‘What’s one ‘unmanly’ thing you do?’ A Twitter thread shows the pressure Indian men face

This Twitter thread reveals just how many men struggle to live up to unwritten rules about what men should and shouldn’t do and like.
‘What’s one ‘unmanly’ thing you do?’ A Twitter thread shows the pressure Indian men face
‘What’s one ‘unmanly’ thing you do?’ A Twitter thread shows the pressure Indian men face
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Feminists, or any women who raise questions about gender stereotypes, are usually attacked for being anti-men, for not letting men and women be men and women. But it’s not just women who feel the burden of rigid gender boundaries, it’s just as hard for many men to live up these enforced expectations. You don’t have to take our word for it, there’s a Twitter thread that shows just how it works.

Saheli, a journalist with IDG media, tweeted on Thursday asking men about “that one thing YOU do, which is not considered manly by our social standards.”

She was inspired by a similar thread on Reddit, and received a number of responses. The resulting thread gives a glimpse of how restrictive and arbitrary gender roles can be. From the way they looked to things they liked, to activities they preferred doing – a number of men revealed the wide range of choices and actions that automatically got dubbed as “unmanly”.


One immediately visible trend was the number of men who liked beauty treatments like pedicures, manicures, and using moistures, conditioners and make up. And just how many of them were made fun of by their male friends or family for it.

There were also many men who said they liked wearing pink even though it’s considered a ‘girly’ colour. And one person said that he was “ashamed” of wearing purple although he liked it.

One man said he was made fun of for sitting with his legs crossed.

Household chores

Many said that they liked cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and babysitting. And at least some of them were made fun of for doing these jobs that are considered jobs for women.

Expressing emotions

Many men said that they tear up when watching films or that they just tend to cry more often and that it wasn’t considered manly. One person said that he found crying to be therapeutic.

Hobbies and fun

There were a good number of men who said that they did not like or take interest in sports, bikes or cars.

One person said that he liked scented candles, sitting under fairy lights and colouring, but that he had been fun of by other men for the latter.

Many men said that they liked to shop. One man said that he liked to do “comparison shopping”. When asked to elaborate, he said that it was often called “shopping like women” where he tried many different varieties of a product before buying it.

A few people also said that they liked romcoms (romantic comedies) and ‘chick flicks’.

Appearance and behaviour

One man said that he made sure not to stand in front of the elevator, and held the door open for most people. When Saheli responded about how these actions were gendered, he replied saying “it’s macho to be an a**hole”.

A few men pointed out that their lack of facial hair had them at the receiving end. Some also said that they were made fun of for not being muscular or not liking physical altercations and fights.


Some men said they preferred mocktails and didn’t smoke. One man said he was asked, “You’re a guy, why do you find smoking offensive?”

One person said that he was always teased because he chose not to take part when his male friends shared “explicit” details about their romantic partners.

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