Posted by: Veroni Kruger | March 25, 2013

Violence Against Women 3: What is a “Real Man”?

Overheard in the gym:

“So are you going to participate in the demonstration against violence against women and children in town today?”

Says Mr Gym Owner: “Definitely not. Only gay men would take part in something like that!”

Can anyone blame the lady for responding: “Are gay men then the only real men?”

Clearly Mr Gym Owner is enmeshed in prejudices and traditional ways of thinking.

What is a real man? Are the purely physical attributes, abundance of testosterone, often accompanying gruff voice and heavier muscles bench marks of the real man? Ask any brave lady and some men with insight that share the above characteristics, and they will tell you that these are often accompanied by a lack of good manners and insensitivity, to mention but a few of the “masculine” liabilities. These criteria may indicate the real “thing” (I use this ambiguously on purpose) but as a man (with testosterone and a gruff voice and all the other trappings that men are supposed to have) I refuse to believe that they are the distinguishing characteristics of real men.

Real men are those who are able and willing to play the role in society that they are supposed to play.

This is not to go around feeling proud about physical strength or the power to dominate – bovine males are generally much more adept at dominating than human males. Neither is it to see yourself as the great progenitor of the human race – rabbits are much better at procreation than we are.

Playing a meaningful role in society as a man means thinking carefully about who you are and what you are supposed to do, and then to proceed to do that with all the energy your testosterone can muster. (I know hormones sometimes get in the way of thinking, but that can be overcome – a by-product of intelligence.)

Some of the words that come to mind are the following: Husband, father, protector, provider, best friend, bearer of wisdom, lover … (Note to the last one: Love refers here to love in the Biblical sense. That is, laying down one’s life for someone (1 John 3.16). That really includes all of the above. Good news is that it also includes physical expression of love in a sexual relationship with the partner you have chosen for life.)

Am I back in the Bible? Definitely! I do not know of any other book or source that contains more proven wisdom about life, and information about the means to liberation from prejudice and other bad habits, as well as how to obtain the strength to live in freedom. Add to that a role model per excellence, and you understand why the Bible is still a best-seller.

The Man Jesus said: “No-one takes my life from me. I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and to take it up again (John 10.18).” How’s that for strength!

Come on, men! Let’s be men in body, soul and mind. Let’s follow Jesus.

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Responses

  1. Real men pray!!

    • Yes, because that is one of the ways real men fulfill their God-given destiny!

  2. Goed geskryf! Goeie inhoud.


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