What Does It Mean To Be A Real Man?

My work in the mental health arena has allowed me the opportunity to analyse a number of different aspects of this increasingly important issue, and in particular men’s mental health. One question that crops up time and time again is ‘what do you think makes a real man?’ There are many misconceptions and stereotypes about what makes a real man and when I started to write about this, it seemed to come out as more of a poem or spoken word piece than a blog. I’m delighted to say my words have been made into a short video by men’s mental health charity Brothers In Arms, which I’ll post as soon as I can. In the meantime here are my words on this subject.

‘Real Men’

What does it mean to be a real man?

Real men know how to put their foot down, and throw a punch.

Real men lift weights, watch football, they love a day at the races and a night at the boxing.

Real men build houses, they build roads and the engines that occupy them.

Real men are the life and soul of the party, and have all the best jokes.

Real men have a short back and sides, they love fast cars, expensive suits and have sleeves of tattoos.

Real men had tough upbringings and have all the scars to prove it.

Real men are bread winners, they never complain and never see a doctor.

Real men can drink you under the table.

Real men have all the best chat-up lines.

Real men join the police force, the fire brigade, the military.

Real men are independent, dominant, assertive and never let anyone or anything bother them.

Real men, are killing themselves, every single day.

Real men show emotion, they open up, talk about their feelings and don’t judge others when they do the same.

Real men need an arm around them, more than you know.

Real men get their heart broken, they get nervous, shy, show vulnerability.

Real men suffer from anxiety, stress, panic attacks.

Real men are meat eaters, vegans, vegetarians and pescetarians.

Real men are dancers, hairdressers, flight attendants…nurses.

Real men are from all backgrounds, classes and religions and come in all shapes and sizes.

Real men cry…for as long as it takes.

Real men, are only human.

and real men,

Are missed by those they leave behind.

I’ll ask you again, what does it mean to be a real man?