Sunday, March 20, 2011

Working on being a man pt.8

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man. They aren't in any special order I just number them to keep up with them.

If you've been reading this series you know that one of the main points I make about being a man is that a man needs to be a man on his (or her) own terms. You have to make it your own way and not let others define the label for you.

Freedom to take on the hobbies you want be it woodworking or baking.

Freedom to have the sexual orientation of your choice.

Freedom to work whatever job you wish.

Freedom to perform nice acts because you want to be nice and not because you "have" to perform them to validate your manhood.

Freedom to dress in whatever you want from platform heels to steel toe boots to flannel shirts to halter tops.

Freedom to have whatever body configuration you want and not what society tells you it needs to be configured to in order validate your manhood.

Lots of freedom going on there right? Hopefully that freedom will be taking place in all of society one day when a man really will have his pick of those things. But for now the fight rages on.

But things like this (borrowed from Good Men Project) are pretty much the antithesis of what I'm trying to do here.

Being nice is a great thing. Everyone should do it. Its just so, nice.

But on what good and green earth does it make sense to try to force guys into a narrow box and act like that if they are not nice to "ladies" for the simple fact of them being "ladies".

I'm all for encouraging people to be generous and courteous to others but I'm pretty sure we can find better ways than, "a real man would...." to get the point across can't we?


Marc Jones said...

What really gets to me about these types of events is how hell bent they are on propping up outdated gender stereotypes. I mean the article talks about honouring men who stand against cultural norms by... upholding more damaging cultural norms... err what?

When you get down to it stuff like this isn't really about celebrating human decency and niceness (which is great) more than it is about furthering an agenda that seeks to keep men and women in their traditional roles.


Danny said...

I mean the article talks about honouring men who stand against cultural norms by... upholding more damaging cultural norms... err what?
And then to make a contest out of it? I mean all they are missing are the actual words, "Real men....".

TitforTat said...


If that is their idea of what a real man is why do you worry about how it defines you? Isnt your idea that a real man lets his own definitions define him?

Danny said...

My problem is that by trying to tout their definition as being superior it undermines its purpose. It would be one thing if this was just a group of women talking about what they liked in a man or what they called a gentleman. But its another when trying to hold that one idea of gentleman as better than others.

TitforTat said...

Why should it matter? If you are secure with who you are as a man then there opinion is really irrelevant. It only becomes relevant when you think it has some merit.

Danny said...

Actually I think it becomes relevant before that. If people are going around and imposing their beliefs on you it could very well take effect in the way that you are treated. Based on your logic the various -isms that plague our world only become relevant when we start to believe them and internalize them. As I'm sure you can agree that if the only thing that kept -isms alive is the target of them thinking they have merit they would not be so hard to combat.

Just because I'm secure in who I am as a man doesn't mean that I should be expected to put up with stuff like that.