Proud to be a Man

You know, it may be politically incorrect to say this, but I am going to say it anyway: I am proud to be a man. I especially love being a man because of the responsibility it affords and demands.

I love it when I do things that make me feel like the Cock of the Walk. Last winter I had to split a log that was 2 feet long and 1 1/2 feet wide for our fireplace. I live in the heart of Minneapolis, so I don’t have an axe. But I have a hatchet. I went Gary Paulson on thatΒ  timber, and a few minutes later the house filled with “Victory” as I showed my dominion over the lumber.

I love it when people make me feel more like a man. One day at work I was helping a coworker fix the fax machine. Upon enacting my handy-man skills and saving the day for my coworker she complimented me, with sincerity, by saying “You’re so man right now.”

I also love the influence being a man carries. One semester in college I tutored daily for an after school program for inner-city kids. Most of these kids came from tough backgrounds and broken homes. There were 4 guys I grew particularly fond of. I felt privileged and honored to be able to impact their lives: knowing that they loved me not because they had to love me, but because they knew I was unconditionally for them and not against them.

Whether it’s from big or small accomplishments, I would be surprised if I am the only man that ever thought to himself “I am a man and I get shit done.”

I had this same feeling and thought tonight as I read an article from Esquire Magazine. It describes 75 skills every man should master. I may be a braggart when I say this, but my pride as a man swelled when I figured out I am capable of 39 items on the list.

I was also rather surprised to see that only a handful of the items were concerned with sexual or athletic conquests. Before I read the article, I thought to myself “Surely this article is going to venerate men of sensuality and brutishness.” On the contrary, I found the article to be quite chivalrous and considerate toward the regard of others as better than my own. Of course, there are some things that may seem kind of petty; but they all play into the innate desire of men to command and conquer.


120 thoughts on “Proud to be a Man

  1. Well… I don’t think I have to master anything to be a man. I am a man, and no task list will make more or less so.

  2. I know this is a little tongue-in-cheek, but I think you hit the nail on the head. We men should be proud to be men, just as women should be proud to be women – and embrace our roles in society, instead of having someone tell us that women should (a) work instead of stay home with the kids, and (b) become more “butch” in order to get further in life – and having someone tell us men that (a) we need to stop being so manly, and (b) embrace our “feminine” side.

    Bull cookies!

    I’m a MAN, and I’m proud to be one! Can I get an “Amen?”

  3. Well…that was quite refreshing to read, in that you weren’t putting down anyone in favor of you loving being a man. Gee, I’m quite attracted to you right now! πŸ˜‰ Amazing the power of words exuding with confidence. WoW!

    I love being a woman.

    Congrats on being fresh pressed!

  4. Wow, oh dear. I can do most of the things on this list. Sorry, guys, you’re not men at all.

    On a serious note, I am curious as to how the things on the list make someone manly?

    Lottie, the very womanny woman.

  5. That makes you a better man than me, I only managed 33 of the 75 things… mind you, for most of the women I know, saying ‘you’re such a man’ is often a (fond) insult – not that I mind, it’s just the sense of humour my female friends and I share!

    I’d add to the list: unblock blocked plumbing (I recently bought a gizmo that works so well I’m tempted to block pipes deliberately) and be able to set the TV and DVD player without the remote…

  6. Thank you for this. Growing up on a ranch and working alongside my dad as the middle daughter of three girls, I learned to do things that my be considered by some “manly” but were more like necessary to me.

    Being a man (or a woman) to me means confidence to get in there and get your hands dirty when necessary and the willingness to put others before yourself and, of course, change a damn tire!

    Sometimes when I watch my sister dating men who can’t for the life of them “cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat” or “point to North at anytime,” I say I silent prayer for all man and womankind and then thank the stars that I found a man who wasn’t raised a wuss.

    Thanks for sharing my midwestern friend.

  7. It was Socrates, the father of western philosophy who declared, β€œKnow thyself; for the unexamined life is not worth living,” and in turn centuries later Carl Jung acknowledged, β€œTo know yourself is most terrifying.”

  8. This is an interesting piece and list. I’m pretty proud that I have
    done most on the list. The obscure like tying a bowtie, and makeing
    a mixed drink for lots of people……Well, who cares?

    The challenging like, learning a foreign languange and having a conversation
    with a foreigner without denigrating soccer, are definitely on my list…
    but doable? We’ll see.

    This subject is inspiring me to become freshly pressed someday. How
    about something on “Man Law”? You know women get to have
    theirs. (1) Don’t leave the toilet seat up (2) Never, ever, use the C word
    3) Don’t forget birthdays and anniversaries (4) There better be
    some kind of romance involved if you want to have sex MOST of
    the time.

    What do we get? How about we start with: (1)”I don’t want to talk
    about feelings now, the Super Bowl is on”?

  9. love this post and “your the man of the moment” ;P he he he i can do almost 50 percent of the 75 skills and i can say i love being man!

  10. Keep up the good work and build the confidence of your fellow brothers so that they can become men as well… and see if you can add some of the 36 things left to your list of accomplishment. Progress is the key to success!

  11. I got about one third down this list and realized yes, men and women dont understand what a man is. A man is not a set of skills or trades. A man is evolving, he takes charge, comand and is in control. He is a master of his domain and enviroment, no matter what and where it is. If he’s hunting, he’s a master of that – in our modern age we have lost a part of us that makes us men and it is not anything to do with this list. I should be able to do anything in life and be a man. A man is about control and power, not only over others, but primarily over oneself. Get a grip and become a real man and stop worrying about freakin feeling ok with feeling okay with being a man. A real man would never need to do such a thing.

    • What if a woman is “evolving”, and can effectively lead and take charge in a situation, and is a master of her domain? What if she has power over herself? What if she also does this while looking stunning in her feminine clothes etc?

      Is she less of a woman? Or more of one?

  12. You are so right about the satisfaction of providing wood for the hearth – I rave about it on my blog! However, I don’t want to burst your bubble but I am a woman, nearly fifty with chronic arthritis and I have now chopped tons of the stuff – you don’t have to be a man to do it. 😦

  13. I liked the article, thanks for sharing the link! So glad you were freshly pressed so I could read your blog and the Esquire article.

    I like my “manly” husband, but by masculine or manly I mean broad-shoulders, square jaw, deep voice, and other sex-linked traits. I like people, men or women, who are well-rounded: capable, thoughtful, open-minded, etc.

    My blog – – documents my exploits trying to become that person.

  14. What does it mean when you’re a girl and you can do 48 things of that list?
    Anyway, congrats on being pressed and being proud to be a man!

    • Woman here with 59 of those “manly” things down. They should really be “things a person should be able to do”; I don’t know if I feel “manly” when I light a fire or cook meat, but I feel like a badass.

      Funny how knowing that Columbus was an asshole but being able to be a badass without being sexist wasn’t. Taking a gender studies class (yes, we study straight men, too) and being egalitarian are somethings every man should be able to do.

  15. You go man! I love it when my man is being all manly, fixing things and killing big pieces of lumber! Your post made me feel proud of my guys once again, tnx!

  16. 75 Skills A Man Should Master ….tie a bowtie?

    How metrosexual of the formerly great Esquire Magazine!

    How about hit the X ring ten out of ten times at 100 yards with a stock rifle?

    ( By the by, I changed more diapers before the age of sixteen than most adults have changed in a lifetime, so readers can spare me the Neanderthal ad hominems )

    In Liberty,

  17. ok this has nothing to do with you subject. im sorry i just have a question? do you make money on your blog? ive read so much about making money this way and affiliate and everything. i get the affiliate part. i just read this article about using bloging to make money and to go to word press to create a blog. how am i supposed to make money? they dont ask for an address or anything. i just dont get it. if you have any information i woul really appreciate it….

  18. I can claim to be able to do 58 of the tasks on the list. This may be because I’ve been around for 80 years. As you go through life you gradually pick up skills. It’s not realistic to expect to be able to do everything at a very early age. Men are particularly adept at this. They have the ability to solve problems as they encounter them. Columbus didn’t have a Google map to show him how to get to America. The vast majority of discoveries and inventions that mankind now benefits from are down to men who persevered despite difficulties.

    • Mr. Hughes,
      I’m not a man. I’m a 20-year-old woman, but your words really made an impression on me. It’s easy for me to be discouraged when I realize that I can’t mend a shirt as tidily as my Nana, throw together a delicious pot of odds-and-ends soup as frugally as my mom, clean a fish as efficiently as my Papaw, or even start a campfire as quickly as my older brother. But it’s a comfort to remember that they all have more years under their belts than I do, and I’m still learning every day. Life is a journey, and I’m a work in progress. I met a gentleman yesterday who will be turning 86 in January on my 21st birthday. I feel honored to be walking around on this planet with people who have so much more wisdom and experience than I do. Thank you.

    • Columbus was aiming for India. Perhaps he would have benefited from having a map.

      I can do 55 of the things on the list, and don’t even have a car (so I consider myself exempt from at least some of the things on the list). I did that in 21 years. Does that mean that women encounter ‘problems’ like unmade beds or the need for a campfire earlier, or that we’re just better at solving said problems smoothly?

  19. Reference has been made to a man “getting in touch with his feminine side”. I don’t think men have a feminine side. Anything a man can do in the line of looking after a baby, cooking, being tender to an injured person etc etc is all part of his MASCULINE SIDE. To think otherwise is dealing in stereotypes, i.e. “men can do this” and “women can do that”. This was frowned on when feminism was in fashion.
    It’s strange (not to mention sexist) that when a woman is able to service a car, kick a football or open difficult jars, no one says that she is “getting in touch with her masculine side”.
    We should let people be people and any qualities they may possess belong to them as individuals and is not any particular “part” of them.

  20. I’m happy being man, and if I will be reborn for 20 thousand times, I would like to be reborn as a man every time, but i think that being in one from only two category is not worthy of proud πŸ˜€

  21. I am a man too as I love commanding and conquering πŸ˜› ^_^ I get shit done

    Actually I’m very androgynous and I like the fact that you do not think that being sexual, sensual, brutish and/or athletic is being “manly” because that is only generic and weird in my books


    The fact that you felt proud and happy being a teacher was great as well.

  22. Should I be proud that, as a woman, I can pull off 54 of the things on the list? (And that’s counting at least one thing in the multiple-task categories, like I can throw a football in a tight spiral, but can’t pull off a 12-foot jump shot).

    BTW, while I have always been a feminist who preferred men who were in touch with their feminine side, I am now married to a man who can install a light switch and change his own oil, and who opens my car door, and that totally turns me on. *grin*

    • I don’t think there is anything wrong with the fact that you can do 54 items on that list. I suppose the very nature of my post implied that the list of “75” are exclusively man oriented tasks; but they really aren’t (i.e. holding a baby).

      If anything, the fact that you can do more on the list than I can (and I still feel as much like a man when I wrote the post) only goes to show that there are great complexities in understanding the similarities and differences of Masculinity and Femininity.

  23. I don’t get it?
    you think you’re a man just because you think that some stupid magazine article applied to you?
    Or even worse: that you think that you made some impact on some kinds’ life, of which you don’t know anything of? What do you know about impact? Or tough background?

  24. Yeah then there are the guys like me who have absolutely no interest in doing half of those things on that list because they’re either boring as hell or impractical beyond belief… Chopping down a tree? How often does one get an opportunity to do something like that? And I’m sorry, nobody understands quantum physics except Stephen Hawking… and er, make a bed? Are there guys out there that actually make their beds without being told to by their female companions?

  25. I reached #47 on the list “Recite one poem from memory…” and just had a flashback of an ex-love interest (I take the word boyfriend too seriously) and how he used to recite poems to me thinking it would impress me. I wanted to crack up every time he finished and had to hold back my laughter to spare his feelings.

    So a note to guys who take these skills to heart: please be wary of the fact that we like you for the fact that you’re a man, not Emily Dickinson.

    Wonderful post.

  26. Congratulations on being featured on Freshly Pressed!

    Thanks for your sharing your self-reflections. I love hearing a man’s perspective on issues and truly value the men in my life for the wonderful human beings that they are.

  27. Good on ya! As a middle-aged woman back on the dating scene (it really is a jungle out there), I can honsetly say the world needs more men who know how to be men. Feminism has had an unhealthy impact on guys, and it’s time to redress the balance. We all need to embrace who we are – not better, just different. πŸ™‚

  28. That whole strut thing you say you’ve done…so not working for me.
    A man who who reads my mind and puts down the toilet seat — he’s the man. –just sayin’that’s how I roll.

    Fun post.



  29. awesome! Men rock when they’re being men! It’s just sad that you *have* to be honest- the movement to bring women to a place of value is greatly under valueing manhood. I can’t think of anything more harmful to a society then men who don’t understand how important it is to be a man- good for you, glad you got freshly pressed πŸ˜‰

  30. My husband, the Norwegian Artist, is just the man that you describe, and I am proud that he is the MAN. There is a certain way that men wallk and hold themselves when they are busy doing and fixing things: they move from the barn siding to the woodpile to the squeaky kitchen cabinet door to the leaky faucet to the brush by the river that needs to be piled and burned. All of the time, they look so happy and purposeful.

    Your message is a good one, because men should feel proud of being men, and yet our society eviscerates them in the workplace, at school, at home. Men have an aggression and a drive and an energy that propels the world forward and keeps us from cocooning in our safety net. I watch my 16-year-old son emulate his father, and I am proud.

    Thank you for writing this. You go, guy!

  31. LMAO! I’m sorry, I have to laugh because as I was reading this all I could think of Tarzan.

    And his bellow as he pounded his chest before he swinging through the trees.

    You’re a good person. You really are.

    • Ok Im glad your proud of being a man and everything, some of what you said I can understand, its great that your helping those kids, but please your wondrous lumber chopping skills? Maybe I shouldn’t ask.

  32. I love how honest you are. People tend to try to be politically-correct nowadays when someone posts something like this it just… truly makes me happy. πŸ™‚

    PS: Can you please help me with my pickle jar? Just kidding!

  33. Thanks for this blog. It made me crawl into the attic and grab my old copy of Brian’s Return (I couldn’t find Hatchet or the other Paulsen books, sadly). I understand what you mean about the natural and good feeling of doing manly things. It’s all about balance, of course, and being a “sensitive bastard,” as one website put it, able to love or fight, based on the demands of circumstance.

  34. Being a man is all about contributing to and supporting your family and community … good on you dude, and can only hope to emulate your example, as I feel that I take too much and give too little!

  35. Since I met my husband, everything is better. The house looks better, the dog is happier…my parents are even better off. I mean, all the men in my life are great, but seriously, it takes a special man to put up with a chick like me, so you know, his accomplishments are particularly tremendous. Thanks guys, for just being guys…and being good at it.

  36. I always loved men who embrace their male side and women who embraced their female side – we have differences and we should be proud. That, however, does not mean I can’t go fishing, or be a killer with technology. There’s a difference between embracing something and believing in cliches.

  37. Admittedly, it is fun being a “man”, just as long as our head doesn’t get too big for our own hat. Pride and all that.

  38. I think there may be a growing number of men returning to traditional gestures of masculinity. The Art of Manliness website, for example, often strikes me as a fan of the traditional male.

    Can’t say I’m a big fan of Esquire or GQ, but congrats on your 39/75 ratio.
    PS – Arrived via freshly pressed.

  39. Way to “Man Up!” It is satisfying to have man-skills that can be applied to a variety of situations, especially the most manly ones that require strength or dexterity.

    I also work in an office, and I am always eager to fix a jammed stapler, or move a heavy desk. Sure beats sitting staring at a computer screen all day.

    • I could not agree more. Neither of my last two boyfriends could drive my car because they never learned how to drive a manual transmission. Other than being inconvenient at times, it was just a little disappointing. Growing up, I always thought this was innate male knowledge, along with being able to read a map and assemble furniture using the packaged directions. I was wrong on all accounts.

    • “Cock of the Walk” is from the Blue Oyster Cult SNL skit (More Cowbell) with Christopher Walken. I think he’s referring to Roosters (aka ‘Cock’) when they seem to stick their chests out as they walk.

      If I am wrong, then I suppose I should reconsider using this expression.

  40. When I say, “you’re such a man” to my friends, I truly mean it as a compliment. Really. I love men who love being men. Just as I’m a woman who loves being a woman!

    Congrats on embracing it. That’s a totally womanly thing of you to do…


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