On Manning Up: What Makes A Man

What makes a man? Who is defined as a man? Often those who are assumed to be men are masculine. What does masculinity entail? Brave, bold, courageous, aggressive, dominating. Masculinity is powerful. It’s at the helm. Femininity is rooted in the opposite. Soft, dainty, delicate, passive, submissive. Femininity is seen as inferior. It is seen as weak, especially in comparison to masculinity. So who is told to Man Up? Those who are seen as inferior. Those who are weak. Those who are delicate.

Thus terms like Manning Up are rooted in removing the feminine. They are rooted in these sexist ideas that femininity and thus, being a woman (as the two are connected in our society) are seen as inferior. We cannot be men if we do not ‘man up’ or, in the real meaning, become more masculine. These terms are directed at men or those perceived as men (regardless of actual gender) who are often seen as feminine and thus, seen as lesser to those who are not. It is a way of eradicating gender variance, and thus, eradicating femininity among men because it is seen as weak. The ideas of Manning Up are rooted in gender policing, femmephobia, sexism, transmisogyny, and anything remotely anti-woman. Manning Up means removing anything remotely woman-like. I often see trans men, in particular, trying to reclaim this phrase and other similar phrases as a turn of phrase, a reclamation of their identities, but at what cost?

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Why Tolerance Isn’t Acceptable

I see so many people lobby for tolerance when we should be lobbying for acceptance. I do not see tolerance as an acceptable goal. Tolerance allows people to still hold bigoted beliefs and opinions, tolerance allows people to still pass laws against queer people and their rights, tolerance still allows hate. Tolerance is a null point to me. Tolerance is a way of accepting defeat in my eyes. Tolerance should be considered a goal marker and a stepping stone when it comes to the lives of queer people. I do not want people to merely tolerate my existence; I want them to accept there is nothing wrong with me.

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The ‘Innocence’ of Jokes

People try to pass jokes off as innocent, no matter the intent. Comedians seem to get a free pass to joke about whatever content they want without thinking about how the joke may further enable a certain set of ideas or behaviors. Jokes, and thus comedians, are not free from criticism for perpetuating and using these types of jokes either. Jokes, like all language, play a part in making certain oppressive parts of life remain ok and even funny.

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