75 ‘Unmanly’ Things That Are Very ‘Manly,’ According To The Internet

Any grownup should have a wide range of skills at their beck and call. Everyone should know how to take care of themselves and their loved ones, whether it’s just another mundane day or an actual emergency. Stuff like knowing how to sew on a button, cooking a meal that’s more sophisticated than making cereal, taking care of your verdant garden (and what not to do, say, if you come across a bear).

Unfortunately, some people still divide up some activities and behaviors according to gender, based on some pretty ambiguous assumptions. This idea sparked a discussion online after redditor u/international_red07 asked everyone to share some “unmanly” things that are actually the opposite. Scroll down to read what people had to say about this. 


Reflection and apologizing when you're wrong.

Image credits: playdoughfaygo


Walking away from a physical fight, instead of getting involved/the whole “I could put you in hospital but I won’t” nonsense. A true “alpha”, if you must use that word, doesn’t need to assert his dominance like that.

Image credits: tihurricane


Supporting women's rights. Real men don't need to control women.

Image credits: sagan_drinks_cosmos

It’s really peculiar to realize that some everyday tasks get stuck with labels like “manly” or “unmanly.” We’re talking about basic skills that help someone be self-sufficient.

Everyone needs to eat, so you’d better learn how to cook and bake. You might need to mend your clothes, so knowing how to use a needle-and-thread simply makes sense. Who doesn’t enjoy watching their vegetable garden thrive? And why should someone’s gender determine whether or not they should like singing or dancing as a hobby? Someone’s gender doesn’t come into it—these are all very human things to do.


I heard cooking for your family labeled as unmanly due to men wearing an apron around a gas stove, by the same people who grill for their family while wearing an apron around a gas grill.

Image credits: Qimmosabe_Man


If someone tells you something is “unmanly”, tell them a real man would be secure enough in their manliness to not give a s**t what they think.

Image credits: TheMan5991


Hygiene and cleanliness. I live on my own and I love having a clean and neat house.

Image credits: TheMonkophile

When you start attaching gender to these activities and skills, you end up making everyone less independent. At the same time, you put people under a lot of pressure to ‘conform’ to how their social circle or culture views masculinity and femininity. Now imagine the stress someone has to deal with when they’re faced with entirely different cultural expectations when they move somewhere else or join a new social circle.

Objectively, boiling an egg (cooking) isn’t manly or unmanly. Neither is moving your feet (dancing), using your vocal cords (singing), or watering flora (gardening). However, our surroundings, family, and upbringing shape how we perceive these activities.


Sewing. When you're stuck on a boat in the Pacific during WWII, you'd better know how to stich up your own uniform. Source: both of my grandfathers.

Image credits: DrSmartron


I love growing flowers, sewing, cooking, baking, and other activities that are viewed by some as "girly" activities. I also love traditionally manly things like fishing, building furniture, mowing my lawn, etc.

A long time ago I was upset by some of my friends ribbing me for liking to do "girly" things. My dad handled this by teaching me that the manliest thing a man can do is "whatever the hell he wants".

Image credits: thedopfien60


Ordering a fruity drink.

“A real man orders a beer!”

No, a real man orders whatever the f**k he wants.

Image credits: Incredible_Mandible

According to a 2006 study done by The Pennsylvania State University, the social rules of gender continue to play “a prominent role” in leisure activities like sports. The researchers found that “girls experience greater social latitude in their sport participation than boys.” In other words, society sees it as more acceptable for women to participate in masculine activities than the reverse.

“Girls and women are at less risk for gender stigma if they pursue masculine activities than boys and men if they pursue feminine activities. This may be due to a higher social value and status assigned to masculine activities and the efforts on the part of girls and women to gain respect by achieving in a traditionally masculine field,” they write.

Broadly speaking, boys and men who stray from masculine norms raise questions about their masculinity. So they have less flexibility when it comes to participating in “unmanly” sports and recreational activities.



Image credits: crackheadopen


Cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, being good with kids, being patient, crying, hugging your good guy friends

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When I was a kid I was once at a clothing store and I saw a pink men’s shirt. I said out loud “what kind of men wear pink shirts???” and my mom said “secure men”. For some reason that always stuck with me.

Image credits: anon

Many of these issues are rooted in social expectations. To oversimplify things a bit, men are expected to never be perceived as vulnerable, weak, or soft. They’re also pushed to be aggressive and competitive. These are traits that some interpret to be examples of toxic masculinity.

Healthy masculinity, on the other hand, is exemplified by self-reflection, embracing emotions (whatever they might be) instead of repressing them, and being comfortable with having one’s opinions challenged. 


Being an attentive and involved father. I can change a diaper one handed and I'm proud of that fact.

Image credits: probabletrump


Being there for your kids

Image credits: doravec88


When my dad was a kid, a bully told him to meet him after school for a beating. Dad simply never showed up and went directly home instead.

Image credits: ugagradlady


Washing your a*s


Being gay. I mean u are a man and you like man's. What could be more manly


Wearing short shorts. Lemme see them thighs.


My friends were amazed at how I "allowed" some drunk guy talk to my girlfriend for like 10 minutes at a festival. Bro, why the f**k would I care, she didn't seem distressed and enjoyed the conversation and I'm not insecure. She'd tell me/let me know if she was uncomfortable and needed help. I don't feel threatened, I have nothing to proof and my girlfriend is not some possesion I need to protect from other men.

Going up to the guy and doing whatever just makes you seem to radiate insecurity to me. Not manliness.


Crying; men can have feelings, too!


Talking to cats in a cute voice.


I had guys tell me it's unmanly to use/carry an umbrella.

Those wet, insecure bastards can go screw themselves!


Pedicures. If you work on your feet, you need to take care of them. Work boots will thrash your toe nails, give you corns and bunions. Additionally having your feet trapped in leather boots for 10+ hrs a day in the heat and sweat will make your foot skin all scaley and flakey. Go get a pedicure. They will not only take care of your toe nails and dead skin but you also get a calf massage and some places do a hot rock massage. It’s glorious.


Body trimming. Reduces your body odor, easier to wipe your a*s, makes muscles look bigger, penis look longer, and removes visible grey hair to make you look younger. Always feel great after a body trim.


Long hair, if you were in ancient times and saw a guy with long hair, that means he survived many battles for it to get to such a length.


Holding your friends accountable and calling them out when they’re being a d**k towards women or just in general.


Being creative/artistic. There's always been stupidity behind things like musical instrument choice. A dude playing a flute seems funny.. but being drum core or bass is manly. A leather smith is manly but sewing clothes is less so. It's all art.. it's all creative.


being a gentleman: polite, courteous, respectful, tactful, manners, some style, some sophistication, educated (you don't need your masters from an Ivy league, but just being well read is enough sometimes), friendly.

Far too many guys I see think it's still cool to be rude, lazy, unkempt, and stupid.


Buying feminine products for your SO. I have no shame buying tampons or pads when I do the grocery shopping, which is always. Men that get all embarrassed or won’t do it are the “unmanly” ones.

Image credits: atreus227


Wearing sunscreen. Nothing looks dumber than a guy who’s so afraid to seem “girly” that he gets turned into a lobster.

Image credits: an_ineffable_plan


Taking care of your skin. I hate how some of the guys I work with and serve with (I'm in the army) give me s**t for using products for my face and skin. But they also wonder why I get told I look like I'm 25 even though I'm almost 36. Because I take care of my body.

Image credits: Reasonable_Spare_870


Going to the doctor

Image credits: Ralphthewunderllama


Respecting boundaries.

Image credits: Unsolicited_Spiders




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My ex was a f*****g lil b***h about even *mentioning* feminine products or menstruation. I couldn't even mention having *"period pains"* without him complaining how gross it was and that I made him feel sick for mentioning it. I was rarely around him when I was on, but I hate to think how unhelpful he would have been.

My dad on the other hand, quite a lads lad, has no issues. He used to track my mum's menstruation because he found it easier than she did, and he was always more than happy to nip to the shops and pick up feminine products. "Do you need ladies things?" He used to ask me. "What flavour do you need?" His joke, but he was referring to whether it was pass or tampons, and what flow.

Oh and I just remembered that that same ex wouldn't buy his own f*****g Pokemon game because it's "Not manly". I haven't known such a insecure stupid little b***h before or since.


I have a beard that would make sasquatch jealous. I like scotch whiskey, Dominican cigars, and American motorcycles. I worked most of my adult life as an ironworker. But none of that is the manly part:

When my daughter was 3 to about 6 or 7, it was common for me to go to work with my nails painted every color of the rainbow.

Letting your little girl paint your nails is manly as f**k, gentlemen.


Wearing "girly" colors.

Imagine being so insecure with your own sexuality that you can't wear a purple or pink shirt. It's sad, really.

I have a bunch of purple and pink dresshirts, and I have only ever been complimented on them!

Image credits: PM_ME_ENORMOUS_TITS


Ballet. Those dudes are strong!


Playing with your children



I've also been called a homosexual by multiple other guys for saying I like gardening.


Holding your wife's purse in public. I do a few push ups, a few pull ups, roll up my sleeves and show off the pump when I do it... be a man...


Being emotionally supportive and affectionate to other male friends. I've aways hated the concept of men should show emotions. Why not? I don't get it. If your friend is going through a hard time, giving them a simple hug could really help. Or just listening to them. Even if there isn't a problem, being friendly and platinically physically affectionate is sweet to me. Idky a hug is seen as " gay" lol hugs aren't sexual, it's a hug.


Eating salad. Taking care of your health is manly.


Compromising with your partner.


Having a tea party with your young daughters. I have drank more fake tea than anyone on Earth.


Crying. I know that older generations instilled the need for lack of emotional. But having emotions bottle up then explode later is not healthy.

Cry when you need to cry. If anything It shows you care about your own emotions, so you'll care about your partners too. And if anyone calls you names or makes you feel bad for being emotional, then that person is the problem. Not you.


Being a nice guy. There’s nothing manly about being an a*****e.


Was on a date with a guy once that held my hand every time I had to step up or down from a curb, and he lifted my hand lightly by my fingers. Thought it was the sweetest and most chivalrous thing.


Putting on lotion. I don't want to be touching no crusty a*s man.


Skirts. I saw someone say that anatomy-wise, men should be wearing skirts because pants constrict your c**k and balls.

I mean, when you think about it, a lot of men wear skirts or skirt-like things historically. The Romans, the Greeks, the Chinese (hanfu), the Scots (? I.... think that's where kilts come from).


Standing up for women’s rights or telling your friends not to make sexist jokes. “The guys” will make fun of you, call you a wuss, and the added social pressure tries to keep you in line. But the Manly thing is to face that pressure even though it’s uncomfortable and stand up for what you know if right.


Recognizing that we all need some help sometimes and both helping other people and accepting help yourself.

Kindness is manly af


Cooking and washing the dishes right after!


Realizing you are wrong, learning from it, and becoming better because of it.


I’ll start: Admitting when you’re wrong.

When anyone with eyes can see your earlier statement was misinformed, taking accountability and control of the situation with a simple “Yep. You were right, I was wrong. Here’s what we’ll do now,” shows leadership, responsiveness, and confidence.

Trying to deny or defend or justify your earlier statement comes across as insecure and reactive or oblivious, none of which are qualities traditional “manly men” try to embody.




Tea party with toddlers


Being in touch with your emotions


Not being concerned with other people’s quantification of your manliness.


Getting up every f*****g day to go to a job you hate, doing it with a smile because that's how you keep your kids fed, housed and healthy.


#Standing up for men who can’t stand up for themselves.


Admitting defeat. What's "unmanly" (or "unwomanly," really) is throwing a tantrum, denying reality, or refusing to soldier on.


Showing your emotions


I’ve always been more attracted to “manly” but smart and funny. I was dating an honorably discharged marine who is now a pastry chef for maybe 2 weeks when I mentioned he’s the best of both worlds. He’s manly and strong but also smart and gentle. His response: “I know. I built this narrative.” Known each other for 14yrs, dated for 7, married for 5. Absolutely in love.



Dudes that can dance get all the sex.


The ability to cry and express your emotions


Reacting graciously when a gay man makes a pass at you.


Keeping your pubes trimmed, c**k shaved, and your junk and a*s clean and washed.


Remember reading some guy saying something like "My kids need to know who is the king, and it's all in the small things. For example, I always get served food first, no matter what, even if I'm late. Because that's what being a man is all about". And while reading that I couldn't help but think how sad it is to base you personality in a trope, but even if we go for the stereotype of what a manly man is, isn't it more manly to make sure your kids eat first so you are sure there is enogh for them, willing to go hunger as long as they don't have to?


Honestly, pretty much everything that some people consider unmanly. Things like personal hygiene, taking care of your kids or spouse, and being emotionally available are all manly as f**k.


A good quality pink cotton shirt.


Taking care of your Hygiene.
Clip your nails, use stuff to make you smell good.
Basic hygiene is manly.


Not giving a f**k about what other people consider to be manly.


Driving a minivan.

There is literally no better proof of your virility than driving a minivan full of children.


Being vegan. You have to stand up for your principles in the face of near-universal mockery and derision.

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