Stereotypes heaped on top of even more stereotypes. Sometimes it feels like life is just one never-ending generalization about how people should act instead of looking at the reality of how they actually behave. Case in point, the men of Reddit have been sharing all the things—big and small—that they love doing but that society considers to be feminine or ‘just for girls.’
And, you know what? The thread, started up by redditor Schright_dwute, is surprisingly refreshing. It’s full of honesty, good humor, and so many genuine answers, it might just help you relax and forget all of your troubles for a moment. It’s pleasant to read about people talking about what they love.
Check out some of the best responses below, upvote your fave ones, and let us know what you thought of the topic in the comment section below.
Skincare! Using basic toner, moisturizer, and sun screen. It has long been considered ‘girly’ to do these but it leads to interesting conversations with girls! Also it feels good to have a routine before bed and taking care of my skin!
Image credits: EpikTin
Sewing and designing clothing. I’m not talking about screen printing cringe phrases on bulk purchased shirts I mean full on outfits and garments.
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Manicures. I’ve only had it done twice but man it was so relaxing. Just having a moment of peace to myself not to mention the way my hands felt afterwards worth every penny.
Image credits: Ibz89
Schright_dwute’s thread got more than 18k upvotes, 69 awards, and got over a whopping 11.7k comments which just goes to show that a great question can start a wildfire of a discussion. Their fellow redditors debated everything from how nice hugs are (they really are) to how powerful ballet is and more.
However fun and refreshing the thread on r/AskReddit might be, it does raise some serious issues. Specifically, about how gender stereotypes are deeply rooted in society. As well as how people can feel pressured to heavily edit their passions, goals, and aspirations just for the sake of appearances and their reputations.
Candles. Nothing beats a pleasant smelling room!
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I accidentally bought women’s shower gel once and now use nothing else. It just smells so much better.
Image credits: TurdsforNipples
Ballet. I’ve always liked the look of ballet dancing, and when I was 20, after I got into amateur theatre, I started training in ballet. I’ve been very fit most of my life, I played football for 10 years, won athletics at school and I cycled everyday. Out of all the fitness training I have done over the years, Ballet is by the far the most difficult “fitness training” I have ever done, and a hell of a lot more fun than anything else.
Image credits: GeneralStoic
If you truly love something, whether it’s an activity or a ‘girly’ product, you’ll embrace it no matter what anyone else says. Who cares if the world thinks you’re effeminate? You’ll be the best darn knitter on Planet Earth and you’ll change the world.
But that’s far, far easier to say than to do with unseen (but always present) expectations breathing down your neck. Your confidence will be tested when you’ve got countless people looking at you weirdly like you’ve done something ‘wrong.’
My wife bought me flowers today. I love it.
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Pina coladas. Honestly any fruity drink. Got me f***ed up if you think I’m not gonna enjoy every sip of a drink I’m paying for
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Watch romance comedies, some of them are funny, relaxing, and generally good movies.
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Researchers reviewing theories of masculinity point out that men are expected to maintain a ‘stiff upper lip’ during times of emotional distress and upheaval. In short, men are expected to remain masculine through “emotional control, rationality, responsibility, and successful action.” Emotional expression is ‘allowed’ only in private but not in public.
Crying and showing strong emotion is not something I like but everyone always says “boys don’t cry” and I’m sick of that.
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Accessories. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. Don’t give me those ugly “tough guy” woven leather straps, I want a pretty silver chain with a fake-ass sparkly jewel hanging from it
My purse. Okay, it’s a brown leather bag, like a mini messenger bag, but seriously–it’s my purse. I carry my phone, my keys, a little cash, a couple masks, some floss, hand sanitizer, a pen, a couple guitar picks–you know, purse stuff. My wife loves it–it’s been years since I’ve asked her to shove my junk in her purse.
Image credits: 93WhiteStrat
Back in 1976, sociologist Robert Brannon put together an American model of manhood and what the ‘script’ for men in the 20th century was like. There were four main things that made a man, well, a man, in the context of the culture in the US.
Crocheting. It’s very relaxing and you create useful things. But almost every pattern I find is some kind of female clothing or accessory. There are pet toys but those are the only exceptions.
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Shopping! Big mall smells, the hustle and bustle, the new and interesting products.
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Strawberry Açaí Lemonade from Starbucks. That stuff is so good but you have to deal with all the comments on your fruity pink drink.
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According to Brannon, one of the four key tenets was not leaving room for any ‘sissy stuff,’ which meant putting vulnerability and openness to the side. The emphasis was on bottling up emotions so you weren’t perceived as weak.
I love strawberry daiquiris.
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Getting asked out.
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I do enjoy tea parties with little cookies.
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The second tenet was that men ought to strive for power, respect, and maintain a positive reputation among their peers. Social status and financial success were the name of the game back then and it was expected of you to try and become a leader in your local community.
Being the little spoon, crying, being spoiled
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I haven’t seen this yet, so… color. I feel like society wants me to to just wear black/grey/white/navy blue, and it’s stupid. I have a pair of pink jeans that i love!!
Image credits: ShiplapTravertine
The final two tenets of the American masculinity blueprint, according to Brannon’s research, involved being confident and self-reliant like a ‘sturdy oak’ that’s always graceful under pressure, as well as being tough, aggressive, and adventurous.
I love lavender, vanilla, and baby powder scented things.
I accidentally bought a baby powder version of my normal deodorant and loved it. I can’t seem to find it anywhere these days though.
It’s funny to me how some scents are considered feminine.
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Some women’s bodywash/soaps/lotions. The men’s stuff just smell like overaggressive nose-destroyers. The fact that these products are marketed to two different sexes doesn’t even make sense…
Expressing my feelings. I have to shut them down when I get the classic “man up”.
Image credits: Felipe_1989
Echoes of this blueprint can still be felt to this very day. Whether you see these features as something to be strived for or avoided, biological or merely social, is entirely up to you. But there are some major problems that come with repressed emotions.
Being unable to meet expectations while also being forced to keep your issues and emotions to yourself can lead to mental health issues, including depression which can, in turn, lead to suicide.
I’m a guy with hair down to the bottom of my shoulder blades. One evening, I was hanging out with a bunch of friends when one of them decided she wanted to braid my hair. Oh my God did it feel amazing! I love the feeling of someone else playing with my hair.
Image credits: MasteringTheFlames
Hugging your friends could be nice
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Sitting down while peeing. Much more comfortable, I dont have to worry about aim, if I get the urge to poop im already ready.
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When you’re ‘not allowed’ to ask for help or to talk about the problems that are making your life hell, you’re leaving yourself more vulnerable than you would if you reached out, saying that you’re unable to deal with your issues yourself. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s facing reality and the brave thing to do.
I sleep with stuffed animals. I’m a grown man. I do not care.
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When I am depressed, I just listen to sad songs and cry instead of drinking or keeping everything bottled up inside. Also, deodorants designed for women.
Fresh flowers. I love lilies.
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In your opinion, why does society frown upon people who behave differently than they ‘should’ according to their gender, dear Pandas? What can be done about this? What’s an activity or a thing that you absolutely adore but that society would consider to be ‘too girly’ or ‘too manly?’
Women’s deodorant. My pits smell like cucumber and lime. Strong enough for a man but made for a woman.
Image credits: FilledwithTegridy
Currently using my housemates “glitter unicorn” shower foam and I unashamedly love the way it makes me smell every day.
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Hand cream. Whenever there’s some in a bathroom I’m definitely going for that. Makes for soft awesome-smelling hands and finger joints that don’t look like tree bark.
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I generally wear all black, but I wear hot pink sunglasses as my accent color.
I also have a really unique necklace I like that they don’t make a “masculine” version of. So I just bought the women’s version cause I’m not that fragile lol
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Women’s gymnastics. Their weight to power ratio is ridiculous.
Makeup. My skin isn’t the best and I have a few acne scars that I don’t love, so one time I borrowed some concealer from my sister who’s the same skin tone as me and put it on. It was amazing, I couldn’t tell I had it on at all, and it worked like a magic eraser for all my blemishes.
I don’t use it all the time, but it does make me feel better if I have some on before going out sometimes. And no one ever expects it cause I’m a fairly manly looking brown dude with a pretty big beard. Little do they know I go home and wipe my makeup off while watching New Girl.
Painting my nails. I don’t know why, but I just love it. Its extremely therapeutic, and even more fun when you learn to do little designs.
A nice, hot, relaxing bath every once in a while. And a quality massage at a spa.
My grown, six foot tall, bearded, taekwondo grand champion brother likes My Little Pony. Not in a weird way, either, he just really enjoys the art and plotlines. He draws ponies and he actually met his girlfriend through a fan club. They draw ponies together and they’re both pretty dang good at it.
Weddings. I should be a planner. It’s soooo much fun
Chocolate covered strawberries. Or chocolates in general. Especially as valentine’s day is coming up, why the hell do the women always get the chocolates???? [Damn], give me some chocolates please. (I actually just buy them for myself).
Fresh flowers are legit. It’s like $10 a month to always have flowers in my room and it’s cool to see them go through their life cycle of blooming then dying. Every one is different and it’s kind of surprise to see what it’s actually going to look like. I have one other plant in my room and it never changes so it’s nice to have something that actually looks alive.
I love sweeter cocktails and drinks in general. Just cause I’m a man doesn’t mean I want to drink beer and whiskey
Cooking and sewing, although I’m not doing great by any measure. And by that i mean the expected standard for housewives. Also playing dolls when i was in primary school.
My daughter is at the age where all she wants to watch is disney princess movies. I get into them and I listen to some of the songs in the car by myself sometimes. I really like punk covers of them. Specifically the band stellar kart’s covers of “let it go” “a whole new world” “kiss the girl” and “for the first time in forever”
Sailor Moon. My 4 YO son got into it as well, he picked it out while we were scrolling through Hulu. Magical girl anime in general is now a hit with him.
Pusheen! Pusheen is cute, and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
I have Pusheen mugs, mousepads, plushies, pillows, blankets, bedsheets, Halloween decorations, Christmas decorations, cat bowls, cat toys, stationary, and the first book (“I am Pusheen”). I get e-mails from the Pusheen store, and I subscribe to the official sites on social media (the ones where I have accounts, at least).
Taking care of your skin. It’s cool to buy cool clothes to look good, to get the freshest haircut and go to the gym, but if you exfoliate or have an eye moisturizer guys act like you’re out of your mind.