Have Good Men Gone Extinct?

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man and woman embracing

I'm constantly baffled by women's perception of the "men" of our generation. The generalizations put forth these days almost makes me embarrassed to be a millennial, a member of Generation Y — or whatever you want to call it — simply because I might get grouped together with them and assumed to be similar.

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On the flip side, women who are perpetually jaded and only talk badly about men are making themselves look worse than the guys they're bashing.

No man wants to fight an uphill battle with somebody who automatically vilifies him simply because of his gender or age.

Men need to work to become better, and women need to know there still are good men out there.

Though, it does make me wonder: what's the basis for these widespread, consistent accusations? Could it be an exponential worsening of the modern woman's taste in men, that they're only choosing broke, uninterested, commitment-phobic, unambitious slackers? Or, is our generation of "men," really becoming what they're accused of being?

I refuse to sit back in silent discontent and believe that the devolution of the male race is a plague-like epidemic we're witnessing first-hand.

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This is the reason why I've created this website and the Facebook community that goes along with it — to stand up and make the statement that we can overcome these stereotypes by working to do more and become more.

But lots of men are really making my job of defending them (us) increasingly difficult.

Anytime I post an article about what men want or how men act, I'm met with dual responses from women. Many women are uplifted and encouraged by my statements, while others show skepticism justified by their lack of experience actually finding these men.

They tell me that while the sentiments are nice to hear, they're just not realistic; that men really aren't looking for mature, well-adjusted, successful women; that men don't want the companionship and equality I assure them that we do (I'm glad to have found it, after all).

And while all these discussions are going on between myself and these women, the men are nowhere to be found. There's silence.

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I'm defending men to the women who are discouraged by them, but I sometimes wonder if these men are deserving of the defense they're getting if they're not willing to speak up for themselves. Where have all the gentlemen gone?

It's a modern-day version of "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" Do women choose the wrong men, or are there so many wrong men out there that the odds are just making the cards fall that way?

Fellow men of the world: learn from our predecessors who carried themselves with dignity and class. They were providers, protectors, and a support system for their women. Even though society has evolved and men no longer have to be the sole breadwinners in a relationship, we should still have the ability to be if it were needed; that hasn't changed.

Some of us call it having honor. Dignity. Integrity. Qualities that so, unfortunately, seem to be sorely lacking in our generation. I understand that some men feel these qualities they do possess are going unappreciated.

We can easily see how the cycle begins: Men do not think women appreciate good guys, so fewer guys act in this way, causing women to become convinced there are no good men left. Rinse, repeat.

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The fact of the matter is that good men and women are out there — but they feel as though their attributes go overlooked and therefore stop displaying them to the world.

We should never allow someone's lack of appreciation of us to alter our nature. Our value and self-worth come from within, not from the approval of others; that's why it's called self-worth.

Women want to believe you still exist. They want romance, courtship, chivalry, and respect. They want your love and your loyalty. And they want to give you all these things in return.

Don't allow lesser effort put forth by your counterparts to tarnish your own reputation. Don't fall in with the crowd. Don't blend in with the shadows. Don't take the path of least resistance under the presupposition that striving to be better will get you nowhere.

It's true that good men (and women) are difficult to find in today's society, but that makes them so much more appreciated when they are.

And don't worry about how few there are in the world. If you can't find one, you can still be one.

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James Michael Sama is a relationship expert who writes about dating and relationships. He speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness, and has been featured in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio.

This article was originally published at James M Sama. Reprinted with permission from the author.