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    • Jazli Aziz

      It means lovin' the feel of my fist in someone else's face.

      It means waiting for them to hit the ground and knowing that I put them there.

      - Daredeveil, S03E09

      "Be a man". What does it really mean? What differentiates men from boys? Different people will have different answers, as different environments and different experiences have moulded our perception of what a man should be.

      Does merely reaching puberty make you a man?

      Do you need to be strong and tough to be a man?

      Does having facial hair make you a man?

      Do you need to play sports to be a man?

      Do you need to have a job, own a house and a car to be a man?

      Be a man
      We must be swift as the coursing river
      Be a man
      With all the force of a great typhoon
      Be a man
      With all the strength of a raging fire
      Mysterious as the dark side of the moon

      Sometimes, being a man is so difficult that women do a better job of being men then men themselves.

      So what does make a man? Well in my experience, the true measure of a man is not reflected by his words, nor in the way he dresses, nor his possessions, but by his actions.

      I believe that doing the right thing is often difficult because men let their egos get in the way. They don't admit their mistakes because it would mean admitting they were wrong. They don't give credit where it's due because they want all the praise. They don't listen to others because they feel they know best. A man's ego is often the biggest obstacle for men to overcome.

      I've been told that I sometimes (ok, maybe more than sometimes) fail to follow through on promises I make. I also tend to do things that are easier for me, when I should instead make more effort to make things easier for others. I also have trouble with confrontations, often opting to keep quiet rather than talk things out. In a nutshell, I can talk the talk, but I can't walk the walk.

      Ironic then it seems, that I'm here writing about what it means to be a "man", when I myself seem to be having trouble with the concept. Perhaps though, that lends some credibility to my point of view. Experience is the best teacher after all.

      I'm reminded of a quote, but I can't recall from where or whom said it, but it goes a little something like this.

      The true test of a man is not how he acts when he knows what to do, but how he acts when he doesn't know what to do.

      As I've grown older, I've found this to be more and more true. I can get by fine when things are going my way, but when things start to go off the rails, and I need to "man up", that's where I falter.

      This isn't meant to be a self-pity post. Just an opinion of what I think defines a man. I wouldn't call myself a man, not in the truest sense of the word, but that's what I think makes it real. If being a man was easy, the world would be a much better place.

      So to my fellow "men", let's try to be the best that we can be. The people in our lives deserve it.

    • ..interesting. But there are so many ways to regard manhood, and I view all as irrelevant. I was at some time in my life told one does not become a man until they served in the military. I'd rather ask myself what can I do to fully evolve into the best human being *I* can become.

    • Interesting, Jazli, especially because you're from Malaysia. Thanks for taking the time to pour your heart into it.

      My father used to limit the amount of time I was allowed to read books because boys should be out playing sports. Our days of being the strong heroes who killed the lion or fought off invaders with a sword seem mostly over and now...Elon Musk is the man? Steve Jobs?

      It has to be very disorienting to a lot of men, and hence a lot of angst I guess.

    • Being a man these days is very disorienting. So much so that I actually have the following quotes with me so I read them from time to time (from the book "What She Wants"):

      Chivalry: high quality women are hopelessly attracted to a chivalrous character

      It is the sense of duty that a man feels deep within himself to become his best so that he can give his best and feel satisfied that he is doing his best. He does not need to be approved, praised, or rewarded by anyone, but his satisfaction lies in overcoming fear and weakness while helping to rid the world of all that causes pain and suffering.


      Character: makes you overwhelmingly desirable

      Become secure in your ability to make intelligent decisions in the face of conflict, and become a master at handling your emotions.

      Insecurity in all of its various forms will cause a woman to become unsure about you. If she becomes unsure about your ability to lead, love, and take care of her emotionally and physically, she will eventually lose the respect and desire she has for you. If you don’t feel secure within yourself, no woman will feel secure with you.

      So there you have it. Tall order isn't it? Whatever the challenge, our job is to provide stability and security for our mates. Women, on the other hand, give us meaning and connection to the world.

      Every day I fail in my task a little, but I also succeed sometimes. My hope is I am improving.

    • I think most will look at the question primarily from the point of view concerning core family values a man is expected to provide.

      Those facts aside, who is judging, the cultural bias, and in which historical era, is where differences are. An American man of 21st century might not be subjected to same criteria with any other men world wide, even more so say one or two centuries ago. In my grandparent's time and place, each man and woman knew their place and role in the society and rules in forming a family. For example, one of my grandfathers married his wife based on arrangement between families. When she complained to her parents after one week, was told to go and "stand by her man" whom she should love and obey henceforth. Which she did, and they had children, built a successful business, educated their children and sent to schools. Later when her husband came ill from war and eventually died, she regretted all her life his loss. I guess what I am saying is that back then, the pressure to "be a man" existed, but had a totally different connotation, than here and now.

    You've been invited!