'tis the Bearded One

Practical Masculinity

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Hi peeps! 

This is the masculinity version of the female topic here.

What is considered masculine has undergone change (as much as femininity??) and can differs from person to person. I did a brief search on the forum and @Matthew's thread on masculine/feminine traits was the closest I got to it. That thread has a different aim but I recommend checking it out too. 

So...

Gentleman: What activities/attitudes/attributes that you do/have make you feel masculine? What about activities/attitudes/attributes of others towards you? 

Ladies: What activities/attitudes/attributes of men do you consider increases their "masculinity index"? Either positively or negatively?

As in the femininity topic, I'm interested in indicators of masculinity not of gender. Looking down and seeing dangly bits between the legs indicates you're male* but does it make you feel particularly masculine? In other words I'm interested in indicators that impact your self-esteem as a male either positively or negatively.

*sidestepping transsexual/intersexual issues

Please be candid and not too worried about whether the answers are politically correct or not. We want to know what the indicators are for you. What they should or should not be is secondary though there probably will be a bit of discussion on that too. If so please try and conduct it in a manner that won't impair discussion. Thank you.

 

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Respect This, I believe, is universally the greatest need for every man to make him feel most masculine. Respect is when others hold a man in high esteem and have a deep admiration for his abilities and his characteristics. As men, we are action oriented. We base a lot of our worth in our accomplishments and our ability to get things done. We want more than anything to be recognized for our character and what we can provide. As such, there is no other person's respect we as men crave most than that of our wives. When a wife doesn't respect her husband, he shuts down. But if he has her respect, then that can spur him on to be the best man he can possibly be and achieve his greatest potential.

Physical Strength: Yet another staunchly masculine trait but unfortunately is something i lack. Yes, I've heard all the feel-good, politically correct drivel about how inner strength is what truly matters, blah blah blah. But it would be like telling a woman who is insecure about her looks that inner beauty is what truly matters. Sure, that is true but every woman still wants to be beautiful on the outside. Same is true for men and physical strength. A man is supposed to be the one to physically protect his loved ones, especially the women in his life. When a man lacks physical strength, he is not in much of a position to do so. This can affect a man's own masculinity quite negatively. He may feel inadequate if his wife wants something heavy moved and ends up asking another man who is much stronger to move it for them. Thus her husband may feel emasculated that his own wife can't depend on him based on his lack of strength.

Guns: Pretty self explanatory. I LOVE guns. It is considered a masculine interest. Guns make a man feel powerful. All men want power. The end.

My voice: There's not a lot about me physically that I am proud of. But my voice is a big exception. I get so many compliments even from strangers how low my voice is. Some have commented on how "manly" it is. Needless to say, I am a big fan of my own voice.

Sex drive: Even among the average man, I dare say my sex drive is above average. Which leads me to believe I have high levels of testosterone, which has a big effect on sex drive. I could be wrong on that, but it sounds about right. lol

Leadership: It may not be politically correct to say, but I believe leadership is a masculine trait. I think most men have an innate desire to lead. I used to be quite a passive man and letting other people make decisions on my behalf. But there was a part of me that wasn't happy with this arrangement. So I have worked to develop myself over the years should I one day be in a leadership position, whether in work or in a relationship.

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Thanks for posting @Invincible! I'm wondering if you can expand on some of your answers? I'm drying to dig out identifiable actions etc. So, for instance in regard to respect: What are some practical actions that you perceive as showing you respect either by a man or woman? What are some practical ways a woman might show you disrespect?

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On 3/5/2017 at 9:15 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Thanks for posting @Invincible! I'm wondering if you can expand on some of your answers? I'm drying to dig out identifiable actions etc. So, for instance in regard to respect: What are some practical actions that you perceive as showing you respect either by a man or woman? What are some practical ways a woman might show you disrespect?

Certainly, my good man :) 

Respect: I think both women and men can show another man respect in more or less the same ways. Although I would say at least for me, the respect that a woman gives would generally be more profound than that of another man. As I've said before, men are action oriented and we pride ourselves in our work and our accomplishments. A man feels most respected when his abilities and accomplishments are acknowledged by others. A man needs people to believe in his ability to accomplish a task whether it is work related or fixing something that is broke. Tell him that you appreciate him building that fence you wanted to be put up. Tell him you admire his dedication and hard work (or any other positive traits for that matter). Another equally great way to show respect a man, especially from a woman, is to when she tells him that he makes her feel safe. Men are protective by nature and there isn't much else that makes a man feel masculine than a woman who trusts him completely that he can protect her from any harm.

Some ways to show disrespect is basically doing the opposite of what I said is respectful earlier. Disrespect usually comes in some form of you believing what he does or his opinion doesn't matter or is not good enough. Something that many women don't understand is that even a seemingly innocent question like, "Are you sure you can do that?" can be disrespect. To a woman that may be a very caring thing to ask because it shows concern and a desire to help. But to him, he feels like you don't believe in his ability to life that heavy sofa for you or to fix your broken car. It's even worse when she suggest getting someone else who is "more qualified" to do it, especially if it's another man. What we hear is that we aren't strong enough or we're not smart enough to tend to her needs and that she needs to seek another man to do what we cannot. If he really does need help, he will ask for it. Also talking down about our jobs or how little money we make is also really disrespectful to a man as well.

For good measure, I decided to throw in some negative traits which I perceive as masculine:

Cockiness: Oh man, this one is very prevalent. Sometimes I think the male tendency to be achievement based can sometimes manifest itself in an overly inflated view of oneself. Maybe it's related to high testosterone, I don't know. But I think cockiness is primarily a male problem. Many guys feel like they are God's gift to humanity because they have so much money, drive the fanciest car or has conquered 100 women in bed in a week. Although it does make it all the more satisfying to watch when said cocky man fails in a big way. Some people just need to be humbled.

Insensitivity: I feel this is an undesirable trait on the masculine end of the spectrum. I think most agree that sensitivity and being in tune with one's emotions is a feminine trait. Well, the inverse would be a lack of sensitivity. It's probably the reason why men are more likely to be perceived as callous or lack the empathy that women are more likely to have.

 

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On 3/3/2017 at 4:37 AM, Invincible said:

Guns: Pretty self explanatory. I LOVE guns. It is considered a masculine interest. Guns make a man feel powerful. All men want power. The end.

Guns are great... I couldn't imagine life without them!

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As per request, here is a brief outline of some traits I consider masculine (though not necessarily exclusively):

Righteousness. The greatest men are virtuous, upstanding, honest men capable of the highest level of self discipline and self control. It is masculine to be honorable, principled, and independently follow a strict moral code. Nothing is more attractive to me than a righteous man who cannot be brought down or bought.

Intention. Firm in convictions and values, discerning, resolute, always striking to the heart of the matter. I want to feel comparatively weak to a man, not because I am weak, but because of his unwavering strength in his identity, beliefs, and right course of action. A man should make me keenly aware I am a woman.

Consistency. Possessing an even mood, outlook, personality, and temperament. Men lack the overt cyclic hormonal fluctuations of womanhood, and therefore ought to be a stabilizing force in a woman's life. The more consistent a man is, the more I respect him and feel comfortable around him.

Presence. Composed, in control, and self reliant. Masculinity is noticeable, not in a flashy way, but through a calm confidence free from the desire to prove anything. There is no hint of desperation, needing approval, or requiring validation.

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I have been giving these two threads a LOT of thought...and I still haven't come up with much that I feel applies to one side more than the other. Here are a few things I can think of, and some have already been mentioned.

Strength: Being able to stand up for his woman, his family, his convictions. For instance, there are times when a mother believes that there is no woman good enough for her son, or his aunt might make a snide remark about her, in these cases a mans ability to stand up for her and tell them to respect her is admirable. I've know of these things to happen, and I found it sad that a wonderful woman would be made to feel unworthy by his family, yet he stood by and did nothing but let her take it.

Integrity: Not an exclusively masculine, it does make me feel a man is a 'REAL' man if his integrity is intact. If he can be who he says he is, and this can be different things given the different circumstances in life, he is someone I can trust. This trait, I've found, is rare...unfortunately.

Open-mindedness:  Also, not exclusively masculine, this trait gives me a truly sensational feeling when I talk with a man (friend or potential mate) who stands his ground, but knows that true intelligence is the ability to recognize when our minds need to change. A man who can have a conversation and really consider the sides he may not agree with at first and be open about what is being said, take that information and really deliberate with himself and others, before coming to a conclusion as to whether or not his first thoughts felt right to him, or the thoughts of another person might be worthy of changing his mind. This would include conversing with me, or other women. His ability to accept that women are capable of much knowledge and wisdom, and he respect their thoughts as much as any man.

Geekhood: OK, OK...not the typical trait, I know. For me, however, a man who embraces the child inside of himself and has fun in whatever manner that shows itself is amazing in my eyes. Be it gaming, comic books, science, math...anything he can totally 'fan girl' out about without hesitation...and, a man who will use the phrases 'fan girling' or 'geeking out' gets bonus point. This is a trait I enjoy in male friends, and I totally go gaga over in a love interest.

Standing Tall: Literally and metaphorically speaking. If he is confident in himself, shy or outgoing. I don't mind a shy man, but he needs to be at least be confident in who we are and where he wants us to be headed as a couple, and be able to communicate with me.

So, I guess I could think up a few... :) They might not be typical, or how others feel.

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On 3/8/2017 at 8:23 PM, Invincible said:

"Are you sure you can do that?" can be disrespect. To a woman that may be a very caring thing to ask because it shows concern and a desire to help. But to him, he feels like you don't believe in his ability to life that heavy sofa for you or to fix your broken car. It's even worse when she suggest getting someone else who is "more qualified" to do it, especially if it's another man. What we hear is that we aren't strong enough or we're not smart enough to tend to her needs and that she needs to seek another man to do what we cannot. If he really does need help, he will ask for it.

hmmm to me some of this seemed to be getting into the realm of insecurity? My practical skills while decent are far less than my intellectual skills, or less natural put it that way. I don't think I'd have an issue employing someone to do something that I can't and they are qualified to do. Maybe that will change a little when I'm married and I want to be perceived as competent in as many areas as possible. I could see it as particularly a problem if I in general don't feel competent enough for my wife or she has an attitude of "Hey, it's nice you're really good at xzy but a real man should be able to do this too! Now we have to do yzx because you can't!". Also, if my practical inability was to an extent that say, I couldn't change a flat tyre, that would be a shot to my masculinity even if simply because it is a manifestation of my inability to lead/ensure things are running well/opens the family unit up to unnecessary vulnerability/dependency. Masculinity can focus on practical/mechanical tasks over relational/intellectual - you might feel less masculine if you can't fix your car as opposed to completing tax returns or filing a subpoena. Certainly, being able to fix my car and be physically competent in general makes me feel more masculine (plus I like the savings it brings...) but there's a point to were trying to do something when not qualified is just stupid and in a way a failure in the leadership role. 

The "can you do that?" could come across as doubting his competence but if she wants to show a desire to help I think she should express this [isn't the wife meant to be the helpmeet?]. But I think a rephrasing to "Let me know if you want my help" would be more appreciated. I can want her help [or not even her help but just her presence in doing something with me] and not need her help. This is in a way along the lines of the couple tip were the wife shouldn't say "Can you bring out the trash" but rather "Will you bring out the trash". A subtle difference that can mean a lot. Afterall, men don't ask "Can you marry me?" hahaha

Urgh, cockiness. Just witnessing it makes me uncomfortable! 

On 3/24/2017 at 0:33 PM, redgrapes said:

There is no hint of desperation, needing approval, or requiring validation.

This made me think of a sociopath....but I get your point. 

On 3/24/2017 at 2:34 PM, PhotoGirl said:

I've know of these things to happen, and I found it sad that a wonderful woman would be made to feel unworthy by his family, yet he stood by and did nothing but let her take it.

Sad indeed. Similarly, in my circle of acquaintance, at a shared meal (I think hosted by the couple even), the sister made a snide remark regarding her sister's cooking abilities. Objectively incorrect so I don't know where that came from maybe snobbishness or jealousy. Anyway, her loud choleric partner ripped into her (his partner's sister)....It was maybe a little too heavy handed; I probably would have taken a less confrontational approach especially considering she's capable of holding her own against her (younger) sister but it certainly got the message across haha.

 

 

 

 

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