Some of you may know that I celebrated my 21st birthday recently. So I guess I’m legally an adult according to the law, which means that I should be mature enough to choose how much of my time I want to spend drunk. Apparently turning 21 is that life-changing, I guess, according to the government anyway. I think I’ll stay sober, thanks.
It got me thinking though. Does our society really have a grasp on what it means to be a man? If popular culture is to be believed, the measure of manhood is how much sex you can get, how many different people you get it with, how much pain you inflict on said persons, and how big your porn collection is. Oh, and throw some racism in for good measure.
It’s amazing how many of my close friends subscribe to this “ideal.” There are some things I can tolerate; nobody’s perfect. But the way society tells men to treat women is so bizarre, and frequently conflicting. We have on the one hand rap “music” with its utilitarian view (and that’s being generous) and sitcoms that glorify cheating, and on the other we have advertisements for diamond stores and … uhm, well, I just sat here for about five minutes trying to come up with another counterexample and couldn’t think of anything. Suffice it to say that society has some complex on this subject. But I think it’s fair to say that the dominant message is that women are devices for the amusement and pleasure of man, and if you don’t like the one you’ve got you can throw her away and get another.
This is absolutely sickening. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s the fact that my parents have been outstanding role models on this subject. Maybe I’m a dinosaur… at 21. But every time I hear this message (and it’s impossible to avoid today) I get enraged. To me a woman has always been someone you treat with respect and courtesy. You don’t make jokes about her behind her back to impress your buddies. You don’t order her around like your slave. You don’t tell her you’re working late so you can go do it with some whore at your workplace.
This message from society isn’t how to be a man, it’s how to be an animal. It’s degrading to women and to men. Where did honor go?
I’m not trying to rant (well, maybe a little). I just think that it’s time men reclaim manhood — real manhood, not this degenerated replacement we are spoonfed by culture.