The Problem of Masculinity

Video: The Problem of Masculinity

Disclaimer: This all kind of just fell out of my head this morning, so I apologize if my thoughts seem jumbled and I start repeating myself. I wanted to get this out there as it came to my mind. This is a subject I’m sure I’ll talk more about at a later time, but right now this is what I want to say.

I saw this video a few days ago, and it really stuck with me. As a society, I think we really need to reevaluate our concept of what it means to “be a man”. So often we get caught up in the idea that a man is what the movies or books make him out to be. A person who lacks any kind of depth or feeling, and is simply “cool, calm, and collected”. The man who fights the bad guy, wins the girl, and does it all without even breaking a sweat. We are taught from when we are little that a man is tough, wild, and only answers to himself (I realize this may seem like an over-generalization, but deep down this is what a lot of men believe). Many times, were are scared to show the true feelings of our heart and soul, because that makes us so vulnerable. And a man isn’t supposed to be like that. The amount of times that we are told to “man up” (or some other variation of this) is astounding. I’m pretty sure I heard it at least once every day back when I played sports in high school. Now, I never was and never will be athletic in any way, and I realize now that this simple fact really affected me when I was younger. There is so much emphasis put on the physical aspects of a man, without really going into the other 90% of what we’re really made of. I’ve always found beauty in music, literature, and art, and I would much rather read a book or spend time outdoors in personal reflection, but all that is considered “unmanly”. Even though I know that statement is untrue, I still feel that it is true in the very core of my being. Many times I feel inadequate because I don’t know how to do things I feel a man is supposed to: like use power tools, build something, fix a car, or any number of things. I find it almost impossible to divulge my innermost feelings, even to the woman I’ve been closest to for the last four years. There are just so many things inside of me – so much pain, anger, and sadness – that attempting to bring it up just leaves me angry, frustrated, and more confused than when I’d started. I have the tendency to internalize everything, and it only further fuels the pain that I’m experiencing.

But I’m not out of hope yet. I’m working really hard to better myself, and to hopefully break this cycle that I feel so entrapped in. It isn’t easy, and sometimes I just want to give up because I feel like I’m making no progress. Being honest not only with others but with myself is one of the most difficult things I’ve done, and although it hurts, I am committed to being a better person, a better man than what I’ve been molded into thus far. I say all these things because I believe it essential that all of us men take a look inside ourselves, and finally be honest with our own identity. We are wild, dangerous, and free, but we are also loving, feeling, thinking beings that were wonderfully and fearfully made by God.

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