19 Manly Traits That Need to Be Left In The Past

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Society sometimes dictates what it means to be “male” and “female.” Things do change over time, and traditions have begun to soften. Many male gender role expectations end up hurting, rather than helping, by restricting what men can and can’t do. With those restrictions can come a failure to grow and thrive emotionally. These are some gender norms from the past that should be left there.

Frowned Upon Hygiene Upgrades

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Men have traditionally been rough and tumble, meaning that they are stereotypically supposed to be rough around the edges. There is nothing wrong with putting a little effort into self-care, like getting a massage or going to the salon. Men are looked at as the ones to care for everyone else, but they can’t do that effectively without putting some much-needed care into themselves

Avoiding Preventative Musts

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Men are supposed to “tough it out” in all ways possible to appear strong, but sometimes, trying to uphold appearances is their biggest weakness. When men don’t take preventative measures like putting on sunscreen, it can lead to harm. Not only will baring your skin lead to premature aging, but it can also lead to skin cancer.

Ignoring Wellness Practices

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Guys have an impression that they get plenty of activity, and therefore, things like yoga and cardio machines are not “masculine” or necessary. The problem is that men need wellness activities just as much as women do. Yoga helps to strengthen your body and mind, and cardio exercises work to strengthen your heart and reduce the risk of high blood pressure. It isn’t feminine to care about how healthy you are. It is a must for everyone. 

GPS is Not Just for Women

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A long-held stereotype is that men are not supposed to stop and ask for directions. There is nothing weak about asking for help and guidance to get where you are going. Ignoring your GPS and being stubborn about knowing roads “like the back of your hand” will literally get you nowhere.

Don’t Ever Let Them See you Sweat

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Ironically, it is acceptable for a guy to sweat as long as it is physically, not emotionally. Men are not supposed to allow anyone to see their emotions. Conflicts are something to be avoided, getting upset is upsetting, and to be fully engaged in anything really, is not considered manly. When men don’t process and deal with their emotions, it can lead to stunting their emotional depth and maturity. Let it all out and go ahead, let them see you sweat it out.

Being Competitive is a Must

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Being competitive is fostered in male stereotypical behavior. It is actually celebrated to the point where it can be overpowering and uncomfortable. Yelling at the television, throwing a hat down on the playing field, and being generally aggressive in sports are all acceptable behaviors of the past that should be left in the past. Good sportsmanship should be the only manly way to play.

Having Superior Intelligence, Just Because

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Men are supposed to know it all and have superior intelligence for certain things. That can lead to something called “mansplaining,” which any woman will tell you is degrading and horrible. Society wants men to be leaders and take the lead when they are the appropriate ones to do so, but you don’t get to that top dog spot by merely being male. Unless you have expertise in something, keep quiet no matter what sex you are.

No Umbrellas Please

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Not only are umbrellas seen as a sign of weakness when it rains, but when a guy has a drink with the little ornamental ones, that is somehow unacceptable. Men have traditionally been the ones to throw back whiskey and bourbon shots, not partake in pina coladas. It doesn’t make you manly to get soaked by the rain or to avoid things that taste good. It just makes you miss out on the best parts of life. 

Real Men Wear Pink

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Traditionally, certain colors like pink and yellow were a sign that a man might not be as manly as they ought to be. One of the hottest trends for men’s clothing, however, especially in golf wear, is bright pinks and pastels. Men are wearing hot pink and looking hot everywhere, and women are enjoying their brighter side.

Men Do Cry

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It has long been unacceptable for a man to express emotion, especially when it comes to sadness and crying. Traditionally, men were supposed to hold their emotions in unless they absolutely couldn’t help themselves, and crying was simply not done. For men who want to appear weak, not being vulnerable enough to cry in front of others is actually weak. Only the strong can unapologetically show everyone how they feel.

Top Dog Shows No Mercy

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Pack's behavior dictates that the alpha male is the one who shows no mercy. That means that things like kindness, empathy, and compassion were traditionally seen as feminine traits. It takes a much stronger person to lead by gaining respect than to do so by being the most aggressive. Empathy is a must for anyone to be successful, so leave the macho at the door.

Manscaping is Feminine

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Traditionally, waxing your eyebrows, getting your hair colored, and ear piercing were all looked down on as being way too feminine. If a man spent more time getting ready than his girlfriend, he was called a metrosexual, as if there was some in-between for those who want to look their best and care for themselves. Women love men who take care of themselves, smell good, and aren’t sporting wiry and bushy eyebrows. So manscape away!

Making Fun of One Another

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In the past, men being men usually entailed hazing of some sort. Hazing included poking fun at men who didn’t measure up on a masculine scale. Nowadays, thankfully, that kind of retaliatory practice for not staying “in line” with masculine stereotypes is considered bullying like any other type. Men, you be you, and let others be themselves, and everyone can get along. 

Not My Job

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Most men ascribe to the notion that there are manly chores, and then there are those that aren’t manly. Traditionally, men have been in charge of taking out the garbage and yard work. Progressive men who are bunking toxic masculinity are going above and beyond to help out around the house doing “woman’s work” and crushing it. There is nothing wrong with chipping in and doing your fair share. That is gender judge-free.

Walk it Off

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Many men will bleed out before they will go to the doctor. It has traditionally been frowned upon for a man to engage in preventative care or to complain about an illness or injury. Being strong has nothing to do with being stupid. When you don’t care for yourself and get the medical help you need, that is not manly. Suffering through something isn’t masculine. It is unnecessary.

Doing Stupid Things

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In the past, men tended to get a pass for doing stupid things and engaging in poor behaviors. The “boys will be boys” mentality is unfair and biased. It is also a type of toxic masculinity that leads men to do things that they can’t take back and can ruin their lives. No, boys will not be boys if they are held accountable, which they absolutely should be!

Being Controlling

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One of the biggest stereotypes that are played out in most sitcoms and households around America is being overly protective of women, especially young girls. Men are supposed to size up their daughters' boyfriends to make sure they are worthy, but intimidating them and putting them through the rigors of being uncomfortably confrontational is not helpful for anyone. 

Being a Dismissive Dad

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In past generations, it was typically women who were engaged with their children, and men only got involved as a last resort, like “just wait until your dad gets home.” It is a proven fact that children who have fathers who are good role models and remain involved are much better emotionally than those who have vacant or uninterested fathers. It takes more than just being a baseball coach to be a dad, and thankfully, more and more men are beginning to take the lead on leading their children.

Doing Unsafe Things

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Although men do tend to be bigger risk-takers, not all of them are or should be. Men, if someone needs to get onto your roof and look around, call a roofer. If your electrical work isn’t working, call an electrician. Doing anything differently just puts your house and family at risk. Stop risky behaviors to protect yourselves and the people you love.

What does it mean to be a man in society? There used to be very strict rules and guidelines that are thankfully beginning to blur. Toxic masculinity has gotten men into enough trouble in the past. It is time to leave poor behaviors behind and start being the best version of yourself, not your maleness. 

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