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Mainly Manly Writing about Manly Men


If I were smart, I’d probably leave any commentary on this blog post to the cat graphic which accompanied its twitter link:

But I’m gonna be dumb instead and say obviously it’s a huge mistake to characterize qualities you admire as “traditionally masculine” if you’re not intending to be incredibly sexist. If you want to write stories about men being heroic and doing cool action-hero-type things, that’s cool. But continuing to call that behavior we tend to valorize “traditionally masculine” is just jerky and misguided.  Lots of things have “traditionally” been called this and that and the traditions were based on bullshit.

I get that there are lots of men out there who like to imagine themselves as real-life heroes. It’s an impulse I understand, as it is fun to play the badass. (Hence the popularity of badass heroines like Katniss Everdeen.) But I think for too many men (especially conservative men) this need to be a badass can lead to warped thinking.

When you think about real-life heroes, real-life badasses…the soldiers, the firefighters, the doctors without borders, the legitimately lethal martial artists…the percentage of people who are actual badasses is vanishingly small. And, men, chances are very very very good that YOU’RE NOT ONE OF THEM. And you never will be. And denigrating women will never help you become one. (And owning an arsenal of guns won’t either.) Anxious masculinity is such a bummer, even when it’s revealed in blog posts as seemingly innocuous as this one.


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