Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Manly is as manly does

Listening to: Billy Idol - Greatest Hits. Nuff said.

This caught my eye last week. A stuff columnist listing his top five manliest moments. Quite why it caught my eye I have no idea, I was likely checking some news in between my daily facebook and forum visits. Frankly, the columnists look a bit like dweebs, but the concept did get me thinking.

Were I to compile a manliest moments list what ould be on it? To be completely honest, the traditional NZ male manly archteype completely alienates me.

I don't hunt, I don't fish, I don't ski, board, or surf, while not completely unfamiliar with the outdoors I don't spend much time there, I don't play rugby, don't really care who is in the All Blacks as long as they play well, while not unfamiliar with boats haven't messed about in them too much either, I don't drink just for the sake of it, I don't care about Ford vs Holden, don't fix my own car beyond the simple stuff, wear earplugs at concerts, haven't knowingly rescued a damsel in distress etc etc.

A few of my male relatives exemplify some of these traits, and at times it is a little wearying in a I feel I have to somehow compete sort of way, which I can't, since my stories and pastimes are nowhere as interesting as theirs.

At one of my old jobs I often used to sit at the lunch table with the site engineers. After a while I came to refer to it as the 'Bullshit and Bravado' table. No story could be told without a 'better' one following, often prefaced by "Well when I was in (insert exotic sounding foreign locale)...." etc. Since I was there long enough, I heard several of the stories more than once, and can attest they got better each time. It was very Alpha Male-ish, which while I understood, didn't find at all interesting or engaging.

Even posting about this can be fodder for discussion in being both a response to a perceived challenge and not a particularly manly thing to be considering.

So having pondered and established that I am not exactly the embodiment of macho manliness, what could I put on it?

-I have used firearms to kill (rabbits if you are wondering), although my wife was right beside me doing the same thing so that might not count as manly.

-I have destroyed a car while I was driving it, although I think for it to count I would have to be proud of that, which I am not.

-I have used my size and stature to intimidate people into doing things that needed to be done on occasion. Not particulary proud of that either, but it was necessary.

-I have been a witness for the prosecution in a criminal case. That could be considered manly.

-I cut one of my fingertips off with a bandsaw, patched it up and then worked the next five hours of my shift. Definitely manly behaviour. Or daft. A job needed doing though, and there was no-one else to do it.

Thats a start anyway. I think I am a bit confused about what constitutes a manly act. Those of you who have known me for a while are welcome to chip in with suggestions, either with definitions or acts.


Dan said...

Hmmm... See, I consider most cooking to be a pretty manly thing. After all, being a man is all about being self-reliant, isn't it?

How about cooking a BBQ without burning everything? Does that count?

And being the best Dad you can be? Cos who cares if you can catch a fish or shoot a pig if you're not there for your family?

I too (in case it's not obvious) do not relate terribly well to the male archetype as Kiwis see it. Like you, I am pretty well in touch with my emotions and know how to communicate with people on an honest level. Is that manly?

But I'm rambling. And I know that's pretty manly, too.

Go me.

Not Kate said...

As a female, I would ask you for advice on car things (and have). You know a manly amount.

And the photography thing is kinda metro-manly. It's manly to take it seriously and get big lenses and stuff.

Planes and war are very manly.

Liking rock music is manly.

You are a good amount of manly, I think.

Anonymous said...

Yes, all very manly things. I also think that your interest in airplanes is rather manly.