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?