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Man up

Something about this expression makes me laugh. What is it? I’ve only recently been hearing it. Someone on the Homesteading Today list was talking about leaving her husband, who didn’t want to look for work. She said he wouldn’t man up. It clearly means something like step up and take your responsibilities like a man.

Is there a corresponding expression ‘woman up’? If ‘man up’ means taking on the traditional male role of being tough, taking care of the family, maybe being brave, then would ‘woman up’ mean – what? Have some babies, stay home barefoot, giggle and flirt, do the laundry, be helpless, bake good pie? What?

‘Man up’ does remind me of the kind of corporate meeting where all the men in the room have to prove how much more powerful they are than anyone else. It’s hard to be a woman in those meetings. The men are all unzipping their pants and waving around what my Aunt Lidy once referred to as their ‘gentlemen’s apparatus’, and the women are just trying to stay with the agenda and get the project finished. We don’t care who has the most power, or the biggest apparatus. Those meetings can take an hour to cover ten minutes worth of work. I guess that’s not how most people use the expression, though.

This reminds me of another post I want to write on the acquisition of jargon.

Addendum: I just looked up ‘woman up’ in Urban Dictionary. It says “be a woman, don’t act like a punk ass man by running away whenever things get tough.” I like that.

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