What does it mean to be a Man?

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
I'm the father of two boys and this week my youngest turns one year old. So, I've been doing a lot of thinking about my responsibility in raising them and the goal of preparing them to become adults. Our world is constantly bombarding us with various and often differing messages about what it means to be a "man". Are there certain characteristics? Is there a "rite of passage"? I thought I would pose the question here because we have a variety or different perspectives represented and I'm interested to hear what others think.

What is or does it mean to be a Man?

* While not overly political, I'm putting this in PRSI because the question and subsequent answers will have a lot to do with one's social, religious, or philosophical world views.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
A man in my definition is:

1. Responsible
2. Courageous (that means many things, including admitting one's faults as well as defending oneself)
3. Humble as well as proud
4. Helps others when they need it, regardless of whether or not those in need share the same belief system or ethnic background.

That's just what comes to mind immediately.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
I think being a man means being confident--without being arrogant. It also means being somewhat resilient emotionally. I'm not so old school as saying men shouldn't ever cry--there are certainly upsetting situations where its appropriate. However, I've noticed that in popular culture men cry like babies over every little bump in the road these days.
 

obeygiant

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
4,003
3,776
totally cool
No man has ever risen to the real stature of spiritual manhood until he has found that it is finer to serve somebody else than it is to serve himself. ~ Woodrow T. Wilson

Whether through kids or causes, becoming a man means serving someone or something greater than yourself.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,387
UK
A man in my definition is:

1. Responsible
2. Courageous (that means many things, including admitting one's faults as well as defending oneself)
3. Humble as well as proud
4. Helps others when they need it, regardless of whether or not those in need share the same belief system or ethnic background.

That's just what comes to mind immediately.
Self-reliance is what I would add to the list.
That sounds like a good definition to me.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
OMG, Glenn Beck is a Mormon? I always think of Mormons as basically nice people. I guess that teaches me not to generalize.
 

j/k/Andy

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2007
197
0
Trustworthy
Loyal
Helpful
Friendly
Courteous
Kind
Obedient
Cheerful
Thrifty
Brave
Clean
Reverent
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
OMG, Glenn Beck is a Mormon? I always think of Mormons as basically nice people. I guess that teaches me not to generalize.
He's probably to Mormons what Fred Phelps is to Christians, a crazed loon that does not represent the religion.

Don't get it confused with moron, which he most definitely does represent.
 
Putting aside your wants and needs for that of your family. Being the kind of role model that you want your children to emulate. Not being a douchebag.
True this. True this all.

"'Duty' is the most sublime word in our language" -- Robert E. Lee.

Trustworthy
Loyal
Helpful
Friendly
Courteous
Kind
Obedient
Cheerful
Thrifty
Brave
Clean
Reverent
"... and will endeavor, so far as in my powers lie, to be unselfish in service to the welfare of others."...
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
Really? Examples? I'm not seeing that.
Any reality show that includes some type of challenge that needs to be met you will often find men crying if they can't meet the challenge, or if they do they will cry out of happiness. Ty Pennington cries repreatedly on his show "Extreme Makeover" as do the men whose homes are being remodeled. You'll see firefighters, police, and random men cry on the news. You'll see men cry on TV talk shows. Politicians caught with prostitutes or mistresses cry at press conferences, etc etc.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
Any reality show that includes some type of challenge that needs to be met you will often find men crying if they can't meet the challenge, or if they do they will cry out of happiness. Ty Pennington cries repreatedly on his show "Extreme Makeover" as do the men whose homes are being remodeled. You'll see firefighters, police, and random men cry on the news. You'll see men cry on TV talk shows. Politicians caught with prostitutes or mistresses cry at press conferences, etc etc.
Is that type of crying unmanly? Showing happiness? I thought you meant whining and complaining men which seems more unmanly to me.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
Any reality show that includes some type of challenge that needs to be met you will often find men crying if they can't meet the challenge, or if they do they will cry out of happiness. Ty Pennington cries repreatedly on his show "Extreme Makeover" as do the men whose homes are being remodeled. You'll see firefighters, police, and random men cry on the news. You'll see men cry on TV talk shows. Politicians caught with prostitutes or mistresses cry at press conferences, etc etc.
You watch entirely too much TV.

And Ty Pennington crying is just fine. That show does a lot of good for people. Those events are not "little things". That show changes entire families' lives. Anyone who cries on that show is crying for the right reasons.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
Is that type of crying unmanly? Showing happiness? I thought you meant whining and complaining men which seems more unmanly to me.
If a man just lost his wife or child in a tragic event and is on the news--I can understand the poor man crying. However, crying at press conferences can be somewhat disingenuous IMO. It seems to me to be a method politicians use to convey a sense of sincerity about how sorry they are--but it comes off differently for me.

Also, I roll my eyes everytime Ty Pennington cries-- its so obviously acting. Men crying on reality TV is also acting most of the time.

I think for years men have been forced by our culture to repress their feelings and not talk about things when they should--and I'm glad that is turning around. This is different.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
You watch entirely too much TV.

And Ty Pennington crying is just fine. That show does a lot of good for people. Those events are not "little things". That show changes entire families' lives. Anyone who cries on that show is crying for the right reasons.
They're crying for ratings. Everyone on the show knows they need to elevate the drama factor for the audience.

For the record, I cancelled my cable subscription long ago so I don't watch that much TV anymore. However, one can't help but see these things.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
They're crying for ratings. Everyone on the show knows they need to elevate the drama factor for the audience.
Umm...OK. Say what you will. But if someone came in and gave me a new house for free, and that house addressed special needs for my family that I could not afford to provide, I'd be bawling my eyes out.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
485
A geographical oddity
Umm...OK. Say what you will. But if someone came in and gave me a new house for free, and that house addressed special needs for my family that I could not afford to provide, I'd be bawling my eyes out.
That's the problem. Yes, you would be crying. But, if you were doing this on a regular basis, eventually you would become (for lack of a better work) routine. Clearly there may be specific events that may hit you harder than others, but based on the description provided (I don't watch the show), guy is crying on a regular basis throughout each show.

At least, that's what I am getting from those posts.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
That's the problem. Yes, you would be crying. But, if you were doing this on a regular basis, eventually you would become (for lack of a better work) routine. Clearly there may be specific events that may hit you harder than others, but based on the description provided (I don't watch the show), guy is crying on a regular basis throughout each show.

At least, that's what I am getting from those posts.
I don't know. I used to watch that show all the time, and I'd be crying by the end. If I did it for a living, I don't know if it could ever become routine. I really don't.