Ten responses to the phrase ‘Man Up’ - Guante
If you want to question my masculinity like a school yard circle of curses like a sword fight with light-saber erections…save your breath, Because contrary to what you may believe, not every problem can be solved by ‘growing a pair’.
You cannot arm wrestle your way out of chemical depression.
The CEO of the company that just laid you off does not care how much you bench.
And I promise there is no light beer in the universe full-bodied enough to make you love yourself.
Oh ‘Man up’
Yeah, yeah, that’s that super hero, right? Mild-mannered supplement salesman Mark Man-strong says the magic words man up and then transforms into the Five-O’Clock Shadow. The massively muscled, deep-voiced leather-duster-wearing Superman who defends the world from- - I don’t know...
Of course. Why fight to remove our chains when we can simply compare their lengths? Why step outside of the box when the box has these bad-ass flame decals on it? We men are cigarettes. Dangerous.
You ever notice how nobody ever says woman up? They just imply it. Because women and the women’s movement figured out a long time ago that being directly, explicitly ordered around by commercials, magazines, and music is dehumanizing.
When will men figure that out?
The phrase ‘Man-Up’ suggests that competence and perseverance are uniquely masculine traits. That, women… not to mention any man who doesn’t eat steak, drive a big truck, and have lots of sex with women, are nothing.
Nothing more than background characters.
More than anything, though, it suggests that to be yourself, whether you wear skinny jeans, or rock a little eye-liner, or drink some other brand of light beer, or write poetry,
will cost you.
So, how many boys have to kill themselves before this country acknowledges the problem?
How many women have to be assaulted?
How many trans people have to be murdered?
We teach boys how to wear the skin of a man but we also teach them how to raise that skin like a flag and draw blood for it.
Boy babies get blue socks.
Girl babies get pink socks.
What about purple? What about orange? What about green? What about cerulean? Black, tie-dye, buffalo plaid, rainbow, I --
I want to be free to express myself.
I want to have meaningful emotional relationships with my brothers.
I want to be weak sometimes.
I want to be strong in a way that isn’t about physical power or dominance.
I want to talk to my son about something other than sports.
I want to be who I am.