Trying to Be Masculine

Currently, our society does not help raise men, it raises boys and lets the rest happen to chance.

This is because, I think, as old paradigms of masculinity were taken apart to make room for female empowerment, nothing was put back together to take their place.  Essentially, a vacuum of masculinity was left.  Yet, there has not been nearly as much effort put into filling that gap in society as has been simply letting boys remain boys.  There was no level of expectation to meet anymore and we, as a society, need to bring that back for males.

One way to do that, which appeals to me, is to bring back the concept of honor.  What if we could actually be ashamed of ourselves for our actions instead of simply being able to brush it off as “natural” or “I couldn’t control myself”? How would that change things if one could be shamed for failing at getting to a certain level of character?

“Стыд и позор” was a phrase used by my Russian teacher at times if we did poorly in class (not in making mistakes but in not trying to be better); it means “shame and disgrace.” At the time, honestly, those words meant nothing to me.  Not because they were in Russian but, because I never had learned what pride and grace were.  It meant that I could not understand the opposites of shame and disgrace either.

Why in the world would we want to bring something so archaic like honor back though?  Well, for one, rebuilding a masculine ideal to be achieved would greatly help self-esteem of boys and men; having an ideal which can be aimed at, some sort of goal, especially an ideal which knows how/when to ask for help.  Think of how many male suicides that may help to prevent.

Next, having a sense of honor for males that requires proper participation in society, has high expectations for how to act and has certain expectations that are beneficial to society (performing acts of service, for example) could potentially help to improve our community life.

Finally, one of the most interesting things that I have noticed is that some of the most empowered and strong women I have met find some of the most traditional male traits attractive: assertiveness being the one I note mostly (due to my lack thereof).  But also, a certain level of fitness, confidence, goal orientation etc.  They do not seem to find any problem with having their own goals and having a slightly more typical “masculine” partner, why do we not try to raise men of that sort?  Those that also support equality but also can be confident in themselves too?