Advice on Being a “Real” Man

This morning, as I drove my brother to school, I was listening to the radio for the first time in a while as they spoke about what’s some of the advice you would give your child in order for them to grow up to become a “real” man. In order for any advice to be shared, first there was a need to identify what it takes to be a “real” man. They had people call in to share things that they thought made someone a “real” man, and to my disbelief, I had to change the station once things were getting ludicrous. Apparently you’re not a man if you spend more time getting ready than a woman. Also, if you wear a clip-on tie, rather than knowing how to actually tie a tie, then you’re incompetent of being a “real” man.  Giving firm handshakes, while standing, is also an identifier for being a “real” man because it shows that you’re being respectful and helps determine a man’s character. It’s impressive to see how little things such as knowing how to tie a tie or a handshake are big attributes to determining what a “real” man is. I just don’t know how to truly feel about all this other than seeing it as a joke. I doubt anyone else thinks that these attributes truly define a “real” man…

Luis Ramos

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2 thoughts on “Advice on Being a “Real” Man

  1. That’s the problem with using “real” man/woman as an ideal of humanity. Anything that doesn’t fit into this reality becomes subhuman and abuse of these people is excusable. I finally got around to watching 12 Years a Slave over spring break and I watched how the slave owners would justify their abuses of their slaves. They gave excuses like “I can do whatever I want to my property”. Slaves, and black people, weren’t fully human–not real humans–so they could abuse them. Heterosexism demands that men be “real men” and privileges men who fit this “real man” image and dehumanizes those who don’t in a similar way that racism privileges white people and dehumanizes people of color.

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