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Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?

The Lost Art of Masculinity.

Father and son surf lesson in Morro Bay, CA 12 of 12

In the heart of the divorce boom (starting in the ‘60s, peaking in the ‘70s) a generation of women ended up parenting (mostly) solo, and a generation of boys ended up being raised (mostly) without a positive father figure, if they had one at all.

Maybe it was partially a reaction to “women’s lib” that led men to feel less-than-needed. And maybe it was the grey flannel rebellion, personified by the whining tone of the dissatisfaction of the Playboy Men of the ‘50s, that led women to feel fed up enough to stand up and say, “To hell with this!”

How far back this winding battle for self-actualization as war-of-the-sexes goes is a question that can’t be answered. But irrefutably, while entirely necessary, the attempt towards a leveling of the playing field has resulted in some serious casualties.

In the absence of a paternal figure, an inadvertent, angry, faux matriarchy emerged; one that was bound by the confines of the walls of the home, because outside of the home all the old rules still applied.

But in the home, woman ruled. Boys (and girls) grew up with women, angry women, women who were (righteously) angry at men, as the alpha and omega of their young lives. The mother became the sole ruler of the world that is childhood.

A generation of men really did fuck up. They left, fucked around, used women and dumped them. Fathers bailed, leaving an abscess as often as an absence.

And the absence of men, of good men, of real men, of responsible men, left a nasty taste not only in the mouths of overwhelmed mothers, but of boys raised in a world of righteously angry women.

This group of boys would grow into men. Men who still had a bad taste in their mouths. A bad taste about men. Which is hard to live with; especially if you’re a man.

For these reasons and more, a generation (or three) of sensitive and careful men have had to struggle to reclaim their man-parts. And the women of that same generation have had to cultivate the ability to trust men who, themselves, don’t trust men.

The struggle goes on.

As women have defined and redefined feminism, femininity, the feminine, men have seemingly struggled to keep their heads above water in the shifting tides of what it means to find equality. We’ve all had to learn that equal does not mean the same, that sharing responsibility and control means both men and women can be strong and vulnerable, and that there are things – some perhaps genetic, but most almost certainly social conditioning – that women want, and things that men need to step up to.

Vive la differance!

These desired things have come as a surprise to a generation of women who were raised with slogans like, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” batted around. But under the stratum of fear and distrust lies a substrata of desire.

A desire to be desired. A desire to be seduced. A desire to be taken care of.  A desire to be matched and met. And, most surprisingly, a desire to be stood up to, while being stood up with and stood up for.

The Lost Art of Strength

Women want strong men. I’m not talking about a man who can bench press their own weight, I’m talking about men who are not afraid to say yes, and not afraid to say no. I’m talking about men who aren’t afraid to take control of the wheel when the boat is drifting off course.

Strength comes in many forms. And the kind of strength a woman is looking for in a man is rarely, if ever, showy or flashy. That sort of display is more often insecurity masquerading as strength. Yet, most women aren’t looking for the “strong, silent type,” either.

There’s a ground between aloof and overbearing. That’s where most women want to see a man standing. Better yet, it’s where she wants to see a man walking toward her from.

Women are tired of men who are scared to be men. They’re tired of playing mommy.

When a woman says, “You decide!”, she’s most likely not trying to trick a guy. She’s requesting that he make the decision at hand. Too often men of generations X and Y (and some late boomers) would rather say, “No honey, it’s okay. You decide.” In many cases this dynamic leads to the woman feeling like she needs to take responsibility for everything, and the man feeling disempowered. So if you’re a man, next time a woman says, “No, really, you decide!” just do it.

Once a guy gets the hang of that, he may even graduate to the level of being able to take the reins without first receiving permission.

That’s the lost art of strength.

The Lost Art of Chivalry

There was a time not long ago that a man opening a door for a woman may have been met with scorn. For most of us, those days are over.

News flash; it’s safe to offer to pay the check. Offer to take her coat for her. Offer to walk her to her car – not to cash in on a kiss, but just to make sure she’s safe. The kiss may just come naturally as an expression of gratitude.

Furthermore, a man shouldn’t feel afraid to protect a woman’s honor. There’s nothing as sexy as a man speaking up to defend a girl’s reputation.

Whether it’s a stranger, a catty bitch at a party, guy friends, or The Mom who’s speaking ill of the object of a man’s desire, he should decide carefully whose side to take. You can bet that the object of admiration will notice when the chivalrous man admiringly corrects someone’s misconceptions about her personality, attributes, or intents. Not only will she notice it, she’ll remember it fondly.

This attitude should not be abandoned once a man is safely ensconced in a relationship. These proper niceties will go a long way in making a woman feel safe, taken care of, adored. And all of these things are likely to lead to a sense of more stability and more freedom of expression and actualization in any relationship.

The gallantry of a fully expressed man is without compare, and that fully expressed masculinity becomes attractive rather than threatening when a woman knows that her man would not only lay his coat over a puddle for her, or raise his voice to defend her, but that he’d put his body in front of hers to protect her.

The Lost Art of Romance

There is no study that can prove whether men or women are more romantic, but I know very few women who feel that their man is too romantic. Besides, for most of us, there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing!

A woman is likely to do a million little things a day to take care of her man. They may be things he doesn’t even notice. She’ll offer subtle romantic gestures like reaching out for his hand when walking side by side. Touching his neck while he drives. Stroking his arm gently while engaged in conversation.

It’s just plain courtesy for a man to offer his lover the same. When he pays attention to her, she notices. If he strokes her, she’s likely to purr.

But it’s the larger gestures that make most women melt; a candle-lit bath drawn for her without request. A massage without the expectation of return. A gift offered for no particular reason. A public display of affection. A surprise romantic celebration of a day that’s special to her.

Needless to say, some of these may be scary to try to pull off. But everyone, male and female alike, wants to be treated like the most important thing on earth every once in a while.

We all want to be someone’s everything. More over, we all want the one who is everything to us to show us that we are everything to them.

Reclaiming Masculinity

There’s more and more being written about the divine masculine and the divine feminine. There’s been plenty written about the wounded woman. There’s little to nothing being written about the wounded man.

It’s time for men to claim their wounds, and in claiming them, start healing themselves into wholeness.  I’m not your mama, but as a friend let me entreat you to take this advice seriously.

Many women are realizing that they want to be with men who are proud to be men. So guys, stand up, hold your head high, own those man-parts, and walk forward into the equal-but-different future of a world beyond the sex and gender wars.

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 7:59 AM
Replies (31-40):
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree with that! I like a man who knows his own mind...just like I like women who knows hers. But if women's actions are having that strong of an effect on a man is he really strong himself at all? In which case I would think they would react with communication and evaluation of their own views rather than finger pointing at some bitter ex who shit talks him. It's the leap from personal experience to "this is how men need to be and this is how women need to be to make sure the men can do it. "

Quoting Themis_Defleo:

 I like assertive men who are not domineering.  I think that's a difficult balance to find.

Quoting stacymomof2:

I guess I just disagree that so many men are struggling with this. It could be your husband just prefers to have your input or just has different priorities and so is happy to let you make the call on things. But as a rule the men I know and work with have no trouble asserting themselves as a decision maker, as a matter of fact many times they overstep.

And if the men actually are struggling with this how is it women's fault?

I disagree that it's either/or.




Quoting Themis_Defleo:

You and I are either coming from very different places or reading a different article entirely!

I'm not seeing any suggestion that a woman curb her ideas - rather, I'm seeing the author suggest that men are afraid to make the decisions - that they are afraid that no matter what, their answer will be wrong.  I get where the author is from.  My husband won't even tell me what he wants for dinner.  He won't choose a restaurant, a movie, or a necktie.  His father was a cad who cheated on his mom repeatedly and he watched that play out.  Did that play a role in who he is?  I'm really not sure.

I'll agree that the "purring" thing is kind of stupid, but when I talk to women who are considering divorce, one of the recurrent themes is that she doesn't feel cared for.  She doesn't feel that she is "getting" on the same level that she is "giving."  (Of course, the men feel the same way....)

I think that most men *do* like it when a woman tells him what she wants.  I know I'm not alone in wishing that my man would tell me what he wants, too.

Quoting stacymomof2:

I tbink this article is putting the onus on women to curb their ideals so a man can "be a man." Why is women taking a stand seeen as detrimental to men? It isn't a zero sum game.


I balked at the characterizations of both men and women in this article. A woman " purrs" and just wants het man to draw her a bath? A man is confused if a woman makes the call on something? I'm not going for it.


Most men are perfectly capable of not losing their mind if a woman stands up for herself.






Quoting Themis_Defleo:

I had a different take on it.  I believe the author of the piece to be saying that men are being negatively affected by women who hate men - who spew about their "sperm donors" and jump from relationship to relationship with assholes who become more fuel for the angry woman's fire.  I don't view that as strength.  That's not to say that there aren't a hell of a lot of strong single moms who are able to put their anger aside and be good role models for their sons.  Single =/= strong.


Quoting stacymomof2:

I disagree with this. I skimmed to be fair but doesn't this say men are being negatively affected by strong women? That's bs




lga1965
by Ruby Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Yup !

Quoting GLWerth:

Masculinity is different things to different people.


My DH doesn't like sports. He's not interested in feeling "macho", but it doesn't make him less masculine.


And yet, I've seen other dads who freak out if their boys aren't good at or interested in sports, as if that is the sole indicator of being a 'man'.


Just one aspect, but it gives the idea.




Quoting lga1965:

I agree .
I'm not getting thus woman's blog. It's simplistic and not accurate. She doesn't seem to understand the concept of masculinity and blames women for men not behaving the way she thinks masculine men should behave.



Quoting stacymomof2:

I guess I just disagree that so many men are struggling with this. It could be your husband just prefers to have your input or just has different priorities and so is happy to let you make the call on things. But as a rule the men I know and work with have no trouble asserting themselves as a decision maker, as a matter of fact many times they overstep.

And if the men actually are struggling with this how is it women's fault?

I disagree that it's either/or.





Quoting Themis_Defleo:


You and I are either coming from very different places or reading a different article entirely!


I'm not seeing any suggestion that a woman curb her ideas - rather, I'm seeing the author suggest that men are afraid to make the decisions - that they are afraid that no matter what, their answer will be wrong.  I get where the author is from.  My husband won't even tell me what he wants for dinner.  He won't choose a restaurant, a movie, or a necktie.  His father was a cad who cheated on his mom repeatedly and he watched that play out.  Did that play a role in who he is?  I'm really not sure.


I'll agree that the "purring" thing is kind of stupid, but when I talk to women who are considering divorce, one of the recurrent themes is that she doesn't feel cared for.  She doesn't feel that she is "getting" on the same level that she is "giving."  (Of course, the men feel the same way....)


I think that most men *do* like it when a woman tells him what she wants.  I know I'm not alone in wishing that my man would tell me what he wants, too.


Quoting stacymomof2:

I tbink this article is putting the onus on women to curb their ideals so a man can "be a man." Why is women taking a stand seeen as detrimental to men? It isn't a zero sum game.


I balked at the characterizations of both men and women in this article. A woman " purrs" and just wants het man to draw her a bath? A man is confused if a woman makes the call on something? I'm not going for it.


Most men are perfectly capable of not losing their mind if a woman stands up for herself.







Quoting Themis_Defleo:


I had a different take on it.  I believe the author of the piece to be saying that men are being negatively affected by women who hate men - who spew about their "sperm donors" and jump from relationship to relationship with assholes who become more fuel for the angry woman's fire.  I don't view that as strength.  That's not to say that there aren't a hell of a lot of strong single moms who are able to put their anger aside and be good role models for their sons.  Single =/= strong.


 


Quoting stacymomof2:

I disagree with this. I skimmed to be fair but doesn't this say men are being negatively affected by strong women? That's bs







 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Themis_Defleo
by Bronze Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM
2 moms liked this

The way I read the article, the author is blaming the issues on mothers, and not on the wives/partners. If mom grows up shit-talking Dad, that's got to have some effect on junior.  I don't know exactly what effect that is, but there are some consequences.

I don't see the "this is how women need to act" in this article - rather, I see an author offering a possible explanation for why this generation of men may act differently than grandpa's generation.  It's interesting that we can get such different messages from the same written piece.

Quoting stacymomof2:

I agree with that! I like a man who knows his own mind...just like I like women who knows hers. But if women's actions are having that strong of an effect on a man is he really strong himself at all? In which case I would think they would react with communication and evaluation of their own views rather than finger pointing at some bitter ex who shit talks him. It's the leap from personal experience to "this is how men need to be and this is how women need to be to make sure the men can do it. "

Quoting Themis_Defleo:

 I like assertive men who are not domineering.  I think that's a difficult balance to find.

Quoting stacymomof2:

I guess I just disagree that so many men are struggling with this. It could be your husband just prefers to have your input or just has different priorities and so is happy to let you make the call on things. But as a rule the men I know and work with have no trouble asserting themselves as a decision maker, as a matter of fact many times they overstep.

And if the men actually are struggling with this how is it women's fault?

I disagree that it's either/or.




Quoting Themis_Defleo:

You and I are either coming from very different places or reading a different article entirely!

I'm not seeing any suggestion that a woman curb her ideas - rather, I'm seeing the author suggest that men are afraid to make the decisions - that they are afraid that no matter what, their answer will be wrong.  I get where the author is from.  My husband won't even tell me what he wants for dinner.  He won't choose a restaurant, a movie, or a necktie.  His father was a cad who cheated on his mom repeatedly and he watched that play out.  Did that play a role in who he is?  I'm really not sure.

I'll agree that the "purring" thing is kind of stupid, but when I talk to women who are considering divorce, one of the recurrent themes is that she doesn't feel cared for.  She doesn't feel that she is "getting" on the same level that she is "giving."  (Of course, the men feel the same way....)

I think that most men *do* like it when a woman tells him what she wants.  I know I'm not alone in wishing that my man would tell me what he wants, too.

Quoting stacymomof2:

I tbink this article is putting the onus on women to curb their ideals so a man can "be a man." Why is women taking a stand seeen as detrimental to men? It isn't a zero sum game.


I balked at the characterizations of both men and women in this article. A woman " purrs" and just wants het man to draw her a bath? A man is confused if a woman makes the call on something? I'm not going for it.


Most men are perfectly capable of not losing their mind if a woman stands up for herself.






Quoting Themis_Defleo:

I had a different take on it.  I believe the author of the piece to be saying that men are being negatively affected by women who hate men - who spew about their "sperm donors" and jump from relationship to relationship with assholes who become more fuel for the angry woman's fire.  I don't view that as strength.  That's not to say that there aren't a hell of a lot of strong single moms who are able to put their anger aside and be good role models for their sons.  Single =/= strong.


Quoting stacymomof2:

I disagree with this. I skimmed to be fair but doesn't this say men are being negatively affected by strong women? That's bs





furbabymum
by Gold Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:09 AM
1 mom liked this

Obviously I'm not discounting step-fathers. Adoptive parents. Surrogate fathers, etc. You do see how the kids need that figure though. You can't say a father isn't important if the children without them try to seek father figures out. So, idealy, women will pick better men. I think that's the biggest thing. I'll get a million women talking about how he changed. I'm sure that happens. I'm also sure women are convinced they can change men even after a man has shown them who he truly is. Some women may even try to keep him by having a baby. I turned down sex with a lot of guys. I still do actually. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I deserved and I got it. I got a father to my kids and I'm not throwing him away. People aren't willing to work on things anymore. Leaving is so much easier in their minds. Successful lives take work. A lot of work. I get discouraged with all the things I read in here and all the families I see break apart anymore. People are so selfish they think of nothing but the moment and nothing but their needs. Kids suffer from it.

Really I think feminism is awesome. We have ALL the power. We have the vagina. Men want it. That's power there. There should be no dead beat dads. There should be no abusive fathers. Now, women have the choice. We can support ourselves without men. With that choice comes responsibility. Not having sex with dumb fucks is part of that imo. Not having sex the first time you meet someone. Hell, not even after the 3rd date which seems to be some arbitrary rule society has created. Don't have sex until you know who you are having sex with.  I say that as someone who really loves sex. I just take responsibility for it. At the very least protection should be and can be used a lot more successfully than CM shows.

I'm putting the responsibility on women which I know a lot of people hate. Still, single mothers is what you are talking about. Single MOTHERS. The responsibility is already all ours, the form it takes is our choice.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 I think just having supportive parents is necessary.  Single parents raise great kids when they get enough support.  I think the idea that the parents and ONLY the parents should have a hand in raising a child is detrimental, because it leaves single parents without enough support. 

Quoting furbabymum:

 There are enough womeon on this site who claim a father isn't necessary to their children for me to believe it. There is a reason children seek out parental figures they may be lacking at home. A father is not something you should be able to decline to have in your kids lives. A father should be necessary. I know my DH is.

 

 

AtiFreeFalls
by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM

 I agree.  With power comes responsibility.  I disagree with the statement "We have the vagina and men want it"... we all want sex lol.  Its not about who has what genitals, but in general, your statements ring true for me. 

My point was that the old saying "It takes a village to raise a child" is more true than most Americans like to think.  Most of us want to believe it takes a good mother and a good father.  That's what my family has.  An involved mom and an involved dad.  But that's ALL we have, and its really hard.  Its really hard to nurture your marriage and stay afloat when you have NO ONE to help support you and your parenting efforts.  After this experience I am convinced that it takes more than a mom and a dad.  And if all a kid has is a mom OR a dad THAT is when problems arise, and I think the attitude of mothers OR fathers being absolutely necessary puts too much pressure on parents.  It takes more than two parents to properly raise a kid and stay properly sane lol.

Quoting furbabymum:

Obviously I'm not discounting step-fathers. Adoptive parents. Surrogate fathers, etc. You do see how the kids need that figure though. You can't say a father isn't important if the children without them try to seek father figures out. So, idealy, women will pick better men. I think that's the biggest thing. I'll get a million women talking about how he changed. I'm sure that happens. I'm also sure women are convinced they can change men even after a man has shown them who he truly is. Some women may even try to keep him by having a baby. I turned down sex with a lot of guys. I still do actually. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I deserved and I got it. I got a father to my kids and I'm not throwing him away. People aren't willing to work on things anymore. Leaving is so much easier in their minds. Successful lives take work. A lot of work. I get discouraged with all the things I read in here and all the families I see break apart anymore. People are so selfish they think of nothing but the moment and nothing but their needs. Kids suffer from it.

Really I think feminism is awesome. We have ALL the power. We have the vagina. Men want it. That's power there. There should be no dead beat dads. There should be no abusive fathers. Now, women have the choice. We can support ourselves without men. With that choice comes responsibility. Not having sex with dumb fucks is part of that imo. Not having sex the first time you meet someone. Hell, not even after the 3rd date which seems to be some arbitrary rule society has created. Don't have sex until you know who you are having sex with.  I say that as someone who really loves sex. I just take responsibility for it. At the very least protection should be and can be used a lot more successfully than CM shows.

I'm putting the responsibility on women which I know a lot of people hate. Still, single mothers is what you are talking about. Single MOTHERS. The responsibility is already all ours, the form it takes is our choice.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 I think just having supportive parents is necessary.  Single parents raise great kids when they get enough support.  I think the idea that the parents and ONLY the parents should have a hand in raising a child is detrimental, because it leaves single parents without enough support. 

Quoting furbabymum:

 There are enough womeon on this site who claim a father isn't necessary to their children for me to believe it. There is a reason children seek out parental figures they may be lacking at home. A father is not something you should be able to decline to have in your kids lives. A father should be necessary. I know my DH is.

 

 

 

onethentwins
by Bronze Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I'll admit that I only skimmed the article.  If being masculin means being a bully, or thinking I can't open the door for myself, or that I can't do my job as well as him, or that house work and cooking is woman's work, or that parenting is "baby sitting". Good riddance to that kind of macsulinity. 

My kind of man respects women as his equal.  That to me is manning up. 

survivorinohio
by René on Oct. 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM
2 moms liked this

I think there is a lot of truth in what I got out of the article.  I have long said that in gaining rights for herself the male ego has suffered.  I agree that fatherless households feeds anger.

its a mess we have IMO.

Mommabearbergh
by Gold Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I love the article. He has a point. Most people aren't going to like the point made but he does have a point. I guess I am old school in my thinking on certain things and that is just how I AM but he is right. I expect my daughters husbands to treat them with respect but also be chivalrious and know how to make decisions when ti comes to their family.

lizzielouaf
by Gold Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 1:12 PM
1 mom liked this


I could say a whole lot but you for the most part already know my views on men and marriage lol. I used to try to "do it all" until one day I flipped my shit and stopped. I don't know why my husband expected everything being done because my MIL, a single mom, definitely didn't/doesn't. 

Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

I often wonder Liz, especially when I'm reading threads in L&M, if part of the reason that so many women have husbands that expect them to "do it all", as in take care of the home, kids, and bring in income, is because they grew up with single Mom's who had no choice but to "do it all", kwim? It's how they grew up, it's what they know. Their Mom was able to do it all, they expect their wives to do the same. 

Quoting lizzielouaf:

I think this is one of those pendulum swing kind of things. For centuries a woman's role has been often seen as less than and women started taking on less "traditional" roles and men are having to adjust their traditional thinking.
Growing up my father was a strong presence and none of us kids wanted to get the "wait till your father gets home" speech. However, when it came to my parent's marriage, my dad's motto was "happy wife, happy life".


Quoting Themis_Defleo:

I had a different take on it.  I believe the author of the piece to be saying that men are being negatively affected by women who hate men - who spew about their "sperm donors" and jump from relationship to relationship with assholes who become more fuel for the angry woman's fire.  I don't view that as strength.  That's not to say that there aren't a hell of a lot of strong single moms who are able to put their anger aside and be good role models for their sons.  Single =/= strong.


Quoting stacymomof2:

I disagree with this. I skimmed to be fair but doesn't this say men are being negatively affected by strong women? That's bs






survivorinohio
by René on Oct. 28, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Thats something I have often thought.  And it didnt have to be a single parent home just a home in which the mother had the reins because of fathers disability or other dysfunction.

Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

I often wonder Liz, especially when I'm reading threads in L&M, if part of the reason that so many women have husbands that expect them to "do it all", as in take care of the home, kids, and bring in income, is because they grew up with single Mom's who had no choice but to "do it all", kwim? It's how they grew up, it's what they know. Their Mom was able to do it all, they expect their wives to do the same. 

Quoting lizzielouaf:

I think this is one of those pendulum swing kind of things. For centuries a woman's role has been often seen as less than and women started taking on less "traditional" roles and men are having to adjust their traditional thinking.
Growing up my father was a strong presence and none of us kids wanted to get the "wait till your father gets home" speech. However, when it came to my parent's marriage, my dad's motto was "happy wife, happy life".


Quoting Themis_Defleo:

I had a different take on it.  I believe the author of the piece to be saying that men are being negatively affected by women who hate men - who spew about their "sperm donors" and jump from relationship to relationship with assholes who become more fuel for the angry woman's fire.  I don't view that as strength.  That's not to say that there aren't a hell of a lot of strong single moms who are able to put their anger aside and be good role models for their sons.  Single =/= strong.


Quoting stacymomof2:

I disagree with this. I skimmed to be fair but doesn't this say men are being negatively affected by strong women? That's bs





How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


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