Real Man YKTTW Discussion

Real Man
Ideal, 'true' man.
(permanent link) added: 2012-07-03 02:53:30 sponsor: peccantis (last reply: 2013-01-08 16:32:42)

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Early dev phase.

One massive, incredibly pervasive trope we have somehow missed. We have a TON of tropes for separate, partial standards of Real Men but nothing to describe that mythical creature itself.

Machismo need to mentioned here, how?

Indices: Gender Dynamics Index, Always Male

Rolling Updates.


What is a Real Man? A standard of acceptable, ideal masculinity and grown-up male existence. Look at any film or ad produced between 1930 and 1960 and see if they don't scream that standard at you.

A Real Man is physically able, mentally stable, dependable, honourable, honest, more actions than words, sexually experienced if not victoriuos, heterosexual, righteous, fair and straight... And in a gone era where cigarettes still weren't seen as an addiction but a choice and an action of adulthood and freedom, he smoked.

His frame is ideally attained by actual labour, not working out at gym (that's dandyish or even fruity); his appearance overall is more gruff than polished; and his taste in women is quite traditional. A more modern expectation is to attract females and to be socially active.

A champion of a number of these standards may be called a man's man.

Opposite of The Boy (who might mature into a Real Man someday), and any mature male failing any important standard of the Real Man. Those get called nancies, sissies, etc.

Modern Distaff Counterpart is Real Woman, earlier occidental one is Proper Lady. See also Yamato Nadeshiko for a Japanese Real Woman meets Proper Lady.

Not to be confused with Gentlemans Gentleman, who is a highly civilised manservant, not a man's man who also happens to be a gentleman.

Note that the exact standards of Real Manhood do fluctuate with time, values, and geographical place. Thus some of the related tropes listed below contradict each other.

Sub Indices

Becoming a Real Man

Attributes of a Real Man

  • Carpet of Virility -- not having chest hair growth is childish and removing it is womanly, therefore every last inch of a Real Man is covered in hair
  • Men Don't Cry -- being emotional and showing vulnerability is a childish and womanly thing, therefore a Real Man never weeps
  • Manly Men Can Hunt -- knowing how and being able to hunt is an essential skill for a man, therefore a Real Man can hunt
  • Real Men Cook -- not knowing to cook is childish and inadequate, therefore a Real Man knows how to prepare his meals
  • Real Men Eat Meat -- salad is for rabbits and dieting women, and as such not something a Real Man eats
  • Real Men Hate Affection -- being affectionate is a womanly thing, and as such something Real Men do not do
  • Real Men Hate Sugar -- liking sweet things is a childish/womanly thing, and as such something Real Men do not do
  • Real Men Wear Pink -- a Real Man's manliness does not crumble from wearing pink, knitting, or adoring fuzzy baby animals

General tropes about Real Men

Tropes that are not about Real Men

Not sure, please discuss


  • The famous Marlboro Man figure is coded as much of a Real Man as possible, to deliver the message that to smoke Marlboro is a manly thing to do.

Anime and Manga
  • In Ranma , it's revealed that Ranma's father had promised Ranma's mother Nodoka Saotome to make the boy (then a wee toddler) into a Real Man, swearing it on not only his own but little Ranma's head. Years later Nodoka finds his still missing husband and son on a quest to ensure Ranma indeed did grow up as a Real Man... carrying a family heirloom sword to settle things if he didn't. Of course, Ranma has been dropped into the Magical Fountain of Drowned Girl and suddenly all sources of cold water (which triggers his transformation) in the town are spraying him...

Internet Memes

Stock Phrases
  • "Are you a man or a mouse" does not question the askee's humanity but his status as a Real Man.
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