Depending on who you ask, the traits we traditionally associate with different genders are a natural byproduct of the traits and instincts we're born with or an archaic method of defining personality that only reaffirms the roles we're assigned in society.
In my experience, the people who favor the first argument are usually big fans of the phrase "feminist conspiracy," and those in the second camp tend to use the words "social construct" in casual conversation more than any person should.
I never got the chance to study sociology for a semester in college, so unlike many of the experts I've encountered online, I don't really have any profound theories concerning the motivations behind gender roles and stereotypes.
I only grew a beard because I was too lazy to shave, and I use my interest in craft beer and spirits as an excuse to drink too much, traits I think most people would traditionally associate with "manliness."
However, there are a lot of things that are frequently enjoyed by the archetypal men in romantic comedies and erectile dysfunction commercials that I just can't seem to understand the appeal of.
If anyone knows how I can enjoy these things more, don't hesitate to let me know. My reputation thanks you in advance.
1. Going to strips clubs with other guys.
Let's just get this one out of the way.
I can understand the appeal of visiting a strip club if you're a 40-something salesman staying in a motel without WiFi in a city in the Midwest where every other business is closed by 9 pm.
I don't understand how there are so many movies where a group of 20-something guys in a major metropolitan area decide there's nothing they want to do more than sit next to each other while naked girls give them boners.
Most people get that out of their systems after a couple of middle school sleepovers. I know I did.
2. Getting emotionally invested in professional sports.
Speaking of things I got out of my system in middle school, I used to have a borderline breakdown whenever the Boston Red Sox lost a game to the Yankees (which happened a lot), but I weaned myself off my freakouts after realizing my sizable emotional investment didn't justify the returns.
I'm a big fan of using sporting events as an excuse to drink at inappropriate hours, but even though I have a few teams that I favor, I find things are far more enjoyable when you care less about the final outcome and more about the plays that contributed to it.
I don't want to take anything away from the 50-year-old men who show up to NFL games with picket fences made of poster board they spent too much time making, but that's just not the life for me.
3. Constantly working on the engines of vintage cars.
Based on way too many movies and TV shows, a man isn't really a man until he's spent a lot of time using a socket wrench on the engine (preferably a Hemi) of a car made prior to 1979 before wiping his hands with a greasy rag.
I can't afford a vintage car and wouldn't have the space to to endlessly work on the engine even if I could, but I also don't possess the seemingly insatiable urge to work on a fixer upper that a lot of other guys do.
If I found out I had an uncle I didn't know about who passed away and willed me a garage filled with exotic vehicles, the only thing I'd really care about is whether or not it affects my tax bracket.
4. Trying to fight strangers at bars.
A lot of people seem to measure their self-worth based on how many times they can say, "You want to do something about it, bro?" to people at a bar over the course of the night.
These are the same people who tend to ask their friends to hold them back even though they aren't making forward progress in the first place.
As much as I'd love to punch someone in the face with no repercussions at some point in life (something I think more people would agree with than you'd think), I don't make doing that my primary goal whenever I'm planning to go out for the night.
5. Being totally obsessed with butts.
Just kidding. Butts are great.