The thing that strikes me as a little bit stupid about the MRA guys using this word is that they often use it for men who they feel are shaming them and other men for being "knuckle draggers" or "mouth breathers" or whatever insult one wants to use. They feel that the men's studies guys (Kimmel, Pollack, Thompson, etc.) are shaming men for not being more like women (which is patently silly if you read their work) - or that by virtue of working in men's studies, a field that grew out of feminism, that they are essentially feminists in male bodies, thus the term mangina (man with a vagina).
It was the long look in the mirror I had been waiting for, and it came with a revelation:
I am a mangina, I whispered to myself. I stood up from my desk and said it louder: I AM A MANGINA!
My 5-year-old came running into my study, Wii remote in hand, with a questioning look on his face. “Daddy?”
“Son, it’s all right. Daddy is very, very happy,” I reassured him, not wanting my newfound identity to frighten him.
Just to be sure, I checked with my friend Bennett, who I met my first week of college. He wore a sundress to orientation (or a kilt, I can’t remember) and we have been friends ever since. The guy has more guts than I ever will.
“If those guys come for you with a bow, just put it on your hair! I hope it’s a cute color!” he began from somewhere on the left coast, where he teaches acting. “From where I stand, you smell like chest hair and Old Spice. You are manlier than I can ever hope to achieve. I am a fag. I am a proud, wrists-arcing-through-the-air, pinky-raising, loafer-wearing, scarf-tying sissy. You, sir, are a father. You also scrog women. Right there you out-butch me.”
This self-proclaimed fag was trying to reassure me, but as I laughed, I confirmed what I had suspected all along: Being a mangina is loving guys like Bennett and all my other friends, because they show me that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to manhood. It means not entering into a misguided zero-sum battle of the sexes, or imagining that women are the enemy. If that is what my critics are talking about, they are definitely right. I am a mangina, and damn proud of it.
Just as I was embracing my inner mangina, I got an email from Peter Hunsinger, the publisher of GQ, with a confessional: “I am a mangina because I always clear my golf dates with my wife’s schedule before I book them.”
Then I recalled what a fellow writer, Micah Toub, recently wrote in the Globe and Mail:
“If that makes me a ‘mangina,’ then I’ll put that on a T-shirt and wear it,” he concluded.
Better make that three, my friend.
But this word is shaming in the same way that calling a boy or man a sissy, a girlie man, a faggot, a queer, and so on, is shaming. In my experience, effeminate men, gay men, and trans men, and even some butch women are more well-rounded and whole men than some of the MRA guys who like to spew their insults and shaming language.
I'd rather be a mangina than an MRA if this is how they handle simple differences in perspective.says:Sha