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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!


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