Men. We are great.

I know the media keeps making us look bad, adverts portray us as idiots and it can feel awkward when we point out that we do some things well.

However, right now, we’re not helping our own cause.

Research has found that men are more likely to object to wearing a face covering because we feel that wearing a mask makes us feel less manly.

Oh, come on, it’s only a mask. It’s not a ponytail, and to be fair some very manly roadies at music gigs have ponytails.

They lug huge speakers round all day, you wouldn’t want to mess with them.

Think about what you’re risking.

Even if wearing a mask makes you feel slightly less butch, I imagine lying in a hospital bed relying on a ventilator might make you feel worse.

I don’t agree that all masculinity is toxic, so let’s use it.

If you want to feel manly you simply have to change how you feel about masks.

Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, Jason from the Friday the 13th films and Iron Man all have face coverings and they are some of the manliest men around.

Even Hannibal Lecter kind of wore a mask and you wouldn’t call him a little girl’s blouse and get to keep your kidneys.

There are many things that, rightly or wrongly, feed into a man’s sense of self.

We like to feel useful, like we can provide and protect. Those services might not be needed – no one is saying only men can do those jobs – but as a man it is programmed into us to want to have that value.

Wearing a mask helps us do that. It may keep us healthy so we can keep working. It may protect others around us if we have Covid and we don’t know because we’re so manly we don’t feel any symptoms.

We can protect our families by setting a good example by wearing a face covering.

Not all masks are manly.

I watched The Masked Singer and it didn’t bring out my manly side. All we need to do is pick a manly looking mask and we can solve this problem.

Imagine how tough you’d feel walking around in a mask like Bane from the Batman films.

OK, you’d stop feeling tough and start feeling stupid as soon as you did the voice that goes with it and we all know you’d do the voice.

If you want the manliest thing of all, I could send you a mask with a print of my lockdown beard on it.

Embrace the manliness.