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What Every Man Should Know

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What makes a real man? Apparently one of the themes of the day is what every man should know how to do. I have a take on the subject that might be something you haven’t heard yet…that is, I haven’t recycled someone else’s thought. I have thought about it for a long time. I actually got the idea from the biography of Oscar Wilde, the British author who rose to fame and burned in shame so long ago. He said something very interesting though, namely “women are just like their mothers, that’s their tragedy, men aren’t and that’s theirs”.

Yet again I was thrown into deep thought. Or rather as deep a thought as you can get at 22 or however I was back then. No offense to you young bucks out there. He said that because I think deep inside of himself he wanted to do some of the things women have the privilege of doing, like sleeping with men and it being socially acceptable. That’s not a subject I want to broach here though. There were surely other things that he admired about women. Perhaps their way, and style of dress, perhaps their station in society which sounds absurd considering he lived over a hundred years ago, but still…

Being a father/bread-winner/ protector has made me appreciate what it means to NOT be a man. Women in today’s society have so many things open to them. In East Germany, the women were brought up to have a sense of Emancipation, being culturally equal to men in almost every respect. The contradiction comes when you consider that here in Germany there are still serious issues about mother’s staying at home to raise the children, as they are all over the world. Women get the CHOICE to wear the pants, or a pant leg, as it were. Women have a greater range of choice in choosing their mate, but the downside is they tend to be dominated by emotion and the pretty ones are overwhelmed by choice.

Again on women (even though I am talking about men here), they must be the most beautiful creation in the universe. For a man, what is possibly better than having a beautiful, loving, thoughtful women at your side? The angels in heaven, according to Genesis came down from the presence of God himself because they desired the women here on earth. Edgar Allen Poe wrote about how the saddest thing imaginable is the death of a young woman and while that is debatable, it is surely in the top five of saddest things (the death of a child would take my top spot, but still). Whether sun or stars, awesome landscapes or the wonders of creation, nothing can compare to the beauty of a woman…for a man.

It is said that every man should know how to fix things to fit the stereotype of the ingenious provider who can make something from nothing. MacGyver if you will. Then of course, every man should be able to control his feelings or to not cry. Men are supposed to have physical strength which I guess means we should be able to pick up our children until they are teenagers. We should have the ability to feed and protect our family from physical harm,  be decisive, natural leaders, and above all we should not really give a damn about how we look. We are also allowed to stink (sometimes), granted we have performed some kind of hard work or exerted ourselves strenuously at play. A limited bunch we are, but that and a little more is what is expected of every man. No?

The thing is those things fail to take in the fact that every man is half-woman. That’s ridiculous you say? Well women seem to have no problem (or at least getting through the first waves of resistance to) working at construction sites, and being engineers or racing cars, playing every sport and serving in the military. It has been said that the problem with the women’s movement is that men never changed anything. That is, men never wanted to share in any of the things that women traditionally were tasked with women, like taking care of the kids, staying at home, knowing how to cook for the family, being tender and supportive, or being anything other than the stereotypical man…though that is not so much the case nowadays (see metro sexual).

The fact that every man is made by both a man AND a woman means that we have some traits inherent to women that need to come out. Namely, we need to be able to cook, to have the sensibility to comfort the kids when they need to talk, to be able to cry. I can remember thinking when I went to Sri Lanka how utterly practical it was that the men wore skirts. Okay they have a name for it that definitely doesn’t mean skirt, but I bought one and fully intended to wear it back home. When it’s hot out, it would be mighty cool to rock a free-flowing skirt, or? Women do it all the time. Alas, I wear it around the house and not around my kids but it damn sure is comfy when the humidity is up!

The point is that women have learned to take the (perceived?) best character traits and added them to womanhood and now lead nations. Look at Angela Merkel and Margaret Thatcher and Hilary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice who are all most definitely woman, but have enough man in them to lead. I don’t think it’s so much that they have enough man in them , but rather they let the man in them come out. They are after all, half-man in their woman-ness.

Of course culture and women are not all so ready to let that happen in every instance. If a man and a woman have children, when they split, women are ALWAYS given the benefit of the doubt as if a man is somehow not built to take care of his own children. I in fact know a man who has raised two daughters, my brother is doing the same, and there are others who are raising their children alone. A man who is sensitive is chastised by society, and men never, ever cry in public. Hell, some folks are even convinced that we are not allowed to ask for directions if we get lost! Not only are we limiting ourselves, but at the same time women aren’t quite completely ready to share some of the provinces that they dominate.

The title of this post is ‘What Every Man Should Know’, but the emphasis I want to stress is on the word SHOULD as in, we don’t all already know it. We should know HOW to get in touch with the part of us made by our mother. We don’t absolutely need to suffocate ourselves when tragedy strikes by holding our emotions in. That leads to heart attacks, hypertension and an assortment of ailments that kill us off young. We should take an active part in the lives of our children, cooking them meals and holding them when they need it; even recognizing when WE need it.

We need to understand (or tryto understand) what it is to be a woman. Not in the sense of trying to get them in bed, or to find the right mate but rather so that we get more out of life. I don’t mean we should start wearing blouses with pretty little pink flowers, or rocking a white knee-high skirt with pleats like I saw on some cat not long ago. Men should know that to ignore one-half of our makeup, doesn’t make us more man, but rather half human.

Written by lionoah

May 26, 2011 at 19:40

Posted in culture, interesting, news