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#126804 - 04/18/04 12:44 AM Can I get a little assistance
yesac76 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/23/04
Posts: 508
Loc: Idaho
Hi, all.
I am wondering if I could get you to help me a little. I am writing a paper on masculinity, and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share their thoughts with me. I am going to wirte about body image, crying, being a father and generally what you feel it is to be a man in our society.
Any help would save me from failing. And I will be eternally grateful,
Thanks, brothers,
Casey

_________________________
"You live it or lie it" Metallica

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#126805 - 04/18/04 11:22 AM Re: Can I get a little assistance
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Casey,

Here is my take on masculinity. Itís just put out there, just the points, no polishing. (Iím not writing a paper :p )

Masculine, or the qualities appropriate to men, is taking care of the family structure without regards to what others think. This includes the spouse/significant other, children, and yourself.

Body image is vanity. Your body is what it is, you canít change the overall build. To be ďbuffĒ, or whatever it is called today, for the attraction of attention is rejecting yourself for what others think. You can and should maintain your body for health reasons. i.e. keeping it from becoming overweight to the point it causes health problems and restrictions, maintaining your cholesterol levels to prevent heart attacks and strokes, and so on. Itís back to the original statement of taking care of yourself without regards to what others think.

Crying, I will put under all other emotions. Emotions are something that we all have, regardless of gender, race, creed, or upbringing. They should be allowed to be shown and understood by ourselves. There are times that we need to show some restraints on them, such as not showing fear while you are calming a scared small child. Showing and acknowledging your feelings is taking care of the emotional you. Acknowledging your feelings and understanding them, results in being able to express them in a constructive manner, such as, being angry, but not striking out either physically or verbally. Thus resulting in a psychologically healthier you so you can care for your family structure.

One thing you didnít mention is spiritually. Regardless in oneís faith, this is something that we as men shouldnít ignore. It provides a good value structure to pass on to our children and show ourselves and our family. Teaching them, by word, spirit, and example the difference between right and wrong. That there is something greater than ourselves, but that we are great in our own right. To be humble, not arrogant.

Being a father is the greatest measure and greatest reward. Being a man is taking care of that child with your whole being: heart, body and soul. Heart - to love your childre and being able to show them that and have them be able to feel it. Body - taking care of your body to be there to show them that, being there for them when they need it (not when you or they want ). Soul - the total dedication of yourself to taking care of the children for their well-being. It is making the connection to your children through everyday things - changing diapers and feeding them, talking with them about their day and helping them with their homework, teaching them the difference between right and wrong, not passing on your own prejudices, disciplining them when they need it and teaching them so they wonít need that. So much. There is no manís job and womanís job .

Being a husband/significant other. Putting the bond between the two of you before her/his and your wants. To put the needs first. To be yourself to allow them to be themself. There is no embarrassment in being a good partner. That means allowing them to help you when you need it and helping them when they need it. It is doing a million little things to show you care, without expectation of anything in return. It is going to the store to by the blue box with the yellow shwoosh of tampons. It is making dinner and doing dishes. It is taking out the garbage when it is full, not waiting to be told. Again, there is no manís job and womanís job .

Overall, it comes back to taking care of yourself and your family, whole heartedly. It is not caving into what others feel you should be or be doing.

That's my two cents worth,
Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#126806 - 04/18/04 11:24 AM Re: Can I get a little assistance
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
let me add -

it is helping when help is needed and you can help.

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#126807 - 04/18/04 11:27 AM Re: Can I get a little assistance
MikeNY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 927
Loc: NY
A man is comfortable with who he is, and it doesn't matter what anybody thinks about him crying or anything else.

_________________________
"Every child asks the questions which hold the answers to the secrets of the universe, WHAT?, and WHY?". --Me

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#126808 - 04/18/04 02:05 PM Re: Can I get a little assistance
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Casey,

I think there are differences, with what society thinks of as 'masculine', and what maybe we men ourselves do. Also, I think in different cultures, the answers will be different also. My answer to you may have triggers.


My father had been in the military, still had a gun at home that he often would use to frighten my mom and gran and me. He would always yell, always beat us and torture us. He 'ruled' everything, everything had to be done his way. We were not allowed to sleep for more then hour or two at a time, then be dragged from our beds by him, every night, to do whatever was not done right before. He was a big man, a physically strong man, someone people maybe would look at and define like 'masculine', because of his outward appearance. To know him, people would probably call him mentally ill.

My old coach, he is rather short, even shorter then me, and older, rounder, losing his hair. He would 'train' many young athletes, acting as dictator in practice, slapping or kicking us if we did something wrong. He also is a child molester, a child rapist. To look at him, physically, he maybe looks like a stern, grouchy older man. To know him, someone evil and dangerous. But he has wife and family, and is 'appropriate' (usually) in public and successful at his job. Is that masculine?

My best friend is married, has two daughters who he loves and plays with, helps with the older girl's schoolwork. He helps take care of the house and the cooking. He is quiet, and has deeper values then most people I know. To look at him, he looks like teenager (he is close to 30), and seems very much introverted. He appears to be one of the most passive people you can meet. Is this masculine?

To me, 'masculine' is definition of being a decent and kind man. It is someone who knows their beliefs, and acts by them always, even if it is not popular thing to do. Someone who does not feel pressure to cry and be a 'sensitive man', but is not bothered if he has to. Someone who will allow himself to feel love and appreciate beauty without worry that it makes him 'less of a man'. Someone of integrity, decency, honesty and honor. That is what I wish to be like one day.

Leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#126809 - 04/21/04 04:08 AM Re: Can I get a little assistance
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Casey,

Are you going to post this paper to let us know how it turned out? I'm kinda interested. I sounds like a intriguing subject, at least it has peeked my interest.

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#126810 - 04/21/04 05:39 PM Re: Can I get a little assistance
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 261
Loc: Europe
I have trouble thinking of masculine traits that would not be said of women as well, even though I've spent a lot of time thinking about this.

All human beings stand up for what they believe, have the capacity to cry (I wish I could a little more), etc.

But if I look at physical characteristics and little bit of what I've read about brain differences, I think the following are worth thinking about...

It is masculine to focus intently on something. This is why women who multitask have sometimes criticized men for not doing the same. REsearchers have identified the brain patterns that explain this tendency. It is not a law in stone, but a general trend. And I think it can be postitive or negative.

Also, it is masculine to be naturally stronger. I don't feel particularly masculine or strong, but I can still open a jar more easily than just about any woman I know. And I can lift considerabley more weight than any except those who work out a lot. And if I worked out with the same intensity as those women, there would be a bigger difference. This might help you with the physical appearance side of it. Again, I don't see myself as masculine, so I'm not trying to boost some macho ego.

Masculine, as I understand some of the articles, can mean a higher level of competitiveness...again good or bad. And not necessarily physical.

Ideally, this means to be masculine means to be able to focus on a problem (defending the vulnerable, for example), to not be intimidated by the forces against us, (an opponant, the government, the beaurocracy, whatever), and to have the physical ability to act (o.k. this sounds like hunting or combat, so I don't know)

This is just thinking out loud.

You might look at Lawrence Kohlberg's (Kohlburg?) thoeries of moral development. He tested boys of different ages and came up with different stages of morality. When the same test was given to girls, they scored lower. A woman named Gilligan (can't remember the first name) decided that women are not morally inferior, but make moral decisions on different criteria. Bascially, men focus on some internal sense of right and wrong while women pay more attention to the community. Both ways have pros and cons.

REgarding brain difference, I think Michael Gurian is the one I skimmed. I'm probably mis-spelling his name.

This may be academic, but hey, you're writing a paper!

_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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