What does it mean to be a man? Perhaps we should begin with what a man is not. The list is a bit shorter.
Let’s examine a few of the bothersome attributes we tend to escape into when we want to feel “manly” and feel the need to be someone we are not.
First on the list is machismo. The puffery and boisterous displays of testosterone run amok reveals an underlying insecurity in one’s masculinity. Whether sexual in nature (trying to impress a member of the opposite sex) or to intimidate another male (also when competing for female attention) , machismo is a falsehood. Men who are secure within themselves project that security and have no need for reducing themselves to the level of peacocks in mating season.
The second falsehood of masculinity is the need to dominate. Rather than based on insecurity, which plays a small role in this melodrama, the need to dominate another is fear based. It is anti-masculine and reveals a perverted need to fill a desperate vacuum in one’s masculinity. Domination reflects a need to overcome an inner sense of smallness and the vacuum is a feeling of detachment from one’s true sense of self. It is a desperate attempt to re-define that cowardice into power, and it diminishes everything it touches.
So what then does it mean to be a man?
Above all else, a real man, a man who has authenticated his masculinity and is secure within his role with others, embraces his masculinity with humility.
He does not seek to exert a strength based personae upon others, be they male or female
He is generous with what he knows, and quick to admit that which he doesn’t.
He moves in a posture of benevolence,
He is affectionate, though he is guarded with love, understanding the precious nature of this deeply personal state.
His masculinity reflects what is best in him; it is quick to confront and address what is the worst in him.
These are my thoughts. You may have additional comments on this topic, and I welcome them. This was written based on my shortcomings, and achievements, in my relationships with others. It is an evolving thing.