Tag Archives: men

What makes a Man, a Man?

What actually makes a man, a man? Is it as simple as having an X and Y chromosome or does that just make you male, with the term “Man” being reserved for those that physically earn it.

Is it one or all of the many things we associate with being manly, is it facial hair? Being “massive”? Sleeping around and being a stereotypical “LAD”?  Or maybe it’s throwing your weight around to secure yourself the position of Alpha-male?

Some people say that a real man is innately strong, that he doesn’t cry – even whilst cutting onions, he doesn’t get tired from physical exertion and most important of all doesn’t ask for directions despite how lost and far from home he may be.

Or are  the guidelines to being a real man very similar to those for being a woman, or human being in general? Such as being considerate to those around you and being a generally well rounded person. I think that whilst this last one is correct the stereotypical man has changed quite recently, as he has done a few times throughout history.

Cave Man. Though we do not know of everything about cave man, we do know it was a society where the hierarchy was dependent on strength. Basically, you were strong or you were nothing. This ideal carried on for a long time, through all of the stone age, into the times of knights where still the strong prevailed. Even in the fairy-like tales of “king Arthur”, it is mainly the strong who prevail. However at this point, man Knight-Man, knew things were not simply made to be, by the one with the huge biceps carrying the bricks. It was also the one with a medieval style clipboard and planning permission who used his superior brain to plan the whole operation. Further on we go, to Renaissance-Man. He was a diverse fellow, strength and intelligence still being big points in his life, as shown by the great inventors, scientists and architects of the time. However, now we see the entrance of the artist. Great men, who used creativity to make their mark and were still as highly regarded as the great fighters and thinkers of the period. This carried on in much the same way for a long long time.

This is where i personally get confused. When i look at my fathers generation, and his before him. I see a lot of MEN-men. Men who are still judged on how much they can drink, who they can beat up and how much he swears. This when compared to my generation is quite different. A few generations back, men were MEN, they were hard, they had short -military buzz cut- hair, drank lager or bitter, swore profusely, spent most nights at the pub and worked mainly with menial labor.

Now me, i’m not often, if ever, referred  to as “hard”, i have long hair, i’m quite partial to a Malibu and orange juice, rarely swear or go to the pub and am hopefully going into a successful white collar job.  Not that i’m judging them, i just don’t see how i’m so different, what happened, is man going into another renaissance? If so, great!

Obviously the main question is, is this all a valid vein of thought or is it just pompous, over-thought-out idiocies? Unfortunately i believe it to be the latter! I apologise for wasting your time, if you were under the impression that this was all going somewhere, i’m just wondering how the apple can fall so far from the tree! Thank you and smile.

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