What it Really Takes to be a Man

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I’ve read several articles over the past few years about what it means to be a man. Without exception, those pieces were written by women. I know because 99 percent of the content focused on respecting, protecting, and being totally subservient to females everywhere. There were also a few lines about being nice to children and woodland creatures, but those were just tossed in to camouflage the rest of the anti-male propaganda. What those articles really describe is a chivalrous manservant as plausible as the Easter bunny or the five-minute ab workout. If that kind of guy were real, women would never read romance novels because they’d be too busy making love to rich, handsome loners. Then society would be hit with another baby boom and the economy would collapse. It seems selfish of women to end western civilization just because they want to be pampered more. Then again, maybe those back rubs are worth it.

Contrary to what these non-male “experts” claim, manhood has nothing to do with being a doormat for the opposite gender. There’s nothing inherently macho about holding open doors for women or fighting to defend their honor. Any lady who demands that level of coddling is basically saying, “Love me because I’m useless.” Guys who fall for that kind of manipulation think of themselves as white knights, but they move like pawns. The only place they go charging into is the friend zone.
To a woman, a guy who does everything she says isn’t a lover; he’s a minion.
Clearly, manhood isn’t about being a defender of the weak or a slayer of the wicked. That’s a superhero, and those don’t exist – except for Aquaman. He really can control any marine animal, living or dead. There’s a reason I don’t buy fish sticks anymore. But being a man has nothing to do with upholding virtues in the water or anywhere else. In fact, dudes are basically just a collection of vices with a penis attached. This is what it really takes to be a man:

Men should forgive and forget instantly.
Remembering things is hard. That brain space could be better used for sports trivia. A real man can recall the starting lineup for the 1978 Lakers but not the name of the guy who ran over his dog last Tuesday. Spoiler alert: It was me.

Men should be at least 6 feet tall.
A guy who’s 5’ 11” might be the tallest elf in all the land, but he’ll never be a real man. This line is absolutely non-negotiable, which is why short dudes are always so angry. The further away they are from the magic number, the harder they try to compensate. World War II wouldn’t have happened if Hitler were a few inches taller. If only his mother had made him eat his vegetables.

So much bloodshed could’ve been avoided if someone would’ve bought that guy a decent pair of platform shoes.
Men should never say “no” to pizza.
It doesn’t matter if I just ate an entire flock of turkeys by myself. If someone offers me pizza, I will eat it, no questions asked. That’s the burden of having a penis. If that delicious mound of tomato sauce and cheese kills me, so be it. My tombstone will read, “He died a man.” Hopefully it’ll be paid for by settlement money from Papa John’s.

Men should lie.
We’re not dishonest about everything, just the stuff that matters, like how much we’ve had to drink. If a guy always tells the truth, me and other men can’t trust him to lie for us when our wives ask how many bottles we’ve emptied. The right answer is always “one,” regardless of the relationship between that number and reality.

Men should open jars every single time.
When my wife hands me a pickle jar, my entire future is on the line. Even one failure to twist off a lid will result in my permanent demotion to womanhood. That’s why before I give up I use that rubber gripper thingy, run the bottle under hot water, and, if necessary, smash the whole thing with a hammer. It doesn’t matter if the pickles are laced with broken glass. If I defeat the jar, I keep my man card. That pride is worth the internal bleeding.

I mostly buy food in boxes now.
Men shouldn’t apologize.
We’re always wrong, and we know it. If we were actually sorry for all the things we do, every word out of our mouths would be an apology. It’s better to be silent than to spend all day pointing out the obvious. That’s what wives are for.

Men shouldn’t discuss feelings.
We don’t have them, so there’s nothing to talk about. Any guy who disagrees is obviously thinking with his vagina.

Men shouldn’t ask for directions.
We couldn’t request help even if we wanted to because there’s an entrenched system against it. If I stop and ask another man for guidance, he’ll punish my transgression by sending me in the wrong direction. But maybe I’ll catch on to that and do the opposite of what he says. But then he might know I’ll know to reverse his orders, so he may give me the right directions in the first place. It’s a psychological game of cat and mouse that inevitably ends with me stranded on some empty desert road. Forgive me if I drive in circles for hours rather than let some random stranger send me off to certain death.

My brother Harry is the living embodiment of this one, which is good since he’s essentially been lost his entire life. He once veered off course on the way to my parents’ house even though the entire trip required only one turn. Rather than stop to ask for directions, he headed due north for an hour and a half toward the nearest landmark he knew. Then he drove another hour and a half from there back to his original destination. He turned a 60-minute trip into a three hour one, but he survived because he was wise enough not to ask for help. Harry is now a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. If America ever drops a nuke on the wrong country, I’ll know why.


Everyone who does all of these things is a man, even if they don’t have the right plumbing. Manhood is a state of mind, not a set of reproductive organs. I’ve met women who are better men than I’ll ever be. My wife is one of them. I know who to call if I see a spider.