Opinion: Why the saying 'man up' needs to go

By Joseph Albright | August 27, 2018 1:13pm


Joseph Albright is a 2018 graduate of UP.

Few things in this world make me angry. I have had a good life and have no right to have anger in my heart. Yesterday, however, I experienced something that infuriated me. I was in the middle of having a heated conversation with my roommate about finances, and he said something that struck me as argent, conceded and ignorant. He said to me “man up!” I believe this phrase is one of the things that pinpoints what is wrong with our “modern world.” This attacked my sexuality, he was insinuating that I was gay. What is wrong with being gay? 

First of all, why does it have to be man up? We all have mothers and I know I consider my mom the most strong, honest and intelligent person I know. She has trained me to be strong and I am strong because of her strength. So, in that sense, if we are really trying to capture the essence of strength, the phrase should be “woman up!” 

Second of all, this ignorant phrase communicates to developing minds that there is a need to internalize feelings. Making decisions excluding feeling is like making your way through a maze with your eyes missing. Young men should utilize all the tools available to them to make intelligent decisions and train their feelings to work with rationality. 

Third of all, this saying tells me that I need to suck it up and make it work. This encourages a lack of communication which can lead to further isolation. So in my experience as a man growing up in the 21st century, I don’t want to man up. I want to encourage better communication, inclusivity and take all that we have learned about past culture to progress into the future. 

The phrase “man up!” is outdated and ignorant. Stop incorporating it into your thought. I am amazed that someone working on the pinnacle of modern space travel, the Space Launch System (SLS), would readily say something so outdated and ignorant. He should have his mind progressing, or he has no right working on such a progressive project here at NASA. After all, we are here to make the world a better place.

Joseph Albright is a 2018 UP alum and can be reached at joeyalbright@msn.com