Apparently, something we can do in our sleep and without effort, contributes to our manliness. It’s become a meme unto itself. Just google beards, and you’ll see endless graphics on why only real men have beards, and how if your man has a beard but doesn’t know what this car part is, then he’s not a man.
I tend to disagree. These days, when I encounter a stranger with a big, bushy lumberjack-esque beard, he’s starting off in the negatives with me. Now, I realize that right away, half of you out there are getting in a huff, and likely untucking your flannel shirt from your skintight jeans to cool off, but hear me out. There were, are, and always will be, men who are not really men. Just as there are women who are not really women.
The term Beta Male gets thrown around a lot. It’s meant to denote a man who is deeply submissive, particularly to women, and gets offended over things that have no effect on him whatsoever. I still believe in the term, despite its growing unpopularity in today’s society. It describes many postmodern third-wave feminist males perfectly.
Feminized beta males have latched on to beards like third-wave feminists have latched on to armpit hair, as a way to passively gain man points. They still act the same, still carry signs that say HER BODY HER CHOICE at an anti-Trump protest, still tell their gross female friends that their period blood omelet is a-okay, and that they’d love to try some but too bad they’re vegan. They wear flannel shirts because lumberjacks are manly. They do Crossfit because kipping looks like real exercise to them.
They hide behind big, fluffy, unkempt beards in the hopes of fooling the people that see them. In the hopes of fooling young “woke” girls into sleeping with them. A guy used to have to learn to play the guitar and break it out at parties and play Wonderwall to get a girl. Now he just grows a beard.
I used to be a massive beta male. I know what one looks like. I know what it feels like in their skin. I know they think they’re legit. I did, back then. I thought my brother was a sexist pig because he sexualized Chantal Kreviazuk instead of embracing her music. I used to put women on a pedestal.
Side note: You can be a good singer, have a true message, and have a nice ass. Not you, though, J-lo. You just have the nice ass.
I grew up. I realized that my childish thoughts weren’t really in line with living a happy productive life. I’ve found that since then, a lot more people find me easy to get along with as well.
I also still have a beard, but it’s well-groomed and defined. It looks better on me than a bare face, and it shows I can take care of myself beyond the basics.
I’m looking forward to the day when beards are once again not just a fashion statement. When I can look at another man and know he grew one because he genuinely likes it rather than what he thinks it says about him.
In closing, I have a daughter who could fix most basic problems on a car like changing tires, brakes, and lights, when she was three. She also ran my jigsaw when I renovated one of our bathrooms. She doesn’t have a beard. She’s six now, and more manly than half the bearded dudes out there.
Maybe the man makes the man, and nothing more.