Friday 2 September 2011

On getting in touch with your masculine side

Today I got an email with a shipping quote for a painting that I did. Getting emails with shipping quotes seemed like a pretty macho thing to happen. I flexed a bollock.

I am a rubbish man. I mean, I have all the requisite biological parts to be one. I have a Y chromosome and everything. But I look around at what society expects men to be like and realise that I fall way, way short.

But I also look at a lot of the boorish macho nonsense that that entails and I also feel quite glad. I think my hardcore aversion to "masculinity" is my dislike of the idea put forward by the media and advertisers rather than any fundamental truth or reality. However, you can't deny that that identity must have some basis somewhere. Advertisers are too good at their job, which is largely being magnificently, moustache-twirlingly evil, to miss by that much.

So then. Banter. Rucks. WKD Blue. Football. Ray Winstone. Farts. Emotional repression. Cheering at stuff in pubs. BIRDS. Lager.

God, all of that depresses me. Always has done. I come from a long line of men who aren't really like that at all, in a variety of different ways. Men in our family tend to be able to join in with the general badinage, but usually from the sidelines, chucking little conversational grenades over the siege turrets.

I'm OK with that, really. What I'm not sure about is why I'm now so aware of it and why it's started to niggle at me more. When I was a child, it was still very much the custom (I am old) after dinner for The Men to sit around talking and guffawing at the table whilst The Women went back to the kitchen to talk, tidy and cackle (women are better at multi-tasking and can get more done in the same amount of time). I always went off to the kitchen. Always. The Men Talking wasn't for me. If I listened to it it always went over my head or bored me.

I wonder if maybe the more I accept this - and I do accept it, because after all it's what makes me happy - I'm beginning to feel that I've been too dismissive and may have missed out on Men Stuff. Perhaps more pertinently, if I'm beginning to alienate people (men, mostly) with my perennial seeking out of the kitchen? I hope not. I hope that I've not changed at all, only my awareness of it has.

I like being a man. Men have such simple lives. They are simple people. We are simple people. Why, then, I feel I need to complicate things unnecessarily worrying about this sort of thing is a mystery to me.


Merry Mary said...

Men don't really care if a woman is fat or thin, what she's wearing, what she looks like - they just want to knob her. In a similar way, blokishness is really only interesting to blokes. It's as much to do with posturing and proving your mettle amongst other men as anything else.

I recall something on the internets about how women might go all weak at the knees for a brutish man, but the one they'll plump for will be the caring one who makes them laugh.

One suggestion was that she'd get impregnated by the brute and get the nice guy to look after the sprog, but I think that's a bit primal.

Of course the perfect combination is someone who knows when and how to be a bit brutish and when to be all kind and fuzzy. (Known in the trade as: Bonk their Brains Out and Hugglewuggle Afterwards)

It's definitely not something you should get too pre-occupied with. Though society makes you think you should.

The men who spend their lives trying to live up to the traditional notion of manliness are, by and large, pricks. What makes a real man to most of the world is nothing to do with fast cars, football or lager... and I think you know that.

dotmund said...

I'm one of the least alpha males in history. I'm rather proud of it, to be honest :)


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