What does 'be a man' even mean?


So, we've been sucked into a video black hole for a while now – luckily, we're turning up some pretty good vids.

Like this one that asks some young males to talk about the phrase 'man up'...

It’s a nice little clip, right? The first line kind of says it all – “When most people say ‘man up’ they mean ‘toughen up, don’t be emotional’.”

And the thing is when we tell someone to ‘man up’ we’re also telling them there’s a definition of a ‘real man’ they’ve got to stick to.

But, who decides what a ‘real man’ is? And why? What would happen if we stopped trying to define it?

Instead of trying to figure out what a ‘real man’ is, and then putting pressure on ourselves to live up to that, we could just think about what sort of human we want to be – whether it’s one who’s kind, generous, athletic, respectful, proud, humorous, smart, forgiving, supportive, creative, enduring… or whatever! – and make that part of how we define ourselves, right?

And we could also take the pressure off ourselves to be those things all the time. You might be feeling supportive and generous one day, but not so much the next. Maybe you’ve had a full-on week and you just need to lean into that humorous or creative side. It’s all good.

So, apart from losing the idea that any of us should ‘man up’, let’s also recognise summa those emotions that ‘real men’ might have been told not to have. Check out what the Asking for a mate crew had to say about it…

Read transcript

You may also like...

Loading next article