‘Man laws’ say men don’t share dessert
BY JOHN W. FOUNTAIN firstname.lastname@example.org February 27, 2013 9:24PM
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.