From The Malebag: Man Up, Dude!

Reader Response: The recent Doc Gurley post, Asking: Or Is It Pimping? provoked interesting and very insightful comments from our readers – and also revealed a profound difference of opinion. One school-of-thought reader put it most succinctly by stating: “Sounds like whinning (sic) to me, Gurley…Man up, dude.”

Doc Gurley Perspective: I, for one, love to (ahem) man up. I would even modestly state that I have some talent in that area. In fact, I would challenge anyone to hoist an imaginary scrotum more convincingly than I. Despite natural talent, my enthusiasm for the state of “man-up-ness” waned rapidly. The first, minor, reason my enthusiasm waned is one of terminology – having personally given birth to (and nursed) two children and survived my (slightly disproportionate) share of ear-bleeding blasts from screaming newborns and toddlers, I’m extremely baffled at how the act of stoic endurance in the face of superhuman expectations has become known as to man up. My inner English Major balks. We’re clearly in need of some new metaphors – for example, when faced with excruciating stress, I personally like to invoke my Obstetrical Om. Everyone (male and female) should be taught a little silent heeheehee panted breathing at the start of medical school – while not much good at treating the pain of ripping internal flesh, it works wonders at focusing the mind when you need to wait for the passing of an urge to push (or throttle). My second, slightly larger, reason for abandoning the act of manning up is that I (like many women in relatively high-pressure male-dominated careers) found that when I successfully manned up, I shot right out the other side of manhood and became known as an uber-version of archetypal womanhood. In other words, a bitch. It again seems baffling to me how the clench-jawed, steely-eyed, slightly constipated version of manning up renders you more absolutely woman than any other act, but there it is. Which begs the question – why do it if you end up where you started (and perhaps worse off)? Lastly, my biggest reason for abandoning my short-lived talent in this area is that it never provoked the kind of response anyone would hope for – it’s very hard to take seriously someone who’s actually trying to be a Gurley-man.

Other opinions? – should humans in medical training embrace the “pink fluttery boudoirs of the heart”,* or  “man-up”?

*phrase source: the hilarious Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad.

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