I keep coming across internet memes and articles that use the terms “real man” and “real woman,” and it’s irritating me to no end. The idea here is that what makes people “real” is whatever is stated after the above-mentioned terms. For example:
“A real man treats his lady the same way he wants another man to treat his daughter.”
“A real woman avoids drama – she knows her time is precious, and she’s not wasting it on unimportant things.”
And my personal favorite (a double-whammy!):
“A real woman can do it all by herself – but a real man won’t let her.”
My problem here isn’t with the sentiments themselves because typically, the actual messages are pretty good. It’s the use of the word “real.” Anyone who’s walking on this planet is real. Our living and breathing makes it so. The implication here, though, is that anyone who isn’t doing whatever the sentiment advocates is not “real.”
Look, some people are “real” assholes. They’re not going to be doing whatever is encouraged in any of these inspirational quotes, but it doesn’t make them any less man or woman. Real men and women engage in douchebaggery every single day. It comes with the territory of being human and doesn’t make them any less “real” than someone who behaves like a saint.
I think the words the writers of these quotes are looking for are things like “honorable,” “smart,” “independent,” and “kind.” We have a ton of more descriptive adjectives in the English language that would better serve their messages.
Use your words, kids.