On Manly Men

I’m tired of what scared man-children are doing to my industry, to social media, to my country and to women. It’s self-defeating. It’s wrong. It’s violent and it’s cowardly.

SO… Men. Stop being cowards. Stop treating people like crap. Stop threatening them. Stop lashing out like toddlers having tantrums because you’re afraid for no reason. Stop making up reasons to be scared and start living.

Look at your behavior. If you really think that threatening women, doxing them, swatting them, demeaning them, pushing them out of your communities because you’re threatened by them… if you REALLY think that makes you a manly man – you’re an idiot.

Being a manly man means being comfortable with yourself and not being threatened when someone else wants the same.

Being a manly man means being courteous, debating on the merits and not throwing tantrums when someone else wants a turn to speak. It also means admitting when you’re wrong.

Being a manly man means not being afraid of people who are different just because they’re different. It means being curious and adventurous – and not afraid to treat people like you want to be treated – or better, how they wish to be treated.

Bullies aren’t manly men. Bullies, at their core, are afraid and have to use intimidation and violence to project power. But, they have no power. Once a bully is outnumbered, he’s just a coward again.

Be a manly man and welcome everyone into your communities. You’ll find you’ll have more fun, learn more, and your community will be stronger for it.

Let’s make stories like this one a thing of the past.

And in case you’re confused, there’s nothing wrong with being a man. There is something wrong with thinking that your gender means you’re somehow entitled to affection, attention, recognition or leadership. If you really believe in a meritocracy, you’ll judge people by their results and not by what they look like, how they worship or where they’re from – and that means untangling centuries of bullshit about ability, the meaningless signifiers of “success” (for example, all our presidents have been men, therefore to be a good president, you have to be a man – or the funny bit of trivia that almost all Fortune 500 CEOs are white men over 6 feet tall). Just because historically, someone hasn’t been allowed to do something doesn’t mean they can’t. And just because this is how we’ve done it in the past doesn’t mean that’s the best way going forward – especially if it’s a cultural affectation that doesn’t actually have anything to do with the outcome.

So, being a man – it’s not bad. But, it’s not the only thing. Being kind is more important than your gender.

By Kevin Lawver

Web developer, Software Engineer @ Gusto, Co-founder @ TechSAV, husband, father, aspiring social capitalist and troublemaker.


  1. “A FreeBSD committer started going off on me on Twitter. He wasn’t at my talk and I didn’t know him — I only knew he was associated with FreeBSD because of his bio.”

    “Last, I wanted this developer removed from the project and the IRC channel. It was clear that this guy had a problem with women — he was also harassing a trans woman who was starting to get involved with the project. It wasn’t a good look for FreeBSD, and it needed to be treated seriously.”

    No it’s not clear at all. The trans woman comment is unsubstantiated but even if true, he clearly just had a problem with her and her actions, it had nothing to do with gender. The only one saying it did was her.

    This conflict also had nothing to do with freebsd – other than her trying to form connections which simply werent there in the hope they would step in. The only person wanting someone removed from freebsd was her in fact calling for him to be removed because of a fued occurring elsewhere.

    Lastly to top it all off, when freebsd did deliver on the one demand of her’s they had power and could sensibly do 5 months ago, this wasn’t good enough by her arbritrary standards and so now, a day after she leaves freebsd, she wants to smear the freebsd folk?

    Geez talk about hypocrisy..

    You should really read the 3 part write up on Breitbart. Even if only a small portion of it is true, it still paints a very different and detailed picture than her vague retelling which skips right past any form of proof or explanation of exactly what harrassment took place but launches straight into an attack on freebsd. Innocent victims don’t hide details, particularly confident vocal ones who have no problem threatening and releasing the phone number of a debt collector ceo.

    1. I don’t care to argue about this specific case, but no one should put any faith in anything Breitbart publishes. This happens too often and the beats are exactly the same as countless previous stories. My rant was general purpose and not specific to this case – this case was just the last straw.

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