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What does it mean to be a man

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					                             What does it mean to be a man?

         The feminist revolution of the sixties and other events such as the world wars and
Vietnam resulted in men being unsure of what it means to be a man. The good men, the
heroes of America, willingly left to go and die for their countries in World War I, World
War II, Vietnam and various smaller battles that the United States fought to protect
Americans and other people around the world. Tens of thousands of men died in those
wars leaving women to raise their children alone. Over the generations, women have
raised boys without imparting the knowledge of what it means to be a man—not because
they wanted to, but because they were unable to provide the male perspective, advice and
understanding that fathers are responsible for passing down to their sons. All this
resulted in generations of men ignorant of what their purpose in life was. These men
married women and had families without knowing their role or what they needed to
provide for successful family life. Frustrated with being unable to create a happy home,
many men gave up and left, turned to alcohol, became workaholics, became abusive
emotionally or physically, etc.
         Women, meanwhile, were also forgetting what it meant for a man to be a man.
After generations of seeing abusive or absent men, and often being the victims of such
men, women became bitter and angry. This anger led to the feminist revolution where
women burned their bras in protest of their mistreatment. They wanted to be treated as
equals, but even more than that, women wanted to have men who behaved as men.
Unfortunately, these women didn’t know what that meant and came up with their own
definition. Basically, they decided that men should be the same as women. Men should
be nurturing, loving, calm, affectionate, etc. These were all wonderful qualities that men
actually should develop; however, the continuing anger and bitterness of women towards
men and the fact that men haven’t embraced the feminist ideal of manhood shows that
this definition isn’t totally appropriate. Women’s fears of being abused led to men being
“sissified” or what therapists would call “emasculated.” In other words, their masculinity
was taken away from them.
         The feminist revolution was the beginning of a change in our society from a
standard of living to which we will never be able to return. Over 50 million women in
the US are working. If they all quit tomorrow, the economy of the country would be
ruined. The traditional family in which the man is the bread winner and the wife stays at
home with the children has changed with most families being two income homes (often
with the woman earning more money) and women expecting men to participate in child
rearing equally. Traditional male jobs are declining and “pink-collar” jobs such as
nursing and secretarial work are on the rise. How does today’s man fit into such a
society? The old traditional norms no longer work and men MUST redefine what it takes
to be a man just as women have redefined themselves. If men don’t do this, then
problems of alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and homicide will continue
to rise and women will continue to become more and more angry at men.
         Men generally don’t realize how important they are to the family. Most men feel
that they aren’t contributors for anything except keeping food on the table. Women,
unfortunately, feel this as strongly if not stronger than men. It is rare to meet a woman
who knows why she should have a man around. Common conversations among women
are centered around hypothesizing on “what men are good for.” One woman said, “The
only thing a guy is good for is sex and I can get that without having to go through the
trouble of having him around all the time so why bother with a husband?” Another
woman decided to adopt children and raise them as a single mother because she believed
they’d be better off without a man around. While this is hard to hear, it’s understandable.
Women have seen generations of men abandoning them and abusing them. Eighty
percent of all murdered women are murdered by their boyfriend or husband and research
shows that women’s happiness drops significantly after marriage. Having a man around
is difficult, dangerous and seemingly pointless.
         However, research shows that men have a huge influence on their children’s
cognitive ability, educational achievement, social behavior and psychological well-being.
Women who are happy in their marriage are better mothers and have an easier time
dealing with their children. Sons of fathers who treat their wives respectfully are
significantly less likely to act aggressively towards women. Daughters of involved,
respectful fathers are less likely to enter into violent or unhealthy relationships. On the
other hand, research has shown that husbands who display anger, show contempt for, or
who stonewall their wives (i.e., "the silent treatment") are more likely to have children
who are anxious, withdrawn, or antisocial. In short, fathers have a powerful and positive
impact upon the development and health of children and some research shows that fathers
have a more powerful impact on children than mothers, even when the father is absent.
                            What do women really want from men?
         While women have attempted to define (and redefine) what it means to be a man,
they do not feel that they’ve succeeded in getting what they want. Most have given up
and retreated into bitterness and contempt towards men. The real question is, what does a
woman actually want? Women’s bitterness and anger stems from generations of
frustration of not getting this mysterious quality from men. If men can figure out what a
woman really wants and give it to her, they can put an end to the disrespectful resentment
that women often aim at men. The problem is that women don’t know what they want
either. Just as men have forgotten what it means to be a man, women have forgotten
what they need from men and why it’s so important to them that they have a man in their
life. Men understand that women are great at providing nurturance, affection, love, etc.
that a man needs. But what does a woman need?
         While it’s not politically correct, women need stability. All men have heard some
woman say this, but neither men nor women generally understand what this means.
Usually, we interpret it to mean that women want a man’s money. This leads to men
working their butts off to provide financially for their families and yet they still come
home to an angry woman. This is because financial stability is only a small part of the
overall concept of stability. So what does stability mean? A good definition is “the
quality or attribute of being firm and steadfast.” Okay, stop and think about that. A good
man, a man that a woman absolutely must have for her personal happiness and sanity, a
man who is providing what his family needs is firm and steadfast. One more time: A
good man is firm…and steadfast… Has that really sunk in? This is what a woman wants
you to be. This is why women across the world are angry and pissed off. They want you
to be firm and steadfast. Yet how do men generally react towards women? They give in
to women’s anger because it’s easier and they want to stop their women from being
angry; they hide from emotional and family problems; they aren’t around when women
need them; they often abandon them and abuse them or at the very least are so sensitive
to criticism that the family feels they have to walk around on egg shells in order not to get
an explosion of anger. All of these behaviors are instability. The man is not being firm
and steadfast in his beliefs or his behavior.
         So why is this stability so important to women? A psychologist named Abraham
Maslow came up with a pyramid of needs in which he prioritized human needs into a
hierarchy. Take a look at the pyramid. Everyone is striving towards self-actualization or
becoming the best that they can be. However, we need to meet our bottom needs in order
to move up to the next level and eventually to the level of self-actualization. The first
thing we need is our physiological needs such as food and water. Then we need safety
and security such as shelter, health and protection. These two needs must be met before
we can begin giving and receiving love, affection and belonging. This third level is what
women excel at. Women are professionals in giving love and providing a sense of
belonging. However, for a woman to be able to do what she does best, she must have her
physiological needs met and her safety and security needs met. In other words, in order
for a woman to be able to do what she does best, she must have stability. Can you begin
to understand why this characteristic is SOOOOO important to women now? Men are
the professionals at providing stability and are as good at that as women are at giving
love. If a man does not provide stability to his wife, he takes away her ability to love, he
takes away her womanhood. Most men understand how important their job is. It almost
defines who you are. Well to a woman, her ability to provide love defines who she is.
The despair and anger men feel when they lose their job is the same despair and anger a
woman feels when her husband fails to provide security for her. Now imagine, a man
generally goes unemployed for a short period of time. A woman in an unstable marriage
feels these horrible feelings for years or even a lifetime.
         An interesting twist to this pyramid of needs is that while a woman’s greatest
need is security, a man’s greatest need is at the self-esteem level. Men need to be
respected. Men’s anger towards women is generally because she acts so disrespectfully
towards him. As women are vulnerable to the fear of instability, men are vulnerable to
the fear of contempt. Men tend to avoid arguments with their wives because they want to
avoid being disrespected and they don’t know what else to do except get angry and
demand her respect or give her the silent treatment. If you look at the hierarchy of needs,
a woman is not able to provide men with respect if her other needs aren’t being met. The
ability to be respectful is a level 4 need. She must meet her needs of 3 lower levels in
order to progress to the fourth level. If a man wants his wife to stop her bitterness,
contempt and anger, he must help her to meet her needs first because they are more
fundamental than his. In other words, he must provide her with stability by being firm
and steadfast and then with love by being a friend who is affectionate, intimate. Only
then she can begin to do what she is proficient at which is loving and being loved and
then progress to being respectful. When a man is providing stability and love to a
woman, only then can she be respectful to him. Yes, this is putting a huge amount of the
responsibility on the man. It’s not politically correct, but it’s true. Men have the power
to create healthy, happy relationships and families. Women try hard and can even
sometimes succeed, but they do not have the power to change the family like men do.
Look at almost any marriage and any family and you’ll see a woman who is fighting
tooth and nail to change things for the better, but it cannot happen if the man doesn’t use
his talent for creating stability. Men are more powerful than they can imagine and
families will not heal and achieve happiness if men don’t begin to recognize their power
to change lives.
Exercise 1
Take some time to think about what it means for you to be a man. Women cannot
continue to define masculinity; therefore, you as a man have to decide what a man in this
time period needs to be. Write down ten things that are vital components for a man to be
a real man.

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.


7.


8.


9.


10.


Exercise 2
How does it change your view of your role as a man now that you understand some of the
huge impact that men have on the world around them? Did you have any idea that you,
as a man, are so powerful in other people’s lives? Do you feel that you’re living up to
your potential and your responsibility as a man?

Exercise 3
         What does it mean for you to be firm and steadfast? What would you be like if
you were always firm and steadfast? What things would change? How can you provide
stability to your family?

				
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