There is no lose-lose situation quite like being urged to “man up” when people are trying to get you to do…just about anything. (Clearly, this is probably going to resonate more with males – you know, if any of them actually get to reading this.) One might describe it as a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario: if you still refuse whatever the “man up” utterer tried to coerce you into doing – well, then, you have failed to man up. At this point, the loathsome “insecure in one’s own masculinity” thing pops up, and you just have to start thinking maybe you made the wrong decision. And that says nothing of what women must surely think of those who fail to man up.

Of course, the opposite scenario must also be considered, and the question must be asked: if you follow the instructions to “man up,” have you actually done so, or have you really just caved in to peer pressure? Is “not sticking to your guns in the face of the slightest bit of opposition” really to be equated with the ability to man up? Once this ugly phrase is out there, there’s no more right move to make. There is no better way to corner someone than to give a simple “man up.” If you give in, you suck. If you don’t…yeah, you still suck.

And if you analyze both of these possibilities in a blog entry for no better reason than being desperate for something to write about: buddy, you’re beyond help.

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