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?




Why I am Embarrassed to be in University

I often find myself embarrassed to still be in school, even if it is university and so many people consider it a great thing that I am in it and “getting ahead” or whatever the new phrase is.

This is because in school I can still avoid responsibility.  This is weird to be saying because in a way I am doing the very thing I am embarrassed by but still.  School teaches me and gives me the opportunities to avoid actually taking responsibility of my own life and my own education.  I can always say I am tired or that I have a lot of work to do in school when I don’t really have that much.  I can always avoid taking responsibility for this stupidly expensive education, yet I don’t and as students, we generally don’t.  There is a certain maturity that has to be met in order to take that sort of responsibility and by going straight into university after high school, like I have done, you never gain that maturity, you just keep pushing your responsibility off for another four years.

I spend my days in classes thinking about other things, for example, this blog.  Instead of focusing on classes I’m off daydreaming about what I am going to write for a blog post, or what I want to do research on but then never do it because I am “too busy” either procrastinating/stalling on doing homework I actually have to do.  At the same time though, I am genuinely not interested in my classes, I am not necessarily choosing them because I have an interest in them, but because I have to in order to get a degree.  This is where I end up my own bind.

I am saying I am embarrassed to be in school because it allows me to avoid responsibility in classes in a way and then I say I am not taking responsibility because the classes do not fully interest me.  I am not even sure what adjective describes this situation, but it certainly is not coherent in my understanding and it does feel like I am still attempting to take a sort of back-door out of responsibility for my own actions by saying this.  But at the same time, if I was genuinely interested or allowed to do the things I want to take responsibility for i.e. do my own research and writing, wouldn’t I do a better job and be a better student?  Wouldn’t this hold true for every student who actually cared for their education?  Could there be a solution to student disfavor (? I am not sure of the right adjective to use) of classes in the solution to this question?

If instead of education being an assumed thing and top-down in what has to be learned, wouldn’t people be better students if they had to go out and get it themselves, do their own research and get interested in their own projects?  I understand there is a basic level of information that countries feel a child should know at some point, but after that certain level of basic knowledge, it seems to me that any other “general education” becomes entirely useless because the students would not be interested in it at all.

One might reply, but this can lead to too much specialization and not coming up against people with differing opinions, be it in classes or in texts.  My response has three parts: yes, no and so what? Yes: definitely, I would only start reading the bits and pieces of information I find interesting and useful to my own set of knowledge (I do this anyway…..).  Yet, this will make me learn a lot more in a way.  For example: an individual continues to research their little section of knowledge (I cannot come up with a single subject that is highly removed from other topics except for pure mathematics), by nature of being part of the earth they are probably going to end up having to spread out into other areas in order to better grasp the concepts that they are more focused on, therefore they will spread out in their specialization, even in pure mathematics I am sure that one will have to reach outside of their own little set of ideas for something. If someone is doing or learning about a topic they are bound to get conflicting reports of some sort or in some way, (i.e. scholarly journals, magazines, communication).  No matter how hard one tries to hermetically seal themselves into a certain group I am sure that once they step out into the real world they will run into competing opinions only relatively recently has technology gotten to such a level as to be able to completely encase oneself in a certain viewpoint without ever hearing opposition.  At the absolute least, there are going to be groups of people interested in the same type of things and they will disagree I am sure. So maybe one’s own curiosity is the only way to actually get a good education after a certain level and universities are not the places that promote that.

I am still embarrassed to be in school, and even more so now in a way because I recognize that I want to take responsibility for my education, but I do not know how while I am in school besides educating myself outside of school.  Yet I do have work I have to accomplish while in school (not saying I am “too busy” but homework does exist no matter what, taking time away from my own studying), since it is so expensive I really do not want to do too terribly and I certainly don’t want to come out with all of this debt and no credit for this time I have spent in university since it is apparently the only way to get a job (maybe) after I graduate currently.

This embarrassment may not apply to all other university students but it does to me and I certainly hope I am not alone in this respect, this is embarrassing enough and heavy enough of a burden with hopes that someone else understands it, let-alone if I found out I was the only one.

Well, that ended on a sad note.  Off to continue in the loop though of not taking responsibility by doing other work in a way….This entire thought is also strange too in seeing it from outside like this….