On Being a Man (For Realsies)

Occasionally, I come across an article that makes me laugh uproariously. Roosh, a guy who sells you tips on having game (think hooking up, not hook shot), provided two such posts. I should probably give a trigger warning. Also, Roosh has a tendency to posture through violent exaggeration.

On Real Manness

Roosh’s two articles examine whether or not you are a real man and provides tips on how to be a man. These two posts are erudite for a middle school student. Unfortunately, Roosh is 33.

From his article about the perfect woman, we learned that he, like, totally got dumped by this beautiful girl that loved him for him. It, like, made him cry. He went to his dark place. It was very emotional. But, like, it showed him the light. Now, he hooks up with chicks at will. He’s a man now. A Real Man™.

The How To…

So, how to be a Real Man™? Well, after much pondering, he determined that only two characteristics are absolutely necessary:

1. Ability to get laid at will – As he explains, “If you can’t get laid with multiple women, you’re not a real man, plain and simple.” Now, ever the pedant, I want to point out that “ability to get laid at will” and “get laid with multiple women” are not the same thing. Also, he is unclear if a career in the porn industry or taking advantage of legalized prostitution are suitable shortcuts.

But he continues: “If you can’t mate with superior genes then you’re a blight on the human condition….” So, I’m not entirely sure what this has to do with getting laid at will, but, based on his other writings, I think he means getting laid with attractive women. Of course, mating implies reproduction. It is unclear whether or not he condones carelessly having sex without protection. If he’s cool with it, I assume he would only condone it in a foreign country. You know, where you’d be long gone before they can force you to adhere to paternity laws.

2. Personal strength – He asks, “Can you defend your lifeblood if the shit really hits the fan?” What does he mean?


Got that Mandrake?

Personal strength is about self preservation and is said to have two forms: (1) “the confidence to make a stand” and (2) “the physical apparatus to carry it out.” He is unclear if owning and carrying a gun or a machete is a shortcut to achieving personal strength. However, I get the impression he means old-school fist fighting.

In summation, a Real Man™ sleeps with lots of women at will and can defend himself. That is the totality of a Real Man™.

Maybe Not a Real Man™ but Still a Man

In his second post, Roosh expands his scope to offer tips on how to be a man. Notice, he drops the adjective “real.” I am unsure if this is done for accuracy or brevity. Whatever the case, being a man in the 21st century involves six things:

1. Fuck 25 girls – No, seriously, that’s the magic number. You know why? “After 25 notches, you will have a strong understanding of female quality and psychology, giving you the needed tools to make good decisions when it comes to relationships and commitment.” I told you this was uproarious. Also, according to Roosh, sex with women is the best way to build a man’s confidence.

2. Intimidate others with your physical size – In other words, be this dude. Thankfully, Roosh is clear that steroids cannot be used as a shortcut. This tip has something to do with getting respect from other men by ensuring they would be cautious about getting in a fight with you.

In my nearly 31 years, no man has ever tried to get into a fight with me. So, presumably, I am the pinnacle of physical intimidation. Take that, Roosh.

3. Don’t be afraid of getting your ass beat – “You’re not a man if you win a fight, but you are one if you’re not scared to get into that fight.” Sadly, he doesn’t mean ‘be determined’ or ‘take a chance.’ He means, when someone disrespects you, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself with your fists (or gun or machete?).

4. Give back to those who took care of you – This is the Roosh version of getting a ‘mom’ tattoo. It’s almost endearing. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to understand how to apply this same sentiment to those people he wants to have sex with.

5. Accept that you will die – Ah, I love the smell of trite advice. In short, he reminds us that we only have one life to live (yolo?), so we should focus on accomplishing what we want now. As he explains, “By doing the things you want without delay, you listen to your nature and become a strong person in the process.” Our Roosh is a regular Tony Little.

6. Do something worthy that other people admire – Basically, a man does something great so that others will make a statue of him. Roosh includes some platitudes about giving your all, but the key point is that men need admiration. It’s in our genomes, apparently. So, get recognition and admiration. You’ll feel like a man.

No, Seriously, He’s an Adult

There is a lot to dislike about Roosh and his advice to men. But, what disturbs me the most is that the ideal male he peddles has the emotional maturity of myself in 6th grade. I remember a time when I thought such characteristics were worthy of aspiration. Then I hit my teens.

In a lot of ways, it saddens me. Roosh seems to have never left the early stages of personal and emotional development. To deal with this, he’s patterned himself after the worst of his childhood ideals.

And this isn’t about him wanting to be uncommitted and sleep with lots of women. I could care less. The tragedy is that he actually finds something admirable about a man who will start throwing punches when someone calls him a name. He finds it proper to degrade women as a means of elevating his masculinity. You don’t have to degrade women to feel good about sleeping with them unless you start with a very poor opinion of yourself.

My biggest fear is that this kind of stunted maturity is far more common in men than I realize. Roosh seems to think 90% of western men are only “half-men” (which, I assume, means they’ve only met 3 of the 6 tips). I worry that the feminized half-men make up far less than 90%. I can only hope.



  1. cowboycowden · August 16, 2012

    I Can Has Toolbox.

  2. Ciggie Cramond · August 16, 2012

    I LOVE this guy. He, like, embodies absolutely EVERYTHING I’m NOT looking for. And 33 too! I thought men were doing badly in general… but this… well! I may just have gained some appreciation for even slightly better men than he!!!

  3. versipellusfenris · August 16, 2012

    As someone who has been in more than my fair share of fights; including some fisticuffs with a convicted terrorist; I have to say that Mr. Roosh clearly misses the point about fighting. When I was five, on my first day of school, my father explained to me a lesson that has shaped my life. He told me that is was the duty of the strong to protect the weak and of the clever to educate the dull. Thus I understand Roosh’s desire to protect those he cares about. But he makes it pretty clear that he is incapable of caring about people.

  4. Every Hundredth Of A Second · August 16, 2012

    now that’s funny!

  5. quelladeville · August 16, 2012

    OH MY GOD. Really? That “man” exists?!
    Loved your post, a total eye opener.

  6. gradycarter · August 16, 2012

    Hahahaha, hilarious…

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  9. Vince · June 15, 2015

    Might this man be The Manliest Man to Ever Man? If I stand close enough to him might I be able to obtain testosterone via osmosis?

    Great post, peppered with snark. I won’t bestow a click on the links to his stuff, but I did very much enjoy reading your take on it!

    • thecaveatlector · June 15, 2015

      Thank you. I’m not sure he’s the manliest man, but his most definitely the realist man.

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