Hello Happy Easter everyone! Thank you so much for coming back to my blog and tuning in to what I have to say, and for those of you who don’t know I am changing my blog post schedule to just once a month. (Read my previous blog post for details) I hope you enjoy what I have to say in this entry!
As someone who is growing towards becoming a man, I have always encountered the subject of masculinity and what it means to be a man. Even from an early stage of childhood and adolescence, the notion of being a man for me was someone who was well respected and liked and seemed to understand what he wanted to do in life. Now that may be true to an extent of what a man really means in my opinion, but it’s not the full picture. You see, in today’s age, I strongly believe that the very definition and image of a man is being heavily influenced by the culture of today, and that is very troubling to me. In a society more competitive than ever, boys are being taught from a young age that you need to be the strongest and never show weakness. Then as a teenager, they are taught to be the coolest person and by physically fit, and that only increases as you move higher up. Now obviously being all those things isn’t necessarily an unhealthy lifestyle, but it’s the mindset, the attitude towards these things that obscures the real truth of being a man. I think when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open to our weakness and emotions, the concept of masculinity can be fully realized.
If you are told to never show weakness at a young age, then what happens when you do feel weak inside? And then there is the external pressure from your peers and the society that you have formed beliefs upon your social interactions. How are we going to teach boys respect and kindness when they are told and shown not to show any sort of emotion, because that is showing weakness? I don’t understand when masculinity ever became genuinely connected with physical appearances and status, that is all due to the culture saying this is what a man looks like. Take for example, fraternities. Now while I never am going to negatively discuss a person or subject on this blog (that is not me) I will talk about what I believe in and I want to give equal reason and response to what I talk about. The problem I see in fraternities especially today is the message it sends to college males. Sure, there are obvious benefits for the existence of them on college: the teachings of brotherhood, loyalty and allum giving back to the legacy of the college. But beyond the parties and fun times there lies a much more disturbing message that they send, and that is how they are wrongly teach young college boys how to grow up as a man.
I am sure that on the other side one could argue that a fraternity is an experience for someone to get connected and to socialize and have fun, that is ok with me. What is not ok is the notion of how men are now being accustomed to just hooking up with girls at these places, and the expectation that it puts on not only the women, but on themselves. I mean just think of the pressure someone might experience going into a fraternity, and I will leave the whole initiation week to another discussion time. In short, the fraternities are teachings guys that in order to be a man you have to get with women and at the end of the day it’s all about that. It’s this image of indulgence of lustfulness and self image that is staining the true meaning of what a man is. And what is the definition of a man?
I believe that becoming a man is the complete opposite of what society says today. To be a man means to first realize that you are completely insignificant in this universe and at the same time accept the truth that you are infinity valued by a God who loves you beyond measure. Once you accept that premise, only then do you realize that being a man means taking responsibility, and discovering who you really are. So in a sense, the transition from a boy to a man really isn’t a leap, but a series of steps in life. Don’t you realize, there is no due date or expiration date for being a man or stop being a boy. It is a journey, like faith that takes time in life and is really all about learning and understanding more of who you are. I think that there is so much pressure and influence from culture that it can be very misleading who to follow, will it be the society that defines you or will you choose to define yourself?
Thank you for reading this.