The “real man” dogma


“Badger, I hear a lot of people trying to tell us men what a ‘real man’ is. Their definitions are all conflicting, so what is a ‘real man’?”

I’ve noticed that there is a difference between those who stand up for and support men and those who think that men are lacking. The basis of this is the “real man” dogma, complete with the “man up” mantra. Society has pushed this onto men, and it has been promoted by gynocentrism, feminism, and all other anti-male agendas. Anti-male includes the lack of receptivity to who men are in being.

An example of this is the push that a “real man” must have a certain job, lots of cash, and look like a bodybuilder. Now, there’s nothing wrong with men who actually are all that—I’m not shaming them here—but there is something wrong with saying that there is only one type of man who is acceptable and using this type of man to compare every other man against and if they don’t measure up, well, then they are nothing. Men are individuals—god, I know I’m sick of reading myself saying it too, but the reality is we live in a world where we STILL need to say this—and as individuals, men have their own desires, needs, wants, dreams, hopes, and personal fulfillment. And yet society does not focus on what men want. No. From a young age, men are told they must provide. Again, if this is an individual choice, there’s nothing wrong with that—to each their own—but we do not live in a society in which a man’s personal choice is often supported.

“Real man” memes flood the Internet, and the dogma is spread far and wide across mainstream media.

Here are a few examples:




These two examples promote the “real man” dogma using two of the greatest shaming tactics. They mix masculinity and manhood with violence, rape, and pedophilia. The focus of the “real man” dogma is to put forward what society and feminists say men should aspire to. These two photos show just how lowly society and feminists think of men that they must “aspire” to not be rapists and pedophiles. As if men are devious creatures of muck who must be told to not be horrific. This, of course, is NOT true. Men are beautiful just as they are and are amazing beings who are loving, loved, and lovable. However, with campaigns such as these, the inability to receive men in their beauty of now is morphed into a shaming campaign. What happened with the above is that dysfunctional people—and, YES, that includes celebrities, they have blood just like everyone else and absolutely can be dysfunctional—gathered and were supported by an ideology that feels it’s entitled to men, that men are the property of society. Dysfunction upon dysfunction bathing in dysfunction and fueled by money all to dump onto men. No, men do not need to be told not to rape or be pedophiles—and to place it in the context of what society, feminists, and gynocentric special snowflakes say men must aspire to just reflects how sick these people are in their inability to see men as human beings.




Ugh, this crap. Men walking a mile in high heels because why? Because walking around in high heels makes them “real men” because feminists say so. And men must walk in heels in pain—because that’s what that is, a mile in heels is pure pain—to prostrate themselves for the forgiveness of the almighty female for daring to be male. Because in the land of feminism and gynocentrism, violence, sexual assault, and rape only happen to women, and female victims are the only ones who matter. All men must pay, and all women must benefit from the payment of men. If they do not stand up and end violence across the planet for women while ignoring their own pain and suffering, they are not “real men.” They must “man up,” put on some heels, and do as they are told. Hey, I have no problem with men in heels, I don’t. However, when it’s mixed with shaming men and used to say that women must be treated right—aka groveled at the feet of—then, yes, I take issue with this nonsense.



Again, another standard to force on men. Again, each individual has his or her own preference and therefore … wait for it … so does each man. TADA! Not every man has to find overweight women attractive, and I’ve seen overweight women shame thin women out of jealousy—total hypocrisy!  “Only I’m attractive! I must be the only one you find attractive! And if you don’t, you are not a real man!” This is just gross. There are men who like overweight women, such as BBW (Big Beautiful Women, they call themselves), and that is their choice. There are men who do not like overweight women, they like athletic women; some like thin women; some like tall women; short, blondes, redheads, brunettes … you get the point. Not one of these men stops being a man because of his preference. Not every man is going to like every woman—but this is common sense that is somehow turned against men. As if men must be punished for having a preference and choice in dating. Isn’t this the same thing as telling men their choice doesn’t matter? The same thing as saying their boundaries don’t matter? When we stand up for consent being necessary, why aren’t men included in that conversation? After all, a man stating his dating preference is saying he does not consent to be with a person who is not of his choosing. Why are men being portrayed as “wrong” for standing up for their own consent?



Here, Prince Harry blatantly ostracizes men from deserving respect and dignity. Men saying NO to being a utility means that they are not “real men”? “Man up and serve with dignity and respect.” “Real men” are servants? Why, thank you for that, Prince Harry, that’s really … refreshing. The only correct part here is “This is not just about women”; then he lost me with the rest. This—life, society, existence, human community—is NOT just about women; it’s about all people, and that includes men.

Hillary Clinton herself has used the “real man” dogma under different words—”true leaders”—when she was addressing 40 male parliamentarians in Zimbabwe who had undergone male genital mutilation. True leaders, eh? Yes, this is part of the “real man” dogma. And according to Hillary Clinton, “real men” undergo genital mutilation. Again, I’m not shaming men who had this forced onto them; there is no “right” way; all men are wonderful right now as they are. However, the lack of acceptance of men and the pushing of men to go to all lengths—including the African leaders who cut their own genitals to be seen as “real men” based on faulty and discounted research that this would hinder the spread of HIV/AIDS (which it does not) and it’s up to men to make sure diseases don’t spread—is what makes “real men”? Even at the expense of their own bodies?

“Real men” shut up, “man up,” and take it. This says men must be fixed; they are lacking, wrong, bad, must be trained to fit ideals that are illogical, irrational and down-right abusive. “Real men” dogma places men at the bottom of the barrel and tells them how not to fuck up because that is their basis. Dare men say, “Hey, that’s not what I am” and stand up to women and stand up for their own voices, they are then greeted with “Shut up, man up, and be a real man.” All of these are used to avoid men’s needs, men’s human rights, men.

Well, men are not shutting up—and it’s wonderful to behold.

And to answer your question, dear reader, every single man is real; he is not a work of fiction. Only you decide what you want for yourself. You are whole, you do not need to be fixed. There is much to learn in the world, and the world is needing of your wisdom as well—never forget the value of your innate wisdom as a man. Anyone approaching you with the “real man” dogma is lacking, not you. Don’t let them hook you into their story that you need to be fixed or need to be “real” or “man up.” You are whole, right now. Surround yourself with healthy people who understand this and can receive you. If you need support in anything, be sure you seek it from healthy people who understand that men are whole and do not need to be told to aspire to the bottom of the barrel.

I can’t tell you what a man is, no one can; they can only project their own perceptions. Manhood is your own personal journey, and there is no right way of it looking, and to hell with those who prefer you to be anything but who YOU wish to be. Only you know who you are as an individual and who you choose to be as a man. If you have questions seek out men who do not believe in the ‘real man’s dogma for answers, this is beyond my knowledge as a woman.

Remember, when you are out and about, no one has the right to dump their insecurities and bigotry onto you, you are wonderful right now.

Thank you for your question!



Clinton reference:

Kristal Garcia
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About the author

Kristal Garcia

Kristal Garcia is a Freelance Writer who has aired on the TODAY Show for her activism. Currently writing "100 Days of Loving Men", her journey of healing relationship with father and men, in this healing relationship with self. She is the Admin of both "The Art of Femininity" and "Loving and Celebrating Men" Facebook Pages. Kristal sees the core of healthy human community is healing relationships between women and men, starting with healing relationship with self. She is known for her conversation of "Celebrating the Love of Being" she shares her journey of self love and celebrating life. Kristal stands by 'We Rise, We Rise Together'. Vital to this is supporting all human rights including the voice of men and men's human rights.

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="2164">26 comments</span>

  • Great article.
    A true man / women is someone secure and doesn’t need to be either insulted or praised.
    i would even go further and say I don’t need to be told I’m wonderful, but thanks for the compliment.
    In short real men and women are honey badgers, and we really don’t care.
    Its good to see more and more people seeing the whole shaming BS for what it is.

  • wow BBW means big beautiful woman. for my whole life i thought that bbw meant big BIG woman. anyways
    Here is a question that i don’t see very often. What is a real woman? What’s the difference between a girl and a woman?

    • My response would be the same. All women are real. Women look however it is authentic for them to look. When people ask ‘who is real’ I wonder what the real question actually is. To say ‘this man is real’ is to create false validation to try and manipulate him into being someone they choose him to be.

      To ask what is a healthy woman, that’s a whole nother convo.

  • I’ve tried wearing high heel’s it’s like putting roller skates on a giraffe.
    I have no clue why women wear them. There is nothing wrong with trying to look good but wen you start complain every 5 minus that your feet hurt I cant help but think there is something mentally wrong with you for choosing to wear such ridiculous clothing.
    Womens underwear is also really uncomputable but im guessing that’s more of a biology thing.

    • Many women don’t like high heels, especially a lot of feminists but who do they blame for women wearing high heels? You guessed it. They blame men for making women wear them.

      If a man does something stupid that is the man’s fault.

      If a woman does something stupid that is also the man’s fault.

    • Heels can be surprisingly comfortable once you get used to them and if you’ve got a good pair to start off with, usually one with soft straps. For me the biggest challenge wasn’t the balancing at all, but rather the way my ankle stands up at a more obtuse angle.

      I carry a pair of flats with me though and I avoid heels for long days or places like the beach or brick roads. Heels are really best for dining out when you’ve got a car and are sitting down most of the evening. For me I just like feeling tall and being able to see from five inches higher and being closer in height to my partner.

      Feminists just ignore the history of heels, which actually developed from horseback riding – they secure feet in the stirrups I believe – and much later entered fashion.

  • Never got a chance to be a “real man”. Poor Ben grew up poor! Of course I do try being friendly and what not. Sadly I’m not in a position where I can be a “great provider”. (On disability & have to make $700.00 stretch all month)

    I’m tall but had the disposition to be an artist/writer so on the traditional male paradigm I’m the shaman/story teller. Shamans “can” do well with modern western women but only of they’re “successful story-tellers” that make lotsa lotsa money. (It’s also weird how we often don’t recognize someone’s creative worth until after they’re dead. Kinda creepy,ay?)

    Of course there are nice females out there who go dutch on dates and don’t expect the world presented to them on a silver platter (Heck,I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a few of them) but I still feel that nasty tug of social expectations and social shaming.

    Regardless thanks for being empathic and kind as usual,Kristal! It’s difficult sticking up for men because that very act of nurturing draws out the squawking radical feminist harpies in droves!

  • High heels should be banned for the same reason as foot binding. I suffer no end of complaints about back and bunion pain from my wife because she wore them in her teens. A women wearing comfortable shoes is more attractive than a woman in high heels, it sends the message to a man, “I’m self confident enough that I’d rather feel comfortable than suffer physical pain for the sake of my personal appearance.” It goes without saying that the woman wearing high heels and suffering pain from them will take it out on any man foolish enough to find her attractive in heels.

  • I really don’t understand what is wrong with most of this. I’m a guy, and I do think that women (and anyone else) should be treated with respect. The statements “real men” do not do this or that is not shaming, in my opinion. Who would be shamed? Men who don’t respect women? Men who care more about someone’s size than their personality? If that’s the case, I do believe they should be ashamed, and should take a serious look at their own selves. But it is their own place to feel that shame, because only they can answer these questions. No one has called them anything; they must find it in themselves, to call themselves what they are.

  • Speaking of heels, I once got called out for wearing heels for my ex-boyfriend. I loved it when every once in a while he wore a neat dress shirt, and he thought high heels looked good on me. Yet somehow that was considered demeaning to me as a woman, as I was being submissive to a man, dressing in a way he thought was pretty. I guess that’s a lesson to learn from feminism.
    Don’t try to make your boyfriend happy, he’s dominating you!

  • REAL “real men” don’t give two hoots what society or feminists or ANYONE says they must or must not do, or who they should or should not be. The idea that a demanding harping woman or woman’s group knows the definition of a “real man” is laughable anyways.

    In 99% of cases it means “do what we want for the benefit of women (and possibly children) even when you get nothing for it, and no matter the cost to you personally.”

    It is also meant to reinforce sexist stereotypes, especially the one where men are expected to provide, sacrifice, and protect but women are not. There is no equivalent “real woman” for the “real man” (which you think equality would have given us by now). You never hear it said to a woman these days:

    “Your family needs you. Get off drugs and be a REAL WOMAN.”
    “A REAL woman would get a second job to provide for your guy and kids.”
    “A REAL woman would date a guy with little or no money, or a geeky guy.”

    The “Real Man” shaming tactic is simply a desperate cry to SHAME men into maintaining chivalry-based benefits for women where there is no longer any benefit in a gynocentric feminist society. Well, there is ONE benefit: the hope they will stop SHAMING you by implying you’re NOT A REAL MAN when saying what a REAL MAN would do.

    Really. You’re not going to shame me anymore. REALLY? Wow.

    Darlings, shaming stopped working (especially online) about 15 years ago.

    Stick and stones, ladies (and manginas, white knights and pussy beggars).

    Shame this: A real man would tell them to piss off and go make some sandwiches.

By Kristal Garcia

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