Redefining what being a “man” really means

It’s inevitable, my son will one day be a man. Probably a little bit like his dad (my loooovvveeerrrrr). Probably a little bit like me too. He’ll grow up, turn into a young LAD, and he’ll be standing in a group of friends joking around, giving it all THE BANTS, and someone will say, “…ah maaaaate, she’s so ugly, if I banged her I’d double bag it, a bag on her head and a bag on mine just in case mine fell off ahahahaha”

I would expect him to say, “that’s not cool.” But I know he wouldn’t. Not that I’m preempting my son to be a coward, but I know in social situations like this the route most men will take is to stay quiet, or else you look like a square.

So what does it really mean to be a man? 

His beard?

manliness-meter-580x353

His wise words? 

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His strength?

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His capital?

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say the below phrases to your husband, boyfriend, brother, son….

“Man up.”
“Don’t be a sissy.”
“Don’t cry.”
“Talk like a man.”
“Act like a man.”
“Be a man.”

Or maybe even you have said it. 

What I’ve come to realise in my quest for women’s rights is that surprisingly it’s not all about empowering women, it’s also about empowering men. Empowering men to feel comfortable talking about their feelings, to feel confident with a 28 waist line and 5 foot 6″ height, to learn to listen with an empathetic ear, to know that sex is for love as much as it is for lust. 

I’ll be honest, out of pure anger and determination to win a fight, I said to my partner, “man up.” The sad thing is, he would never say this to me. I don’t need to man up, I need to, “stop being so sensitive.” It makes me wonder whether my partner really feels like I am being too sensitive or if this is because he has grown up in a society that hasn’t allowed him to show his sensitive side. The world would be better if everyone were more empathetic, no? 

In the recent Ghostbusters film, towards the end of the movie Jillian Holtzmann said, “Don’t hit like a man!” It was meant to be a joke, as in “Don’t hit like a girl!” but this really emphasises my point. These phrases, ‘you throw like a girl,’ are so ingrained in our language that it’s actually funny, LAUGH OUT LOUD funny, to say it the other way around. 

At the same time, the film also emphasises women are in the spotlight.

And the times are changing. Women are choosing sensitivity over arrogance, intelligence over muscle, and wisdom over capital. 

The government has passed laws to accommodate the new working family with shared paternity leave. More and more men are becoming stay-at-home-Dads. The first woman nominee was in the 2016 presidential election. The pay gap is starting to see a decline.

And men are becoming more feminine in their fashion. 

 

With all of these societal changes we are also seeing a change amongst individuals.

So what does it mean being a man now?

It means being…..sensitive

It means being……kind

It means being…….loving

It’s a man who wants……a good family, three kids and a dog

It’s a man who wants…..to cook meals when he gets home from work

It’s a man who wants…..to share his feelings

It’s a man who wants……to support you

It’s a man that……makes you laugh

It’s a man that……you want to talk to

Okay……and a man that has washboard abs! ; ) 

Being a man now is a whole different ball game. They are not there for financial stability or protection anymore. They are your best friend. 

COD love with hudson

week 3 8

photo of me 4

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36 thoughts on “Redefining what being a “man” really means

  1. Ahhh… Firstly, hilarious! (my lllooovveeerrr) 🙂 Secondly, love this! I have such an amazing husband and he would never say half the things I say to him. He is my best friend, my buddy, my pal!! I really hope my sons grow up to be like him. #globalblogging

  2. Its lovely to see that over the years the male and female roles seem to have intertwined and its ok for the man to be sensitive and look after babies etc. Although my 17 year old has just told her dad she has a boyfriend and he is acting like it’s the end of the world, not sure if its because he feels that way or because he is her dad and so feels that he cant be accepting of such a thing!

  3. Really funny start but a wonderful thought provoking post I hope I am a new man I like to think I am thanks for hosting #globalblogging

  4. I really like this post, as a feminist raising sons I do sometimes have to watch my words. I certainly don’t want my lovely, creative, sensitive boys to feel they have to drop their own personalities in order to become ‘real men’ #GlobalBlogging

  5. Love this so much! I have a son and want to teach him to be a proper man (proper being sensitive, kind, loving, affectionate and respectful) #globalblogging

  6. Beautiful. I couldn’t agree more – women empowerment is totally linked to male empowerment too. I try and encourage my son to be open about his feelings but find it really frustrating how society treats him and expects him to be a certain way. The high male suicide rate should be enough to tell us we have it all wrong. Lovely post. #GlobalBlogging

  7. This is really thought provoking. We do need to show young men that it’s ok to show their emotions. I think some of the phrases you’ve mentioned above (man up, etc) are often just words people say without actually thinking about their true meaning. #GlobalBlogging

  8. I don’t know how you did it, but you’ve made me cry and laugh at the same time! Great post. And I completely agree with you. Having the man you’ve described in your life is amazing and I’ve been so lucky that I have one just like this at home:). Not just for chopping down trees but for long talks and effection too:)xx
    #Globalblogging

  9. Totally agree, I’m a real girls girl but I also totally have the men in my life’s back too. it’s important for men to be able to express their feelings and feel they are allowed to be weak sometimes too.
    #GlobalBlogging

  10. Such a thought provoking post you have made me think about any times that I have told my brother or partner to “man up” and that just isn’t nice. The role of being a man really has changed in the past few years and I think for the better I hope that my son grows up to be kind, loving, intelligent and respectful. #GlobalBlogging

  11. Great post! I couldn’t agree more, but it’s difficult letting go of those “old phrases” I do hope though, that by the time my little boy is all grown gender stereotypes will be in the past. I hope I’ll be able to bring up my son and support him in whatever he wants to do and avoid using terms like “girly” “boys be boys” and so on… it’s those little words that we so often use without realising, that are actually helping to keep the old fashioned ideas going. #globalblogging

  12. People are all different and should be celebrated for their uniqueness. I admit it frustrates me when people try to stick with the stiff upper lip when they just need to let their emotion out. Surely its not healthy to keep it in. #GlobalBlogging

  13. Very thought provoking post. As a man I would like to think I am a ‘modern man’ and I wrote a guest post on that subject recently. There is definitely pressure to be the alpha male, get down the gym and work out until you look like you are wearing an invisible neck brace, join in with office ‘banter’ about rating women etc etc blah blah. I can’t think of anything worse, I cried at the film ‘The Nativity’ this weekend, can you imagine?!! Anyway great post I liked it a lot 🙂

  14. Another entertaining and lovely post from you. You make me feel almost bad lol! Us women are always complaining about how much work it is to be a woman but it’s probably just as hard today for men because the roles have changed a lot since in comparison to our parents. #globalblogging

  15. Hahah my boyfriend cried during The Good Dinosaur it’s okay! We all do it. I’d love to read your post I will go check it out, is it on your site?

  16. You are so right that things are changing in this area – and I am so thankful about this -especially for my son growing up. I also agree that more empathy in the world would be no bad thing. Good post. #globablblogging

  17. What I fab post. I have a super sensitive loving little boy who is 6 and I hope he stays like that and doesn’t worry about the stereotypes that are around when hes older xx #globalblogging

  18. A fab post, I found myself giggle (that beard diagram is spot on) and nodding as I was reading through it. As a mum to two boys it has certainly given me some food for thought that is for sure. #globalblogging

  19. Love this post! You have many points here. I wonder what type of beard your little one will have lol. I can’t believe my little Baba will be a man one day! But I can see more and more that he will be a very close version of Grumpy Boyfriend! More seriously, you are right, we always complain but men don’t always have it good today #GlobalBlogging

  20. So true that so much is ingrained in society, but also true that huge leaps have been made in the way that we say or do things. We shouldn’t ever stop striving for change for the better. #globalblogging

  21. I love this post and it is so true. I have chosen a OH for being funny, not rich, a mad who allows me to be who I ever wanted to be. Great post! Thank you so much for hosting. My apology for the delay in the commenting. #GlobalBlogging

  22. Oh my word I adore everything about this post! Having a son as well who is now in the teen years there is a lot of pressure to conform with what a boy is supposed to be. My son is quite sensitive and I can feel him pulling back from too much of the boy banter and perhaps feeling a little uncomfortable about it. I love your list of what being a man today is – want to print fit off and pin it on my fridge!! #CoolMumClub

  23. This post really spoke to me – my Hubby in comparison to loads of other men I know isn’t the most ‘manly’ and I think some people think he’s ‘under the thumb’ lol. But we raise our kids as a unit, and he appreciates his weekends to be at home with the fam. With the occasional time out, obvs!
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

  24. Ahhh what a lovely post and sentiment. Times really have changed, and whilst being very much girl power, it’s also about seeing people for the individuals they no matter what gender. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam xx

  25. I love this!!!! I absolutely agree that the idea of what a man ‘should’ be is changing. It means a very different thing to my parents generation! x #coolmumclub

  26. Love this article, it’s all so true & so important to set the right example. I feel very fortunate that I have a husband who sets a positive example to our daughters; he’s showing them what to expect from the men in their lives but also teaching them how to treat them too.

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