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Manhood: Strap On Some Balls and Be A Man

Updated on November 23, 2012
Look familiar?
Look familiar? | Source

SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS

A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.
W. E. B. Du Bois

The quote above pretty much sums up how I was raised. Suck it up and be a man! Quit your whining and be a man! Men don’t cry in this house! A real man doesn’t make excuses; he just gets the job done! And yes, my personal favorite, strap on some balls and be a man!

There was a quote attributed to Henry Ford during the Great Depression. I cannot find it, but the intent of the quote was to say that those who were failing during the Depression were failing because they lacked the fortitude of a real man, and that the opportunities to succeed were available to any man willing to work hard. Obviously a bunch of horse dung, but that was the pervasive belief during the early –and-mid-Twentieth Century.

Men were expected to be strong. Men were expected to get the job done with a minimum of complaint. Men were the backbone of the country, the providers, and the pillars of society. They were rugged, silent, dependable, and showed very little emotion except for that occasional outburst of temper. Men were rough and ready, barely refined but always there when the going got tough. They played hard, they worked hard, they drank hard, and they cussed hard.

If you did not fit into that stereotype then heaven help you. That guy seems a little fruity, doesn’t he? What is he, a fag? What a goddamn wimp! What do you mean he doesn’t play sports? It’s hard to trust someone who doesn’t play sports! Has he had a date yet? It’s hard to trust a guy who doesn’t date women, don’t you think? What is he, some kind of perv?

It is all so exhausting, and it is all so wrong!

A DIFFERENT TIME

To be meek, patient, tactful, modest, honorable, brave, is not to be either manly or womanly; it is to be humane.
Jane Harrison

It is not universal, but there is now more acceptance to the idea that manly comes in all shapes and sizes, and I for one say thank God for small favors!

Quite frankly, it is exhausting being someone you are not. I was not made in that image. Lord knows I tried. I tried to cuss and fight, claw and scratch. I tried to be the strong, silent type who would take on foes fearlessly. I tried to keep my emotions in check and never show weakness.

And it almost killed me!

My Uncle Mike, my mother’s brother, lived in Torrance, California. He was the father of fifteen kids and a World War II veteran. He came home from the war early with a medical discharge. He was, in fact, what they called shell-shocked in those days; today we would call it having PTSD.

Mike was a gentle soul when I knew him. He was a loving father, a good provider, and a great uncle. I never heard him raise his voice in anger. He stood out from the rest of the family because he didn’t appear to be very “manly.” He didn’t pound back beers at picnics, nor did he cuss. He simply lived his life as best he could, content with who he was, and he treated others with respect and compassion.

One of my best friends in college was gay. This was during the 60’s, and there was some acceptance of it in certain circles, but still, gay was gay, and being gay certainly did not fit into the manly stereotype. I heard from him a couple years ago, and he has two adopted children, he is a counselor for physically and emotionally abused children, and he is at peace with who he is. And why wouldn’t he be?

Let's talk about self-love

THE POINT IS THIS

There are so many out there who struggle with this idea of manhood. If they don’t fit a certain image they believe that there is something wrong with them, and it is very sad and it is all nonsense. We can’t all be John Wayne riding off into the sunset rescuing damsels in distress. Hell, most of us don’t know how to ride a horse, and we would probably shoot off our own foot if we had a six-shooter.

Show me a man who has compassion for others and I hereby proclaim him manly.

Show me a man in touch with his emotions and I hereby proclaim him manly.

Show me a man who has found that gentleness is a virtue and I hereby proclaim him manly.

Show me a man who can be counted on to walk his talk and I hereby proclaim him manly.

The societal image of manhood is a myth. It has been fostered and cultivated as some ultimate truth over the years, and it does more damage than good, by far. I will stand in defense of my loved ones, and fight injustice wherever I see it, but don’t expect me to spit chew, pump weights, and bend steel in my bare hands simply because of my gender.

On the flip side, do not look at me and assume I am not compassionate or empathetic simply because of my gender. I cry for those who suffer and there is no shame in admitting it. I am sensitive and I am not ashamed of it. I respect women and I admit it and I am proud of it.

I am man....hear me care!
I am man....hear me care! | Source

IMAGE AND LIKENESS

Every girl should be thin and have perfect features, and ever guy should appear to be the reincarnation of the Marlboro Man as he rides off into the sunset. So the media would have us believe, and so many out there try to attain that which is unattainable. And if we have bought into this trash, and we believe it, we are certain to suffer the after-effects. Low self-esteem awaits us at the corner of Inadequate Street and Loser Avenue.

I am so tired of the posturing and strutting, like peacocks prancing about trying to impress with their plumage.

In fact, I would submit to you, that we have a new generation growing up trying to find that which is in them already. Boys grow up trying to emulate their fathers. If you are a father, beware! Raise your son to be comfortable with who he is and not dejected over not being who you want him to be. The greatest gifts we can give our children are love and a feeling of self-worth.

My name is Bill Holland, and I am a man. I may not fit your notion of manly, but I am my own man and proud of who I am. I may not spit nails but I will stand by your side if you need a friend. I may not boast a forty-eight inch chest but I’m as strong an advocate for the downtrodden as you will find. I may not be six feet four but I will stand tall when called upon to help others, and I will provide a shoulder to cry on if you need one.

My name is Bill Holland, and I may not fit your concept of manly, but I am humane!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      What lovely thoughts. I know how true it is that the "image" of what is perfect floats along. However I think being the best we can be, doing random acts of kindness and taking care of ourselves and those we care about makes an almost perfect person. Not everyone has a figure like top models, a singing voice like Celine Dion. She is my favorite. And also we all have our own way of being kind and charitable. Thanks for these wonderful thoughts..You are getting more and more poetic...Love it all..

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I think that anyone who stands up for others and is true to his beliefs as you are is a true man. He does not need a 48 inch chest! Well done, Bill.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 4 years ago

      Wow, Bill! You have said so much in this hub that needs to be heard. Yes, it would be so very tiring to try to live up to what we are told is required in order to be accepted. Your story of the young girl moved me to tears. How on earth can children grow up strong and healthy if we shackle them with so many terrible expectations? Humane... that is true strength.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, despite my best efforts, there seems to be a poet inside of me. LOL Thank you my friend; I think this idea of self-image is crucial for happiness, and the media keeps spinning lies which sadly many believe.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, thank you so much! I would love for one day to come when young people could be happy with who they are, and not miserable over who they are not.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alex, the expectations thing is a biggie with kids. I know, having taught for so many years, that many teens feel they are inadequate because they do not meet these absurd expectations.

      Thank you my friend.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Too many are that way indeed, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes they are Michelle!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Wow Bil, beautifully said and put. You are truly a wonderful man and humane at that. I am proud to know you and call you my friend. Thank you so very much for being who you are and truly can't say enough how much you mean to me as a friend indeed. Thanks for sharing and I of course have voted up and shared all over as always!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I would say the same thing about you. Thank you my dear; I feel a special bond with you, and I think that is remarkable since we have never met. If it can happen to us, it can happen to many people, from all walks of life, and wouldn't that be lovely?

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Bill,

      Before 2013 is over, I predict you will write at least one poem.

      Anyway, "what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man..." is the song coming to mind.

      Mom always said what a boring world it would be if we all were the same. You are one of a kind and awesome to boot.

      Yes, this one is UP and all that, even funny...because you had the balls to use this title. Hugs, Maria

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes my dear friend Billy; another powerful hub shooting straight to the point!!

      You say it as it is my friend and you are true manly man who is in tune with his emotions and thoughts.My ex would have been one of the rough and ready lot.He drank and drank and ended up fighting and fighting more.

      However do you know what I have learnt in the last few years since I left him he is a coward who didn't have the guts to stand up and face his faults!! The world of the brave passed him by ; that is not a man ;that is one selfish cowardly bully.

      Dai and myself talk and talk ;we are so honest with each other and he gets a little discreetly teary eyed when its Remembrance Sunday as he served in the Army for about twelve years.Remembrance Sunday is just one and listening to classical songs also hit home for him.This to me is a true man which is just what you are too Billy.Here's to a wonderful weekend to you and Bev.

      Lots of love.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, you had me laughing with that last line.....I was wondering if HP would let me use it....turns out they don't care I guess. :) As for the poem....I honestly don't know how to go about it. My brain doesn't seem to wrap around that sort of writing....but we will see. Maybe I'll write one in your honor. :)

      Thank you my dear! Have a wonderful weekend.

      hugs back atcha,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you! I am grateful that I stuck with who I am, and didn't fall for the manly crap that the media imposes on us. It was a struggle as a teen, but once I became an adult I felt good about who I was....except for those drinking years, of course, but even then I was sensitive and not a loud, obnoxious, phony drunk. LOL

      Thank you my dear; sending love to you and Dai, and great appreciation for who you are.

      billy

    • DayLeeWriter profile image

      Debra Cornelius 4 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub!!! Well said and long over due!!! Thanks for sharing! Write on!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DayLee, thank you so much! I hope it helps those struggling with their identity.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      I remember the Marlboro Man. Then they took those ads off TV. That was interesting. Of course they will never take the ads for alcohol off TV even though people are dying from it. This is a great hub. Thank you so much for writing it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michele, and alcohol is my next big statement....sometime this next week I'll be discussing the killing nature of that drug.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 4 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      I was taught that men don't cry and I have found that to be a man, you need to cry at times. Great hub billybuc; I commend you1

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Froggy! I was taught the same thing and it is nonsense for sure.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you bill, I really want to read that one.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Wonderfully said, Sir Bill. This is one of your best- the idea of manhood being stoic, uncomplaining, strong and dogged has been perpetuated. For long. The gender stereotypes carry on where in fact both sexes can learn from each other and be nurturing or challenging, sensitive or strong, talking or listening as situation demands... It's all the more humane to be what is needed by the other and vice versa. You've expressed this well.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Another terrific hub, Bill! You're the Stereotype Slayer", a superhero badly needed these days. I love your "Show me..." examples of a "manly" man. The old way of thinking--that men should always be strong and never cry--is (thankfully) outdated. I love watching men who are gentle with their children. That's a sign of "manliness" to me.

      Interesting that you used a Marlboro Man sign to portray the outmoded idea of manliness, since two of the models/actors who portrayed the Marlboro Man on TV and in print ads died of lung cancer/emphysema (Wayne McLaren and David McLean), which affects the idea that a "manly man" smokes.

      Voted Up++++

      Jaye

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

      Bill,

      A real man is strong in his principals, understanding in others shortcomings, has a big heart, never judges, makes one feel safe with a big hug, listens with positive comments, and loves me just the way I am, spoiled a little ---10% Angel and 90% opinionated.

      That is a real man---and he can ride into the sunset on a Rocky Horse for all I care.

      It sounds like I know a lot of real men on HubPages.

      Happy Saturday,

      Bobbi

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 4 years ago

      Another wonderful and well done Hub! Humane not Machismo would be great on a T-shirt!

      Shared and Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again Michele! I'll get it done in the next few days, after I compile some statistics.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, you are a good man, and this hub is about the good men out there who may not fit the cookie-cutter image of a "real man." I will walk this path with you at any time; you have earned my respect because of the "man" that you are. Thank you Sir!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Bill, I think that we, as men struggle early in our lives in trying to fit the mold perceived as being manly and fostered by our fathers, role models and those we choose to admire, like the Duke and other great actors. We really begin to take on the true essences of out manhood, as we grow older and realize we are individuals and don't have to fit any special man mold. We can make our own molds to leave for our own children to respect later in life. Thanks for sharing this my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, thank you as always. I did not know about the real Marboro men dying of cancer. What a metaphor that is!

      I appreciate you stopping by and of course I appreciate your support and kind words. Blessings to you my friend.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Bill, that add is probably responsible for more lung cancer than many other false messengers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, if we know the same men on HP then you do in fact know quite a few. :) Thank you, and I like the combination of attributes that make up who you are. :) Happy Saturday to you my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Silvie, I agree, that would be a great t-shirt. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Who, I agree with you, that ad was dangerous for an entire generation.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Who, great comment. We leave a legacy for sure, and I know, from your writing, that the legacy you leave will be one of love and not false expectations. Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Well said, as usual, Bill. I've known too many people who have made neurotics of themselves by trying to conform to a stereotype, or to other people's expectations. Conformity has never been my strong suit, and I take great peace and comfort from that fact. The title of the first Amazon offering up there says it all, I think: "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." Thanks for writing, amigo, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA

      There is such a strong voice here, it is the voice of frustration and inspiration. Parents with vision and unconditional love will give their child the gift of aspiring to be their best selves. I find it so interesting how the male role model, as you have pointed out, has in fact changed, what a relief for all of us. I remember my Father being dissatisfied with my brother's ability to be 'manly.' What a shame, it created tension for the whole family. I am so thrilled that these expectations have changed. Great hub!

    • junko profile image

      junko 4 years ago

      Billybuc you are blessed to love and serve family, friends, and strangers without the fear of appearing weak, but enabled. I know this gift that you accepted give you peace of mind and a rewarding purpose to be you and we are glad you are. Your work here speaks for you, keep talking.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 4 years ago from Neverland

      Amen Bill! I would gladly take humane over "manly" ANY day. The qualities you say prove a man to you are the same qualities I look for when I am trying to determine whether or not a person should be in my life; fair, kind, compassionate, brave enough to stand up for what's right, and a true friend. To heck with bending metal and spitting nails - that's gross anyway! =)

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Phew! I wasn't sure what to expect after I read that title . . . what to look for in a sex toy shop, perhaps? the harsh conditions that sex toy builders endure? Wait, now I'm picturing elves putting batteries into vibrators. I'm just going to move on now.

      Funny how it all comes back to being compassionate, isn't it? A man who is courteous and kind is far more manly than a guy who's rude and obnoxious. And why do men who think they're manly constantly judge the sexual orientation of other men? Why are they thinking about that guy having sex? Is that manly? I just don't get it.

      But I'm of the weaker sex, so what do I know? ;-)

      Thank you, my main man Bill.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Nicely said! I think your description of yourself is more the "new normal" than the old antiquated Marlboro man--at least I hope so. I prefer a man of action and kind deeds than the strong silent type any day!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      My friend, I love your rants. I wonder when it happened, that we stopped being okay with being who we are. Most of the men in my life were kind and sensitive and it was never perceived as weakness. But, I have witnessed it in society. It just wasn't that way in our family. As a woman, I think I have become blind to the notion that men are judged as you describe. But then, I rarely think the way the majority thinks. :-)

      I love this hub though, because you are reminding all of us, men and women, that strength is an interal attribute, not relative to muscle mass. It takes a lot more courage to feel than it does to be numb, doesn't it?

      Another wonderful hub from my kindred spirit!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, I've only got one word for you my friend, 'RESPECT' well said.

      Voting up and sharing.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      I came up in an era in which those gender stereotypes were super-imposed & almost inescapable. I thought them ridiculous but, yeah - I felt the pressures as a girl. When we moved from the town where I'd grown up for 10 or more years and I was the 'new girl' with the ugly glasses, - which was the worse predicament because I'd broken out the lens in my 'bad eye' side which isn't helped by a lens, so it wasn't a medical urgency; and because of the move and other major things my parents were doing & the fact that my opthamologist was half-way across the state and there wasn't an opportunity to make that trip at the time, one side of those ugly glasses had no lens in it when I started 7th grade in the new school in the new town full of new kids. So when the kids sidled up to me and stuck their fingers in there to see if there really was no glass, all I wanted to do was to be swallowed up by the ground! It was mortifying.

      But for boys, I'm aware it was much worse. In fact, I had a brother-in-law who had been a big SMU football star & then went into the NFL with the NY Giants for a time, who thought that if a guy wasn't into sports -- well, FOOTBALL, to be specific, he really was n-o-t-h-i-n-g. And if he happened to be into music, heaven forbid, he was less than nothing. This person had a strong enough influence over my college life to veto my dates if they didn't measure up to his standard, in which case I was to drop the guys with no further explanation. Didn't matter that I happened to prefer guys who were into music over those into football. According to this brother-in-law, if he didn't drive the 'right' car, have a gray flannel suit and wear it with a white shirt and a red tie with a little dot, he was even more non-existent. I there ANYTHING more absurd? Sheesh!

      I was in 'need' of serious upgrading according to this b-i-l and my sister (14 years my elder) and my parents had entrusted me to them for the 'course' during my junior & senior years in college, for which my parents paid the tab - at a more expensive school than I'd been attending. I was supposed to be very grateful and obedient. My sister got me into a sorority, which was not on my own agenda, though it was ok, and I was able to study things I really wanted to study. But I escaped it all the moment I graduated, much to her strong dismay; - but that's another story with a tragic ending. It makes one ponder. She, he, & their 3 little boys - and a maid - all perished in a tragic accident 6 months later. I was unforgiven and would have been with them instad of the maid, had I not escaped.

      This sister was the eldest of my three very opinionated elder siblings, 14-12-& 10 yrs. older, whose regard for me was as if I were a blank slate on which someone needed to write out a working formula to bring me to life, like Pinocchio. They never knew me - ever. Sad loss for them, actually. Of course, I've outlived them now. They'll never know.

      But the main thing I was to learn over the following 20 or so years after college (during which I entered into a marriage situation just as squelching & more abusive), was to finally fully trust myself, my instincts, my mind, my inner directives and to really like myself doing so. I'd never truly doubted myself, but I was always dwelling in others' shadows or else becoming one of their projects to be 'fixed' to suit themselves. haha. I'd allowed it - and realizing that & taking responsibility for it, I could know how to avoid it - thereafter!

      To my credit, I always was myself, doing my things quietly; my siblings just had no clues about it so figured I was an incomplete pot needing more molding & firing, I guess. I wasn't sure enough myself, so I had a conditioned acceptant response and not a strong enough ego or id to draw a line in the sand. So I was just 'there' but had no idea how to be THERE, till I finally was able to emerge and be visible & OK, starting at age 40.

      What's sort of funny is that it didn't require any extreme declarations, but just a quiet self-realization and self-assertion, as you describe you have, which other people simply recognize! Makes one wonder 'where have I been all my life', which was a line I wrote when I was emerging!

      As you say, getting there is mostly a DIY project, which I'd been building at, piece by piece, all those years.

      But when finally also being perceived unconditionally by someone else as one really IS without any 'if only you were . . . different" stuff, that was what helped me simply launch who I am, for myself, with the full power of being THERE, needing no permission or 'stamp of approval' - being there, both for me and available to others who will see that I'm here, whole and not in need of being fixed! haha. - It's then one knows that oe doesn't have to be validated or verified, knowing it's OK as is . . . as you obviously do, Bill. It's never to be the same again then.

      This a a magnificent hub and I love your video. (It seemed to end midway and begin again, though. You might want to check that out?)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, I have failed miserably in the past when I tried to conform. LOL Guess I'll keep on defining myself and live with the results. I'm pretty happy with them so far. Thank you my friend and I wish for you a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tracy, well-stated. I think we are seeing a slow change in expectations within families, and that is always a good thing. Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Junko, thank you so much. I do have peace of mind today; it took hard work and willingness but I am where I want to be today. I wish you peace and happiness today and all days my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ardie, that whole spitting nails thing.....rust in the teeth, and iron breath....just doesn't work for me at all. :) Thank you Ardie; I always smile when I see you stop by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, you are cracking me up! You, the weaker sex? LOLOLOLOLOLOLO. Elves putting batteries in vibrators??? I think you need to film a new Christmas movie for kids. :)

      Thank you my friend; you are a joy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, that whole strong silent type thing is highly overrated if you ask me. I'll stick with what's working for me and take my chances. :) Thank you Melissa; I hope you are having a great weekend in Minnesota!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, without a doubt it takes more courage to feel. Numbing down is way too easy; I'm living proof of that. There are days we have to claw like a wildcat to find our hold on reality, but it's oh so worth it.

      Thank you my twin; you are a pleasure to know.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, that one word means a great deal to me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      This is a great and insightful hub. Well written and I so agree - it's character that makes a real man and not appearance. On a humerous note, when I saw the title to this hub, well it sort of coincided with my watching Dirty Harry movies the past few days. Now there was a man with some balls - Harry Calahan. He cracks me up with his line "when I see a man chasing a woman in an alley with a butcher knife, my policy is to shoot to bast**d".

      Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Efficient, there is nothing like a Dirty Harry movie on a Saturday afternoon. LOL Talk about simplify life....just shoot first and ask questions later. :)

      Thank you; turns out the title of this hub worked as planned. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellie, what a wonderful comment. Thank you for taking the time to write so much about personal matters. I could do the same, and the story might seem different, but essentially it would be the same. We spend endless years trying to figure it all out, trying to conform, reeling from the conformity, suffering through the inner turmoil that is screaming at us to release the real me....years.....and then the sweet release when we finally accept who we are. For me, that moment of release, is indescribable and beautiful.

      Thank you my friend, and hooray for both of us!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Men are not the only "pack animals". The cosmetics industry is thriving despite the poor economy because advertisers tell us we need to be better looking by hiding our flaws, thinner, younger and sexier. Society promotes aggressiveness and competitiveness. Without it, you are deemed worth as much as a puff of Marlboro smoke. I remember, after my layoff when I felt like I'd been thrown under the bus with a flattened to zero level of confidence, being told I needed to be confident and display the enthusiasm of the energizer bunny on interviews for minimum wage jobs. I turned myself inside out trying to decipher what each interviewer wanted until I found them to be dolts on a power trip. I "grew a pair", figuratively speaking, when I saw that there were so few jobs out there to grovel for, and finally became myself. I still am not employed, but at least I am comfortable in my own skin. Come what may, I'll never participate in another dog and pony show. "I" am not for sale. My resume attests to my excellent work ethic and intellect. When I got over my panic and took a realistic look at those who were interviewing, it was difficult to keep a straight face! When I considered how I was expected to "jump through hoops" for the pleasure of working for a dictator and minimum wage, it became too humiliating to participate. I've learned to be frugal and resourceful on my own and that will sustain me, along with maintaining my self-respect. Great piece, Bill!

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      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I totally rebel against any stereotype, especially one that would make a man less of a person simply because he shows a caring side. Nothing gets me more angry than hearing someone say that a young man "throws like a girl," or needs to "man up" when they show some emotion in a tough situation.

      I'm glad we are making some progress in this regard, but I believe we have a lot further to go.

      Thanks for a great read, Bill. And thanks for being the man you are! :)

      Steph

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      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is a very interesting hub. I wasn't sure what direction you were going to take this one at first. Great hub and voted up! :-)

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      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Bill

      I hereby proclaim you manly. For your kindness, caring and respect for others.

      Hope you and Bev are having a great weekend. :)

      Take care my friend

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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill, I would stand beside you in any and all circumstances. I think I know you well enough to know that you are the epitome of my definition of manly. Good for you. Great job.

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      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Great hub Billy, I have always believed it is okay for a man to cry and does not have to beat his chest like Tarzan. A sensitive and kind man to me will run circles around the loud mouthed he-man with testosterone leaking from his nostrils...sorry..this does not make a man. I do think our society is changing and do not look so much at the Marlboro man as in years past..so maybe we are making progress.

      Sunnie

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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      This is all so true and very well put. Those 'good old days' are not necessarily nostalgic but if we look seriously - full of trauma. Many young men of today though are having difficulty in the transition from teenage to manhood. It seems an agonising time with so many issues and paths to follow - just being themselves doesn't happen. And the alternative route is unbearable.

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      Ka'imi'loa 4 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

      my main man billybuc...

      I find it amusing that the majority of the fags, or gays , or homosexuals mentioned about in this manly man's Hub of identifying who is a man and who isn't, are indeed from the era of men like my father, who if you didn't scrub your ass and balls with Lava soap and brillo pads, then there was something definitely wrong with you. As a child growing, my dad was so scared of his boys growing up with any type of gay tendencies that he damanded our mother to breast feed instead of shoving a "fallac" shape bottle in our mouths. We weren't carressed by our mom nor were we pampered if we got hurt.

      James Dean, the model of cool and manly, was rumored to be gay, Rock hudson, let down many women, and basically any other person who had to mask what they were, all were gay to some extent. Today it is celebrated with a cupcake party whenever one more comes out the closet, and society has learned to "accept" them. I come from Hawaii where in town there are some gorgous men known as Mahu's and basically six islands filled with femine men. The definition of a man has been diluted throughout the years. Today, it pretty somes up any male that can handle his responsibilties and takes responsibility for his actions. Not what he personafies. My family is 80% Marines, and trust me, if you knew how many "peter-puffers" wear the dress blues, it would astonish a great deal. Great Hub, always love reading up on your Hubs.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, thank you for the compliment, and I agree, at least we are making progress in this area. I appreciate you stopping by my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, I debated over the title, but decided this one would have the greatest impact. I'm glad you liked it and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sue! I appreciate your kindness as always and yes, Bev and I are having a great weekend. I wish the same for you my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I thank you for that vote of confidence. I'm just trying to be someone my son can be proud of. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sunnie, I truly believe we are making progress; still, when I was teaching, I saw an awful lot of kids who struggled with this.....hopefully it was just a stage they were growing through.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Billy, Thanks. I didn't intend to go on and on on your comment thread. Sometimes it happens, though. (blush)

      Fact is, I hadn't related my story to anyone - or felt a need to - for 30 or so years after it was resolved, - till I came online 15 yrs ago and began to meet people entangled in their own unresolved stories & feeling fragmented and confused. So if & when I felt it would be a help to hear about mine, and to know they'd be understood because I'd BTDT, I sometimes shared it.

      I sometimes get the impression that I'm viewed as having no problems and possibly never having had any, which seems to be a consequence of having successfully resolved becoming fully comfortable in one's skin! So it's not enough to say "I understand" to someone in pain with which I can empathize, but to whom I'm viewed as having no idea what they're going through, without sharing some of my story. As you mention, you went through the mill and resolved it; so you know about that consequence.

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      This is another one good hub. voted up awesome & useful.

      I totally agree with regards to the stereotypes. And even till this day, men are expected to be strong, rough, tough and emotionless. There's nothing wrong with a sensitive guy. It's okay to be strong, but it's nice to have that compassionate side as well. And yes, you do fit the concept of what a real man is. Nothing fruity about being humane or having emotions. Who cares what society thinks or says!

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      I like the Jane Harrison quote, so true.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy my dear, great comment. I respect you as much as anyone on HP for your strong character and refusal to change who you are. Thank you for being who you are; people like you restore my faith in humanity.

      love from Oly,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Travmaj, it is my hope that things have changed. Not completely, but I think we are moving away from the standard concept of "manly." Again, that is my hope. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Benisan, thank you for a great comment. Your comments about the islands and your family are amazing. I appreciate you sharing personal information that so clearly speaks to the way it once was, not so long ago. Yes, it still exists, but I think we are slowly moving away from that crap. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, it took me a long time to reach the point where I didn't care about the opinions of others. I have found it possible to be strong AND compassionate and that is a wonderful place to be.

      Thank you so much, Doc!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes it is, Doc!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellie, I have had countless people say "I understand" to me, and there is no way for them to understand unless they have lived it. I will not offer my opinion on something I have not lived; to do so is a little bit of hubris I am not willing to share. :) I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share what you did, and I respect you greatly.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great thoughts on accepting who you are. I think it is exhausting trying to prove your are something you are not. Glad you know who you are and are helping others to reach this peace as well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I'm glad I finally figured out who I am too; I was getting darn tired trying to fake it. :)

      Thank you and have a great Sunday!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The world is full of unhappy women and man simply because they refuse to be who they really are. With age comes sagging skin and weakened muscles. The women pay big bucks to lose the sagging skin. The men takes who knows what to remain ' manley ' and if i remember correctly the Marlboro man died of cancer due to smoking. Let's all be who we are and help others along the way..

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent Ruby and yes, the Marboro man did die of lung cancer. You are so right my friend.

      Thank you!

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I am martin. And that is that.

    • benisan85745 profile image

      Ka'imi'loa 4 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

      We come from all walks of life...the Village People album covers taught me that..ha ha ha ha!! Just forward the Hub to some brothers of mine. Waiting for an ongoing cyber battle now!!

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      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Wow Bill Holland..you just blew me away. It never ends this cycle of trying to be an image of something that isn´t truly you, I agree wholeheartedly Billy. How many poor girls are berating themselves or worse ,over their looks and figures right now as we write ? How many young boys are signing themselves up with gangs who will commit atrocities, simply because they want to fit in or are too scared to stand by what they know in their hearts to be true. At the end of the day, we can all only be ourselves because trying not to be is just too uncomfortable. Great hub Billy.

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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Being who you are and being proud of who you are is the best way to be true to yourself and to others. Valuable thoughts to think about. Thought provoking and interesting write.

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Men...lend us your masculine machismo, muscle & might, as we offer you our female cents, scents & sense......we shall deposit these into the bank of Trust in Humanity ...and OH, the interest we will yield!......

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are Martin and we are all better off because of it. Thank you Sir!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Benisan, good luck with that cyber battle. My money is on you. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bac2basics, your name says it all my friend. We need to trust in who we are, and get back to basics in defining who we are. Thank you, and hopefully those who need to read this will read it.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you! You just mentioned the reason I write, to provoke thought and spur on action.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, you are a wordsmith and a clever one to boot. Cent, scents and sense....I love that!

      I am heading to your H.O.W. hub soon; thank you buddy!

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      It's my wordsmith DNA...must give credit where it's due......My Dad had a blazing and original comment for everything.....My sister and I suspect he always believed he kept us guessing and heading us off at the pass.

      Truth is...we were quick learners. The dinner table became a tennis match of one quip after another.........until, of course, Mom told all 3 of us to Shut up and eat. That's when we found out the LAST word was the best one.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula...moms are good at that! I love the tennis match around the dinner table. Oh how I miss those days. Your DNA is strong and so is your voice. Thank you Paula! I know you keep me on my toes. :)

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      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I love coming back and reading the comments to your hubs, Bill. The conversations you start are scintillating! Jaye

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, it really is amazing, isn't it? Bev does the same thing each evening.

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      I am honestly grateful to see more care for authentic individuality happening in our society. Granted, there are still a lot of people who stigmatize that women should be..., and men should be..., and children should do... and on and on and on. But there is a greater shift in accepting people for who they are rather than trying to bend and break them to be something they are not. Thanks for your great hub!

    • profile image

      PWalker281 4 years ago

      The "Marlboro Man" archetype is still alive and well in this day and age. But I think he is having to move over so that other, more balanced "male archetypes" can share the planet with him, especially as the Sacred Feminine reasserts Herself more and more into the psyche of humanity. And this is a good thing; I'm sure one of the reasons women live longer than men is because men have been enculturated to repress that feminine energy that would otherwise make them whole.

      This is why I love reading romance novels; the writers, mostly women, tend to create male "heroes" who, while they are typically 'hunks,' are also sensitive, nurturing, and compassionate and not afraid to express these so-called feminine traits in positive, constructive ways.

      As usual, an intensely thought-provoking hub that I've voted up and am sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I agree; we do seem to be heading in the right direction as a society; there are still pockets of resistance, but they are fewer and fewer. There are times when change comes very slowly. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PW, thank you for the kind words and the sharing. I will get to those romance novels soon; I've been buried in writing work the past couple weeks, but it is on my to-do list. :) Great insight into why women live longer than men.

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      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi Bill, I've known all different types of men. They are all unique in their own way. I have to share one of my favorite quotes from Betty White: Why do people say "Grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding! ... I leave you with that :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda....LOL....there is only one Betty White and she is/was/always will be, a classic. Love it, and thank you for the great laugh.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      You're very welcome! :)

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      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      It is always best to be who you are. Glad you found yourself.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lipnancy, I'm glad too! Thank you!

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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Bill Holland, you are every kind of a man! nuff said!

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      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill - Good hub! We are all only what we are. It doesn't take a model to fight a war, but it seems to take one to be accepted into just about anything else these days. It's absolutely ridiculous how much society flaunts the beauty and degrades the norm. People are people, and it's what's inside that counts. Yet, some of us will still scrap a little if you push us far enough, if for no other reason than the pure fun of it! Sometimes I do wish we lived in the days of the old West when things could be settled with a six shooter. Things were much more simple then. lol Great job, my friend!

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Might I also take this moment to remind the reaader, the Marlboro Man died a terrible death from smoking as well. So much for a man's man.

      I have met many different versions of "men" in my lifetime. The ones I found to be the truly good men had patience, understanding and could walk away rather than show their fists.

      Great write from a great man.

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 4 years ago from Olney

      Brilliant!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, thank you kind lady! That means a lot to me.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I totally agree. I'd probably be in trouble in the Old West, me wearing glasses and all. I'd die in my first gunfight I'm afraid. LOL Thanks buddy!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I have fought and I have walked away. I would hope I learned something from each experience. :)

      You are a wonderful friend. Thank you kind lady!

      billy

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One2get2no...thank you Sir!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Voted up and awesome Bill! Growing up, my father was the more emotional of my parents which was refreshing to see. He was never ashamed of it. Luckily these days the "Marlboro Man" stereotype is not nearly as pervasive and I think that more and more people are free to be who they are. Look at programs on television now and see how much more accepting society is becoming. Of course, there is a long way to go and sadly there are still many many people being abused for who they are. Great hub that is a reminder to us all.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, it is always nice to see you drop by. Thank you! I agree, things are changing, but we still have a long way to go.

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      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Dear Bill-this is so powerful and inspirational. Having a man who is so authentic write this educational hub is wonderful. What an amazing article-I believe this amazing message needs to be spread for all to read-I will tweet-share and anything else that will get the truth out-especially for the younger generation of men and women. Bravo Bill-

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, well said. Humane is key. The world would be so much better off if our leaders would practice that. Wow. wow. wow. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vicki! This kind of antiquated thinking harms an awful lot of young teens.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, thank you so much! I am so tired of stereotypes; I'd love to see this particular one die a fast death. :)

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Absolutely :-0

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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Hooray! I love this idea. I too am tired of people trying to live up to stereotypes and trying to be popular instead of authentic. I applaud your line of thinking!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Tammy! I struggled with this for years; sure glad I finally figured out that I'm okay just the way I am.

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Amen Bill, Amen! Everyone should read this, so I am sharing!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! I greatly appreciate it.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Real men are gentle, kind, caring, and compassionate in my book. Even more so, he is not afraid to show that side of him. I am proud to call you my friend, Bill Holland. No Marlboro Men for me!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, thank you! The feeling is mutual about you. If you are ever in the neighborhood........:)

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      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      I do like your words and message and I agree with "I am so tired of the posturing and strutting, like peacocks prancing about trying to impress with their plumage. " ... but Billy men these days have much to learn from our great grandparents. I am of those who say: "back to basic". I feel sorry for my daughter and young girls, when I look around and there is hardly men in the complete definition. A man is a man, is a man...and we women want real men. By no means I am against your words. Blessings!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lastheart, thank you for your comment and opinion. I appreciate the visit very much.

      Blessings to you and your husband,

      bill

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Let there be no doubt, not only are you a man, but a great human being. Sexual orientation, which is no one's business, has nothing to do with who you are.

      I know this is off the wall, but this hub brought to mind the old Irish Spring soap commercials: "Manly, yes. But I like it, too!" Just sayin'.....

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, maybe off the wall, but certainly applicable. Thank you my dear friend!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Oh dear, I'm very late to this party! So sorry. My father was a gentle and loving man...oh, he was strong but never made a thing out of it, just went his way, helping people, making us laugh and playing piano. To this day (except for my husband of course) I have never met another man who could steal my heart the way he did....yes, I like John Wayne, but I also liked Marilyn Monroe...'nough said about those two!

      As always Bill you've made your points hit home.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Shared as well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I have always gravitated towards men like your father.....strong, silent, dependable, humble, and funny. They had no need to flash their manhood; everyone could see it. Hey, I liked Marilyn Monroe too! LOL

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I will say that a good portion of what you wrote is what a generation of men today are dying to hear. I have a friend of mine who has raised an amazing family and is one of the manliest men I know. He cries, he hugs his friends, he is a shoulder to cry on, and he also pours his life and heart out into the Boy Scouts and youth at a local church. His family has people staying with them all the time from foreign exchange students, to just the random person who needs a friend. They always seem to have a room or two open to anyone who wants to stay for a time and find true love and acceptance. I say all that to say that my friend had an abusive father growing up and didn't have the ideal upbringing in so many ways to make him the man he is today. He looked to faith in Jesus and the love that he saw there has helped him to be a manly man in my eyes. Most of what you said, he embodies effectively. Thank you for another great read and one that makes me think about what kind of influence I have over other men in my life? Well I certainly hope it's a good one.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kasman, I would guess this is a question that pertains to quite a few men in today's world. It is no easy thing to buck the system and not portray the stereotype of a manly man....but I think it is very necessary to find out who we really are as a human being. Thank you for a great reflection.

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      Rosalinem 4 years ago

      My sister calls him the Man,Man. A man who is not afraid to be who he is, he is comfortable in his own skin. He is not defined by his career or what he has. He knows that he is a man irrespective of anyone's opinion. You have brought that man to life, very well put Billy.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosalinem, thank you! I think it is an important message for men everywhere.

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