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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Manly Hobbies

Dear Readers: today's subject is bound to offend at least some of you, therefore we humbly request that you read it in the lighthearted spirit in which it was intended. We do not presume to turn back decades of cultural feminization, nor do we prescribe anything for the rectification of individual cases of unmanliness; instead, we hope to have a good time and hopefully not at the expense of anyone who doesn't deserve it.

I came across the following gem the other day, in the usual fashion, which is to say accidentally while looking up other topics: 45 Manly Hobbies.

This is from a website called “The Art of Manliness,” which seems to have been created and edited by someone channeling the spirit of a 19th century homosexual, but let's not dwell on that for now. The article provides a list of 45 “manly” hobbies, and gives a description of each, and in some cases a rather anemic attempt at justification.

I copied the list below from that article (excerpted in the spirit of Fair Use; you can go to the website to read the entirety of the article, which, frankly, doesn't give me a great deal of confidence in the author's manliness), and added my own commentary. Disclaimer time! Just because a hobby isn't manly doesn't mean a man shouldn't pursue it, and likewise, pursuing a hobby that's not manly doesn't necessarily raise your estrogen level. Also, ladies, don't take this wrong – if you pursue a manly hobby, more often than not it actually enhances your femininity. Except in the case of Ham Radio.

Please also note that I just copied the list from the article; it's certainly not a comprehensive list of manly hobbies and pursuits. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll think of several others after reading this one.

So, without further ado:

Chess – neutral, and a bit too tedious for my tastes. Sure, more men than women play it, but you don't see too many Charlton Heston types donning their chess helmets for an afternoon at the tables. (0)

Ham Radio – semi-manly (Bruck's a ham, BTW). I would say the manly part is the independence and emergency / survival aspects of it, not so much talking to old men in Kentucky about their latest surgery. (6)

Reading – neutral. I read about one book a year. (1)

Playing the Guitar
– semi-manly (one of Bruck's pursuits). There are some pretty wimpy guitar players out there, but OTOH, there is no better way for a poor boy to get some attention from members of the fairer sex. (5)

Ballroom Dancing – not. Why is this even on the list? (-5)

Woodworking - fairly manly. A little too artistic to be extremely manly. I once carved a nice stock for a .22 rifle from a piece of oak, with the help of one of my fine BILOBs. (6)

Gardening – neutral. Key to independent survival, but more women do it, so...? (-1)

Classic Car Restoration – pretty manly, although muscle cars and off-road vehicles are more manlier. (5)

Metalworking – a manly profession, but too esoteric as a hobby to be considered genuinely manly. Plus, there's a huge but unspecified difference between artistic metalworking and forging engine parts. (2)

Marksmanship – manly. And don't forget about skeet shooting and ammo reloading (other Bruck hobbies, thank you very much) (10)

Collecting – neutral. Collecting what? Butterflies? Smith and Wessons? Too tedious in any case to be really manly. (-1)

Camping/Backpacking – manly but also somewhat feminine. (4)

Ship in a Bottle – what? This may have been manly 150 years ago. (0)

Hunting – manly (another Bruck pasttime). Some hunting is manlier than others, generally in proportion to animal size or lethality. (10)

Fishing – manly (Bruck does this too, but not very well) (8)

Whittling – about as manly as whistling. (1)

Geocaching – whatever, dude. From the original article's description, I wouldn't call this so much manly as idiotic. (-2)

Sports – generally manly, but also can be feminine. (4)

Model Building – boyly (1)

Leatherworking – semi-manly; a little too artsy to be completely manly, plus the S&M angle of this medium cancels out some of the manliness. (3)

Bowling – I can never find a ball at the bowling range with big enough finger holes, so how manly could it be? (1)

Archery – semi-manly: bow-hunting definitely, but target archery... get a gun and make some noise! (5)

Letter Writing – not unless you use a really manly stamp for your sealing wax, haha, just seeing if you're still paying attention! (-5)

Martial Arts – fairly manly from the a$$-kicking angle, but it's somewhat mitigated by the extreme discipline and eastern religious themes. (4)

Hiking – manly but also womanly. (5)

Alcohol/Cigar/Pipe Smoking Connoisseur – semi-manly, but can be abused by manly wannabes. (4)

Photography – neutral. (1)

Pool/Billiards – vaguely manly but somewhat seedy. Sort of like chess in polyester. (2)

Mountaineering – manly, but paradoxically seems to be more popular in less-manly locales. (7)

Cooking – most cooking is feminine but it could be manly if done outdoors and not with a gas grill. (3)

Blacksmithing – hey guys, let's grab a few brewskies and do some blacksmithing! What? (0)

Flying – fairly manly, but not exactly within reach of the vast majority of otherwise manly men. (5)

Magic – homo (-7)

Learning a Foreign Language – neutral. Except for continental French, which is exceedingly unmanly. (-1)

Card Playing – context-dependent manly. Poker in a smoky room vs. bridge in the solarium. (5)

Blogging – not particularly manly (another Bruck interest, you may have noticed). (-2)

Paintball – boyly (0)

Fencing – homo (-3)

Beer Brewing
– manly. (8)

Drawing and Painting – not. (-2)

Amateur Astronomy – neutral. (1)

Genealogy – neutral (1)

Adventure Races – wannabe manly (2)

Knitting – unless you're talking about knitting a silencer for your 45, get this off the list! (-10)

Computer Programming – neutral (Bruck does this too). (1)

You have probably already figured out that the parenthetical numbers at the end of each line indicate the “manliness” score for that hobby. To compute your score, simply add up the numbers for the hobbies that you pursue on a regular basis. For those which you do, but only rarely, divide the manliness score by two. And if you noted some odd numbers and felt a twinge of fear at having to compute and add fractions, subtract 5 from your total score.

Scoring:
over 60: extremely manly and possibly also severely ADD
30-60: typical American knuckle-dragger
10-30: might want to up your dosage of Viagra
under 10: if you're not already a girl, you might consider a sex change.

Let me know how you did, and I'll tell you my score.

2 Comments:

  • At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Clearly I was more manly before marriage. I scored 25. Maybe I can get a kitchen pass and go buy some Viagra! :)
    -CWV

     
  • At 6:17 PM, Blogger Bruck said…

    I managed to get 49.5. But then again, look who gets to pick the numbers! :)

     

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