What does being a man mean to me (or you)?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Discussion' started by Sound Boy, May 31, 2017.

  1. Sound Boy

    Sound Boy Fapstronaut

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    I've been thinking for a long time now about what it means to be a man. I mean what it means to me. About what do I even mean by what it means to be a man? About what it might means for others and why. It's complicated. It's complicated for a few reasons.

    Firstly, I'm not talking about sexuality. To be clear: I am same sex attracted. I've had sexual relationships with women but predominantly my sense of who I am as a man in-the-world has been largely informed by my attraction to men and I've pursued this sometimes difficult path far more rigorously than I have a heterosexual one. But I've been trying to think beyond what it means to be a sexual being, if that's even possible, because I don't think my sexuality has (much of) a bearing on a vast majority of relationships I have. So let's scratch the sexuality side of things out of the discussion.

    Secondly, I don't think my gender as a cis male (ie. as a man who identifies with the biological fact of his being male and performs his gendered existence largely according to the socio-cultural norms associated with what *masculinity* means in his milieu) actually means all that much in the end because it's so contingent on cultural variables that change over time. It's also been contingent on variables that I've pursued for whatever reason(s) over the course of my life. For example, the clothes I wear now are a lot more affected than the clothes I wore even just six years ago, ie. a lot less stereotypically male or masculine. So if I'm still a man and still relatively masculine by some ultimately arbitrary standards of the notion despite subtle shifts over time, then I don't think notions of gender contribute much to the debate.

    So, if we rule sexuality and gender out of the discussion, what am I (or you) left with on the question of what it means to be a man? Does it even make sense to rule these things out in the first place? Am I talking shit? Tilting at windmills? What would thinking being-man without these look like? Why am I asking these questions on NoFap's forum? Why is this on my mind now that I'm quitting porn and masturbation?

    Perhaps what I am is given to me, more than what I make of it. Perhaps being-man is something our specific socio-cultural contexts impose on us. I look at my workplace and men and women contribute the same kinds and qualities of labour. I look at my family and aside from reproduction (which has never been something that interests me), I see the same high emotional expression from both sides of the gender/biological divide, only the guys in my family try to suppress their emotions more and those they do show tend towards the more angry side - but they feel just as deeply, nonetheless. When I'm just another anonymous person in an urban context, I might think for example of how I can cause discomfort to women by walking behind them at night (so I cross the road, of course). So being a man comes with an oppressive component, which I didn't ask for but nonetheless participate in.

    But what do I want my maleness to mean to me and to others and how do I live that? The more I think of it (as I type this) the less it seems to mean to me. I think I want to be a person first and foremost. An ethical person (according to ethics that I have considered and strive to pursue). Just a person. Not a man.

    And then there's sex, desire, porn. Nothing I have pursued in these scenarios is purely the domain of men. I've fucked and been fucked. I've pursued and been pursued, both with men and with women. I've gotten off to a huge variety of porn. Nothing about this seems specifically male or masculine, per se. Women can do all these things.

    Perhaps I'm tying myself into logical knots. Perhaps none of this matters, changes nothing. It's just, I was wondering about the performativity of masculinity, the seriousness with which some guys seem to perform and ultimately there seems to be nothing absolute behind any of it. Perhaps. then, it behooves us not to take ourselves too seriously.

    Perhaps all these words amount to very little.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Being a man or a woman is a social construct. It is based on how we act and how we feel about looking like. But those things does not define a man and woman. There are many males that are very feminine and many females that are very masculine in their behaviors and looks. So that alone shows that masculinity and femininity are not what determines being a man or a woman. Hence I don't think being a man is a real thing, once you exclude the biological gender out of it; then there is no man. Being a man is very much based on being a male. Because being a male is very important prerequisite of being a man.

    It's like a cup of hot tea; a cup is very important part of it, ore else there would be just hot tea without anything to contain it. Would then it still be a cup of tea? No, it would just be a small puddle of tea. Same is true for being a man. For this subjective construct to be contained we need objective container - gender.

    Only things that are real are ones that can be objectively measured. Such as biological gender. That is exactly what makes a person male or a female. Everything else are just mind stuff, fiction; not real. Agender and transgender people can identify a certain way, but they still gonna objectively stay their biological gender. It's just a game of pretend. A game that not only they play but we play as a society, because we are trying to be respectful and compassionate.

    Same is true for you; you can identify not as a male but just as a person, but you will always objectively gonna stay a male, as long as you occupy this particular meat suit. And as a result of that society gonna put a label on you; a label of being a man. Because you are walking around with a sign "I'm a tea cup", so they will try to pour a tea into you. If you reject it then we will play a game of pretend with you too.

    The good thing about all of this is that you can choose to identify the way you want. And people will probably play the game of pretend with you.

    P.S. Just to not confuse people, I did used the words "man/woman" to describe subjective social constructs and the words "male/female" as a way how to describe objective biological gender. Not as synonyms.

    Anyhow, so what does being a man mean to me? Nothing, it's made up nonsense that I don't care about. Just try to be the best You you can be. All tho if somebody decides to call me a man I would not argue, because I do identify with my biological gender and naturally act mostly masculine. So tea fits in this cup quite nice. But it's not something I am trying to be or meet some made up standards anymore.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2017
  3. Wtf does that even mean? o_O
    If two people fuck - the can say I have fucked or I have been fucked, it is the same thing surely? :confused:
    Yeah, that is about all I understood in your post and I agree. :rolleyes:
     
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  4. @IGY I see this is some next level shit for you mate, ain't it? :emoji_nerd:
     
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  5. IamRick

    IamRick Fapstronaut

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    Being a male is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being a man, there are plenty of grown men who still act like children or "man-boys" as I love to call them & vice versa.

    For me a big part of being a man & masculinity is about how one acts as well as their core values & beliefs. Qualities like dedication to growth, self accountability, responsibility, leadership, self-control, courage, confidence, honesty & so on & so forth all come together in an individual with the end result being masculinity. Masculinity I believe is developed slowly & deliberately over time, its not something your born with & you dont get it after a set amount of time like how a woman becomes a woman after her first period. It must be cultivated to be unlocked, the reason I think it seems so elusive in today's society is because alot of men today aren't really men, they're boys that grew old but never grew up, who were raised by other boys who grew old but never grew up. While some of them do possess a few of the qualities of masculinity, most are severely lacking.
     
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  6. Sound Boy

    Sound Boy Fapstronaut

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    Hey IGY,

    I invite you to read @Shugy Shugy and @IamRick's replies to this thread and compare it to yours. Specifically, you could pay attention to how their comments contribute to the discussion and how yours... doesn't... at all...

    Silence is always an option and that is how I'll respond to any future comments from you.
     
  7. OK Boy
     
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  8. Sound Boy

    Sound Boy Fapstronaut

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    Hey Shugi Shugi,

    I like your tea/tea cup analogy. I also agree with the social construction theory of gender.

    It's just that games of pretend can have serious consequences. I think that's what I was fumbling towards in my post: I think getting into porn (aside from the obvious aspect of being pleasurable) had a performative role, a masculine performativity, which is obviously bunkum and I think I've played that shit out long enough now.

    As with you, gender isn't that important to me. Being a man isn't that important to me. Thanks for your contribution/intelligence.

    P.S. Anyone who quotes from the Tao Teh Ching is pretty nifty.
     
  9. Sound Boy

    Sound Boy Fapstronaut

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    Hey @IamRick.

    Anyone quoting from Fight Club is alright by me. I hear what you're saying and I see you've read and/or seen Fight Club. I often say, "All men are boys," but perhaps some of us have grown up.

    I'm not sure I follow where you're going with your comment about women, but I definitely think those qualities you refer to can be cultivated by men and women everywhere. They're certainly qualities I am trying to, along with compassion and empathy, to name just another two.

    Thanks for your contribution! We are the all singing, all dance crap of the world.
     
  10. Star Lord

    Star Lord Fapstronaut

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    Having a penis.
     
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  11. Sound Boy

    Sound Boy Fapstronaut

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    That's such a small thing, @Star Lord. Such a very small, small thing.
     
  12. Star Lord

    Star Lord Fapstronaut

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    Hey don't diss my penis lol.
     
  13. Sound Boy

    Sound Boy Fapstronaut

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    Sorry, Star Lord! ;)
     
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