by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

Four Ways To Man Up The Church (4 of 7)
Series: Man Church
Steve Jones

INTRODUCTION: Some time ago, Miller Brewing created an unusual series of TV commercials titled Man Laws. The ads featured macho men (athletes coaches, wrestlers, cowboys and he-man actors such as Burt Reynolds) sitting around a square table, debating the bounds of acceptable male behavior. Here's a sample of one from YouTube regarding the law of not leaving a sporting event early. Some of the other man laws include:
- Men do not iron blue jeans and
- Hugs between men are acceptable, as long as only one arm is used.

Miller took the opposite tack on its next campaign - it ridiculed "girlie men" who violate the man laws. These ads laughed a men carrying purses, being protected by their mothers or riding scooters. At the end of each sight gag, a deep-voiced announcer growled, "Man up!"

"Being manly" is a universal obsession among men. Every culture on earth has its own set of man laws. Men who follow these laws are treated with respect, but violators are ostracized, ridiculed, and rejected by their peers.

Here's a helpful word picture: Every man carries within himself a masculinity bank. Each time he succeeds in a manly endeavor, a few coins drop into his bank: ka-ching, ka-ching. For most men, the bank can never be filled. A man will begin collecting the coins around middle school and will spend his entire lifetime gathering them. Men don't know they have a masculinity bank; they just know its important to do things that are manly in the eyes of their peers. Those deposits to the "man bank" can come in different forms for different men. A corporate exec might prove his masculinity by having a corner office. An artist might measure his masculinity by winning awards for his exceptional paintings; a police officer by being the best marksman on the force. Guys like me who don't have a particularly macho profession have to find clever ways to fill our man bank. I ...

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