Who are men really? Macho and sensitive or abusive. I once witnessed one of the toughest and most macho marine construction foremen I know do something beautiful. When our accountant got married, her wedding was in another state and therefore no one from here was invited to the wedding. This man set out to find out what his favorite color was and the size of his bed, and he asked for some very thin monogrammed sheets. He came to his office with a large cardboard box. He set her down in his chair and told her bluntly that someone had delivered the box to his office by mistake. After she opened the box, he made some slightly suggestive jokes about what they were going to do on their new sheets. She was very touched and tried to thank him, but he turned bright red and came off the thank you. It was obvious to me that this male has a very tender and romantic side that he is ashamed to reveal, but that he will still have it because he has the honor and integrity of a man. I think men are like that all the time.
Before my mother died, I was in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. My father, who was an electrical contractor and president of all the organizations he joined, is the epitome of the macho. I visited my mother every day. He didn’t even recognize it and couldn’t carry on a conversation. He would go to the nursing home and sit with her. He would turn off his hearing aid and just talk to her about what was going on in his life and with his 6 children. Then he painted her nails, curled and brushed her hair, and took her out for ice cream. This continued for several years until he died. I never would have imagined that my dad could have been so cute and sweet, but he was.
I was present at the birth of my first grandchild together with my son-in-law. I saw how my daughter gave birth to her son and the doctor examined him and then gave him to my son-in-law. Jason was so touched by the birth of his son that as he held it in his hands, tears rolled down his face. I have seen this scene repeated over and over again in the many births that I have witnessed.
Years ago I watched my husband, champion wrestler, black belt in Judo and Karate, world class wrestling coach and former Green Beret shed a tear when our pet rabbit was mutilated by a wild dog.
At my husband’s funeral, there were about a thousand men, visibly shocked, some so shocked they couldn’t speak, but those who did spoke about his commitment to them as men and how he had sacrificed himself to teach them how to change their lives before. . -offender to upstanding citizen, mayor, school principal, police officer, business owner, parents and coaches. He did it as a man, actually as a wrestling coach who took the toughest guys he could find on the street and taught them to channel their aggression in an acceptable way where they could become champions and experience success.
What do all these examples prove?
Show that men are our heroes, saviors, gladiators and saviors. They represent honor, integrity and toughness. They fight for what they believe in, they are the first to come to the rescue of a damsel, child or animal in distress. They perform these tasks silently, without asking for praise or recognition. They are stoic, often working when in pain or sick, and often refusing to see a doctor until seriously ill.
They seem like tough guys and are unwilling to show their emotions for fear of being considered a coward. It is these characteristics that make them our heroes, yet women harshly criticize them for being indifferent, distant, and macho.
Our American society puts a lot of pressure on men to act, control their emotions, be tough, and live within a strict definition of what is masculine. Then we criticize them for being the way we have pressured them to be. So what is it about men that creates their hard shell and soft insides?
Let’s look at the extreme of what men can express. What is the cost of the male?
It may be true that men are raised from birth to “hold on,” “be a man,” and “hold on,” but what has created this in terms of the male / female relationship? It seems that all this “macho training” results in the universal abuse of both men and women.
The “boy network”, those conversations that take place in changing rooms, bars and places only frequented by men, focus on women as sexual objects. A lonely man may be willing to show his emotions and feelings to a woman he loves, but men also become more inhibited in that regard. Based on the current divorce rate and irreconcilable differences, it appears that men and women cannot transcend the emotional barriers they must have to connect and communicate with their loved ones. Responsibility is not exclusive to men. Women play a very important role in creating these irresponsible expectations, which are placed on the male species at birth and spread throughout their lives. The suppression of male emotion results in an unpredictable environment of unfocused and inappropriate anger and possible violence. It is well known that anger is an acceptable emotion for men to reveal, but does it have to be the only one?
Have you ever noticed that the man who supports or defends a woman in a high testosterone environment is considered a weakling and potentially puts himself in danger?
These are the standards by which children are raised and men continue to support. This is abusive to both men and women. One of Oprah’s shows focused on these same topics, and the guests on her show were all men, some former professional athletes, former spousal abusers, therapists, and young college students, all in support of a movement to broaden the definition of what. it means to be a man.
I am going to say two things that are very controversial.
1. American society tolerates a very narrow range of male emotions.
2. Abuse of women is so widespread, dishonest, and unrecognized that it is accepted by both sexes as the norm. Therefore, it is passively perpetuated. Many men who acknowledge but do not participate in this form of sexual degradation of women simply remain silent and do not step in the defense of women for fear of repercussions. In this way, men can be guilty of abuse.
What these two statements reveal is that we are still in the infancy of our personal development as a nation.