just make one thing better for everyone, not just men. Share the love, people.

Oh, wait. Someone get us on board with those "multiple orgasm" things.

5. What would you like women to know about being a man that you think they might be unaware of?

Really, I have no idea. Like I said, most of my friends are women, and I have no problem telling them [whatever].

Sorry about the verbosity. I hope my answer helps you out...

mikey said...

Gah. Sorry about all the cursing. Blame it on the fact that I'm a man. heh

Suzanne said...

I like Karl's answers, too, but I disagree on his first point. Women don't really have to wear make-up and heels. I never, ever do and generally don't feel it has affected me. On the other hand, I think I'm an aberration.

MsLittlePea said...

How interesting Suebob. These are some questions I'd like to ask men myself. My sister has 3 sons and we talk often about her raising 3 'men'. One thing that disturbs me when it comes to raising men is that society just expects them to not have any feelings. I can't imagine growing up having to learn how to suppress my feelings for the sake of being 'manly'. And I hear mothers reinforcing this just as much as fathers, telling their sons to "stop crying and acting like a little girl." We shouldn't complain about the fact that our husbands/boyfriends aren't able to identify/talk about/deal with their feelings if we don't allow our sons to even HAVE feelings...
Good post topic!

SUEB0B said...

Thanks, everyone, for your ideas. I love it. Just wish I had even more men participating.

Misanthrope, about #3 - don't you think good looking men have a big advantage, too? They can flirt and take advantage just like women can, right?

John from Grand Haven, MI said...

only a few readers with penises (peni?) commenting and it kind of looks like i'm not as evolved as the other dudes. i gotta tell you that don't give that much thought to "being a man". that's waaaay down there on my list of things to think about. i put thinking about "high-def TV's" higher on the list than "my favorite thing about being a man". i'm generally not an asshole but it's just not something i spend time on.

Laura said...

I am married to a man's man. He is a farmer who wears plaid all day and cuts things down and breaks things for fun. But--

I liked the nail polish comment in another comment. Joe is okay with almost everything...but when Grant likes to be painted like his twin sister.. he really balks a LOT!!

However, he also says he would have no problem with Grant being gay. We have seriously talked about how we would welcome Grant and Stella "experimenting" in their high school years, because that would greatly cut down on our possibilities of becoming grandparents in our forties.

I am not really sure how much insight I have added to this... I am just really happy that the filter is relaxed at work right now so that I can read some blogs!!

debangel said...

I read a study years ago where preschoolers of both genders were getting their nails painted, and the boys were way more into picking a cool color and making sure the manicure was perfect than the girls. I'm not sure where they found a bunch of boys who hadn't already been gender-biased, but it was interesting!

Speaking of manly men vs. men who are "too" sensitive, remember the remake of "Bedazzled" with Brendan Fraser and Liz Hurley as the Devil? He asks her to make him more sensitive to impress the girl he likes and he turns into this guy that can't stop crying when he thinks about dolphins...too funny.

Cool topic, SueBob!

Nate said...

First time commenter.

I'm a guy, but a gay guy, and a gay guy who feels he relates as well or better to women most of the time, so I hope my answers add something:

1) I feel like no matter how I answer this question I run the risk of sounding sexist, but I'll just say I like a lot of things about being a man. Especially, because I have so many female friends, because I know how much harder it is for women. I like that our clothes, hair, etc. are uncomplicated, and that we're not pitted against one another the way women are. I'd make a terrible woman because of how lazy I am, and, conversely, I'm pretty much in awe of every woman I know.

2) I don't like how, culturally, men are discouraged from creating close, loving, platonic relationships with one another. It's not okay in our culture to be in deep, serious friendship with other men. It's been said already in this forum, but I don't like the stereotypes and the boxes men are put into. It's in this way that I agree with you that sexism hurts men as much as women, because as men we're taught always to be the tough providers, the ruthless competitors, etc. It keeps both men and women from fully realizing their potential.

3) See above. Also, it's weird for me being a gay guy in this culture, but a gay guy who you wouldn't *necessarily* be able to spot as gay. Meaning, I see a lot of the ways that coming out has freed me from having to fit into certain traditionally-male roles - or, on the other side of that, to fit into them because I CHOOSE to and not because I HAVE to - and I see other men suffering or having a hard time because they're trying to be a certain type of guy when that's not really who they are.

4) I think I would take away this "savior" mentality that is thrust upon men, and this life-script that men in our culture are given. I know so many men who don't know any better than to find a girl, get a job, get a mortgage, and make three or four babies. I see so many men who are stifled by that life, but who don't realize that there are other options out there for them. They never get to be or feel who they are because of it.

5) See #4. Also, I'd like women to know that men - straight men especially - are just confused as hell about pretty much everything. All the straight men I know want nothing more than to make life as happy and easy for the women they love as they possibly can, and most of the time they're messing up terribly, but give them some credit for trying. A lot of times men take a lot of crap for being "controlling" or trying to do everything, and this makes women feel like the man thinks they can't do it themselves. That's not it; it's just that he wants to do it for you so you don't have to do it, so you can be more at ease. And he comes off seeming all macho-stupid and chauvenistic, and he really is sorry, despite the fact that he keeps doing the same thing over and over.

Suzanne said...

Nate, you do not sound sexist at all. You sound like you 100% get how it is to be a woman. Rock on.

When I asked Husband these questions, he stared at me like I was speaking Estonian. He doesn't generally think about these issues at all. (He did make a snide comment that he wished urinal mints smelled better.) I think a lot of people with a cultural privilege (for lack of a better term) don't think about what they like about it. In some ways, asking a man what is good about being a man is almost like asking a white person what they like about being white. Because you are not thought of as "other," it's not something people spend a lot of time pondering. Of course, I could be wrong about that...

SUEB0B said...

John from Grand Haven - understood. I don't spend that much time thinking about being a woman either. I just thought the questions would spur some discussion.

Nate - I really appreciate your response. Especially the last one, which is so heartbreaking. I know I have been guilty of misinterpreting men's actions...about a million times.

Neil said...

1) I think being a man gives me the ability to be more open and freer than a woman -- in some ways. I can act silly in public. I have the opposite feeling of Matt. I could easily walk into a gym dressed like Jane Fonda, knowing that everyone will think of me as a "funny guy." It would be more difficult for a woman to do something that would make her look "unattractive." Men would find her unsexy and other women would scorn her. I can be offensive and talk sex-talk, and I'm a "guy." A woman might seem bitchy and slutty.

2) On the other hand, the stuff I just mentioned is all superficial stuff. Men joke around with each other, play sports, and try to one up each other -- but rarely talk to each other about their emotions. Now THAT would be more unmanly than walking around like Jane Fonda. Men are given freedom to express themselves ONLY in extreme, active ways, but not in the more intimate areas of life, which is seen as more feminine, or weaker. Failure is much more crushing to a man because it is tied into who he is and what he does. Being a man can be tiring. You have to be on the ball and strong. It is expected of you.

3) I think a man's role is changing in society, but slowly. It is women who seem to have made greater strides in defining themselves in different ways. Just look at the blogging world. There are career women, mommybloggers -- women have options, if they can afford it. Most people, including women, don't respect a stay at home dad as much as a successful career man.

4) Not to feel so pressured to perform during sex, work, play. Most men walk around like soldiers.

5) Men are as much a victim to sexism as women. Men are more victimized by pornography than women. They are the ones who brainwashed into thinking only certain women are sexy, and their penises have to be a certain size. Men think you want them to be this way, despite what you say. You are our mothers. You teach us how to act. You complain about us, and then don't want us to act any other way.

Stephanie said...

"You are our mothers. You teach us how to act. You complain about us, and then don't want us to act any other way."

That's a really good point, Neil. Are parents teaching their sons to be manly, whether intentionally or subliminally? Then not realizing that the things a woman may dislike about her husband are the things a future woman may dislike about her son?

This is an interesting topic. My husband had difficulty adjusting from being an infantry officer in the Marines at a base where there were few women to working in a "regular" office with cubicles and a nearly equal number of male and female workers. He barely resembles a stereotypical "grunt," but he just wasn't used to a mixed-gender work environment and how that's different from a mixed-gender social environment.

logtar said...

1. What do you like about being a man?
Logic, I love being left brained to the core.
2. What don't you like?
The fact that I am not allowed to give or receive physical affection from male friends without being though of it as weird or sexual.
3. How do you feel about being a man in our culture?
I find it oppressing, even wrote a post about that not too long ago
Link to my post
4. If you could magically make one thing better for men, what would it be?

5. What would you like women to know about being a man that you think they might be unaware of?
Just because we do not talk about our feelings all the time, it does not mean we don't have them... and we really do not get subtle hints, no matter how obvious they seem to you.

Whimspiration said...

My husband answered these for you. While he doesn't comment here, he loves to have me read your blog to him when I come to visit. You can count him as a reader, even if he never points his browser to you.

1) For me it's a difficult question to quantify, 'cause I am not like every other man, When somebody asks what I like about being a man, I can only assume you mean about the societal roles. I like being male, but the only difference between being a male or a female are the physical attributes. Being human carries with it the same potential and characteristics for either gender. Protecting those you love, providing for your family and being strong are typically considered male things in our culture, but everyone should do them. So when I'm asked what I like about being a man, I can only say the physical things. I like having a beard, the additional upper body strength, and I love having a penis.

2) I don't like the assumption that if I don't fulfill the typical male roles in society, that I'm looked at as less, or not a real man. If I don't have a job, if I can't fix the car, if I show that I have an emotional side other than anger or "masculine" feelings, I'm "not man enough".

3) I feel a bit lost about being a man in our culture. My forefathers were scholarly, but they were also warriors. They knew what their place in the world was. We have a vast breakdown of role models, for lack of a better term, and those that are given to us as role models are flat, and not well-rounded individuals. You have to define for yourself what it means to be a man.

4) Paternity leave, by god, I need 8 weeks to be with my newborn so that I can get up at 4am to tend the new one and let my wife sleep. Also, I would make it so that fathers who were paying child support, who were decent men, wouldn't get dicked over by the system so harshly. I understand why the rules are in place the way they are, but decent men shouldn't be dicked around by bitter exes who manilpuate the system for their benefit. I would make the family court system truly fair and balanced, based on fact instead of gender biased.

If you had asked me what I would do to make things easier for all humans? I would magically make the intuitive leap between being a child into being an adult, easier. Getting rid of the jealousy, competition, pettiness, and cruelty of youth upon adulthood without giving up the variety and pleasure that is life. A place were you are wise, even-tempered, and, just take all the crap, and, just put it away.

5) We are awful confused about you. The confusion lies in that we don't know what you want. I'd like to think that most of us are good people, and sometimes we don't see the obvious. We don't realize that our actions may make you feel leser than yourself. We don't like making women hurt, the most of us, and being that you feel that you've been placed in an inferrior role, whether true or not, the ways that you get around certain things, makes us feel manipulated. This brings about anger, confusion, and frustration, and I don't think you realize how much turmoil you cause in us, and I don't think we realize how much turmoil we cause in you. Love and life shouldn't be a battle. Women think that men deliberately hold them down, so women then do the "feminine wiles" thing, which confuses men, and makes us unbalanced, confused, and easy to "beat". What women don't realize is that men aren't organized in thought enough to do this consiously or on purpose. Women give men too much credit. We aren't as smart as you think. To deliberately hold another person back or keep them down takes too much thought, organization, and outright cruelty. It's not worth the effort.

* Bonus * I can only offer my perspective as a male, but if everyone, male or female conducted themselves in this manner, then there wouldn't be sexism. Just because you have a vagina, or can bear children, doesn't mean you should make less money or be thought of as less, second class, and if a man wants to dress in garish colors and leopard print, it doen't make him any less of a man either.

renton said...

1. What do you like about being a man?

There are fewer and fewer things that a man can do and a woman can't, but I guess it's nice to not have the scrutiny about every tiny aspect of my appearance that women go through, usually from other women. I can run errands on the weekend in a ratty shirt and ballcap and I don't feel like I'm being judged. I like not feeling pressured to wear makeup everytime I leave the house. I like having a penis and all it entails. As much as I hate the fact that it's not safe for women to go to a lot of places alone at night, it's nice to feel useful as your escort. And I'm really glad I don't have to have periods.

2. What don't you like?
Women are more social with each other than guys. If a guy needs to go to the bathroom, his friends don't all go (unless it's Larry Craig). Also, being a man means I don't have easy access to girlparts.


3. How do you feel about being a man in our culture?

I guess I have to agree with the previous posters who complained how men are portrayed in sitcoms and (especially) TV commercials as louts and idiots. My wife would never have stayed with me if I acted like those guys.

4. If you could magically make one thing better for men, what would it be?

More empathy as the "pursuer" in social situations. It's hard to put yourself out there to ask someone out, and I've had some women give me some very cruel responses.

Also, maybe fewer wars?

5. What would you like women to know about being a man that you think they might be unaware of?

Seeing someone getting hit in the nuts in a movie isn't funny. It hurts so much you wish you could crawl into a hole and die.

We really do get sleepy after having an orgasm. We're not trying to avoid cuddling or talking.

If you have a platonic male friend, he's still probably masturbated to thoughts of you.

Jester2385 said...

Suebob I will be honest, I stumbled onto your blog, I have never commented on any blog before, but I hope you feel that what I have to say is pertinent.
I have never thought about voicing my opinion on this subject until I read your blog and your reader's comments. Or maybe it is just because I recently turned 30, just a joke. So please bare with my writing style.
I guess I should quickly “qualify” myself physically as the stereotypical "typcial guy," even though it has nothing with being a man. I’m 6’1" 215lbs, go to the gym, big muscles, blah blah blah. Yeah, I was also the Captain of several sports like Football. In high school I was the Super “Jock” (a term I dislike). I even have an award named in my honor called the “Iron Man” award. NONE of that makes me a man. All of that simply prevented people from ever questioning my “manhood” when it came to other issues. Some of the issues many of your readers have commented on being hard for men to do or feel because their “manhood” would be questioned, especially if you’re heterosexual. I mention the physical aspect; because my answers to the questions posed don’t mesh with what is expected of “men.” Combine that with the fact that my male role models were all college football players, Vietnam vets, stone masons and ditch diggers, it almost will sound comical.
1. What do you like about being a Man?
That I can say I worked daycare (2-3 year olds) from 13 to 18 years old; and that I was a “nanny” for 2 summers during college. I took pride is dispelling the myth that you have to either be gay or just plain weird to be a guy, especially a “supposed tough guy,” if you cared for children.
I love that I was raised in a family where men never feared showing emotion or emotional attachment. To give you just one example, my cousin, when I saw him over Christmas, hugged me and gave me a big ‘ol kiss on the cheek. As a side note, he might qualify as a “man” since he is a Marine Corp. Sniper. Hell, two nights ago I met my father out for beer with his colleagues, I am sure some thought it was weird, but I gave him a kiss when I walked in.
That when I was little I went antique shopping and learned to crochet, yet miraculously still turned out to be a “manly man,” whatever the hell that means. The so called “womanly” side of my list goes on and on.
And yes, I also like the part about being a “man” that gives me an excuse to drink a few beers with the “boys” and yell at games on the Big Screen or get away for a cigar and 18 holes of Golf.
Most of all, the best part about being a Man, I think is standing strong for who and what you are, and NOT be ashamed of it. Although, that is something that should be considered MANLY or WOMANLY.
2. What don’t you like?
I can’t stand that society thinks it odd for a man to do some of those things, like care for children or show emotion, and that often men are put in a position that they feel the need to defend it. Even worse that the only reason my “manhood” or any man in my family doesn’t get questioned about showing affection and emotion is because most of those who question those things are cowards and do it when they feel physically superior to another man. I don’t like that people find it hard to believe I am a huge geek who reads over 150 books a year, simply because I look like bouncer and not a librarian. I really don’t like the fact that guys like your reader Mikey got picked on for being a “nerd” in high school. I can’t stand self appointed tough guys, so I am ashamed to admit that I saw only one way to deal with those types, yes, fight them. NOT the answer, but some men, especially the ones who disrespect women only seem to respond when someone their own size gives them a crack. It is not my most endearing trait, and it is something I am not proud of engaging in way too many times, so it goes right up there with things I don’t like about being a man, “the need to solve things physically.” Obviously, I also don’t like that some men still consider themselves a man when they have hit a woman.
Side Note: Every man, gay or straight, should read what Nate, the gay gentleman wrote, all of it. RIGHT ON BRO!
3. How do I feel about being a man in our culture?
I’d complain that our culture increasingly is subjecting men to fit a certain “type.” As in “do you measure up in the bedroom,” “is your 6-pack in your stomach or on it?” etc. BUT as I write this 3 commercials straight were pointed towards women, “loose weight,” “feminine odor,” and “PMS pills.” I don’t think a few “increase your size” and “wash board ab” commercials match up with what women endure daily.
Men, let’s turn everything over to the women; we’ve managed to screw it up enough already. And I include myself in this, but all men, nerds, jocks, every one of us needs to find “a set” and stand up and set the example we want future men to follow, and not be afraid to buck the status quo.
BUT women please have patience, some of us are trying to change the definition of a “Man” for the better, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Hell I couldn’t even paint my living room in a day.
4. If you could magically make one thing better for men, what would it be?
Remember you said magically! I’d really like to ask for “The Women’s Instructional” manual, but we don’t read instructions, so that would be pointless. So I would ask that we be born with the full understanding of the pen being mightier than the sword.
5. What would you like women to know about being a man that you think they might be unaware of?
I am copying this response from your reader Nate, he said it best:
Also, I'd like women to know that men - straight men especially - are just confused as hell about pretty much everything. All the straight men I know want nothing more than to make life as happy and easy for the women they love as they possibly can, and most of the time they're messing up terribly, but give them some credit for trying. A lot of times men take a lot of crap for being "controlling" or trying to do everything, and this makes women feel like the man thinks they can't do it themselves. That's not it; it's just that he wants to do it for you so you don't have to do it, so you can be more at ease. And he comes off seeming all macho-stupid and chauvinistic, and he really is sorry, despite the fact that he keeps doing the same thing over and over.
Side Note: For any homophobic men out there, I hope you realize if this gentleman was straight, you’d be begging him for advice about women.
6. Just a closing note for any man who reads this and still preaches that a man proves himself through our physical nature, take this quote from this MAN, probably as “bad a$$” or tough of a man that has walked this earth:
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

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