I Am a Man

40

By Bryan Kidd

I like to wear mustard colored pants.

I like nice shoes.

I have a large collection of scarves (I only wear about half of them).

My belts have to match my shoes.

I love my brown jacket. I have a lot of jackets. I actually enjoy getting dressed up in a suit.

I enjoy wearing cowboy boots.

I look good in glasses (you can guess which pairs are real).

I like my new gold bracelet from Forever 21.

I like to run, but I don't do it enough. I only go to the gym if a friend goes with me.

I played one year of tee-ball when I was five. I haven't played an organized sport since. I really actually don't like sports. I can barely throw a football, and I have never played a game of golf.

I had my hunting license when I was a teenager, but I have never gone hunting (and I've still not decided if I would ever want to).

There are a lot of things that I do that would be labeled as “feminine.”

I enjoy crafting.

I plan weddings.

I like to put thought and effort into dressing nice and looking presentable.

I had a science teacher in high school once who called me out in class and used me as an example as a feminine male. It didn't bother me at the time, because I thought I knew what she meant, but the more I thought about it, the less I am ok with the term “feminine male.”

To say that I am a “feminine male” is saying I am a “different” type of male than what is perceived as the “normal” male. If I was a normal male than there would be no need for the word “feminine” to be used to describe me.

The opposite of a “feminine male” is a “masculine male.” What does that even mean? The Urban dictionary partly defines masculine as no signs “of emotion, no flamboyance, no hugging or even looking at other men, must be interested in sports and physical/violent activity.”[1]

So if I'm understanding correctly, in order to be a “real” man, you must love playing and watching football, enjoy wrestling (because that is violent), and never ever are you allowed to cry.

I have a female friend who fits this description pretty well. Does that make her a “masculine male?”

When did the color pink become exclusively appropriate for girls only, and blue the defining color for boys? I like blue alright, but I enjoy green and orange a whole lot more! I don't like sports because I think they are pretty boring; however, when I apply myself I am fairly athletic. I enjoy sewing and building things with my hands, while another guy may find these activities mind-numbing.

I have a problem with the term “feminine male” because by using it, you are putting me into a category of what you think a “feminine male” is. You are telling me that my actions are more like the actions of a girl than a guy. This is impossible because I biologically, being a male, cannot physically do “female” things. My actions are strictly male because I am a male.

I'm offended by being called a “feminine male” not because I fear being associated with anything “girly,” but because I am, and deserve to be called, male. I am a man whether I wear flowered print shoes or work boots. I am a man whether I work with children or I am a senior pastor. I am a man whether I decide to cry or I hold back my tears.

I have the power to name myself, and I choose to remove the labels that have been placed on me by other people. I am not feminine. I am not weak. I am not less-than because I don't have a powerful presence.

I am Bryan.

I am good enough (though I can be better).

I am powerful.

I am a man.