Have you ever heard the phrase, “Where’s your man card?” Or, “Give me your man card?” If so, what is the first thing that comes to mind in regards to a man card? Do you picture the image that society has created about what a man should look like and the things that he should be capable of doing?
Regardless if you agree or disagree, society has created a profile of a stereotypical man. Note: These are just some examples and they may not all apply.
- 6′ or taller
- In shape, if not the size of a body builder even if it means using HGH or other illegal or dangerous substances
- Incredibly intelligent about “everything”
- Works on cars and can fix every type of issue
- Can repair any house issue, build additional rooms, and even build a house
- Consistently drives the nicest car/truck/SUV
- NEVER cries
- Consumes alcohol every day
- Hangs out at the local bar with his “boys”
- A womanizer
- A man’s man
- Are incredibly brave in the face of danger
- Has an occupation that demonstrates his dominance. No office job that gives him soft hands.
- Should never be questioned about being right or wrong because he’s a man
As a 38 year old male, it bothers me to see this type of shift in our society. Why should a man have to be perfect in order to be considered a man?
If these examples are what it takes to be a man, then I’m here to tell you that I’m not sure that being a stereotypical man or man’s man is worth it. Personally, I don’t value all of these things. So what does that say about me? Should I turn in my man card to the closest “You Just Got Revoked” Man Card station?
The fact is, I don’t care about this man card thing or what it takes to be a man’s man.
Honestly, you shouldn’t either. Why should you spend your entire life trying to be something that you’re not? That is, if this applies to you. If you are someone that can do all of these things, good for you. Personally, I’ll still respect you regardless of what you’re capable of doing. Sadly, not everyone feels this way and this is where these stereotypes are born.
In my world, being a man represents the following things:
- Loving my wife
- Loving my children
- Setting the example via my actions and not my gender related words
- Respecting my wife and other women by not being a womanizer. Women are people, not a conquest
- Being comfortable knowing that I can’t work on cars because it doesn’t interest me
- Being flexible with not being able to do a lot with my house despite being interested in that field of work
- Spending time with my wife and kids instead of the “boys”
- Being content with the fact that although I’m in shape, jeopardizing my long-term health to look perfect is not worth it
- Being comfortable knowing that my occupation doesn’t demonstrate my dominance but it certainly helps people that might not be able to help themselves. It doesn’t make me soft.
- Understanding that crying is an emotion that all human beings are born with regardless of their gender
- It’s acceptable not to consume alcohol or in moderation
- It’s perfectly normal to experience fear
- Height and weight have nothing to do with being a man
- Becoming wealthy takes time, patience and consistent action
I recognize that not everyone will share my beliefs. That’s what makes your life unique because you get to decide what you believe in. My only advice, don’t always listen to what society is telling you about being a man. This is your life, not theirs. Being a man should involve you being happy. So ask yourself this question:
“Am I a man’s man or am I a man that accommodates the life that I choose?”