The plight of today’s man is difficult. A soft spoken sentence, a general show of courtesy, a general waft of panache is something that threatens the known conventions of masculinity. In a world which is so shallow, that hollow displays of opaque sentiments is all that matters, men forget to be themselves, because they want to remain men. If you like watching romantic movies, you are feminine. If you like listening to Mariah Carey, you are feminine. If you like the color pink, oh god, you are feminine. If you watch the Indian TV soap operas, you are feminine. If you like listening to one direction, Justin Bieber, then you are feminine….
The list goes on. Men fail to accept some of their choices and preferences because they are scared of the label that they would get afterwards, that they aren’t masculine enough. It is irritating and sickening. The iron clad conditions of man-hood is so over-rated, people tend to loose themselves in the world of showy muscle flexes and false displays of rashness and brute. I believe that if some of the above conditions are signals of feminism, why not try to embrace a bit of that. And, why is even feminism a bad thing to embrace? I believe that a perfect mix of trademark masculinity and trademark feminism makes a man genuine and perfect.
The example that I would take today will be of Nick Offerman portrayed TV series character Ron Swanson. Ron Swanson is a man if there ever was one. His family makes a brand of alcohol that is so sure, it can melt the varnishes of walls. He can actually drink that alcohol in a single gulp from a humongous bottle. Ron Swanson is a libertarian who does not believe in the institution of the government. He believes that a man should contribute to his nation with his bare hands. His hobbies are wood working and machinery in general. Now that is manliness in its nudity, in its stark bareness. However Ron Swanson does not indulge in the hypocritical standards if manliness that are noted above.
He respects strong women and is even scared of them to a certain extent. He believes that courtesy is becoming of a true man and any person who refrains from the proper standards of courtesy is not only diverging from the principles of man-hood but also committing a travesty in the face of basic human manners. He chuckles when he is happy and is a smooth talking jazz pianist. That shows that the man is well in touch with his feminine side. If a man is truly comfortable with his man-hood, he shouldn’t hide behind charades to prove his masculinity. That creates hypocrisy in the society which is detrimental to its institution. If people forget who they generally are, they are defeating the purpose of a divergent diverse society.
Another example which come to mind is of Mathew Perry’s FRIENDS character, Chandler. He is goofy and is he is known to give away a gay vibe. He often describes himself as a very non-manly guy, infact he once misspoke to Rachel that if he were a guy, he would have done something. Then he backpedalled on the fact that he said ‘if he were a guy’. However inspite of all these lankiness and traits, Chandler is an enormously masculine guy. He loves his wife to death, he is guy-enough to make self-deprecating jokes, he is never afraid to speak his mind and that empowers him to his unbounded humor and he is a genuinely loyal guy to his friends and peers. He eventually quits his job and chooses to go with advertising because he feels that it is his correct calling. Chandler has guts or in a very unparliamentarily description, Chandler has ‘balls’. By virtue of that alone, he can be described as a pretty manly guy.
So, is it always necessary to listen to grunge music, watch action movies, act tough even when you don’t feel like doing so just to show your man-hood. It isn’t. It is important to have a sensitive side that sometimes forces you to shed a tear in a sad movie, to shriek sometimes when you watch a scary movie, to listen to some nickelback or the wanted, to write poetry and to even wear colorful floral printed shirts.
What makes a man, a man, is his confidence and his humility. His sensitivity and this courteous virtues helps him to remain grounded and understand the values of things which might be intrinsic or ambiguous. It is ok if you want to kick back with a Nicholas Sparks novel or maybe reach out for a Mills and Boons, it just proves that you admire romantic literature. It is ok if you like the color pink, it just proves that the amalgamation of red and white interests you. What is important is the virtues which you follow. Not expressing yourself and holding back entirely is the least manly trait because you are afraid. Courage is the biggest masculine virtue. As long as you remain true to yourself, you my friend, are a pretty manly.