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#262296 - 11/17/08 06:46 PM What is a man?
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

I was just googling book today and came across a passage that really moved me.

The author was writing about how the notions of manhood, like notions of womanhood, are unatainable fictions. But whereas there more often is a mother around, there's often missing fathers, either literally or emotionally. So the reified concept of manhood is not only a fiction, but often an abstract notion in a very real sense: there's no body that the fiction is attached to.

Just a sad thought.


#262383 - 11/17/08 11:51 PM Re: What is a man? [Re: Kathryn]
NatureDrum Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 116
It is a shame our society clings to unrealistic models of manhood and womanhood. But if any good has come from being a survivor it is being in position to know that I don't have to abide by that model and can come to a place like this or the group meeting I go to and work on redefining that. Maybe this new definition will spread.

Peace to you,


Negotiating the treaty for peace of mind.

My Story

#262395 - 11/18/08 01:30 AM Re: What is a man? [Re: NatureDrum]
Marinan Offline

Registered: 07/03/07
Posts: 330
Video game nerd joke incoming....
"What is a man?" A miserable little pile of secrets...

That aside... One who speaks wisdom into a dark world.

#262602 - 11/18/08 10:46 PM Re: What is a man? [Re: Kathryn]
Gabbahey Offline

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 43
Started a great book recently called "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" (Richard Rhodes).

In it there's discussion of a philosopher of science, who inquires into how great scientists become who they are (Einstein, etc.).

One thing that seems indispensable: apprenticeship to another scientist. To actually see the world as a scientist sees it, for "E = mc2" to be real, you have to sit at the feet of a human being who has experienced reality that way.

So it goes with gender identity, I believe. To really see and move through the world like a man or woman (in a given time/place/culture), you have to have an unthinking, apprenticed, bond with a gender master. Otherwise you're just an anthropologist, and all the gender behaviors a curiosity and alien to you.

In my family, there's a been lot of father hunger. Recently, a lot of Obama-mania. Amazing to see how passionate my brother is about this man.

As children we have only experienced---been apprenticed to---bad men (and women). So I guess we crave the basic parental apprenticeship to a kind man, who takes an interest in our well being. It's root of people's need for leaders, our political passions in general.

Seem like I've heard many times that fatherless children collect father figures.

#262721 - 11/19/08 03:41 PM Re: What is a man? [Re: Gabbahey]
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

Again, good to have you check in.

It's kind of like language, there seems to be a biologicla drive towards language use, but you have to be a language apprentice.


#262776 - 11/19/08 09:39 PM Re: What is a man? [Re: Kathryn]
Tinman Offline

Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 359
Loc: Lake Forest, CA
What is a man? Whose definition do you want?

I don't care. I am a man. And I probably misread the above, but I am no longer a pile of secrets.

I am gentle and I am strong. I am kind and yet protective.

To me, the best definition of a man is the one who can embrace and then turn around and fight injustice and evil.

It's not all or nothing!


"I finally have my heart!"

To the perps: Don't worry about me coming after you. But you damn well better watch out for God! "Vengeance is mine", saith the Lord

#262783 - 11/19/08 09:53 PM Re: What is a man? [Re: Tinman]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Originally Posted By: Tinman
I am no longer a pile of secrets.

I really like that definition, Paul. For so long, the secrets kept us silent and unable to be the men we were meant to be.



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