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#469481 - 08/29/14 03:50 AM what is masculinity?
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3513
Loc: somewhere in Africa
VA survivor asked in another thread:
Originally Posted By: VASurvivor
I need my maleness affirmed - not my sexuality. How do I do this, when my maleness has only ever been affirmed through sex?

i think that this is an important topic that needs to be addressed on its own - and not lost in the thread that has some other major points being discussed.

with that in mind i offer the following thoughts and hope that others will add their own. this is my personal belief, and it is likely that there will be some differences of opinions. i think we can all benefit from the open exchange of ideas.

What is masculinity?

Obviously it means more than the type of organs you’ve got between your legs.

To me, it means that I must start by rejecting the popular cultural definition promoted by the stereotypes and hawked by the entertainment industry and mass media that has caused so much damage:

It does not mean big muscles or a hairy chest.

I does not mean a big penis and balls and the ability to get it up at the slightest whim.

It does not mean that you have slept with more women than you can remember.

It does not mean that you are hard-drinking, smoking, chewing and spitting, swearing and trash-talking.

It does not mean you are good at football, wrestling, hunting and fishing, or any other traditionally macho sports or past-times.

It does not mean aggressiveness or violence or using brute force to get your way and intimidate or defeat others.

It does not mean hyper-competitiveness that must win at all costs and cares nothing about the collateral damage to others.

It does not mean that you practice cut-throat business tactics to make big bucks, drive a powerful car, and own a fancy house.

It does not mean that you never show your emotions, and above all, it does not mean that you never cry.

It does not mean that you go it alone as a rugged individualist and never need anybody else.


By these requirements, I was an absolute and abject failure as a man.

The only ones of all of the above that I ever mastered were the last two – and those ultimately failed me.

OK – so if the above list is NOT the essence of a man – then what is?


Telling and supporting the truth, no matter how hard it is.

Standing up for what you believe is right – no matter how unpopular.

Lending your aid to those without the voice, strength, or position to defend themselves.

Working the best you can with the resources you have to achieve the dreams and goals you have set.

Reaching out to help others and also accepting help when you need it.

Doing whatever it takes to care for, protect, and seek the best for those you love.

Expressing what is in your heart openly and honestly.

Enjoying sex without apology, shame, or guilt – in the way you were created to – to celebrate your own body and the love you can express for your partner – and to bring you both joy.

Being true to yourself.

Knowing that perfection is not attainable but that to give a 100% attempt at living a good life is the best than anyone can ask or expect.


not the final word...
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#469485 - 08/29/14 09:44 AM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
randombreeze Offline


Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 60
Loc: WNY
Difficult post to follow up with a reply, as Lee has pretty much nailed my sentiments exactly, but I will add a few thoughts. Some of my statements are merely variations on Lee's points, with a little more specific examples and added detail.

The following statements are my own opinions. I'm as flawed at the next guy, but I do consciously strive, as I will until the circle inevitably closes, to be a better man.

Being masculine does NOT mean:

Keeping your woman, or partner, "in line" with threats of implied or actual violent actions.

It does NOT mean collecting enough firearms to take on a small army. If you actually buy into the fear that the federal government really intends to take away your right to bear arms, there's not a damn thing you can do to prevent it anyway.

Being masculine does NOT mean driving a late model, jacked up 4 wheel drive truck that averages 12 mpg...specially when you're struggling to pay bills and feed your family.

Being masculine does NOT mean blindly supporting professional sports teams, thinking their owners actually care about fielding a winner. It's about separating you from your money, and a great distraction from focusing on real societal problems.

A real man does NOT blindly support endless wars that result in the torture and deaths of millions of innocent people, including women and children, at the same time wondering "why do they hate us?"


Being a real man DOES mean:

Rejecting violence, real or imagined, in all it's forms...with NO exceptions.

A real man interjects on behalf of the marginalized whenever friends, family, or anyone else within earshot speak badly about them. This includes people of different race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and economic status.

A real man doesn't believe everything the government and it's mouthpiece, the faux media, tells them to believe.

And finally, a real man does NOT let fear dictate his life, but rather allows the goodness(no matter how suppressed from years of conditioning)inherent in everyone's heart to guide his words and actions.

Peace, Paul
_________________________
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky"- Rabindranath Tagore

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#469500 - 08/30/14 12:06 AM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
VASurvivor Offline


Registered: 08/26/14
Posts: 50
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: traveler

i think that this is an important topic that needs to be addressed on its own - and not lost in the thread that has some other major points being discussed.


I have to agree. Thanks for posting this her traveler. And thanks for the responses. You are right, masculinity is not outward traits, but character things. (I seem to have failed at those as well.)

I think my original post was asking how to get my maleness/masculinity affirmed, but I agree that it starts with living out of your masculinity...

I think my question is similar to "how do I find male friends who will accept my version of masculinity, whatever that may be?" That may be harder to figure out.

For me, I need "safe" male friends - those I can trust. And the fact is I trust no one.
_________________________
VASurvivor

I wasn't gay. I was abused and confused.

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#469536 - 08/31/14 07:54 AM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Being alone, being hated, being unwanted, being feared, being disgusting!

I hate! being fucking male!

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#469544 - 08/31/14 12:16 PM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
VASurvivor Offline


Registered: 08/26/14
Posts: 50
Loc: Virginia
hm. yes dark_empathy. i've had that experience as well.
_________________________
VASurvivor

I wasn't gay. I was abused and confused.

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#469553 - 08/31/14 08:20 PM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 325
Being masculine is being yourself. I used to work on myself and seek healing based under the premise that i was somehow defective in my masculinity. Only with time did i understand that there was nothing wrong with me, what was wrong was men betraying young boys. From that day on i understood that being a man is something that is already in you and can't be taken away, i was done trying to measure myself to bogus standards. Negative voices try to second guess my affirmative stance sometimes yet i just brush them off, i label them a sickness, and i don't need to correspond to that energy as i just keep it alive by wrestling it.
I think all men define masculinity not one person by himself. If i could somehow say what being a man to me is, it is being able to fight another die.
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#469557 - 08/31/14 08:53 PM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
justplainme Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 325
We also have to many concepts and beliefs in society of what not being a man is, instead of what being one is. The real question is . . . What kind of a man are you?
_________________________

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

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#469567 - 09/01/14 05:52 AM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
lostc Offline


Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 46
"possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men"

Being male however does not mean you are masculine, a better question is maybe what does it mean to be male, which is simply to be a gender. A man can still have sensitive qualities but still be a man, I'd say to be a traditional man you still have to be sensitive to the needs of your loved ones and family for example.


Edited by lostc (09/01/14 05:56 AM)

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#469568 - 09/01/14 06:02 AM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Being a man is nothing to me, no different from having dark hair or blue eyes, I just hate how it affects how others treat me.

I look around and see women being offered the things I most want just because they're women, relationships, closeness, admiration sympathy, heck even respect for genophobia, heck if I'd have been female odds are I wouldn't have been abused sinse someone would've stopped it sinse stripping a boy naked in public is a joke, doing it to a girl is a serious matter and should be reported to the authorities.


I don't even get all the "Being a man makes you strong and tough and fight things" sinse hay some of the strongest people I know are female, it just seems as I said being male is an excuse to bar you from society and any sort of intimate relationship.


The only bit of good being male has ever done me is being a tenor not a soprano, sinse tenors are far rarer, ---- however there's no point in that sinse tenor or not I still have a disability.

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#469573 - 09/01/14 12:26 PM Re: what is masculinity? [Re: traveler]
finallyhere Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 08/09/14
Posts: 71
Loc: Midwest
I get the 'stripping a boy naked in public' issue. I was in boy scouts and the scoutmaster would point the 'fickle finger of fate' then they all ran after that boy and pulled down his pants. I was terrified that I would be next. Perhaps yours was different, but the affects of humiliation and embarrassment of a child younger, less mature, etc. it is devastating. It makes one feel far less of a 'man' and at an age where you cannot understand that age is all relevant that in a few years you too would be more mature...all that happened to me was a feeling that kept me insecure about my manhood all my life. Always feeling that other men were superior to me in all aspects. I never used to hardly be able to look a man in the face for very long especially if he was in a position of superiority or so I thought. I now see so much of what occurred in my past for what it was. To say the least awful intimidation and their way of taking the attention from themselves, making themselves feel superior. It is just all wrong. I am sorry you had the experience but don't let it keep you from being who you are today. We can overcome these things when we realize what they are, how they affected us and by letting the support of others help us realize we are not crazy - we are NOT alone. There are a lot of guys here who understand. Don't let it keep you from becoming who you want to be.

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