Defying Expectations: 12 Activities That Challenge Male Gender Norms

Man taking care of lawn

Never has it been more challenging to define the term “man.” But, seriously, guys can't seem to agree on what makes a guy a guy. Is it mowing a lawn? Changing a carburetor? Taking shots at Bambi for sport?

It turns out that many activities frequently associated with manhood aren't even that popular amongst most men. Take a look at some of the stereotypically “manly” things men don't enjoy doing. 

1. Lawn Care

Mowing lawn
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It turns out that millions (dare I say billions?) of men are wholly content, never sitting on the neon yellow leather of a John Deere lawnmower. The aroma of freshly cut grass does absolutely nothing for them.

2. Home Improvement

High Angle View Of Male Plumber In Overall Fixing Sink Pipe
Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.

Many guys keep the handyman on speed dial. Their fondness for Home Improvement starts and ends at Tim Allen.

3. Hunting

Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

I'm sure bagging that five-point buck was as transformative as you claim. I'm going to take your word for it.

Most guys who go “hunting” also go “waiting,” “laying in the mud,” and “not seeing a thing for seven straight hours.” That was fun. Let's never do it again.

4. Cars

manual drive
Image Credit: Motortion Films/Shutterstock.

Changing oil. Changing tires. You are changing the dangling dice that sway pendulously from the rearview mirror. You can keep it all.

Many guys have no interest in cars beyond basic questions like “Does it run?” and “How does it smell”? Car buffs are in their echelon of manliness, but most dudes want to drive.

5. Gentlemen's Clubs

fight club2
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Um, guys, where are the gentlemen? While being a man can be tricky to define, being a gentleman is not. Gentleman's Club patrons don't exactly fit that bill. 

6. Fishing

Trout Fishing in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Image Credit: Noontootla Creek Farms.

Fishing is, too often, like hunting. Frequently uneventful, slightly enhanced by several cold beers, and potentially miserable if you don't have good company.

7. Watching Sports

boring sports
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Without indulging in the “sports ball” cliches, the truth is that many guys don't have the time to watch sports on television. Going to a game can be an exciting use of time, especially if it's a date. But sitting down and dedicating multiple hours to watching grown men play a game that, in the grand scheme, has zero bearing on one's life? If that sounds crazy, you're not alone.

8. Golf

Golfers high-fiving.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

You see, the thing about enjoying golf is…booze. If you don't “like” golf, you're probably overthinking it. Crack another Coors Light and hack away.

9. Fantasy Sports

Friends watching sports
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Like watching sports, some guys find managing a roster of athletes unappealing. Come on, guys, it's like you are the team's general manager! Don't you get it?! One man's fantasy is another man's nightmare.

10. Picking up Chicks

Couple talking in bar
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Perhaps the most traditionally masculine activity of all, picking up chicks isn't for every guy. To each their own. 

11. Guns

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

For obvious reasons, not everyone is thrilled with firearms. Those who enjoy hunting may not necessarily enjoy firing away at a target. 

12. Whipping Each Other With Rolled-up Towels

Adult man in bathrobe and towel turban enjoying spa day at home and relaxing in comfortable chair or armchair with facial beauty mask on face and fresh cucumber slices on eyes. Skin care concept
Image Credit: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock.

Wait, other guys don't enjoy that? News to me.

Author: Sam Mire

Title: Popular Culture and Film Writer

Expertise: Film and Television, Life Advice, Comedic Writing, Movies, DIY Handiwork, Books, Current Events and Popular Culture


Sam Mire is a freelance writer with over seven years' experience writing about entertainment, global events, American law, and sports. With a Journalism degree from the University of South Florida, Sam focuses on popular culture, film and television, and general life advice in his role for Wealth of Geeks.