The phrase “fragile masculinity” might just sound like snarky terminology that so-called internet feminists came up with to be mean to men, but it’s really not some made up thing. I mean, have you…seen…men? Have you seen the way so many of them avoid doing anything that makes them look feminine or “gay?” Have you seen the way that products as common as yogurt have been rebranded to appeal more to men because…I guess regular yogurt isn’t manly enough? Masculinity is meant to represent immense strength, but the littlest things seem to chip away at it, revealing the truth: It’s all a facade that people–men and women–buy into and project a lot of silly meaning onto.
Even dudes who would be seen as relatively woke or good allies can fall into these traps. On the one hand, give ’em a bit of a break, ridiculously rigid gender norms are hard to unlearn! But when they start to manifest a little too often with someone you’re dating, that’s legitimate cause for concern, or at the very least some serious side eye. But don’t be conned into thinking that it’s totally chill of your boyfriend to not be comfortable doing certain things in your relationship that he assumes can threaten his fragile masculinity. Read up on these seven things that your boyfriend should never be embarrassed about. From buying your tampons to taking pics of you for the gram, it’s time for this guy of yours to grow the eff up.
Buying TamponsIn ideal situations, we'd always buy our own tampons and keep it movin'. But life doesn't always work that way, and sometimes you're in a fetal position with killer cramps and cannot even fathom how you could make it to the drug store without dying or bleeding all over the place. That's when the boyfriend comes to the rescue...hopefully. Look, if your boyfriend can't even buy a box of tampons for you while you're bleeding like crazy, should he really be your boyfriend? Ten Inch Hero
Taking Your Photos For The GramThere's a lot of controversy over this, but frankly I think it's really wack when dudes get all bent out of shape because their girlfriend wants them to take some photos of them for social media. Like, any guy who is too embarrassed to take a damn photo (or, like, ten) of his girlfriend in public is not somebody I'd want to date. Obviously, having your BF double as your personal photographer has its limitations--be reasonable--but still...a good boyfriend will be happy to snap some photos of you until you get the angle and lighting right. Boyfriends_of_Insta
Watching Movies Or TV Shows Geared Toward WomenThis is infuriating. Again, nobody thinks twice if a woman watches a show or movie with a male audience in mind, but the second a dude watches Sex and the City or The Bachelor, it's suddenly weird. Well, hopefully it's not for your BF. Hopefully he can admit that he's more of a Miranda than a Samantha without feeling like he's not a dude anymore. Sex and the City
Accompanying You In So-Called Feminine SpacesWhether it's the nail salon or a Harry Styles concert, your boyfriend shouldn't feel embarrassed to be spending time with you in a place that might be geared toward women. Anyone who can't handle this is distressingly immature; drop 'em. That '70s Show
Showing Affection In PublicNot everyone is into PDA, and that's totally fine. But they shouldn't be embarrassed by a damn peck on the lips or hand holding. Who are they trying to look cool for? Also...maybe...affection is...cool, guys. Submarine
Hanging With You And The GirlsNobody ever thinks twice when a girl is hanging out with her boyfriend and his crew, especially if that crew consists of mostly guys. If anything, she transforms into the "cool girlfriend" because what's better than male approval, right? Barf. Anyway, the point is that you if you can chill with a bunch of guys, your boyfriend should be able to chill with a bunch of girls without worrying about it ruining his street cred, okay? Some Girls
Letting You Take The LeadWhether it's asking him out in the first place, taking him out to dinner just because, or standing up for him when somebody is treating him like trash, he ideally shouldn't feel a blow to his manliness just because you take the lead. Why would you want to date someone who is invested in rigid gender roles anyway? Freaks and Geeks
Do you have a boyfriend who is embarrassed to do any of these things? Tell us in the comments!