between rage and serenity
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Between the Alpha and the Omega
Re: El Puma/Warpuma Chronicles
Authenticity means being true to your character; it's being exactly what's claimed, free of hypocrisy.
Bravery: When I use this word, I don't mean the ability to bear pain. Granted, being able to bear pain is courageous if it's done in order to complete some heroic task, but lacerating your femoral artery while cutting out pictures of underwear models for your latest boner collage and refusing to go to the doctor isn't brave and it isn't manly, only stupid.
Bravery comes in many forms. It can come in the form of physical self-sacrifice or emotional self-sacrifice. It's going against popular opinion, standing up for injustice when it might damage your standing in your community.
It's boldly facing bad news instead of avoiding it. It's realizing that everything worthwhile has some sort of pain associated with it.
Confidence: ****iness is different from confidence. One is a false front, enacted to protect your self-image and one is self-assuredness in your abilities, thoughts, and actions.
Confidence allows you to consider other people's opinions without having your ego damaged. Unfortunately, most guys hunt for opinions that match their own:
"Geez, that guy agrees with me. He sure is smart!"
Honesty: I'm convinced that every third thing said by the average man is an exaggeration or a downright lie. Again, it's all an attempt to preserve or project a false self-image.
I suppose this category links closely with authenticity, but there are some obvious distinctions. Honesty also has to do with not stealing and not cheating, which are merely other forms of parasitism. Manliness means relying on your own talents and skills to acquire the things you need. It also means saying "no" occasionally to those things you might want but don't need. (Tiger take heed.)
Purpose: Unfortunately, most men don't have any purpose in life, other than recreation and, in general, distractions of all kind whether they be sports, cars, gaming, or collecting Snapple bottle tops.
A man's got to have some purpose or purposes, whether they're internal (pertaining to emotional growth, personal growth), intrapersonal (family and friends), or external (occupational).
Maybe you want to be a truly qualified trainer or coach whose hunger for getting better never dies. That's a fine purpose. Maybe you want to be the best husband or father or friend that you can be, constantly giving energy to people you care about. Also a fine purpose. Or maybe you just want to develop the inner you, discovering your motivations and purposes, while uncovering your contradictions and curing your own neuroses, which is a very fine purpose.
Men are truly content when they're learning something new or accomplishing some task. Boys are content when they're playing.
Rock-****ing-Solid Human Beings
Oddly enough, these manliness "virtues" are also what makes a good woman a good woman, which brings into question the whole manliness term.
Another problem is that we use the terms manliness and masculinity interchangeably. Tearing fish guts out with your teeth would definitely be deemed masculine. Chugging beer after beer and engorging on greasy animal meat is pretty solidly masculine, as would using your dick instead of a hammer to frame a house. Likewise, cheating on your wife again and again and again could definitely be labeled masculine, but that, or any of the preceding masculine traits, has nothing to with true manliness.
Maybe we need another term for manliness, one that satisfies the man/woman thing and one that doesn't get so easily thrown in the muck with masculinity.
It's a tough one. Maybe we should just call them rock-****ing-solid human beings. Sure, from now on, people who are authentic, brave, confident, honest, and purposeful are rock-****ing-solid human beings.