I had another class last week.  The topic on that class was “Manhood”.

The class (all men) discussed “Manhood” with the instructors (both women).

Here are some of the thoughts that were discussed (and some of my own opinions).

The main consensus was “What Happened to Manhood”?

Manhood used to be a term that meant something.  Men knew our roles and accepted them.  Perhaps the generation now isn’t quite as manly as previous generations.  Men nowadays seem to lack a lot of traits that previous generations exhibited.  We specifically talked about them not having drive, ambition, or the want to be a better person anymore.  Men nowadays want to just give up when things get tough.

I fear for my son’s generation.  I really do.  His generation seems to want everything given to them without actually earning it or working for it.  My generation and previous were taught that if you actually wanted something (more money, a car, a house, even a WOMAN) that you actually had to work for it.  Working for something seems like a disease now.  It’s a four-letter “dirty” word.

I personally blame the media.  Men are taught now through the media that we can no longer be men!  There’s far too many Justin Biebers around now.  We are taught to be perfect and be everything the woman wants and needs.  The problem is that the woman usually won’t say what she wants or needs.  Men are supposed to be mind-readers.

Here are some traditional roles of men:

  • The Provider (I’m sorry…most men work sometimes multiple jobs. I don’t know too many unemployed men being considered “attractive” to women.  I’m sorry if anybody disagrees with that statement).
  • The Protector.
  • The Disciplinarian to our children.
  • The Mentor.
  • The Fixer (aka the “Handy-man”).
  • The Ultimate Lover.
  • The Winner (Men compete in everything.  And women expect them to.  I was always being compared to other husbands and other men throughout my marriage and was always expected to be “better” than they were.)

And we were expected to do all of these things while keeping all our emotions in check.  No matter how many hours you put into a crappy job, no matter how your earned money was used, no matter what arguments arose.  We had to keep a level rational head and not complain about anything.  It’s the way I was taught both as a child and as a Marine.  Men CAN’T cry.  Ever.  It wasn’t allowed.

So you would think if you did all of these things that you would be a “man”.

Then things changed.  Now women expect the following roles along with the other roles a man might have:

  • The Listener (always listen to their gossip stories, crappy work-days, etc….but you can never tell them about yours because yours doesn’t really matter much to her).
  • Be “In Touch” with your feelings (but remember you can never show it and you better not cry).
  • Be Feminine (but again…no crying).
  • Perfect Hygiene & Dress exactly how they and society wants you to.
  • The Hopeless Romantic.
  • The Ultimate Lover (aka The Giver of Her Sexual Pleasure).
  • The Gift-Giver (And you better know exactly what gift she’s expecting…if it’s not you’re in a lot of trouble).
  • The Sacrificial Lamb (You will be expected to give up everything.  All hobbies.  All plans.  All of it in the name of making her “happy” because her happiness is all that should ever matter to you).

Women want the ultimate man’s man.  Yet they also want men to be in touch with our feminine side.  But if a man is too feminine then they are considered not manly enough.  Makes no sense.  Which is it?  What do they want?

I am me.  I’m not changing for anyone (anymore).  I exhibit many traits and roles but may not exhibit all of them.  Doesn’t make me “less of a man”.  I’m not perfect.  I have faults like everyone else.  I’ve worked hard to be where I am.  Nothing was given to me.  I’m strong one moment and a hopeless romantic the next.  I will sacrifice when I feel it’s necessary but expect her to also sacrifice when it’s necessary.  Relationships are a team.  Give and Take.

An old quote I’ve heard before:  “A Man marries a Woman hoping she’ll never change.  A Woman marries a Man hoping to change him!”  It’s ridiculous that people actually live their lives and marriages like that.  That was my first marriage.

  • Funny story from my marriage.  I had heard an advertisement on the radio around Valentine’s Day.  It was an ad for a “Name a Star”.  I thought it was pretty cool and quite romantic.  Plus, it was within my budget.  They sent a certificate and a map of a star in a frame I had named after my ex-wife.  Let’s just say she was not pleased with such a gift and didn’t find it one bit romantic.  She put it in a box in the basement never to be seen again.  Apparently, she wanted a pocket-book that I couldn’t afford for Valentine’s Day.  My mistake for trying to be thoughtful and romantic.  She wanted a gift for Valentine’s Day but it had better be the EXACT gift that she wanted and nothing else was going to please her unless she got exactly the gift she wanted (even if I couldn’t afford it).

Luckily now, I have a woman in my life that loves me for exactly who I am.  She doesn’t compare me to anyone else.  She doesn’t ask me to change anything (my appearance, my hobbies, etc.).  I’m happy.  And all it took was a little bit of actual conversation on both our parts (put down the damn cell-phones people and actually talk to each other face-to-face).  I’ve never talked to a woman more in my life than her (and I was married 17 years)!  Maybe because we’re older and not in our twenties anymore.  We know what we both want and what we expect of the other and talk openly about it.  Neither of us want to change a thing about the other.

Manhood has changed throughout the years.  Men should have many roles and accept them.  But men should not bend to the will of society to be something that they are not.

Be your own man.  That is true “Manhood”.