Illustration by Rachel Edelstein.

In the seventh hour of a flight from London, which departed the morning after a sleepless night, my sense of duty finally crystallized. I’d left a country where beer-drinking and bar brawls are a way of life, and was on my way back to a community where I am more likely to encounter the word “(wo)mankind” than a sleeveless NASCAR T-shirt. I realized, I can’t sit silently by while chest hair, chest bumps and the use of the word “chesticle” all vanish from our small beach town.

Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues,” wrote beautifully about the vagina in an effort to empower women throughout the world. I write to do the same for the men of UC Santa Cruz. In recent years, popular counterculture has hijacked the flannel shirt, the mustache and the mullet. I write to reclaim them for the kingdom of man.

My penis is angry. It is. It’s pissed off. My penis is furious and it needs to talk. It needs to talk about all this shit. It needs to talk to you.

See, there is a class of people at UCSC that rarely has its voice heard. A people misunderstood by hippies, hipsters and health science majors alike. It is a stark and stirring reality, but the man’s man — who thinks it became of paramount importance to win the Cold War the moment Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed; whose idea of intimacy is a grunt, a flick of the chin and a pat on the ass — is a dying breed at UCSC.

But I write to try to slow the extinction. I will listen to my animal instincts, climb the tallest tree and let my bell-end ring throughout the valley, so that everyone, from Natural Bridges to Pogonip, understands: “We’re men, we’re here — get used to it.”

I mean, what’s the deal — an army of people out there thinking up ways to torture my poor-ass, gentle, loving penis. Spending their days constructing psycho products, nasty ideas to undermine my cock. Penis motherfuckers.

All this shit they’re constantly trying to constrict us with — tuck us down, hide our crowns away. Well, my penis is not going away. It’s pissed off and it’s staying right here.

I’ve seen our activism — for absences on Steve McQueen’s birthday to be excused, for Porter Meadow to be converted to a shooting range — continually fail. I’ve watched the dining halls become more and more organic, while bacon and onion rings get harder and harder to find. I’ve heard a lot of troubling terms thrown around to define our stigmatized class: meathead, jock, douchebag. Well, guess what? However hard you try, our confidence will not be broken down.

It’s a grizzled self-assurance that keeps us strong through the adversity. Every time the media tells us to shave our chests, to wear pink, to put on skinny jeans, we rub our stubbly jaws and shake our heads. We are certain that camouflage will not go out of style. That the ability to grill meat will always define success. That this too shall pass.

Tighty-whiteys. Who thought that up? Climbs up your butt all the time, shoves your penis and testicles into a nasty clump, real rainforest grundle.

The penis is supposed to be loose and free, not bullied toward the sack. Why must my penis be held back?

We are men who learned to throw a ball before we learned tact, who are much better with tools than with names. We are a symbol of a era gone by. A reminder of humanity’s hunter-gatherer roots.

We are endangered, but we will not disappear. For every “Love Actually” there will be a “Goodfellas.” For every Brad Goreski, there will be a Don Draper.

The man’s man is a creature our planet needs.

Tell me: Who will risk tooth and limb to open jars so as not to look like a wimp? Who will pop the hole in your beer can when you wish to shotgun a Natural Light? Who will even buy Natural Lights?

And so I ask only this: When you see a man putting too much hot sauce on his wings or wearing shorts and a T-shirt in the rain, please go over and shake his hand.

See, it’s hard work being a man’s man, but someone’s got to do it. Steven Seagal ain’t gonna pay to see his own movies. The NFL ain’t gonna watch itself.

If my penis could talk, it would talk about itself like me. It would talk about other penises. It would do penis tricks.

It would wear Harry Winston diamonds, no clothing: just there all draped in diamonds.

My penis helped release a kidney stone. I thought it would be doing more of that. It’s not. Now it wants to travel, doesn’t want a lot of company. It wants to read and know things and get out more.

It wants sex. It loves sex. It wants to go deeper. It’s hungry for depth. It wants kindness. It wants change. It wants silence and freedom and gentle kisses and warm liquids and deep touch. It wants chocolate and trust and beauty. It wants to scream. It wants to stop being angry. It wants to come. It wants to want. It wants. My penis, my penis.

Well… it wants everything.