So the other day I was discussing what a ‘man card’ was with Clark. For those of you who don’t know what a man card is, Urban Dictionary defines it as: “Requirement to be accepted as a respectable member of the male community. Can and should be revoked by other respectable males for doing non-respectable-male things.”
I’ve never liked the idea that every male that society accepts gets a man card, and then automatically loses the stupid thing when he does something considered ‘unmanly’, such as crying after a breakup or actually respecting his girlfriend/boyfriend enough to be sensitive and caring to their needs. That led me to another epiphany about man-cards- do they automatically go away for a disabled man? a gay man? a cross dresser? someone who has retained their virginity for longer than society says they should? etc. Man cards sound like things that are very socially exclusive to testosterone riddled guys who party a lot, play sports, and generally are society’s perfect disrespectful dude. This cookie cutter frame of mind leaves out a lot of men who don’t adhere to social standards for how men are supposed to be: stoic, strong, the breadwinner, etc. That irritates me because a physically disabled man, a homosexual man, or a man who has more delicate physical characteristics are still real men. Revoking a man card implies that they are less than a man, which is harmful for psyche, not to mention that they may struggle with that problem anyway.
A man can lose his man card over something as small as musical preference or watching a show/movie that is considered feminine, i.e. if a guy likes a band like Nickelback or Fall Out Boys, or watches the Oxygen channel, his man card is revoked. They can also lose it over things like (as I said earlier) crying about a bad breakup, or hanging out with their significant other over their bros. It’s hard for me to jump on this bandwagon because of the kinds of things that can earn one a man card- beating really hard video games, learning how to shoot, getting into a fight with another guy, outeating somebody (with a manly food like wings or ribs), or showing ample interest in a manly sport such as boxing, wrestling or football.
To be completely honest, this all sounds really dumb to me. There are social standards for girls, but it’s easier for girls to defy them these days. I never adhered to the standard ‘girly girl’ fashions, I chose jeans and graphic tees instead. I caught a bit of crap for it, but not as much as a crossdressing male would, even though we were essentially doing the same things. He likes to wear dresses; I enjoy jeans and Converse. The pressure society places on men to all be from the same over agressive mould makes me sad for all who don’t fit into that mould. I can only imagine how they struggle with their self worth.
I believe society should embrace the differences- each man is a man, if they so choose. No amount of cross-dressing or physical differences/disabilities should make them feel like they are any less. Variety is the spice of life, and I appreciate those who choose to follow their hearts rather than mindlessly try to conform and please society. There will never be any pleasing society, so why not try to please yourself?
Any thoughts? I’d love to hear them. Comment below!
Have a great day. Rachel