No, I’m not going to tell you to “man up” or “grow a pair” in the “grand” tradition of empty, toxic machismo. I’m not going to subject you to a rigorous test of your masculinity, searching for any sign of weakness that might brand you a “snowflake.” As a matter of fact, we’re going to clarify who exactly is—and is not—a snowflake, once and for all.
It’s time to end the debate over what it means to be a “real man.” We’ve learned enough about our biology and our social programming to settle the argument. The verdict is in: we must no longer allow ourselves to be duped into blindly swallowing the poison of “hegemonic masculinity.” If we keep suppressing our full range of emotions and ignoring the science behind our behavior, life will continue to end badly for too many of us.
So, who is a snowflake, and who isn’t?
A snowflake is someone who is afraid of their feelings. Loyalty to the Cult of Machismo means strict adherence to an artificially narrow set of expectations. The stress of walking that tightrope is killing us. There’s a fallacy floating around that the “nu-male” must be a weak-willed, constantly weeping mess. This is a negative myth perpetuated by the cult. No one is expecting you to become a blubbering mess with no ability to control your emotions. Actually, it’s about learning to accept and integrate all your emotions into your everyday life so you can be more human, not some half-human creature that self-handicaps your feelings. You don’t have to constantly talk about your feelings if you don’t want to, but you should at least be free to exercise that option.
A snowflake is someone who thinks showing vulnerability equals weakness. A real man knows it’s okay to ask for help. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t have your best interest in mind. Don’t be just another tool propping up the crumbling edifice of the macho male stereotype. Don’t just tell your friends and family “I’m fine” when you’re feeling like shit about yourself. That way lies madness, literally.
A snowflake is someone who gets angry over the tiniest perceived slights. Having a hair-trigger temper doesn’t make you tough. It actually means your masculinity is as brittle as cracked glass. Reject the Cult of Machismo’s bullshit rule that other men are potential enemies. You don’t have to be on edge all the time.
A snowflake is someone who is afraid there’s a “war on men.” Women, immigrants, and other scapegoats aren’t coming to emasculate you. In a masterful use of misdirection that would make Machiavelli jealous, the Cult of Machismo has blinded you to the truth: we men can be our own worst enemies. Let go of the war mentality you’ve been fed, and use that energy to create a better view of yourself and the world.
How does one avoid becoming a real snowflake? If we want to be better men, then we must focus on creating better manhood. We must refuse to walk the narrow, twisting tightrope of shallow masculine expectations. You’re a goddamn human being, not an automaton only built for competition, domination, and violence. Take back your humanity, and be a real man.
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