Hello there! Today gender issues have been on my mind. I get the impression that there are a lot of men that are not sure who they are. I want to take this week’s post and talk about what I am seeing with men today. I am going to keep it clean, but I do not want to be so clean as to sanitize my truth. There are some difficult things about gender for me as I am sure there are things about gender for everyone. I am also curious to know what your thoughts and feelings are regarding men. The range of perspectives on the male gender run as deep and wide as the oceans. If you have a thought please share it.
Men are all sorts of things in this world, but the thing I do not like seeing in a good deal of men is the confusion about what to be. If a man decides to cry is he less? Can a man let another man hold him and be ok with intimate nonsexual touch? Do men realize how healthy that is, and how thirsty they really are for male intimacy? These questions arouse in me a desire to project what I think is true for men.
When I think of what a man should be many things get stirred up. I know several types of men in my life, yet that does not run the whole gamut of the types of men that there are out there. Does strong, tender, and intelligent really encapsulate all that a man should be? I should hope not. What one dimensional socials lives we would all have!
The problem I am having with putting men into a few boxes is that most men do not fit all the way into them. A man with a sensitive heart and an artistic leaning would not identify with a definition of a man that said they needed to be stoic, and therefore think he might not be a “man”. That is unless he was of strong character enough to say “to hell with that!” It appears the reason I am having a tough time figuring out what to do with masculinity in my life is because my definition is so narrow.
The truth that I am seeing tells me men are all sorts of things, and they need every last part of themselves. Sometimes men need to be strong, draw lines in the sand, and say “ENOUGH!” Other times men need to hold new born babies, hold them gently, and smile into their faces like a great big welcome into the world. And there are all kinds of things in between.
I think all men are inherently good. A friend of mine once told me that they would not mind being friends with any healthy adult male. They said that if they were adult and healthy they probably would have a lot to offer no matter who they are. I reflected on this and determined this was the truth. Men are made for relationship, and to be healthy would mean the ability to be in a relationship that was pleasing and edifying to the other. We are not here to be difficult for each other or to hurt each other. That is just not how it works. When it gets to a point of pain chances are something is not working and needs to be addressed.
I also think culture tears the image of masculinity to pieces. I know great men out there worthy of being honored, written about, and held high as examples. An overwhelming majority of these honorable men do not look like a sit com father or a Spartan. I do not get to see enough good male representation in media. The gender engendering that I see for both men and women is sad. I think most American men think they should be football players, and not talk about their feelings because men are not supposed to have them. This does not seem to be a very good picture for men at all. The intricate machinery inside a man’s heart is inspired and wonderful.
What I think men need is for other older men to tell younger men that they are in fact good men. Young men need to know they pass the inspection, and can now think of themselves as real men. I have seen men be affirmed like this, and the ways that their lives grew afterward were astounding. So men affirm each other! If you are an older man please keep an eye out for the young man who needs your words. A society with men that do not know who they are is a society that is robbed of the goodness of true adult manhood. And in the void adult boys run around making a mess of things waiting for mom, and boy will she be angry as she ought to be!
The last thing I want to say is that I want to have room in my life for all different kinds of men. I want to love and respect the athlete and the artist. I want to know the energetic and the calm and slow. Men are and can be so many different, fantastic, wonderful things. I celebrate that with this post.