What is the true measure of a man?
I myself have pondered this question for years and years now, and I’m still trying to determine the real qualities and attributes that comprise the male species.
Like so many, my research often turns to societal stereotypes, which somehow have become the deciding factor – the judge and jury for the true measure of a man.
Entertainment platforms also add their own spin on the subject – though it often strays little from the stereotypes so many of us are all too familiar with.
What I’ve come to discover from being a “man” myself and living in a world filled with them is that men feel as though they always need to defend and even prove their masculinity to everyone around them.
They’re fearful of the ridicule and bullying that undoubtedly comes along with not adhering to an unwritten code of conduct that’s ingrained in us from the time we’re young. Boys can’t play with dolls, they aren’t supposed to cry, blues and greens are boy colors and sports are the recreation of choice.
And as these antiquated notions are continually passed down through the generations, young boys find themselves filled with anxieties to live up to societal standards no one should have to strive for.
But as I look around today all I really see are a bunch of guys continually overcompensating for how “masculine” they want everyone to think they are. So instead of “men” being unique, they all talk the same language, wear the same clothes, drive the same cars, listen to the same music and even do the same chores around the house – all in the name of securing their manlyhood based on societal stereotypes we all have grown to deem so important.
I’m almost 40 years old and what I’ve come to understand is it doesn’t matter what gender you are or what stereotypes you try to uphold. What truly matters at the end of the day is that you can be proud of the person you are in life.
Sameness is easily achieved and highly unmemorable. But it’s the truly unique people in this world who will remember and cherish you as they years go by.
John Wooden once said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”