I want to be a good representation of a man. What does that mean? What does being a man mean in American society?
I reject the stereotypical “man”. I am not simple; don’t put that on me.
Being a man isn’t synonymous with machismo and arrogance, even though there are many men who display those things.
I have broken others’ hearts and I have had my heart broken. I am an emotional processor… I cry when something strikes me intensely emotionally, and I may cry if I see and know why you are crying. Taking a punch is easier than heartache. I’m not the “man” who raped you. I don’t deserve the way you’re looking at me… don’t put that on me.
I am intelligent and clever, but I forget things if they aren’t in my routine and if they haven’t been recorded into my memory properly. I am a product of nurture + nature.
In redefining what a “man” is or should consist of, I would select words/traits like these: selflessness, compassion, takes responsibility for himself and takes care of others, apologizes for wrong-doing and makes amends, knows how celebrate and how to mourn, forgiving, playful, and doesn’t take himself too seriously.
These traits aren’t reserved for “manly” only, but I do wish they were some of the first traits that came to mind when someone said “man”. Maybe this list is too tall an order to agree with for some… but, I refuse to accept “unfair, privileged, abusive, inconsiderate, ignorant, dumb, prone to give into any temptation, dangerous, oppressive, harmful, false, deceitful, power-grabbing, delinquent, dead-beat, lazy, unintelligent, and irresponsible” as quintessentially male attributes.