Am I a real man? Am I normal? I found myself wondering recently when confronted by a frankly disturbing photo of Donald Trump Jr - perched on a tree stump, sporting dad jeans, plaid shirt and dead eyes.
It was published in the New York Times and seemed to be some attempt at portraying Trump Jnr - the Trumpet if you will – as an alpha male.
Is this what a real man looks like, I thought. Faux-lumberjack outfit, awkward body language and an expression somewhere between bored menace and a Terminator having his hard drive defragged?
Truth be told, I’ve never been brimming with blokery – when it comes to chromosomes my X is next to my Y, but neither feels particularly comfortable. It’s like the Chuckle Brothers wearing skinny jeans or a coalition government.
Yes, I’m a husband, father, brother and son - but I’m a human first. I take no pride in being born male. That seems absurd and sets the bar rather lower than I’d like.
After all, I also have see-through skin, freckles, size 10 feet and a passing resemblance to Charlie Brown had he grown to middle-age and lived rough for a time.
We live in an unequal society – one skewed wildly in favour of my gender. Hombres have enjoyed the benefits for millennia. Why would I be proud of that?
The flipside is that if you are of the prevailing gender, but fail to fit the mould created for you by centuries of patriarchal pockling then you are seen as an unmanly mix of quisling and Quasimodo.
But don’t get me wrong – I consider myself a man (most of the time). I’m just not very good at it.
The problem with being an Omega Male is context. Pubs, nights-out, football matches, gigs, stag-dos – all bestow a level of expectation of bloke-flavoured ‘bants’ that I struggle to deliver.
Basically, I’ve got the equipment, but I’ve never been comfortable with the environment. I’ve never been a “traditional” male - I know nothing of cars, have the DIY skills of a bewildered goat, shave once a fortnight and can’t drink properly.
On the other hand, my wife loves DIY, could comfortably kick my butt (in fact, has done playing roller derby) and is stronger in every sense that I will ever be.
As Billy Connolly once pointed out – there is no normal. There’s just you and everyone else.
So to answer my original point – the Trumpet isn’t a real man. Because there is no real man.
Just like there’s no normal.
Brilliant, isn’t it?
Alan Muir lives in Cumbernauld. He tweets as @alanmuir74 and blogs at https://caobs.wordpress.com/