Do you know why it’s a good time to grow a beard? Not because it’s “Mustache March;” not because it’s cold out and we need to keep warm; for one simple reason: We are men, and we can.
Let me tell you something – I love being a guy. It’s awesome. And as much as I think I would rock yoga pants and Uggs, I am happy God gave me the Y chromosome.
So, as a man, I’d like to talk a little bit about masculinity. I have spoken briefly on the themes of femininity in a previous column, but it was brought to my attention that it wasn’t exactly Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.”
This time, I think I’ll stick to something I can discuss with a bit more authority – being one of the dudes. In the interest of being objective, I must admit, there are pros and cons, and I’ll do my best to cover the bases.
Let’s start with meat. One of the best things about being a man is being able to enjoy a good steak cooked medium. Or venison. Or elk. Of course, enjoying a good slab of ribs isn’t exclusive to men. But I certainly don’t mind the stereotype.
Of course, there’s vegetarianism too. It’s not my personal choice, but I’m sure there are manly vegetarians out there. Maybe they’re even manlier because they don’t need a carnivorous diet to be the epitome of machismo. I don’t know.
Some crude and insensitive people might be thinking, “You’re totally wrong, vegetarians are so gay,” to which I say, gay guys are definitely manly. Heck, they love masculinity so much that it’s what they look for in a companion. And I dig that. Again, not my personal fandango, but I still respect that as an awesome addition to our “man-ily” (man family).
Another thing that I take joy in is the efficiency with which we men can go to the bathroom. Not only can we do our business efficiently, but it can even be fun. For you ladies who don’t really understand, have you ever played that amusement park game where you fire the water pistol onto the target and try to get your player to the top? That’s the old-fashioned entertainment that we get to enjoy every time we go to the bathroom.
Then there’s babies. I love babies. The whole majesty of childbirth truly is a miracle. And women have such strength when it comes to carrying a child for nine long months; I could never even imagine that. Then again, I never have to – because I’m a man.
(If my future wife – or baby mama – is reading this, then don’t worry, honey, I’ll be there for you every step of the way.)
Yes, these are all the majesties of masculinity. But there are, of course, disadvantages too. Our main flaw is simplicity of thought. The male mind is notoriously simple. There are some men who claim a higher degree of complexity; these men lie.
A great demonstration of this simplicity is when a coed couple gets into a fight.
I once heard a male comedian keenly observe that women cheat the rules when they fight with their men, because they do something that men simply can’t do – they use their brains.
A sad truth, but a truth nonetheless. Men, no matter how much we plan our arguments ahead of time, we must acknowledge that women will always win. They are just smarter.
Sure, we claim gender to some of the greatest minds in history – Aristotle, Einstein, Hawking – but I imagine even these brilliant thinkers would admit that the women in their lives were the frequent argumentative victors.
Don’t believe me? Picture this: It’s a warm day in ancient Greece, and Aristotle has just formulated the basis of modern argumentation. He gets home that night in the mood to relax with some nice baklava and beer. That’s when his wife comes in and furiously says to him, “Do you remember what today is?” Strike one, Aristotle.
Aristotle realizes his mistake. Quickly drawing upon the day’s work, he formulates an appeal to logic – She’s mad; I don’t actually remember what day it is; I have to come up with something quick or else I’m in trouble; therefore, it must be our anniversary. By all accounts weak premises, but let’s not forget that Aristotle is man, and therefore simple. “Great Pillars of Parthenon, I forgot our anniversary!” he thinks. Strike two, Aristotle.
“By the beard of Zeus, of course I know what day it is,” he lies. “Happy anniversary, dear.”
“It’s my birthday,” she says. Strike three, Aristotle; you’re out. He never stood a chance in Hades. His mistake wasn’t so much in forgetting the day – a woman’s capacity to forgive is wonderful; no, his mistake was thinking he could win with a lie. Albeit, a common mistake among men, it guarantees a loss.
My father, being the good mentor he is, gave me these wise words: “Son, you are a man – you can be right, or you can be happy.”
I don’t always choose wisely. But at the end of the day, at least I can pee standing up.