Manlier than Iron Man?

Steve Allen ponders over men wearing masks.

Steve Allen ponders over men wearing masks.

The new rules are in. We now have to wear face coverings in shops, takeaways and banks.

How times have changed. In the old days, if you wore a mask in a bank they would call the police. Now it’s the other way round.

Other government advice included “do not touch your mask”. They should have explicitly stated that you shouldn’t touch it when it’s already on your face. If people misunderstand they’ll be trying to put a mask out without using their hands, like some pointless team-building away-day exercise.

This will be met with mixed success.

The research tells us that the group who are the worst at wearing face coverings is men. Apparently we think they make us look less manly.

Oh, come on, it’s only a mask. Think about what you’re risking. Even if wearing a mask makes you feel slightly less butch, I imaging lying in a hospital bed relying on a ventilator might make you feel worse.

I don’t agree that all masculinity is toxic, so let’s use it. If you want to feel manly you simply have to change how you feel about masks.

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Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, Jason from the Friday the 13th films and Iron Man all have face coverings and they are some of the manliest men around.

Even Hannibal Lecter kind of wore a mask and you wouldn’t call him a little girl’s blouse and get to keep your kidneys.

Imagine how tough you’d feel walking around in a mask like Bane from the Batman films. OK, you’d stop feeling tough and start feeling stupid as soon as you did the silly voice that goes with it and we all know you’d do the silly voice. You’re a man, after all.

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