Shredding the “Man Card”

The phrase “man card” has been around for quite a while, but of late it seems to be popping up with more frequency in my Facebook and Twitter feeds. ;Usually it is in reference to a guy doing something “girly” and giving permission to take his card away.

I am over this phrase. ;Why? Because according to the rules I don’t get to have one, even though the last time I looked down I saw the necessary equipment.

I don’t qualify as the stereotypical man for the following reasons:

1. I don’t like sports. ;They just don’t do it for me. ;Sometimes I will watch a game with my wife (she likes to watch college football) but most of the time I end up falling asleep or grabbing a book to occupy myself while it’s on.

2. I like “chick flicks.” Give me a GOOD romance any day of the week over a testosterone fueled action flick with lots of explosions and little plot or character. (Note the use of the word GOOD…anything by Nicholas Sparks is swill in my not-so-humble opinion). ;I like a movie that tells a story, that draws the audience into the emotional content, that I can relate to. ;I’ve never saved the world from a speed-racing drug cartel, but I have been in love so I can connect with that. ;Which leads me to the next point…

3. I cry during movies. ;And TV shows. ;And books. ;And church services and news stories and when something emotional happens to someone I don’t even know. ;One time I was sobbing so loudly at a movie that my wife actually felt embarrassed and, had the theater not been packed, would have tried to move away from me. ;What can I say, I’m a sensitive soul (and the movie was REALLY heart-wrenching). ;I like to cry. ;When I’m feeling particularly disconnected I will purposely seek out a tear-jerker just so I can really let loose.

4. I’m more interested in a woman’s brain than her body. ;My wife is a sexy fox, but even if she weren’t she has an amazing mind and soul that would have drawn me to her anyway. ;I can’t imagine being attracted to a woman just because she has big bazoombas, a sweet a$$, or a pretty face. ;Those are all nice perks but if she’s dumb or dull then there is absolutely no attraction. Not even a gut physical attraction. ;I never tried to date any girl who was just attractive. ;I always got to know them first and then the attraction would begin.

5. I enjoy doing household tasks. ;Well, very few people actually ;like ;to clean, but I enjoy dividing domestic duties up with my wife and doing my fair share. ;I do the dishes, I clean the counters, I bathe the kids and put them to bed most nights. ;I am more skilled with a vacuum cleaner and a mop than my wife is. ;We divide our domestic tasks ;not by who has what genetalia, but rather who is better at completing the job and/or who hates it less.

The list could go on and on, but I’ll stop it there for now. ;The point is I am no less of a man for these reasons. ;I’m just a guy with personal tastes. ;Plenty of guys dedicate their lives to sports and drool over women with big fake ta-tas and that is totally fine as well. ;That’s just who they are. ;Where I get caught up is in the idea that a “real man” or a “manly man” has to be a certain way. ;I’ve been called whipped. ;I’ve been called weak. ;I’ve been called gay. ;All because I would rather watch My Best Friend’s Wedding than Sports Center.

It used to really hurt my feelings that people (men AND women) would make these assumptions about me until I stopped and realized just how ridiculous it all was. ;People are just people, shaped by their influences, genetics, and choices. ;My unique cocktail of life experiences has shaped me into the person that I am, and I have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. ;I like who I am. ;I like my life. ;I have an intelligent, beautiful wife who makes me happy and allows me to make her happy. ;I have wonderfully weird kids who are growing up to be proud of their uniqueness. ;My life is full of laughter and tears and I feel well-rounded and connected to all the parts of myself. ;So if all of that means that I don’t get to have a “man card” then so be it. ;The things that I do have are so much more fulfilling anyway.

45 responses to “Shredding the “Man Card”

  1. We live in a world where thinly veiled sexism and homophobia reign supreme. Apparently all it takes to “be a real man” is to burp and fart a lot, and be obsessed with sports, cars, and boobies. Lame.

    • It just seems like maybe it’s time to move past these labels and stereotypes. Of course, Mark Driskoll is actively campaigning to keep us in the dark ages and people swarm to him by the thousands, so maybe we’re not as progressive as we think we are.

  2. Nice post! I think there are much more of you than of the “man card” men. My hubby is the same. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love to watch him get emotional at sad movies.

  3. Awesome. I hate the term whipped. What a ridiculous saying. People who have mutual respect for eachother in a relationship are not “whipped” or missing their “man card” but just happen to be people who are mature enough to realize that their actions impact others.

    And I wish my husband didn’t watch sports – sooo boring!

    • Haha…nothing wrong with sports I guess, they’re just not my thing. Though I do find the never-ending sports cycle to be fairly annoying. Baseball, then football, then basketball, then hockey, with everything else in between! Pick a sport and then take a break when it’s over! 🙂

  4. I think guys get confused when another man has any sort of sensitive feeling, and they immediately use the term “gay” as a way of trying to restore some normalcy. I am a crier. I always have been, but it’s been especially bad after adopting children. I enjoy basketball, but hate football, and in Oklahoma, that’s enough to get the “gay” comment. I wish I could find a way to do housework though. Geez.

    • That’s true. It’s putting distance between self and emotion by making it something “shameful.”

      And here in Texas the football mentality is just the same!!!

      Thanks or the comment!

    • Aw, thanks!

      And seriously. SADDEST MOVIE EVER. I haven’t been able to bring myself to rewatch it, even 8 years later. But it was great, even if I blubbered all over it. 🙂

  5. My hubby isn’t on facebook, so he doesn’t have a clue that his man card has been revoked. He doesn’t watch sports, drink beer, or chase after plastic women. He designs scenery and lighting for the theatre and hates stupid movies (though he does have an addiction to B horror movies). He’s sweet and sensitive and he hugs our daughters and our son with the same gusto. He’s not afraid to let our children see him *gasp* feel something. He rocks, and I think you do, too!

    • No Facebook?!? I think that gives him an automatic Man Card! It means he’s macho enough to not give a damn about everyone’s drama! 🙂

      I am also a theatre person (currently teaching it and beginning to write for it). He seems like a good guy! It’s nice to know we’re not alone.

      And my wife also has an affinity for cheesy horror movies so I take in my fair share, though not my genre of choice. I assume for him it has to do with an appreciation for blood and gore make-up effects. My Tech Director is much the same.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Thank you! I live in the South and nowhere on God’s green Earth is the macho mentality so strong. It’s a load of BS. Your family is lucky to have you.

    • We live in the south too. Thanks to the macho mindset I have a fairly limited friend circle, but as I’m pretty much a homebody, I don’t mind that too much. Plus the guy friends that I do have tend to be more like me, so we cling to the fact that we are sometimes few and far between around here!

  7. I think you are awesome. For being honest, for saying “up yours, Facebook-man-card-revokers!” and for saying it all in a humorous way.
    You would get along wonderfully with my husband. He’s rad too.

  8. I hope your wife appreciates you! My own husband is similar in many ways (he does love his sports, though), but I credit his mother for raising him that way. I can only hope that my son, who is 15, turns out the same way.

  9. My husband hates sports, loves gardening, and hates beer. I would hate it if he liked sports, I am so happy he does not. My husband is an ex Army Ranger who was teased greatly for hating sports and beer- but he never cared, you get a man card for being who you are and not apologizing for it!

    • I’m sure that your husband faced quite a bit of animosity in that environment, so he must be a great man to stand up for being who he is! Kudos to him (and you for appreciating it)!

      But no beer? I think my life would feel very empty indeed without that. But, hey, to each his own, right? 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  10. What a fantastic post. I love the fact that you are so honest about what you like and don’t like and how it doesn’t make you any less of a man. Well done.

  11. But have you seen the Notebook? JUST KIDDING. I don’t disagree with any of this. I can’t imagine what your wife sees in college football, but it’s obvious there’s plenty to see in you. Hate the “man card” BS. Thanks for calling it out.

  12. Yes, you get to keep you man card, but you could have left out the part about liking housework; I’m just glad my wife doesn’t read your blog. I get similar abuse for carrying a “man bag.” It might be the topic of today’s post if I ever get around to writing.

    • Haha…I hope I don’t cause problems in paradise! If you’re wife asks, I’ll take it all back, claim momentary insanity.

      I used to carry a man bag when we lived in an urban area and I walked and bussed everywhere. One night I left it at a bar on accident and when I went to retrieve it the next morning the guy gave me flack about my “purse.” I got really defensive and started to stammer that it was clearly a messenger bag. He just stared blankly back until I walked away, embarrassed. 🙂

      Carry your bag proudly, my friend! And thanks for reading.

  13. Really enjoyed this! Speaking of GOOD love stories, I watched The Switch last night and adored it. Jen Aniston, Jason Bateman. Wasn’t expecting much, but … I cried. If you haven’t seen it, 1-2-3-GO.

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