Posted on Facebook:
Please stop saying “real men do yoga” or “real men do _______.” It’s divisive. It perpetuates hyper masculinity and this idea that being a “real man” is a good thing. It’s diminishing and shaming. The term “real men” implies that if you’re not a certain type of man then you don’t qualify as a man, and if you identify as a “real man” then you are somehow justified to flaunt and abuse your privilege.
I made a post on Facebook the other day that started with: Please stop saying “real men do yoga.” You can read it there or on my Blog. The responses were varied. As a white, cis-gendered man I understand that I walk through the world with a certain amount of privilege. I grew up surrounded by hyper-masculinity where using brute force was the way to win— at everything. I was taught to “shut up and be a man,” which basically meant being an asshole to anyone who wasn’t a straight, white, man. It’s obviously more nuanced and complex than that. I’ve worked hard to expand my learned ideas of gender roles, and I continue to do so as I engage with others who don’t fit the gender molds of our culture.
Basically, there are no “real” men. Or, maybe more accurately, all men are real. If you identify as a man then you are a man. Whether you do yoga or not. Whether you wear pink or not. Whether you play sports or not. Whether you cry or not. Whether you have chest hair or not. Whether you accept Jesus into your life or not. Whether you eat quiche or not. Whether you do your own laundry or not. Seriously, I’m not making this shit up. Like somehow what you do, what you wear, what you eat, how you look, and what you believe determines whether you are a man or not.
In all honesty, I’m tired of hearing about how fragile men’s egos are. Let’s stop making excuses for why we have to tiptoe around men by saying that doing certain things— even if we think those things are good— makes them a “real man.”
Let me say it again: If you identify as a man then you are a man NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO OR DON’T DO.