I know exactly what a man is, or rather what makes up a man. How could I not considering I have the parts that make me a man and I mean literally that my penis exists? Beyond the physical attributes required to be hanging between one’s legs to be a male in our species, what exactly is a “man”? To be completely, utterly honest I have no idea whatsoever. So I guess the proper question to address is what do I THINK a man is or should be?
Ultimately, our society puts all of these different ideas and limitations on manhood. Thinking back to living in a rural area it’s the cars, trucks, women, sports thing; but all of those are just interests or in the case of women, a need to reproduce (and thank god nature failed me on that one). So putting all of these things together, being a man is a culmination of interests. After the interests people would say something about family, providing, the old hunter mentality. Therefore, man = providing for a family + random interests considered masculine by society.
Funny enough, I still do not believe that is what I think a man is supposed to be or what masculinity means. At this point in my life I am not providing for a family, in fact my family is providing for me. Even further I am, right at this moment, incapable of having a family because of the fact that I am in a relationship with another man along with being 24 years old and not wanting children at all right now. So based on what I have seen, the portrayal of what a man is means that I would be at roughly 50% of a man. On top of that, why do one’s interests have to be masculine in order for the person to be a man? Yeah, I have interests that are considered masculine, but then on the same token I have one’s that are probably feminine. For instance I really like romantic comedies. I cannot tell you why, but I do. That, I would assume, would be considered feminine to a degree. So from that aspect, my feminine qualities would retract from my masculine ones; I think. So all told, I would be lucky to be 10% of a man.
So back to the first question of what is a man? We, as a society, have this iconic idea of what one is, but the reality that I see is a man does not exist. Clearly, males do exist since we have members of our species that have, well, a member, but the idea of a man in being masculine? That I just do not see, we are all way to different to be defined and put into this constricting box.
Personally I think it actually looks like this: man = who the hell knows + do we really care all that much. Being a man is what you define it as. I cannot define a man for anyone other than myself, and quite frankly I’m still working on that. Truly, I will probably be working on that until the day I die, because all I have right now is: being a man is. . . Something. It is hard to define even for yourself, so why focus on it? Maybe at some point in my life someone will say, “That’s a man” in reference to me, until then I will keep living and assuming in my blind ignorance that I am a man, I mean after all I have the parts to be one, so that is really all I need right?
A Community for Men Seeking Soul
The world through the eyes of a third wave feminist
Founded upon a pro-feminist, anti-racist, gay-affirmative agenda with the hope of providing resources to increase multi-cultural competence among male students.