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‘Man laws’ say men don’t share dessert

Updated: April 1, 2013 11:49AM



So, a good male friend and I are sitting at a restaurant bar when he orders dessert — ice cream and pie, my Facebook posting went.

“Would you guys like an extra plate to share?” the waitress asks.

“Uh-h-h, no,” I say. “I’m good.”

“Would you guys like two spoons then?”

Huh? “No,” I say again to the waitress. “I’m good.”

“Aww c’mon bro, have some,” my friend insists in the bass-thick voice of the 200-plus pound man that he is.

“Man Law 278,” I say to my friend, “A brother does not spoon a dessert from a plate with another brother.” (That’s next to Man Law 279 that says no brother is riding on the back of my Harley!)

Another man sitting nearby suddenly chimes in with a chuckle: “That’s right, man, good looking out.”

That was my Facebook posting — light-hearted, no ill intent.

I figured I’m entitled to my own opinion on what it means for me to be a man. But I had to go and open my big mouth.

“You missed out, if you had only connected with the feminine side, you would have had a good eat and some laughs,” a female friend responded.

Wait. A what? A feminine side?

The thought made the man-hairs on my neck rise.

“Uh, I don’t have a feminine side. . . . I’m a man! What you talking about, Willis?”

Wrote another, more antagonistic, female friend: “We all have a yin and yang — all of us have male and female energies, it goes beyond anatomy. But I do understand the man laws, lol.”

Clearly, she doesn’t. Especially not Man Law 101, found in “Dude-eronomy” 10:2: Women don’t get the last word on what constitutes being a man.

What are “Man Laws”? Well, they ain’t exactly science. And they’re also not exactly etched in stone but rather a kind of unwritten assemblage of dos and don’ts of acceptable masculine behavior, culturally passed down (and modified) from generation to generation — by subtlety, by word of mouth or even a disapproving headshake.

For me, being a man most means being a provider, producer and protector; standing up for the weak; and never denigrating or dehumanizing others who happen to be different.

I’ll admit that some so-called Man Laws are nebulous, sometimes homophobic (which I do not endorse) and even nonsensical — like that one still too often passed on to boys: Men don’t cry.

Also among them: Women may go to the powder room together but a man never ever asks another man to accompany him to the restroom. A guy shouldn’t be all touchy-feely with another guy in a conversation. Skinny jeans are totally unacceptable for a full grown man. . . .

“Bwaaaahahaha!” I respond to my yin and yang friend. “All my energies are male.”

“John, that’s not possible,” she says, explaining that males carry X (female) and Y (male) chromosomes while females only have X chromosomes. “Science 101. Lol, sorry, John.”

That’s it! I decided to go all Bible on her. I quoted scripture: “Male and female created He them.”

My real point was this: You do you. Let me do me. In a postmodern world, where my metrosexual, homosexual, androgynous and transgender brothers are free to decree who they are, don’t I also have the right to openly declare my manhood as defined by my cultural understanding as a heterosexual male?

And yes, I am also sensitive, nurturing, kind, gentle, warm — and sometimes fuzzy. I can jump Double Dutch, bake a cake from scratch and even braid hair.

And I’m still all man. OK? I’m good.



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