Are You A Man?

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Do you think of yourself as a man? Please read first post before voting.

Yes - In day to day life I think of myself as a man.
20
83%
No - In day to day life I do not think of myself as a man.
4
17%
 
Total votes : 24

Are You A Man?

Postby Smitty » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:45 pm

I don't recall the context. It was a light conversation. I referred to my friend, Jimmy, as a man. His composure broke and almost to himself he said, "I'm not a man." His comment confused me, but he quickly bounced back and the opportunity to question him was gone. Why didn't he think of himself as a man? Because he's gay? Because he's femme? Something else having nothing to do with his sexuality?

My twentyfirst year wasn't bad, but it was a disappointment. I learned that 21 is an arbitrary number. There were no life changing developments - like puberty. I didn't emerge from a cocoon as either butterfly or moth. I was the same person - lost, confused, putting on an act lest someone find out and feeling no more adult than the previous year.

Fight Club is one of my favorite movies if only for this quote:
Narrator: I can't get married. I'm a 30 year old boy.

It doesn't end at 30.

Then there are all the women's jokes about men never growing up.

I've never had the sense that I am a man the way I thought I would/should. There have been times I have disappointed myself. There have been other times when I've surprised myself by being more of a man than I ever expected I could be.

This thread isn't about what it is to be a man - we will never agree. This thread is about internal perception. Do you perceive yourself to be a man - as opposed to boy - or not? There are no right or wrong answers.
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Postby furface » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:05 pm

I don't consciously think of myself as a man any more than I think of myself as gay, Irish-American, or blue eyed. I do think of myself as an adult, but not necessarily a grown up. (Just ask Chris how silly I can be :D )

I'm simply who and what I am - the product of 58 years of experiences and sometimes bad judgement. The only time 'man' really enters the picture is usually in the context of how society expects and/or requires I act. I usually don't comply.
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Postby Lesley R. Charles » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:37 pm

I have never really viewed myself as male. Inside I have always viewed myself as female. There were times though where I was trying to be comfortable as a male. But then some of this comes from having a female brain running a male body.
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Re: Are You A Man?

Postby edu999 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:06 pm

Smitty wrote: Do you perceive yourself to be a man - as opposed to boy - or not?


Yes, I do think of myself as a man as opposed to a boy. Honestly, I have never thought about "man vs boy" as anything other than "adult vs child". I personally believe that discussions about "what it means to be a man" (or woman, for that matter) are ultimately useless exercises. Essays and discourses about the true meanings of manhood (like those magazine articles from the early- to mid-90s by men's movement advocates) bore me.

For me, it is far more important to distinguish between adult and child. Like Lou, I think of myself as an adult. To me, a man is an adult male. Therefore, I see myself as a man.
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Postby thingie » Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:36 pm

wham
bam
I am
a man
I hope my sensitive female side is wearing sensible leather pumps.
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Postby Earl Butz » Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:23 am

I voted no. I do feel grown up, though. Mature. Boring. Adultish. But a man? No way.

Men know how cars work. They have jobs. Families to support. They are bankers, businessmen, captains of industry. My dad is a man. He has big hands, grey hair and actually likes reading the business section of the newspaper. I read the entertainment section first. Therefore, I am not a man.

The jocks in school usually turn into successful men. The Columbine killers hated jocks, because they knew they were headed down a different road....failure. They failed the manhood test somehow, and they knew it.

I was never really that angry about it at that age. I knew I was not going to be a good man in the traditional sense. But, you play the cards you're dealt in life. If I was straight, I would probably be a much angrier person.
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Postby blackmet » Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:31 pm

Earl Butz wrote:I voted no. I do feel grown up, though. Mature. Boring. Adultish. But a man? No way.

Men know how cars work. They have jobs. Families to support. They are bankers, businessmen, captains of industry. My dad is a man. He has big hands, grey hair and actually likes reading the business section of the newspaper. I read the entertainment section first. Therefore, I am not a man.

The jocks in school usually turn into successful men. The Columbine killers hated jocks, because they knew they were headed down a different road....failure. They failed the manhood test somehow, and they knew it.


Ok, yes, I voted NO on being a man. I'd feel a lot more like a man if I were finished with my education, had a place of my own, and a job that didn't consist of throwing CD's and DVD's on shelves and helping little old ladies find video games from their grandchildrens "X-Cubes." At this point, my life is WAY-YYYY-YYYY-YYYYYYYYYYYY too pathetic of a joke for me to be considered a man. And I dunno that having these things would change that.

I totally disagree, though with that second paragraph. The jocks I know, anyway, aren't any likely to become successful men than anyone else in school...most of the ones around here ended up being college dropouts who work testing car emissions or selling cell phones. They're not doing any better than anyone else.

The Columbine killers had about as good of a shot of being "men" as the jocks did, maybe even a better chance because usually an outsider status gives you more fire and drive to succeed than being comfortable and popular does. We'll never KNOW that, of course, but 18 is just far too young to be able to tell if someone is going to end up as a successful man or not. 23 is too young. Even 28 is a bit too young.
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Postby BlackmanXXX » Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:46 pm

I am very much a man. A smart young man and a good man at that. I'm also working on becoming a better man. Thank you very much.
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Postby Sweeet » Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:57 pm

furface wrote:I don't consciously think of myself as a man any more than I think of myself as gay, Irish-American, or blue eyed. I do think of myself as an adult, but not necessarily a grown up. (Just ask Chris how silly I can be :D )

I'm simply who and what I am - the product of 58 years of experiences and sometimes bad judgement. The only time 'man' really enters the picture is usually in the context of how society expects and/or requires I act. I usually don't comply.


Having Male attributes or doing "grown-up" things has nothing to do with being a Man. It may make you feel like a Man but that's all. Knowing who you are, accepting and being comfortable with it is what I think is the foundation to being a Man. Integrity, Courage, Loyalty and Dependability are some of the things that strenghten that foundation.

"Men know how cars work. They have jobs. Families to support. They are bankers, businessmen, captains of industry." I don't think so. If my car breaks down, I know who to call to fix it. Those business men and captains of industry who ran Enron weren't Men, they were cowards.

A Man doesn't do what society expects and/or requires, he does what's right (if you have to ask, you're not a Man). A Man stands up and takes responsiblity. A Man learns from his mistakes. A Man doesn't keep pace, he sets the pace.

I don't question my actions as if they were the Manly thing to do. I question if it's the right thing to do because I have to take responsiblity for what I do. Do I feel like a Man? For me, it's more important act like a Man.
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Postby Tom-SA » Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:36 pm

The calender says I am..but I don't really "feel that way".

I recently talked to some of my classmates from classmates.com and saw pictures and chatted with some of them. THEY seemed like men. They looked older. They had wives. Kids. Soccer practice for their kids. PTA meetings.

I guess I'll never get that. So I think I'm a boi trapped in a mans body maybe??
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Postby thingie » Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:41 pm

I actually see myself as more of a "guy" than a "man". Just some guy.
I hope my sensitive female side is wearing sensible leather pumps.
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Postby Negate » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:04 am

I still have a long way to go...but I am no boy.
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Postby Earl Butz » Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:33 am

Gee I could recite a long list of jocks who have done well. Politicians, car salesmen, businessmen....you name it. I never said that criminals like the guys at Enron are men.

I would agree though that it's not the only route to success. (being a jock) Some geeks and nerds do well if they're good with computers. :P

Being a good looking jock is practically a one way ticket to success. Everyone wants to be seen with you. Cheerleaders want to make out in the basement with you.

Life is kind of a cruel crapshoot that way. :?
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Postby qwertz » Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:08 pm

I hope I am not a man in the traditional sense. They are deathly boring.
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Postby Earl Butz » Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:26 pm

qwertz wrote:I hope I am not a man in the traditional sense. They are deathly boring.


True.
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Postby qwertz » Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:48 pm

Am I a gold fish?
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Postby Sweeet » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:56 pm

Goldfish are so yummy and they have that cute theme song. Oh, now I have that thought of poping you in my mouth. Is that too much information?
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Postby rovie » Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:26 am

I am a male over the age of 18 so I am a man.

I love men and male company, so I know what a man is. I think some of you are too harsh in your definitions of what it is to be a man.

Don't forget the old saying that all men are bastards, all men are really boys, and that all real men really want to be women..... I may have got the last quote out of context.

Men are complex and varied creatures. It's nice to be a man and to call your friends 'man' - I even call my lady friends that because it is meant as a term of endearment.
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Postby Schlodesss » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:24 am

It's too hard to put a set definition on this cause there ain't one.

Sometimes I feel [ok alot] like i'm kindof a failure when I look around at friends or just men I know.. for lots of the reasons already listed.. Feeling inadequate is unhealthy but seems to be pretty normal, maybe normal is the wrong word so.. commonplace.

I know lots of guys, older guys, some my age, younger who are "MEN" in that they can practically build a house, can fix the car, get lots of women, and the minute you turn your back they'd sell you out in a New York minute, or cheat w/ their buddies wife, not tell ya if you dropped your wallet, or.........

"Man", to me, is more about being a good hearted, honest, person, someone that's not out to look after #1 [#1 = themselves] at all costs even if it means screwing over someone else. I'm not as successful as alot of guys I went to highschool with far as money, or my own house, or "things" go but if I died tomorrow, I think poeple I know/have known could at least look back and say "yeah, damn.. he was a pretty good guy". Even ones that didn't particularly like me & me them, for whatever reason..

That's more important to me anyways.
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Postby JakeMIke » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:27 am

Of course I'm a man, no need to analyze it.
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Postby nimby » Wed May 27, 2009 4:58 pm

Interesting topic to resurrect...

Well let me see, I'm 40, educated, good job, mortgaged, married with children, soccer practice, cut the grass, put in two new bathrooms on my own, built a deck, drink a little, smoke a little...

And I still don't have a clue what it means to be a "man". Maybe I'll figure it out one day.

***1 hour later***

But funny how things can change so quick. Here I am, doing a snuggle up and read with my 7 y/o daughter, running her bath, and being Daddy. And all of a sudden I ve never felt more manly in my life.

Sometimes children have a habit of putting everything into perspective.
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Postby CollegePepper » Sat May 30, 2009 10:05 pm

nimby wrote:Sometimes children have a habit of putting everything into perspective.


This seems to be true.

One thing that in my opinion seems to keep Gay men in an almost perpetual Adolescent mindset, is the lack of having a traditional family. Having a traditional family with a partner and children seems to force many responsibilities that MAKE men mature - provided they rise to the challenge.

Most gay men don't have the opportunity to have such a structure and spend most of their time doing more self-serving things since its such a struggle to be able to have a family like that in this society as a homosexual.

I think the stress and responsibilities that come along with being accountable for OTHER people is very important in making a man a real man.

The same not only goes for gay men, its also a pattern I noticed in straight men who stay single all their lives and who never settle down and have a family. They just seem FAR less mature than those who do.

So nimby, despite the struggles that you seem to encounter regularly - you are very much a man! I admire your devotion to your family!

Its one thing that worries me about being gay - I dont want to end up that stereotypical, unpartnered 40 year old gay man in twenty years, who still is living unto myself and immature. I do want to have a partner, and have a full loving family. But such things are hard for us gay guys.
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Postby nimby » Sun May 31, 2009 12:13 am

Thanks College Pepper. I needed that right now.

Now I don't know about other cities, but Toronto has tons of gay families all over. They are there, but they are so engrained into every day society, that you barely notice them. They are your every day Joes (or Janes) who work at jobs they might not like, do the grocery shopping, soccer practice, and stay home saturday nights cause their too tired, just like the rest of us. Children exhaust you, yet keep you young and replenish your soul. The other night I was cruising (driving) with my 11 y/o daughter, on a hot summer night, with the windows down, and the stereo blaring Greenday. And she tells me to turn it down. Then she says that all her friends think I'm the coolest dad at school. What a compliment ! I was a stay at home dad for a few years, and those were the best years of my life (so far). This was the baby that I potty trained, I bathed, I fed and nurtured. Chased her monsters away, kissed her boo-boos, took shopping for her first bra (got tricked into that one), and hope to raise into a healthy, productive, loving and respectful member of society who will also stand up for others rights cause that's how I teach her to be. And her little sister too. It really is the best feeling on the planet.

:cry: Aw, now look at me.

It is 2009! And you CAN have a family if you really want one. I highly recomend it. It IS happening all around you. Just don't live your life full of what ifs and what could have beens. I don't (maybe not too wisely- thus why I'm here!!!), but I wouldn't change a thing.
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Postby Cajun » Sun May 31, 2009 8:20 am

CollegePepper wrote:
Most gay men don't have the opportunity to have such a structure and spend most of their time doing more self-serving things since its such a struggle to be able to have a family like that in this society as a homosexual.

I think the stress and responsibilities that come along with being accountable for OTHER people is very important in making a man a real man.

The same not only goes for gay men, its also a pattern I noticed in straight men who stay single all their lives and who never settle down and have a family. They just seem FAR less mature than those who do.


Lots of good information here, especially the quote above, but I'd like to add a third, somewhat slightly less all-encompassing alternative to parenthood:

Spend more time with your immediate family, including both the older generation AND the youngsters. And I don't mean just visiting once a month on a Sunday night. Take an ACTIVE role in their lives, up to and including the bedtime story reading. It's a much more rewarding experience than that time you spent at the bars last night, believe me.

Like CP said in his post, and echoed by Nimby, taking on responsibilities for others in our lives will naturally instill an increased sense of responsibility in our own lives - trust me - I know..........
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Re: Are You A Man?

Postby DeckApe » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:30 am

I don't know if I qualify as a man or not, at least beyond the biological benchmarks. I'm 36, partnered, supporting a partner while he tries to get a literary career moving, own a house (well, co-own with the bank), am owned by a cat, and have a good job that I like most days. I don't get along with my mother that well, but I dig my in-laws. It seems like the older I get, the less I know. I marvel at other people's serenity. And I suspect I'm steaming up on a mid-life crisis in a hurry.

Am I a man? Beats me.
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