Relax. This is not an anti-feminist or anti-female article or whatever name this sort of thing goes by nowadays. So put down your torches and pitchforks. In fact, most women I know don’t need to read this article according to me. Actually, this is about being a man. About what defines being a man.
The answer is nothing.
If I am not wrong, many of you have already found this piece offensive in my discouragement to women in a few lines earlier. Take that and change the gender. Good old man shaming, right?
Now now, do I hear that an oppressed faction of the society has the right to speak out now against the oppressors? Of course, they do. By that same logic, every Indian and African right now possesses the right to kick, enslave, murder every single British person out there. uh-oh!
Anyways, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to the boys. And the men of course. Let me tell you at the onset that men’s activism, or even standing up for being not a stereotypical man, although supported on popular media and popularized, ironically, by certain arachnoid and metallic superhero movies, is still a concept whose very existence is debated outright on social media. It’s a moot point trying to figure out who is to blame for it. The answer will always be the universal diplomatic safe anti-progressive answer: the society.
I say, to hell with the answer. I am not here to discuss crimes against men or how men are bullied. I just wanted to tell all of you out there that it’s okay. Everything, every single goddamn thing, is okay.
You’re allowed to be the weak one if that is how you perceive yourself. Not once in a while. Always. It is okay to expect things to be done for you if that is what you think you deserve. You are definitely allowed to be scared and expect some protection when you need it. Your emotions deserve to be shown, to be celebrated. You can be the defective piece. The one with all the problems, the one with all the tantrums. And expecting that chair to be pulled for you is not wrong at all. Because if you don’t, you are either being chivalrous by choice or submitting to gender bias.
Being a man is highly overrated. And over expected from. Stop feeling bad if you can drive and have no intentions to learn how to do so. Cut out bearing the anxiety of making the first move. Expect to be courted, to be pampered if you like it. You have every right to be waited upon.
Oh, by the way, refusing to lift that bag or push the car is also okay. It is an assault to your own humanity and character, but it is definitely not an assault on your conformity to your gender. The only thing, according to scientific studies, that makes men typically stronger than women is the muscle mass. Simply stating, men are stronger because men are bigger. But not all men are bigger. Some are tall and lean but not all that big, some are short and stout but not all that huge. Some are neither and curse themselves for the lack of masculinity. You need not. You are free to make cross-stitching your primary talent, sitting at home, earning nothing while your wife does the earning for you. I am sure you can find a wife like that. The ratio of women at workplaces is only increasing every day.
So, stop being so harsh on yourself. Masculinity and femininity are not as black and white as you are told from day one. Although a girl with masculine trait is found cute and called a tomboy, a boy with feminine traits is mostly referred to as gay, even by women, which I consider a sexual offense and insult not much different in nature from the ones faced by women.
The society is out to engineer you. Don’t let it. You’re an individual. Nothing more, nothing less. Not for anyone else but the bad-ass guy in the mirror.