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Published August 31 2012

You've Got Male: I question site’s man cred and am willing to ‘fight’

Ladies, I will fight for you.

Generally speaking, that’s a metaphor, in the sense that I probably will not fight for you if it involves actual fighting. The last time I got into a physical altercation, it was with the fitted sheet I was trying to put on my bed, and I got my clock cleaned.

In other words, I’m no Jack Johnson – unless we’re talking about the sensitive singer-songwriter, in which case, I am also not him. I’ll spar for gender-role equality with words, but not with fists, (and also not with an acoustic guitar and a mellow island sensibility).

Of course, there are always exceptions.

The other week, a colleague of mine brought to my attention an upstart new website, ManCertified.com. I haven’t gotten a great look at it because my company’s Internet filter classified it as “adult” (a quick glimpse on my cell phone turned up nothing worse than a few make-out photos), but the tag line bills it as “a bold authority on everything man.”

Hang on now, ManCertified.com. That’s my job description. It says so right on my business card (it doesn’t – but it should. I’ll ask my editor to look into it). I’m the certified man. I’m the bold authority.

And I’m not giving that up without a fight.

That’s right, ManCertified.com – I’m challenging you to a duel.

Did you feel that through the Internet? That was me removing my glove and slapping you squarely across the face. Or it would have been, if gloves were seasonable before Labor Day.

You’re being awfully quiet. A quick look at your content reveals an alarming dearth of dueling tips. Can you help a man who needs to defend his honor – let alone a woman who needs to know what that man is thinking?

I can. Fellas: Your best bet is to pick a fight with an inanimate object, such as a website. Failing that, go for the trachea.

Ladies: Best to let him get it out of his system and wait until afterward to tell him that’s not where the trachea is. Also consider finding a man with fewer mortal enemies, which are very bad for your insurance premiums.

“While driven by testosterone,” ManCertified.com claims, “the site’s content offers a rich and enlightening bank of resources,” all “pumped full of manly authority.”

First of all: back off. Testosterone drove me to work today, and is waiting in the parking lot to pick me up right now. And you know who’s waiting in the back seat with some high-fives? Richness and enlightenment.

Second, I’m not sold on the product. Tutorials on the perfect grilled chicken and golf tips are fine and good and all, but do they delve into the soul of modern masculinity as I would almost certainly be doing if I were not otherwise engaged at the moment? I think not.

Third, regarding a piece titled “The Elite Cuban Cigar” that “invites all connoisseurs to revel in the class and finesse that comes with South American cigars,” I’m not entirely certain Cuba is in South America.

I would suggest turning to an impartial man-judge to settle the score here, but the person most qualified to fill that role would also be me. I would suggest a cordial meeting the halfway point between Fargo and your Illinois headquarters – somewhere in Wisconsin – but I have my doubts my editor will approve the expense report.

I would suggest the whole notion of establishing superiority through combat is antiquated and barbaric, but testosterone is in the driver’s seat and he’s not pulling over any time soon.

So how do you want to settle this? Pistols at dawn? Sabers until first blood? Thunderdome-style – two man-experts enter, one man-expert leaves?

Because I’ve got news for you, ManCertified.com: If you go in there with me, you’re not leaving.

Unless you bring a fitted sheet.

Forum reporter Marino Eccher wants to answer your tough questions about the male in your life. Send them to shesays@forumcomm.com or Attn: You’ve Got Male, The Forum, PO Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.