I am not a manly man. I grew up always feeling disassociated from other boys because of the way I acted. I don’t fight and have no desire to go to football games.
But I’m not sure if being more sensitive to others makes me any less of a man.
It’s become more and more important for men to become active advocates for gender equality, and I feel that the alpha male is promoting a negative representation for the male gender.
This is an argument about the definition of masculinity.
I hated playing sports at school but I did it anyway because that’s what I thought I was meant to do.
I hated playing outside but I did it anyway because that’s what was expected. It took me a while to realise that there’s no framework behaviour.
I was called gay and soft at high school because I didn’t have animosity that other boys had. I was no less of a boy.
I still wanted to kiss a girl or go to parties with my friends. But I didn’t have the qualities that people considered to be manly. I have never objectified women or their role in society.
Does that make me less of a man?
I am forever asked about my sexuality; something that I’ve grown accustomed to and to which I take no offence.
But it’s something that I’ve had to get used to purely because I don’t portray typical masculine behaviour.
There’s no reason in this day and age that anyone should feel the need to conform to an archetype.
There’s no reason I should have to defend my sexuality or justify my behaviour to persuade people that I’m straight or otherwise.
I don’t really see what one thing has to do with the other.
It seems like there has definitely been a recent resurge in misogyny in universities and work environments and I can’t explain why.
It seems like something we should be making progressive leaps in, rather than taking steps back.
When I attended the Million Women Rise March earlier this year, it was clear there are still many women suffering from domestic and sexual violence.
And that kind of violence adds to a long list of behaviour I don’t consider to be very manly.
If being a man is having primitive conversations and an inability to express yourself – I don’t know if I want anything to do with that.
Photo by Tom Tapolczay