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What Does It Mean to Be a Man?

Updated on January 20, 2010

What does it mean to be a man? And, how does a boy learn to be a man? Who tells him what it means to be a man? His father? Or, mother? Maybe, a grandparent or friend? Or does it just happen by osmosis? Here are some common imagines of what it means to be a man in America.

Marlboro Man

The Strong, Silent-Type

For many years,the epitome of the American man was the Marlboro Man; the strong, silent-type who seemingly has everything under control.

Rebel Without a Cause

Joe Cool

Passive, Aggressive Non-Conformist

Jimmy Dean, Fonzie  and Joe Cool are examples of an ideal image for the American man. They are passive, aggressive non-conformists who are idolized by others for being calm, cool and collected and living outside the status quo.

Super Stud

The Player

A third image of the ideal male figure is the player. Ripped body with six pack abs, this hunk knocks the ladies out with his fine look and smooth moves.

Jock

Superstar Athlete

The superstar athlete is another common vision of the ideal American male figure. Leading the home team to the winner's circle, he or she gives folks in towns both large and little reason to forget their everyday struggles.

Bread Winner

Master Provider

A more traditional image of the American man is as the breadwinner. He faithfully goes to work everyday and provides for himself and his family. He does not sit around and wait for handouts, but relies on his own hands to make his living.

Faithful Father

Father Knows Best

One of the two most important images of what it means to be a real man is that of a faithful father. The man who puts aside his own personal interests to pay attention to and promote the welfare of his children is both desirable and admirable.

Loving Husband

Honorable Husband

If married, the real man loves his wife sacrificially. He puts the interests of his spuse above his own and pays close attention to her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. He listens intently to her heart and heartaches without trying to fix her. He never does anything that will bring her disgrace or dishonor.

Spiritual Leader of the Family

The most appealing image of a man is as a spiritual leader. He seeks to lead his family to mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

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    • profile image

      Pablo's Boss 23 months ago

      Pablo get back to work or you will be earning cero dollars an hour.

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      Pablo 23 months ago

      So I can get seis tacos.

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      Harry boy 23 months ago

      Pablo why the heck did you send the same thing twice?

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      Pablo 23 months ago

      Miguel? Is that really you? I will help you with the yard work for tres tacos

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      Pablo 23 months ago

      Miguel? Is that really you? I will help you with the yard work for tres tacos

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      Miguel 23 months ago

      Harry.. When am I supposed to come and do your yard work..?

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      Mr. Smooth Girl 23 months ago

      Honey what is going on here. Who is Mr. Harry Boy?

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      harry boy jr 23 months ago

      Busted

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      Smooth Girl 23 months ago

      harry you have a wife?..

    • profile image

      Smooth Girl 23 months ago

      damnit harry .

    • profile image

      Mrs. Harry Boy 23 months ago

      Harry just stop it. Get off the couch and live your life

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      harry boy jr 23 months ago

      stop it daddy

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      Harry boy 23 months ago

      cute