This society tell us how a man should be to be considered a “man”. If you don’t fit the mold, society don’t consider you a man. A good example of this is when a Transgender man wants to live his life as male. Not all the women want to date him because for most of them, he is a woman. This is an extreme example of manhood in the society, but what about if we are men born with a penis who also like men?
First, we need to know what “manhood” is defined as. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines manhood as,“the qualities (such as strength and courageous) that are expected in a man”. The Free Online Dictionary also defines manhood as, “the composite of qualities, such as courageous, determination, and vigour, often thought to be appropriate to a man”. If we look as those definitions, we can see that it is expected a man needs to be strong, courageous and vigorous. This is why when we are teens, the guys can hang out with friends at night and girls can’t because this society believes that men can defend themselves but women need a man to be safe. According to society, a man needs to have some characteristics such as, strength, he must have a deep voice, and needs to like sports, and so on. On my research for this topic, I just wrote “manhood” in Google and went to images. The images that I saw were about men fighting, and penis size. Do it for yourself and you will see the same results, being a man is not easy in this world.
Believe it or not, in this society, manhood is measure by how many girls you had sex with. It is funny because if you don’t have sex with many girls, your manhood is questionable. I don’t know in the United States, but in my country, if a man decides to be single all his life, the people start to talk about the possibility of being gay. I’m not saying that being gay is something wrong or an insult, the point is that it shows how ridiculous this society is.
How many of you have heard the phrase, “a man does not cry”? I can bet that a really high number of men heard that at least once in their formative years. These kind of comments are the reason why most men don’t show their emotions with their spouse, or even with their kids. On the other hand, most women can do it. Usually, girls greet their friends with a kiss but if a guy kisses another guy, he is “a faggot”. For me, it is the same thing. My father is not too cold. We don’t talk too much but he says he loves me.
I personally find expressing how much I love someone too hard. I love my family, but I can’t express it easily. I know that this is something I need to work with. It is probably a cultural thing, but I still do not like not being able to tell my family, and others, how much I love them.
In my experience, being a man was the most frustrating thing in my life. First of all, I hate sports. I have been on a baseball team, tried Tae Kwon Do and also Boy Scouts, but it did not take me long to quit, I just hated all of them. Sports are not for me, but according to society, men love sports.
I would not consider myself “strong” either, I find it difficult to hold heavy objects. I remember how many times I heard people saying that I should be able to because I am a man. Those words hurt me. I was so insecure about my manhood. I don’t saw myself as man, but neither do I see myself as a woman. To make this even harder, I don’t have a deep voice. My early teens were a really difficult time.
In that time, I discovered my attraction to guys. This was the end of it. I used to cry and tell myself that I was not a man. I grew up with those insecurities about my manhood, and those insecurities affected my social life. I’m not feminine, but I am attracted to masculine guys. My preference is for masculine guys that are a bit older than myself. I know that my preference comes from not being able to identify myself as a real man. I was a victim of bullying in middle school because of this, but since these bad days I discovered that being a man is easier than what I imagine.
Now, I’m proud of being a man. I still hate sports and still don’t a deep voice, but I consider myself a man. I like shopping, and clothes, especially shoes. I’m so emotional, I cry in movies and TV shows but that doesn’t make me less manly. Talking with a gay friend, he told that being a man is an expression of myself. His explanation blew my mind. He told me no mold exists for being a man. Even a woman, who was born a female can be a man. It is all about what you feel, and here was when he introduced me to the term, gender dysphoria. This is defined as “people who feel strongly that they are not the gender they physically appear to be”. If a women with gender dysphoria feels that she is a male, can she be a man? Of course she can. It’s all about how you express your gender.
Additionally, gender and sexual orientation is not the same. I’m bisexual, but I am still a man. Even if society doesn’t accept it, you can be a man who is sexually attracted to men.. You don’t need to be straight, or like sports to be a man. If you feel that you are a man, express yourself. Don’t live based on the stereotypes that society makes, just live yourself and be free.