For centuries, humanity has wrestled with one pressing question: what makes a man a man? At one time, the ability to hunt down mammoths and build fires with nothing more than two pieces of flint secured your masculinity, but in our modern world of Frappuccino’s and face cream it’s a little trickier to sort the men from the boys.
So here’s a comprehensive list of ten requirements to gain entry to the exclusive club of real men.
1. Be a DIY master:
Hammers, screwdrivers, electric drills: these are the tools of a well-equipped man. Being able to put up some shelves and bleed the radiator will not only keep your home in working nick, but could also prove attractive when it comes to the ladies.
A survey by LocalTraders.com found that 93% of 400 women questioned thought that being good at DIY was a real plus point, with 12% saying it was a more important trait than performing well between the sheets. Insert your own screw joke here.
A man’s technical abilities shouldn’t start and end in the house. Maintaining an automobile with great love and care is a true sign of masculinity. Knowing how the engine ticks and how many horsepower your pride and joy boasts is important, but changing a tyre is the true test of skill.
Requiring physical strength and petrol head know-how, being able to change a tyre is a life skill every man should have, and one that could save you plenty of dosh on expensive call-outs.
3. Grow a beard:
Full and thick facial hair is the crowning glory on a real man’s face. Steeped in manly style, the beard was praised by Saint Augustine as a “masculine ornament” which was given to men by God, not for practicality but purely for their dignity.
Many men will come up with reasons why they can’t grow their beard, whether it be their job or other half prohibiting it or their sheer inability to grow one impressive enough. Well a real man makes no excuses, powers through the difficult patchy times and wears his chin fur with pride.
Once you’ve grown your beard in you can get yourself down t’pub and enjoy a nice pint of real ale. Lager and beer is the staple of a lad’s alcoholic diet, but real cask ale is the elixir of real men.
There are currently around 8.6 million regular real ale drinkers.
This is only around 32% of all beer drinkers, making ale connoisseurs a rare breed. Whether you prefer a darker brew or a blonder ale, there is something for you with 2,500 varieties in the UK. Whatever your tastes, real men drink real ale.
5. Gamble like James Bond:
Ok, so we’re not expecting you to play for millions in high stakes games against terrorists and villains who cry blood, but a real man should be able to keep his cool when it comes to the poker felt.
Not being intimidated, bluffing like a pro and literally keeping your cards close to your chest are vital when it comes to mastering mad poker skills, as is sensible money management. The tuxedo and martini are optional.
6. Be an all-round tech wizard:
Technology has crept into all aspects of our lives like some kind of sci-fi virus. We are no longer able to work, socialise or even cook a meal without encountering a whole hoard of gadgets and gizmos.
IT skills can no longer be left to the introverted professionals and technophobes the globe over need a real man to step up to the plate and defeat the bugs, glitches and HTTP 404 errors that riddle our day-to-day lives.
7. Read a map without having to ask for directions:
Everyone knows that asking for directions is admitting defeat. Real men should always be able to get themselves where they need to go, no matter how hopelessly lost they get along the way.
Mobile map apps and Sat Navs may be handy, but nothing is as rewarding as going back to the basics and digging out your old A to Z. Tape those tattered pages back together, fill up your tank and pray that no road names have changed since 2001.
8. Take charge of the BBQ:
The two weeks of the year that the sun visits Britain should be spent A) looking awesome in your Ray Bans and B) firing up the BBQ. The BBQ is a natural manly phenomenon, where men become the head of the grill and cooking becomes an alpha male performance.
All men should understand proper BBQ etiquette, which mainly involves producing unholy amounts of smoke, blackening burgers to a crisp and swigging down copious amounts of beers with your chums. It’s what the summer is made for.
9. Open all the jars:
Jars are the supermarkets way of testing how manly their customers are. While running the lid under the hot tap and banging it on the kitchen counter may prove an effective method to access the delicious preserved goods, it is by no means the way a real man should tackle the issue.
Men should be able to open all the jars without assistance or complaint, even if it’s screwed on so tight that Superman himself would need someone to loosen it up first. After all even octopuses can open jars now, and you’re manlier than an octopus aren’t you?
10. Safely and humanely dispose of spiders:
Arachnophobia is the most common phobia in the world, affecting half of all women and 10% of men. So when one of these spindly little nightmare machines crawls its way into your home and starts setting up shop behind the wardrobe it’s time for action.
Stamping or sucking him up with the vacuum cleaner is the coward’s way out. The only way to deal with the spider is with hand-to-hand combat. Sure, he has eight limbs but you have a glass and a piece of paper, so show that arthropod the door.