What on earth does it mean to be a man today?
Now I know that I am not a man, but I have been around enough, paid enough attention and seen enough men to be able to deduce a few things.
There Is A Social Pressure That Comes With Being A Man Today…
Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who do not believe that men also give into the social pressures around them.
But, I’m here to say that they definitely do.
Men are greatly influenced by the men that they surround themselves with, by the men that they see on social media who appear to be “prospering”, and by the presence or absence of the men in their families.
As far as the men in their circle is concerned, a lot of the times, if one of them has developed a mode of operation or a way of acting, a lot of the others will follow suit. I.e. if one of them says that it’s cool to womanize and jump from one woman to the next, then the others will do that as well. They may even be criticized by the males in their group if they don’t do that, hence, the pressure.
Like many others, men also find the lives of those on social media appealing. So much so that they begin to fashion their lives similar to the ones that they see portrayed online. I.e. one guy sees another guy gawking at the plethora of twerking females down their timelines and the ease at which they avail themselves to these men and, again, they follow suit.
Now, take this last one with a grain of salt because I can promise you that there are a lot of men out there who were raised in a two parent household that are still trash. BUT, usually when these men do not have a good male influence around them, they become products, instead, of their environments (meaning we’re basically left to have them be raised by rappers, music videos and reality television).
Constant Expectation To Conceal What You Feel
Men are usually expected to be the “strong” ones and, in that strength, they are supposed to forego any emotions and keep a strong demeanor.
Whoever brought about this idiotic and childish idealism should definitely be run over by a runaway oxcart because this is the dumbest thing ever instilled into man.
This is the reason that MANY BOYS WILL NOT PROGRESS INTO MEN because they are harboring issues, pain, anger, doubt, and insecurities that they’ve been taught to brush under the rug instead of dealing with. This is devastating, to say the least, because it doesn’t teach men to process what is going on, or to evaluate their reactions to things in a way that doesn’t result in them hurting or damaging someone else.
They become toxic and completely blind to it, all while spreading that toxicity to whomever crosses their paths.
Stigma/Shame Attached To Loving A Woman
This world is funny in that, when a man treats a woman right and loves her deeply, he is labeled “whooped”, “a whimp”, or “a sissy”.
Look at Russell Wilson — He is a praying man that actually lives the words that he reads in the Bible and is just out here treating a woman right. But, he is also one of the most heavily criticized men for this very behavior.
The way that men are supposed to be treating women is what gets them ridiculed because of the fact that the boys out here do not ever want to grow out of their selfish and childish ways.
This has got to stop!
There should be no shame in treating people right. There should be no negativity towards a man actually being a man when it comes to loving a woman, but I guess it’s easier to praise mediocrity than it is to just be great, huh?
Expectations Attached To Gender Roles
Men have to deal with a lot. Being the protector. Being the provider. The pressure to be whatever his family wanted him to be when he was a child. The pressures of schoolchildren. Bullies and the list goes on.
Men deal with a lot and they internalize most of it. They live in a constant state of, ‘I gotta figure this out quickly and remain strong’ which leaves no room for them to grieve when they are sad or to reevaluate when they’ve messed up.
It further damages the man.
As women loving these men, I believe that it is up to us to reassure them that they aren’t in this alone and that they have help. This world is difficult and, sometimes, all it takes is a strong woman by the side of a strong man. But it also takes the man, in all of his strength, to realize when he needs that strong woman.
The Pressure To “Be Someone Else”
Guys tend to pretend when they initially meet people. I’ve come across a number of guys whose M.O. is to pretend to be similar to me in order to get past the big barrier around me that initially says ‘LEAVE ME BE’.
They spend so much of their time pretending to be who other people want them to be, all while convincing themselves that they aren’t, that forget that they are pretending in the first place. This only becomes painful when their true colors start to show.
I think that it’s important for men to get in tune with themselves so that they know when they are not actually being true to themselves. It is so easy to get lost in what your friends want you to be or what an easy girl wants you to be and completely lose yourself as a man.
I really don’t want to see anymore men go down this path because they lose that thing that makes them so special in the first place. When you have that, as a man, it is really something that should be held onto.
So, my prayer is that more men learn themselves so that they don’t lose themselves based on the ease of things around them.
As a woman, to try and understand what it is to be a man is to learn to forgive them for the lessons that they have yet to learn — no matter what pain it’s caused me.
I am working on understanding so that I can forgive and no longer hurt from the men of my past.
Being a man is difficult and filled with pressures, but being a man with pressures and asking for help or taking time to heal is harder.
I commend all of the men out there who are trying. I commend all of the men out there who have learned from their mistakes as well as other’s mistakes. My hat is off to you guys & I want it to be known that some women understand the work that you do on yourselves on a daily basis.
This post is basically me saying:
Men, I see the work that a lot of you are doing and I’m so proud! Keep it up!