15 “Unmanly” Things that are Actually the True Essence of Manliness

The concept of what’s “manly” is constantly evolving. Gone are the days when a narrow set of criteria defined manliness.

Today, we’ll share some activities and traits that might be perceived as “unmanly” but are, in fact, a testament to the true essence of manliness.

Let’s break some stereotypes!

1. Comforting Babies

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There’s an unmatched strength in the tenderness of a man who can soothe a crying baby.

Picture a strong, rugged man with a tiny infant nestled in his arms, calming the child with his gentle touch. This image shatters the conventional definition of manliness and showcases the power of nurturing.

2. Admitting You Don’t Know

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The strength of a man is not just in what he knows but in acknowledging what he doesn’t. In an age of information overload, admitting ignorance is a sign of intellectual honesty.

It’s about recognizing the vastness of knowledge and understanding that no one can know everything. This humility fosters a growth mindset, encouraging continuous learning and collaboration.

3. Upholstering, Not Just Sewing

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While some might dismiss sewing as a feminine activity, it’s essential to remember that upholstering is one of the original industrial arts. It’s a craft that goes beyond mere sewing.

It’s about restoring and preserving the beauty of furniture, giving it a new lease on life. This skill requires a keen eye for detail, an understanding of materials, and a passion for restoration, making it a blend of art and craftsmanship.

4. Dancing

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Learning to dance is not just about mastering steps; it’s about expressing oneself, understanding rhythm, and connecting with others. It’s a physical and emotional journey that enhances coordination, fitness, and social skills.

Dancing can break down barriers, allowing men to explore new forms of communication and self-expression, challenging traditional notions of masculinity.

5. Embracing Your Goofy Side

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In many professional fields, the most genuine and friendly individuals are often the most competent and respected. It’s a misconception that being serious and stern is synonymous with being manly.

Life is too short to always be serious. Embracing one’s goofy side is about finding joy in the little moments and not being afraid to laugh at oneself.

6. Choosing Peace Over Conflict

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True strength is not always showcased in combat or confrontation. Opting for peace, even when provoked, demonstrates emotional intelligence and maturity.

It’s about recognizing that conflicts can often be resolved through dialogue and understanding. Choosing peace over conflict is a testament to a man’s ability to prioritize harmony and the well-being of others over personal ego.

7. Pursuing Genuine Interests

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Manliness isn’t about conforming to societal norms but following one’s heart. Whether it’s an interest in arts, music, or gardening, pursuing genuine passions without fearing judgment is a sign of authenticity.

It’s about understanding oneself and finding joy in the things that truly resonate, irrespective of societal labels.

8. Tea Parties and Fatherhood

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Engaging in activities like tea parties with one’s child is more than just play. It’s about connecting, understanding, and building a bond based on mutual respect and love.

Such moments, though seemingly simple, profoundly shape a child’s perception of relationships, trust, and the multifaceted nature of manliness.

9. Expressing Love to Friends

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In a world where men are often conditioned to hide their emotions, expressing love to friends is revolutionary. It breaks the barriers of traditional masculinity, emphasizing the importance of vulnerability, deep connections, and genuine affection.

Telling a friend you love them celebrates the depth and richness of male friendships.

10. Owning Up to Mistakes

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Admitting errors is not a sign of weakness but of integrity and accountability. It’s about recognizing that everyone can make mistakes regardless of stature or experience.

Owning up to them fosters trust, encourages open communication, and paves the way for growth and learning. It reflects a man’s commitment to personal development and honesty.

11. Unconditional Love for Kids

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Loving children unconditionally goes beyond mere affection. It’s about providing a safe space for them to grow, make mistakes, and learn. It’s the foundation upon which their self-worth, confidence, and worldview are built.

A man’s ability to love his children without conditions is a testament to his emotional depth and understanding of true love’s essence.

12. The Grocery Shopper

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Navigating the aisles of a grocery store requires planning, budgeting, and understanding the family’s needs.

It’s not just about filling a cart; it’s about making informed choices that cater to the health and preferences of loved ones. This role, often underestimated, showcases a man’s dedication to his family’s well-being and his role as a provider.

13. Being a Protector, Not a Dominator

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True leadership is about guiding and safeguarding, not dominating. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels safe, valued, and heard.

Being a protector means prioritizing the well-being of those in one’s care, ensuring they have the tools and support to thrive. It’s a balance of strength and compassion, showcasing the depth of a man’s character.

14. Purchasing Feminine Products

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Buying feminine hygiene products is more than just a simple errand. It’s a gesture that signifies understanding, empathy, and the breaking down of societal taboos.

When a man purchases these products without hesitation, it showcases his support for the women in his life, emphasizing that their needs and comfort are important and should never be a source of embarrassment.

15. Mastering the Art of Hair Styling

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Learning how to style a child’s hair, especially intricate designs like braids, is a heartwarming act of love and care. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about bonding, listening to their preferences, and making them feel special.

This seemingly simple skill is a testament to a father’s dedication and the lengths he’ll go to ensure his child’s happiness.

The Deep-Rooted Issue of Gender Stereotypes

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From early childhood, society feeds us with gender stereotypes. Phrases like “Men should do hard labor” or “Little boys should like cars and fighting” are deeply ingrained in our culture.

Such stereotypes discourage men from expressing emotions and showing vulnerability, while women are often discouraged from displaying strength or confidence.

This emphasis on gender stereotypes stems from traditional gender norms, where women are perceived as submissive and vulnerable, while men are seen as strong and unemotional.

The Impact on Young Minds

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Young children are especially susceptible to these stereotypes. Even before birth, gender-based decisions like room colors and clothing are made for them.

By age two, children can recognize these norms and use them to shape their understanding of identity.

They often base their views on their primary caregivers and closest relationships. In a society where these stereotypes are enforced from such a young age, it’s crucial to question why they are so readily accepted.

The Consequences of Accepting Stereotypes

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Accepting these stereotypes can have long-term consequences. For instance, the book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray, written in 1992, outlined the perceived differences between men and women, suggesting that men should be cold and domineering while women should be vulnerable and emotional.

Such outdated perceptions can be harmful and limit individuals in their personal and professional lives.

Breaking the Mold

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While there have been efforts to break gender norms, studies have shown that even when women are shown in non-traditional roles, it can make other women uncomfortable and less likely to break norms themselves.

This shows how deeply ingrained these stereotypes are in society.

The Mental Toll of Gender Norms

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Enforcing traditional gender norms can have a significant mental toll, especially on those who don’t conform. While there’s a lot of research on the impacts on adults, there’s a gap regarding children.

Young children internalize concepts faster than adults, so the consequences of enforcing gender roles on them can be profound.

It’s evident that traditional gender stereotypes, especially those imposed on men, can be limiting and harmful. They affect not only personal identities but also professional choices and mental health.

It’s crucial to challenge these norms and create a society where everyone, regardless of gender, feels free to express themselves without judgment.

More from Viral Chatter

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Men, like everyone, have their own set of emotions, fears, and insecurities. However, societal norms and expectations sometimes make it challenging for them to express these feelings openly.

Here’s a list of things that many men find hard to put into words:

7 Silent Struggles Boys Face on Their Journey to Adulthood

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In a world that often focuses on the struggles faced by women, it’s easy to overlook the unique struggles that men go through.

Let’s look at boys’ multifaceted challenges as they transition from childhood to adulthood.


sources 1 2
Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/DepositPhotos.
  1. marymount.edu/academics/college-of-sciences-and-humanities/school-of-humanities/student-publications/magnificat-2022/boys-dont-cry/
  2. reddit.com/r/NoStupidQuestions/comments/15dld6g/what_are_some_unmanly_things_that_are_actually/

This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.