How do men today act around women? What does masculinity mean now?
In her article, published by CNN, she puts forth some old-fashioned notions about masculinity and how to achieve them in this not-so-old-fashioned culture.
Great job, Susan. You've just touched on the greatest malady facing the modern man today. How is man supposed to act in this post-feminist world? How does he develop his masculinity in light of all the conflicting ideas that are pounded into his head?
Men today face questions men have always faced like "What does it mean to be a man?", "How does he attract women?", and/or "How is he to treat a woman?"
But where does he learn this from now? In many cultures there are rites of passage which let young boys know when they become men. We have never really had that to a great degree. And now more than ever, young men are raised without a father in the home. This is so common now that it requires little explanation.
Raised by their moms, young boys have an interesting relationship with women from the outset. A woman is the authority figure. She is the one to be obeyed. She is the initiator. The implications on his relationships with women in the future are huge. And even more difficult to spot because they are completely normal.
Now that young man is interested in a girl. Having no real training on how to initiate anything with women, he waits for a sign to know that she really likes him before he acts. Of course, that doesn't work because most women want the man to initiate and pursue her. She doesn't want to mother the guy she dates. She wants to be treated like a woman. She wants him to be strong enough to handle her.
He is not to be blamed for this of course. Because his life with women has been passive to this point, he has no idea that it should be any different.
So, eager to love a woman, he looks for ways to do it. What does he find around him? Pickup artists, "Alpha" guys, and douchebags acting cool, are the standard of what it means to be a man.
I have done the same. Confused by the idea of the modern man versus the idea of the masculinity that is innate in men, I acted like a pickup artist, an "Alpha" guy, and a douchebag acting cool.
All around me, I saw guys promising me that acting that way was what works with women. And me, ignorant as I was, gladly followed along.
The results were disappointing.
These approaches only confirm his long held suspicion that women are "something to be afraid of." Women can only be approached with the protection of pickup lines, or being in a position of control. Power becomes his romantic currency. His own masculine tenderness and gentleness, which are attributes of strength, get exchanged for being condescending and demanding he gets his own way. And since women don't like to be bossed around or treated with contempt, he finds himself dating only women who are willing to put up with it.
Again, this isn't his fault. He's stumbling his way through. And at his heart, most guys want to be a good man. That's why they fall in love with the women who see beyond the façade.
Welcome to the "Castration of the Modern Man". What is he to do?
Return to the virtues that have been long-held to make a man. This makes you a confident man, a man who knows where he's going in life. This is easy to do. And a hell of a lot easier than what you've been doing. These examples are easy to find. You see them and feel them all around you. For example, when you watch a movie that stirs your soul. In fact, with one word, you have a firm starting point:
Look for examples in music, movies, books, and friends. Examples of actions and attitudes that would make you proud to have yourself. Doing this, you become a man. And a leader. How does this help you with women? Women feel safe with men who have convictions. You become a man a woman can trust. A man she can open up to. A man she can love deeply. Women are no longer scary. Instead, you see beyond her scariness to her beauty and help bring it out of her.
And you trade the currency of power for the currency of love. And you find what you've been looking for forever: masculinity expressed through the love of a woman. Not that it's the only way to express it, but it is one of the most pleasurable.
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