To All The Haters

Last updated on February 27th, 2014 at 01:40 pm

Sometimes you have some really challenging days. Not only was I trying to take care of business at the day job, working against insane deadlines that always seem to spring up out of nowhere. Not only was I running on fumes, trying to get every last bit of productivity out of myself, despite the odds.

No, what was really tiring me out is that the Mansformation haters were out in full swing.

Can You Like Me but Not My Ideas?

I love my friends—and a lot of the ones I interact with regularly on my Facebook are intelligent, well-versed, but strongly opinionated people. For example, here’s a look at the words exchanged over the Man Lessons I’ve been putting out and what they mean (excerpts minimized as to not make brains explode):

Did it bother me that I was getting so much criticism from my friends?


Did I think that they had valid points in their arguments?

Of course.

However, without them having a complete understanding what Mansformation is all about, I don’t know if I’m prepared to give full merit to the arguments made against it.

What Mansformation’s All About

They say you should write what you know. This is what I know.

Casey Palmer is a twenty-something heterosexual man living in Toronto, Ontario. He’s made a lot of friends and seen a lot of places in his time, and through all this, he’s made his share of mistakes. Through a list of friends that’s 90% female or more, he’s seen the kinds of mistakes that men can make. He’s heard the stories. He’s witnessed the aftermath.

And now he’s ready to do something about it.

This is me. This is who I am. Who I am not is neither female nor homosexual. So while I can easily share the background and perspective of a heterosexual male in the Man Lessons I distribute every day, who am I to speak for three other major groups of people? I think I’d be far better off getting a representative from each group to speak to their experiences rather than be presumptuous enough to think that I have the knowledge or the right to do it on my own.

I get a lot of critiques that many of my Man Lessons apply to women as well. Here’s a basic reasoning of why: All life lessons are potential Man Lessons, but not all Man Lessons are life lessons. Yes, there will be lessons that apply to everyone on the face of this planet, but at the risk of beating a dead horse, my lifestyle and choices cannot possibly represent every possible iteration of human being on the planet.

So I speak to the types of human beings I can completely relate with—the straight men in various stages of their lives, trying to find love. Trying to be more fashionable. Trying to live the lives they desire and just can’t seem to figure out how to put all the pieces together.

Eventually I’d love to put a team together to tackle female issues. LGBTTIQQ2SA issues. Issues bounded by culture and geographical locations. These would all be amazing to tack, but the fact of the matter is this:

In order to effect change, you need to start somewhere.

So here’s to my haters, who inspired me to really think about why I’m doing this and reassure myself that I’m putting a service together that helps the world. A service that can help men be exactly who they want to be in a world that only grows more confusing with every passing day. If you think that I’m alienating populations, you’re more than welcome to write material catering to them, but I’m gonna keep doing what I’m doing.

Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions. I’ve got mansforming to do.

–case p.

By Casey E. Palmer

Husband. Father. Storyteller.

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey Palmer the Canadian Dad spend his free time in pursuit of the greatest content possible.

Thousand-word blog posts? Snapshots from life? Sketches and podcasts and more—he's more than just a dad blogger; he's working to change what's expected of the parenting creators of the world.

It's about so much more than just our kids.

When Casey's not creating, he's busy parenting, adventuring, trying to be a good husband and making the most of his life!

Casey lives in Toronto, Ontario.

10 replies on “To All The Haters”

I missed this post – wish I read it earlier. I love what you’re doing. Don’t mind the haters. Like you said, you have to start somewhere. It’s easy for them to say oh you should start there or here or elsewhere, but you’re the one starting. It’s easy to criticize when you’re not doing it.

Anyway, some thoughts:
I see what their point is in saying that it should be person lessons and man lessons. Which is why I think it’s great that you’re addressing the problem that guys have with approaching, dating, and how they see themselves because I think that you’re getting to the root of the problem. I’ve spent a good 4 years of my life giving advice to guys around this very topic because I’ve been immersed in the PUA community. The perpetual problem I’ve noticed that many men have stems from the social incongruence that exists in our culture.

What makes a man? What is manly? We’re BOMBARDED with so many mixed signals. Let’s look at some portrayals of men. Real men don’t drink light beer. Or they do, but it can only be of a certain brand. Real men love bacon. They care for pick up trucks. Real men love sports. Real men don’t care for fashion/style, Real men don’t show their emotions or don’t cry. (Tupac taught me that thugs cry too so bullshit on that). But then men are bashed in pop culture by things aimed at women: men only love sports and thus you can’t relate to them, men are crass and brute, etc. (Now I can build out probably a larger sample at the hypocrisy and contradictions aimed at women, but again, let’s focus on something we can both relate to and deal with, namely the men problems). In movies we see women falling for the sensitive intelligent guy, but then in some movies we she the sensitive intelligent guy as inferior to the “manly” man (which then later go on to be portrayed to be as brute and unappealing to be in the company of women). These are just some things I thought of in the last 2 minutes and I’m sure I can list a lot more if I really thought about.

These contradictions and paradoxes a create a state that is toxic for a man who hasn’t figured himself out, particularly one that doesn’t know know where to start. After all, what is the ideal? what is good for a man and what isn’t? It goes beyond simply finding a balance because the limits vary and it seems like the middle is just an illusion. So many men go on mindlessly trying to figure out something that doesn’t even need to be figured out (the problem begins with boys who are taught, through popular culture, as to who to become). The problem is cultural and societal. But it doesn’t mean that it can’t be fixed.

The differences in genders are slight, but they do exist and are very important in shaping the problems that exist for men. Bars and nightclubs are considered to be where the cool people hang out. That’s the stylish, suave place. Men are trained to the sexy woman as the ideal because she’s the one that gets in free, she’s the one that gets drinks (I can also talk about how this creates a problem for women, particularly the objectification of them). These men are taught that a hot woman is more valuable than them. They’re also taught that being with this hot woman will validate their social existence. So men start living a life based around getting the hot women.

Problem is, no one knows what hot women want because hot women isn’t a thing. They’re not one type. Furthermore, classifying them based on their attractiveness is a false classification because appearance can easily change with professional help and stylist. But the problem is that men are never taught this. Men are never truly taught how to approach women, how to deal with women. Most men learn from watching others do it, specifically watching actors and actresses interact. But one movie shows a hot girl falling for the buff action guy while another girl is falling for the funny guy while another is falling for the sensitive guy (I also hate classifying people based on “sensitive” or “funny” because the classification rarely works).

This whole rambling rant is just to show how little we understand about the state of men. Who should we be? Who are we “being” for? Who should we try to impress?

I think the biggest problem is that they’re ultimately not focused on themselves. It’s important to be aware of your place in the society and culture. I think what you’re doing is great and is a great start. Obviously you won’t change the world with this overnight, but you can’t change anything if you don’t try.

PS sorry if it was a bit rambly, I kept getting distracted, stopping and going.

@PavelNovel:disqus , thanks for the comment, man — sorry I couldn’t get to it earlier. A lot of what you’re saying is spot-on; we definitely need to get you on as a columnist when Mansformation is up and running!

So you’ve hit the nail on the head, my friend — over time, the entire definition of what a man is has pretty much dissolved, leaving a bunch of dudes who are confused and TRY their best, but without a guidebook to keep them from constantly messing up. Your interpretation of what I’m trying to do is right — it’s even reflected in the Man Lessons I’ve been putting out these past few months — you need to work on yourself and your core before you truly start to get what you want from the world around you.

Our conversation a couple of days back changed this a little, but I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Pickup Artist (PUA) community. However, I think we found some common ground when you told me about the community you’ve been participating in and how it’s not your stereotypical group, chasing after “hot women” (or “10s”) and measuring their self-worth by their number of “conquests”. Seeing the focus on TRUE self-worth and defining oneself as an INDIVIDUAL with worth as truly refreshing.

Anyway, I think that we’re hoping for the same thing — a service that will help build secure, confident men who don’t make all of us look bad 🙂

I guess the question is — how do we get something like that into the hands of as many people as possible?

–case p.

Sorry took so long to reply, was away in Atlantic City having fun. Anyway, here’s another rant lol.

I’ve been thinking, maybe every generation of men have gone through the same “identity crisis.” After all, every generation has its own unique male idols and stars that heavily influence the overall idea of the “perfect man.”

Just examining my own short experience of life, it’s easy to see how the ideal has evolved in just two decades. I grew up in a mostly urban environment; my surroundings and peers were also heavily influenced by hip hop. Hip hop changed and it’s obvious just by looking and how people dress now. Back when gangsta rap was big, loose clothing and being tough was cool and everyone did that and idolized this “street toughness.” This is not a knock on them, but today guys like Lil Wayne, Kanye, and Drake rule the radio. They’re a lot more fashion conscious and a lot more in tune with their emotions. Different ideal of man on the surface (I say “on the surface” because no matter the generation, I think the qualities of an ideal man stay the same, e.g. loyalty, honesty, “being real” etc. and that’s something that you can write a lot about in mansformations). And this is only one environment and one musical genre. Look at movies and the rest of pop culture and see how the idolization of certain men have shifted the qualities that we perceive as attractive. I mean look at Disney movies and how a whole generation grew up with this idea of “prince charming.” We’ve been conditioned to intuitively understand that phrase, but the phrase “princess charming” isn’t really a thing – girl’s don’t need a man to proclaim her royalty (but I digress.)

This constant shifting of pop cultural forces has undoubtedly left many men, and women confused; particularly those who don’t have a strong foundation of their individual selves and those who can’t take cues from within. Every generation has faced a problem, but to many it seems that it’s this generation that has it the worst. I don’t think that’s true to say. I believe it only seems this way because some people have realized that they can make money of this and that we finally have the platforms to massively exploit this need. Magazines for men, magazines for women, websites, vlogs, blogs, etc etc. Men improving for women who are improving for men – just like two cats chasing each other’s tails. Much like women facing the cultural problem of a perception of not being skinny enough, men are bombarded with a marketing message that they’re not “man” enough – but don’t worry, join our mailing list/subscribe/watch/buy and we’ll make a man out you just like you always dreamed to be when you were a little kid watching Top Gun movies wanting to wear Ray Bans and being cool.

Maybe other generations paid a lot of attention to it too, but we don’t really know about it because we weren’t alive. Now, the older generations aren’t going to talk about it because they’re past this stage. They have families and careers, they’re not worried about being the “proper” way whatever that means. Much like 20 years from now, you and I will never worry about what’s the best way to be a man. We’ll see the younger generation stressing about how to be the best for the opposite and laugh it off the way we laugh off kids now who stress about their celebrity crushes. Maybe every generation faces the same mass identity crisis and we just all grow.

What you need to do is to be the guide for those men who are looking for something more, for those who are looking past the pop culture to understand who to become but still haven’t figured out that it’s about them and no one else. Your goal should be to help people to the point that they don’t need help anymore because they realized their own potential, passions, etc. You are a teacher.

On the bright side, the person (people) who commented seem to want your opinion so much that they are trying to convince you to give advice about the subjects they care about most. They COULD have said, “I’ll just ignore this project, because Casey is only talking about men, and I’m really only comfortable talking about both genders.” Instead, they are trying really hard to get you agree with their viewpoints so you can give them advice.

On the dark, doomy side, criticizing the root of your entire project is annoying!

Personally, I think “man lessons” / “mansformation” is a great idea. There are countless outlets for this sort of information for women, and very few for men.

Thanks for the support, @angeliqueandfriends:disqus — it’s not a completely ground-breaking idea to try and give men advice in a simple format that’s more conducive to men, but I haven’t seen it done WELL. So yeah, still looking forward to going ahead with it 🙂

And yes, I agree that people are commenting because they feel so invested in the way I’m presenting these ideas. When I post on Facebook, I generally get a whole heap of ideas and opinions — I’ve gotten people riled up in debates about things that I thought would be completely innocuous; whether or not men should wear undershirts, for instance!

We’ll see where this crazy road leads me 🙂

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