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