Just be a man, man up, men are supposed to, let a man do it, find a good man. We all have heard these phrases used to challenge, encourage, or in some cases to antagonize a Man. Just be a man? I would even argue that it has become stereotypical to say “be a man”. I recall the day my 3 brothers and I were ridiculed by our dad. It was summer (school was out) the 3 tiered wooden steps that were connected to the front door of the house were loose, as were the railings. I believe at the time my youngest brother was 8 and my oldest brother 15. My father came home and was mad that we hadn’t fixed the steps. Our thought was, fix it with what, but neither of us said anything. He cursed and ranted while searching for a hammer and nails and lobbed the following; “you are a bunch of girls, not one man in the bunch”. Wow! Back in the day, I guess that was considered, being a man. I believe that behaviors are learned. That was a hell of a lesson.
As young men mature they pick up on a wide range of behaviors typically from the men they spend most of their time with or with those they have chosen to emulate. Some young men pick grandpa, a favorite uncle, cousin, perhaps their brother, a teacher, their buddy’s dad, the pastor, etc. Others are just who they are because of heredity. So you know what you get? Nothing different,someone that essentially has taken on another man’s traits. Men are not complicated we are incarnations of a previous man. The only thing that separates one from another are their fingerprints. Once a boy develops into a man, whether it was a learned or inherited behavior, he now takes on another aspect of life called, a relationship with the opposite sex. This is quite possibly the area of much angst for men and women.
Women are often overheard saying, “I just want to find a good man.” Someone like their dad, someone like their grandpa, hell someone like their sister’s husband (LOL), their friend’s husband, just a good man. Some men lack in romance, but are great with kids. (Good man?) Some men will romance the hell out of a lady, but don’t want to listen to anything she has to say.(Bad man?) Some men will work hard and bring home all the bacon and sit on the couch until it is time to head out and do it again. (Good man?) How about the guy that starts a relationship, tells a woman he loves her and then realizes that he has some things about himself that he needs to work on? (Bad man?) How about the man that marries a woman and stops doing all the things that he did for her to fall in love with him? (Bad man?) How about the guy that takes you on dates and hangs out with you but doesn’t want a commitment? (Bad guy?) There are truly some bad men in the world; the abusers, the pedophiles, the dead beat dads, and the users (take what you have but give nothing). It goes without saying, those are the guys to stay away from. However, the other guys aren’t bad, they are simply being a man.
Just be a man, is a stereotypical phrase that means absolutely nothing, because everyone’s definition of being a man is different. Even men have differing opinions of what it means to be a man. My dad at the time felt being a man was fixing something when it is broken. My definition at the time was being able to teach your boys how to fix something when it is broken.
It is not hard to be a man, it is hard being the man that one may think you should be.
Just be a man!