I always find the idea that manhood is tied to specific traits to be utterly bizarre. I can change my own tires, oil, brake pads/shoes, belts, starter, etc. Hell, I have even changed out a transmission by myself (three super annoying times in an Illinois winter – outside) until I got one from the salvage yard that actually worked. They were under a warranty by the salvage yard that sold them, but until installed, I would not know if they worked. It took three times of installation and removal to get one that did work. Anyway…
I learned these skills as a necessity since I needed to know how to keep old cars on the road, as nothing I owned early on was under warranty. It had everything to do with finances, time, access to the proper tools and experience and absolutely nothing to do with my gender or something as shallow as facial hair.
I spent 6 years on active duty in the Marine Corps, went to a war at the age of 20, qualified on more than one weapons while on active duty, got exposed to sarin and cyclo-sarin during the Gulf War and drove a real HMMWV in the deserts of Saudi Arabia (not these silly gas-guzzling suburbanite OMG-Hey-Look-At-Me-No-REALLY-LOOK-AT-ME-NOW substitutes).
Still, I could care less about any of that in my daily life. I drive a boring Hyundai Sonata. I don’t obsess about AR-15s or any other weapons, nor do I spend every available dollar on expanding my armory and learning the capabilities of the latest tools for killing. I prefer being clean-shaven. I don’t give a shit about football and tire of the expectation that I JUST HAVE TO OMG know everything about a team and certain players. I have no inclination to study, drive and constantly re-build ancient muscle cars in my garage. I don’t set the DVR to catch the latest episodes of studio wrastlin’. I’m not worried about keeping up with the latest rules on what equals “masculinity.”
I am not saying that liking those things is wrong. However, I am rejecting the idea that not enjoying or being apathetic toward those pursuits somehow makes someone “less” of something.
No, I won’t pretend just to make other people more comfortable. I have no time to put on a childish display of false bravado in order to validate some insecure asshole’s weird fixation with other people’s “manhood”.
I find it doubly fascinating when the people obsessing over something trivial like not giving a shit about the latest issue of Guns & Ammo have no idea they are talking with a veteran who could care less about projecting a wannabe facade. Do you consider yourself a man? Good, then you got the manhood thing down. No more rules needed.
At the end of the day, I really just wanna take off my shoes – ‘cuz my feet hurt, watch the latest episode of iZombie and have some overly sweetened iced tea. The rest of it, seriously bores me the fuck to death. I’ve done and seen more than most sworn officers of the Masculinity Enforcement Division of the Royal Gender Police and do not seek their silly approval.
Grow a beard. Don’t grow a beard. Learn a skill, or not. If it doesn’t personally affect you, why do you care so much?
Seriously. Fuck off. Please?