Top 10 Masculine Traits of Men (Plus, “I’m a Masculinist, Which is Not the Opposite of a Feminist”)

I recently compiled the world’s first official Top 10 List of Masculine Traits in Men.

My list is a reflection of what society as a whole deems as important to the overall definition of masculinity. That’s not to say a woman can’t have these attributes, but I am presenting a theory that when a man is the opposite of one of these traits, it typically serves as an indication that society will see him as less masculine to some degree.

With no further ado, here is my list of the Top 10 Masculine Traits of Men; which are not necessarily listed in order of importance, as I believe that part can depend on the individual man himself:

1.      Confident (believes in himself)

2.      Respects Women and Helps His Fellow Man (loves others as himself)

3.      Finds Identity in His Unique Skill Set (is aware of what he’s good at)

4.      Healthy and Active (eats right and exercises)

5.      Decisive (can make a quick decision even when it’s tough one)

6.      Committed (especially to family and career)

7.      Leader (knows how to manage and motivate other people)

8.      Good Communicator (can make complicated concepts seems simple)

9.      Funny (knows how to use humor as an effective social tool)

10.  Emotionally Intelligent (doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, nor does he keep all his feeling bottled up inside)

Ultimately, the fact I created this list is proof that I am a masculinist with a masculinist mindset. After I Googled the term, I learned that “masculinist” can be an adjective or a noun. I identify more with the adjective (“characterized by or denoting attitudes or values held to be typical of men”) than the noun (“an advocate of the rights or needs of men”), as I’m not worried so much about the rights or needs of men.

Instead, I enjoy serving as a spokesman for what masculinity is all about. I am proud to represent husbands and fathers from a positive point of view, which I feel is rare in media.

Being masculinist is not the opposite of feminist. I am for equal rights, and in favor of catering the needs of both women and men, acknowledging there are some exclusive differences.

I celebrate women. I celebrate men.

It’s just that I know a lot more about being a man.

FACT: I Am the Manliest Vegan on the Internet

There is no dispute. No one is even looking into it. Instead, the entire world simply unanimously accepts and agrees that I, Nick Shell, am the manliest vegan on the Internet.

What makes me such a manly vegan?…

First off, I am emotionally intelligent regarding my vegan lifestyle. Because I am fully secure in my beliefs, I have zero desire to try to convince others to become vegans. In fact, I would rather other people didn’t become vegans, especially not other men, because it keeps me more unique in my identity. (Approximately less than 0.5% of the American population are male vegans).

Second, I am a committed husband (been in love with the same woman for 10 years now; 8 and a half of which we’ve been married) and an involved father (hence, the daddy blog).

Plus, I am healthy and active. I am not a slave to my body; my body is a slave to me. I get plenty of protein (from vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds) and I am always on the move:

I run and I go mountain biking regularly, plus I go hiking and exploring with my son.

Next, I am a decisive leader and a good communicator. I don’t fear change, I embrace it. I always have a few back-up plans.

I am undeniably confident, yet aware of my weaknesses, which I am always working to improve.

Granted, I am very aware of my skills and talents, making sure I utilize them as part of my identity.

Most people have a hard time thinking of just one other male vegan they know. Even if they can think of a male vegan other than me, then the question becomes: Is he manly?

That question quickly evolves: But is he manlier than Nick Shell?

So far, history shows that the answer has always been… no.

As a blogger and YouTuber, I figured I might as well make it official in this announcement today:

I am the manliest vegan on the Internet.

FACT: I Am the Manliest Vegan on the Internet

Manly Vegan: I Haven’t Consumed More than Zero % of My Daily Cholesterol Allowance since April 2013 (The Difference between Good Fat and Bad Fat)

Today I introduce the first 5 episodes of my newest video series, Manly Vegan

Today I introduce the first 5 episodes of my newest video series, Manly Vegan...

The stereotypical assumption from most people when they learn that I’ve been a vegan for nearly 3 and a half years is, “Well are you sure you’re getting enough protein?” However, no one has yet to address this issue: “Well are you getting enough cholesterol?”

The fact is, I’ve consumed less than 1% of my daily cholesterol allowance since April 2013; when I became a vegan. Sure, it’s true that even vegan food contains cholesterol…

Avocados, cashews, and even vegetable oil contain a high amount of fat and therefore, some cholesterol.

But even then, it’s never enough to register as 1% or higher on the food labels.

Prove me right by going right now to your pantry or refrigerator. Look on the back of a jar of peanut butter. Check out the high fat content yet the 0% amount of cholesterol.

Now look at the carton of eggs in your refrigerator. Check out how much of your daily cholesterol is in just one egg. The least amount I’ve ever seen is 56%, but most are closer to at least 65%.

Imagine that. My vegan lifestyle prohibits me from ever being able to consume even just 1% of my daily cholesterol; yet just one egg equates to over half of a person’s daily cholesterol.

However, I’m still eating plenty of fat from plants.

Therefore, it is undeniable that vegans have an advantage in that while we still do consume a minuscule amount of cholesterol most days, it never amounts to even 1% of our daily allowance.

So what’s the difference between good fat and bad fat? That’s easy:

If it came from a plant, meaning it contains less than 1% of your daily cholesterol allowance, it’s good fat.

If it came from an animal, meaning that it likely contains more than 1% of your daily cholesterol allowance, it’s bad fat.

My Top 3 Ideal Hospitality Items I Wish Hotels Would Provide, As a Manly Dad

My Top 3 Ideal Hospitality Items I Wish Hotels Would Provide, As a Dad

Fairmont Hotels is exploring for new hospitality ideas and asked me for manly insights (because my blog is so cool and famous, apparently) and asked me to share with them my top 3 ideal hospitality items I wished hotels would provide.

My Top 3 Ideal Hospitality Items I Wish Hotels Would Provide, As a Dad

Specifically, they wanted to hear my take on “West Coast hospitality.” They have a location in San Francisco for example. For all I know, my information could be helpful to them.

While I was born and raised (and still live) in the South, I identify more culturally, in many ways, with the West, where my wife is from.

My Top 3 Ideal Hospitality Items I Wish Hotels Would Provide, As a Dad

I’ve always been offbeat and therefore, so is my blog. Well, here is my list, for better or worse… My Top 3 Ideal Hospitality Items I Wish Hotels Would Provide

1)      Flushable wipes (or a bidet)

The 1st ideal hospitality item I wish hotels provided is “flushable wipes or a bidet.” When I lived in Thailand for those 2 summers back in college, I grew quite accustomed to the fact that all their bathrooms, even in the most basic ones, all had a bidet. So if a bidet is out of the question, I will gladly accept “flushable wipes.” It just makes me feel classy in a subtle and slightly foreign sort of way.

2)      A men’s magazine

When I am travelling across America on vacation, as our family does each summer in Sacramento where my wife is from, as well as about twice a year in Destin, Florida, my ultimate goal in staying in a hotel is to get a solid, uninterrupted night’s rest.

After our son is asleep in his bed, and after my wife falls asleep next to me while watching House Hunters, I am left alone to either watch an old episode of Seinfeld or to indulge in a marathon of Honest Trailer videos on YouTube. But really, at that point, I would just rather fall asleep while it’s still only 10:17 PM. But I have to “wind down” first.

I firmly believe in the importance of unplugging, while on vacation. I would prefer an interesting men’s magazine to fade out to. What comes to mind is Wired or Details. I find that their articles are always interesting, and not as limited to just sports or business.

That would be a nice touch.

My Top 3 Ideal Hospitality Items I Wish Hotels Would Provide, As a Dad

3)      Manly-smelling essential oil.

I just think it would be cool (and classy) if there was a tiny bottle of a manly-smelling essential oil; maybe a medley consisting of something like cedar wood, tea tree, orange, lavender, and a hint of patchouli.

With essential oils, I don’t have to worry about carcinogens on my skin. It’s all natural, which is very “Western” to me.

Hopefully with this blog post I am able to help out Fairmont Hotels with a truly original, sincere, and entertaining answer in their quest.

These are things that communicate “West Coast hospitality” to me. They are subtle, classy, masculine touches that I personally would appreciate when staying in a hotel.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

My very first impression of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T was that it is a man’s car. My theory is that Hyundai wanted to design a car for men who like driving a tough car, but who are now hauling kids around.

And if that was Hyundai’s plan, I’d say they did an excellent job.

Hyundai Sonata

All week, the guys I work with, as well as my guy friends I have seen this week, have approached me after seeing the car: “Hey, is that the new 2015 Hyundai Sonata? That thing is sharp!”

They already knew more than I did about the Sonata, which tells me: Men are attracted to this car.

That is the official concensus of the modern dads I know after seeing this car.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

As I drove it around this week, with my son in the back seat, I have to admit: I felt like I was pretty big stuff.

The sharp angles of the rear view mirrors, the “ninja throwing star” wheels, the extremely low ground effects on the front… all very nice to look at and to drive.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

Here’s a “2 minute walk around” of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata that I made, by the way:


Now that I’ve established the demographics that this is a man’s car, which doubles as a very effecient family car, I want to point out what my wife and son thought of it.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

My 4 year-old son’s favorite features include the panoramic sunroof and the fold down back seat. Each day as I’ve dropped him off at school, I let him crawl through to the trunk, where I lifted him out.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

It’s a fairly large opening, since the entire seat folds down.

My wife’s favorite features included the heated/cooled seats in the back, the over all comfort level of the interior, and the user-friendliness of anchors for the car seat.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

Another feature that I definitely appreciated was that I was alerted one morning when one of the tires was low on air.

So I stopped at the gas station and filled up the low tire (like a boss), being able to see on the screen that I had put enough, in real time.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

Those are my thoughts. I’m curious to know what other guys who have driven it have to say. I really don’t think I’m wrong in my synopsis, though.

Like I said, it’s a car for men who like driving a tough car, but who are now hauling kids around; a perfect marriage of sporty and practical.

I hope you have enjoyed my family friendly review of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, which is manufactured in Alabama.

Come back again soon!

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

As shown: $34,460.00.

MPG: averages 26.

Catch up on the entire series of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Weekend. A lot of exiciting things happened!

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T: Family Friendly Review

Dear Jack: Our New House Now Has Electricity & Tile (2015 Hyundai Sonata Weekend)

Dear Jack: Primrose Vs. Rainbow- Finding A Preschool Near Our New House

Dear Jack: Listening to Radio Hanukkah (SiriusXM Channel 68)

Why There Can Be No Male Equivalent to the Jordin Sparks Song “I Am Woman” or “Independent Women” By Destiny’s Child

I’m so vain, I probably think this song is about me…  

Thursday night on American Idol I watched Jordin Sparks perform her latest single, “I Am Woman.”  In the likeness of so many popular songs celebrating the empowerment of (single and independent) women, the lyrics of the chorus go like this:

I am (I am) woman (woman)
I am (I am) woman (woman)
I’m a woman
I’m a woman
Yes I am
Ain’t nobody else can do it like we can

But what if instead of Jordin Sparks singing the song, it was the dreamy Scotty McCreery, and he changed to lyrics to be masculine?  No one would hear, “I am man, yes I am, ain’t nobody else can do it like we can.”  Instead, the song lyrics would be perceived as “I am conceited, I am narcissistic.  I’m a jerk.  I’m a sleezebag.  Yes I am.  Ain’t nobody more of an a-hole than guys like me.”

Is this a double standard- that women can sing songs about being proud to be independent and successful, but if a guy did the same thing, he would either A) not be taken seriously or B) become despised by women?

No, it’s not a double standard.  Because only in recent decades has it truly become acceptable to desire for men and women to be socially equal.  Women have had to struggle to get where they are in society today, but men haven’t had to play the underdog gender throughout history.  So it’s ironic to the point of extreme arrogance for a man to boast about his successful independence.  I’ll illustrate this further my “masculinizing” the lyrics to “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child.  I’ll emphasize the very worst parts in bold print:

What you think about a guy like me?
Buy my own car and spend my own money
Only ring your celly when I’m feeling lonely
When it’s all over please get up and leave

Please don’t call me baby
Cause I’ll call you
Don’t mean to hurt you feelings, got a lot to do
Cause I am my number one priority
No falling in love, no commitment from me

All my independent men
Throw them hands up at me
And all my sexy men
Throw them hands up at me

All my money making men
Throw them hands up at me
All my baller men
Throw them hands up at me

How you feel about a guy like this?
Try to control me, girl you’ll get dismissed
Do what I want, live how I wanna live
Buy my own golf clubs, and pay my own bills

Where my males?
Where all my men?
How did you feel about this groove I wrote?
Hope you got the message men take control
Don’t depend on no woman to give you what you want
Keep that in mind next time you hear this song

If you’re independent
I congratulate you
If you ain’t in love
I congratulate you
Do them girls like they used to do you
If you pimp her
I congratulate you

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule that guys can’t/won’t/shouldn’t brag about their gender in a song, like Brad Paisley’s “I’m Still a Guy.”  But hopefully most people would realize that song was meant to be an innocent, humorous caricature of men.  Maybe another exception would be so many of Kanye West’s songs- but even then, he’s bragging about himself being awesome, not about men in general.

‘Obviously, it’s important that women are socially and economically equal to men. But do women also want to be A) physically equal and B) emotionally equal? And C) does it help a woman in the business world to “act more like a man” by “being less emotional?” And D) do I sound like a jerk or at least naive for asking any of these questions?’

I asked the above questions word-for-word on Facebook for some input.  Based on the answers I received, here is how I would answer those questions:

A)  No, there is no desire to be physically as strong as a man.

B) No, there is no desire to hold in emotions the way men do, or at least they way they seem to do.

C) It can.  And this is a good example of an actual double standard between the sexes.

D)  No, because the motives are sincere in asking the questions.

The most sober and sobering thoughts I can learn through this social survey is that men and women are different for a reason.  They both have their own strengths in which they can compliment each other with.  Imagine how life would be in this world if men and women were truly equal in every way.  Scary, if you ask me. I would have to give birth, express my emotions, and never be able to truly “think about nothing.”  My mind would never stop and I would constantly be thinking about at least 10 different things at once, all the time.

That’s way too exhausting even for a strong, confident man such as myself.

Why Tap Dancing is Officially Masculine (And Most Other Kinds of Dancing are Feminine)

Le tap dance; la clog.

Unlike the French and Spanish languages, English doesn’t have masculine and feminine nouns.  Yet still, there are subtle gender clues and accents if we look closely enough for them.  Like the way that Coldplay is masculine, while The Fray is feminine (because they got famous by having their songs featured on Grey’s Anatomy). And the way a Dodge Dakota is masculine; while a Nissan X-Terra is feminine (this was referenced in an episode of The Office).

During dinner a few weeks ago I happened to catch 20 minutes of So You Think You Can Dance.  It was a results episode so they were mainly filling the air time with professional tap dancers, all of which were male.  Mainly dancing solo, but there were a few duos.  Interestingly, after each of them danced, they were briefly interviewed.  I couldn’t help but notice that none of these male tap dancers were the least bit effeminate or sexually questionable in any way- they were ordinary, straight dudes.

I’m okay with being politically incorrect in stating this fact that we already know and recognize: It’s common for professional male dancers (especially on reality TV shows) to not be straight.  Which is ironic because as we watch these couples dance, the male is being represented by a man who in reality may not be sexually attracted to women.  Typically, straight men are not the ones representing the guy in the relationship in these dances.

Why are straight men typically inclined not to be good dancers?  Because group dancing and dancing in pairs, as a whole, are more of feminine acts.  Dancing as we know it today is free-spirited and emotionally expressive.  It often shows the ups and downs of relationships and/or life in general.  That doesn’t work for most men, because a man’s mind is wired to be formulaic and often emotionally repressive.  Most men have to “learn to dance”.  Tell me what to do so I can get this right. It’s more about straight memorization for a straight guy to learn to dance.  He’s learning to dance to make his girlfriend or wife happy- not to express himself in a new exciting way.

When I think of famous tap dancers throughout American history, I think of classy Italian, Jewish, and African-American men wearing black suits like Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gregory Hines, and of course, the legendary Tony Danza.  Although, this isn’t to say that all or even most tap-dancing men are straight.  But what I do recognize is 1) that because tap dancing is simply based on rhythm and formula (which are masculine elements- famous female drummers are a rare thing), and 2) that tap dancing only really evokes one basic emotional feel, which is always positive and upbeat.  I never remember seeing a tap dancing routine which went from happy, to sad, to angry, back to happy, to a feeling of loss, to happy, to acceptance of grief, to contentment, the way a typical 2 minute dance song on Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance typically does.

Clogging, on the other hand, though similar to tap-dancing, is not masculine.  It often involves groups, costumes, and festive music- therefore making it a feminine art form, since there is room for “artistic expression”.  But square dancing is masculine because, like in tap-dancing, the mood is always the same (upbeat) and there is no guesswork on how to do it, since the instructions are typically spoken to music.

So how could a man and a woman dance to music and it realistically represent them and their relationship?  I’m picturing a guy tap dancing in his own little world while the woman ballet dances around him, and the guy is seemingly oblivious to what is going on.