What does it mean to be a man?

Discussion in 'Family, Friends and Relationships' started by hammockmonkey, May 12, 2009.

  1. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    I guess my question is what is masculine behavior? Is it being "strong" and the "bread winner"? Is it just not being feminine?

    I'll share what I think a "man" should be like.

    A man should be hardworking, but ready to have fun.
    Be there when asked for advice but keep his mouth shut otherwise, be supportive of decisions and understand that they don't know everything. Take time for yourself, but always be ready to help others. Be careful, that is be thoughtful about what you're doing, who you're doing it to and what it does to them. (You don't exist in a vacuum.)

    Women should be treated with respect, and as equals (when warranted). What I mean here is a sort of deference, that is give way because it's not worth a fight. This should usually be extended to men as well. Of course, this is entirely related to the social situation and is really the heart of my question. So, how do I treat women? I am a joker, I like to laugh and to tell stories and to keep everything light even when it is serious, especially when it is serious. What does that mean? Okay, so a statement like that is not descriptive at all. Here is an example:
    I went out with a couple of friends (guy and girl sort of an item but the guy is heart broken over a beauty and won't see the beauty in front of him) me, I'm a guy who has to work out to be out of shape. We meet up with a couple of other girls and a guy. Mostly this is a group hipster yuppies running wild in NYC. We go to a bar and a girl steps on my foot, now I'm wearing steal toed boots and didn't notice. But the girl says "hey I'm sorry for stepping on your shoe" so, being a man and horny I take the offering from the girl. Here, okay an important point I'm making about what I think a man does; TAKE THE OFFERING OF CONVERSATION. I say "I think I'm crippled now," I hop over to my beer, "The least you can do is drink with me." Okay, so I'm a little bit of an alcoholic and we had a few more drinks together, and we joked for a bit. I suggested I should "step on her foot to even things." It was stupid but she laughed at me and we ended up at her apartment, albeit with a bunch of other friends and random people but still when we slept together and I felt accomplished. Now, we did not have sex, I got a blowjob and ate her out, well I ate her out first but then I didn't have a condom and she was accommodating. I have her number, and she's a pretty cool girl who's really fucking funny (she works as a PA and script girl [script bitch] she also works with friends of mine on commercials). I'm seeing another girl who's fantastic, well we get along and she gets the fact I'm not really interested in being committed to someone, emotionally. I tried that with the few girls who've been kind to me and I've felt betrayed or hurt and dissatisfied with how things turned out.

    I don't really know what I mean about how a man should act, I guess I'm wondering if people think I'm a dick for how I act.
  2. morning rush

    morning rush Well-Known Member

    to me being a man is being yourself. If you don't earn the bread money, doesnt make you any less of a man. And be there for others, well that applies to everyone. Male or female are just words really. Labels people need to reassure themselves but ultimately they don't really define who you are as an individual.

    Now as to what you're doing with both girls. If they are okay with it then kudos to you, my friend. But if you don't tell them your expectation from the get go, then I would say that's misleading and could end up hurting them in the end.

    It takes all kinds of people to make a world, so as long as it makes you happy and harms no one...go for it:tongue:
  3. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    I think my example is poor, I know how I am treating one girls really fucked up, I hold on to her and I don't want her to be to close. I'm not being honesty about what I'm thinking at all, the other girl . . . We are both being honesty that we are busy and are physically distant.

    What is "being yourself?" I'm serious here, what is that? How do you treat people? Not hurting people is an admirable goal, but what does that mean? How do you treat people? How do you think someone should act?
  4. morning rush

    morning rush Well-Known Member

    I guess I treat people the way I would like to be treated. Also I'm kind of not like most girls. I accept people the way they are and I try not to judge because judging doesnt really help anyone. I'm not perfect though so...I have a friend who'se pretty messed up but she's got good sides too...

    be yourself whatever that may be...everyone is different so there's isnt a specified way to be...I guess some people would say it goes down to your values. What do you value in your life?

    Hurting people sometimes becomes innevitable but its better to let the person know where you stand even if it might hurt her...If I slept with a guy, I would rather know if I was just a one night stand then be lied to and avoided...it might hurt if I liked the guy but at least I've got no illusion about the situation...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2009
  5. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    As a man in my 30s with strong bisexual tendencies, I have a bit of a unique perspective on this.

    Over the years, I've come to see typical male behavior in a fairly negative light. I think men are encouraged to be stupid and act like idiots. On the one hand, that makes men very unpleasant to be around and on the other, it keeps them in line and makes sure they don't rebel.

    I find the company of women to be far more pleasant simply because you can talk to them about things that really matter and they'll take you seriously. Typical male behavior is to brush off real issues and say something really stupid.

    Masculinity (as it is defined in our culture) is not really very attractive (At least not to someone who is looking for someone pleasant to live with). Which is why really masculine men have a hard time attracting and keeping women. Women are intelligent, thoughtful and caring. They don't want to spend their lives with a big dummy.
  6. Crue-K

    Crue-K Well-Known Member

    There is a theory that exists that in part answers your question, it is called hegemonic masculinity. It challenges the norm and expected behaviour along with the changing expectations of a 'man'.

    if you have an Athens login you can view it here, otherwise just google it. :smile:
  7. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    I'm very interested in how "men" should be, thanks grahamd, when I'm on campus next I'll check to see if I can get the article.

    Most of my friends are women, except for a couple of close male friends. Frankly I don't enjoy the company of me, I mean there's those guys that are too into being with guys and it feels weird. I mean the jokes are fucking retarded like 25 year old men playing games that teenagers or younger play and thinking that's "what guys do." While thinking it's "gay" (really bad or abnormal) to like movies and art instead of sports, even if you like sports too. Oh, you must be gay to think about things other than fucking or girls. I miss the imagination and emotion that some guys simply reject as being weird

    I like to joke around and I'm a little rough, I make jokes that people don't make with strangers without seeming insulting. I'm not cold with it, I'm always smiling and telling stories at my expense.

    Sometimes when I read posts on this site about the evils of men, I want to reach out and say that a lot of men out here are so unsure about how we are to act that sometimes we don't. I mean, we are told men are only strong sexual beings and little else it leaves us in a place of incompleteness, a state of incompleteness. What is "sensitive" how do we define that word? Is that a guy who is not afraid to feel scared, sad, sorry, in love, moppy, sullin, and/or weird? Is that a guy who feels something for others, can empathize or sympathize with others? Is that it?

    What is a man? What makes up a masculine person in our society? How do we define that person? There's never been a "Men's Study" in the western scholastic tradition so we are left only with questions unasked.
  8. Reki

    Reki Well-Known Member

    In a sense, I think the same things that make a "man" are the things that also make a "woman", or any decent human being. The way I see it, men and women are both strong but provide different types of strength that support the other. In my mind I associate men with the type of strength that protects things, takes action and makes people feel safe; I associate women with the type of strength that endures, guides and nurtures.

    Those aren't set in stone of course, I've seen men with characteristics I'd call feminine and women with characteristics I'd call masculine, people are all different and that's what makes them people. Things like honesty, courage and kindness are baseline traits any good person should strive for, women and men alike. My mom always told me to do the right thing and I can't say I've always had enough courage to do that but the times that I did were when I most felt like a real "man", even if the outcome was lousy.
  9. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    it comes under gender studies. it's been around since the 70s. but isn't as developed as women's studies.
  10. Samsara

    Samsara Well-Known Member

    Being a man is accepting responsibility :)
    and showing love.
    It has nothing to do with sexuality or anything.
    In fact, it takes the same to be a man as it does to be a woman!
    Just be accountable and be loving.
    That's all. We are all humans, as John Lennon would say if he was here ;)
  11. GabrielConroy

    GabrielConroy Well-Known Member

    being a man means you have a penis
    thats about it
  12. Ed.

    Ed. Well-Known Member

    Smooth talking arsehole. (jealous.) :)
  13. The_8th_Wonder

    The_8th_Wonder senior Member

    Fuck society stereotypes for what qualifies as being a man. I disagree with virtually everything in your final paragraph. If you respect women you shouldn't have one night stands with them. This is what made the qualification that a man is truly an animal whose main goal in life is nothing other than sex.

    There's one problem with what I'm saying. I'd do the exact same thing as you should I be put into the same situation. I blame human or in this case male nature.
  14. wibble

    wibble Well-Known Member

    A man, to my mind, is this:

    Someone who isnt afraid of their testosterone

    What I mean by this:
    A person who doesnt think "does she like me" and thinks "Should I pick her"
    Someone who knows what he wants and takes it
    A person who doesnt take shit from anyone
    Someone who doesnt treat talking to the oposite sex like crossing a minefield
    Someone who has strong convictions and defends those
    A person who doesnt gossip or talk shit about anyone

    I'm all for equality and stuff, but I think its taking the piss when we're asking what a "man" is, because we've been raised by a feminised society which has eroded the very essence of manhood.

    A man shouldn't apologise for being a man. Fuck anyone who expects you to.