Monday, March 21, 2005

Men on Men

I had a conversation recently that brought my attention to, what I consider to be, a major flaw in most men’s character.

First though, let me start by giving you some background on myself. I am a 26 year old male. I am hetero-sexual and am married. I enjoy activities such as rock climbing, hiking, caving, mountain biking, paintball, SCUBA, and many other physically oriented sports. The kind of sports that most guys would be like, “Yeah, he’s a manly dude.” However, I also enjoy making things with my hands. As an example: glass etching, T-shirt stencils, knitting, and other crafting related things; typically non-male hobbies.

So the flaw that I had alluded to was this; most straight men are terrified that other men will think them gay. For many years I have had to suffer the uncomfortable, surprised or even disgusted looks from guys who are so caught up in portraying the “I’m straight, I’m not effeminate in any way, If you think I’m gay you’re wrong sort of attitude”, that when I told them that I had tried knitting they looked at me like I was going to ask them to go to a gay bar with me. It’s amazing that the only men who are seemingly comfortable with their identity are gay men. That’s right, I said it. Gay men aren’t worried about impressing all the other fragile ego’ed, homophobic, straight males out there. Outcome: they are usually more themselves than a straight guy is.

So many males feel it necessary to strut around acting, what they believe to be, not effeminate. It’s kind of sad really. It’s as though men are suffering from some sort of identity crisis that is self imposed merely from this idyllic non-entity that every man assumes they should strive to be. If these guys could stop strutting for the other men out there they could learn some pretty cool things.

Here are some questions and answers for you.

Q: Do I feel that making T-shirt stencils or glass etching or crafting in general is gay?

A: No! Only someone who was REALLY insecure about how others viewed him would say so.

Q: Is it alright for men to knit?

A: Why the hell not? Is it wrong to learn a new skill and use it? Would any male object to learning how to drive a motorcycle or throw a punch? Knitting takes a lot of imagination, time, and coordination fellas. It isn’t something to sneer at even if a guy is doing it.

Here is a question from me to you.

Q: Why is a guy who dresses “metro-sexually” for a night out at the club not considered gay?

A: Because he is doing it in the pursuit of tail.

What most guys don’t understand is that women are impressed, as far as I know, with a guy who is masculine enough to not feel that he has to be what his frat brothers expect him to be. That’s right guys, women respond to strength of character. Men who are sure of themselves and confident will always be more attractive. (Girls, if I’m wrong here let me know)

Now I’m not saying that every guy is going to love knitting. Hell, I suck at it and haven’t tried it but a few times (though I do hope to make a sweater for myself some day soon). What I am saying is that more guys need to be less concerned about what the male image should be and just be themselves. If you think some flowers would look good in your bathroom, then go get them and make an arrangement. I have. Don’t worry about what some other dude may think. If you feel you might like to make something that involves sewing then learn to use a sewing machine and do it. Don’t just ask your girlfriends or wives because you think that isn’t a “male” thing to do. If you want to wear hot pants and strut it for all the guys at the construction site then…well…maybe you are gay.


SebbaJ said...

Right on Mark! People live in fear - instead of being their real selves. Most guys would never even admit that they wanted to try anything crafty, much less actually do it. I think its awesome that you are confident in who you are and don't let other people hold you back.

ghanima said...

As a 27 year-old, unmarried female, I'm in total agreement that a man who's confident in himself is awesome to have around. Besides, being able to share an enthusiasm for something like knitting would be really kinda cool -- I know I value that sort of thing in my female friends. I figure that, as long as I can take pride in the fact that I know how to work a Dremel, there's no reason why a dood can't be similarly proud to know how to knit. It's a shame there aren't more resources for the crafty males, 'though.

Da Beef said...

AMEN!!! You are so dead on Mark. I thinks that hobbies shouldn't be limited be gender. However, how many times have I heard while watching Trading Spaces and other shows like that with female carpenters how hot she is...but I can almost bet that you'll never hear some girl watching some guy sewing a quilt, saying Wow....he is so hot!!! It's just too bad. I commend you for all your knowledge of the worldly!!!

Mad Mike said...

Mark, you are so GAY!!!! GAY GAY GAY....

Make me a sweater mark....GAY

Mad Mike said...

In all seriousness...

I agree that most men are afraid of showing any side of there real, sensitive and creative sides for being afraid of rejection of "real" men, which in my opinion aren't but a shell of a person who is afraid to show theirselves.
The way I deal with this is to hang out with people who are genuine and "real" in their own right and don't hate on a guy that knits...even if it is sorta mark, its kinda weird

LJ said...

Hell yeah! I knew I married the right're perfect for me.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you are wrong. Dead wrong. Gay men are just as screwy as straight men. We are caught up in the "masculine" thing because of our fears, society, etc.
But gay men are just as obsessed with showing off. They aren't comfortable with thier gayness, or effeminate qualities, or whatever it happens to be. They are so flamboyant about these things because of that discomfort and insecurity.
I wouldn't be able to communicate this had Mellissa not lived with George. She shared a little insight into a gay man's mind.
They are TOTALLY obsessed with impressing EVERYONE! And they certainly aren't comfortable with their identity. Thats a major misconception.
Remember Keith? He wasn't secure. He was just starting to get into the obsessive flamboyance. That is the whole "coming out of the closet" thing. Its not just admitting it. Its flaunting it.
One more thing... If it weren't for your wife, I would think you were queer.
p.s. I can't remember my log-in. but you know who this is.

Bob said...

I always said that we were raising a man, not a little boy or a teenager, but please, the next time I tell you not to take the distributor out of the car, I don't expect to find it on the kitchen table!

mommyjolle said...

Ahhhhhhh, I'm SO proud! We raised you right! And by the way, your dad (in the pink shirt) thinks so too!