Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To Be A Man: Introduction

What does it mean to be a man? Holding doors open for a woman? Providing for your family? Being good at football?

The illusion of the 1960s gentlemen seems appealing. Going to work, wearing a suit and hat, and being greeted by a wife holding a scotch with dinner ready wasn't as great as it seemed. This image of masculinity was fraught with marital conflict, depression and an image of being a man that caused many men to feel emasculated.

The echoes of the gender roles of the 1960s followed both women and men for generations and while there has been progress made in expanding the idea of what it means to be a man what we are left with is kind of a mess.

Images from our culture about being a man range everything from stay at home dads, Bros codes, a man who refers to himself as The Situation, a President who is not afraid to cry, sports celebrities who are revered like Gods and a guy named Chris Brown.

How do we handle all of this? How do we weed through tales of old-school chivalry and balance them with ideas of modern sexual equality? How do we deal all of these varying and offend conflicting ideas of what it means to be a man?

I'm saying that we have it harder than women do, but we do have challenges in creating and forming a modern sense of masculinity.

So I'm going to help you figure some of these things out. I don't have all of the answers and there will be some who will disagree with my assertions but I hope that I can give you a place to start and provide you some clarity amongst the babel.

Being a man is not a given. As Corey explains to Lloyd in Say Anything, "The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy." It's a challenging and confusing journey to get to manhood and many guys never get there.

Being a man doesn't have to do with how much wealth you earn or the possessions you obtain. Being a man isn't about who you know or the number of people you call friends, and being a man is not about how good you are at a video game or how many beers you can drink.

Being a man is about knowing who you are, understanding your relationship to the people in your life and bringing the best part of yourself into the life you lead.

We got a long ways to go and now is a good time to start as any. So lets start with grooming . . .

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