Thursday, January 25, 2007

Manliness, What Does That Mean?

In my SFG groups on Wednesday, we talked about what it means to be a man and the idea of manliness. Now, I can honestly say that I don't have a concrete idea of what it means to be a man. I know what the North American culture's view of what man and manliness is. It is being in control and having power over someone or something. But, truthfully, that is not a total wrong idea, but it's not a right idea either. I mean, one definition of being a man means taking care of your family no matter what the cost. Then again some people view manliness as Chuck Norris or Clint Eastwood.

People make all these Chuck Norris jokes as if he was God's gift to men. Sure he can kick some ass. But in the same respect, it's not about who can beat up who, or who can do something better then who. In Biblical times, people thought of David as a manly man, but he did have his faults and make mistakes. It's just another way of elevating someone to unrealistic heights based on the fact that David was the strongest in all of the land.

Sure it's good to be strong and tough and whatnot. I just think that we have kept the same old stereotypical tough and strong male image as the definition of being a man. We need to get out of this ideal that I need to look and act a certain based on being male to be a man. Some people are of the adage that men shouldn't cry and if they do, they are not a man. It's those stereotypical views that skew what it means to be a man.

It's just not men who have it bad in the fact that they are stereotyped. Woman also have it bad as far what it means to be a woman. Some people define being a woman is staying at home, looking after the kids, cleaning the house, and cooking. But nowadays, woman have jobs and careers and sometimes they are in a position of power in their respective job or career. My mom fit into the stereotypical view of what it means to be a woman once upon a time. She would stay home, look after my two sisters and I, clean, and cook. Mind you, this was before I was in school. Nevertheless, my mom was what some people would is the stereotypical woman. But now in her place of work, she is in a position of power. She is a department manager at Wal-Mart. As time goes on, some people's perception of what it means to be a woman changes. The same could be said for what it means to be a man.

I don't know if any of that made sense. I tried to give my perspective on what it means. But in the big scheme of things, trying to decipher what it means to be a man is a complex issue and we could go on forever what it means to be a man.

Until next time!

“The male stereotype makes masculinity not just a fact of biology but something that must be proved and re-proved, a continual quest for an ever-receding Holy Grail”
-Marc Feigen Fasteau

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