When former Senator Arlen Specter told Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann to "act like a lady," he was widely chastised for his "sexist" remark and was forced to apologize. See here.
Yet, women are permitted to tell men to "man up" with impunity. During last fall's senatorial campaign, Sharron Angle, Robin Carnhan, Christine O'Donnell and Jane Norton -- all women -- verbally attacked their male opponents by telling them to "man up." See here. Sarah Palin has also used the term "man up" and has questioned the president's “cojones.” See here.
Virtually no one thought any of that was improper.
A male politician is not permitted to tell a female politician to "act like a lady" because of -- what? -- negative historical connotations about what it means to act like a lady? And if a male politician dared to tell a female politician to "man up," or questioned her "cojones," he'd not only be considered sexist, but worse, strange.
So, what gender allusions can a male politician make about a female politician?
Nor should female politicians make gender allusions about male politicians. And if we truly believed in equality instead of only citing it when it works in women's favor, we'd call women out on their sexism when they chide a male politician for not "manning up."
Here's the bottom line, women: you have no more right to dictate that a man behave in accordance with your notions of masculinity than a man has the right to dictate that you behave in accordance with his notions of femininity.
And if you disagree with that, you are a sexist pig.