‘Be A Man’ what does that even mean?
Recently I asked some of my male friends what constitutes a ‘real man?’ A hard question to answer indeed. However, many of the men I asked had similar ideas of how a ‘real man’ should be. In general, most men are conditioned by a set of societal rules at a very young age about what not to do in order to gain respect, and rarely are they given guidance about what they should do instead. So, with this article I’m sharing the perspectives of a few open-minded male friends of mine aged 25-35 in the hopes we can settle this age old question for good.
How Society Says To ‘Be A Man’
Society tells the male gender that a man must be the provider and they protector. A man must wear pants and play with trucks. Men must have short hair, eat meat, drink beer and god forbid if a man show emotions. A man must be stoic and strong, he must be not let people or things phase him. A man has to work hard, play hard and fuck hard. He should be supportive but never be vulnerable.
Society says that if a man can’t be all of this, then he is weak, inadequate, a failure, a wimp, feminine.
Society seems to have a lot to say about how humans should live, but I want to hear from the real life experiences of people and not an outdated and un-ecological system.
A ‘Real Man’ In William’s eyes.
“A real man is someone who is honest and happy with themselves and takes care of those around him, whether that be his parents or his chosen family.
Being a real man to me, is just being able to take responsibility for yourself and your actions, everything else is just societal projection. I don’t think real men have to be inherently ‘tough’ or ‘hard’ and I don’t think we necessarily have to be bread winners either. When I say ‘take care’ of those around you I don’t necessarily mean monetarily. If my wife in the future studies and works her way up in the world and makes 200k more than me a year, I’m going to learn to take care of her in other ways, in ways she needs.”
– William Sandarousi, Student and nerdy Construction Corker
Freshian Speaks His Truth About What It Means to ‘Be A Man’
“A man is someone who is brave enough to walk the path selected for himself and created by himself.
A man is someone who is willing to lay it all out on the table at whatever cost. A real man is someone who is as gentle as he is strong both physically and psychologically.
A real man knows that true power lies within being vulnerable and intentionally emotionally available. He’s the man at the party who’s not looking for a cheap good time, but a long term lesson.
Last but not least, a real man is a man who can walk the path less taken, without feeling left out or as if he owes it to his pals.. because he knows he only owes it to his future self.” – Freshian Rucker, Personal Development & Fitness Coach
Rob’s Perception of a ‘Real Man’
“I don’t think there is such a thing as a “real man” because in a way that is categorising us, and as humans, we are all different. I feel like we should express ourselves in ways that satisfy our own emotional needs.
From a personal standpoint I think one of the bravest things a man can do is open up about where his head and heart is. I don’t think we can change how men are seen as the protector/provider because it’s hard-wired into our instincts since we formed community bonds and family based lifestyles.
But I think the focus should be more on appreciating men for who they are not for what they do!”
“Not taking away the ideology of them being a provider but bringing the idea that they are that and more! I think the way to eliminate the toxic views on masculinity will be within the next generations education and comfort towards boys that it’s okay to be ‘weak.”
“It’s okay to like things that aren’t perceived as boyish acts. Tt’s okay to cry and it’s okay to grieve and show your pain. We were brought up thinking that boys don’t cry and boys don’t get heartbroken easy. So that’s where it needs to change. I think that more advertising on the subject of men’s mental health would be a great start to get men to reach out. I don’t want to sound rude but women children and animals get first priority when it comes to resources, charities, awareness etc, and I’ve found one avenue is dedicated Facebook groups, I’m in one called “blokes and their mental health” and truly it is the most beautiful supportive group I have ever seen. That is the most positive change I have seen to date on the subject.” – Robert Stokes, Tattoo Artist at @deathorglorysydney
Blokes and Their Mental Health Facebook Group – Join Here
A Real Man in Mike’s Point Of View
“I feel like a “real man” is one that lives how he feels without hurting or harming anyone. It can be anyone from a skinny small man who wears nail polish and has long hair. To a muscley 6 foot 5 dude who plays football. As long as they’re not perpetuating ideals of toxic masculinity and are being true to themselves. There’s no one catch all ideal for a man. Just as there’s no catch all ideal for a woman or anyone else for that matter.” – Mike, Content Creator
What Makes a ‘real man’ to Matthew
“What makes a real man is someone who can be assertive for his own morals and values. A real man is open to listening to others, changing his mind and not being stubborn. A real man is supportive and non-judgemental. He’s in touch with his feelings and can articulate his emotions while feeling safe to be vulnerable” – Matthew, Reki Master and Crystal Entrepreneur
Being A Man Is Whatever You Make It
It’s important to remember that in this world, everyone lives a different experience of life. That experience is very much true and real to an individual. I think it’s safe to say that if we can learn to respect and accept each other for their unique differences and ways of living then the world could be a much happier place. If we reject someone for something as little as what they wear or what they like, we become close minded, stagnate and stop our evolution of consciousness and prevent ourselves from experiencing all the different flavours of life.
Be the space for someone to feel safe in. The mate who is there to listen. Be the mate who wants to understand deeper and your life will certainly become richer. Feel safe to be yourself and shine, you can be the flame that helps ignite. To make yourself smaller in a world that is dim in so many ways is a disservice to your friends, your family, your ancestors. Speak your truth and you will always be protected, guided and attract what is already yours. Now go out there and discover what it ‘being a man’ means for you, brother! x