to be a man is to think of yourself as a man.

to think of yourself as a man is to think of that categorization, which exists in opposition to the category of “non-men”, as one that is important, as one that matters, as one that you have to stay on the right side of.

to think the distinction between men and non-men matters is to uphold that distinction, both within yourself and within men around you, and sometimes also within women around you.

to uphold the distinction between men and non-men is to reinforce the fundamental power structures involved in misogyny.

to reinforce misogyny is to earn the right to benefit from it as a man.

to benefit from misogyny as a man is what it means to be a man.

as someone who was once a man, manhood is cyclical and subconscious and pervasive and almost impossible to notice within yourself while you are a man. and the easiest way to excise manhood’s hold on you is to step outside of it. you don’t have to step far. you don’t have to do much. it won’t automatically make you a better person. it isn’t a set of magic words.

but it will give you the perspective on manhood to see it for what it really is - a lie, a sham, an arbitrary distinction deliberately enacted to steal time and energy and labor and value from non-men and to give it to men.

i don’t think you’re wrong for not having seen this sooner. moneycat has a tendency to conflate the terms “manhood” and “masculinity”, which i don’t think is so much a failure of her clarity so much as a quirk of her idiolect. but i do honestly think it’s not as big of a deal to try as you think it is. and i honestly think you will be better for it - just not in the ways you might have expected.