In circles where manhood still has nominal rhetorical value, there is a tendency to say

Real men do X

Real men don’t do Y

Where X and Y are whatever the speaker happens to be for or against.

Real men brush their teeth

Real men don’t disrespect their wives

Don’t mistake us, my poppets.  We are four square for brushing your teeth and respecting your wife, preferably at the same time if possible.

But we are against mindlessly inserting “real men” in front of every piece of good advice (or, sometimes, bad advice).

It comes across as manipulative and meaningless and makes the concept of manhood pretty empty.

What there needs to be is some connection to an actual concept of manhood.

Elder Holland makes the connection here

Real men sanctify themselves so they can heroically respond to a crisis.

Too many efforts to safe everything and to remove downside risk remove the incentive for men to be real men.


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