This weekend I was told by an acquaintance that I wasn’t a real man because I didn’t have a driving licence.
I smiled it off, which was odd for me.
Later that evening, when observing my French Poodle, Lucifer, the same acquaintance told me that a dog like that was not, I quote, ‘a man’s dog’.
And I started thinking (amongst other things): well, what actually do you have to do to qualify to be a man? I mean, if there are such strict rules that disqualify a person from this esteemed club, then there must also be certain rules that guarantee their membership. Surely. Right? Isn’t that how these things work?
If I did learn to drive, bought myself a Bentley (or whatever the fuck) and traded my beautiful French Poodle for a snarling Alsatian, would I qualify?
Probably not. Because the other day, I was told how effeminate I looked in the workplace on account of the pink shirt I was wearing (thank fuck he’d not noticed my Vivienne Westwood diamante cufflinks, eh?). The Man in question this time was wearing a polo shirt that didn’t do much for his considerable figure.
So now, not only do I have to get myself a new dog, learn to drive, but I have to sort out my wardrobe as well. I need to trade all my nice, fitted clothes and dress like a builder. And does having a large stomach help? Both Men in question were portly. Does psychical proof of gluttony in some way show the world that I am a Man who will not take into consideration such petty concerns as eating healthy and exercise?
Is there anything else? I don’t own the place I’m living in right now. I’m renting for a year. Do I need a mortgage to prove to the world that not only can I eat lots of food, wear polo shirts and drive, but I can also EARN A SHIT LOAD OF MONEY ..?
Also, I listen to pop music quite a lot. Abba. Annie. Britney. Even Rachel fucking Stevens, when I’m feeling particularly unManly. What music do Men listen to? Country, I suppose (but not dear Dolly, obviously). Or maybe monotonous, thumping house music.
I had, until very recently, a beard. I thought that might inch me a little closer to being a Man.
If only it were as simple as having a penis or the right chromosomes.
And if I’m ‘Not a Man’, then what, exactly, am I? Am I female? Are these Men implying they want to fuck me? (Because Men – Real Men – will fuck anything.) I think the subtle implication is that I’m gay. Which, by extension, means that homosexual males are not actually Men, but some other breed of human. The third gender. (Are lesbians not women, I wonder …?)
And not that I need to explain it, but here’s a little background on the driving thing. I lived in London since my early twenties. Parking spaces are £50k and the only people who own cars are drug dealers and Uber drivers. But perhaps I should have learnt so I could join the Man Club, eh?
And besides, most of my time there was in Hackney. Would you like to park your car on Mare St in 2006?
And regarding Lucifer, here’s the thing: when you insult a someone’s dog, it’s like slagging off their child. (Although I suppose it wasn’t an insult at the dog, rather a passive aggressive dig at me.)
Anyway, when the guy mentioned to me about not being a Man because of the breed of dog I own, I turned to him and said, ‘I don’t suffer from those sort of insecurities.’ Which, in hindsight, was quite a cutting little comeback (and also true).
Anyway, here’s to not being a Man. Because Real Men. Men like Jeremy Clarkson or Piers Morgan or all those assholes are nothing more than children with bank accounts (and, of course, driving licences).
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