I Dont Feel Like A "man"

In this strange new age we are all in, i find myself having reached the end of my teenager years legally and now verging into my twenties, that i have yet to become a man or feel "masculine"

I grew up in the 90s and in my country around that time there was something rising up called the Lad culture, it was basically like frat boys but different. Its centered around mainly middle class men who enjoyed heavy drinking, something called "banter" which was making crude remarks at one another, objectifying women and acting like tough burly men. Its main theme was centered around the "pub" or bar if your an American.

These ideas were always around no doubt but i remember it seemed to bloom suddenly during the 90s, when i was growing up that was the image i had presented to me, that was how my brother acted, hell even apparently how my father used to act and how i saw loads of other men acting. Repressiveness, violence and conforming to the pack.

While of course i'm generalizing i kind of have to as its what i remember most from my life and this is about me and my own issues with being a man.

As we moved into the 21st century, i saw something new erupt. It was the complete opposite, it was called the "feminizing" of men, taking on the androgynous look, becoming more effeminate, it was called emo and looked down upon yet it grew quickly popular.

I'd like to say that people fell somewhere in the middle generally but during my time, these are the most obvious types of male identity i have seen, sometimes they blend, both love drinking and "pulling women" for instance. but thats just a given of culture it seems.

Saying that i will begin with my own issues.

I was bullied heavily at school and was treated different, i felt different from other boys, i used to find other men attractive and still do, but i was never overtly gay, i'm not androgynous at all. I never felt like i was part of the male group, i was shy, introvert, i like reading and writing and sometimes i didn't really give a damn about women at all. Alot of the time i didn't care about having one night stands or trying to get as drunk as i could.

i was never part of that society and believe me the whole "pub culture" is carved into the culture over here for both men and women. So to not really enjoy pubs, that alone would severely hamper my masculine identity.

I have never had a strong father figure, my father is a weak man who never really taught me anything, other men i saw were also weak and i had no role models to base myself on and no male group i felt like i belonged to.

I wonder what is a man, what is masculinity and i wonder if i will ever feel it. Is being a man defined by the group or by the individual? It is an important question and issue as the male identity is under threat or has been under threat apparently.

i think its always been under "threat" but i dont view it like a threat, i dont think anyone has really ever known what makes a man. I think nearly all men feel oppressed, weather they admit it or not. While men may have repressed women throughout time, we are also victims of ourselves. Women for the most part i think have a clear identity

Men however i dont think have one, but perhaps that is just me. The focus is placed too much upon pleasure and women, competing with others in your job, liking sports and not showing emotion.

Honour, valour, chivalry, pride and honesty however i think are all more important aspects of what it is to be a man than those former ones i listed.At the same time as i say that though, it doesn't make me feel like a man.

So i will remain outside of the group, forever looking for my identity,
lmpulsive lmpulsive
22-25, M
3 Responses Jan 16, 2013

I know I'm a man in the sense that I am male (have XY chromosome), but as far as what society thinks of what a man is and how a man should behave, I never really felt like I stood up. I always felt more effeminate since I was (and still am) so swayed by my own emotions and liked to empathize with people. And I still strongly find girls attractive.

I just had very cliche ideas of what society thought a man and a woman should be, and those ideas vary with region and time. I've looked at dating advise sites and tips on how to attract women, and hear the term "real man" thrown around, and many of the qualities of a "real man" can be applied to the modern assertive woman or butch lesbian as well.

It's all a mess of terminology and perceived expectations. I prefer to associate myself as a person and human being before I associate myself as a man. I need to make myself a better human being first and foremost.

I hope that helps. My thoughts seemed to turn into rambling while I was typing this.

And really, I don't know in what sense you think women have a clear identity. Women are just as diverse as men as far as personality goes. Society is just more accepting about what women can get away with, at least Europe and North America (don't know about everywhere else).

I mean, women can dress like men and few think it odd--and some find it attractive. Women can be physically affectionate with each other in public and not be considered gay. Women don't have a clear identity, they are just more comfortable with whatever identity they choose because modern society has a more relaxed view of what a woman is. Unless that's what you meant. I'm just guessing about what you meant by "clear identity".

I think what you mean is voyeurism and conduct becoming of a "real" man is stereotype by these definition. But that was a long time ago, it is not what other people perceive nowadays in 21st century. One can feel effeminate yet remain to be masculine in his mind and heart. It doesn't matter what people say and feel about and how they treat for as long as you know yourself really well, you believe in yourself, you can do anything you want as your preference regardless how people will perceive and treat you because people who know and believes in you will trust and respect the way you are. We have our preferences, our wants, desires and choice, it is up to us what we can do about it.

You don't need to look for your identity Zen, you found it already I think. "It is no measure of sanity to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Energies flow into our collective unconscious from the unseen world that supports the visible realm and rise up through our personal unconscious and are then directed through our ego manifesting into human cultural understanding. When the energy is directed through ego it becomes fragmented like light focused through a narrow prism and that gives rise to all of the social beliefs and Pub (pop) cultures you see in the world. I see it all in terms of energy, and consciousness is not defined by physical sexual orientation. You define who and what you are by the way you choose to see the world, your character is the fingerprint you leave behind in the sands of time, it is your destiny. I was aligned with the more feminine aspects of my being when I was younger also, I loved being able to be trusted and caring for others well being above my own. I could have let it confuse me if I gave into "fads" such as the modern concepts of homo and heterosexuality but I choose not to. I choose the ever present but never seen third option. I choose not to play the game. You cannot be beaten if you do not contend.<br />
<br />
Here is a post that Nil inspired me to write. <a href="http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Support-Gay-Rights/2791204" target="ep_blank">EP Link</a>

My identity if i have one is the outside of the outsider, i fit in nowhere and cannot be contained, i am neither a follower or a leader. I care about the world and yet it can burn for all i care if it fails to see its faults.

Rarely do people get the choice of how they see the world. Instead what exists are choices in how we want to see the world, values impressed upon us at a young age, expectations drilled into us. All the while our own nature fuels our hatred, our rage, our desire to suceed and yet deep within all that, we all long for escape, escape from ourselves and everyone else. We all have the capacity to love, to view everyone without the blinding light of ignorance and prejudice.

But people have to realise its there, to want to free themselves from the hidden chains that are placed upon us.

Rarely do people get the choice of how they see the world. Instead what exists are choices in how we want to see the world, values impressed upon us at a young age, expectations drilled into us.

The Matrix has you.

The choice comes when you realize you were never given a choice.

It seems like your finding the middle way however. Keep at it.

All of life is a school to teach JUST you about who you are Zen. The whole universe was born into being so that you could learn about yourself right now. Enjoy the ride. Life hurts but if you can learn to love the glass already broken then your time with it is all the more precious. Its a beautiful opera if you can see the comedy hidden in the tragedy.

"life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think"

for me i am both. We all came from the universe and when we die we go back to it, as everything will in the end. Life is filled with pain and sadness, with beauty and joy, hardship, suffering, triuamph, sucess and failure, winners and losers. But beyond that lies something else. To remove yourself from all of these things, to get out of the game, the competetion and see beyond what is just there. But never forget the meaning of the ride, the importance of suffering, of sucess, of beauty and hardship. To see beyond them is to perhaps understand yourself, understand your own life but to realise their importance is what will give meaning to that life.

I believe your right. We see the world as we are, not the way it is.In a real sense we live in our own private universe.

"Human sickness is so severe that few can bare to look at it, but those who do will become well."

4 More Responses