6 Normal Products MAN-ified For No F*cking Reason
When it comes to gratuitous stereotyping, commercialism provides an endless source of examples. For every unnecessarily pink, flower-addled product out there is a needlessly ultra-masculine variety aimed directly at the Chads of the world and precisely no one else. Sure, a whole bunch of them are a result of lazy, misinformed, and/or insane marketing. ("Men will like this toilet paper better if it has pictures of abs on it! Next up, beer mugs with dicks for handles.") Or they're plain joke items. Where things get really strange is when a product that has precisely zero need to be particularly masculine is turned into a distorted, ultra-manly caricature of itself, and the manufacturers look us squarely in the eye and say: "This is a serious product, men of the world. Go buy six of it."
Man Bath Products In A Goddamned Paint Can
So you're a man and you wish to take a bath. Damn, son, that's your mistake right there! Everyone knows that guys don't take baths. Real men only wash themselves under distant waterfalls as several coy maidens from the nearby village lustfully spy on their chiseled abs. Either that or they scrub the viking blood off in icy lakes while bellowing obscenities at the unforgiving winter sky. Bath. Hrumph.
Still, maybe there's some way to salvage the situation. In fact, we might have something just behind the counter ... ah, there we go.
Where the Man Can All-Natural Bath and Body Gift Set for Men really gets us is that there's barely any unifying theme to its stupidly misinformed "manliness." The makers of the product seem so utterly horrified at the thought of a guy washing himself with mere soap and shampoo that they abandon all cohesion in their panic, opting instead to strap a bunch of cliche man-stuff together, to the point where you kind of start to suspect the motivation:
"Oh shit, that guy's going to touch some water. Steve and Mustache Steve, we must do something or he'll grow at least 17 vaginas! Quick, dude, have this awesome rugged paint can filled with man products for man washing. Drop that sissy soap (ohshitweswearwedidn'tmeanitthatway LOL broooooo) and take this patented Fisherman's Scrub, which makes it all acceptable by artificially attaching a manly profession to the process of cleaning up. Pay no heed to the hair products that vile, clearly woman-orchestrated ad campaigns might have tricked you to use, and rub this rum-scented bullshit all over yourself instead, because there's no way a man would use a hygiene product without the name of a manly booze slapped on it. Ladies will get intoxicated just by being in the same elevator as you.
"Want to shave, but don't want to be a fucking Gilmore Girl in the process? Go on, try some of our patented spicy shaving gel. And ... and we also have this neat body mitt to scrub yourself all over, and this, uh, vial of hand butter ... what? No, this isn't a boner. Shut up."
Mission Critical Baby Carriers
In terms of honorable things a Man can be, Dad and Soldier are probably tied for first place. Thanks to the folks behind Mission Critical dad gear, you can pretend to be a soldier while half-assing the whole dad thing. Their logo is a minimalist military-style "male symbol," so you know they're going to be tough. We're talking "I once watched Die Hard 2 and drank a WHOLE six-pack of Coors Light" tough.
Where they really stand out are with stuff like diaper bags and, in particular, the baby carrier. This probably sounds like lame marketing to dads, but the proper rearing of your child is a critical mission, goddammit. We were dropped as children and still managed to end up graduating. Imagine if our parents had been carrying us in Mission Critical Baby Carriers. We might be in medical school instead of writing for an internet comedy site. Seriously, check this shit out.
Now, if we know the actual and potential dads in our audience, they're going to want the coyote color like they show in that video, but who are they trying to fool? "Coyote"? That's camo. You'd carry your baby into fucking 'Nam in that thing. And when Charlie shows up, you just chuck the baby at them. He can handle it. MAN STUFF. MAN.
Alternatively, there's the standard black color, which looks a lot more like a "normal" baby carrier, but also suspiciously like a bulletproof vest. It's only a matter of time before some dad walks around with his kid in a black Mission Critical Baby Carrier, his buddy asks if it's bulletproof, and our hero goes, "I don't know, but I do have some woods behind my house ..."
Scented candles have somehow always been placed firmly in the ladies' end of the sliding scale of gender-specific horseshittery, which is kind of counterintuitive, because they're essentially fire that smells awesome. I would go to so many more bonfires if my friends told me "Yeah, we'll make steaks and smell whatever a Mango Dream is while we do it." Liking that should be a given, regardless of what's in your pants and how you identify. Not that this has ever done anything about attempts to masculinize the concept.
There are candles out there that do their level best to mimic the nasal tang of "manly" staples such as freshly cut grass and bacon. However, just like with the "women's" candles that smell like lilac or whatever, how exactly do those count as manly? Never once have we met a person in general who doesn't like the smell of freshly cut lawn. Bacon candles, on the other hand, have been around since bacon was just a weird, fatty spot in a pig. You can make your own with minimal effort. As for other, stranger "man candle" scents, they're obviously just novelty items with smells like "fart" and "camouflage" and "beer."
Wait, hold the shit on. They're actually peddling beer-scented candles for real?
For those of you who can't see the problem, here's a fun experiment: Open a can of beer. Drink most of it, then leave the last third or so sitting around for a couple of days, preferably in direct sunshine. Then, put your nose reeeeeeal close to the open can, and really let that aroma waft in. Disgusting, yes? Now imagine that shit is on fire. Yet, somehow, at least one company is attempting to sell this Frankenstein's monster of a stench as a real, money-worthy product, with real marketing terms someone actually thought up for it. We really haven't got the words to describe this thing, so here, have some marketing propaganda by the company itself. (Warning: The following "manly" text includes the word "scentsational" used in apparent earnest.)
Look, let's be honest here: Beer is one of the worst smells. It stinks like the unwashed underpants of alcoholism, like the rafters of a baseball stadium on a hot July day. No one likes the smell of beer, regardless of the status of their testicular elephantiasis. No one ever has, no one ever will. If you voluntarily buy beer-scented candles on Amazon, the "suggested products" lists of your loved ones will automatically update to a selection of intervention manuals.
The Man Hanger
Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the (tee hee!) Man Hanger. Made from "industrial-grade" rebar, rather than the Home-Depot-grade rebar sub-manly morlocks normally purchase, this hanger is probably better suited to stringing up pig carcasses in a freezer for Sylvester Stallone to punch than any stupid pair of pants you might own. Furthermore, it's apparently been "hand-bent." By who? Rubeus Hagrid?
Look, this is clearly a pretty great piece of laundry equipment. Our only concern here is that we are not worthy of the Man Hanger. If we don't possess the glandular strength to hang the Man Hanger from our oddly collective dong, we don't know that we're men enough to own such a noble product. Alas, the Man Hanger is just. Too. Manly.
Finally, we have to address the elephant in the room here. This hanger costs $25, which we're sure seems like a bargain to any of you Schwarzenegger types out there (we know how substantial our bodybuilding, machine-gun-wielding governor demographic is). However, a decent piece of rebar costs like $4.47, and we know a guy who owns an anvil.
This is yet another reason we're clearly not worthy to own a Man Hanger. We once dropped $9 on a pack of wooden pants hangers from a fancy-pants organizational megastore called The Container Store, and we regret that purchase to this day. If the folks behind the Man Hanger are trying to play to the stereotype that men want strong products that aren't going to break, they're going to also have to address the reality that no "man" is going to drop $25 on a fucking hanger.
Cracked has told y'all before about how the invention of the tampon came from World War II, and women were smart enough to start using them for themselves. But hey, men bleed too. It's part of being a man. Usually it's because we're punching each other in the face at bars or scraping our joints while scaling the side of a cliff. And to mop up that blood, there's Mansize Kleenex.
Seemingly only available in Britain, which we'll remind you got the shit kicked out of them in World War II until the good old USA came around on eagle-back to help them, Mansize Kleenex are apparently "big enough for the whole family." What does that mean? After I blow my nose, do I ask my kids if they want to take a turn? Are they the size of a blanket? Can we keep the homeless warm in a cold London winter simply by distributing them Mansize Kleenex? That vague size description could have any number of implications, because even "normal" tissues are already the size of a dude's face.
If that's the size of a normal tissue, then what do you need a "man-size" tissue for? Bukkake? Dimensions of an individual Mansize Kleenex have been hard to find online. We can only assume they're the size of a pillow, and when descriptions of the Mansize Kleenex say things like "soft and strong," we take that to mean that they're also totally appropriate for smothering your enemies in their sleep. But hey, maybe Britain is onto something other countries aren't. Between Brexit, =Mansize Kleenex, and a general worldwide fear of World War III, maybe the Brits are simply trying out a new kind of tourniquet. We'll just have to wait and see.
MANCAN Canned Wine
"Can I ask you a question?"
"I can't help but notice that you've been slowly pouring your beers on the potted plant. How many have you given it now?"
"Seven, Pa. It's just that ... I sometimes have these feelings. Feelings like I ... uh ..."
"Come on, spit it out, Bubba."
"... occasionally prefer wine over Bud Light."
"Oh SHIT, son. That's bad. Next thing you know, you'll want to watch the damn news over Smackdown. You'll develop individual tastes and desires instead of the ones dictated to you at birth by a bunch of uptight dipshits who don't know how to handle change. Quick -- we better hide your inclinations from the rest of the community, lest we all get scoffed at because we're slightly different. Here, let's put your wine in these manly cans. Then you can sip your devil piss while we're catfishing out on the marsh with Cyrus, Billy, and MechaGodzilla, and not a man among them will ever figure you for the freak you are."
Yes, there's another "man can" on this list, and yes, the apparent logic behind it is somehow even weirder than the bath version. If you have a better explanation re: people actually putting wine in a "manly" can with a "manly" dog logo and calling it fucking MANCAN wine than what we've imagined above, let us know in the comments. We'll promise to read it as soon as we're done brain-bleaching this utterly arbitrary product that somehow sees fit to mask a type of alcohol by disguising it as another type of alcohol from our gray cells. Oh, and just to spite the Man-goddamned-Can, we're doing it with copious amounts of old-fashioned bottled wine. In a glass.
Isaac has a very manly beard and an equally manly dog. Check them out on Instagram and Twitter. Pauli's beard is a Cracked weekly columnist and freelance editor. Here it is on Facebook and Twitter.
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