A lot of us feel pressured to conform. It takes a lot of guts to voice your opinion when you know the vast majority of people are likely to criticize you for it. That’s exactly what the men of Reddit have been doing on the r/AskMen subreddit.
Redditor M_RONA asked them to share their opinions that are generally unpopular among men, and they’ve been opening up about their honest thoughts. Candid, some might say even vulnerable, these opinions are bound to resonate with quite a few readers who might think the same but might find it difficult to talk about in public for fear of being ostracized.
You’ll find these ‘unmanly’ and ‘unpopular’ opinions below, so have a read and let us know what you thought of them in the comments, Pandas. Upvote the opinions that you agree with and be sure to share your perspective about why men are pressured to conform to a rigid set of ideas, likes, and behaviors.
I reached out to redditor M_RONA, the author of the viral thread, and had a great chat with him about masculinity, the inspiration behind the question, as well as the pressure that many people in society feel to conform to certain standards.
"I think, as men, we need to be more open about our issues and acknowledge the fact that we face some tough [stuff], often imposed on us by other guys," he told Bored Panda. "There’s nothing wrong with being honest about what’s bothering us, and I think just being able to talk about some of the issues we face would be a major contributing factor to our general well-being. Something as simple as just asking our friends how they’re doing in life could go a long way!" Scroll down for the in-depth interview, dear Pandas, this isn't something you'd want to miss.
If a guy is bashing some woman behind her back saying all sorts of awful things but to her face is being all nice and flirty with the sole goal of f**king her then dropping her, you're getting no "bro code" from me. I will absolutely out you.
I have no problem with hook ups at all, but if you're going to act like a scumbag, I'm going to treat you like one. I don't care if that's labeled as white knighting or whatever the f**k. It's not even about gender, if somebody is being super phony trying to take advantage of somebody else, you have zero respect from me and I will burn you to the ground in whatever way available to me.
Redditor M_RONA said that he's personally not a big fan of the term 'toxic masculinity' because he feels like it misrepresents reality and sometimes gets used where it isn't applicable. That's not to say it doesn't exist, however, it does mean that the term's sometimes misused. "While I absolutely agree that there are many male traits taken to the extreme that have horrible consequences for the people around them, I think the term is sadly being overused to mislabel normal and perfectly healthy male behavior," he told Bored Panda.
However, he pointed out that he believes that a lot of the harm and pressures put on men are "often put forth by other men." In short, men pressure other men to conform in terms of behaviors, attitudes, character, and activities. This can make any sort of emotional vulnerability extremely difficult. "I saw a ton of examples of that in the comments on my post, where a lot of guys were talking about how, as a man, they found it extremely difficult to talk and be open about their feelings. I think that stems from this notion that men are supposed to be so hardened and stoic that we never let things get to us, and if we ever experience a negative emotion, we shouldn’t process it, we should just bottle it up and 'be a man.'"
It’s ok to call other guys good looking. Not tell them directly, but just be able to tell your friends “hey you know what, that guy over there is handsome”. Doesn’t make me gay, or make me weird in any way. I feel comfortable enough with myself that I can acknowledge there are some damn good looking guys out there, so good for them.
M_RONA pointed out that having a "hardened mind and a stoic attitude are certainly virtuous values" (and I fully agree), however, taken to the extreme, the notion of 'be a man' can be classified as toxic masculinity if it's all done at the cost of expressing one's feelings.
"I think the top comment on the post right now is about men doing yoga, which has almost exclusively positive effects on both the body and mind, but a lot of guys were finding it hard to begin with because it’s 'something that only women do,' and were expressing discontent at the fact that a lot of their male peers would look down on them if they started doing yoga. I’m not sure if not doing yoga is directly correlated to depression, but the basic attitude of 'men should do this, and women should do that' is hampering to both men and women, I think, something both sexes are guilty of doing, unfortunately," M_RONA mused.
Crying and being emotional is not only normal, but can be a needed cathartic release as well.
There's nothing wrong with wearing your emotions on your sleeve.
Women are abused and poorly treated across the board at a rate that is nothing short of disgraceful
That both men and women can strictly just be platonic friends with one another without ulterior motives.
I was very interested to find out the inspiration behind the question because it seemed to resonate with quite a lot of redditors. M_RONA was kind enough to share the spark and the motivation behind the thread.
"Honestly, I was taking the metro on the way home from university, and I just randomly started thinking about what kind of beverages I like. When I’m out drinking I usually drink a lot of beer, which I guess is considered more manly than other alcoholic drinks, but for example, I also love me a mean passionfruit daiquiri, which I think a lot of guys would maybe frown upon," he said that this is when he started thinking about societal rules, standards, and expectations.
"I started having a mental conversation with myself about why we set these 'rules' for what we should and shouldn’t drink as men, and I’ve always personally believed that if you think something tastes good, go for it! And from there I thought about all the other rules we set for each other as guys, and what other opinions I have that would maybe be considered unpopular amongst my peers. So that’s basically where the inspiration came from."
Working 80hrs a week doesn't make you any more of a man than working 40 hrs a week. We are all out to get bread, stop dehumanizing other men for not working their life away. It’s okay to have weekends off and enjoy life.
Sitting on the toilet to pee is much more convenient, clean and hygienic. Also using a bit of toilet-paper to wipe the tip instead of shaking
The redditor believes that the question might have resonated with so many internet users because guys "find themselves in a position of wanting to do things they might feel like they can't do because of these societal norms we set for ourselves." M_RONA shared with Bored Panda that r/AskMen is a very "open and accepting community," so men often have the opportunity of expressing themselves without being judged. (Being anonymous helps, too.)
"Maybe they saw it as a way to vent about bad [stuff] they’ve experienced, and my post was a good route to filter it through, while at the same time getting a lot of support from understanding peers," he said.
The author of the thread believes that social pressure to conform doesn't care about gender or sex. "I think we all face issues of conformity and set expectations for what we’re supposed to do, and I guess it’s up to all of us to promote and cheer on people who don’t fit into certain categories that we make for ourselves," he explained his thoughts. When I asked whether he'd like to add anything else, M_RONA joked, "Buy and hold GME," referring to the mass buying of Gamestop shares that happened earlier this year.
I like fruity "feminine" drinks!!! I am a whisky/scotch man but give me a Mai Tai and I will drink the s**t out of it. I have never understood why men aren't supposed to like drinks that taste good.
Buying tampons for your wife/girlfriend/daughter/mistress/one night stand is not a big deal.
If it's honest work and you're able to keep on top of the bills, there's no shame in your job.
You can live a fine comfortable life without ever setting foot in a college.
The pressure for men to conform to a certain ‘ruleset’ of attitudes and behaviors has a lot to do with the prevalence of toxic masculinity, as opposed to healthy masculinity. In short, toxic masculinity is an older set of ‘ideals’ that emphasizes a lack of emotional vulnerability and values aggression.
Psychotherapist Silva Neves from the United Kingdom explained to Bored Panda earlier that toxic masculinity is related to “a general attitude perpetuated by systemic misogyny” rather than specific behaviors.
According to psychotherapist Silva, toxic masculinity is “a set of distorted ideas about what men should be like.” At the core of this harmful idea lie the beliefs that men should “always be winners,” shouldn’t feel vulnerable, and shouldn’t be perceived as ‘weak’ or ‘soft.’
I love chubby girls
“Not all men just want to hook up, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Even when I was app dating (in a long term relationship now), I was not dating to hook up. I straight up turned down one night stands and various sexual encounters with women I knew I had no interest in seeing again. The concept that I’d turn down a willing and consenting partner and leave a situation where I could have gotten laid was a foreign and “wrong” idea to everyone I discussed it with. The prevailing opinion was: ‘dude just hookup and bail, even if you know you’re not going to see her again you can have some fun first.’ Don’t know why no one else saw it my way. I just am not into sex with someone I’m not invested in and don’t trust yet.
“A man with healthy masculinity is the opposite to these traits: someone who is self-reflective, embraces their emotions including sadness, anxiety and crying, a man who isn't afraid of their own femininity and believes that women are equal, and therefore are very clear about respecting boundaries and consent with women,” the mental health expert went into detail what healthy masculinity looks like.
What’s more, followers of healthy masculinity “embrace gender, sex, and relationship diversities, including gay men and transgender people.” In Silva’s opinion, a person who embraces healthy masculinity “is comfortable with their opinions to be challenged and able to have debates.”
Toxic masculinity potentially poses a danger to both men and the people around them, the psychotherapist highlighted. Toxic masculinity is most often expressed either through violence or the threat of violence.
Most guys don't put nearly as much effort into their attractiveness as the women they think they deserve to date.
Personality is better than attractiveness. Some of my close buddies try to only go for 10/10 chicks. Like ya that’s good and all but if you can’t even talk to the girl then what’s the point
People shouldn’t be pressured to always be high achievers or to have some huge goal they’re working towards. I’m not saying it’s OK to be “lazy,” but equally we don’t all have to be aiming to become senior managers or famous celebs. Some dudes just like to go to the 9-5, put in their time, come home and chill with the family and that’s totally fine.
“The main danger of toxic masculinity is that those men can be emotionally abusive and/or physically violent and sexually violent to women,” the expert said.
“They can also be aggressive to gay people. They perpetuate toxic messages of masculinity so toxic masculinity is usually passed down to their children and peers maintaining the problems,” the mental health expert noted that family members can pass down certain harmful beliefs from generation to generation. That means that widespread positive changes would take a long time to take root.
“Toxic masculinity also harms the men themselves because repressing their own emotions so much can lead to mental health issues, depression, and even suicide. Toxic masculinity harms everybody.”
That being a dad, is in fact, my actual favorite thing to do.
I have painstakingly procured a life, and career, that allows me to exercise at work, practice my hobby during working hours (BJJ). So basically I telework. But I am not monitored. I do all my work that needs to get done on time and early and above standard. So nobody questions what I do during the day. But they do know. I have told my supervisor and when s**t pops, it never gets in the way of work. Balance. So that way all my time when my kids get out of school can be devoted to them with 100% of my attention. That way I can listen to them, really listen to remember those things that are super important to them. I ducking love watching them explore the world and first crushes and turning down boys and my little guy thinking he’s he-man cause he lifted a gallon of milk. Lest we forget that’s a mans first feat of strength to show mommy we are big boys. F**king love it.
People can wear whatever clothes they wanna and it doesn't define sexuality!!!!
It’s better to have quality sexual encounters instead of quantitative
Sports are dumb.
Everyone packing into crowds so they can fawn over some guys because they can throw a ball through a hoop, or whatever? Dumb. Pointless. A huge waste of time and resources.
Think of what we could do if we took all the time and money and attention and passion spent on overly complicated kids games and put it toward something productive or rewarding. It’s a drain on human potential without returning anything.
Plus is encourages aggression and tribalism, stupid conflicts and exclusionary behaviors. And we make our education system so much more expensive because we insist on attaching our schools to minor-league sports teams.
Being able to beat up another man you have an issue with doesn’t make you the stronger man, or correct.
I prefer small breasts. A full figured woman with hips and an arse, but small(er) breasts. The whole huge breast phenomenon just doesnt gel with me.
Itty bitty titty committee all the way.
Telling your friends you love them is perfectly normal
Cooking for yourself is fun as s**t and extremely rewarding.
I get a bit emotional while listening to beautiful music... It's my opinion that men would rather do this while alone.
More military related, but women absolutely have a place in the infantry. I had the privilege serve alongside some of the toughest women I’ve ever met. They could outrun and outgun many of our guys any day of the week.