Have You Seen My Mangina?

Man-hating gender-traitor Tom Matlack tries to pinpoint the source of his betrayal.

“You first became a mangina when you began wearing narrow-fit, open-collar paisley shirts, silver bracelets, and that dagger-and-snake necklace,” my college roommate and best friend Brian Pass recently told me.

“You’re borderline mancunt,” Joel Stein, from Time magazine, added.

There’s been plenty of criticism of my recent piece “Cleavage or Soul?” for presenting a supposedly negative deconstruction of masculinity—to wit: “As far as I’m concerned, there should be a bow season for trash like you.”

Nothing a lethal projectile can’t solve, I always say.

The consensus among my critics can be summed up in this comment: “Tom. Men like me have an enemy all right. And the enemy is man-hating, white-knighting, mangina apologists like you.”

♦◊♦

What does that even mean? Did I get lost in some poor woman’s vagina? Have I become some chromosome-scrambled human Labradoodle? Being repeatedly called a word I didn’t even know existed, I set out to investigate.

As far as I can tell, the term mangina comes from an illusion wherein a man “tucks his stuff” (i.e., hides his genitalia between his legs), thereby giving his pubic region a feminine appearance. The Urban Dictionary traces the popularity of the term to one oft-parodied scene from The Silence of the Lambs.

But how does this relate to my manhood? Did I lose it somewhere between my legs? If I had been called a queer, pussy, feminist, or even a metrosexual I might have understood. But mangina? In desperation, I reached out to some friends.

Tom Miller is the general manager of the women’s relationship website YourTango. He must know about manginas, I figured. But he responded to my inquiry with a clip from a Will Ferrell movie (and the suggestion that I start using the “C word” more regularly, to get my street cred back):

Konstantin Selivanov is a champion boxer and ultimate fighter. Back in Russia he’d open the door to his house with a hand grenade in one hand, ready to pull the pin, because of repeated KGB death threats. He came to this country with $300 and spent his first months here sleeping on a concrete basement floor with his young wife. A decade later, we train twice a week in his gym. “I don’t know, man,” he told me between sets. “You lift a lot of weight and throw a heavy punch, but man, it’s all between you and your ’gina.”

I tracked down a urologist who spends the summers in my neighborhood, figuring he must have some doctorly insight. “Maybe it has to do with how early you showed up at my house to make sure you didn’t miss a minute of Sex and the City?” he mused. Fair enough.

A rapper buddy of mine called me out for attacking one of his favorite artists for stripping down in Esquire. “Why would I want to know the reality of Katy Perry? She’s interesting because I can project on her what I want her to be. I think you became a mangina when you decided to seek out and live in reality. Many people use fantasy to get through their day. In most long term relationships/marriages you must think and do things that you certainly don’t want to do, or admit you do, if you ever have any designs on getting laid.”

“You being a mangina explains why your hair smells like breast milk,” photographer Ron Cowie told me. Wow, really?

I had taken a few lumps, but I was no closer to a real answer.

♦◊♦

“Could it have been the scooter and the man purse? Or the designer jeans with the embroidered logo you wore into Sing Sing?” James Houghton, my venture capital partner of the last 11 years, asked me. Nah, I don’t think the murse has much to do with it.

“I don’t think I know a straight guy who is more proud of his junk (which is what I think straight guys call it these days) than you,” one business school friend told me. “But you do own that God-awful full-length white leather Gucci jacket with shoulder pads and ribbing that makes you look either Martian or like the late Michael Jackson.”

“In my eyes you were forever a mangina when you didn’t take a job on Wall Street and then didn’t come to my bachelor party at the strip club,” another business school pal complained.

“When I saw you wearing a pink girls’ sports watch, I thought either this guy is very secure or he’s a chick,” Todd Dagres (a founding investor in Twitter) told me, sounding confident that he had figured out this mangina thing. “But since then I’ve discovered that you just don’t give a shit what people think.” My heart sank in disappointment.

“I think the proper usage is to say one has a mangina, not that one is a mangina. As in, ‘Don’t get your mangina in a bunch,’” a hard-core gamer offered in passing. Thanks for the grammar lesson, but that’s not helpful.

Don Foote is a rock musician, my general contractor, and my go-to manhood guru. “Dude. You and your supposed critics are a lot closer than you let on. Thicken up your skin,” he said, trying to slap some sense into my mangina.

“The blamers and haters (male and female) can’t figure out why they are not happy, so they get stupid, and blame something outside themselves. Suck it up and admit that you are your own problem, and work on being happy—that’s what a man does. That’s what a woman does.”

Despite getting philosophical on me again, Don was onto something. But I wasn’t satisfied yet.

Paul Kix, a senior editor at Boston Magazine, finally came up with something concrete for me to consider. “You’re a business success in a male-dominated field, which would normally exclude you from an allegiance to manginas,” he said. “That said, your voice cracks when you’re angry—like a high-pitched crack, as if femininity itself were boring through to the surface.”

♦◊♦

Finally, I was getting warmer. I felt sure an answer was within reach, so I emailed my buddy Grant Gund (his dad owned the Cavaliers when they drafted LeBron James). He’s been in enough professional locker rooms to sniff out a mangina a mile away. The email that came back had no text—just a picture of me dressed up as Kiss lead singer Paul Stanley last Halloween.

I had no idea where Grant found the image, but I stared at my eye makeup and exposed nipples for a while. It was the long look in the mirror I had been waiting for, and it came with a revelation:

I am a mangina, I whispered to myself. I stood up from my desk and said it louder: I AM A MANGINA!

My 5-year-old came running into my study, Wii remote in hand, with a questioning look on his face. “Daddy?”

“Son, it’s all right. Daddy is very, very happy,” I reassured him, not wanting my newfound identity to frighten him.

Just to be sure, I checked with my friend Bennett, who I met my first week of college. He wore a sundress to orientation (or a kilt, I can’t remember) and we have been friends ever since. The guy has more guts than I ever will.

“If those guys come for you with a bow, just put it on your hair! I hope it’s a cute color!” he began from somewhere on the left coast, where he teaches acting. “From where I stand, you smell like chest hair and Old Spice. You are manlier than I can ever hope to achieve. I am a fag. I am a proud, wrists-arcing-through-the-air, pinky-raising, loafer-wearing, scarf-tying sissy. You, sir, are a father. You also scrog women. Right there you out-butch me.”

This self-proclaimed fag was trying to reassure me, but as I laughed, I confirmed what I had suspected all along: Being a mangina is loving guys like Bennett and all my other friends, because they show me that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to manhood. It means not entering into a misguided zero-sum battle of the sexes, or imagining that women are the enemy. If that is what my critics are talking about, they are definitely right. I am a mangina, and damn proud of it.

Just as I was embracing my inner mangina, I got an email from Peter Hunsinger, the publisher of GQ, with a confessional: “I am a mangina because I always clear my golf dates with my wife’s schedule before I book them.”

Then I recalled what a fellow writer, Micah Toub, recently wrote in the Globe and Mail:

“If that makes me a ‘mangina,’ then I’ll put that on a T-shirt and wear it,” he concluded.

Better make that three, my friend.

♦ ♦ ♦

Tom Matlack, together with James Houghton and Larry Bean, published an anthology of stories about defining moments in men’s lives — The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood. It was how the The Good Men Project first began. Want the book? It’s free with a Premium Membership. 

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

Comments

  1. Mangina: a. A male appologist for the feminist movement. b. A male who promotes the feminist agenda of enslavement and subjuation of men. c. A man who betrays his kind.

  2. Peter-Andrew:Nolan(c) says:

    Hey Tom?
    I read your next article above. In my prior comment to you I wrote as follows:

    “Why don’t you do some articles about how ‘good men’ like me get hated on and abused endlessly by so called ‘good women’ for having the termerity to tell our wives that are no longer welcome to steal from the family finances and lie to their husbands?

    And how about you write some articles about how ‘good men’ get 5% of the proceeds of their 25 years of labour while ‘wifey’ gets 95% and how ALL the women support that? How about you write some articles about the crimes being committed in the Family Courts against ‘good men’? How about you tell the young men: “5% is the new 50% if you are a man.”

    How about you challenge the ‘good men’ to start openly calling western women the liars and hypocrites they have so thoroughly shown themselves to be?

    How about the ‘good men’ start holding women accountable for their actions? As we do men.

    We do all this? THEN we might get somewhere.”

    I don’t see ANY of these things discussed in this article. Do you? I mean? Am I missing all these points? Are they hiding somewhere?

    Instead you do what manginas always do. ‘Obfiscate’ and ‘avoid’ the real issues at hand. You responded with a brain dead article aboue ‘what is a mangina’ when you could have easily bought “Men are Better Than Women” by Dick Masterson and had it explained to you in private.

    Or you could have gone over to http://www.menarebetterthanwomen.com/forums and had any of the 1800 or so members there explain your manginaness to you.

    How about you talk about the REAL issues of massive levels of crimes being committed against ‘good men’? Just a suggestion, eh?

  3. Peter-Andrew:Nolan(c) says:

    Here you go Tom. This is where allowing manginas in management gets you.

    http://www.henrymakow.com/veteran_uk_soccer_broadcasters.html

    Women are allowed to commit the crimes of perjury, extortion, kidnapping and theft ENDLESSLY. But two men have a PRIVATE conversation that is recorded and the women are all ‘upset’ and the men need to lose their jobs because they are ‘sexist’.

    Men like YOU support this Tom. And you know it.

    If the grrrrrllls are so empowered? Why are they so ‘upset’ at words while telling men they should ‘man up’ when they ruin our lives by committing crimes against us back by a tyrannical state that daily violates the Magna Carta?

    Did the women never hear ‘sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me’. It’s about time brain dead manginas like you woke up to what is really going on, retrieved you balls from your wifes purse, and chose to defend your children from a state that is totally out of control and is stealing property off men like it’s going out of fashion.

    You have two boys you say. Do you know what alimony or child support is? Nothing but stealing. Men like you promote the idea your sons can be robbed of all they have ever worked for for no better reason than wifey committed adultery and prefers the new ‘thug’ to her husband. Vows mean nothing to women and manginas.

    THAT is what YOU support by being a mangina Tom. You support a system of slavery and robbery for your children when they become men. Well done.

  4. Wow. I feel like the mangina because Joel Stein, a self-proclaimed Nancy, used the word “cunt” and I said “c word.”

    Tom isn’t advocating the pussification of America. He’s fighting the douchification of the American man. Pop culture (“the media”) manages to portray men as rods, doofuses and jags. On prime time TV, a number of the comedic characters are hapless men dragged around by their ball-busting wives whom they can’t leave because the husbands have out-punted their coverage in terms of looks. On reality TV, the cool dudes are borderline sociopaths who will do or say anything to drag some club trick back to their smash room. Are all guys really like that?

    Esquire is a middle brow magazine who seeks to appeal to the greatest common factor in men. Apparently, it’s boobs. By that calculus, some of us like hot rods, some of us like politics, some of us like video games but all of us like the female body (sorry, 95% of us). And that’s great to beat off to but not someone to actually “love.”

    I do disagree with a few of Tom’s stances, for instance, I know a few models who are interesting ladies. And his replacement list isn’t my cup of tea either (I’d rather jam honey up my culo and squat on a fire ant hill than hang out with Millionaire Matchmaker). But I appreciate the sentiment that we’re doing ourselves a disservice by perpetuating the bro-ed out stereotype of being a bunch of walking hard-ons who spend more time chanting “show us your tits” than thinking “how can I leave this shit hole a better place?”

    We all know that character (or whatever intangible that you personally dig) goes further than a pretty face and great figure, because eventually you get tired of fucking even the sexiest of bodies.

    Esquire is a fine magazine but the question remains, is a “man at his best” just fantasizing about sexing up seemingly vacuous women? Even Playboy interviewed Ayn Rand with the idea that there was more to being a well-rounded man than staring at a broad’s ample front porch.

    And, for the record, tucking your junk is pretty hilarious even if you don’t add, “I’d fuck me.”

    Let me know if I missed the point.

    • Tom Matlack says:

      Tom you got the point perfectly. BTW I wasn’t holding up my list as anything but my own twisted preferences. I am sure you have your own list of interesting women in the world, without my girl the matchmaker on it. Part of what I was doing with women like her and Chelsea and Gaga is to say that they completely do not accept the superficial model of womanhood and sex. They make it cool to come right out and say what sex is all about from the female perspective. God only knows Gaga and Chelsea are pretty screwed up in any number of personal ways, but I really respect them for that, giving my daughter permission to have a different model of female sexuality.

      • Yeah, no matter how screwed up they are, you still “respect” them. The fact that you can’t manage that same respect for men is what makes you a mangina.

    • He should fight the “douchification of the American man” by saying something. Direct and clear, that’s what’s missing. Appeal to us average guys who aren’t that subtle. There’s nothing wrong with subtle satire, just leave us dogs a bone. What do you mean?

  5. What does that even mean? Put this on a T-shirt!

    Mangina

    -A male feminist. A man who is overly concerned with women’s issues to the point of complacency or contempt for those of his own gender.

    -Caused by extreme need to seek approval from females to the point of eradicating his own self and becoming a servant eunuch.

  6. This article should have been called “mangina dentata”. :)

    Plus, speaking as a trans guy – I’ve got a real, actual, right-here-in-my-underwear mangina, and it’s not doing anything to make me more female (despite the days when I wish it would). The word is just another tedious way for macho boors to belittle femininity and deny emotionality to men.

  7. Hemi Yemi says:

    Wow, kinda scary when you think about it.

    http://www.privacy-tools.au.tc

  8. If you are a mangina, does that make me a chick’a dick.?

  9. he should smell it too.

  10. I have to say Tom – this is one of the best piece’s I have read on GMP (and there have been many.) I love the ability to not take oneself so seriously. That is missing in a lot of the responses, vitriol, talking at, reactions, arguments, etc all over the GMP site. Humor! Talk about a manly quality! WTG

  11. I agree with peter. Matlack is doing the same socon routing for trying to “Stop the douchification of men.” If we’re acting like douuches or dropping out of society or whatever, it’s because we know there’s nothing for us. The feminist nest of vipers reduce our status to little more than ATM machines and punching bags, and we’re sick of it. If you meet a boy who has to pay child support to a 30 year old woman who raped hm and got preganant, are you going to give him a “good man” lecture while he tries to meet impossible demands?

  12. I enjoyed this story, mostly because I read it as satire. (oh God I hope it is satire) nobody could be that obtuse as to look at the term mangina and look for a literal definition. (ie: tucking your junk)

    Here’s a simple test to see if you are a mangina…
    Write an article on gender issues and men. If the majority of positive comments you receive are from women, and the negative comments are from men…you are a mangina.

    The Peter Hunsinger quote “I am a mangina because I always clear my golf dates with my wife’s schedule before I book them.” it’s a great example of a mangina. but not the definition. If he does this to be considerate, that’s great – a marriage of equality and partnership – If he does this because he need to ask permission or to avoid conflict with whatever the wife had planned for him to do that day, that’s not great – not equality and not a partnership, but a great example of appeasing.

    As for the “C-word”…I (and most men I know) find the use of that word abhorrent , and its use isn’t an issue of gender, it’s an issue with upbringing, like a person who drops the F-word like it’s punctuation.

  13. Transhuman says:

    Some people are less forgiving of differing opinions and may, from time to time, assign insulting epithets to their debating partners. Some men who use this term have been deeply hurt by women whom they loved and have very little time for men who appear to support their ex-spouse’s misbehaviour. While I understand it, I don’t agree with it. If you truly find an enemy then take the time to learn from them rather than pigeonholing them; one’s opponents in life will teach you things friends would never dream of.

  14. This is one of the many reasons I love reading Matlack’s pieces.

  15. Peter Houlihan says:

    Thats bloody hilarious. :D Good writin’

    I think the whole mangina thing stems from the same place as the idea of a “class traitor.” Somehow I feel more insulted by Hugo Schwyzer’s articles (sorry Hugo) than I would of a woman posting the same stuff. After all, he has a penis too, hes supposed to get it. But I do my best to tuck that feeling away, its not rational, people are entitled to their point of view (even if I think they’re wrong) and it just helps deepen the partisan nature of gender politics (which isn’t something I want).

  16. “The blamers and haters (male and female) can’t figure out why they are not happy, so they get stupid, and blame something outside themselves. Suck it up and admit that you are your own problem, and work on being happy—that’s what a man does. That’s what a woman does.”

    This is timeless.

  17. “gender-traitor”? Wtf? Writer is wack.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] However, I also love it when we can inject some humor and satire into this discussion. A common knee-jerk reaction to men who aren’t willing to swallow society’s definition of a real man and who are willing and able to criticize and reflect on these concepts, is to label them a misandrist traitor. This is why I loved Tom Matlack’s piece entitled Have you Seen My Mangina? [...]

  2. [...] Matlack’s “Have You Seen My Mangina” inspired this comment from a colleague at YourTango.com: Tom isn’t advocating the [...]

  3. [...] been plenty of debate over Tom’s latest editorials—see here and here—centered on why it’s problematic to vilify smut and its (mostly male) consumers. I’ve [...]

  4. [...] Are they just yanking my chain with the Randy Zgolinski bit? Cuz every time I see my wife’s maiden name after my birth name on the bill, I’m reminded that she brings home the bacon. I’m reminded of my mangina. [...]

  5. [...] He could be a little less of a mangina, but no one’s perfect. Source: Babble [...]

  6. [...] out the list is our own Tom Matlack, who has endured stints as an MRA punching bag. He explores “Adultery’s Double [...]

  7. [...] out the list is our own Tom Matlack, who has endured stints as an MRA punching bag. He explores “Adultery’s Double [...]

  8. [...] to:  Have You Seen My Mangina? I liked your article about Esquire. It was not as much apologizing to women but saying to men, [...]

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  10. [...] about me here). That time, I took my clothes off and put a picture up of myself with make-up (“Have You Seen My Mangina?”) to admit to my obvious [...]

  11. [...] must not define themselves simply as ‘not femininity’. Anti-feminists have chosen to aggressively question the masculinity of men who support the feminist cause, so it behooves us to fight back by cutting the very idea of [...]

  12. [...] MRA (I only learned what that even meant well after starting GMP when I wrote a piece that caused my name to be forever connected with the term “Mangina” in some people’s mind) but the circle of divorced dads like me trying to sort out visitation with their kids and [...]

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