It’s hard for me to befriend males. In simplest terms, most guys are douche bags. Women are constantly baffled by this. Let me reaffirm the fact: most guys are douche bags; probably somewhere around 85%. That means I cannot be friends with 85% of guys. Why? Their idea of what it means to be a man is completely wrong. They have no idea and they are out in public right now.
I remember one night working at the tattoo shop before I moved to St. Augustine. I was mopping the floor, our nightly routine before we closed the shop, while the shop owner was tattooing someone. A fat girl sat in one of the barber chairs used for tattooing. The conversation the five the room’s occupants were having led to the discussion of me being a vegetarian. The girl in the chair chimed in:
“I used to be a vegetarian, but I got really sick.”
“That’s funny. I’ve been a vegetarian for a few years and I’ve never felt healthier,” I told her.
The response from the girl who use to substitute her meat with Doritos and Bud Light was, “Why don’t you be a man and eat meat.”
I could have responded with, “Why don’t you be a woman, get on the treadmill, then put on a sexy dress and high heels, then cook that meat for me.”
I didn’t say that because I can handle those situations rationally and because, well, I don’t believe that is what makes a woman. Being a “man” or a “woman,” is not a matter of fulfilling the stereotypes our society provides us, it is a matter of disregarding them and doing your own thing.
I know women who wear a lot of makeup and just generally slutty clothes, but also complain about the draconian pressures imposed on them by our culture that they “have to dress like that.” It seems quite foolish to me that they will complain about those standards while simultaneously upholding, maintaining and reinforcing them, making it harder for the next generation of women to battle.
As a man, I face similar pressures, occasionally drink too much gin or whiskey and complain about them, but I never fall victim to them. Why? Because I’m secure and I don’t really give a shit about them.
That is why when the sick girl in the chair at the tattoo shop tried to lay waste to me in her bout of ignorance, it rolled off my shoulders and I kept on moving.
The point is simple: having a penis does not qualify you to be “a man.” Yes, biologically, someone with a penis is a male, but being a man takes much, much more.
Examine this: I am a man who practices yoga and doesn’t eat meat. I also lift weights and have enough tattoos to convince an old woman I sell drugs and have no moral fabric. Immediately, you probably see a contrast in those first two sentences. The first implying I have traits some self-proclaimed men would deem “gay” (not my words), and the second sentence, traits that make me manly.
While I acknowledge that any yoga class I have been to has primarily consisted of women and few men, and that women are 60% more likely to be vegetarian than men , I argue that calling an activity masculine or feminine is a social construct. Obviously, there is nothing inherent in those activities that make them fall on one side or the other. We assign these social values to them and the secure people, male or female, break them down.
Males will say, “Only women do yoga,” and I will retort, “I do yoga because I care about my body and mind and yoga has great beneficial effects for both.” Males will say, “Only women and/or faggots are vegetarian ,” and I say, “I have well thought-out reasons for not eating meat. You probably eat meat because you think you have to and just because you always have without having given the reasons why careful consideration. Also, you’re a moron.”
If we are going to make choices, we have to have reasons for making those choices, otherwise, we are foolish. Being rational and utilizing our intellect, instead of ignoring it so we can comfortably fit into our niche of what is manly, is what really makes someone a man.
Ask me why I do yoga, lift weights, have tattoos, am a vegetarian, am an atheist, and I’ll tell you why. The reasons I give you will be thought-out, point by point, rational reasons that are a result of using my intellect while you sit on your couch driving McDonald’s chicken nuggets and Mountain Dew down your throat yelling at a television. If that makes you a “man,” I’m sorry our culture has gone astray. I might even finish my argument with a solid “QED” and “Get fucked.”
The things men do because they think it helps to define them as men does not just make them less manly because it conveys a strong sense of insecurity, it also prevents them from getting laid because intelligent women recognize them as knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troglodytes. Case in point, who is more manly? The guy in a pink polo shirt with tribal tattoos starting fights at bars, or the guy busting his ass all day long at work to support his family?
Of course marketers know how to take advantage of men’s insecurities and while the makers of Axe Body Spray and shirts with foil dragons profit, I lose because I have to deal with the people they profited from. Being around these self-proclaimed men, remind yourself: be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to what is happening, but beware what you will witness, the complete degradation of an entire gender.
It has been a long time since anyone said, or even implied, that I am less manly for doing yoga or am a vegetarian. I don’t think I present the image of someone you can say that to, but if they did, I wouldn’t care. I would say, “I don’t care,” and mean it literally, not like when some people say it and they’re red faced and angry (think commercial rap songs).
I have known males whose very vision of what it means to be a man has literally ruined their lives. If I go to a bar with a guy who points to a woman in the room and says, “Check out that bitch’s ass. It’s so thick and juicy,” you can guarantee I won’t be hanging out with that person again. I have very few male friends whose company I enjoy because of this and other reasons. I don’t want to hang out with guys who say, “Let’s go out tonight and find some chicks.” Unfortunately, these guys are screwing themselves over and they don’t know it. They are victims because they have failed to think.
I want to surround myself with people, male or female, who are intelligent, ambitious, inherently good people and have a sense of humor.
Being a man does not mean you can win a drinking contest, beat someone up, or be proud of the fact you don’t know what a troglodyte is. It does not mean you eat meat three times a day and have had a lot of sexual partners.
To be a man, you have to be yourself, make your own decisions with rational, thought-out reasons and have personal accountability. It means you are secure in who you are. It means you can make a decision, stick to it and deal with the consequences whether they are good or bad.
Until more guys understand this, my circle of friends is going to stay incredibly small.