- Gender and Relationships
How not to be masculine.
The opposite of me
Get a phobia or two:
This is an easy win. Personally being terrified of spiders works great for me. There’s nothing more abject than the sight of me curled into the foetal position on the sofa while my girlfriend traps one of nature’s most fearsome creatures under a glass and calmly walks it out the front door. I could not attempt such a feat without a chain-mail glove, a glass the size of a bucket and preferably a flame thrower in case the little horror does anything unexpected, like move. I find my inability to cope with a spider of literally any size scores hugely on my girlfriend’s anti-masculine point chart. It would be particularly impressive to obtain a phobia for some of God’s cuddlier creatures. A fear of guinea pigs for example, while it wouldn’t score you the points often, would lead to a veritable landslide of derision when you run screaming from the pet store raving about the evil rabid overgrown rodents inside.
Know nothing about cars:
Cars are firm male territory. Sure there are some girls that know loads about cars and kudos to them, but on the whole it’s guys that like to sit around talking sagely about car mechanics using impressive sounding words like “torque” and “brake horse power”. Knowing nothing about cars is a sure fire way to get yourself booted out of man club. I have the mechanical aptitude of the average six year old. Did I mention that was a six year old girl? I’ve never learnt the mystical arts of car mechanics and frequently get confused between the washer fluid cap and the coolant bottle. The incredulous stares I get from other men when I admit to knowing jack about all things auto-motive is only topped by admitting I don’t watch the Grand Prix and know nothing about the teams or drivers. Now most girls will tell you that it doesn’t matter to them whether you’re into cars or not. Don’t believe the lie. There are massive man points to be lost in this area if you know where to look for them. Holding an umbrella over your girlfriend in the middle of a tropical thunderstorm while she covers her brand new dress in mud and grease changing the flat tyre you couldn’t cope with, is sure to drop you several rungs down the masculine ladder. If that fails to truly un-impress, you could try one of my all time car lows. First get yourself a new car (I went for an anti-masculine Nissan Micra in pastel blue). Next drive it to a petrol station and break down on the forecourt. For extra stress keep trying to start the car while a queue of irate drivers forms behind you. Keep muttering to your girlfriend “it must be one of those engine immobiliser things” before eventually giving in and calling road side assistance. Finally, allow the last shreds of dignity to fade away as the mechanic takes off your steering lock with one manly tug at the wheel before starting the car. Guaranteed winner.
Be a D.I.Y. dyslexic:
A bit like the car one this. An inability to put up shelves, construct flat pack furniture or do any kind of plumbing or electrical work is sure to increase your profile as the unmanliness creature ever to darken the planet. Actually, there’s something I genuinely don’t get here. Where do all the guys learn this D.I.Y. stuff? I have a feeling there were “man” classes at school that I somehow missed, perhaps while attending chess club or poetry corner (I wish I was joking). I guess it didn’t help not having a father figure present while growing up. I was raised by my mother, sisters and a few kindly aunts. In reality I would have been better off being chucked into the forest and raised by wolves, although perhaps that’s an unfair comparison on the wolves. I learnt how to argue, spot a bargain, coordinate colour schemes and shop ‘til I drop. Somehow (despite my family’s best efforts) I maintained my heterosexuality, but unfortunately learnt nothing about shelf construction in the process. I know my girlfriend is mentally docking me man points every time I pick up a screw driver, crease my forehead into a frown and absent-mindedly mutter “Righty Tighty, Lefty Lucy” under my breath.
Be rubbish at sport:
Any true man will be able to pick up a ball of any shape or size and understand instinctively what needs to be done to kick, throw, hit or otherwise propel said sphere into some abstract term of reference (usually referred to as a goal). Being rubbish at this will gain you not only the derision of your male peers but, through some strange process of osmosis, the disdain of any girl you’ve ever met or are likely to meet. Being rubbish at football is probably your number one goal here (if you excuse the pun). Football is so ingrained in male culture that when you’re introduced to a new guy that your girlfriend expects you to talk to (usually the boyfriend of one of her girlfriends at a party you don’t want to be at) be prepared for long periods of awkward silence unless you know something about the sport. As a side reference, knowing nothing about cars helps here too. As all the other men at the party form a cohesive group of testosterone fuelled manliness, you will be devolving your way down the masculine points chart faster than anyone can shout “Touch Down!”
Read fantasy books:
Another easy win. Liking, even loving fantasy books (I mean the swords and sorcery type by the way, not the kind of fantasy books that would make your mum blush) is a nailed on winner to losing your masculinity. On the surface of it, this doesn’t make much sense to most men. These books are about Dragons and stuff right? What could be more manly than that? They frequently have leather clad buxom elf chicks holding hot rods on the cover, how could that be anything other than downright masculine? In order to understand this complex paradox, you have to look at it from the female perspective. While you’re deeply engrossed in the latest Harry Potter book, imagining flinging fireballs from your fingertips and cutting your enemies in two with dimension-shifting vorpal blades, they are looking at a sweet little boy who they want to dress up in a hobbit suit. They’re not sure if they should be having sex with you or getting you a mug of hot milk before beddy byes. It’s sad but true. Masculinity goes out of the window when faced with hobbits and elf-wizards. Think of it like an anti-masculinity spell, or a +5 curse of female repelling if it helps. Of course if you’ve been following this guide religiously you’ll recognise the opportunity here to fill up your bookshelf with all sorts of dragon-riding nonsense and watch those man points magically evaporate. For everyone else I recommend brown paper bags over the offending literature. Better that your girlfriend thinks you’re reading adult magazines than she sees one of the DragonLance chronicles in your hands.
Be unable to hold your drink:
A very important consideration for every aspiring masculinity dodger is being unable to imbibe copious amounts of alcohol. Every true man is able to go to the pub at lunchtime, sink three or four pints before going back to work, then stop off at the pub after work for another pint or ten. Masculinity is directly proportionate to the number of pints you are able to consume. For those of you outside the UK, understand that a British pint is a very manly measurement of beer which laughs in the face of metric systems and the considerably smaller US liquid pint. The true mark of the masculine man is being able to quaff pint after British pint with no greater effect than having to visit the bathroom a few times to make room for more. It is exceptionally easy to lose man points in the pub. I like to start by drinking far too much far too early. Play a little game with yourself called “try to keep up with the real men”. It’s a definite winner. Before too long, your girlfriend will find you curled around one of the toilets, reminiscing about all the other great toilets you’ve ever cuddled up to while gelling back your hair with your own vomit. If the thought of poisoning yourself to the point of total oblivion does not appeal, you can still lose those pesky man points through an adroit choice of girly drinks. While a simple bottle-instead-of-a-pint tactic will likely just garner frowns from your more manly mates, don’t feel shy to push the envelope on this particular drinks selection party. I find the pinker the drink the better. Ones with umbrellas generally go down a storm and if you can get one with fruit in it all the better. Never be afraid to say to the barman with confidence: “I’ll have what she’s having!” especially if “she” is having a monstrous cocktail complete with multi-colour layers and a funky parasol.
Slightly shaky conclusion:
Okay, so by no means a complete list, but this should give you an idea on some of the little things you can do to throw off the shackles of masculinity from your life. I have a ton more idiosyncrasies from my life which I could add to this list, but in the interest of some brevity (and sanity) I’ll save them for if I ever get asked to write a part 2. Or hell freezes over. Whichever comes first really. Oh, and if anyone has read this far, my condolences. If you are compelled to comment on this article please bear in mind this is my first hub so please play nicely. I’ll set my brother on you if you’re not.