I had a post written up and ready to go tonight.
However, I received a comment on one of my earlier posts that I feel merits attention.
Because the comment is regarding a subject I feel very strongly about.
Many of you might recall the post, “One Man’s Definition of Masculinity.”
Tonight, Greg, a new reader, added his two cents.
At first, I thought my reply to Greg would be enough, but then I thought this would be a wonderful chance for members of the blogging community to voice their opinions in regard to the subject.
Many of you will think I love to stir the pot (which I do), but in all honesty, it’s more than that.
I see this as an opportunity to educate our fellow human beings on the importance of gender equality.
If the spirit moves you, if you feel as strongly as I do, or if you agree with Greg, please share your thoughts.
Just remember, the purpose of this exercise is not to bash Greg if you don’t agree with him, but to share with him the reasons why you think differently.
You will find Greg’s comment and reply at the bottom of this post and you can click on this link to read the original post.
“Oh dear. Please read these words with the love that compels me to share them. As a man who was once like Son, I have realized denying my masculinity was keeping me from engaging in life and disabling me from my life mission. I felt guilty for being a man. I repressed my inherent masculinity, cultivating feminine characteristics to survive. I was taught masculinity is angry, masculinity is not acceptable, anger is not acceptable, feeling my true feelings is unacceptable, only feeling the feelings I am expected to feel is acceptable.
Of course we all have our own life experiences, and I don’t know you or Son. I can only speak of myself and how I read my experience into your posting.
I am only now learning to cultivate my masculinity and neglect the femininity I used to nurture myself. Like Son, I have a basic understanding of all people being equally deserving of being. It was a positive evolution in society, but what is next? Is post-equality society one where all are equally deserving yet still uniquely equipped?
I am a man. I have masculine traits that are necessary for me to live my life mission. I have desire and drive and ambition and muscle and stink. My mind, body and spirit need to work to exhaustion towards the satisfaction of my ambition. Fighting myself by cultivating femininity within myself only serves to sabotage myself. I am a man, passionately loving through my masculinity, with loving anger, loving rigor, loving physicality, loving aggression. It feels weird, but I’m getting used to it.
As a woman, you understand better than I will ever, how much you desperately want your son to live his life mission. As a woman you understand love like no man and you accept it as the nature of a woman.
Oh yeah, your kid didn’t do the assignment! Failed! Out of love for all existence, I sincerely hope he chooses to find his masculinity and demonstrates how to be a post-equality man, because equality is boring.”
Greg, hello and welcome! I hope you will read my words with all the love that compels me to reply to your comment. First of all, I respect your opinion. We have the right to think differently and given you’ve taken the time to elaborate a response, I appreciate that. That said, allow me to let you in on a little secret–masculinity is overrated.
It never seizes to amaze me how much work many men put in, as members of the “boys club” say, to avoid appearing “gay.” Although this doesn’t surprise me given the importance that “real” men put in exhibiting their masculine traits. Beard stubble? Check. A rejection of anything feminine? Check. Stifling any sign of being compliant or in agreement with the feminine gender for fear of appearing whipped? Check.
Some men are so obsessed with embracing their masculinity that they fail to see the bigger picture and that is that we should not continue to be a society obsessed with gender. You say, ” I have desire and drive and ambition and muscle and stink. My mind, body and spirit need to work to exhaustion towards the satisfaction of my ambition.” Well, guess what, Greg? That’s not you being a man, that’s anyone, male or female who has the goal to get ahead in life.
In my humble opinion, there is no “post” or “pre” masculinity stage. Why? Because we’re more alike than you give us credit for. Biologically, we both have testosterone and estrogen. Granted, it’s in different quantities depending on gender, but we both possess these. Ambition, drive, and the desire to succeed? These traits are gender free. Sorry, Greg. I’m not buying into the “I have masculine traits that are necessary for me to live my life mission,” ordeal. As far as I’m concerned, our only mission as humans is to work together to save our planet, exhibit compassion, respect and kindness to others, and strive to reach our maximum potential as people; not as men or women, but as people.
I don’t know why you may have exalted your “feminine” characteristics but it might serve to ask yourself if this is where your resentment stems from. Like you mention, we don’t know each other and we each have our own life experiences. Thus, only you know why you feel this way or were made to feel this way.
As a woman, and more importantly, as a mother, it pleases me to think that the Son will continue to think the way he does. In my opinion, it speaks of a well rounded individual who doesn’t think one gender is better, stronger, or smarter than the other. It speaks of an individual who values equality and who doesn’t think being a man is composed of aggression, smelling badly, or being angry. And I certainly hope he never believes that equality is boring! For nothing could be farther from the truth.Because a person who believes that we all have the same rights, that we should all have the same opportunities, and that we should never look down at others–those are signs of an enlightened individual.
Sorry Greg, but if you ask me, it’s only the confused men who think they have to act out their aggression, smell like old socks, and thump their chests like Neanderthals, the ones who have truly failed.
Do you agree or disagree with Greg’s definition of masculinity?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section.