There’s something to be said for taking an honest look at what it means to be a man in the 21st Century, in America in particular. It’s never something anyone ever talked to me about directly. I picked up cues from my father, sure. But it was never really an open lesson on “what it means to be a man” so I rarely asked direct questions and it seemed like it was just something every guy had to figure out for himself. While that’s true to a certain extent, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that this conversation is very much missing in our lives. At least in mine.
I’m coasting into my late 20s with a wife, 2 young children, and useless (expensive) college degree. The world is changing very rapidly and resembles next to nothing like the world in which my forefathers came of age and lived their lives, nor like anything I was told to be prepared for. It’s damn confusing and there are so many questions and issues up for grabs for modern guys that it’s hard for us to define even for ourselves what or who we are. The rules and standards have changed along with our set of skills and responsibilities. We don’t have real initiations or rites of passage anymore (by which I don’t mean the naked body painting, tribal drumming, or feats of outrageous mutilation in the indigenous sense), but more along the lines of just an active conversation from one generation (“father figures”) to the next on the really important wisdom a man sets out to acquire in his life.
Blame it on the “generation gap” or technology or the baby boomers’ Revolution; whatever the cause, we as men have lost something fundamental in the process of coming into our own. The result is a painfully large group of grown ass little boys and pussies living in a world that’s falling apart for lack of strong leaders. My aim with this blog is to explore all the things that make us men, fathers, husbands, friends, citizens, and all-around Guys With Our Shit Together.
What I’m About
I’m sure my viewpoint will evolve as I proceed with this project (at least one can hope) but right now my main focus is reclaiming the pride and honor of being a man. The whole “liberation” of women into the world of men has completely kicked men in the nuts. There is this cultural stigma that it’s somehow not okay to be a man or in any way masculine. Guys are falling all over themselves these days to apologize for masculinity and self-assertion, trying not to offend anyone, and generally bowing to whatever bullshit gets laid at their feet. Sure, the past has been full of men abusing their physical and social power over women (and other men) but that’s no reason to lay the blame for all the world’s problems at the feet of the modern humans lucky enough to be born with balls.
I say it’s time to stop apologizing for manhood and be proud of being men. Sure, as modern males, we don’t go around clubbing each other for dominance anymore (usually) so most of what our bodies have evolved to do is no longer enough to define manhood. It’s more mind over muscle these days but that doesn’t mean we have to be whipped weaklings or that we’re flawed because we lack a vagina. I think a lot of the weakening of the male spirit is out of some kind of perceived guilt or shame for honest masculinity. And that, amigos, is bullshit.
The Mission To Come
All that said, the course of this blog is to explore the realities of becoming and living as men in the modern world. There’s a lot we can learn from the dudes who have come before us and there’s still more we can define for ourselves in the Digi-Age. I’m confident that, even as manhood is changing and humanity is learning to balance itself out, there is a valid and important place for strong, empowered, smart, savvy guys to do what men have done since the early days of hairy mammals: to lead.