The Extinction of Men
What is a man? Is a man simply a grown human male? Is a man a grown human male that exhibits childish qualities or adult qualities? Finally where are the men in our society?
I am getting married in a couple months and it has made me start thinking about men more frequently. I have been thinking about what type of man I want my future husband to be, who he currently is and who he may become. At the same time I have been thinking about the type of man I would not want him to become. When I think about the men in our society one question always pops into my mind, where are they?
Men seem to be missing in action. I see boys everywhere, with the pants halfway down their legs and with tongues that seem to belong sailors, but I don’t see men. Free online dictionary gives a few definitions of manhood; I find this one particularly interesting.
Manhood: The composite of qualities, such as courage, determination, and vigor, often thought to be appropriate to a man.
The qualities listed are all quite positive, and seldom found in our society’s males. Many of the males are more interested in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive and the people they know than in their own identities.
When did men ever expose their underwear to women and children on a regular basis? Men are supposed to be the hunter gatherers, they are the protectors. Can they do either as they struggle to hold their pants up? Men used to take pride in looking manly, now this is a term that can be interpreted however you like, but I think looking manly means looking respectable. Men want to be respected right? That would mean they would dress in way that commands respect. Instead the males I see dress in a way that invites inmates to penetrate them. These are the men of our society?
Men have self control; this is a quality that should be apparent in all adults. The males I see cannot control their desires, in fact they indulge them. To indulge in casual sex, smoking, drinking, and drugs are all examples of detrimental behaviors that would be avoided by a man with self control. Instead these boys seem to do whatever they feel like doing without consideration for the consequences.
When did sexual prowess become sleep with as many people as you can as frequently as you can? It used to be a process of finding somebody the man could be partners with, somebody that would help him grow as he helped her grow. He would commit to her, as commitment was another quality that men would excitedly exhibit. After this commitment he would show her his prowess. He would do so by doing anything he could to please her, while she did the same for him. Selfless sex, working hard to satisfy his partner and putting his own desires aside. The woman would be doing the same thing on her side. This would mean that both the man and the woman would be demonstrating their prowess while getting the best their partner could provide. Compare this to the selfish sex engagers modeled by the media.
When did lying become a quality of manhood? I am talking about those males who say I love you to any girl, and every girl. I first have to question if they understand what the concept of love is, and then I need to wonder if they love their mothers in the same empty manner. They say I love you and they act in self interest. If you love somebody, you act in their interest. Love is selfless. Yet from what the media and women tell me a lot of males seem to use the concept of love as a magic password to getting what they want. Making love selfish, this is not very manly.
Men want to be respected; it would make sense that they would do things to give people a reason to respect them. One of those things would be to speak in a polite and reasonable way. They would show themselves to be adept in their native language and respectful of the people around them. I do not understand how this became using slang and derogatory words as commonly as the word the. Words such as like, totally, yo and legit take the power away from speech, just like swearing. Consider this, “You are a very beautiful woman; I would like the opportunity to get to know you.” As compared to, “Yo mama, you is so sexy. I would love to get inside dat.” I am quoting two very real males, which one happens to sound like a man?
Look at our women. They are a reflection of what men want. Think about it, men may work really hard to start something with a woman, but who does whatever they can to keep a relationship going? More often than not it is the woman, because women often establish romantic feelings before men do. Women often dress to impress the men. If they are dressing in clothes that barely cover the essentials what does that say about the males they are trying to attract? The females obviously don’t respect themselves, so would the males? They are basically inviting the males to use them, and the males are all too happy to oblige. The women would not dress that way to attract men. If men wanted modest women then women would likely begin to dress modestly.
Finally men used to lead; I am finding that we live in an increasingly matriarchal society. Women cannot rely on the males around them so they take care of themselves. When they do invite males into their lives they don’t expect them to raise their kids, or to provide for them. They just expect them to be an additional child.
I find the distinct lack of men depressing; I never really dated because I never met any men to date. I suppose I should consider my self privileged to have landed myself in a relationship with one of those rare men. Somebody with self control, respectable attire and language, as well as the desire to commit. So there are my thoughts on our males and our men. I hope that the next generation will see some real men.
More by this Author
The developing identities of main characters in popular fiction.
Analyzing the role of Moloch in Ginsberg's Howl.
A brief essay on the role of women in Shakespeare's Othello and Ann-Marie Macdonald's Goodnight Desdemona.