(This post is inspired in part by a conversation with my brother on manhood).
I have one little brother. 4 years younger. You can imagine how funny it is for me to say that he has taught me things. But he truly did, in his own way! He didn’t actually make me sit down and lecture me on manhood. (I think you got that already, right?)
The universe decided to give my brother girls only as siblings and I bet he loves that. Lol! Now you are probably envisioning a boy playing with Barbie and cooking sets toys instead of airplanes, cars and videos games. But that was not my brother. None of us actually grew up playing with toys like other kids. We had real life items to play with (kitchen utensils, bed sheets, plastic bottles, shoes… )! Anyways, that’s beside the point.
It is interesting to watch my brother grow into the amazing man that he is. I watch him every day and listen to him talk about sports, basketball, in particular, politics and history and I can’t get my head around the fact that he used to be this 7-year-old boy that I used to fight with for no reason. Every day I learn through him that manhood comes in many different forms but I seem to like his better. Mainly because he takes pride in contradicting the things we’ve been taught that all man should be about.
I learn through my brother, my father, my boyfriend, my cousins that:
Manhood is not measured by the number of physical fights you win.
Manhood is shamelessly talking about feelings and not thinking that it is a sign of weakness,
Manhood is allowing yourself to be vulnerable at times and knowing that masculinity isn’t about making a lot of money to impress women.
Manhood is being able to talk about girls without sexualizing and diminishing them.
It’s recognizing that women aren’t the weakest creatures…but in fact, they are so precious and unique and they aren’t all impressed by a man’s muscles but a man’s heart.
Manhood is not about locker room talks, manhood is not about toughness; manhood is about having character and taking charge.
Manhood is being loyal, striving for excellence and virtue in every area in life.
So who do we blame for not teaching this to our boys? Society? Mothers? Fathers? Girls? Institutions? Everybody in my option. We all have at some point contributed to this big lie! And as I said before, manhood comes in different shapes and forms. I am not here to dictate which way to live manhood is best. I am only suggesting that we open our minds up a little. Come on people, we’re in the 21st century. What’s up with putting all men in the same tiny box?
“You can’t measure manhood with a tape line around his biceps.” -Billy Sunday
‘Til Next Time
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