What does “being a man” means, especially in today’s society?
Here are some insights worth looking into:
Award-Winning & #1 Best-Selling Author, Habits for Success: Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar |
Actor | TEDx Speaker | Radio Personality | Ironman Triathlete
To be a man in today’s society means being open with oneself
A lot of men were taught at an early age to “suck it up,” that crying is unacceptable and expressing how one felt could be viewed as weak or whining. Men weren’t given a platform to share how they felt but instead were quickly told to move past it and “stay strong.”
This led to a lot of men only knowing how to act tough or hide their feelings in silence. Not a healthy or enjoyable away to go through life. Hiding feelings and not being able to express oneself is a recipe for future health issues, poor communication in relationships, and depression.
The good news is men don’t have to be held hostage anymore to the old stereotypes that they were taught via parents, society, marketing campaigns and in television and the movies.
I feel like things are changing and men are now being given the opportunity to express themselves and being made to feel that it is safe to share their thoughts, feelings, fears, and desires.
We are moving into a time where authenticity and vulnerability are finally being celebrated and recognized as a critical part of being a “whole” person.
That strength is now being seen and recognized when one is able to share truthfully and openly one’s thoughts, fears, feelings, and desires.
To be a man in today’s society also means that men can now operate from a much more complete and authentic version of themselves.
In most places, they are finally being given permission to show their vulnerability, softer sides, and creative sides without the past experience/fear of being put down, mocked or told that they were “weak.”
What does this all mean? Hopefully a lot of things.
- Healthier children who are able to witness what strength and expression really means. Healthier, more sustainable relationships due to increased communication and honest sharing.
- Less stress, less depression and better long-term health due to “avoidance and holding in feelings and expressions.”
- More men being given permission to share their “softer and more creative” sides.
Related: Best Self Help Books for Men
VP of Operations for Southeast Region, Post Modern Marketing
In days past, we learned by necessity!
I was raised in a low-income rural area by a single mother in a family of five children; three sisters and one brother. I learned early to work for things I wanted and to fix and maintain everything I owned.
We played a variety of sports with all age ranges in our neighborhood park and it was always “no blood, no foul” because we did not have referees or organized programs outside of school.
In recent times, I have been a coach or trainer in baseball, basketball, volleyball, track, archery, and football. I also served as a booster club officer for several sports. I am a full-time Mr. Fix-it for my family, friends, and colleagues. From vehicles to houses, computers, phones, about anything mechanical or electronic, computer programs, contracts, you name it.
When they say, “just call the guy” – I’m that guy. I have always taken pride in my ability to resolve issues and conflict. In our day, we did not have thousands of YouTube videos and online resources to show us how to do everything; we just had to figure it out.
Today, I am amazed at how many boys and men I meet that cannot troubleshoot or fix anything. I am also shocked at the fact that they are not embarrassed by their lack of ability and knowledge.
I have taught both my son and my daughter to be resourceful troubleshooters, but I see a lack of mentors in our society willing and able to pass on the proper guidance and knowledge to the coming generations. As a previously certified fitness trainer, I have also taught my children about fitness and they are now avid exercise enthusiasts.
In our current society, there are those who would call a father sexist for teaching his son about troubleshooting, maintenance and repairs, fishing and hunting, firearm mastery, exercise, self-defense, and protecting those weaker than ourselves. These are the same things that I have taught my daughter with much success.
We should not just talk the talk; we must walk the walk.
To be a man in today’s society means knowing the value of real human communication
Emails, text messages, chat apps, and social media platforms have removed much of our face to face conversations and communication. My friends who work as teachers and recruiters tell me that in-person communication skills and body language are all but gone.
The boys and men today spend much of their time on video games, dating apps, and social media. Even our interaction with other boys and men has been tempered.
We love our children so we insist that everyone must get a trophy, and everyone must be a winner. Then, we toss our pampered and sensitive young men into society like releasing a domesticated pet into the wild.
Our young men are finding difficulties in communicating and coping in their environments. They are trapped somewhere between their instincts and their upbringing.
To be a man in today’s society means being authentic to oneself
I do believe that it is possible to be a strong, protective, resourceful, competitive, chivalrous, sensitive, and sympathetic man without completely losing gender qualities and recognition.
My wife and I have raised a son and a daughter with many of the same practices and watched them identify and gravitate towards traits that were different from one another.
Our son is strong but gentle, tough but sympathetic, kind but assertive, fair but competitive, young but resourceful, and none of it happened by accident.
James Gray Robinson, Esq.
Trial Attorney | Business Consultant | Relationship Expert | Author | Speaker
There is a lot of confusion these days about what it means to be a man
The blurring of gender lines has made traditional notions of masculinity obsolete. It is not just human beings with a penis that aspire to the traits of sexuality, conquest, wealth, success and authority. A century ago a man provided, a woman nurtured. Not so much anymore.
It is difficult to assign or describe attributes (or criticisms) solely to males. Males should not be defined by their behavior any more than females. Anything you can say about the qualities of a man could be applied to a woman and vice-versa.
Perhaps it all comes down to the physical aspects of biology. Boiled down to their bare essentials, a male produces sperm and females produce eggs and gives birth.
The psychological implications of those truths can be debated, and it is clear that with transgenderism, homosexual families, gender equality and role blending there are no definable lines between genders anymore. Nor should there be.
The vestiges of gender are still painfully evident in the business world, but even these are morphing.
Being a man is no different than being a woman, just be the best version of yourself you can be.
Investor, Equal Realty, LLC
To be a man in today’s society means being open
Being open to learning. Being open to being wrong. Being open to others. A man must be able to embrace all others. Today’s society is as diverse as society has ever been. A man must be able to embrace diversity.
Being a man in today’s society means being accountable
A sign of a man is not the ability to take credit when things go right, but to take ownership when things go wrong. A man does not back down from accountability.
As men, all we have is our word
A man must live up to his word, and the only way to do so is to match actions with his message. A man must always do what he says he is going to do.
A man must be a leader and a protector
A man must always be willing to lend a helping hand. A man must do the things he knows are right, even if he does not want to.
A man must be gentle and understanding
There is not an encompassing definition of a man; it is a constantly evolving and dynamic form, just like a man should be.
Jason van Dyk
Entrepreneur, God’s Fingerprints
To be a man in today’s society means being faithful in all his life relationships
When I think about what it means to be a man in today’s society — I think about the different roles a man may have in life. Husband, Father, Grandpa, Son, Brother, Friend.
A good man seeks to protect others. He is faithful to those who trust him. He encourages those who are weak. Being a man is about stepping up to the responsibilities of these roles. For it is through these key relationships that our identity as a man is formed.
Author | Business Owner
To be a man in today’s society means being able to ask for assistance and not feeling like a failure if he does so
Sure, you can be big and strong, have a lot of muscles and a coiffed beard, but if you don’t have a strong support system, you’re out of luck.
To be a man in today’s society means not streamlining with societal norms and being able to think for yourself
It’s OK to venture off on your own, make your own unique mark on the world and create a legacy.