Hi. I'm Steve - Welcome to my blog! I'm a 45y/o straight single male, father of one, engineering technician presently working in heavy construction near Cleveland, Ohio... and I wear nail color AS a man.
I'm not a crossdresser - I don't wear women's clothes, or try to fool people into thinking I'm a female. I'm also not transgender - I don't "want to be a
woman" or think of myself as a woman-in-a-man's-body.
I'm a straight male, proud and happy to be so. I wear nail color because I think it looks good, and to me its JUST PAINT... there's nothing "feminine" about
paint... and I believe that as society discards its absurd, ignorant
assumptions, it will start to judge people on the basis of things that
really matter - like character.
There are several definitions of "masculinity" in popular culture.
There's the one that says "A real man has lots of shiny crap and bangs a lot of supermodels" ("and if you're not getting as many supermodels as the guys on TV, then buy more of our new & improved shiny crap"). This is the "media definition" of masculinity- its fundamental flaws are: 1) it's designed to be an impossible goal, a man can't buy enough shiny crap to become irresistible to women, and 2) it puts women in charge of "granting" masculinity by consenting to sex. So, this is a false definition.
Then there's the one that says "A real man has lots of guy friends, he belongs* to a crew and conforms* to its expectations, he drinks when they drink, he watches sports & porn when they do, he puts his 'bros before hos' and he never questions the group. This is the "social definition" of masculinity - and the problem with this is that it is a herd mentality. It denies every man their individuality, and it puts the herd in charge of "granting" masculinity as the reward for submission and conformity. Guys cower in the safety of the herd, like sheep, afraid to stand out or defy the herd's rules lest they incur the herd's disapproval. And the herd does disapprove of any individual standing alone, because the loner demonstrates confidence, independence and strength that is lacking among the members of the herd. This too is a false definition, equating masculinity with dependence on the approval of a social group.
There's another definition of masculinity. This one says "A real man is appealing to other* women.. he is a leader of other men.. he is a protector of loved ones.. he is willing and able to show emotion.. and he is a bold, confident, successful risk taker." The funny thing is that few men have heard this definition - it is (at least in theory) the "woman's instinctive definition" of masculinity - any man who says "What do women want?" is unfamiliar with these 5 traits. He may have some of them, but doesn't recognize it, because he's been too busy failing at his attempt to lure women with his collection of shiny crap. There is a "pick up artist" lecture series (if you follow that link... note the guy's nails...) that teaches these 5 traits as "demonstrations of higher value", claiming that women have been wired by evolution to seek these traits in men, and instructing guys on how to incorporate these elements into the stories they tell and the actions they take in social situations with women. I believe that there is some merit to this definition - it makes sense that males (of any species)* who possess these traits provide a better chance of survival to a female and her offspring. The problems with this definition are: 1) it's too primitive, it's based entirely on a theory of reproductive success in terms of our existence as animals, and it denies the intellectual aspect of being human, and 2) it defines masculinity strictly in terms of a man's usefulness to a woman, it identifies masculinity as subservient to femininity and thus a man's identity is made dependent on a woman's need for him. So, I accept this as a limited, incomplete definition of masculinity.
My definition of my masculinity is simply "Am I proud of the man I see in the mirror?" In other words, have I been honest to myself and others, do I honor my commitments and keep my promises, am I a responsible father, a devoted partner, a trusted friend and a compassionate person. Do I give people the respect they earn, and earn the respect I seek? This is a definition of masculinity that I can control - my score in these categories is based on the things I do instead of things that others think or say about me. They are all still related to how I interact with society - but based on my actions instead of others' reactions. Moreover, this is a definition of masculinity that is based on elements of my character, and this - character - is the basis on which I wish to be judged - not how much shiny crap I own, or how many hot women I bang, or how well I keep up with my friends' drinking, or how loudly I cheer for my sports teams.
Of course, none of these definitions actually specifies that masculinity is dependent on the absence of nail color. The closest any get to that is the "social definition"s requirement that a man must do what his buddies do (and not do anything they don't do), so a man whose friends wear no color must also wear none, but a man whose friends wear black nail color must wear black too....
Part of the reason I wear nail color is to illustrate the absurdity of society's presumption that men shouldn't wear it, and to defy the expectation that I should conform to the herd's practice of not wearing it. I also believe that by wearing nail color, I demonstrate boldness, confidence, independence, leadership and risk-taking, which are all positive masculine traits.
Anyway, enough of the theory..
Aside from this blog, anyone who wishes to contact me may find me on Facebook at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV4Vek5sHHE - or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org