Is It Manly Enough?

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Alica Mckenna-Johnson, men, man work, manly, hubby

My hubby ready to do man work!

So the other day I had just finished dropping off the evil, um, precious children at camp, and the morning radio DJ asked for people to call in with the “Unmanliest jobs they had seen a man doing.”

My first thought. “Fuck You. How dare you! This question is part of the problem, you’re part of the problem!”
I let it go for a while, because I hadn’t eaten yet and that makes me tetchy, but two days later I still say, “Fuck you.”

What is unmanly? What do they mean by that?

Is it braiding your child’s hair?

Or baking cookies?

Or being a caregiver?

Or being creative?

And what the hell is unmanly about any of those??

The video of the muscle bound guys with tats caring for their children and cleaning the house, those are men, and they sure are hell seem manly to me. And according to this video, it’s important.

I love it when my husband make me food, and not just grilling—look—fire—me cook dead animals cooking, but vegetables sautéed in olive oil, baking gluten free bread, or bringing me a plate of warm from the oven chocolate cookies. I can promise you never once has my husband brought me food and I thought “how unmanly.’ Normally it’s more like, ‘when are these kids going to bed? ’cause that man needs some lovin’.’

When my husband bathed our kids at night and read them stories, and made daisy chains for my daughter to wear, I never thought him womanly. In fact if he was bent over I was probably thinking about his ass.

When my husband paints, or carves, or helps me plot, or designs a new garden I never saw him as less, because let’s face it—in this culture if a man is doing something unmanly aka womanly he is seen as less. What I did and still do see is someone I admire, someone I treasure and someone I intend to keep, so all you all admire from afar and keep your hands to yourselves 🙂

My husband can cook, fight, cuddle babies, fix cars, sooth boo-boos, wield a sword, create art, move boulders, sew, fire guns, break bones, and throw an amazing slumber party for eight year old girls, no help from mom needed.
And trust me, he’s all man.

Tell me about you, or your partner. What are the things you/they are good at that aren’t traditional gender roles.

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12 responses »

  1. My mom was working nights the evening before my 6th grade school photos, so my Dad used the crimping iron to style my hair for me. He’d never used one before and acquired several finger-burns, but he did a great job. I’ll never forget it – and I’ll bet he felt like a real man the whole time.

  2. I think my head would have exploded right there in traffic. 😡

    My husband cooks, cleans, is generally very nurturing, beta reads my novels, and looks damn good in a skirt. 🙂

    • I LOVE men in skirts, kilts, sarongs any and all versions. SWOONS. My husband is such a better housekeeper than I am really, we should have reversed rolls, except I’m also lazy and really wanted to stay home. LOL

  3. My wonderful husband stayed home with both our kids until they started school. He had Daddy School – teaching them numbers, letters, cooking, dancing, fitness, building, playwriting, etc. He knows them inside & out & built a strong solid relationship with his kids. He might not be as manly as a radio DJ, but he’s an amazing Dad and I’ll take that over anything else.

  4. I would have had the same reaction as you about that DJ’s stupid question! It is part of the problem. My husband is the best damn cook! Way better than me.

  5. I have been thinking about this a lot lately!! I’ve been working on a blog post for weeks. Mostly, my thoughts have been about fathers being fathers and not babysitters. Nothing ticks me off more than a dad who says he “has to babysit” his own children when their mother isn’t there.

    The last time I checked, he’s taking care of his own kids, which means he’s being a parent. He’s not taking care of someone else’s kids. THAT would be babysitting or supervising a play date.

    My husband is a great dad and cook and housekeeper. If we competed to see which one of us would be a better stay-at-home parent, he would win. No contest!

    So, yeah, I’m still a little too ranty about this topic to write a post still, evidently. 😀

  6. You make me laugh even when you’re mad 🙂 My husband and my father are both alpha males, but they do have this incredible compassion for sick people. They are the true nurses of the family. It’s a joke/truth that I’m the worst nurse you’d ever want to meet.

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