So, I’ve been seeing this “Goldman Sachs Unofficial Guide to Being a Man” pop up in my feed a lot since yesterday. The article states it “presents a fresh, and hopefully thoughtful, look at what it means to be a man today. It was compiled by the people who run the @GSElevator twitter page and John Carney of CNBC.com (@Carney). People in my feed have been praising it--a lot of women, surprisingly--and even suggesting that women should measure their men up to these standards to see if they are, indeed, “real men.” I was intrigued, so I clicked.
It reads more like the unofficial guide to being a contradictory, alcoholic, classist, rapey azzhole who plays with women and wastes money more than being a real man. Some of these “guidelines” are so incredibly smarmy that I wondered if it was a satire piece. (I am still hoping that it is, or at least not really these guys’ opinion, but just foolery they heard from other assholes on the elevator. However, “The Business Insider” leads me to believe otherwise. If it is not genuine, someone please let me know and restore my faith in humanity.)
Granted, there are some real tidbits of advice here, but for the most part? I think I’ve gotten an inside look at what is wrong with our society if these are the characteristics people expect of real men. 79--yes, seventy-nine rules and I could only see “good man” qualities in 26 of them. Only 33% of this list is actually appealing to me. One-third. Maybe I’m an anomaly, but I really don’t think it’s that. I think these men are wildly misinformed on what women find desirable, and they probably support the people pushing the “women don’t know a real man when they see one” narrative. They are also very contradictory. Telling you to not be a douche one way, but it’s ok/preferred to be a douche another way is still being a douche. (Warning--I used the word douche and various iterations of it a lot in my comments because, well, it’s the only word that came to mind when reading this. Sorry.)
I fear for us if this is the actual guideline many people (like the ones in my feed) take as gospel truth for what being a real man entails. Ladies...I know we have our crap, I know. We are not innocent in the Venus vs. Mars battle, but if you come into contact with guys that follow these rules? It’s not you, it’s definitely THEM. Run for the hills, run for the border, just...run. Far, far away.
Here they are, with my commentary in italics.
Stop talking about where you went to college. ← granted, this is a good point, but some people are proud of their alma mater, so let’s vote for MODERATION, not a cease and desist. Just because you went to a sucky college doesn’t mean I can’t talk about my superior one. ;-)
Always carry cash. Keep some in your front pocket. ← no argument.
Rebel from business casual. Burn your khakis and wear a suit or jeans. ← or, keep khakis for what they are meant for--CASUAL WEAR or possibly a part of your job uniform at Target. There is no shame in working at Target. Even some of the head honchos wear khakis in that corporation, because it helps them look like they are all a part of the same team.
It’s okay to trade the possibility of your 80s and 90s for more guaranteed fun in your 20s and 30s. ← no argument.
The best public restrooms are in hotels: The St. Regis in New York, Claridge’s in London, The Fullerton in Singapore, to name a few. ← no argument.
Never stay out after midnight three nights in a row … unless something really good comes up on the third night. ← does this pertain to parties or profession? Because sometimes, you just gotta get shit done. If you’re going to three parties in a row though...look at your life, look at your choices.
You will regret your tattoos. ← not if you get good ones in places everyone can’t see. Lots of women think tattoos are sexy. Have you seen The Rock’s tribal tattoo?!?
Never date an ex of your friend. ← no argument.
Join Twitter; become your own curator of information. ← eh, or subscribe to blogs. Most of the things worth their salt on twitter are links to good blogs anyway. You avoid the timesuck of trending topics (but, you can get an account to keep up with funny tt’s--that will later end up compiled on a blog, so point remains.)
If riding the bus doesn't incentivize you to improve your station in life, nothing will. ← know what else riding the bus does? Keep you from turning into a privileged DOUCHE. Everyone on the bus isn’t poor, dude.
Time is too short to do your own laundry. ← so, you either still live with your mom, have dirty draws, or waste money on a laundry service. Really?
When the bartender asks, you should already know what you want to drink. ← no argument.
If you perspire, wear a damn undershirt. ← DEFINITELY NO ARGUMENT.
You don’t have to like baseball, but you should understand the concept of what a pitcher’s ERA means. Approach life similarly. ← Even though I don’t watch baseball, I looked this up and don’t see anything wrong with it.
When people don’t invite you to a party, you really shouldn’t go. And sometimes even when you are invited, you shouldn’t go. ← no argument.
People are tired of you being the funny, drunk guy. ← YES.
When in doubt, always kiss the girl. ← um, hell no. If you have doubt, ASK the girl. Your misinterpretations of “signals” should not end with your spit on my mouth. Personal space, man--look it up.
Tip more than you should. ← unless the waitstaff is shitty. Then you’re reinforcing sub-par service.
You probably use your cell phone too often and at the wrong moments. ← this is for EVERYBODY, not just men. No argument.
Buy expensive sunglasses. Superficial? Yes, but so are the women judging you. And it tells these women you appreciate nice things and are responsible enough not to lose them. ← or, she’s looking at you like “he spends that much money on sunglasses to impress people? Douche.” PS-we aren't ALL that damn superficial.
If you want a nice umbrella, bring a sh*tty one to church. ← Ok, I think this is a metaphor and NO TO EVERYTHING IT STANDS FOR. Women are not pawns in your chess game of relationships. Evoking cattiness in women for your own personal gain? "Nice" girl sees the "shitty" girl, and then makes a play to upgrade you? Is that what this means? If so...Wow. GROW A PAIR. If not, and you're just stealing somebody's good umbrella from church, this has to be the dumbest advice I've ever heard of. lol
Do 50 push-ups, sit-ups, and dips before you shower each morning. ← I will never argue with staying fit/healthy. But if you’re obsessive about it...it’s a turnoff.
Eat brunch with friends at least every other weekend. Leave Rusty and Junior at home. ← I’m gonna hope “Rusty” and “Junior” are childhood friends that you have outgrown, because if you’re talking about your dog and your kid...encouraging every-other-weekend separation from family time is why corporate men are usually seen as cold and unfeeling people that don’t spend time with their family and are always at the country club, drinking and playing golf, instead of teaching their kid how to ride a bike on the weekend. So, good luck with every-other-weekend parenting. And who the hell is watching Rusty and Junior while you're out brunching?? Oh, the mom who can't go to brunch because she has to watch Rusty and Junior. SMH
Be a regular at more than one bar. ← Oh, a social alcoholic. Always the sign of a real man.
Act like you’ve been there before. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the end zone at the Super Bowl or on a private plane. ← no argument.
A glass of wine or two with lunch will not ruin your day. ← What is this, Mad Men? Why all these drinking “do’s”? I don’t have a problem with wine at lunch but, geeze. So much boozing on this list.
It’s better if old men cut your hair. Ask for Sammy at the Mandarin Oriental Barbershop in Hong Kong. He can share his experiences of the Japanese occupation, or just give you a copy of Playboy. ← If this isn’t the most douchetastic “I’ve been to Hong Kong so many times I know the barber by name” statement...did you tell Sammy where you went to college? Oh, I forgot, you don’t talk about that. *eye roll*
Learn how to fly-fish. ← Unless you hate fishing. Then you're just wearing silly rubber pants standing in the middle of a lake getting eaten up by bugs because someone told you to.
No selfies. Aspire to experience photo-worthy moments in the company of a beautiful woman. ← This sounds slightly homophobic, dude. *eyebrow raised* I mean, men shouldn't be doing duckface and all, but taking a pic of yourself doesn't make you less of a man.
Own a handcrafted shotgun. It’s a beautiful thing. ← Nothing says “man” like firearms. Hope you don’t drink while hunting, too.
There’s always another level. Just be content knowing that you are still better off than most who have ever lived. ← This is actually good advice, but contradictory to your bus statement, so…?
You can get away with a lot more if you're the one buying the drinks. ← In what sense? Can you be the drunk funny guy again? O____O
Ask for a salad instead of fries. ← Might as well, because you’ll be wasting empty calories on all that wine for lunch.
Don’t split a check. ← Or, do split the check if you don’t have the money to cover every-damn-body at the table. Financial responsibility is sexier than you think. Wait, you're at Goldman Sachs, so financial responsibility is a foreign concept. Ooops.
Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them. ← No. No. HELL. NO. Rape culture, anyone? Dude, get OUT of here.
Cobblers will save your shoes. So will shoe trees. ← no argument.
When a bartender buys you a round, tip double. ← What bartender buys a round? Oh, the one at your regular spots?
The cliché is that having money is about not wasting time. But in reality, money is about facilitating spontaneity. ← no argument.
Be spontaneous. ← unless your spontaneity inconveniences other people. Then, you’re just being a douche.
Find a Times New Roman in the streets and a Wingdings in the sheets. She exists. ← no argument.
Piercings are liabilities in fights. ← no argument.
Do not use an electric razor. ← no argument.
Desserts are for women. Order one and pretend you don’t mind that she’s eating yours. ← lies and manipulation are ALWAYS helpful in relationships. So, when she remembers she ate half your chocolate lava cake on your first date, and painstakingly bakes you one for your anniversary, and your reply is “I don’t even like chocolate cake, I just ordered that for you!” ...yeah...good luck explaining your logic.
Buy a tuxedo before you are thirty. Stay that size. ← unless you don’t stay that size because, you know, humans change and shit. They won’t stop making tuxedos after you turn 30. Some dudes are really skinny at 30 and then they get buff. *shrug*
One girlfriend at a time is probably enough. ← “Probably….probably”?!?! *sigh*
#StopItWithTheHastags ← But...you just said get a twitter account...
Your ties should be rolled and placed in a sectioned tie drawer. ← no argument.
Throw parties. But have someone else clean up the next day. ← Um, no. Again with the immaturity/mommy issues. Clean up after your own messes, dude. THAT is the sign of being a man.
You may only request one song from the DJ. ← no argument.
Measure yourself only against your previous self. ← no argument...unless your previous self was a huge pile of shit and you’re happy that you are a smaller pile of shit, but a pile of shit just the same. Just stop being a pile of shit.
Take more pictures. With a camera. ← no argument.
Place-dropping is worse than name-dropping. ← So I guess that means talking about Sammy at the Mandarin in Hong Kong is, indeed, an unmanly, douchetastic statement! *win*
When you admire the work of artists or writers, tell them. And spend money to acquire their work. ← no argument.
Your clothes do not match. They go together. ← semantics.
Yes, of course you have to buy her dinner. ← unless she wants to pay for it herself to establish boundaries. If she offers to pay, it’s not a date. Which also means don’t kiss her. Duh.
Staying angry is a waste of energy. ← no argument.
Revenge can be a good way of getting over anger. ← if you live in Old Testament times. Therapy and forgiveness are manlier than revenge dude. What are you, 12?
If she expects the person you are 20% of the time, 100% of the time, then she doesn't want you. ← Ok...this is a tough one. If you are only caring, supportive, kind, generous and a good person 20% of the time, you’re right--she DOESN’T WANT YOU. If you spend 20% of the time pretending to be someone you’re not--right again! SHE DOESN’T WANT YOU. And if 20% of the time you’re a drunk, abusive lunatic, once again: SHE DOESN’T WANT YOU. But, if you are trying to be the best you can be 100% of the time, and you only succeed 20% of the time, it may not be that she doesn’t WANT you--she may not deserve to waste her time getting hurt while you to figure it out. What this boils down to is this: Be a good person more than 20% of the time.
That actually wasn’t so tough after all.
Always bring a bottle of something to the party. ← no argument.
Avoid that “last” whiskey. You’ve probably had enough. ← no argument.
Don’t use the word “closure” or ever expect it in real life. There may still be a mortally wounded Russian mobster roaming the woods of south Jersey, but we’ll never know. ← Um...I guess?
If you are wittier than you are handsome, avoid loud clubs. ← LOL! That’s the first lesson on this “guide” that I found both funny and true.
Drink outdoors. And during the day. And sometimes by yourself. ← Then, make your way to an AA meeting. There is So. Much. Unnecessary. Boozing. going on in man world!
Date women outside your social set. You’ll be surprised. ← But don’t view it as an experiment. We are not constants and variables put here for your own research purposes. Also, you should know this is the plot of almost every teen rom-com ever made.
If it’s got velvet ropes and lines, walk away unless you know someone. ← I guess? I don’t do clubs so I don’t know.
You cannot have a love affair with whiskey because whiskey will never love you back. ← I think we’ve uncovered the root of something here...
Feigning unpretentiousness is worse than being pretentious. Cut it out with the vintage Polo and that ’83 Wagoneer in Nantucket. ← unless you’re really unpretentious and saving your money. Then keep being that.
The New Yorker is not high-brow. Neither is The Economist. ← But they aren’t low brow either, so...not sure what your point is here.
If you believe in evolution, you should know something about how it works. ← Yes.
No-one cares if you are offended, so stop it. ← Or, be offended and deal with it like a man--use your words and don’t enact revenge, especially if the person didn’t mean it...which you won't know unless you TALK TO THEM.
Never take an ex back. She tried to do better and is settling with you. ← It’s only “settling” if you haven’t changed though. If that’s the case, it won’t work anyway.
Eating out alone can be magnificent. Find a place where you can sit at the bar. ← Eating out alone at the bar is not “eating out alone,” it’s drinking with food while reading subtitles on the tv and talking to the bartender who is now your friend because you go there all the time. Come ON guys. If you’re gonna do it, sit at the big boy table. Alone.
Read more. It allows you to borrow someone else’s brain, and will make you more interesting at a dinner party – provided that you don’t initiate conversation with, “So, who are you reading …” ← no argument.
Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats. ← Just when I thought you weren’t trying to be classist as all hell...
Hookers aren’t cool, and remember, the free ones are a lot more expensive. ← no argument on the first half, and no comment on the second half. Because...ugh. Your metaphors are UGH.
Don’t ever say, “it is what it is.” ← Unless you are using it to, indeed, identify the it which can only be described as what it is. This is a real circumstance which could occur. I've seen it.
Start a wine collection for your kids when they are born. Add a few cases every year without telling them. It’ll make a phenomenal gift in twenty years. ← Unless your kid ends up hating wine. What if you don’t have storage space to keep said wine...are you less manly? Also--I really need these dudes to get help. I think they’re alcoholics, seriously.
Don’t gamble if losing $100 is going to piss you off. ← no argument.
Remember, “rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.” ← And these “rules” seem to have been written by fools to guide other men into more foolishness. GOOD DAY SIRS.
I think the guys that made this list need counseling, better life experiences, and less alcohol in their lives (which may or may not help them have better life experiences and reduce the need for counseling). Additionally, I need everyone passing this list around like it’s intellectual gold to stop, back away from the computer, and reevaluate your ethics, . This was irresponsible of “The Business Insider” to even champion. The stamp of “Goldman Sachs” does not elicit the guarantee of anything being well thought out or in your best interest, lest we forget their name has been synonymous with scandal these past few years.