Being a man is great. I have known this for 30 years now. Sure we may not have all the emotions at our disposal, like women like to tell us they do, but in my kettle bells class last night the women were told by the instructor that ‘this new exercise we are trying will require more effort from your bodies than the men’s in the class’. So I’m completely fine with my lack of emotional intelligence. It feels like a legitimately fair trade to me – I will work less hard than you for 45 minutes, and you, you are perfectly entitled to let it all out and cry about it. Did I jump for joy at the time? No. I don’t know how to do that. I’m a man, remember?
But cheating my way through a gym class isn’t the only reason to feel blessed to have been born with man parts. There are, in fact, many legitimate reasons to toast being a man in front of an open fire with a dram of something manly. Am I looking to turn this into a pissing contest? Of course not, I’m a gentleman. Also, we’d win at that too. Having adapted over the years a man can now relieve himself successfully of one-too-many sidecars in both the traditional standing position at a urinal or by the less conventional, and only try this at home on a toilet you have a made a long term commitment to, seated position. Which requires a little more concentration from you, and at times a guiding hand, but it is a position that also works great on days when you return home exhausted from watching the ladies in your kettle bells class work twice as hard as you. I find myself asking the same question a lot these days, ‘Why stand to do toilet stuff when you can sit like the women have been doing forever?’ They sure aren’t stupid, those women. That being said it would be incredibly crass of me to rattle off a list of everything that’s great about being a man. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly proud to be a man in Britain today, but I am very casual with it. The camaraderie I feel towards our British men especially, representing in film, fashion, and music, is not something I need to discuss here. We all know from only one preview image that model Matt Woodhouse’s Dsquared2 underwear campaign, which was photographed by Steven Klein, is the best thing to happen to underwear since Matthew Terry, also a man, twirled in his pants for Calvin Klein. And it’s okay to look at Matt bent over with no pants on without feeling like you want to go there. If Matt was man enough to go there then I will be man enough to behave respectfully and salute this man’s bravery without fear of women assuming I want to jump his bones. And in case you hadn’t noticed ladies, Matt is wearing the shit out of that eye patch. I can’t seem to recall ever seeing that level of commitment from ‘Gabrielle’ to be honest. Can you?
Another man who does not need a standing ovation is Manchester musician Bipolar Sunshine, who releases his new EP, Aesthetics, on 17th June. Have you heard his first single ‘Rivers’? Dead. This is a man who doesn’t give two fucks about releasing a song better than Beyonce’s ‘Grown Woman’. But he has done it with class, and has cast a ‘woman’ as his potential love interest in the video. I say that, but the two never spend any time together in the clip, so maybe they’ve already been married a while? And how could I not mention British actor… Apologies… Leading Man… Benedict Cumberbatch. A man so talented at playing other men that we can forgive his ‘interesting’ face and allow ourselves to properly enjoy a recently released deleted scene from Star Trek Into Darkness which features Benedict’s character taking a shower. I have watched the scene a few times now and I can’t tell you how much of a great advertisement it is for a man in his prime. Not nearly long enough. But I believed every moment of that fictional shower, so it is a real shame that it was not included in the theatrical release, and has only now travelled at warp speed across the internet as a means to detract from all the negative attention Alice Eve’s underwear scene in the film has received. No one wants to see that, Alice!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; being a man is great. But being supportive of your fellow man is something we don’t do enough of, because we are worried of what the women in our life will think – with their eyes. It's all in the eyes with them. So next time you are presented with a man in a magazine, film, music video or porno, do what feels natural and cheer for your brother. It’s okay to gaze admiringly at Benedict taking a shower. He forced 4,000 calories a day into his odd looking mouth to get that body! It would be rude of you not to look. And that doesn’t sound like appropriate man etiquette to me.
Written by Portis Wasp for issue 1 of JON.