Masculinity - What Makes a Man?

In light of recent discussions, it seems we need a place in which to air our ideas about what it means to be a man.
There are those who believe that carrying a bag is not appropriate for a man, and others who happily run around in tight pink shorts. Some of us grew up in the seventies and eighties, when manliness was often associated with macho values, and shows of emotion, or admission of weakness, were frowned upon. Younger people will have been educated in more enlightened ways.
I’m genuinely interested in what people have to say about this topic, and I hope we can discuss it in a polite and repectful way.

Big balls, hairy chest, beard and moustache. Long or short hair but nothing imbetween. Certainly no tight trousers, have to save those big balls!

Choosing to identify as one is all it takes these days.


Am I the only one that thinks this topic is a bit gay … :innocent:

The exact opposite about what makes people identify themselves as being women ?

Must use Gillette because that is the best a man can get.

It seems that you use the word gay in a derogatory sense. Why is that? What is wrong with being gay? Being gay doesn’t make anyone less of a man.
Why do you have aproblem with homosexuality?


On a serious note…
It is difficult to listen to conversation surrounding toxic masculinity, especially for men who treat women in the manner they should.
There is a narrative that condemns the phrase “not all men”, but the truth is that not all men are disrespectful towards women. Not all men are bad.
Not all white people are racist, not all people who don’t understand gender identity are homophobic (though I know someone described as such).
I have had robust discussions with femenists who find it ok to denigrate masculinity without differentiation of men, good or not so good. Because some man behaves in an appalling manner, that simply doesn’t define the rest of us.

To be a contemporary man you need to have more understanding and respect than your forefathers. You need to embrace equity and understand the nature of gender balance. You need to understand and to be understood.
That is the essence of the debate, you need to have the understanding of all people.

On the issue of jokes/comedy…the days of Frankie Boyle and Ricky Gervais are coming to an end. As Bernard Manning and Chubby Brown died a death so will the modern comedians.
And thats where we are failing. Society needs to examine, and laugh at itself. I dont really think the jokes are meant in a hostile manner, but they are overthought and over analysed to find some offence. Then the term toxic masculinity is thrown about again.
To make a joke about people is not to instill hatred or promote violence against them, it is a commentary on how that group is seen socially, from a different perspective. We probably need to take a step back and observe the nonsense of cancel cuture, without reducing the threshold of what is insulting.

This started from the man bag debate, maybe in an era of gender equity its “just a bag”…


Says the man posting pictures of Mo Salah lying on his bed!

I think modern values would be something like having the courage to be true to yourself, and respectful to others doing the same. Of course that shouldn’t be limited to men. But it’s a good start.


Don’t want to state anything more… But what makes a human… A human… For me , it is the ability to feel empathy etc for others…

And that’s something we have been seeing far too less.

Personally don’t subscribe to notions about linking sexual preferences to another gender related thing.

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Having a man bag.


Not all of those who are masculine are men,just as not all men are masculine.


We’ve been increasingly going towards a bipolar world… and that’s what any discussion (not talking about this forum) has become…

The inability to reason and find still a way to get a compromise

Male masculinity revolves around how you wear the bag or on how you rib the guy wearing the bag.

It’s murky ground though, as you could hold the bag in an effeminate manner in order to induce some teasing in order to beat your victim with a bag, thereby imparting your fake effeminate posture into the unsuspecting individual.


You could be teasing in such a way that it’s a facade and you are actually sitting on a fence inside a closet. Or maybe you trying to fool everyone with a facade, so who’s more foolish, the fool or the person not wearing the bag.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
⁠And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
⁠Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
⁠And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


By having “What makes a man?” are you introducing a slant that is both limiting and leading? Is it actually important to be defined a man? Does it matter (or help anyone) to have a working/current definition?

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I’m a MAN because FUCK matches. I light FIRES by GRINDING FLINT against my SHINS.


I am responding to the fact that certain posters found it unmanly to carry a bag. This leads me to suspect that there is a lack of clarity about what masculinity is these days.
Judging by the responses so far I was not mistaken.

It seems an interesting discussion to me.