From Axes To Razors, The Stuff That Makes You Feel Manly

Jul 4, 2014
Originally published on July 6, 2014 3:27 pm

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

Last week, we posed the question, "What object makes you feel manly?" You told us about handkerchiefs and boxing gloves, typewriters and vintage tools. Listen to the audio above to hear NPR's Robert Siegel round up audience responses; we've also compiled some of the social media responses below.

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And now onto some fun - fun. Last week, we asked you this. What object, gadget, toy, tool, stuff makes you feel manly? And why? Well, we got a lot of response from men and women. Some of your manly things include a sledgehammer, neon red lipstick and a Dick Butkus Chicago Bears throwback jersey. Rich Greene of Atlanta tweeted about his box cutter saying this - something about flipping the blade out makes me feel like a 1950s juvenile delinquent on a motorcycle. Well, if you're Sanka Perera of Alexandria, Virginia, you're actually on a motorcycle and without a box cutter. This, by the way, isn't his motorcycle. Perara writes this - while at first glance, that seems like a cliche answer, what it represents is freedom and solitude, the two things I value the most as a full-grown man and what I hope to give my children one day. Children and what they do to you came up a lot. Joe Bernstein of Chicago says what makes him feel like a man are his gray hairs. He writes, I got them during those early fatherhood days of short nights and the months after becoming a father. I view them as my badge of manly fatherhood experience. Main Kim for Fort Lee, New Jersey tells us his manly object is his vintage Seamaster 1953 watch. It doesn't just keep time. It makes it more meaningful. He writes, to a boy, a watch is a watch. To a man, a watch is a story and something he can pass on. And the object that makes Fred Gordon of Portland, Oregon feel manly - a flute - works for Ron Burgundy, too.


WILL FERRELL: (As Ron Burgundy) That's baby-making music. That's what that is.

SIEGEL: Mr. Gordon tells us, I survived grade school and high school in the mid-'60s as the sole or sometimes one of two male flautist. It didn't win me a lot of pointers with my peers, male or female, because it wasn't guy enough. Fred Gordon says he still plays his flute. He adds this, though - to me, a real man likes what he likes, decides what it means to be a real man and sticks with it. You can see a visual round up of many more manly objects at, and you can submit your own. Just use the hashtag #menpr.


SALT 'N' PEPPA: (Singing) What a man - what a man - what a man - what a mighty good man - What a mighty good man. What a man - what a man - what a man - what a mighty good man.

SIEGEL: You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.