How to get started “mansteading”

The following conversation about mansteading was recorded on December 12, 2016. Dad is not one to sit and chat, so it seems I’m always talking to him while he’s doing something else. This time, he was out by the shed chopping wood. The air was a crisp 26° and dad have nothing but a camouflage microfiber hunting jacket, blue jeans, and some boots. 

And this conversation will be enhanced with sound effects. Epic sound effects. 

*Thud. Thud. Crack.*

So dad, how do you get started mansteading?

What the [expletive] is mansteading supposed to mean?

*Thud. Kerthwack.*

We talked about this dad. Remember? The blog?

The what?

Blog.

Oh. You’re diary.

It’s called a blog, dad.

Call it what you will son. Just remind me to get you a frilly pink pen for your “blog.” And didn’t I tell you it was a dumb idea anyway?

Work with me dad.

What is that supposed to mean, anyway? Mansteading? As opposed to womansteading?

*Thwack. Crunch.*

What advice do you have about homesteading, from a man’s perspective?

Four ways to start mansteading

[1.] You just do it son.

Stop talking, start doing. That’s all. Don’t need to complicate things. You start sciencing it and you’ll never get started.

*Thud. Split.*

Start doing what? If you had to choose one thing, what would be the first thing you chose to do?

[Dad dropped his axe, turned around, and looked at me. Then he handed the axe to me.]

Go. Chop.

[I swing the splitting mall. *Thwack*.]

So what would you choose to do?

Chop, son.

I am chopping.

No. I mean chop. That’s the first thing I’d do.

[2] Chop some wood. 

But not everybody has wood. Not–

Doesn’t matter. You can find wood. People throw wood out everyday because a tree didn’t look right or it dropped too many apples. Then they pay a truckload of pennies for organic apples and wonder why they’re broke. Meanwhile, they’re filling a landfill with raw fuel, or a table, or a bowl, or what have you. Go out there, save those morons from their own stupidity, take their wood and chop it. Then make something of it.

But not everybody has a fireplace. 

Doesn’t matter. You wanna “manstead,” as you call it, you go outside, and you chop some wood.

But why?

Homesteading, or “mansteading” [and yes, he said that as sarcastically as possible. Thanks dad.] isn’t something you do. It’s something you are. And when you grab that splitting maul, and feel that breeze against a hot face, and listen to the birds, you can’t help but feel that what really matters is a man and his axe. You come to feel the power of a tool in your hands. Raw power. Not gas, not electricity. But muscle power. What matters is a man taking the time, the energy, the sweat, the effort to give something to his family. That is “mansteading.” So don’t go and complicate things. Mansteading is a man and his axe.

*Thud. Crack. Split.*

*Silence.*

And then…

And then?

[3] And then build something.

We’ve got all the conveniences you could ask for and things you didn’t even know you wanted. And for what? Everybody’s depressed. We took the work from man. We outsourced our satisfaction. We hired out our happiness.

You depressed? You don’t need no prozac. You need some wood. You need a drill. You need a saw. You need a birdhouse, or an outhouse, or a doghouse, or a chicken house. You need a turned pen or a sword for your grandkids. Save your money, folks. Go build something.

But build what?

That’s the problem. If you don’t know what to build, you ain’t ready for mansteading. If you’re ready, you’ve got more projects to build than you’ve got time to build ’em. You start seeing the way society has convinced us we’re incompetent–that we need to pay some high schooled zit face $800 to change our headlight. Or take out a loan to build a deck that wouldn’t require naught but some salvaged wood some other moron is throwing away and a couple hours of the best time spent all day. That’s therapy, son.

So, build what, you say?

[4] Next time you’re about to go to the store, ask yourself–“how can I keep my money that I worked [censored] hard for, rob those CEO executive crony crooks of my dime, and make it myself?”

[Sorry….you know how dad is. He doesn’t always lend himself to nice bullet points and numbered lists.]

Need a lawnmower? You could go to Crook’s Depot and spend 500 bucks just to have it die in half a year, or you can salvage a couple paint cans, a straight branch, and a pair of broken scissors and make one. Don’t have a root cellar. Find some jack-[censored] throwing away a fridge and bury it in your back yard.

So, repurpose something?

Yea…

[5] Repurpose something.

[Yeah, I know, I cheated on this one by leading him to it. But, can’t you see who I’m working with?]

Look, son. We’re killing the planet with so much [censored] waste. We’re driving ourselves further into legalized slavery a.k.a. debt. We’re buying and buying and buying, all the while getting miserabler and miserabler. Unless we do something about it…I don’t know. Things are bad and looking worse. One man’s trash is his own stupidity. Take his trash and make something useful.

Are we done yet?

Yeah, whatever you want dad. 

I got a lot of crap to scoop. Now drop that pink tape recorder of yours and grab a shovel.



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