On Being a Man

I hate, no, I loathe, no, despise. Yeah. Despise. I despise No-Shave November. And it’s not for the pity reason that I cannot—genetically or professionally—grow a beard, but all the posts declaring that real men don’t need pre-selected month to grow a beard. They’ll post Internet memes and photos of their lion’s mane made up disgusting chin pubes as evidence to support their case. What’s really knackers me, however, is that most of these proud “real” men aren’t men at all. Not really, anyway.

No-Shave NovemeberThat is not to say those who show off their beards year round aren’t “real” men. My friend René, for instance, is a real man. He’s a father who takes care of his kids. He’s good to his wife. He’s a provider and a protector. But it isn’t the beard that makes him a man. It’s his actions. Meanwhile, Duck Dynasty wannabes walk the streets thinking the biological aspect is the only thing that counts, while they forget their children, forget to pay child support, insult ex-wives, can’t hold down a real job, etc.

These are the same jerk-offs who crack jokes at my inability to grow a beard. In their feeble-minded eyes, I’m not up to par with them. Meanwhile, I try my damnedest to provide for Shaun, to meet his mom half way, and work my ass off, taking on extra hours to make ends meet. I’m not out there chasing some dream, and just hoping my life will fall into place. I’m not the greatest man in the world, but I don’t need a fucking beard to prove that I’m better than you in every way.


Someone called me out on this already. I’d like to clear it up for other people who might see me defining real men as fathers. In this post, I use fatherhood as an example but not the foundation of real men. My friend Amado once told me that fatherhood is a rite of passage to manhood, but that ignores several different types of men. Men who can’t have kids, for instance, are still men. Men who don’t want children are still men. Manliness isn’t defined by straight or gay concepts either. What I’m stating here is that a beard doesn’t automatically make you a real. I’ve seen women with beards and kids straight out of high school with beards, so that argument of real men have beards is null. However, it’s the actions that make the man.

I used fatherhood for the strict reason that I am a father and the person who pissed me off is a father. And while I don’t fall into the class of real man in his book because I can’t grow a beard, he doesn’t fall into the real man category because he’s a lousy dad.

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