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Gender-neutral equivalent for “Take it like a man”

Does this make sense? For instance:

"John, just man up and get on with it".

You can't say this to a female, so what is the appropriate equivalent?


4 Answers 4


I think a politically correct approach is in order:

How about Bite the bullet ***** and get on with it.

Where ***** is the lady's name, of course.


I've actually heard the term woman up used before. Having seen the birth of three of my children, not to mention the crap some other women in my life have had to persevere through, I don't think this phrase is in the least bit ironic.

It even has a good Urban Dictionary reference, and they sell some swag with that printed on it. Of course its existence in the UD kind of implies it is cheifly used in AAVE.


Harden up, princess

works for females as well as males.

  • 3
    This phrase strikes me as even more condescending than the OPs version
    – user10893
    Jul 14, 2011 at 17:38
  • 3
    @simchona: Yes, it is supposed to be condescending; especially when you consider the usual way in which that phrase is expressed. Jul 15, 2011 at 11:42

Depending on the level of formality and familiarity, male-targeted terms can be used cross-gender to convey the same meaning. Since most of these terms are very informal anyway, most have become pretty interchangeable. In such cases they're generally said light-heartedly:

  • Grow some stones/grapes/balls/chest hair
  • Take it like a man
  • Man up

... can all be said to a woman whom you know very well, or in a very informal setting. There are more gender-neutral terms:

  • Harden up
  • Toughen up
  • [Sound off] like you've got a pair (traditionally "of testicles", but this one's actually gone gender-neutral, inferring either testes or ovaries)

... as well as female-targeted terms:

  • Woman up
  • Get your estrogen on
  • Put your big girl panties on
  • Exercise your P.O.P

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