Masculinity – Where Men Segregate Each Other

I know the issue of feminism is finally getting some much-needed spotlight, which I think is absolutely great. One thing I don’t think people talk enough about is the inner circles within the male population and the chest-beating roar of questioning each other’s masculinity. I’ve always found it a bit strange how people treat each other. There’s this unspoken competition going on and you either have your jealousy or ego racing each other at full speed.

When I first got into punk rock it was completely rejuvenating for me. I finally had my escape from the assholes who picked on me for being too chubby or too nerdy or too different as a kid. I had my music, my punk band shirts and a reason to go home and play drums. Something that still rubs me the wrong way is seeing the exact same thing happen as I get older. It’s subtle and subdued, mainly because I’m used to it, but it’s out there. There’s a constant questioning of one’s manhood that comes into play on an almost daily basis.

As a skinny, sober by choice, vegetarian, I run into it more than most people. I’ll be at a bar and someone will pick the straw to make the first attempt at getting me to drink. I’m apparently against this individual because I don’t drink alcohol and never have. This quickly turns into an interrogation as to why I don’t partake, which I think could easily be ended with the response, “I don’t want to.” It’s never good enough and for some reason I’m called out for being the one judging the drinkers. Enter the snarky comments which usually is a version of, “If you were a man you’d drink beer.” I no longer have a penis because I am wuss for not doing what someone else wants me to when I have no interest in it. Makes sense, right?

Because of my personal beliefs and care for the world we live in, I don’t eat meat and haven’t for almost 10 years. I’ve never been pushy and rude to people if I’m out to eat and I choose to get a black bean burger rather than a beef patty. I’m not screaming out buzz words or lame catch phrases, I’m just living my life for me. Again, by doing this and actually holding back from saying anything I’ve opened the floodgate for more questioning of my manhood. To fit the description of a man, one must eat meat, drink beer, smoke cigars and ride motorcycles or something reflecting the life of a 1980s action movie star. To me, being the bigger man is sticking to your convictions and not getting in petty fights or instigating people for their lifestyle choices.

I am a skinny, lanky dude and I really don’t mind. Yes, I am a fairly active person and I eat well. For some reason I’m a constant target for more bullshit. To fit society’s mold of a “man” I would need to eat way more, invest in tons of protein powders, vitamins and supplements and make a schedule to organize all of these things to fit into my daily life. I’ve worked out off and on for years, but I’ll just continue being a skinny dude who happens to have some strength. The vegetarian thing gets brought up, even though I can point in the same room at even skinnier people who eat meat. On top of that, I think it’s just crazy in general how easy people are judged for their physical shape. I was made fun of for being overweight for years and believe me, I know how it feels. I got older, my body type changed and now I’m apparently TOO SKINNY for people. I would’ve KILLED FOR THIS as a kid. It’s like I can’t win and whether it’s some guy in another band, some bro at a bar or even a friend, I’m constantly having this fabled manhood in question.

The only logical way to prevent situations like this is by being completely open. If you’re questioned, just simply tell the people they’re being immature. Sure, cave men had to fight each other to win a mate, and animals have to do a mating dance to land one in the wild, but modern humans have brains and enough intelligence to realize how minuscule and stupid the concept of manhood really is. People are judged simply on the symmetry of their face, their bodies A-B’ed to those in movies, magazines and advertisements because it’s what they’re told to enjoy. I’m confident in myself and I’ve never succumbed to infantile peer pressure. I know what I want in life and I have bigger fish to fry than insecure idiots. Girls, I know you have this same version amongst yourselves, but just know that guys treat each other like shit too. I’d like to start a new movement where we’re not trying to be too much a man or a woman, but finally ok with being ourselves.

What are your thoughts on this?