One guy whose blog and tweets I have been enjoying a lot of over the last couple of months, is a chap called Matt Edmuson . He has a strong faith, a keen interest in business and is an engaging read. A couple of days ago he asked the question “what is it to be a man? It’s something that has pre-occupied me for a large part of my life. It’s taken on even more resonance now that I am a father, and especially as we are so lucky to have two lovely boys – what sort of men will they grow up to be? What will be their idea of a man?
I want to keep this brief as it’s something I can rattle on about for days, but it seems to me that Women have been on a journey for some time now, and Men have been lagging behind in honestly looking at what it means to be a bloke. Women have had perhaps more pressure from Men, as to what Men want them to be, as well as responding to their own view of themselves. Converesly, I think Men have more pressure from ourselves as Men to conform to existing paradigms. For us, being confident, strong, un-emotional, taciturn, or aggressive are traits we learn and feel pressure to be from other men, rather than as external pressures to confirm to from society in general. Traits that do not confirm to these are frowned upon. Until we can ignore the pressure from other men, we will never be able to shift what it is to be a man I feel.
So Matt, in answer to your question, for me personally, being a man is whatever you are – whether you are a loving, listening, playful, musical, enthusiastic or rugby playing action man. Being a man is being honest with yourself in accepting who you are, and not simply accepting the roles handed down to us.
Thanks for your (some would say over) generous comments 😀
I think this questions is a great question. Just had a meal with some amazing people, and I asked them the same question. I love how you get different answers to the question – but you do get consistent principles: standing up for what’s right, being strong, humble, leader, adventurer etc.
It is also amazing how many people have said that men should be honest with themselves – something that you have discovered too it seems? Is there a great story behind that?