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Saturday, June 7, 2014

In defense of manhood

I have — tired — of the constant attacks on men these days.
From the "rape culture," to bumbling depictions of men on television, to the constant drumbeat that manly and masculine behavior is somehow antisocial, to the over-medication of primarily young boys in school, misandry is rampant in our current culture.
And all the while the administration and the media bleat about misogyny and the "Republican War on Women™.
Is misogyny real? Certainly.
But so is misandry. So is this idea that somehow traditional ideas of manliness and "the man thing" is the source of all trouble.
So forthwith is a defense of manhood, starting with a description of what a man truly is.
A man treats women with respect and protects them. They are, in general, physically weaker than we are, and that gives us a frightening amount of power to harm them. A man therefore has a responsibility to not abuse that power and with it a woman. A real man looks down on anyone who would threaten, intimidate or physically harm anyone weaker than he is. They are beneath his notice, except when he must step in to prevent such abuse.
A man works. He works hard. He does not let his woman support him while he lounges around the house. If he cannot find a job, he creates one for himself. He takes pride in whatever work he has, and does a good job simply because it _is_ his job.
A man has respect for himself. He does not tolerate disrespect from others and does not treat them disrespectfully either. To quote the late John Wayne in _The Shootist_ “I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
A man loves his woman. He takes care of her. He provides for her and for her children.
He raises his children properly. He teaches his boys what it takes to be men. While he works hard, and works the hours necessary to take care of his family, he does not ignore them and makes time for them. They are the purpose of his labor, not a distraction from it.
A man loves to learn and takes every opportunity to learn something new. Whether it be computer programming, rebuilding a carburetor or how to build a shed, a man loves to find out new things and become more accomplished.
Manliness is not the chest-thumping parody we see on TV.
While most real men of my acquaintance are accomplished in many areas and can do many things, and do them well, neither are they bumbling fools like Tim Taylor. While it may make for good television, the messages idiot portrayals like that send to young women are as damaging as the images of unrealistically thin models on magazine covers.
The modern portrayal of men teaches young women that men are nothing but overgrown children who must be cared for and guided by the mature, responsible women in their lives.
While it is true that there is always a large element of the boy in most men (and most men who are worth a damn have that in them) a grown man, a real man knows when it is appropriate to let that side of him out and when it is not. The boyish side is what lets him enjoy time with his children and bond with his sons, it is what allows him to let his hair down with his woman and have fun with her. He does not, however, let it rule him. He controls it. He channels it and he uses it like the tool it is. This is the principle difference between a man and a boy.
I remain convinced that most women _want_ men to behave as I have described above. I am further convinced that if more adult males acted like men, and moreover taught their sons to behave like men, this nation, indeed this world, would not be in the shape it is.

1 comment:

  1. Patrick, I was about to write a defense of manhood. I Googled the phrase, knowing that I could not be the first to feel so compelled. You nailed it. THANK YOU!