September 8th, 2011

Real: What makes a man a man?

I have read several creative non fiction pieces about women, and their journeys through life, and love, divorce and parent relationships, pregnancy and iscolation.

However, I can’t help but think, as we issued in class their is also a great stigma  against men and their “manly” ability. Spurred by an all too serious debate on my blog, I quoted my mother as she made a comment on the “real men” and how the men of this world are too busy primping and preening to actually be considered a man with a purpose. An uproar sounded, many poeple outraged that my mother and myself needed to check on our gender binaries, that we also shouldn’t limit our seemingly intelligent minds with the sexism that we were displaying. That who was my mother to judge the manliness of men?

Then came my mother and my humor in an attempt to sooth the outrage. We posted this:

My mother not to know what constitutes a real men? I suppose then that suggests my father is not a real man. Well.

 At 6’4” 240lbs with callused hands, weather face, he surfs the waves of international waters including the North Shore of Hawaii  and the cliffs of Ireland, pilots personal private planes across the United States, kayaks and canoes the white water rapids of the Grand Canyon, golfs Pebble Beach, dogsleds and snow shoes the northwest territories and most of Canada, bee keeper to domesticated Italian honey bees, chainsaw wielding, tractor driving, cross country motorcycle riding badass. As well as single handedly providing for the growth and financial stability of not only his family, but his employees. National leading authority on environmental and worker protection regulations. Also, living in a house with three strong headed women. With just a High School Education to his name, and married to the same woman for 26 years. I don’t know… maybe my mom doesn’t know what a real man is, or he’s been faking it and totally has the time to get his eyebrows waxed.

This caused a following of mixed reviews, I clarified that my father had done all of these things, and some thought he was interesting and badass. A role model for the adventurous young men who wanted more, and thought they were limited.  Others spoke that these things didn’t make a man a man.

My mentor, Janna says and agrees that “men” are men with a purpose, a drive and with a physical presence that is, in my words, instinctually attractive. No one wants the man to come back to the hut with a mirror he traded instead of a new bow and arrow. No one wants the man that is more interested in his appearance than he is putting food on the table, and supporting the family. It just so happens that the kind of women that are in my life, my sister, mother and mentor seemed to all desire a self motivated manly man. 

Having to compete for the smallest waist size against your husband does not sound fun to me, even if it is just a society based idea. Maybe it’s sexist, or even old fashioned for me to want a man who is able to fix things as much as or more as me, chop some wood, and wrangle a bear, as much as he is able to keep to the general standards of hygiene. 

(Source: thatkindofwoman)

  1. lezapzap reblogged this from thatkindofwoman
  2. a-treasure-trove said: It’s that moment when you say “Honey, the dishwasher is broken again” and he smiles and kisses you and says “Don’t worry love, I’ll fix it.” Definitely cooler than “Call the plumber.”
  3. thatgracelady reblogged this from thatkindofwoman
  4. recordofmytroubles said: It’s beyond sex and gender, you should strive to be a great loving helping fun person and probably look for that in a mate. Anyone who thinks their appearance is more important than being kind and genuine should be avoided.
  5. umbrellavulture reblogged this from inkclaws
  6. agapetypeoflove reblogged this from thatkindofwoman
  7. queerkegaard reblogged this from raggedglory
  8. rightsideupfromupsidedown reblogged this from thatkindofwoman
  9. nyxfox said: one of my best friends from high school used to say (and still says) that the man she marries has to be able to build a deck. I firmly agree (I run more towards being able to fix plumbing, but a deck will do very nicely as well).
  10. gap-var-ginnunga reblogged this from raggedglory
  11. badscene said: I think you should ask yourself whether a woman could do all those things that your father has accomplished. I believe the answer should be yes, although I wonder about the ability for women to accomplish those things in the 70s/80s.
  12. juliaguliawashere reblogged this from thatkindofwoman
  13. juliaguliawashere said: LOVE this.
  14. skrillabeau reblogged this from thatkindofwoman
  15. raggedglory reblogged this from thecountryfucker and added:
    Growing up in the post-60’s, feminist, New Age, new-and-politically-corrected, divorced-single-parent wild west can give...
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