Manliness Challenge!

While poking around stuff on the interwebs on my favourite motorcycles, I found an article about ‘great men and their motorcycles’ and was subsequently seduced by a new website/blog; drum roll folks:

http://artofmanliness.com

It is filled with awesome and entertaining articles every manly man and manly woman and manly androgynous human should know.
For example: 9 ways to build a fire without matches, How To Build a Table by Thanksgiving and Rediscovering the Barbershop.

For me, the blog is like visual crack. Not to poke fun at addictions but sweet god it’s pretty awesome.

So as a result, I’ve decided to give myself, the manliness challenge:

Here goes, until I get bored or almost kill myself, I’m going to attempt to do one of the things from the blog per week, report on and with photos of the disastrous/hilarious/near-fatal results.

Some of these aren’t feasible, i.e, I don’t have money to go experience Vegas like a gentleman, frankly, I don’t have the cash to experience Winnipeg like a gentleman.

I also have no intention of hunting wild game with a broken foot in the middle of a city. But we’ll see how it goes!

So come back tomorrow for round one: A Beginner’s Guide To Whittling — me, a sharp object and a stick.
Wish me luck.

May the best “man” win?

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Douchebags Among Us

Don’t get the impression that you arouse my anger. You see, one can only be angry with those he respects.

I suppose furious is more like it.

In my local community, a social media group event was mobilised to help protest the denial of city funding for a women’s shelter.

This shelter is known for helping women and children escape domestic violence.

One woman wrote a long rant, as did a lot of us, about how the city found money for business projects and a new sports complex but not for the women’s shelter.

Then another person proceeded to cut that woman down by insulting her grammar and spelling. On a blog supporting an event to raise funds for violence against women, here was this person, shitting on a woman for not having perfect spelling and grammar.

I flew into a rage.

I had to know who this person is that decided to come down on a woman who maybe, wasn’t well-educated, who was raising children, maybe low income, because maybe she has other shit to worry about aside from how well she writes.

Maybe she had escaped a violent spouse and was expressing her outrage as a result. Who cares why she was commenting, it was her right, she has freedom of speech.

Ofcourse, the offending human who was reprimanding this woman’s spelling was a man.

What the fuck?!

Excuse my language but the sad irony is disgusting.

Here we are, participating in a dialogue about how to protect women from violence and here he is, this insect of a human being telling this woman he disapproves of her grammar.

I have no respect for people like that.

Well, in general I have no respect for people but I try to keep that under wraps as best I can.

I have a brother, male friends and co-workers that I like so don’t paint me with the brush of lesbian, feminist, man basher, but this guy makes me feel the following:

“There are two perfectly good men, one dead and the other unborn.”

 

 

You’re So Butch

…she purred these 3 words at me, part flirting and part poking me, knowing I didn’t take too kindly to the word.
I was 17 and she was 20. She was my first girlfriend and I owe her a lot of my early learning wherever she is now.

She recognised my species right away, clever girl.

Sixteen years later, I’ve come to wear the identifier as a badge of honour and courage. She’d be impressed.

It’s taken me since then to realise a few fundamental things about the word butch and myself.

I cannot help who I am or how I feel comfortable and I’ve been butch since I was five years old. In kindergarten, I was not interested in barbie dolls and instead got in trouble for leaving school grounds to go fishing.

I was forever getting turpentine and grass stains on knees and elbows climbing trees and begging my parents to let me cut my hair.

My mother and father weren’t without criticism:

“Why don’t you dress like a girl?!”
“If you shave your head, you’re not welcome in this house.”
“Wear a dress for god’s sake.”

Their attitudes and hostility kept me in the closet until I moved away at 20 and even then, kept me from coming out to them until I was 27.

I’m still an interloper in the women’s bathroom and my wife is always there applying her lipstick and keeping me safe.

I try not to make eye contact with other women coming and going and children asking moms why “that man” is in the women’s bathroom. Trust me, we’re not in there to check you out, we’re there cause we gotta go!

My favourite comment from a child was “look mommy! a man with boobies!” It was pretty great.

Me and the little one shared a giggle while the mom ushered her pre-schooler out of the frozen food aisle in the grocery store. I buy frozen pizza just like you lady, is what I wanted to say, but why bother?

Props to her for having a cute little kid I say.

It’s been easier the older I get realising I have millions of peers and compatriots: writers, trades people, retail folks, university profs, other support workers, it’s pretty awesome.

There’s nothing more gratifying than finding a kindred, someone else who felt like a fraud putting on a dress or applying make up. There’s an excellent chance you’ll see them around and when you do, I hope you think of this article and know they’re definitely going through the same thing in life.

As hard as it is to be stared at, occasionally ostracised, yelled ‘dyke’ at, or to be mistaken for a man, on the daily, it is far more difficult to go through life denying who you are.