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#224131 - 05/14/08 04:03 AM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: bardo213]
VLinvictus Offline

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: frost
i don't want to come off sounding terribly crass or anything but...

the answer is between our legs. all else is subjective...

that really is all it takes.


I've been giving this some more thought and I've concluded that my initial reaction -- and Brian's above -- is correct.

There is nothing more to "being a man" than having the right set of chromosomes and genitals.

All this other stuff -- competitiveness, constriction of emotion, protecting and caring for others, physicality and athleticism, etc. -- is nothing more than cultural baggage imposed on us by society and the media.

Take David's rhetorical questions:
Originally Posted By: MemoryVault

So, are you a man or a woman? (Where do your personal traits fall in with the gender grid your culture has mapped out for you?)
Are you a man or a boy? (Have you passed the threshhold of adulthood? When was it? How do you know?)
Are you a man or a god? (Do you recognize your own limitations? Do you know what it is to be "only human" for real?)
Are you a man or a machine? (Do you allow yourself to feel? Does your heart guide you as much as your head or your testosterone?)
Are you a man or a stereotype of a man?(How much of all this is real and how much are you acting? What have you freely chosen?)

The first and last are culturally conditioned. The second refers to maturity. The remaining two apply to "man" in the collective, species sense -- homo/anthropos as opposed to vir/aner.

I do not know what "being a man" means -- I think that's something each person and culture defines for themselves. I think it's much more important to be human and to be an adult.


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

#224151 - 05/14/08 11:42 AM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: bardo213]
Ridley Offline

Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 3
Loc: USA - IL
My thought on this is this; being victimized by the perp and then labeled a CSA survivor the question I've struggled with to no avail is not being straight or gay but on top of everything else the CSA robbed from my life, I feel that my right to choose whether I'm straight or gay is all rolled up in the CSA.

Since I was told for so long that it was my fault and my body reacted to the stimulation and became aroused to ejaculation, the perp was right! It had to be my fault and if it's my fault I must attract and be attracted to men and not women which must mean I'm gay?

That's is my hot button. So at the end of the day, to be or not to be straight or gay was a choice not of my making, but beaten into me by the perp. Didn't he steal enough from me by labeling myself CSA, but also "MY CHOICE" to be straight or gay.

I know I'm straight because of my attraction for my wife, but the need to be held tightly by a man for more then sex and be reassured that everything will be okay is what I long for as a man. That is the part of this CSA journey yet to be fulfilled but hungered for.


#224158 - 05/14/08 12:18 PM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: Ridley]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2614
Loc: Central PA
Originally Posted By: Ridley
but the need to be held tightly by a man for more then sex and be reassured that everything will be okay is what I long for as a man. That is the part of this CSA journey yet to be fulfilled but hungered for.


More than a few guys here I think can relate to that one, Including myself.

#224161 - 05/14/08 12:39 PM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: VLinvictus]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
I fully agree with dan on this one, in fact it's a subject I've studdied quite a lot and intend to write on when i can muster the energy, ---- I've also met a lot of feminists, ----- both sane and sensible ones, and completely evil ones (I'd considder myself a feminist, ---- or at least an equalitarian, hopefully of the sensible sort).

i'd agree with Dan and robbert, being male or female is anatomical, nothing more. Anything extra is stuck on by cultural sterriotypes. While those sterriotypes are pretty strong, ---- often so pervasive we don't even notice them.

I'd personally say both sterriotypical views, the masculine and feminine are pretty bad. Afterall the feminine, ---- as lots of people say, promotes shallowness, dependence, lack of thought about life, superficiality and lack of resilience.

the masculine on the other hand promotes lack of immotionality, over emphasis on competing for it's own sake or physicality, insensativity, lack of compassion or empathy and in fact it's own form of shallowness.

to explain the shallowness thing, when I first got to uni, in a discussion with one chap, I mentioned I disliked the taste of beer. his reply was "well drink 20 pints and then you'll like it" when I asked him why I should bother drinking 20 pints of something I disliked, he responded with "well cos your a man"


Myself I'd agree with Dan and several others that we should concentrate on being good humans, people, individuals or whatever (pick your generality).

On a personal level, I actually considder myself to be androginus. Yes, i am male, but in the same way that I'm five foot nine or have dark hair, ---- it's just one fact about me, and not an overly important one. About the most relevance it has is that I sing tenor not soprano, ---- which is good sinse there are a lot fewer tenors than sopranoss. Yes, i am attracted to girls, ----- but I kno several girls who are as well.

If I was to pick a sterriotype I feel closer to, I'd have to say it was the feminine. I'm fairly immotional, --- as people will have gathered I also talk, ---- or write, quite a lot.

I love taking care of people, ---- not just in the imotional sense, but in a practical and physical way as well, cooking, making drinks etc.

I'm very much struck by the beauty of things, --- and I do cry.

I also become close to people and am fairly sensative.

I have no competative side whatsoever, and genuinely don't mind losing a game or race or quiz or whatever to another person so long as I've enjoyed myself doing it.

I love decorating my flat, and also like wearing cologne and aftershave and interesting clothes, not expressly to be attractive (that's one thing I'm not), but just for the sake of wearing them, ---- another reason i enjoy musical theatre.

I'd much rather do something creative like writing, music or philosophy than something purely analytical, and I really don't care about "being successfull"

I also love animals, and was given my own puppy when I was 14, ---- one reason i didn't commit suicide during my abuse.

Abuse wise, I'm also very frightened of anything to do with the S word, and for me, the idea of that without love is one that makes me physically sick.

On the other hand, I enjoy physical exercise for it's own sake (I try to lift weights and run several times a week), ditto with interlectual exercise such as resource management games or chess. I'm not bad at abstract maths and enjoy learning metaphysics.

though I do not enjoy competative sports like football, much less spectator sports, I do enjoy things like skeeing, climbing, canooing or cycling, ---- though much more for the experience of doing them than to compete against others.

also, though I have a great love of animals, ---- and am actually quite comfortable with babies and children under one, i really don't want kids, and can't deal with them as soon as they start walking and get beyond the physical care stage.

I'm also very jealous about independence,---- sometimes too much so, and though I love helping others, really dislike accepting help.

some of these are obviously things I like about myself, ---- some are things I want to change, but I'd rather not go down the path of one sterriotype or the other.

Interestingly enough, one of my really close friends is the other way around, ---- she's female, yet has many sterriotypically masculine traits, --- competativeness, desire never to appear weak or show immotion, aggression, ---- heck she's even studdying higher maths! On the other hand she's highly compassionate and sensative, ---- and is one of the people I've talked to fully about my abuse (she holds the same idea of genda sterriotypes as I do).

the only thing that really! hacks me off about being male is the stupid and annoying cultural expectation that it's the man who's supposed to make the first move with someone I like. this one drives me absolutely up the wall!

I'm really sorry for the long and rambling wrant, ---- this is a subject I tend to considder quite a lot, and actually intend to write on it one day.

#224190 - 05/14/08 02:43 PM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: bardo213]
hogan_dawg Offline

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
A great man in my life gave me, through a refusal to lead me by the nose and tell me what to think, the gift of learning I could think what I freely chose to think. And therefore, I think, he inadvertently taught me to be what I freely choose to be.

Edited by hogan_dawg (05/14/08 02:53 PM)
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

#224191 - 05/14/08 02:53 PM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: hogan_dawg]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2614
Loc: Central PA
DA, just want to say that I read your de>

#224200 - 05/14/08 03:54 PM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: JustScott]
dannym Offline

Registered: 03/25/07
Posts: 543
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
This is a question I have asked myself since I was very young. I am not a "typical male". I do not like to watch sports. I do like to play sports - I am a triathlete and mountain trail runner. I lift weights and play racquetball. I golf (ok, I go to a golf course with clubs... but what I do cannot truly be called golf \:\) )

I cry at movies. I talk to my friends for hours about "feelings" and emotions. I like plays. I like to sing. I am a wicked good cook.

I am married to a woman. I am in love with a man. I have 2 beauriful kids. I laugh at jokes. I get scared of dying. I try to focus on living. I try to eat right. I'm a recovering alcoholic. I was sexually abused as a boy and young man. When I cut myself, I bleed. I work hard.

I am Dan - and that is enough - I am happy with me.

"You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."

Marge Simpson

#224237 - 05/14/08 08:13 PM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: bardo213]
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
What makes a man to me, is just being who you were born to be, and using your past to your advantage.
One of the greatest men to be on the boards asked the same question?

I said to him, that nobody could make a greater man than he already was, empathic, truthful, good listener, never used violent language, helped others, and he was totally humble.

I learned a lot from him, and so did a lot of others,


Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

#224407 - 05/15/08 05:13 PM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: reality2k4]
ineffable Offline

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 1371
Loc: state of holeecrapdood
Hey men
I have been giving this one some thought

Anatomy is half of it
But then we have to extend this definition to male abusers too don't we
(looks over his shoulder for tar & feathering mob on the horizon)

To me the other half of being a man is the willingness to give your life
To take a bullet for those we care about
Ain't that what we are doing here sometimes?

My family at MS grows daily


:: "Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there" ::

#224413 - 05/15/08 05:38 PM Re: What does it take be a man? [Re: ineffable]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2667
Loc: durham, north england
As far as abusers go,k I stil hold to the three words I screamed at the age of 14. I don't feel the need to scream them now, but I'll write them and mean them:

those! aren't! people!

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