Social Question

SpideySense's avatar

What does it mean to be a man?

Asked by SpideySense (212points) July 24th, 2012

I’m turning 35 soon and I still don’t know.

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

So, do you know what it means to be a teen-aged male or a boy?

Coloma's avatar

Forget the stereotypes, change the words to ” What does it mean to be a good person!”
Genitals aside, to be a good person means the same, regardless of gender.
Are you honest, do you have integrity, ethics that cannot be swayed by situational temptations?
Do you value your word, are you reliable, caring, helpful, but not a pushover?

Do you KNOW yourself? What you stand for, what you believe in, are you living in truth to your self or allowing others to dictate your doings?
Being of good character has nothing to do with gender.

Kardamom's avatar

^^ Bravo!

josie's avatar

If you don’t know at 35, might as well put it off until 40.

rojo's avatar

or, what the hell, 50

ZEPHYRA's avatar

You become a MALE through your genes, you become a MAN due to adulthood but you become a GENTLEMAN due to your integrity and correct behavior.

flutherother's avatar

‘What the superior man seeks, is in himself. What the mean man seeks is in others.’

ragingloli's avatar

To have tasted your own.

wundayatta's avatar

When I was growing up, it seemed to me that a man was like John Wayne. A man takes charge. A man tells others what to do and does it naturally, without having to prove that he is worthy. There is no question. When people look around the room for a leader, their eyes all fall on one person, and that person is the man.

A man had this aura around him, and there was no question that others would do what he told them to do. They wanted to do it. They were eager for him to be manly around them. They were waiting for him to take charge.

Sometimes there were other things men did, but I didn’t like these things so much. Men killed. Men beat up others, including, sometimes, their wives and children. Men had such authority that they never questioned themselves. Men didn’t need emotions. Men were always right. Men, therefore, didn’t have to feel anything. Men made money. Lots of it. Men were assholes.

Growing up, I found I didn’t really like this idea of manhood. It seemed unattainable. I didn’t want to run roughshod over everyone. I didn’t want to have to be a bread winner. I didn’t want to have to be right all the time. I didn’t want to have to fight. I didn’t want to be the one to ask a girl out and never have her indicate what she wanted. I didn’t always want to be the pursuer.

I wanted to be pursued, too. I wanted to share the burdens of life and income. I wanted to take care of my children, not just be a success object. I wanted a woman who could lead as well as follow. I wanted to listen and be listened to.

In the seventies, women were seeking equal rights. They wanted equal pay for equal work. They wanted people’s roles in life to be determined by our own preferences, instead of being forced into stereotypical roles by the expectations of those around us. These were all things that I also wanted, not just for them, but for myself.

I wanted to be a lover, not a fighter. I wanted to be creative as well as to earn money. I didn’t want to judge myself by how much money I earned. I didn’t want to be a guy who couldn’t handle his wife making more than he did. I wanted to be measured by my loves and my caring and my work to make the world better, not by the money I made.

To make a long story short, I did these things.

And oddly, over the years, I became more confident in myself, and I started leading people. I started having people want me to advise them and help them. I became a man that women liked. I was no longer afraid to ask for things I wanted and rejection stopped bothering me the way it did when I was a teen. I am a person people turn to, now. But it is because I am not John Wayne, that people trust me. They know I will listen and that I actually care about them and will never deliberately hurt them. They know I take them as they are, and do not hold their past or anything that might stereotype them against them.

A man is confident, I think. So, too, is a woman. Men and women listen and care and lead when it is useful to do so, and follow and are supportive when that is the role to take on. Men and women are different, of course, the the traits of leadership are the same. I think that a man who is a Man is a man who can lead, and the same is true of a woman.

snapdragon24's avatar

A man – someone who takes responsibilty for his own actions. Someone loyal and protective of his partner. Someone wise and paternal. Someone with a good heart

gondwanalon's avatar

This is a good question. I grew up in an all female house with my Mom and two older sisters. When I was in school for medical technology, most of the students were female and now I work in a female dominated healthcare field. One time my female boss was talking girl-talk to the other women in the lab. One of the women said to my boss that there is a man present. My boss has a very big mouth and blurted out “Oh Lon isn’t a man!”. Well my boss had said that before so I was heady for her this time. I loudly said, “Girl-friend, I’m more women than you’ll ever be and more man than you’ll ever get”! The shrieking laughter was deafening.

The point is to just be yourself. You are a man.

Paradox25's avatar

There is no such a thing as a real man. The propaganda for these stereotypes are usually written by conservative masculist types on BS sites such as The Lost Art of Manliness, Ask Men, and others which actually put up certain criteria for being a real man. Nonsense like this written by knuckleheads usually will come with a complete set of rules for what it to be a real man.

You should be more concerned about finding things about yourself that you like, rather than doing things just for the sake of being perceived in a certain image. When you do this (easier said than done) your self-esteem will grow, and in a healthy way, since you’re generating it by being proud of yourself rather than depending upon other people for it. I’d rather hang around a decent person over a real man anyday. Ironically, maybe I’ve inadvertently given you the definition of a real man.

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