Man up? Man down.

As males, we are tested and treated differently by other males. If we’re bullied, we have to take it, let it all seep in and quickly cap that frustration before it gets out. If we want to talk about something socially unacceptable, where do we go? We go to those few friends who we can talk to or online communities that make us feel at home. What else?

Handshake like a man? I handshake as best I can. I have soft skin, too and most men are thought to have rough skin. Can I lift like a man? No, in fact I don’t even lift. So when someone asks, “do you even lift?” you can respond simply and directly by saying “No, I don’t.” Is our value really in our muscles and attractiveness?

What’s internal counts more than what our external appearance ever will.

Are we not supposed to cry? Are we supposed to be able to fix everything? Some men go by societal norms wholeheartedly. That’s fine but don’t put others down and weaken their self-esteem. 

Do all men love their cars and name objects? I don’t even have a car and don’t name objects. Do men all have the same fashion? I hope not. We should dress the way that feels comfortable. You find that awesome pair of shoes, belt, shirt, pant, socks and you’re ready to go. No need to compare yourself. 

Be yourself. It’s harder being yourself than conforming but it’s worth it. 

Next time you’re feeling something, speak up or at least get it out somewhere. Don’t feel upset if others talk negatively about you. If you can’t use tools or do something society calls ‘manly,’ just say you can’t. It’s better to say it before rather than mess up and clean up the issue after. Finally, if someone shouts at you to “man up,” you tell them to “man down.” 

It’d be nice to just get rid of the word ‘manly.’ since no one’s benefitting, just hurting inside. Think of all the times that word has been used to undermine someone’s abilities. If we can stop that then we will have achieved something amazing. Remember, stay strong when times like these come in your life. 

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