Okay, we’ve come a long way in terms of rethinking gender norms.
Fashion is less rigidly conforming (you’ve seen the man who rocks pencil skirts and stilettos, right?). More men are flourishing in jobs traditionally performed by women. And perhaps most importantly, there is a growing number of male support groups that encourage heartfelt communication and emotional well-being.
But suffice it to say, there still remain quite a few incredibly outdated belief systems when it comes to how we define masculinity.
Case in point, a recent Reddit thread sparked by the question:
“Men of Reddit, what was the most ridiculous reason why someone questioned your masculinity?”
Some of these answers are indeed head scratchers. Others are flat-out offensive.
Here are 10 of the most egregious accounts:
1. ReadingPhoto by Dollar Gill on Unsplash
“I was reading a book on my lunch break while I was working construction, and got a bunch of sh*t about reading being for women.” – Middle-Eye2129
“Went from women not being allowed to read to reading being only for women... what a world.” – Comprehensive-Ad4566
2. Practicing the most basic of safety measuresGiphy
One person wrote that their masculinity was questioned for “wearing gloves while welding.”
Because having all fingers intact makes you less of a man? Um … what?
Wear your gloves and fasten your safety belts, gentlemen. It’s okay. I'm pretty sure The Rock does.
3. Not eating the right foodsGiphy
“Had a friend give another friend shit because he wanted to eat a corn dog. He said grown ass men don’t eat corn dogs. Any man should understand.” – mondayortampa
It’s not just because of the distinct shape of certain foods garnering the “unmanly” label, either. See below:
“My dad got sh*t from a guy he was working with because he was eating a plain bagel with butter on it and drinking chocolate milk because the guy said it’s childish. Dad never cared and just laughed at the guy for being an idiot. Who wouldn’t like that combo? It’s a great thing to eat!” – WhatsUpFishes
“My husband bought some of our homegrown raspberries into work to share and a guy he works with said they were ‘girl food.’ It must be so exhausting to have to gender your food.” – Pepperfig_clover
4. Or drinking the right drinksPhoto by Atikh Bana on Unsplash
“Went to a Mexican restaurant and we waited at the bar before we could get a table. This place has awesome strawberry blended margaritas so I got one. Apparently lime = straight, strawberry = gay.” – Thirty_Helens_Agree
5. Appreciating cleanlinessGiphy
“I've had both women I just started dating, and male acquaintances who have thought my clean apartment was an indication I was gay.” – NorCalDustin
6. Using pink … anythingwww.publicdomainpictures.net
“At work I gave a guy a report and it had a pink paperclip on it.
He asked me why I gave him a pink paperclip. I told him I just grabbed one. He then asked why I had a pink paperclip - I told him I had a rainbow pack.
Then he wanted to know why, when I saw it was pink, I didn't throw it away. He told me I shouldn't use pink paperclips [because] ‘people might have questions.’” – Everyday_Im_Stedelen
“About 30 years ago, they came out with neon string lines. As I work construction, I am constantly using string to ensure things are straight. By far, the brightest of the strings was a pink one.So, I was constantly chided by the crew for having a pink string. This only happened until it started getting closer to dusk, at which point they all wanted to borrow my string.” – Dioscouri
7. Not applying deodorant in a ‘manly way’Giphy
“Somebody once told me I wasn't applying deodorant manly enough.” – PearSB
“How do you apply deodorant in a manly manner?” – The_One_True_Disease“You set fire to the can and let it explode behind you as you look epically to the camera.” – Astrophobia42
8. Being kindcommons.wikimedia.org
“Got accused of being gay for being nice to people in the dive bar I go to... I guess it's not masculine to be nice to people.” – pgh613
9. Having daughtersPhoto by Bermix Studio on Unsplash
“When I was pregnant, with a girl, someone said to me, in front of my husband, ‘a real man would’ve given you a boy.’” – badmamathree
“Someone should have said that to Henry VIII.” – BaldingMonk“Why do you think there was a protestant movement?” – ArthurBonesly
10. Allowing a woman to do manly thingsGiphy
“I was taking a break from driving a forklift and a woman asked if she could drive it (she was qualified to drive it so this wasn't just a random question from a random person.) I agreed and this one guy got so offended that I let a woman take over driving the forklift from me. This was back when ‘mancard’ was a thing so he of course said I needed to turn in my mancard for that.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out this guy got offended at all kinds of things all the time though. If he thought someone wasn't doing something the "right" way, he would rant and whine about it.” – BrickFlock
Clearly, we still have some ways to go on this subject.
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