Though everyone has their trials, being a man comes with singular challenges. Some of those headaches don’t need to be, though. The sooner we recognize that society—not men—is the problem in these specific instances, we can drop our hangups and make guys’ lives a heck of a lot easier.
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Was it the “The Sounds of Silence” that made everyone think a guy sitting on his own in silence was a sign of trouble? If so, Simon & Garfunkel will lose a ton of cred in my book. When a guy is sitting on his own with a stoic look on his face, don’t feel the need to ask, “What’s wrong, honey?”. While guys can be bad about sharing what’s on their minds, silence does not necessarily indicate anger or depression. Sometimes a guy just needs zero auditory input or verbal output.
2. Giving Male-to-Male Compliments
What’s wrong with telling your best bud, “Hey Chuck, you look hot as a skillet today?” Encourage your buddies.
3. Deprecating Banter
Hey, eavesdropper: Just because you can’t take a joke doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to banter. This tit-for-tat, back-and-forth verbal jousting is by the guys, for the guys. We need it to survive. So please, save your righteous indignation for next week’s Anti-Humor Society meeting.
4. Self Care, Man Style
Your spa day is our video game day. Your mani-pedi is our 12-hour meat smoking session. It’s not a hobby (although it can be that). It’s not a childish activity. It’s self-care, man style. So go to lunch with the gals and get off our kiesters about it.
5. Peeing Outdoors
So long as we shield the business from everyone’s sight, what’s wrong with peeing outdoors? It’s actually an environmentally friendly thing to do, preserving water while providing hydration for the foliage. But noooo, you have to frantically search for a bacteria-infested porta-potty as your bladder expands beyond repair. And why? Because society has deemed outdoor urination taboo.
6. Interacting With Kids
If he says “kiddos,” you can toss up a red flag. Snatch your child up immediately if he is overly handsy or talking about uniquely adult topics. That said, nothing is weird about a guy giving a kid a high five or interacting with kids in general. We’re not the monsters you think we are! As the inimitable Trick Daddy once said, “Trick love the kids.”
7. Owning a Cat
Somehow, we’ve branded male cat owners as menaces to society. If you think the cat lady stereotype is rough, ask cat guys what life is like for them. They love their cat but could leave a look of disapproval on others’ faces every time they disclose their cat ownership. Cats are practical. Even as a non-cat owner, I say de-stigmatize male-cat companionship.
Why do guys feel the need to grab the nearest onion and start chopping when the end of Titanic plays? Why can’t we cry simply because we’re feeling sad, either vicariously or personally? Tear duct blockage is a national nightmare. Society’s machismo obsession deserves at least some blame for the blockage. Let a man cry, will you?
You say you want men to share their feelings, to get their mental health in order. Let’s be honest, though. Women and even other men see a man in therapy, in many cases, as a broken man. Though Tony Soprano broke barriers for macho men embracing mental health treatment, we still have a long ways to go.
10. Rolling on the Ground With Dogs
Look, times are ruff. If I can’t afford a dog or live in a dog-unfriendly apartment complex, is it that weird to frolic at the dog park with others’ canines? Like, full-blown roll-around, tug of war, and fetch sesh? That’s not weird, right, guys? Guys? This thread inspired this post.
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