Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Does It Mean To Be A Man?

After the wonderful insights and opinions shared with last week's topic assignment, we are at it again! Lori contacted me and suggested we flip the question around- What does it mean to be a man? Obviously, I am not a man so this is a much harder question for me to answer. From dictionary.com: an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman. What does it mean to me that Jeff is a man? That my dad is a man? That my brothers are becoming men? In exploring my thoughts on my own womanhood, I found that I was most connected to womanhood through my experiences with childbirth and breastfeeding. But I don't equate my husband's manhood to him impregnating me. To me, Jeff being a man means that I have someone to turn to, someone to protect me, someone to save me, someone who is stronger and faster, someone who can open jars and hammer things. He can hangs shelves and install dishwashers and faucets and fix dryers and install screens. Of course, there are women who can do the same. I'm not one of them- or at least, I prefer not being one of them. To me, Jeff or my dad or my brothers being men means they are responsible, trustworthy, protectors, providers, foundation layers. I needed input from a man in my life for this one. So I asked Jeff- What does it mean, to you, to be a man? "It means you don't cry when you're punched. It means you grow up being taught not to cry. Just kidding- that's all BS. To me, being a man is the same as being a woman. Being a man means being yourself, being true to who you are. My Dog Skip made me cry. Father of the Bride made me cry. Does that make me less of a man? My daughter made me cry because I didn't know how to be a father (when she was born). I was completely overwhelmed but I knew she couldn't take care of herself. I knew I needed to protect her and provide for her- even if I felt like I didn't know how or even if I could do it. And that's what bugs me about people who don't take care of their kids. They can be all tough and beat people up and shoot guns... but can't take responsibility for their kids, their marriage, their home." So for Jeff, being a man means being yourself, being a protector, being a provider, and being responsible. He's a man, he's a man, he's a man... he's a mighty good man! What about you? What does it mean to be a man? What are your expectations of the men in your life?

8 comments:

Andrew Scott Turner said...

Jeff's comments are spot-on. Being a man means laughing and crying, being overprotective of your daughters, acting stupidly toward professional sports teams, not asking directions until you're beyond the point of no return, knowing you know nothing but pretending the opposite (I'm not that way, just other men i know).

We fail to openly admit that we are in love with our spouses because it's perceived as a weakness, yet at night, we thank God for her being there next to us. We just have to work on doing that in public.

Being a man is being human (but not admitting it because we're superstitious that it will strip us of our superpowers)

Lori D said...

How awesome! I came up with similar conclusions on my own! Whew! The question really threw me for a loop there, but I'm glad I wasn't that far off. I suspect others will be the feel the same. Time will tell.

I love the part about being a strong provider... "manning up" to me is all about that, not in the ability to inject another woman with his seed.

Thank you for sharing!

Lynn said...

In my life right now, there seems to be only one thing that defines what a man is. And when that one thing is not there, then all sense of manhood is lost apparently. It's amazing to me that all the things that make up a man are lost with one failure.

But to me....a man is a protector, the head of the family, the one on whom everything rests, the one who everything eventually falls to. Even in my modern mind that sounds so archaic...but my upbringing clearly lives on when I get to the base of what I think a man is.

Karen said...

I'm already in a Group Blog on Thursdays, but I just wanted to say that I really liked this topic and I loved what Jeff had to say about being a man!

Heather said...

I loved Jeff's insight-- This is such a great idea Liz! As soon as October's over, I'd love to participate! :)

ps: hope Teagan is feeling much better today!

Eternal Lizdom said...

Come back tomorrow for Friday Fragments and I'll share upcoming topics that I want to tackle! Maybe a different day would be better?

Teacher Tom said...

Hey Liz, so I posted a link to a post from a month ago called "Being A Man." I don't know how good it is, but I got a free dinner out of it when I originally posted it!

Eternal Lizdom said...

I'm heading over to check it out, Tom!!