ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Defining the terms “Real Man” and “Real Woman”

Updated on July 14, 2012

Grow up!

Somewhere in the mid 80s the terms “Real Man” and “Real Woman” began to surface in the media.

It’ has been my observation that both of these terms tend to be used by women more so than men. The statement is also more often used by women in urban areas as oppose to those in suburban or rural areas. Regardless of how one defines the terms it is a comparison exercise.


Generally speaking when a woman starts telling her man what a “real man” does it’s designed to shame him into doing what (she thinks) he ought to be doing. Sometimes it’s just an outright put down. In no way is she trying to (teach) him the ways of manhood as a father does with a son. Pure and simple it’s a manipulation tactic. “A real man would pay for…..etc A real man would do this or that…etc.

Essentially a “real man” is perfect!


When a woman uses the term “real woman” it seems to be about forcing her man to accept her flaws.

Directly or indirectly it is a slam against other women who may be slim, fit, or “mainstream beautiful”.

The slogan “Real Women have Curves” suggests a woman who is a size 6 is not a “real woman”. On the one hand it is intended to help build the “full figured” girls self esteem at the expense of knocking the slimmer woman as if one’s (body type) determines whether or not they are genuine.

In fact not long ago I was in a department store which featured petite size dresses and “woman” sizes.

Any woman who is smaller than a size 12 apparently is not a “woman”.

Swagger & Attitude

Another ingredient when it comes to defining what a “real man” and a “real woman” are apparently has to do with how one conducts his or herself with others including their mate.

According to some women a “real man” doesn’t take any crap off anyone (except his woman) and a “real woman” doesn’t take any crap off anyone, especially from her man.

If a “real woman” slaps her significant other, a “real man” would not hit her back nor would he dial 911.

Exit without regrets

More often than not a person who uses the terms “real man” or “real woman” is usually loud, bossy, controlling, and manipulative. They also view themselves as being better than you. Essentially they are saying they made a mistake getting involved with you. It is an ignorant statement to suggest someone is not “real” because they don’t live up to one’s expectations. Instead of berating the person everyone would be better off going to find (what they really want). The term “real” becomes subjective. What may not be good enough for one person is good enough for another. It is not the role of adults to raise adults. Ideally your significant other will encourage you rather than seek to tear you down by making comparisons with some fictional “real” man or woman. Ultimately we’re all looking for someone who will love, respect, and appreciate who we are. A “real man” or “real woman” won’t play mind games.

Always keep in mind relationships are “at will”. No one is stuck with anyone!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dashingscorpio profile imageAUTHOR


      20 months ago

      Claire-louise, Thanks for stopping by to read my hub and post a comment. My guess is the majority of people who use the term "real" do so to "shame" their mate or whomever into behaving (the way they want them to).

      As you noted all people are different.

      The next person one meets could have different definition of "real".

      In the end we're all better off just being ourselves! :)

    • Claire-louise profile image

      Claire Raymond 

      20 months ago from UK

      Never understood why people say these things, all people are different and things like "real man" and "real woman" just create major stereotypes!

    • dashingscorpio profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Apparently the HP blurb does not like quotation marks!

      This Hub was written under the category of (Advice and Tips for men in relationships). Therefore the pictures have more to do with how a man deals with women that try to shame or manipulate them into doing what they want them to do. :-)

    • ptosis profile image


      5 years ago from Arizona

      Hey fix your blurb on your landing page - it says " “Real Man” and “Real Woman” began to surface in the media. It’ has be.." It's something Hubpages does every once in a awhile with my edits.

      BTW .. How come all the pictures are of shrews? Where are the men examples?

    • dashingscorpio profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Mary Stuart, Thanks so much for stopping by and posting your comment. I agree with you it is an uncomfortable term to listen to whether it's coming from a friend or not. Everyone is "real" whether we agree with them or not. Even those who are irresponsible are real! :- )

    • Mary Stuart profile image


      6 years ago from Washington

      Thank you for your Hub. I have long been confused by those strange terms, "Real man and real woman." If you are living and breathing then I would think that you are a real person and real people are either male or female. I had a girlfriend who used to say things like, "I guess he could not handle a REAL woman," when a man broke up with her. She did go through a string of them so I heard the phrase a lot! I always felt quite edgy when she said that. I never quite understood what she meant but did not want to ask the question. I suppose I was rather uncertain if I want to hear the answer!

      Likewise I felt quite uncomfortable when I heard a man call me a real woman and referred to himself as a real man. Whaaaaaaaat? I think he meant it in a flattering way but I did not like the term. Maybe now I know why I balked!

      Thank you. Great Hub.

    • dashingscorpio profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      NiaLee, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. This hub was listed under the catagory (advice for men) which may explain the "bias" you mentioned in your comment.

      Your statement, "All women are not bossy, don't have low self esteem or a need to justify her size." I am in agreement with.

      The point I'm making is whether you are a man or woman you should be able to ask your significant other for what you want without telling them what "A real man" or "A real woman" would do. To say such things is nothing more than insulting that individual because they aren't doing what (you) feel they should be doing. Clearly it's a form of (manipulation)! or an attempt to shame them into behaving according to one's desires. The people who compare their partners to "Real Men" or "Real Women" do tend to be bossy or demanding from (my) observations. :-)

    • NiaLee profile image


      6 years ago from BIG APPLE

      This sounds a lot biased toward women. All women are not bossy, don't have low self esteem or a need to justify her size. The main thing is being a man or a woman is being a human being. We all have different needs and standards. Sometimes we can compromise, sometimes we can't. It is important that we let go of that eternal made up sex war or gender war. People meet, they get into relationship and each of the persons should have the right to express her/his needs, limits and plans. They can understand and fit each other or not.

      NOw, yes our societies, dogmas, religions and trends, even communities weigh on our vision or standards in relationship, though like you say we are free to decide who we want to be with, but also to express ourselves if there are issues. Often, people get offended if the person facing them dares complain, express a lack or need, asks for something.

      Yes we should say more: I would really need you to be more like this or like that or to do this or that, it would make me feel better.. oh, I really appreciated when you said this or did that, thank you my dear...etc... but we are human and when the words come out, emotions often stain them. And the lady comes out bossy or needy, the man comes out macho or not considerate, etc...frankly,I read myself and bammmm! We even have a vocabulary already set to brand or tag people, put them in boxes, why not look at that relationship and see why those words or concerns came up??? Now we are talking with intelligence!

      I really hope that one day, we will all drop all those chains created so long ago and own ourselves, our visions of relations and allow the person facing us to meet us and communicate in an healthy way. It is not easy and very beneficial to all.

      The "War of Roses", that was a long time ago.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)