Society/Culture What makes a man a man?

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I don't care about your problem(s)
Jun 14, 2013
AFL Club
Other Teams
Phil Ivey
Masculine and feminine behaviours and attitudes are a different concept to what men and women actually are. You could say men more often show masculine behaviours and women more often show feminine behaviours, but every man has a level of femininity within them, and every woman has a level of masculinity. Indeed, it's probably necessary for women to bring out some of their masculinity if they want to succeed in areas like the business world, team sports or manual labour.

As to what good masculine behaviours and attitudes are, it's a hard thing to define exactly. I'd say it involves things like leading from the front, protecting others in the face of danger and providing for them. An example that comes to mind is from a period war novel I was reading, where a soldier appreciates that his sergeant goes charging into a field of mud yelling "follow me!", whereas other sergeants tend to sit back and direct their subordinates to go forth instead, which he thinks is because they don't want to get their boots dirty. To me, that's masculine. So is the willingness to throw yourself on a grenade to protect others.

I note I'm using a few military examples here despite having never served myself, probably because I view the military as an incredibly masculine institution, although their masculinity is not always good for themselves or others. There are of course many unhealthy masculine behaviours and attitudes too, that hopefully we'll move past as a society as we become more tolerant and respectful of others and focus more on treating mental health issues.

Being a man is really just about feeling comfortable identifying yourself as one and feeling comfortable when others call you one. But what causes people to feel that comfort? Maybe it's about how naturally masculine behaviours and attitudes come to you, compared to feminine ones. Or maybe it's just about whether one feels similar to the established societal constructs we have. I'm sure it's different for different people.
"Being a man is really just about feeling comfortable identifying yourself as one."

End thread.

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