In the year 2016, man is still evolving. Each moment gives us a chance to shed worthless, dangerous ideas and give way to a more evolved self. With that, the idea of manhood is also changing. As I look at who men are today, where we have come from, and where we going, I wanted to list seven harmful traits we can get rid of when measuring what a man is. These are misogynistic, sexist, homophobic, and foolish trains of thought that do not serve us any purpose, but to weigh us down in the mire of stupidity and idiocy. If you know a man that references any of these seven points, please have him read this.
How can I be a man if my partner makes more money than me?
I hear this all the time. Men feeling emasculated because their significant other has a bigger salary then they do. It’s as if we tie being a man to how much money is in our bank accounts. Yes, we all know that in the 1950’s and 1960’s, men were the primary providers and women were encouraged to stay at home and raise the family. But guess what? It aint the 1950’s and 1960’s anymore! Women are engineers, doctors, lawyers, CEO’s and yes they may make more money than you. That has nothing to do your manhood. Remember, the man makes the money, the money don’t make the man.
How can I be a man if I wear pink?
Growing up, I was told only girls wear pink. If you wore something remotely close to it, you were teased and told that you were soft. As I got older, I realized that was rubbish. Some of the best dressed, flyest looking guys I knew wore pink. I learned that in the 1700 and 1800s, it was the complete opposite – boys primarily wore pink! Seriously, if a color determines our masculinity, we as a species are in trouble. Personally, as a dark chocolate complected man, I love wearing pink and my lady loves when I wear it. I’m just sayin’.
How can I be a man if I don’t drink with the guys?
You see these images of men sitting at a bar bro’ing it up with tons of beers and shots, or reading these heroic stories of Hemmingway with a sifter of scotch and you think, “That’s how men act.” But what if you don’t drink alcohol? Not having a beer or a cocktail does not make you less of a man. Drinking has never been or should be related to masculinity. Many great men throughout history were not drinkers – Bruce Lee, Malcolm X, and Stephen King. Don’t bow to pressure because you don’t imbibe.
How can I be a man if my wife doesn’t take my last name?
When a man decides to get married, the expectation is always the woman will take his last name. But in recent years, there has been a strong trend of women keeping their maiden names. Some men may be threatened by this, thinking it’s a slight to them. Not so. Marriage has evolved from the ownership/dowry – giving to equal partnership between man and woman. According to the New York Times, over 20% of all women married in 2015 kept their maiden name. As a matter of fact, quite a few men are taking the woman’s last name. Zoe Saldana’s husband did it and I am not mad at him.
How can I be a man if I am gay?
When I was younger I would hear people disparage gay men for not being real men. I knew that was bullshit then and still know it is bullshit. Your sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to with how “manly” you are. Who you sleep with and love should not be in the equation when measuring manhood. I have met some gay men that are the toughest, hardest guys in the world. Two of the most masculine men in history – Langston Hughes and James Baldwin – were gay. So if anyone says something like that, tell ‘em to kiss your ass.
How can I be a man if I don’t sleep around?
Okay, this is a personal one for me. At one point in my life, to prove my masculinity I tried to sleep with as many women as I could. This was to prove that I was a “real man.” But, I realized two things: A) It didn’t make me feel any more of a man and B) This was a stupid measuring stick for defining manhood. Unfortunately, this poisonous train of thought of having sex with every other woman is fed to men at an early age. It’s time to put that to rest. Don’t be pressured to sleep around.
How can I be a man if I am not raised by one?
Speaking from personal experience, as one man that didn’t meet his father until he was 13, I don’t know. I am still trying to figure that out. I guess continue to be a good person, stay true to yourself , and we will answer that question on this ride together.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project, please join like-minded individuals in The Good Men Project Premium Community.
We have pioneered the largest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspiring and invaluable.
The Good Men Project is an Amazon.com affiliate. If you shop via THIS LINK, we will get a small commission and you will be supporting our Mission while still getting the quality products you would have purchased, anyway! Thank you for your continued support!
Photo credit: Getty Images