men of reddit, ask reddit
Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash

Is it manly enough to cradle a puppy?

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But suffice it to say, there still remain quite a few incredibly outdated belief systems when it comes to how we define masculinity.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. Reading

men who read Photo 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 measures

men of reddit Giphy

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 foods

gender fluid Giphy

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 drinks

gender norms Photo 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 cleanliness

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“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 … anything

men wearing pink www.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’

patriarchy 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 kind

rethinking masculinity commons.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 daughters

dads and daughters Photo 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 things

toxic masculinity Giphy

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.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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