Man Up: A Response to Increasing Wimpiness
“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”
― John Wayne
By Tanner Kuth
Late last night while in the throws of my normal late night and can’t sleep Facebook binge, I ran across an image of a man holding one of those infuriatingly irritating handwritten statement signs. It read: “I need feminism because I don’t need to be told to Man UP.”
As soon as I saw the picture I checked to see what asshole had shared it on my page so I could immediately let them know my disdain for them and forever remove them from my life. Thankfully, it was just another grunt commenting on it to cause trouble. But anyway, back to the idea behind this rant. WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK IS HAPPENING TO MY COUNTRY?!
If I understand the picture correctly, the big feminist movement about women having equal rights is moving into watching out for men’s rights? And that right is for us to be able to cry, complain, wimp out, and generally just be a pussy whipped little bitch? That’s just fucking awesome. So now instead of outwardly trying to close the gap of inequality in the sexes by bettering themselves with education and training to enter and be competitive in the workforce, women are now focusing on knocking men down the testosterone ladder to meet women half way; or maybe just to knock us off that ladder altogether?
What is their contention? Well apparently the words “Man Up” cause men to feel bad about ourselves and hurts our feelings. Supposedly making us feel like we shouldn’t always run around crying and bitching out every time we run into a problem is scarring us for life!. Honestly, who thinks this shit up?
I get that bullying isn’t cool. I was bullied in school A LOT! I moved schools no less than thirteen times through grade school, cycling back and forth through eight different schools. I was always the new kid. Being bullied was harsh. At times I thought I was literally being crushed on the inside. I cried, A LOT.
Did all that crying get me anywhere? No. Did telling the teachers or my parent’s make it stop? No. What made it stop then? It started when I was thirteen and my father bought me a 70lb punching bag for Christmas. My dad wasn’t in my life very often, but when he happened to be in town and my mom told him the things I was going through, he didn’t think twice, he just bought the bag and told me to stop being a pussy.
He told me to practice hitting that bag for three, three-minute rounds as hard as I could. If you can do that without getting tired, there wouldn’t be many people left who could screw with me.
Now, before you jump down my throat, I had been the nicest kid you’d ever met; I wanted to be everyone’s friend. I didn’t pick on people; hell, I didn’t even bust balls. My parent’s had talked to my teachers, talked to bullies’ parents, and threatened to sue the school; they were at their wits-end with how to help me. So like it or not, sometimes violence is the only answer.
Fast-forward about two years, after hundreds of nights spent beating away on that punching bag, and all of a sudden I started standing up for myself. I beat bullies senseless to the point that just as my dad predicted, guys started telling other guys “don’t fuck with him.”
I’m alive, I made it, and for some reason now, I don’t feel the need to cry every time things don’t go my way.
I’m not saying crying is bad. But I am saying neither is men telling other men to “Man Up” or in our military community’s case to “Ranger the Fuck Up.”
I will never forget my time in Special Forces selection. I consider it one of the hardest things I ever finished and succeeded in. I am proud of it for sure. But there are two specific people, whose names I do not know, who will always stick out to me; and it’s especially relevant to this conversation.
We were on our last task of the course. We were marching, non-stop, upwards of 30 miles with a 55lb rucksack, and it was one of the most grueling experiences I can remember.
My feet were in so much pain that it’s hard to explain it to anyone who hasn’t experienced it. Not just because of the march, but because of the prior two and a half weeks of hell we had just gone through; and, I wasn’t alone. I remember close to the end (we didn’t know how far we had to go, we just had to keep going until we finally reached the end and were told to stop) I started to come up from behind on another candidate. He was hobbling along very gingerly. As I got closer, I began to hear him sobbing and cursing himself. He was in so much pain it was making him cry.
The next morning before we found out if we had been selected or not, I noticed another one of the candidates standing on some weird, medical, platform sandals, where the balls of his feet where hanging off the front of them. He had apparently severely broken both of his feet from all the rigors thrown at him by selection. The stress of the final road march was the final nail; but still, he had finished the march.
Both men got selected to attend the Q-Course. Had all of us grown up being taught that bitching out and folding at the first sign of trouble was ok to do, that curling up into a fetal position and crying it out was cathartic and normal, or that as soon as we felt things were just too much we should just quit and ask for help, then none of us would have finished and been selected.
While on the same Facebook thread, I came across a YouTube video about an incident three years ago involving the women from “The Talk” (a daytime talk-show for women). Apparently a guy had filed for divorce and his wife cut off his penis in retaliation and threw it into a garbage disposal. The women on the show, led by Sharon Osborne, just cackled on about how hilarious it was.
One of the women (the girl from my favorite show, The Big Bang Theory) actually surprised me and brought up how absurdly sexist it was that they where laughing about this, had it been a man chopping off parts of a woman for the same reasons, it wouldn’t have been funny. One of the other women said, “But it’s different.”
Again, they just started laughing, following Sharon Osborne’s lead. Apparently the following week the cast made some half-hearted apology, during which Osborne again couldn’t contain her laughter. Somehow it was swept under the rug; no one was fired. Had it been a man, surely he would have been driven from the studio with pitchforks and torches.
The insanity of these two things just blows my mind. We are essentially neutering our men, and even worse, women find it funny when someone literally, not figuratively, does it to a man for no good reason. Aren’t these the same women who want to trade in their heels for combat boots? Weird, because it seems like they’re trying to convince men to go the other direction.