There are a lot of stereotypes in the world about who a man is. From the videogame addict to the buffoonish father and all the way to the man too obsessed with watching his favorite sports team that he can’t remember to change his infant’s diaper. And even though we all know men who do not fit these roles, these caricatures have become the defacto role models for many young men growing up in this world.
But as parents we can not shoulder all the blame for this. The last few decades have seen the shifting of roles in society, men, no longer the sole breadwinners nor the sole wielders of power in society, have lost their bearing and place in society. And with so many groups focused on the raising up and educating of women, it seems that men have just become an afterthought.
So what can be done? Well we can begin on the path towards redefining manliness in the modern world. I have said for many years that there are three generalized subsets that we can lump men into. Boys, Guys and Men.
Boys are the pre-pubescent men of society. They are young and therefore not expected to act like adults. In fact in many cases they are encouraged, either directly or indirectly (ie boys will be boys), to be young and carefree.
Guys are boys as adults. These are the ones we see in the commercials, the videogame addict the buffoon.
And then we come to the modern conundrum that is men. The puzzle that is the thrust of this article.
- Men are those who make decisions, instead of wallowing in indecision or apathy.
- They finish the tasks that they take upon themselves. And out of a sense of responsibility, not requirement..
- They are the Fathers who are present and try to make a difference in their children’s lives. Through marriage or divorce.
- Men are those who share their strength and try to make a positive change in the world around them.
- But men do not abuse others with their strength, only help them to grow.
Now I know this is a very brief list but it is one that focuses on the general outline instead of anything specific, so that it can apply to the category instead of the individual. And I know that these are the many of the very same traits that so many are focused on teaching to young girls. Yet how many of these traits are taught to our young men?
As Pagans we need to be about balance and not just in our Faith and rituals but in our whole lives. Whether we are a single mom raising up boys, or a single father raising up girls or any other combination. So take some time to talk to the young men in your lives and try to show them a better way to be, then what is showed on TV and other forms of popular culture.