Thoughts on Masculinity
NPR recently called for men to share their thoughts on Masculinity.
They asked some good questions.
Here are my thoughts:
What does Masculinity mean to you?
Masculinity is about being an authentic, self-directed person who defines his own values and pursues goals in alignment with those values regardless of what obstacles are in front of him. Everyone faces adversity of different types. You’ve got to have the courage to face reality, and the mental and physical toughness to withstand adversity.
Who best embodies Masculinity to you?
Tony Robbins and Jordan Peterson embody the healthiest forms of masculinity I’ve seen. They both believe in good and evil, side with good, and stand behind the value systems they’ve created for themselves against massive criticism.
Even if they’re wrong at times, it takes massive courage to build an empire as they have around helping Men and Women better themselves.
They’re powerful, influential, self-aware, and serve others.
Is Masculinity under attack? If so, provide some examples.
Masculinity is certainly under attack. Men are portrayed as incompetent idiots in nearly every commercial these days. Fathers were in every cartoon I watched growing up (The Simpsons, Jimmy Neutron, The Fairly OddParents).
And little boys have ADD medication shoved down their throats by majority female teachers to curb their natural energy, passion, and enthusiasm in life. Millions of boys are being systemically stunted in their mental and especially emotional growth, which is a crying shame, since men NEED emotional growth to thrive.
Have you ever felt pressure to “act a certain way” as a Man?
I’ve felt the same pressure as every other man not to be vulnerable and emotionally authentic with others. Particularly men.
The good news for young men is that responsibly showing vulnerability is becoming more socially accepted, even celebrated. Men are more and more being encouraged to share their feelings to process them, rather than bottle them up. This is positive change. It’ll help men make deeper relationships and faster progress in their journeys towards emotional health.
Have you ever felt “emasculated”? If so, how did it feel?
Emasculation isn’t a feeling.
Emasculation is just humiliation, specifically around not feeling “man enough” to handle whatever adversity is striking them in the moment. If a girlfriend tells a man he’s a weak beta, his masculinity is being challenged. And if he lacks the self-confidence to rise to that challenge, he will feel humiliated and powerless to do anything in the moment. He’s been emasculated. He’s been humiliated in such a way that if he were more masculine, his ego could’ve handled the situation instead of falling apart.
Pretty much every man has felt humiliated, particularly when young, and particularly when failing in social situations involving females.
It feels horrible. But what you do with that feeling is what counts. Rather than sulking in it, leverage the pain to make a change. If you change your behavior, you’ll change your results, and change your feelings next time you’re in a similar situation. You’ll have more power and control, and you won’t feel emasculated.
If you feel emasculated, it’s a signal you’re not being a man.
Reflect, understand what you can do to fix it, and change.