Girlie Man or Manly Man? 10 Things Some Men Do That Seem a Bit Feminine

April 14, 2013  |  
Effeminate Tendencies
I’m sure if you ask a woman what type of man she wants, she can read you a laundry list as long as her résumé. While most women have different traits they find most desirable in a man, there is one that is generally listed on most women’s lists when it comes to masculinity: they want a “manly” man. Perhaps not a “caveman” or a “chauvinistic pig,” but definitely one that can hold his own and protect her if need be. But women also want a man who knows how to balance that machismo with sensitivity and one who can be in touch with his “feminine side.” Of course, there is a line to be drawn there too. So where do we strike the balance between “manly man” and “soft and sensitive”? There are many behaviors that many men and women consider “girlie” but not necessarily “gay,” so ladies, take a look at the following list of things that are perfectly okay for men to do, but that might get them the side-eye because it’s just a bit too feminine. Tell me: sensitive or suspect?

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  • Adam

    I found this article to be awful. I myself and many men I know do almost everything on this list and I would not consider any of it feminine. Using words like “diet” or “gossiping” does not make a man feminine. All this article does is support gender roles which I find to be appalling!

  • Bumblebee

    Whenever someone gets to know me they usually say that I’m the gayest straight guy they know

  • Bumblebee

    I’m a straight man who is married and have three boys. But,I love to cook, I love to bake, I actually do use a loofa and cherry blossom body wash because it’s cheaper, it smells good, and a loofa is easier to use than a rag. I do like to dress well, but I don’t know a whole lot of name brands. The only time I read girlie mags is in the docs, because they usually only have those. I do watch chick flicks with my wife and I do cry in them, but I also watch action movies with her. When I am talking about a color I use the proper one, like magenta for example. Some people think that is a little weird. I am very sensitive and love to listen and help with other people’s problems. I actually like to wear colorful socks, I’m not a big fan of plain ones. I don’t hunt or fish and a lot of people question me for that of all things. I just don’t believe in it. I’m actually on a diet myself and I lost 30 pounds since I started

  • omar

    what a stupid hag, so many stereotypes to further the gender inequalities and perpetuading the stupid societal gender based norms

  • Aviva Knox

    I don’t consider any of these things to be “unmanly” in the slightest. Besides, I love me a guy who can bake and dance. Nothing wins my heart faster than homemade cupcakes and a dancing partner.

  • Guess

    Babe, you don’t know about men. Get over your teens then you’ll see.

    Diet? In my definition of dieting when hitting the weights is to eat A LOT OF MEAT.

    Cooking? According to my definition, too, is to cook A LOT OF MEAT.

    What this article says is that too much of a thing will turn a man to a woman.

  • yourmomsidol

    a chick wrote this? Isn’t this stuff most women wan their men to do. Stop with the mixed signals. Women don’t want to be fat shamed? Then don’t manly-shame men!

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  • whatever

    Congratulations, you managed to enforce stereotypes on men,again. How about just letting them choose to be feminine or masculine or anywhere in between? Would that be so tragic?

  • Tyler

    I distinctly remember a little fact that about 70 years ago women didn’t work or wear pants but look at them now. There is no reason to put someone into one pile of people based on whats marked in the gender section of their birth certificate!
    I absolutely hate the word manly because its one more way than not only women are putting us down, but also self conscious men to. I think its time we updated the phrase manly, because men are not cavemen anymore!

  • Mike Smith

    Who are these black female writers? High school? ….Look at all the celebrity super chef shows! All men!…Most bakeries are ran by men.Early in the morning,in my mixed neighborhood ,you can smell fresh bread.Today’s women, now do repairs around the house ,does that make them a suspect? Read the book, Real Men Cook! How can baking cookies emasculate you? What little girl would love for their daddy to come home from work and bake them some healthy fresh warm cookies?…Find another way to poke fun of a black-man.

  • Thuytee

    SOOO true. Men can be whoever and whatever they want and so can women. I believe our modern world has evolved past the gender stereotypes. If you are a man you can: cry, read a woman’s magazine, cook/bake, pluck your eyebrows, etc. That’s not going to stop me from seeing you for the good man that you are. More power to ya for not succumbing to all the societal gender roles!

  • Ohhhh yes men do gossip lol! The only reason we women know who the h**s are is because they tell us lol

  • cin

    love this type of man…always have, always will.

  • nolimit_soldier

    I’m a male (happily married) and I can admit I love black celebrity gossip (and black celebrity gossip only..I don’t go around gossipping like a bish w my homies) . I don’t know why but I do. I talk to my wife about all kinds of stuff relating to black celeb gossip (majority of the time she’s the one that brings up conversation about them). Heck I even watch some of the stuff she watch (the soaps, the Housewives stuff, Love and Hip Hop etc) but on the same token she watch what I watch too (basketball and football games, Guy Code etc) thats just the relationship we have. I cook, clean, do all that ish too. It doesn’t make me feminine It makes me a better father and husband. I’m not sure about the make up talk and all that but I do love black celeb gossip…can’t help it *shrugs shoulders**

    • Mike Smith

      I watch Wendy Williams…but I don;t go gossiping like a *icth to my boys either. I watch and LEARN how the female mind works…what women do,and how they are so competitive with each other.Besides a lot of hot women come on the show, too!

  • Jasmine

    you sound like you’re taking this way too personally.

  • Vandellish

    Thx moemiel!

  • Vandellish

    I’m a man and I do just about ALL of this shyt (save for ballet). The funny thing is that people know I love to do all this shyt (dance, cook, shop [for me] and even sip a colorful drink now and then) and my manhood has never been questioned by men or women. Typically women LOVE those aspects of my persona. ESPECIALLY THE MANSCAPING!!!!

    The question should really be:
    Why is ‘he may be gay’ always the default go-to move when explaining black men who have different layers to their personality?
    I believe it’s simply the lazy person’s way of categorizing certain men and/or attempts at taking them down a notch or looking for ‘cracks in the armor’ so to speak. When people (men or women) do this it typically is a tell that they are neither intelligent or very creative.

    • Courtney

      Who said anything about these men being gay? A girlie man isn’t necessarily gay, he’s just “feminine.”

      • Vandellish

        You’re absolutely right. I asked what I thought would be a better question (secretly assuming that no one would actually give me their take on it). Still, I’m saying or implying two things here:

        1. None of these activities are ‘girly’ or ‘feminine.’ To associate these terms with men who participate in these activities is a judgmental and degrading tactic that’s been overplayed in our community.

        2. Typically ‘girly’ or ‘feminine’ men are associated with being gay and there’s no denying that it’s THE go-to explanation that black men and women use when assessing certain men who fall outside of what’s normally considered black masculinity.

        Go up to any brother you know and tell him that’s engaging in any of these activities and say something like ‘that’s a little feminine, don’t you think?’ He’ll likely assume that you’re insinuating that he may be a bit gay. Whether we like it or not, that is the dominant connotation associated with terms like ‘feminine’ or ‘girly’. Same goes for females who may get called ‘boyish’ or ‘butch’. I’ve sat court side at a few WNBA games and ‘fans’ say that stuff on the regular.
        Thanks for reading.

  • Ready Set Go

    In short, a heterosexual male should not behave as if he is on or even watches GLEE. Nor should he act like the annoying hyper male such as Andrew Dice Clay or fake thugs who will do nothing but grimace all day long.

    • Mike Smith

      WOMEN don’t know what they want. They complain about men having too much hair on their bodies,then when they try to find a way to get rid of it,then they are gay!

  • Ready Set Go

    On men, clothes, and girlie drinks? Agreed!

  • Ready Set Go

    Men cry in war, after tragic events, when their brothers sleep with their wives even during quality movies where the underdog overcomes great odds, but surely not over anything Oprah or a chick flick could ever do. The ones that don’t cry take AR-15s to school.

  • Ready Set Go

    Women’s magazines SHOULD be directed at men. Not gay at all. Not that I see straight men all that interested in them, but we need to read them from time to time just to confirm that not all women belong on Jerry Springer.

  • Ready Set Go

    Cake Boss is not gay, especially if he has kids and helps his children with school functions while gf or wife is lazy, but ballet? No dice.

    • Courtney

      Just because a man is married with kids doesn’t mean he’s not gay. Trust.

  • Ready Set Go

    Males plucking eyebrows is a gay move.

    • Ladybug94

      Unless you’re Al B. Sure, then it’s a necessary move.

    • Joana

      Nah, you just hate egyptians.

  • awet

    Please stop putting men in boxes!! The only thing one this list that irks me is a man who gossips, especially about other men but other than that, I wish I would find a stylish, dancing, cooking man!!

    • David Ross

      Kind of after the fact (lol), but being a dancing, cooking guy who’s able to pick out matching clothes, I feel like giving you a hug right now! *hug*

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  • Nina

    Articles like this reflect the unrealistic and immature expectations of
    women that prevent them from having sustainable, loving and committed

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  • FromUR2UB

    I agree with the others, but giving the side-eye because a man cooks and bakes sounds a bit cavewomanish. Traditionally, chefs and bakers were male. Who do you think did the cooking in the military, when they were exclusively male? Besides, my dad could cook and bake like nobody’s business, and then work on his car. I love when men cook. Dancing appears feminine if a man uses a lot of hip action. I associate male modern dancers with femininity because that discipline often attracts men who are gay, like cosmetology. I can’t STTTTTAND a gossiping man! I really don’t need my guy to be in touch with his “feminine side”. I AM his feminine side. Ultimately, I think women are going to regret wishing their men acted more like their girlfriends.

  • childofjesusrose

    It is acceptable for men to do and perform all these things but not being “in the closet” that I don’t believe in and won’t accept!

  • Akiko


  • Ik

    This article is stupid! Has she ever had a real man or just boys pretending to be men?

    • Courtney

      You act like there aren’t boys out here pretending to be men, or that there aren’t women who think this way. People please, if the article doesn’t pertain to YOU, why give an ish about it? It’s a general article on some (not all) things SOME women may find to be feminine behavior. Why people take all this stuff to heart or don’t see the tongue in cheek about it is beyond me.

      • Mike Smith

        Do an article on things, that guys think are tomboy behavior,I got a million of em.

  • Abbas Baker

    I am shocked! I always say IAM ON A DIET whenever I am invited to an unhealthy meal. Nobody told me it is girlie to say so!! And imagine my nickname is “MIKE TYSON”!!! That’s embarrassing!

  • FOHWTBS i like cooking especially baking and damn if im zesty…lol

    • Ready Set Go

      LOL, that was funny, bro.

  • Tonyoardee

    Man i will grab a fruity drink in a minute, why do i have to suffer from some drink that tastes like 87 regular just to keep an image?

    • Lrocka

      *Crying Laughin*…not it tastes like gasoline tho?

    • dingo_egret


  • Letstrytobebetter

    can we seriously get out of gender role stereotypes… none of these should be labeled for women or for men. how about we let people be who they are and do what they like because they are adults and should make their own decisions. How does a guy loving to shop affect your life in any way?! Why does all this matter!? I’d really love for this site to grow up and show how blacks have evolved and how we can be just as profound with our analysis of the world around us as any other ethnic group. Stop underutilizing our potential by letting writers create lazy articles like this, challenge them to improve themselves and discuss difficult issues so they can grow up!

    • Mike Smith

      MN is not for just black folk! LOOK at all the white models they have hired.You think a white mag would have as many black models in their pages? They really control skin color ,hair texture if they do put a black person in their pages.

  • 2Ja2

    I agree w/ MarriedWoman; plus you get the best gossip from athletes in high school and college. What do you think they talk about in the locker room?

    • Mike Smith

      They talk about sex.Just like the ladies,do in their locker room..look at SEX IN THE CITY..and GIRLFRIENDS..boys with no real father figure, or male,pick up this trait at home from women.

  • MarriedWoman

    This was an awful article. Men can cook, dance, cry, shop, etc. and still be men. This article was obviously written by a woman without a husband or long-term partner. Articles like this reflect the unrealistic and immature expectations of women that prevent them from having sustainable, loving and committed relationships.

    • I know right. I had no idea baking was feminine. Go figure.

    • chaka1

      What I think is funny is my husband and his friends are HUGE gossips! They tell all their business and other peoples…

      • SheBe

        My hubs is the same way with his friends. Men tend to have the juiciest gossip too. They know details like none other.

        • Mike Smith

          And if you sit there and listen..guess what! you are sharing in the gossip. Woman are bigger gossipers than men,that’s how the cell phone companies make there monies.

          • SheBe

            That comment wasn’t to debate about who who gossips more. Then again, you are on a website geared towards the thoughts and perspectives of a black womans point of view. Oh and it’s “Women gossip more than men. That’s how cell phone companies make ‘their’ money.” None of that statement is true. Good day sir!

      • Mike Smith

        Probably got that from hanging around you too,much.Women complain when men get together and play basketball, or hockey…women suspect they are out cheating…so now they are reduced to staying at home and gossip. GOSSIP is telling things that you don’t really know about’,and don’t have the people’s permission to talk about,and spreading rumors.

    • xxdiscoxxheaven

      I disagreed with this article as well and I am not married (or even close to it). Maybe we are just too progressive for this author. Men do all of these things and more! The only one that I could half way agree with was the women’s magazines one.

      • Courtney

        Maybe you all you should read it again – the author said that she HERSELF did not have problems with men cooking…or baking, she just listed things that SOME women consider feminine, not all women. She even said herself that she prefers a man who cooks. And if of all the things she listed that she isn’t progressive enough for, you think a man reading a women’s magazine is somehow worse than him wearing nail polish or waxing his eyebrows, then I think YOU’RE the one who’s not progressive enough.

        • xxdiscoxxheaven

          Okay I will disregard the 1st part of your comment because she clearly had the tone that she believed or sided with many of these comments. The thing about the magazine I HALF agreed with because I am not sure why a straight man would be interested in women’s fashion, makeup tips, etc. But there are other articles in those mags that are more gender neutral.

          • Vandellish

            I’m not a subscriber of any by I’ve browsed women’s magazines for years whenever I can find one. The first and obvious reason is the level of eye candy in mags like Essence or Vixen (if they still print that). Another is the articles that advise women on relationships with men. Women often mention how men can’t/won’t try to relate to them or see things from their perspective so men like myself may read these articles to try to get an edge. It’s really the same reason why I check in MN from time to time.

            But what you say is true. No straight man is checking any article for ‘How to Walk Into a Room and Get Noticed’ or ‘the Hottest Colors and Materials this Summer.’

        • Mike Smith

          Women read men’s magazines ,like playboy….and other mags. Guys will pick up a female mag and try to see what’s going on inside their educated heads….we are not interested in feminine products and hair sprays and girly stuff.At least am not!

    • dingo_egret

      Totally agree! And “yes” I’ve heard men say they need to go on a diet. And if they don’t their friends will tell them they need to.

    • Lillian Killingbeck

      I second the notion! Some of the things made me cringe. Why is it we have to label these things as “feminine?” So stupid. And as far as gossipping goes I agree with the article on Askmen gossipping shouldn’t be for ANYONE!

      But I honestly think the list was meant to be taken as a joke. I laughed hard at some parts it was cute like the pictures. Especially of the guy reading Vogue or whatever. Why the hell not?! Seriously! Men should be able to read whatever they want if we can. They’re probably curious to the garbage we read like “Cosmogirl” “Cosmopolitan” or whatever that magazine is called I don’t care much for it and I’m a girl. I mean, WOMAN. I honestly like reading men’s magazines like Men’s Journal. Perhaps like me reading men’s magazines they want to check out the attractive opposite sex in those “girlie” mags?

  • Is there an editor for this site anymore? Literally every single article has spelling errors, but much worse than that, they have spelling errors that aren’t typos, just the complete wrong use of the word.