A Real Man

by Jeph Johnson


Don't worry, you're a real man.


Those who use traditional gender role affirming terms like "real man" to condescend should think twice, for the term implies being a "man" is something one earns.


I cringe when I hear it.


Just as I cringe when I hear references that a man's bad behavior must be due to his penis size.


It reminds me of these lines from the movie Porky's:


Mr. Cavanaugh:
Look's like I'm gonna make a man out of you yet, boy.


Tim Cavanaugh:
A man? If being a man means being what you are, I'd rather be queer.


I think being a decent human being is more important than aspiring to be a real man (or woman, for that matter).


Anyone can be a gender. There is no intrinsic value to that.


But being decent, or, better yet, awesome, takes work.


Seeing someone for the amazing person they happen to be, regardless of body type, gender identity or sexual preference, is one such trait of a decent person.


Being able to love someone, regardless of any of those intangibles, is the trait of an awesome person.


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