Men who show off their big muscles. Men with flashy cars. Men who mansplain.
I see wild peacocks everyday in my front yard and have been observing their behavior. The females are docile and very precise in their pecking. They move swiftly. The males screech and call each other with sounds that resonate through the trees in Topanga. The males wear shiny cobalt blue feathers on their necks, while the females are more muted and modest. One male, whom I’ve named King, has a very long plume, about four feet long. He’s the leader and the other males tend to follow and stand behind him. I see some younger males in training to be the next king. They try to emulate his call. When they get too close to him, King fans his plume and wiggles his bottom feathers. The other males raise theirs in response, but quickly lower in embarrassment and recognition of the hierarchy.
Watching these stunning birds is a lot like going out in Hollywood on a Saturday night. I see groups of guys pull up to nightclubs in fancy, shiny cars in the hopes of impressing throngs of women in tight dresses. Slipping the bouncers money to avoid standing in the line, the pack leader heads into the club and his friends follow behind. They dress similarly and wear aloof, flat affects on their faces and none of them look particularly happy to be there. Then, inside the club they wait for their leader to pick “his” girl and then the rest choose theirs to dance with and (hopefully) take home for the night.
These guys prance around with their puffed up chests and a few extra buttons unhooked on their bright, pressed, collared shirts. They have pickup lines memorized and palmistry techniques down so they appear smooth and confident.
They also show up at they gym deadlifting hundreds of pounds and grunting to indicate their power, sometimes while wearing jorts or barely there tank tops to show off their muscles. Sometimes they appear when they’ve won a business deal and then go to the jewelry store and buy a new, flashy watch just because.
The show-off behavior is also known as Peacocking. Women do it too, but typically the term is used to describe male show-offs. They seek attention, most often from members of the opposite gender whom they find attractive. I’ve seen it work to attract short-term attention where women typically roll their eyes and don’t fall for this behavior.
Or maybe it’s me.
Peacocking behavior is a big turn-off for me, something I see through and wonder why a guy is being so foolish. It shows me a superficial, immature side of a man from whom I want to run far, far away. It shows me narcissism and a lack of humbleness, two qualities that don’t fit with where I am now.
Many peacocking men also have a tendency to mansplain. Mansplaining is a portmanteau of the words man and explaining, defined as “to explain something to someone, typically a man to woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.”
So here we have show off mansplainers who are also dressed to impress like peacocks. Great. Just who most women want to meet.
Now I’m getting to the part of the blog that sounds hopeless. But wait, I learned that not all men are mansplaining peacocks. You can find the good guys in earnest, humble locations. And the good news is that peacocking men are pretty easy to spot. They don’t want to blend in with camouflage so they stick out! Women, keep your bright eyes open and you’ll be able to avoid them easily.
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