Charles Blow asks whether masculinity has been shaved down to an unrealistic definition that only few can fit in.
In The New York Times this morning, Charles Blow writes about “Real Men and Pink Suits”:
And it’s about understanding that masculinity is wide enough and deep enough for all of us to fit in it. But society in general, and male culture in particular, is constantly working to render it narrow and shallow. We have shaved the idea of manhood down to an unrealistic definition that few can fit it in with the whole of who they are, not without severe constriction or self-denial.
The man that we mythologize in the backs of our minds is a cultural concoction, an unattainable ideal, a perfect specimen of muscles and fearlessness and daring. Square-jawed and well-rounded. Potent and passionate. Sensitive but not sentimental. And, above all else, unwaveringly heterosexual and without even a hint of softness.
A vast majority of men will never be able to be all these things all the time, but they shouldn’t be made to feel less than a man because of it.
And, later, Charles looks at how we judge what is good:
Start with this fact: The truest measure of a man, indeed of a person, is not whom he lies down with but what he stands up for. If we must be judged, let it be in this way. And when we fall short, as we sometimes will, because humanity is fallible, let us greet each other with compassion and encouragement rather than ridicule and resentment.
photo: misserion / flickr