What is it like to be a man in modern times?
It’s a strange place in history for men. We face so many hidden challenges and are constantly being made to believe that the way we think and the way we’ve been raised is wrong. The traditions of manhood are under fire because we have strayed from the real purpose and definition of what it means to be a “man.” Even the phrase “be a man” has lost any real gravity and has cause a riot among many. It is seen as misogynistic and sexist and apparently sets standards that shouldn’t be set. Our world is becoming increasing sensitive to certain trigger words, while at the same time we are all becoming immensely selfish and hurtful towards each other. Somewhere along the line, the definition of “man” changed from strong, honorable, chivalrous, respectful, considerate, and gentlemanly, to more of an arrogant, idiotic, selfish swagger hound who focuses on indulgences of the flesh and can’t control his physical urges.
So then, who is to blame? The media? The internet? Parents? It’s a collaborative effort of every experience a young man is subject to while developing his sense of self. “Man Up!” “You pussy.” “What are you, some kind of girl?” We see it and hear it all the time. First off, the distinction between strong and weak is not gender dependent. We are all strong at times and weak at others. That is all part of the human psyche. Strength comes from within. Physical Strength, mental strength, emotional strength, it’s all a part of you whether you’re a man or a woman.
Now the media likes to thrust an idealized version of a man in our face, similar to the way they idealize women. That doesn’t necessarily mean photoshopping their waists to be thinner but the constant standard of man has shifted to sexual prowess, money, and power. It is a never-ending struggle to face such standards and ceaselessly measure your worth based on the preset ideals of what others think you should be, especially in such a flawed media perception like we have today. Being a man shouldn’t boil down to the number of notches in your belt or the number of zeros in your bank account, it should be instead be measured by the number of lives you have changed without expecting something in return, the number of times you held your tongue when the easier solution was an explosion of brutality and ignorance, the amount of respect that you give, or the ability to endure pain and continue to thrive.
A man should have enough self respect to not compare his life to everyone else’s. He should not have the desire to rip apart another human being in his quest to be the best. Now don’t misunderstand my thinking here, competition is an incredible motivator. It drives us to push ourselves beyond what we thought was possible. It is a catalyst in our growth process. Compete, and by God, push yourself to give life your all. But don’t break others down to build yourself up; that’s cowardice.
The world is obsessed with the temporary and the simple solutions to our problems. That’s the major issue. We don’t see the value in the struggle anymore. The pain in the process is what fuels our hunger for a solution. If the problem has too easy a solution, then we will continue to indulge in the problem. Passion literally means suffering. Without passion, there is no learning. We become sheep who follow the the shepherd regardless of the direction he gives. It’s breaking us all apart. Those in power are guaranteeing that power for the coming generations by guiding the youth to think a certain way. “Men are sexual beings who feed on lust and lack emotion or wisdom.” False. Men are respectful and honorable and those traits should be rewarded rather than ridiculed.
So what is my definition of “Man”? I don’t have one. I just know each one of us needs to think for ourselves and stop looking to impossible and disgusting standards of how we are portrayed. I for one, am sick of hearing “Men suck” from every woman I meet. Men don’t suck. A man will treat you with respect. The issue being that men are more and more rare to find. The age of boys is upon us. Real men are a dying breed. Insecurity is leading us into a bullshit lie of achieving corrupted, worthless goals that give us that temporary high then leave us emptier inside. We then accustom ourselves to that emptiness because “that’s what guys do” and “feelings are for women.” Then the cycle of sheep creation is complete and we are lost forever; another boy created and a man destroyed.