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Everything That Makes You ‘Not a Real Man,’ According to… ‘Real Men,’ We Guess?

Getting sick; using an umbrella; having a desk job; being sunburned; the list goes on. And on. And on.

The pursuit of true manliness — whatever the hell that might be — is a bewildering and haphazard expedition. Gender stereotypes are both social constructs and ever-changing, yet people continue to propose risible standards for what it means to be a “real man,” and this Reddit thread asking guys to share the most ridiculous ones they’ve heard points out the true absurdity of them. Here are some of the best/worst (sic, obviously, throughout)…

Real Men Don’t Work Office Jobs

“According to my mother-in-law, manual labor is a man’s job (construction, plumbing, welding and so on), and all office jobs are for women — like, literally all of them,” commenter JustVolume writes. “I told her that I’m going to try to be an auto and life insurance agent when I graduate. She said, ‘Ain’t that a woman’s job?’”

Real Men Don’t Use Sun Protection

“‘Real men don’t wear sunscreen,’” commenter Patchyug writes. “Who the hell thinks they’re tougher than the fucking sun?”

Real Men Don’t Wear Jackets

“People who are underdressed out in the cold and say, ‘It’s because they’re a real man,’” commenter buzzth3bee writes. “No, no your not. A real man uses his brain and puts a damn jacket on.”

Real Men Dont Use Straws (or Umbrellas)

“My cousin’s ex-husband once told me that real men don’t use umbrellas or straws, ‘Because that shit’s gay,’” commenter varnell_hill writes. “He shaves his legs, so I admit that I’m having a hard time understanding where the line between ‘masculine as fuck’ begins and ‘gay shit’ ends in his mind.”

Real Men Don’t Experience Emotions

“Essentially, bottling up all of your feelings, because if you tell anyone that you’re kinda depressed about one of your parents dying, you’re obviously a complete wuss and unworthy of being a man,” commenter BT_7274_The_Memegod writes.

Real Men Do Everyone’s Bidding

“One time, I was giving away one of those big bedroom mirrors that attach to the back of a dresser,” comenter Paranoidas explains. “I was moving, didn’t use it and didn’t want to deal with it, so I put it in the ‘free’ section on Craigslist. Some lady asked me to deliver it to her, which I considered until she informed me that she lived a 45-minute drive from me. Her response when I said no? ‘Okay, send me your address so I can have a real man pick it up.’ Apparently real men spend time and effort catering to stranger’s whims.”

Real Men Don’t Cook or Clean

“My father has three daughters,” commenter kmagsy explains. “He refuses to cook and clean up after himself, because that’s not what real men do.”

Real Men Don’t Drink AlcoholThey Chug It

“Chugging alcohol, much and often,” commenter Vicinus writes. “Anything otherwise? ‘You’re a pussy!’ So childish and dumb.”

Real Men Are Big

“A lot of my training buddies love to post pictures about skinny guys not being ‘Alpha Males,’” commenter ThunderBloodRaven writes. “Personally, I don’t have that kind of chip on my shoulder, where I have to tear down others to make myself feel better. I’m also aware that they would think less of me if I was a skinny guy.”

Real Men Are Immune to Illness

“‘Real men don’t get sick,’” commenter ccrondon writes. “Seriously? Like that’s something I can control? There are also people that say that you don’t need to take medication even if you get sickyou can just toughen up, and things will get better like magic. These are probably the same men who invented the ‘man flu,’ something so strong that it’s capable of bringing the strongest among us down. Thankfully, I’ve only heard that once, and it didn’t come from a very bright mind (as I’m sure you already figured).”