[Note: Every Friday on First Thoughts we host a discussion about some aspect of pop culture. Today’s theme is “men do not do” lists. Have a suggestion for a topic? Send them to me at jcarter@firstthings.com.]

During last week’s discussion of ” 50 Things a Man Should Be Able To Do ,” a reader suggested we compile a list of things a man should never do. Although most people agreed that it was a worthy idea, one commenter warned that “The ‘should not’ list is inadvisable if it about cultural preferences and machismo.”

I disagree. I think the list should mainly consists of machismo and cultural preferences since those areas comprise the majority of things that men should not do. Besides, we’re creating a list, not drafting law. There’s no penalty for disagreeing. It’s doesn’t mean you’re evil. It just means that you’re wrong.

For this list I had some help from First Thoughts readers. You can hold me responsible for the first 37, while the remaining items are identified by the name of the contributor.

Here are 50 things a man should never do:

1. Get a “mani-pedi”—There may be situations in which a man is warranted in getting a manicure. There may also be situations where a man’s toenails get so out of control that a wife-mandated pedicure is a condition of staying married. But there are few legitimate reasons for getting both at the same time. And even if you do, there is no excuse for referring to the procedures as a “mani-pedi.” There just isn’t.

2. Wear an item of clothing simply because it’s “ironic.”

3. Cheat on your wife, taxes, or golf scorecard.

4. Ask a woman, “Why can’t you be more like ____________?”

5. Tell anyone about the time your buddy broke down and cried.

6. Tug on Superman’s cape. Spit into the wind. Pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger. Mess around with Jim.

7. Leer creepily.

8. Punch a woman for any reason other than to prevent her from causing another human being serious bodily harm.

9. Punch an animal for any reason other than to prevent them from causing another human being serious bodily harm.

10. Punch a kitten for any reason.

11. Admit to watching any movie on the Lifetime channel.

12. Know the complete lyrics to a Lady Gaga song.

13. Criticize another man’s wife in front of him.

14. Pierce any part of your body.

15. Care about fashion. (It’s okay to care about style, but not fashion. There’s a difference.)

16. Be drunk in public.

17. Post drunken pictures—of yourself or anyone else—on Facebook.

18. Spend more than three hours a week playing video games.

19. Expect praise for doing what you’re supposed to do (e.g., take care of your kids, clean up your own messes, work for a living).

20. Show fear in front of a dog or small child.

21. Sit while a pregnant woman has to stand.

22. Forget where you came from or who helped you to get where you are.

23. Invest your life savings in a company whose business model you don’t understand.

24. Attempt to impress a girl by joining any group that requires a serious commitment (the Marines, the Peace Corps, Orthodox Judaism).

25. Eat fried Twinkies any place outside a State Fair.

26. Use the bathroom in front of any woman that isn’t a nurse (including your wife).

27. Refer to oneself as a “playa.”

28. Shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

29. Lie to a kid by telling them they can be anything they want to be. (Most likely, they can’t.)

30. Give yourself a haircut.

31. Correct someone’s grammar unless (a) you are asked to do so, or (b) getting paid to do so, (c) the person is both under the age of eighteen and your own kid.

32. Be afraid to work hard.

33. Embarrass a father in front of his children.

34. Cry while watching any movie other than Old Yeller , Brian’s Song , or Rudy .

35. Go more than a year without reading a book.

36. Take cues about sex, marriage, fatherhood, or masculinity from watching popular movies and television shows.

37. Stop and ask for directions when a woman is in the car.

David Wells

38. Do not blame others or circumstances for their own mistakes.

39. Allow a bully to go unchallenged in any situation

Virginia Randall

40. Undertip.

41. Break their word.

42. Lie to themselves.

T.B Root

43. Wear clothes emblazoned with cartoon characters.

44. Make vulgar displays of hyper/pseudo-masculinity, etc.

Craig Payne

45. Have to have the last word.

46. Wear too-short or too-tight shorts.

47. Get upset when women tease them. (Yes, women can say things about men that men can’t say about women. That’s the way it is.)

48. Take the feminist movement too seriously, but neither do they despise it. (It had some good points.)

John O’Herron

49. Ridicule the sport preferences of other men by saying that it “Isn’t a real sport.”

50. Curse in public

Articles by Joe Carter

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