The struggles of being male.

I’m not male. I think that’s obvious by the posts that I’ve made on this blog. That being said, following my ‘Struggles of being a girl’ posts, I was challenged to come up with what I believe are ‘Struggles of being male’.

If you’re a guy and you’re reading this – if I am way off here, please don’t get offended. Please feel free to teach me more of what it’s like to be a male in 2019. After all, I am all about learning and I would genuinely like to know more of what it’s like to ‘wear your shoes’ so to speak.

Without further adieu, here goes:

  1. Societal expectations of ‘manliness’. I definitely don’t think it’s easy to be a man in a world where societal definitions of ‘manliness’ is to always be tough and always be strong and always be the ant holding the world on his shoulders. While I’m sure that every man has inherent toughness to him, I don’t think it can be an easy feat to always be ‘on’ and never be allowed to be vulnerable, or to struggle, or to just have a bad day. A lot of men in this world don’t/won’t talk about their feelings because of the notion that it makes them look weak… and that is not fair.
  2. Being turned-on in public. While I don’t witness this frequently (due to the fact that I definitely don’t wander around looking at men’s crotch areas) I have witnessed this a few times in my life. I can imagine that it’s extremely uncomfortable and awkward when it happens, especially because it can quite often be something out of a guy’s control. I reckon it’s a definite struggle of being male.
  3. All guys being labeled as bad guys. There are absolutely some pretty horrendous human beings who are a part of the male gender in this world. Those particular bad guys tend to ruin things for the rest of the gender because it’s so easy to right off guys as bad when one treats you poorly. I don’t think it comes from a place of malice when a girl labels guys as bad (the broken-heart can cause some serious judgement), but I do believe it’s not fair to the nice-guys and the good guys of this world when it happens.
  4. You’re expected to pay for everything. I’m truly not sure where this notion comes from. Perhaps it’s partially due to wage disparity, but probably largely due to the ‘manliness looks after’ notion, either way, I don’t think that it’s fully fair to men that they’re required to pay for everything. Whether it a meal, or a manicure, or whatever the expense may be, I have friends who will make the men in their lives pay for it. They’re not their husbands, or boyfriends, or even relations – they’re just guys they expect to buy them things. I don’t think that’s fair, or right. You shouldn’t be required to buy a girl something just to remain in her orbit.
  5. Facial Hair. As a female, I complain a lot about shaving my legs. But, truth be told, if I don’t want to shave my legs, I can put on pants and no one will be the wiser. Facial hair, on the other hand, you cannot hide. To those of you who shave every day, I commend you. You’re amazing. It’s also amazing how fast facial hair can grow. To shave in the morning and feel that 5’o clock shadow by the end of the work day – that has got to be annoying. And I’m bet that girls heckling you about the equivalence of kissing a chia-pet only makes shaving that much more annoying. Facial hair just seems as though it would be a massive annoyance.
  6. Double standards. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is when a man suffers or struggles with a very real issue that women deal with every day and, as a man, he’s treated as though it doesn’t matter. Men can be sexually harassed, too. And when they are, often times people either don’t believe them or they use the stereotypical ‘Man Up’ response, as though the harassment shouldn’t matter because they’re a man and they should be tough. Some women treat men awfully, and society expects them to grin and bear it and for that, just know – I hear you, I understand you and I feel your frustrations/pains.
  7. Balding. Seriously – balding must be a real bitch. (Please forgive my language, I felt it a necessary inflection of the sentence) If you’re one of the lucky ones (cough ~ John Stamos) who’ll have luscious hair forever, count your blessings. But, for the majority of men, society isn’t always kind about a man’s appearance when his hair is thinning. Also – tying this to the facial hair point – how weird is it that the hair on the top of your head starts thinning but the hair on your chin stays bushy like a werewolf forever? I don’t understand. Either way, though, I feel you.
  8. Guys are not always kind to one another. I’ve noticed this quite a lot, actually. Unless they’re friends, I’ve noticed that guys can be quite mean to each other – both to one another’s faces and behind each other’s backs. It’s got to be tough to think that you’re in competition with someone just because he’s there and he exists.
  9. Urinals. I don’t really think this one needs explanation – so I will just say – peeing in front of other men has got to create some really weird/awkward situations.

As with all struggles, I am sure that there are a ton. I could likely go on and on with this list, but I will leave it here for now. If you’re a guy and you read this, I hope that I’m not too far out-of-touch with the struggles that you face. If you have any struggles that you’d like to add to my list, or you’d like to educate me on anything that I’ve included on this list, I welcome the discussion.

14 thoughts on “The struggles of being male.

  1. Totally agree about the balding/beard thing. I can’t understand it either.
    Urinals? Most men don’t see a problem – but then again we are used to peeing in the woods with all the squirrels watching.

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    1. Interesting! Is there like an unwritten code with urinals? I would think it would be awkward with someone peeing next to me. What if they looked?

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  2. An important effort to understand a different vantage point and describe it as a foundation for dialogue! I wonder if you are familiar with the work of Dr. Jackson Katz. He has studied the issues surrounding masculinity and developed some powerful videos, Tough Guise 1 & 2.

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  3. You are young and idealistic which is great. I did have a laugh at the last point about peeing in unerals in front of other males. You made a lot of points for me to respond to them unless you want to read a comment that would look more like a philosophical thesis. You said something about men not crying and also not taking care of each other since it shows a sign of weakness, having been in the army and deployed I can tell you that taking care of each other was our responsibility although you wouldn´t want your buddy to cry every two seconds for some bad, to say the least ,situation. And women in the civilian world….do you really would like to see a guy you are dating to cry so often or even often or a bit? Be sincere to yourself, women want a strong man ( it´s just how our heads are wired) and a lot of men, me included want a strong women that is not a cry baby. Life is tough so lets suck it up. Rrealizing that biologically and psychologically we are different. I´m not saying this myself, it´s in any biological book you read.

    It was an interesting read. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your words. Thank you for an interesting take. I guess I should have prefaced by stating that I by no means meant it for the entire gender, more of just a generalization. That being said, I can imagine life on deployment would involve a lot of taking care of one another.

      Yes, I am sincere in saying that it’s nice when a man is tough. It’s also nice when he’s not afraid of his feelings too, though. I don’t want him to be afraid to tell me those things. Ya know? Nevertheless, I value your opinion and words and thank you for making me think more about this!

      Liked by 2 people

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