(Carlos Andres Gomez at The Good Men Project, has posted what amounts to a steaming pile of Churchian Rationalization Hamster excrement, 25 Ways to Redefine the Phrase 'Man Up.' In response, Paul Elam at A Voice for Men, posted a hamsterlation of each of the 25 points. He edited them to include what they really mean.)
GMP Guide to Do-It-Yourself Castration
AVfM's rousing rendition of, "Fuck You and the Horse You Rode In On."
And now, for your edification, the companion piece:
You've come a long way, Baby. For the past fifty years We women have been given the benefit of the doubt. Society has hobbled masculinity in order to give women a boost in all matters legal, economic, social, educational, and even religious. We're grown up now, independent and empowered, so it's time for us to Woman Up. Come on, we can do this, ladies. Let's show those men that we're willing to make the effort to be worthy of their love and devotion. We can be everything men tell us they need us to be.
Be a Peacemaker. Drama is not peaceful. Don't get all bent out of shape every time someone suggests that perhaps you could do better. Quit picking petty fights and initiating power struggles with your significant other; he finds it tiresome. Stop sabotaging your friends and co-workers. You can be "better" than them by improving YOURSELF; you don't need to put them down.
Don't Leave the Tears on your Face. See above. When your hormones get the best of you, or someone says something hurtful, and you "lose it," get it back ASAP. Mourning in private, during and after a genuine tragedy, is an age old but largely forgotten tradition. Reclaim it. For your garden variety miseries-blown-out-of-proportion, either for effect or because you have no self discipline, dry your eyes and get over it already. That's how grown-ups roll.
Communicate. I know you think you're good at this, but you could use a few pointers. Nobody you know is a mind reader; if you want or need something, ask for it. Explicitly. No subtle hints, no demuring - 'oh, it's nothing.' no dirty looks or heavy sighs. Don't expect it if you won't ask for it. If you're "testing" your man, stop it already, see Be a peacemaker. Also, keep it relevant; the words, "Well, I feel..." should never be spoken in an official, professional meeting. Your feelings are not relevant. Succinct and direct would be nice as well, but I think that might be pushing the envelope.
Be a Great Parent. If you don't have to work outside the home, don't. If you do have to work outside the home, find a family-friendly job, preferably part time. I know, the wages are usually low, and child care is expensive. That's the point. Get a job that requires little or no childcare, and raise your own children. Continue your education part time or join a gym or club. It will keep your mind sharp and make you practice speaking like an adult, which you should be doing with your children anyway. (Remember, the goal here is to teach them how to become adults, not really big children.) Learn to say, "No," calmly and with confidence. If you become emotional because you let your kids push your buttons, you're no longer in charge.
Forgive. Remember that time your new young husband ruined your favorite sweater because he didn't notice the "hand was/dry flat" label? Don't ever bring it up again. When he forgot your anniversary? Accept his apology and move on. Your overbearing mother or your hyper-competitive sister? If you need to create some distance to prevent future slights, do it. Leave the past in the past and make a more peaceful future.
Cook. Not Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, not pre-made microwave meals from the grocer's freezer (OK, maybe once a week.) Nutritionally balanced real meals. Cookbooks are easy to read. If your schedule is crammed too full (which is a problem all its own) spend a weekend cooking a month's worth of casseroles to keep in the freezer.
Spend Quality Time with Your Family. Log off of Facebook. Turn off the TV and your phone. Have meals together. No Ipods.
Change a Diaper. No really. Many of you actually need to be told. Duh.
Be Flexible. The sun's going to come up tomorrow whether you crossed everything off your to-do list or not. You can't control everything so quit trying. You CAN control two things: what you say and what you do. You may predict likely responses, but the outcomes are out of your hands. Deal with it, and adapt.
Be Responsible. Learn to manage your money. Learn to manage your time. Fulfill your promises and fix your mistakes. Excuses don't fix anything.
Advocate for Men. Your husband risked everything he will ever have when he married you, because you can take it all away on a whim. Show him some respect in public and in private. Next time your BFF rolls hr eyes and tells you about that "creepy" guy who flirted with her, tell her she's full of shit. He may be unappealing or even repellent to her, but that doesn't justify her use of derogatory slurs.
Be Gentle. And feminine. And sweet. Nobody likes a coarse, vulgar ball-buster. Seriously.
Mentor a Child. You can start with your own.
Be Healthy. Drop those extra pounds. You'll look better and you'll feel better, and you'll be far less likely to raise obese children.
Hold Yourself Accountable. You might as well be the first to do so. You're a woman so nobody else is allowed to.
Value Your Partner's Sexual Needs. Sex is not always going to be fairy-tale perfect. Most men have a higher sex drive than most women, and they tend to crave variety. Unless you're sick, accommodate him even if you're not really in the mood. Even a quickie or a hand/blow job. It's not much of a sacrifice, and you'll both be glad you did. There's rarely a good reason not to. Oh, and let's get one thing clear. Sex is not a weapon. Don't ever withhold it to manipulate him; it's petty, selfish and childish, and we're Strong Responsible women, remember?
That's not 25, is it? The problem with Gomez's list is that it's prime bullshit. It's a bunch of shaming tactics based on weak male stereotypes. However, just because I can't make much use of a useless list, doesn't mean I'm finished. With a little help from commenters at AVfM, I came up with a few more:
If You're Going to Dress to Fuck, then Fuck. Good women don't tease.
If You Cajole Your Husband into Buying a Bigger House than He Wants, Clean it Yourself. It's your dream house, not his. You make your own dream come true, and remember to thank him for footing the bill.
Do it Yourself. If you can't, be prepared to show respect and gratitude to those who do it for you. Don't ever expect a man to carry your water simply because you're a woman.
Behave Like an Adult. No sneaky shit. If you have to hide the bill, you spent too much; own it, it's yours. No temper tantrums protesting reality (I'm looking at you , Slutwalkers...) No renegging on promises. A man is only as good as his word, and so is a woman; you follow through, or you are unreliable. Grownups are reliable. No exceptions, no excuses.
Reject Baseless Fears. The TV is lying to you. So are your magazines. So are your politicians. So is your church. If they can convince you to live your life in fear of men, strangers, cars, the "wage gap," guns, terrorists, Hell, MRSA, gays, last year's fashions, tap water and bottled water, they can sell you reassurance. And if you believe them, they have already sold you drama. Quit buying it. Children are naive and ignorant, and they need grownups to teach them. You are a grownup. Teach yourself, then teach your children.
THINK. (from Sasha) Pause when your friends tell you to 'follow your feelings,' and consider the impact of your behavior. Actions have consequences.
Show a Little Humility. Your Inner Goddess is a myth. Think of her as an imaginary friend, like the one you had as a child. Nobody else can see her. They may play along with you and pretend she's real, but so you really want to be patronized like a child? Don't expect to be treated well by anyone, and thank everyone who bothers to treat you well - it's a favor, not their duty.
Fight Your Own Battles. It's not your boyfriend/ husband's job to start a fight with someone who hurt your feelings or offended your delicate sensibilities. Autonomous independent adults can't afford delicate sensibilities.
Show Loyalty and be Loyal. Don't badmouth your husband, boyfriend, family, employer or friends. If they are in your life, it's because you chose to put them there. If trash talk is all you can come up with when discussing them, what does that say about your judgment? Additionally, if you want their loyalty, you'd better be prepared to earn it with yours.
I could go on all day here, but 25 is a good start.
L'Oreal commercials like to tell us "..we're worth it," but they never tell us how or why. And yet we believe them. How about we hold ourselves up to some objectively measurable criteria, the same way men do, and prove that we're worth it.