How To Be A Man

15 May

I’ve been re-reading Caitlin Moran’s “How To Be A Woman”, which is a feminist commentary on life which manages to include both mothers and childfree woman. And it’s bloody hilarious.
I was once asked to make a man out of a drunk idiot’s squirming pimply friend. At the time I said something rude but now I think about it, what a wonderful suggestion!
Here you go, friend of the red-eyed hollering tit on Prince Of Wales Road five years ago: this is a belated guide to being a man:

- Don’t laugh along when your friends are catcalling and whistling at a girl.
– Don’t slap your misogynistic, cheating friend on the back and call him a ‘legend‘.
– If you see a woman crying on the bus, ask quietly if she’s okay or if there‘s anything you can do. Yelling “cheer up love- it might never happen” does not help.
– Hold doors open for people- this isn’t anti-feminist, it is common decency.
– Being nice to a woman does not give you the right to demand sex. Sometimes people value your friendship too much to risk screwing it up in that way, so be nice for the sake of being nice.
– If you have a girlfriend, find out what she likes. Those generic things that ‘all women like’ show zero effort. (Unless you know for a fact that she wants red roses and chocolates).
– You don’t need money to make someone feel special and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Sometimes, just giving your time and attention is all that’s needed.
– Recognise that you deserve the same treatment and respect! Relationships are about being good to each other.
– Understand that a woman’s clothing says nothing about her sexual availability- she did not dress for you and is not ‘asking for it’.
– “Excuse me, I just wanted to say I think you look lovely. Have a nice day.” This sentence (said without leering) may get you a smile, which is more than mumbling “you’re hot” will ever do.
– Try to keep your relationships with friends, lovers and family healthy but if it is time to let go, accept it without trash talking. Sometimes you’ve done all you can.
– Being gay is not a bad thing, or a good insult. You are no less of a man and neither is your gay friend.
– Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Dream big or small- as long as you dream, that’s all that matters.

You’ll probably spend your entire life learning how to be a man- that’s what new experiences are for- but the above points are a good place to start.

R x
p.s. Here is me looking thoughtful, wearing my own clothes in my favourite place (a woodland), photographed by Pirate Photography

IMG_0497

11 Responses to “How To Be A Man”

  1. silverpenscribe May 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    What a lovely post! As a man (at least I like to think so) myself I want to applaud and/or cheer. Excellent points all around. Me and my best friend in high school had a lengthy philosophical debate over and over about the nature of feminine beauty, coming to the conclusion that too few women actually perceive just how beautiful they are – all pop-culture and commercial influences aside. So, in an effort to rectify and test our theory we went to a public place with the best chance of engaging in numerous members of the opposite sex; namely a shopping mall. We strolled up and down the halls and casually approached various women as we passed by and commented things like ‘Excuse me, but do you realize how beautiful you are?”

    Now, in truth it may read more like we were hitting on these lovely ladies or leering lecherously etc. Far from it. We worked out attempted eye-openers into innocuous innuendo. We would feign arguments or debates and pause to ask some lady just behind us to help ‘settle the matter’ by asking her if she as an example knew that she was by her very inherent nature something beautiful.

    My friend and I made a sort of enjoyable exercise out of the whole ordeal, eventually opting to take up the task on multiple occasions. The vast majority of the time we were met with genuine smiles and praise. Tall, short, curvy or slender, young or mature it didn’t matter. Every single woman born on this planet has at her very core the key ingredients of the very essence of all that is beautiful. It isn’t contingent on cosmetics, fashion isn’t a framework that defines it – women are beauty itself. Their shape, their form; the way they move, breath, think and act is beauty incarnate. It is woman who gives us life, they nurture us, care for us, guide us and teach us. To treat them without respect or to not acknowledge the very thing that makes them so profoundly treasurable is an injustice and an insult.

    I can truthfully admit that not once did we ever ask for a phone number, or cheapen the experience by leveraging our demeanor of good will for anything other than what our key motive was; that of highlighting an woefully overlooked fact too many women aren’t reminded of more often. Actually, there was only a single lady who reacted in anything describable as unfriendly or ungrateful. The lady in question bent her neck to one side to press against her shoulder, started to chop her free hand in the air at her side by her hip and began chanting “no, no, no, no…” as she walked away at a unnervingly brisk pace.

    My friend and I often enjoy looking back on those times or social experimentation with fond memories for their own rewards. Granted we were incredibly, if not excessively shy and I suppose in a way it served as a technique to help us work past some of our apprehensions. Then again, practicing our German (complete with German/Austrian accents) while introducing ourselves to strangers as ‘Hans and Pfeffer’ before asking them if they have ‘seen our mommies and our daddies,’ was also a humorous avenue for abnormal encounters as well. In hindsight we probably were not the most regular of young men. The yielded result however was a priceless treasure; we were able to make women in all their gorgeous forms and various progressions of beauty to smile and if even for that short moment stop and realize that they were themselves a work of beauty.

    There are many noble things that a man may spend his time in pursuit of. But, somewhere near the very top of the list – just as you yourself point out – is for them to open doors out of decency, to take the time to shine the spotlight onto a women who might otherwise not be able to see her beauty and/or worth. Women are not disposable or cheap trinkets for us to prize for a short moment of pleasure. They deserve far too much more than that. They deserve protection, praise and partnership.

    If any boy ever looked for the answer to the question of what makes a man they need look no further than this brief answer: by being one. Strength isn’t just in the size of your arm it also resides in how you handle your and others hearts. Power is also equally found in compassion. More boys out there could use some time to be taught these lessons until they take root. Women deserve nothing less than more men in this world.

  2. christhegoth May 15, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    I’m confident being manly involves doing stupid things. We’re so good at it.

    Being manly also involves mediaeval weaponry, meat, bum-length hair, more meat, and head-booping kittens. Please add this to your list.

    PS: Think yourself lucky no-one takes me seriously ;)

  3. falstaff36 May 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    `the above points are a good place to start.` They are indeed. I always appreciate reminders such as these. They provide a good place to look back & see if I`ve let myself slip in any notable way….. :)

    BTW……looking at this picture here & the outfit you sport within confirms something I`ve long suspected. ;) You, Miss Roswell Ivory, are an elf.. ;) & that is very awesome. :P

    • roswellivory May 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

      Thanks- I really do appreciate feedback from the guys. I think it’s easy to confuse feminism with man hating, which makes me sad! :)

      Lol!!! Thanking you! I am sometimes an elf, sometimes a Lara Croft/Sarah Connor lovechild. Pirate Photography got the former here. :D

      • christhegoth May 26, 2014 at 5:45 am #

        I always like the 90’s feminists. The 00’s crowd kinda lost their way though ( I crossed swords with PennyRed a while back) .

        For me it’s about Equality. Not Matriarchy, as some now believe.

        • roswellivory May 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

          I don’t tend to follow any specific people- if someone has something interesting to say, I’ll read it. :)
          And yes, I agree.

  4. Tony Segura May 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    I fully agree with you but 99% of the men who need to learn those never will.

    • roswellivory May 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      It is a sad truth that the people who read posts like this are not usually the people who would need the advice.

  5. Jim May 16, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I have a friend that gets embarrassed when I go up to a lady and say ” pardon me, but I wanted to tell you that you are very very lovely” or excuse me, I had to say you are really pretty. Then I just go on about my business. I may never see that woman again, but if I do, I am quite likely to tell her again. One lady told me that every time I see her I tell her the same thing, and I replied that it must be true if I say the same thing over and over. :)

    • roswellivory May 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      Aww, it’s definitely the better way to approach people. I will take the time to thank somebody who is polite to me, but am as rude as I can be to the mumblers and catcallers. it really can make or break someone’s mood. :)

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