15 Things We Need To Stop Judging Men For Doing

Jordan Claes
Three guys sitting on stools in a restaurant outdoors as the sun goes down behind them.
Unsplash | Toa Heftiba

Men have it harder than people might think, that's very clear. While that may not necessarily be true in some spaces in society, there are certain gender norms that we associate with men. In many cases, however, those gender norms can be pretty harmful.

With that said, here are 15 things that society needs to stop judging men for.

Not making the first move.

date
Unsplash | Crew

The ball shouldn't always be in the man's court when it comes to initiating first contact. If you like the look of a guy from across the room, then go over there and get him.

Salary or income.

A pile of US $100 bills.
Unsplash | Giorgio Trovato

Men often get labeled as being uncomfortable when a woman makes more money than he does. As a writer whose wife's bottom line far exceeds his own, I can tell you that's a load of malarkey.

Their physique.

Leonardo DiCaprio flexing in 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'.
Giphy |

In popular media, men only have two body types: fat or jacked. Believe it or not, ladies, a six-pack of abs isn't sustainable, nor is it even healthy over long periods of time. Love us for our squishy natural selves and we promise to do the same in return.

Having hobbies that some may refer to as "nerdy."

LEGO characters of Batman and Superman eating ice cream.
Unsplash | Yulia Matvienko

Let me tell you a secret: I'm a 34-year-old man who still buys comic books. There's nothing I enjoy more than reading about the many adventures of Batman and I'm tired of apologizing for it.

Hanging out with friends.

A group of guys hanging out at the skate park.
Unsplash | Parker Gibbons

Ladies, you need to stop referring to your husband/boyfriend/partner's friend group as "stupid friends." Male camaraderie is a real thing and we depend on one another in ways that are different from that of our romantic paramour. We can love our friends and you at the same time.

Complimenting other men.

Paul Rudd telling Jason Segel "I love you, man" in 'I Love You, Man'.
Giphy |

I grew up in the '90s when men didn't compliment other men — unless they wanted to be labeled as "gay." Thankfully, times have changed. In the same way that women appreciate compliments from other women, so too do we. In fact, we're starved for them.

Their height.

A guy wearing a black jacket walking in front of a white painted fence.
Unsplash | Joanna Nix-Walkup

"Literally no one has control over their height," Reddit user Ourobius argues. "Judge people for the things they can control."

Relationships aren't carnival rides, you don't need to be a certain height to have a go. Just because a man doesn't clock in at 6'4" doesn't mean he's not a real man.

Taking care of themselves.

Anders getting a massage from Blake and Adam in 'Workaholics'.
Giphy | Shark Week

Where is it written that only women are allowed to enjoy getting massages? Can't a man also enjoy a facial, and why can't they also have manicured nails? We're not animals, for goodness sake — we're human!

Painting their nails.

A man kneeling down with blue paint on his fingernails.
Unsplash | Brock Wegner

My high school years were in the early '00s at the height of the emo movement. Naturally, I dabbled with the idea of painting my nails black but never could muster the courage. Now that I'm in my 30s, I can proudly say that as I write this, the nails on my left hand are rainbow-sparkled.

Dying their hair.

Man revealing dyed hair in 'Perfect Harmony'.
Giphy | Perfect Harmony

Gentlemen, this is a two-way street. If we want to stop being judged for dying our hair, then we need to invest money into getting it done properly. That box dye you buy on the shelf at the drugstore isn't fooling anyone, nor is it helpful to the cause.

Drinking cocktails or mixed drinks.

An assortment of cocktails on a bar.
Unsplash | M.S. Meeuwesen

Redditor Tebowtime195 is quick to point out that men enjoy drinking other things, aside from whiskey and beer. I myself am partial to a Cottage Springs vodka soda, and I'm very proud to admit that.

A receding hairline.

George Costanza combing his hair in 'Seinfeld'.
Giphy | HULU

Making fun of a man's receding hairline is akin to calling a pregnant woman fat — you just don't do it. There isn't a man on earth who chooses to have his hair fall out and a little compassion on this topic would go a long way.

Taking paternity leave.

A dad with his son on his shoulders.
Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

Reddit user gloebe10 says that men shouldn't be shamed for taking paternity leave, as it's given to them by their employer. It's crucial for a child to bond with their father in infancy, and we shouldn't think less of a man for wanting to experience that joy.

Crying.

A man leaning against a wall, crying.
Unsplash | Vinicius "amnx" Amano

"Boys don't cry" was a phrase I used to hear all the time growing up. It does nothing more than feed ideals surrounding toxic masculinity and teaches young men to run away from their emotions, as opposed to facing them head-on.

Seeking help for mental health issues.

Ted Lasso saying "That'd be pretty neat-o" in 'Ted Lasso'.
Giphy | Apple TV+

In 2020, nearly 4 times as many men committed suicide than did women — accounting for nearly 70% of the nearly 46,000 suicide deaths in the United States. We need to create a safe space for men and boys and it begins with having a real conversation surrounding mental health.