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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 (41-50):
by Ruby Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM
2 moms liked this
this over focus on the nuclear family is a problem in America. Before the second world war, multiple generations of the same family lived within shouting distance of each other, if not in the same house. Only after the war and the car and the money to move to the suburbs could the focus shift almost totally to the importance of the two parents to the exclusion of all of the other important family members like grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and older siblings.
Just speaking of the grandmother's, Grandmothers since the start of time have had huge roles in raising the next generation. They no longer have to expend their energy into their now adult offspring and can then ensure survival for her child's children. This invaluable assistance has been one hypothesis for the almost universal longevity of women compared to men.
.But anyway. By stating that people can only be whole and well reared within a nuclear family ignores and dismisses the people today rested well in other ways and negates that almost every family in western history lived differently than how it is portrayed today.
You can point out some frontier families but they were considered outliers in their time too, not the norm. That's why contemporary city folks wanted to hear their tales too. They couldn't imagine being in the middle of nowhere with no help and no family.
Sorry, just noting how recent norms have somehow received "this is how people are" status instead of recognizing "this is how people have been acting lately."
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with much of this article. 

My husband is very much the man described in the article and I love it!  He's masculine, romantic, thoughtful, and chivalrous.  Being these things does not make a man a chauvinistic asshole. 

by Thatwoman on Oct. 28, 2013 at 2:49 PM
1 mom liked this

I disagree.

by Gold Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 5:49 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree that this is what the article is about.

Plus I think a bit farther and all these men raised by women helps lose the masculinity for the future men. We women don't know how to teach a boy how to be a man. I'm not trying to say single moms don't raise good men but more often than not a boy needs a good, strong father figure in his life to learn how to be a good, strong man.

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

by Gold Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 5:51 PM
1 mom liked this
I finally found the same and I am so damn thankful. Not many men now and days are like that.

Quoting punky3175:

Well after many years of not really looking, I found a man who isn't afraid to be a man, a romantic and a fabulous partner. He's an early Gen Xer whose parents did a great job raising him.

As for the article - I agree with it. Men either don't know how to be men or don't want to be. My boyfriend opens doors for me, shows affection and all the stuff mentioned in the article but he doesn't try to 'dominate' me. He likes that I have a mind of my own and can speak for myself. That is a result of his confidence. So few men my age (37) seem to have that level of confidence and it's frustrating.
by Platinum Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 5:55 PM

A halfway attempt to tell men to man up.  I agree with it, but I think it gets to gushy at the end

by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM

I guess I am lucky. From an early age I had avoided men that were not 'manly' almost as a second nature. Or maybe it is that the areas I grew up in did not allow for this sort of disrepectful, non-gentlemanly behavior in the boys.  Either way, I have rarely come across the kind of fools that feel they are doing me some sort of favor by acting like immature little boys, instead of as men. 

Boys are not being affected by strong women. They are being affected by weak women that try and pretend they are strong by being ugly to their sons by making the boys suffer for the woman's poor choices in a father for said sons. The males I have met that best fit the role that this article speaks of are all the product of single mother households, where the mom loved to harp about being a 'strong, independant' woman, yet paraded a host of weak willed sissy men in to act as paychecks for a time, until the men got sick of the woman's bullying behavior and bailed. In which the sons were stuck picking up the pieces and once again being the target of their mother's hatred for men. 

It sucks, and it is sad, but I don't know of any way to change it.

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 7:01 PM

I think this is a good thought provoking article. I was raised by fighting parents. Not really in a negative sense. My parents both were very involved and didn't always agree and would talk or yell it out until they agreed on something.

Whereas my husband was raised by a overpowering mother and a non-confrontational father. So anytime I confront him he shuts down. It is so annoying. It's like pulling teeth to have an "uncomfortable" conversatin with him because all he knows to do is shut down and have me make the decision.

Not to mention the military totally F's with men these days. There are so many classes that basically tell them women always win i  court so don't do anything that may piss them off. I do feel like I am trying to give my man his balls back all the time. 

That is my 2 cents. 

by Ruby Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 7:29 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting Woodbabe:

Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?

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.

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.

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.

Personally, I don't find it sexy for a man to 'take the reins' without permission and decide that he's going to take charge of physically protecting me.

I don't want a body guard - I want someone who will work as a team, communicate, and act on a mutual plan that takes advantages of both our strengths.

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 8:07 PM

 so men treating women like more than toys, disposable things and someone to abuse makes them less masculine. Their mothers leaving loser fathers have effected them negatively. Right.

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