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What’s The Stupidest “Real Men Don’t ________” You’ve Ever Heard?

People who still use statements such as, “Real men don’t ________ are continually pigeonholing others into a false sense of what “being a man” means. Not only that, but “Real men don’t” statements are quite problematic and outdated. It perpetuates harmful stereotypes about masculinity, implying that showing emotions, vulnerability, and anything considered “less masculine” is a sign of weakness. 

Wear Sunscreen

Woman putting sunscreen on a man's face
Image Credit Depositphotos Goodluz.

To start, a user shared, “Wear sunscreen. Oh yeah, I know when I see healthy, youthful skin on a guy, I immediately think “this is not a real man!”

Eat Peanut Butter & Jelly 

A second user added, “I saw a video of a woman saying “Real men don’t eat peanut butter and jelly” and I was flabbergasted.”

Use Rolling Suitcases

This user commented, “My former boss would die on the hill of “real men don’t use rolling suitcases.” He’d sooner throw out his shoulder carrying a heavy duffel bag than ever be caught dead rolling a suitcase through an airport.”

Use The Word Cute

_Man kissing a woman's head. Woman looking happy
Image Credit Depositphotos MargoBennington.

A highly-liked comment was, “A guy at work described something his daughter did as “cute” and then some D told him that men aren’t supposed to call things cute.”

Hug Their Sons

One person wrote, “Hug their sons.” My dad hugged my brother for the first time when he was 18 and graduated high school. My dad was raised by his parents not to show outwardly love towards his children because that would “spoil” us. Our childhood was…odd.”

Use Coupons

A top-liked comment said, “I was at Joann’s, and the man behind me in line was buying something for his wife and didn’t have any coupons. I told him about the app and the website and offered to pull up my coupons for him to use. He laughed and said, “Boys don’t use coupons.” So weird. It’s free money. How fragile is your masculinity that you pay full price when you don’t have to?”

Talk In Normal Volume

Loud man yells into a megaphone.
Image credits: Depositphotos AllaSerebrina.

One user commented, “My friends once introduced me to this guy who was talking REALLY LOUDLY. I thought maybe he didn’t realize how loud he was, so I said, “You’re a little loud.” The dude said, “Real men talk loud. Chicks like that.” I did not like that.”

Read Instructions

man looking worried and thinking looking off to the side
Image credits: Depositphotos gstockstudio

Someone commented, “Read the Instructions.” I’m an engineer. I not only want to read the instructions, but I also want to read the entire installation process before I start anything. I want to know the entire path before me and not just stumble into something.”

Drink Fruity Drinks

Hype Man two men drinking at a bar having fun
Image credits: Depositphotos Deklofenak.

A popular comment was, “Drink fruity cocktails.” Dude, my cocktail has 5 spirits in it. It has way more alcohol than your 3.x% abv. beer and it tastes nice.”

Look At Their Nails Palm Down

One poster said, “I was told that really men never look at their nails with their palm down and would only ever look at their nails with their palm up and fingers curled. I gotta wonder how secure in your masculinity you’ve got to be to spend time thinking about the right way to look at your nails.”

Love Their Woman

Couple laying down hugging
Image Credit Depositphotos ArturVerkhovetskiy.

This user replied, “Real men don’t love their women as much as or more than she loves him. He must always love her less and be less emotional to hold more power in the relationship.”


man crying
Image credit: Depositphotos olly18.

Someone suggested, “Real men don’t cry. Real men bottle their feelings up, swallow them, drown them in alcohol, and let them ferment inside them until they form the perfect combination of rage and self-loathing. Then open it all up on people they love, push them away, and suffer from poor mental health for the rest of their lives. That’s what real men do.”

Change Diapers

Man holding his face with a crying baby
Image credit: Depositphotos AntonioGuillemF.

This user added, “Change diapers. We had four kids, and I was a union steelworker. I took a withdrawal on the union card because the cost of daycare for children was just ridiculous. I stayed home with our last kid. I had more than one ironworker tell me that real men don’t change diapers. I asked them what they would do if their kid had a dirty diaper, and they all said the same thing. They would have to sit in it until the wife got home.”

Wear Pink

Shocked man holding his glasses - pink background
Image credit: Depositphotos hozard.

An insightful comment was, “Wear pink. If my daughter has a Barbie-themed birthday party and asks me to wear pink, I’m wearing pink. Also, it compliments my skin tone.”

Get Their Ears Pierced

Man with earrings on
Image Credit Depositphotos amazingmikael.

This poster commented, “When I was 14, I pierced my left ear. An older cousin of mine worked at Piercing Pagoda in the mall (mid-90s), and he did it for me. When my father noticed, he was beside himself and went on and on about me being a sissy. I removed it right away. Anyway, it turns out that Dad was a self-hating closet case. Still is.”

Put Others First

man looking confused and surprised
Image credits: Depositphotos

Finally, a commenter said, “Real men don’t put others first. I have a big family, and many of my siblings have problems. I do my best to help them, even if it means putting their needs ahead of mine. My ex-fiance thought this made me weak. A real man doesn’t care for other people. He puts himself first and takes what he wants. Going out of my way to help my brother, lending him money when he needed it, and spending time giving him advice made me a little B in her eyes. We’re no longer together.”

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