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"Man up"

AidanAidan Clever idiotPosts: 1,237 Fanatical Poster
edited October 2018 in Politics & Debate
Hey everyone!

So, I was replying to this thread https://community.themix.org.uk/discussion/3593024/can-i-ask-you-guys-a-question about how men and boys scarce seek outside help for their mental health, and one thing that came up was the phrase "man up" and the idea of manning up- and the idea that it's generally toxic.

I was wondering what everyone thought about "man up", and whether everyone thinks it's toxic or not.

To me at least, manning up always meant steeling yourself- ploughing through, getting something done regardless of whether you want to or not- a way of dealing with life's inevitable hardships through a temporary disconnect with yourself. Something you do when there's not another way of getting something done. 

I think it's only harmful to the extent that it suggest that women are incapable of doing so, whereas men can. Popular opinion seems to be that it's harmful because it pressures men into acting hard, or being something that they can't be. To me, it's always been a useful tool or motivation to get tough stuff done, by telling myself to man up and, just, manning up.

Do other people see "man up" this way, or differently? Do others think that there are healthier coping mechanisms or better things someone could say instead?

I'm interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks (:

Aidan

Comments

  • LaineLaine Llama Mama Posts: 1,336 Fanatical Poster
    I've always seen man up as quite toxic to men.

    Interestingi aee a lot of radical feminists tall about equality yet go on to say a guy should "man up" it gets used in my house a lot even for us girls but it's toxic to both all the same. 

    "man up" has really had a negative impact and influence on men, thinking they can't have a problem or let something get to them or be upset because they're a guy and should "man up" x

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 

    "Maybe it's not my weekend,  but it's gonna be my year" ~ All Time Low

    "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning friend" ~ TOP

    "What's gonna be left of the world if you're not in it?" ~ Bastille
    sarah11
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,237 Fanatical Poster
    edited October 2018
    Laine said:
    "man up" has really had a negative impact and influence on men, thinking they can't have a problem or let something get to them or be upset because they're a guy and should "man up" x
    That seems to be the general consensus- but it's interesting to see it used for women too (which just shows how detached from sex the phrase has become), though another way of looking at it is a way of empowerment; it's saying that you can do something, you're capable because you're a man.

    That is where my problem with it lies- aren't women capable as well?

    An extreme, historical example: men fought the world wars, but they were armed with tanks, ships, planes and guns made by women in dangerous workshops and factories, and helped by spies and resistance fighters who were women too.

    Everyone is to be allowed moments of weakness, that's human, but "man up" is a call to be strong, move on from mistakes and get something done about it.

    That itself is a positive message, but like all language "man up" is subject to interpretation and the way it is used is often negative- telling someone to "man up" isn't encouragement to many anymore, it's become an insult, to call somebody weak.

    It drives a positive image of men, which would be great, but it's an image that all men can't meet all the time, and usually don't even have to meet in the everyday.
    Laine
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 6,156 The Mix Elder
    edited October 2018
    I see what you mean. Im not male so i dont think about this too much.

    To me the saying kinda mkes me feel weak. As i interpurt it as that woman are weaker. Because its considered as men are stronger. As when i was was abit younger - things like not maning up meant weak and that may aswell be a girl. Dunno if that make sense. 

    So I can see how can make people feel weak. As you feel like not muc of a man if youre not “manning up” . But it is not saying that those who dont “man up” are not a man, it just means to overcome a situation and being stronger?.   And that the the saying is Not “be a man” . (Or thats just how i interpurt things) b ut some do say that which i think is wrong compared to “manning up” tho think both could be worded differentlyBut im not sure how. Maybe somemthing more inspirational that could apply to both genders

    And if obssessed with emenim . In one of his songs it says “ Im standing up, ima face my demons, im manning up,ima hold my ground”
    I dont think thats meant to make people feel weak cause whos to say that “manning up”  isnt seeking help to face up to whatever it is. Think it takes  a lot to seek help

    It kinda reminds me of when people say things like “youre strong” for when people get through their thoughts of suicide. So are they saying that those who act on those thoughts are weak? Definetly not. It is a hard thing to do. 

     And this is a complete load of ramble mess. I did have a point in my head but i am not very good at explaining. Hopefully makes some sense and havent offended or anything
    I've learnt two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completly different. 
    Aidan
  • LaineLaine Llama Mama Posts: 1,336 Fanatical Poster
    I do agree Aidan and I'm sure I'll have something good to reply with later when my brain isn't so fried after that maths sessh 😂

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 

    "Maybe it's not my weekend,  but it's gonna be my year" ~ All Time Low

    "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning friend" ~ TOP

    "What's gonna be left of the world if you're not in it?" ~ Bastille
  • LabraBellLabraBell Future paramedic :)Posts: 202 The Mix convert
    Telling a guy to man up is just degrading. You're implying that the person in question isn't manly enough, and that can hurt. A lot. Psychological studies say many men control and abuse women because they feel the need to demonstrate their "manliness" so constantly telling someone to man up can do lasting damage.
    Hey, hey, hey everyday when I wake,
    I'm trying to get up, they're knocking me down.
    Chewing me up, spitting me out.
    Hey, hey, hey when I need to be saved,
    You're making me strong, you're making me stand.

    -Skillet, feel invincible.
    Aidan
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,237 Fanatical Poster
    edited October 2018
    LabraBell said:
    Telling a guy to man up is just degrading. You're implying that the person in question isn't manly enough, and that can hurt. A lot. Psychological studies say many men control and abuse women because they feel the need to demonstrate their "manliness" so constantly telling someone to man up can do lasting damage.
    That's an angle that I have never considered, that questioning somebody's manhood could lead to them doing questionable things to prove their "manliness". Thank you for that insight, it had never crossed my mind.

    It's unfortunate how it is taken as an insult instead of encouragement now, and it can feel to some people as a personal attack on their masculinity instead of motivation to use the strength they have within them already. We're more aware of what we say nowadays than ever before, because people are also more aware of what is said to them.

    Shaunie said:
    I dont think thats meant to make people feel weak cause whos to say that “manning up”  isnt seeking help to face up to whatever it is. Think it takes  a lot to seek help

    It kinda reminds me of when people say things like “youre strong” for when people get through their thoughts of suicide. So are they saying that those who act on those thoughts are weak? Definetly not. It is a hard thing to do. 

    I absolutely agree with that- there are different ways of being strong and using strength, and not all are necessarily good or healthy.

    I was wondering, if "woman up" was a popularised phrase, would it be seen in the same way people see "man up"? Would it be found as 'degrading' and as 'toxic' and other adjectives used here to describe "man up"? Curious to see if it would be treated differently, or carry the same connotations.
  • LabraBellLabraBell Future paramedic :)Posts: 202 The Mix convert
    @Aidan :
     I was wondering, if "woman up" was a popularised phrase, would it be seen in the same way people see "man up"? Would it be found as 'degrading' and as 'toxic' and other adjectives used here to describe "man up"? Curious to see if it would be treated differently, or carry the same connotations.

    The phrase "man up" is only a popular phrase because it came from an era where women were seen as the much weaker sex, and it was a big insult to be told to man up as the person is telling you that you're feminine, in a way. So if you think about it like that, "woman up" would be impossible.

    But then again, if the phrase "woman up" came around, it could be linked around the strength of women in that they fought for their rights, etc. So rethinking my previous statement, it could wholly be possible. 

    In my opinion, whether it's "Man up" or "Woman up," They can both hold offence in the way they're delivered. If you tell someone to man or woman up, you're in a way telling them that they aren't representing a specific sex to the standards they should, and in the gender fluid society we live in that's going to be perceived as pretty offensive to some.

    I personally object to the use of the phrase as a whole, including any alternate ways of saying it. It's probably overthinking here, but I think that telling someone to make themselves different because they seem weak is a pretty judgemental phrase. Instead of telling someone to get over it, it would be much better if the person supported them, helped them through whatever it is they're scared of / going through / weak about and encourage them to improve for their own good. It's a much better way to go about it then, and is less likely to cause a person to feel bad about their insecurities/fears/weaknesses. 
    Hey, hey, hey everyday when I wake,
    I'm trying to get up, they're knocking me down.
    Chewing me up, spitting me out.
    Hey, hey, hey when I need to be saved,
    You're making me strong, you're making me stand.

    -Skillet, feel invincible.
    Aidan
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 14,991 Part of the furniture
    I agree that these phrases – ‘man up’ and ‘be a man’ and ‘don’t be a girl’ are outdated. They equate strength with gender and they belittle emotion. It’s not a great idea to tell someone to man up.

    That's not to say these type of phrases don't work though. There's been moments in my life when I didn't need mollycoddling, and I've been told to 'man up' (often by my mother or father), and it's had the desired effect, gave me encouragement, and afterwards I've been thankful. Context is very important.


    Aidan
  • LabraBellLabraBell Future paramedic :)Posts: 202 The Mix convert
    @Skive said:
    I agree that these phrases – ‘man up’ and ‘be a man’ and ‘don’t be a girl’ are outdated. They equate strength with gender and they belittle emotion. It’s not a great idea to tell someone to man up.

    That's not to say these type of phrases don't work though. There's been moments in my life when I didn't need mollycoddling, and I've been told to 'man up' (often by my mother or father), and it's had the desired effect, gave me encouragement, and afterwards I've been thankful. Context is very important.


    True. It's definitely good to tell someone to man up sometimes, although it would still be better to say it in a different form.
    Hey, hey, hey everyday when I wake,
    I'm trying to get up, they're knocking me down.
    Chewing me up, spitting me out.
    Hey, hey, hey when I need to be saved,
    You're making me strong, you're making me stand.

    -Skillet, feel invincible.
  • MikeMike Posts: 1,706 Staff Moderator
    edited October 2018
    Absolutely love this thread. Reading it, this video came to mind:


    A spoken word artist talking about the idea of 'manning up'.
    just because you're not doing something perfectly, doesn't mean you're not doing it
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,237 Fanatical Poster
    I agree that "man up" is harmful, because it implies women are weak, and seems like you're calling someone weak rather than encouraging them.

    "You can do this" I think is a lot better; it still implies you can be strong and get through something hard, without having such strong "haha you weakling!" vibes or being casually sexist.

    Thanks everyone for your views, they are all important and you helped me (and maybe others who'll maybe read this) explore a bit about language and masculinity and encouragement.

    If there's anything anyone wants to add though, feel free.

    Thank you (:
    Aidan
    LabraBell
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 1,237 Fanatical Poster
    I liked that video Mike, thanks for sharing it, you can tell it's something he really feels about and he makes sense of the argument against "man up" and the masculinity beats everything idea.
  • LaineLaine Llama Mama Posts: 1,336 Fanatical Poster
    Sorry a late addition but coming get from a family who loves that phrase and used it growing up it really had an affect on my anxiety and mental state. 

    I felt worthless, like a coward,  like while my fears were irrational I wasn't allowed to still be scared or have that moment. 

    It really invalidated me and made me feel like I didn't have a disorder, that I was just being weak.

    I definitely agree maybe something encouraging would be better x

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 

    "Maybe it's not my weekend,  but it's gonna be my year" ~ All Time Low

    "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning friend" ~ TOP

    "What's gonna be left of the world if you're not in it?" ~ Bastille
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