Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ingredients of a "Real Man"

Most people feel like they are the only ones not in on the joke,
from what I read and hear. Most folks feel like their insides
just don't match up to other people's outsides.

But if everyone feels this way, shouldn't we all feel secure in
knowing that everyone is insecure? Would that it were that

I've been thinking lately how disconnected I feel from not just
life in general (at times,) but from other men in particular.
If you don't have a role model, there are some things you can't
learn from a book.

Now, there are all different kinds of people that you can be, and
I am working on being understanding--or at least accepting--of
all those types that differ from me. (Or from which I differ,
depending on your P.O.V., I guess!)

Right there is a stigma...the stereotype there is a singular type
of ideal of appropriate masculine behavior, and anyone that
deviates from it is 'less than.' Even in the age of Metrosexuality,
these old school notions of what makes a 'Real Man' hold fast.

I didn't have an appropriate acting father growing up; he was a
raging, inconsistent, cruel, crazy person. (I have learned that he,
too, was simply doing the best he knew how--scary as that seems--
since he had no guides, either. But that's a longtime journey to let
go of blame. I bring it up here only for a point of reference for my

I also didn't have many or any friends throughout childhood to
help learn social skills. That has remained the case throughout my
life, but I feel there's significance to those early lessons learned.

I have often thought that the perfect mentor or friend would be
a guy (my age or older) who could help crack the code....to expose
me to the secrets I have missed out on. Explain to me how you act
in certain situations, and so on. Now, I'm not talking about altering
personality or interests....simply learning basic life skills.

But as I plod along, I am slowly recognizing that maybe we're all just
sort of playing it by ear. Acting like we know what we're doing and
making it look really good. The problem is, I am not adept at faking it,
pretending, lying, manipulating, bluffing, or the rest. I have definitely
participated in all these things, but I'm no good at it. And I don't want
to be.

I have embarked on a mission to make Truth my goal and my essence.
Truth, whether pleasant for me or not. Truth also at the expense of
others' comfort levels (although tact is sometimes required for the
message to be better received.)

There have been attempts to bring men together, sure. Some more
formal attempts such as Promise Keepers or other religious focuses
have the same xenophobic zeal that the KKK or Republican Party
do, for my tastes. Any time you start assuming your own sovereignty
based on your affiliation or beliefs, it's a scary thing.

(Same is true of any organized format--lodge members, fraternity
brothers, etc); it all starts to degenerate into group think and peer
pressure. Individuality is lost in the fervent push to be 'same.'
Pretty much everything starts to become exclusionary and static as
a central focus becomes apparent.

Other common bonding tools for men (hunting, fishing, working out)
don't appeal to me since I have no interest in those matters to begin
with. I'm not mechanically inclined, don't have an interest in sports,
no longer drink and carouse, and don't know cars.

(I should point out that none of these things are strictly a result
of my sexuality. Plenty of gay guys are 'typical' dudes with all the
football parties, car talk, etc., while many heterosexual guys are
into arts and film, are intellectual, etc. People are a s diversified as
we can imagine.)

I had some luck with learning about men in self-help groups and
recovery groups, but it is very slow going, and spread out so that the
idea of progress seems doomed. If there were a more intensified or
regular occurrence of such things, maybe....

to be continued.....

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