The Man Thread: a discussion (and celebration) of masculinity

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21 Jan 2019 06:24 #332780 by JamesSand

MEN
What were you taught, explicity and implicitly about what it mean to be a man? Where do you feel youve done well and where do you think you could be doing better?

Is there a difference between being a good man and being a good person? If so, what is it?


For the ... not quite young anymore, men, lol: how has your view of masculinity changed over the years?

Are there any lessons you wish you could send back in time to your younger self or to the boys and younger men of today?

What about males who dont fit the traditional images of masculinity, such as those who are gay or trans, or even those who are just not generally very competitive or athletic or “masculine”?


Well you were right, not much further forward, which suits me fine, I hate having to read pages of vitriol before I get two bob in.

Righto, to answer the questions as asked:

Explicitly, everything I was taught about "being a man" was bull, spun by people who were selling something, or couldn't tell the difference between "integrity" and "do stuff that makes our lives easier, because we're shit"

Implicitly, unsurprisingly, what I learned was from my father, and, flawed though he might have been as a father, it still makes up 99% of what I see as "correct" behaviour for a man. Very little of it has to do with macho posturing or athleticism, it mostly revolves around taking responsibility, dealing with the hand you've been dealt, having patience, and seeing the funny side.

My view has not changed greatly over the years, and the lessons I'd try to give my younger self are probably similar to the ones anyone would give their teenage self.

As for "non traditional" males - I don't really care about all that, and I don't know that "being a good bloke" has anything to do with how your beans and frank work (or don't)...

It so *happens* that I've met a few trans or gay people that are shit blokes, but I'm not confident I can say the incidence is any higher than the general population, so I'd be reluctant to make any observations suggesting that it is in any way relevant.
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21 Jan 2019 07:05 - 21 Jan 2019 08:01 #332781 by Adder
What were you taught, explicity and implicitly about what it mean to be a man? Where do you feel youve done well and where do you think you could be doing better?

Work hard, prepare to go away and fight and die if need be, find a partner who will be a 'partner' in life for life.
I merged the 1st and 3rd to load balance the work, but retained full focus on the 2nd.

Is there a difference between being a good man and being a good person? If so, what is it?

Only the differences in challenges that might be faced by virtue of the differences.

For the ... not quite young anymore, men, lol: how has your view of masculinity changed over the years?

Masculinity is the easy part, its the other end of the spectrum which I've no clue about :D

Are there any lessons you wish you could send back in time to your younger self or to the boys and younger men of today?

Stop being 'images' of something, is superficial and wears out fast.

What about males who dont fit the traditional images of masculinity, such as those who are gay or trans, or even those who are just not generally very competitive or athletic or “masculine”?

Traditional stereotypes are not really relevant required to masculinity as I understand it, but they do serve as models which enable (how I understand) it.... so its a constant pressure if one lets it.

Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 21 Jan 2019 08:01 by Adder.
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21 Jan 2019 14:36 #332790 by Arisaig
prolly best to keep your friend off your account if you wish to keep it, then...

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21 Jan 2019 14:56 #332791 by Kobos
So, Let me preface by saying this. I was able to spend a hue amount of time with my dad being at home. He was able to retire when My brother and I were young. My mother was the bread-winner having worked her way up from a mail room secretary at a health company in the 70's to think "Hollie McClain style executive" in the late 80's and 90's. This led to a a lot of lessons from both sides about being a Man but also applies to just being a good person.


From both, being a Man means being able to do what needs to be done. Now my parents worked hard together on different aspects of my child hood and that really influenced me to kind of drop the whole stereotype, so it ends up being a person thing, but here is where I let that stereotype guide me.

Men don't show pain and preserve despite it-So I always held this don't know if it was from the media. However, I think this cam somewhat from how me and my mother handle pain (Don't tell anyone, go to sleep, if it still hurts tell someone. "If it's not noticeably broken don't need to go to the Dr." So one story I always vividly remember is a game of American Football my freshman year of HS. I took a hit to my right shoulder pretty hard, my shoulder slid out. I brought it up to a coach that I couldn't feel my hand, the trainer pulls out an ice bag and says, "nut up your back in the next series" I was playing corner so my shoulder was pretty much my main weapon and point of contact. Well, they ran at me a lot the rest of the game and I didn't give up in that scenario I just kept hitting with it until after the game when I was almost in tears. Of course shortly after my parents took me to the hospital as I couldn't feel my hand still and when I got my shoulder pads off you could see the ball of my shoulder about half the distance down my rib cage. I was lucky to not need surgery. That's just one instance thought there are plenty other that are not so extreme.

So one of the side effects of having Dad at home all the time is, "A man is responsible for keeping the house running and clean." The media reflected the house running type of thing. My father is a Vietnam vet and was an airline mechanic so from an early age I learned how to fix, maintain and repair machines of all variety. I still don't get how he had time to cook anyways that lead me to always believe women don't know how to take care of machines. So, in current relationships I do tend to take the machines as my responsibility. Cars, appliances, basic construction work around the house ect.

Last long paragraph I will put in I have learned more about in my current age bracket mid 20's early 30's (masculinity meaning changed for me).....A man stands up for the woman or person they are with through chivalry, open doors, put down the coat over puddles, give the coat ect.. That I, think is more media taught, but if some guy comes up and touches my girl friend in an inappropriate way. I am going to try and diffuse it and if that doesn't work I admit to not being above physical engagement until I feel the threat or point had been proven. That said my last 2 relationships have been with woman who at 5'3' 120lbs are more likely to break that person than I am. On the other stuff well, I don't discriminate I hold the door because it's the right thing to do, I put my coat down in puddles in some cases because I don't wear expensive suits anymore. My 35$ Bulgarian surplus combat trench coat can take the water lol. Those shiny new dress shoes will leak on ya. I give my coat to people in need because honestly outside I can deal with cold, yet inside a house if it's cold I'm a little baby about it (*wraps blanket around shoulders) lol.

So, in the end I was taught to be a Man through a lot of different experiences. Honestly most came down to the actual differences in Biology. Carry heavy things because naturally the body of a male is more designed for it ect. The term in and of it self is an interesting one to reflect on because it is simply a way of classifying behavior. Like most systems of classification it is however, incomplete and should continually be evolutionary in meaning. I know a lot of guys feel like it is under attack, but in the end what is under attack is really he concept of even classifying things in terms in general, because they currently don't fit the societal model.

Oh one thing my Dad pushed hard, no matter the situation, "Happy wife, happy life." Ironically my mom also taught me this lol.

My 2 cents,
Much Love Respect and Peace
Kobos

Fighting what you cannot see, will only lead you to lash out with violence towards everyone. Know your enemy, and you may find yourself a friend.

You can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile- Men without hats

Training Masters: Carlos.Martinez3 and JLSpinner
TB:Nakis
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22 Jan 2019 05:30 #332819 by Kelrax Lorcken
Somebody suggested masculinity is under attack, earlier? I didn't quote that because that's nonsense, and I know where the idea is coming from.

Treat people respectfully, or at least don't be a jerk/stronger words I'm choosing not to throw around. Be honest, be just, and when possible, be fair.

Don't be rude to people, don't disrespect them, don't be a bully, and don't stand by while another man does- Stand up for what's right, and show other men, especially new/younger men, how to be. It's possible to remind people how to be better without being condescending, and if someone has a dispute with you and how you do things, maybe they see something you don't. You'll never learn if you're so fragile you can't handle criticism.

Jediism teaches us that cultures and philosophies change over time, and that's ok. For our part in it, we can either introspect, learn, and grow, or we can try to ignore the ever-shifting nature of society, and indeed, the universe, and ultimately, just die mad.

BUT- The more things change, the more they stay the same. For a variety of reasons, either we're seeing more of men who don't measure up, or, we're just getting better at seeing it. We can either be angry for someone pointing it out, or we can do something, but I have a suspicion that complaining isn't going to cut it.

I don't see the difference between being a good Man, and being a good Jedi.

If you see injustice, if you see a man doing wrong, making men look bad, call him out on it. Show him what a man is, teach him to think better, BE better. He learned these things somewhere, and he had help. He didn't learn wrong ideas on his own, and he's certainly not going to unlearn them any differently.

I have beef with society's attitude toward men, but it almost exclusively comes from, well, other men. We're not helpless animals, slaves to our instincts and urges. We're not stupid, or insensitive, yet we eat up popular media that insists we are (I'm looking at you, sitcoms and comedians).The only time I ever hear about "how men are", in a context of serious discussion, is from other men, in defense of a man who has done something wrong, and I think THAT'S wrong. We should be holding each other up, holding ourselves accountable, not making excuses, and certainly not getting mad when someone calls something for what it is.

for a final remark, because as I mentioned before, I know where this is coming from- If the boot fits, wear it. If you don't like the boots, than get new ones, and don't pretend the old one's are someone else's problem, or someone else's fault.

Kelrax "Stormcaller" Lorcken, Jedi Navigator
May The Force Guide You
www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/47-Jo...-stormcaller?start=0
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22 Jan 2019 06:23 #332820 by Rosalyn J
I'm glad this discussion is happening, so thank you Ob1shinobi. I am hoping we can be rather fearless in this discussion and I suppose I would like to be the first example:

I think some of us may have experienced or read about hypermasculinity and any "hyper" thing can be toxic.The measuring up to an idea at the expense of unique identity is something that we are now just trying to uncover as it concerns masculinity.

Anyhow, thank you for making space for me to contribute via the questions you posed:

What do you think it means to be a man?

I feel like a man can carry themselves well, can be a voice of wisdom and calm, can be self assured/confident, and can be a protector, defender

Or
Swift as the coursing river, force of a great typhoon, strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon. ....:S

What are some your basic expectations of men?
I would expect them to embody all the qualities here:
"I feel like a man can carry themselves well, can be a voice of wisdom and calm, can be self assured/confident, and can be a protector, defender" but to not do it at the expense of others.

Can you describe a time when a man didnt “measure up”, and why?
I think my foster father did not measure up. He wasn't a protector. He routinely beat us. He wasn't self assured or confident and that showed in the way that he managed (because he did manage) the household and the fact that he raped one of the girl's repeatedly. He wasn't a voice of reason or calm, but often a voice of anger...and he was a Pastor
.
Opposite of previous question, would you share an experience of a man who impressed you as a man?
I have quite a few examples of men who have impressed me. In fact, many are here at TOTJO.

I think my friend Anton is a great example of a man. It is often said that abused people abuse people, but my friend has broken the cycle. In fact, if I were going to marry a man, he's the type of person I would look for. He's not overbearing, he creates spaces, he validates, he's calm, he's wise, he's capable of protecting/defending others
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22 Jan 2019 08:38 #332823 by JamesSand

Somebody suggested masculinity is under attack, earlier? I didn't quote that because that's nonsense, and I know where the idea is coming from.


It might be under attack. It really depends on what media you expose yourself to, or what sort of mandatory training or staff development activities your ever-so-keen to be socially-responsible employer forces upon you.

For some people, they may feel that it is under attack. YMMV.
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22 Jan 2019 09:42 #332824 by elizabeth
What do you think it means to be a man?

When I was younger being a man was being a provider, the head of the household. Aloof but a rock someone who loved but was above female shit lol
They didn't show emotions in public and didnt care about there feminine side.
Or didn't appear to.
Love, respect, honor, trust and strength all went hand in hand.
I probably still hold some of this as to what it means in my mind to be a man.

I dislike all this political correctness when it comes to the label man.

What are some your basic expectations of men?

Lol this probably will go down like a lead balloon but I expect a man to work, to be able to love to be strong within themselves and not to be overemotional or dependent on others..

Can you describe a time when a man didnt “measure up”, and why?

Oh god.. Yes, when I have to fight because a man is afraid then in my eyes hes not much of a man.
Being afraid to walk alone outside is another example.. I dont care about the why, just face the fear and do it.
Cowardly behaviour isnt manly

Opposite of previous question, would you share an experience of a man who impressed you as a man?

I have a friend that isn't afraid to be who he is and at the same time is honest, brave and kind. He is open without loosing boundary's, strong of mind and spirit. He impresses me with his sense of humor and willingness to trust.

To die would be a great adventure
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22 Jan 2019 14:11 #332827 by rugadd
Under the current societal structure that I function( locally..like, in the county I live in) The Man is a provider. The Man is expected to be strong and kind. The Man is expected to think before he acts and thus must own his mistakes. The Man is expected to have a drink with his pals. The Man finds his value in utility. The Man stands up when there is danger so that others do not have to face it. The Man is expected to do his job. Love his family. Be a loyal friend. Be a harsh but fair critic. A Man is expected to be polite and considerate. The Man is expected to mind his business and let (insert higher power here) mind everything else. The Man is expected to be the first to sacrifice so that others do not have to.

These are the things I celebrate about being a Man where I live. It is not a complete list. It should be noted I personally have no interest in having a gender, but I am taken for a Man 95% of the time.

rugadd
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22 Jan 2019 16:39 #332830 by Kyrin Wyldstar
In the first place toxic masculinity is not real, so what’s not to celebrate? Due to their unique physiological makeup and evolutionary history men are better suited to certain roles in society than others. Their generally superior strength and larger size make them natural protectors. Their hormonal makeup produces naturally more aggressive characteristics and so they are suited to the role of warrior. This hormonal formula also causes them to be less prone to displays of emotion. These evolutionary attributes also make them innate guardians of their mates and offspring, who will be vulnerable during formative years of growth. This also leaves them better suited as providers.

Men should not be ashamed of these attractions nor should they be ashamed of attractions to the female of their species. They should take responsibility for these things and execute them to the best of their ability no matter who they are as individuals. Boy’s games will often take on very competitive conditions or they will act out fantasy scenarios of power and dominance. These things are completely natural and should be encouraged so men can learn to take up their roles and responsibilities as adults. Aggressiveness is not a bad thing until that aggression results in undue violence. That is the line to not cross. It is the responsibility of fathers to instruct these boys in the proper use of this power through instruction and example.

Evolutionarily speaking human’s first instinct is to survive (natural selection) and our second is to mate (sexual selection). Each sex has been endowed with universal mating preferences that map onto sex-specific characteristics of the other. In no culture ever studied have women repeatedly preferred to mate with pear-shaped, low-status, tepid men possessing high-pitched, nasal voices. In no documented culture do women’s sexual fantasies revolve around granting sexual access to unemployed, unambitious men who occupy the lowest stratum of the social hierarchy.

Women are desirous of men who are socially dominant, who are strategically risk-taking in their behaviors, and who exhibit patterns of behaviors that will allow them to ascend the social hierarchy and defend their positions from encroachers. Of course this does not imply that women are not attracted to intelligent, sensitive, kind, warm, and compassionate men. The ideal man is rugged and sensitive; masculine and caring; aggressive in some pursuits and gentle in others. This is the quintessential male archetype that men should strive for.

This guns for hire, even if we're just dancing in the dark.
My Journals: Kyrin-Wyldstar

Associate Degree of Divinity - Earned July, 2017
Apprenticed to: Alan, Senan, Mendalicious
Tribute to Senan: My Friend
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