What Is a “Real Man” Today?

Trigger warning:
If you are curious to read about masculinity from a female point of view, then this is for you. But if you have a hard time tolerating a woman allowing herself to have an opinion about what a “real man” is, then I would recommend that you skip this article. 😉


In the past, it was believed that the meaning of life for men was to be breadwinners. A man had to provide for his family, otherwise he was not a “real man”. This idea of what a “real man” is is still alive and well because many men – at least in the older generations – were brought up to believe this idea, and this still rubs off on younger generations. But today this idea is no longer up to date, although some are making a strenuous attempt to re-introduce outdated gender roles.

Many men no doubt yearn for the olden days, as they imagine it was once in a time when men’s roles seemed more defined, because since women entered the workforce in large numbers and earned their own income and began to support themselves, there are many men who seem to feel that they have lost the purpose of being a man, and therefore no longer really know what it is to be a “real man” – or what they should put in instead of the breadwinner role.

Many men are therefore insecure about themselves and their masculinity. They feel threatened by feminism and the MeToo movement, which they imagine have the agenda that men “shouldn’t be allowed to be men” anymore.

Does Andrew Tate have the right answer?

Andrew Tate is one who has figured out how to trick these men into thinking he has “the solution”. He preys on them and their insecurities by pretending that he can offer them a “solution” that is supposed to “liberate” them and turn them into “real men”. He goes on to say that men must “allow themselves to be men”.

But what is this “man” in his eyes, men must allow themselves to be? Yes, in his world, men can only call themselves “real men” if they are good at making a lot of money – e.g. by tricking others and cheating them out of their money. That is what he claims he can teach his followers. For money, of course, lots of money. Men should provide for “their women”, as he says. But he also says that when they provide for a woman, they have the right to dominate and control the woman. If you do not live up to this unambiguous gender role, you are obviously not a “real man” – according to Tate.

That Tate is a misogynist is obvious – at least a hater of independent women. But what the men who look up to Tate apparently don’t see is that he really hates men too! All of Tate’s followers, who believe that MeToo and feminism are limiting them, obviously cannot see how limiting the gender role that Tate is selling them is to themselves.

Is it liberating to only allow oneself to show aggression and dominance?

It is of course okay for men to allow themselves to show their natural aggression in moments that really require it – or allow themselves to be assertive in order not to be treated badly by others. But there is nothing liberating in the fact that men cannot allow themselves to show any emotions other than just aggression and dominance. As if men are really that one-sided.

Asserting that only aggression and dominance make a man a man is certainly not an edification or emancipation of men, but simply an immensely oppressive and derogatory degradation of men as a gender. Because in reality we are all extremely multi-faceted people with all sorts of emotions and all sorts of individual personal qualities, which we should all be allowed to show to others, without fear of being accused of not being “real”.

But this is not the kind of liberation that Tate offers. In reality, his ideal of a “real man” just locks men even more inside the so-called “man box”, which limits them to being only almost a parody – just as Tate himself is: A man full of inferiority complexes, and who therefore feels compelled to inflate himself by overcompensating and surrounding himself with “potency extenders” like espensive cars, gold watches and the like while dominating and treading on others around him with scorn and hollow bravado. Such behavior does not exude strength at all, but in reality only weakness – at least to most people who have even a modicum of common sense.

That so many men/boys fail to see how transparent and embarrassing this is for men as a whole is sad at best – and terrifying at worst.

Many young boys unsure of their masculinity

I understand that many young boys want to learn to be “real men”. It is a fact today that many young men struggle with insecurities about their masculinity. I therefore understand that these men would like to overcome this uncertainty. It is also very understandable that men may be concerned about their possible future prospects, where they imagine that they, for instance, may not be able to satisfy their sexual needs throughout their lives,.

Many young men seem to believe that if they teach themselves to be what others tell them “real men” are, then this will make them more popular with the girls, and then they will be better able to secure sexual satisfaction – at best  also secure a future partner who can save them from loneliness and ensure them satisfaction – both sexual satisfaction and other satisfaction – which they are worried about having to be without, perhaps especially when they get older.

Now Andrew Tate comes along so “conveniently” and addresses this insecurity that many men have – especially young men. They see that apparently Tate is really popular online. At least he gets millions of likes on his social platforms (although most of those ‘likes’ no doubt come from other men). They mistakenly perceive Tate’s aggressive demeanor as “masculine strength” and that trying to be like Tate is something worth striving for.

Does “masculinity à la Tate” make men less lonely?

Some of those who struggle with their masculinity are therefore tricked by Andrew Tate into trying to play this hard and dominant role that Tate recommends they play in order to be “real” men. They believe Tate when he tells them that this will give them a foothold in life – not least that they will become popular with the girls, who Tate claims are drawn like flies to men with big arm movements and nice, expensive cars. Just look at all the ladies that Tate surrounds himself with. Isn’t that proof enough?

It may well be that some men’s egos get a momentary boost of confidence by following Tate’s recipe and learning to be tough and dominant—at least initially, because they will no doubt receive some recognition from other men who cultivate the same ideal. There seem to be a lot of men for whom this is very important. But that recognition is only for how good they are at playing hard, and for the exterior – not for being the whole people they really are. Because the price for this recognition is that they must suppress large parts of themselves.

I can only imagine the disappointment when these men find out that all the struggle of trying to be like Tate just makes them feel more and more lonely as time goes on. This is what actually happens when they follow Tate’s advice. Because the more forbidden it is to show emotions other than aggression, the more isolated they become emotionally – not only from the opposite sex, but also from other men, and the more lonely they feel. It is a self-reinforcing vicious circle.

Yeah, yeah, maybe they manage to sleep with some girls on that account, just like Tate himself, but no doubt they realize pretty quickly how shallow and how emotionally unsatisfying these relationships are, because the only girls they can get are often girls who themselves lack self-confidence and who suffer as much from poor self-esteem and self-loathing as they themselves do, and who therefore allow themselves to be denigrated and belittled by men who do not value them as human beings at all. Often girls, who because of insecurities about their own femininity and anxiety about not living up to an unrealistic ideal of what a girl should look like, are stuffing themselves with botox and silicone and putting on thick layers of make-up and using hair extensions, believing it helps them feel more worthy.

Using women as a stimulant will never be satisfying enough

That kind of superficial relationship just makes these men feel never really satisfied, but just more and more lonely inside. This traps them in a vicious circle – just like the one Andrew Tate himself is caught in – where they feel compelled to constantly go on the hunt for new girls – ie. where quantity comes to weigh more than quality. Women become a kind of utility that exists only to satisfy their needs here and now. They become just another stimulant, just like alcohol or other drugs.

But this way of relating to girls or women never gives these men what all people deep down need and long for in order to be whole – namely real love.

When these men finally discover how little this lifestyle fills the hole of loneliness inside, I can only imagine how hard it is for them to admit to themselves that they let themselves be fooled. In order not to lose face, they probably think they have to try to make themselves EVEN tougher so that no one else will discover their mistake. So they therefore pretend that they really do not need to “commit” – à la: “No, women are impossible to deal with, so no woman is going to get the shovel under me!” But this is really only a very immature way of making necessity a virtue which they choose, because it is too difficult and too embarrassing for them to admit that they were wrong.

Many of the men who follow Tate’s advice and the advice of other similar gurus and so-called “pick-up artists”, and who in reality may only have a chance to score immature girls with low self-esteem, therefore end up looking down on women as a whole, especially the strong and independent women whom they cannot impress with their bravado, let alone reach. Yes, some even start to hate women and blame them entirely for the fact that they themselves are unable to create closer and more rewarding relationships with women – which is what they probably need the most in order to feel loved and have a real and meaningful content in life.

The art of putting obstacles in your own way and ending up in self-loathing

Unfortunately, these men do not see the paradox – that their own blind worship of an inhuman male ideal in reality does not develop their self-esteem or self-confidence as men at all, but only makes them – more or less unconsciously – hate themselves more. Or rather: a large part of themselves – namely all the emotions that they suppress. This turns into a hatred that they then project onto women, whom they make their external “enemy”.

But it is not the women who make life miserable for them. It is their own way of thinking that puts a wedge between them and others and prevents them from experiencing real love. The love that they lack and that they can only find in an equal relationship where both parties really respect each other. These men thus become their own worst enemies.

We have seen countless examples of the so-called “incels”, who in some cases become so disappointed and frustrated that someone unfortunately ends up choosing to murder women out of hand and/or ends up choosing the ultimate “solution”: Taking their own life, which is also an expression of an ultimate self-hatred.

Most women have a completely different ideal of a man than the one Tate sells

Dear young men. If you really want more fulfilling lives with more rewarding and enriching relationships with the opposite sex, then don’t look the way Tate wants you to look, because he has no intention of helping you. In reality, he is only interested in keeping you stuck in uncertainty, because it is precisely your uncertainty that he makes a fortune from.

It’s perfectly fine if you want to spend your time trying to impress other young men a bit by competing to see who has the most steely muscles and who has the most obvious six pack. It is healthy to exercise if you do not overdo it. But I can say with 100% certainty that the male ideal that Tate is selling you is definitely not the one that most women admire the most – at least not the sensible girls or women who are worth betting on – ie. those who have the self-respect and respect for others that allow them to see other qualities in men than just muscles, money and expensive cars, and who can therefore, from an honest heart, love a man for what he really is – and not just for what he pretends to be, but isn’t deep down.

How do I know this? Well, one thing is that I myself am a woman with a long life behind me, in addition to the fact that I have also talked in confidence with countless other women about what we find most attractive in men. But you don’t have to take this at face value from an old lady like me. You only need to open your eyes.

Girls love men whom Andrew Tate despises

Try to look for, for example, which male ideal millions of young girls in the world sigh for – yes, directly scream for. I can reveal right away that it’s not at all guys like Andrew Tate that all these girls romantically daydream about and spend tons of time and money cultivatin. It is not guys like him for whom they willingly stand in line for days and nights just to be allowed to experience their idol for a brief moment on stages around the world – often even at a great distance from the idols on stage or the big screen.

Try to find out: How “masculine” do these idols look, measured by Andrew Tate’s standards? How “masculine” do they behave? Anyway, this is another kind of masculinity that Tate despises but the girls love.

This is not a new phenomenon by the way. (See for example here: https://nypost.com/2019/01/24/ranking-the-top-10-boy-bands-of-all-time/). When I was a teenager in the 70s, we girls were totally obsessed with similar idols who both dressed colorfully, danced around, wore make-up, had long hair and sang and played music that touched all the heartstrings from the saddest to the most festive and happy. It almost didn’t matter what they looked like or what they did – just as long as they showed emotion, positive energy and self-esteem resting within themselves.

Men with selfworth do not need to belittle others

But it is not only very young girls who love and dream about men who do not at all live up to the inflated, one-sided male ideal that Tate has. Adult women are also attracted to men who do not fit into Tate’s male template at all – or into the so-called “man box”.

Let me state right away that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a traditionally masculine man, but it is not necessarily the only thing that makes all the difference for women. Most women like men who just have a completely natural authority over them – precisely  because they DON’T need to inflate themselves up like Andrew Tate does with expensive cars and other decor, and because they DON’T need to degrade women and make them feel intimidated just so he can elevate himself above others.

The reality is that although men do not have six packs on their stomachs; although men do not desire to dominate women; although men don’t have much money or expensive cars, they can easily charm women and win their hearts, as long as they have selfworth, which also gives self-confidence.

Men with real confidence don’t need to belittle anyone or elevate themselves at the expense of others – eg. by ridiculing or mocking women or blaming women for everything that is wrong in their own lives. No, they have no such need. Others therefore feel safe with them. Women find it much easier to fall for men with whom they feel safe in their company, and who have the energy surplus to also give the woman space, and who therefore make them feel valued. This is what works best for most women – although it may be different for some women who themselves suffer from low self-esteem in some way.

Not a lesser man by showing your emotions

Of course, it is a bonus if the men show in practice that they have so much respect for themselves that they take good care of their health, appearance and hygiene. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be and look as healthy as possible. But women can easily be charmed by a man without a six-pack on his stomach. The men who have the biggest advantage in the long run are present men who have a genuine interest in women as whole people and not just sex objects, and who make women feel truly seen and understood.

And let’s also state that women don’t think men are less men just because they show emotions other than aggression. On the contrary. Women see it as a sign of strength that men dare to show their feelings – and not least that they also show that they don’t feel less masculine just because they show their feelings

Most women, who are just fairly reasonable, immediately see through a man who needs to puff himself up in order to appear as “hyper-masculine” as possible. When men dare not show any emotion other than aggression, most reasonably intelligent women see this for what it is: an expression of a huge insecurity deep down about oneself as a man and about one’s masculinity. There is little or no BDE (big dick energy) in it. Yes, it is downright repulsive to most women.

Be open about your feelings – responsibly

Are you a boy/man who really wants to avoid loneliness and who wants deep, loving and meaningful relationships with other people you want to be with, and do you see the advantage in having equal relationships where both parties show respect for each other, please don’t be so afraid to show emotions other than anger. It pays much better to be open than to be closed. Both for one’s own mental health, but also for the relationship with other people.

If you’re sad, show it. If you are upset about something, show it. If you’re happy, show it. If you are happy for someone, show it. If you’re scared, say it. If you are angry, say why and how you feel, but say it to the person you are angry with, of course with respect for the other party. If you’re really brave, then by all means be, but don’t play something you’re not. Remember that you are only human for better or worse, just like everyone else.

You may be afraid of rejection if you show who you are. But remember that people who reject you just because you show your true feelings are not people who have earned your time nor your tears. Stay away from them and be glad that you discovered in time that they had a bad character as people before you spent more time and effort on them.

In the eyes of loving and good people, on whom it is really worth spending time and effort, you will not become a nervous wreck by showing your feelings – and not at all if you show your feelings in an adult and responsible way, where at the same time you show consideration for others. On the contrary, they see it as a great strength that you dare to be open and honest! At least as long as you stick to talking for yourself, stand by your own feelings and take responsibility for them – and don’t just complain about how unfair others are to you, but where you really try to understand all parties – also from angles other than your own.

It is quite possible to be emotional, and at the same time be a man who takes responsibility – a man who people trust, because people dare to trust men who are honest and at the same time show that they can accommodate others besides themselves. They are much more believable than men who only play brave but aren’t really.

You have a much better chance of getting what you need if you have the courage to be open and show who you really are – namely a whole person with all the feelings that people have – and not just someone trying to pose as a parody of a “man” that others have tricked you to believe is a “real man”.

Permanent link to this article: https://heinesen.info/wp/en/blog/2023/03/12/what-is-a-real-man-today/