I'm male, a dude, a guy, a brother, in a nut shell, a man. Now, we all know that the predominate belief for a long time has been that men are superior to women in this world, and that women have never fully been equal to men. We're in a new age, though, where social roles have become more level as women are empowered to lead and take control of their own lives, fighting for equality and the best part is, they don't have to do it alone. Why can't men be there as supporters of women's equality and not see it as a threat? What has made every man the antagonist to the women's movement? Where do the negative stereotypes of men fit into a progressive model of success for women to move forward? The answer is they don't.
Men are diverse; there are just as many ranges of men as there are of women. What is portrayed as a man in mainstream media is not indicative of what a man is. Men aren't all fat, stupid, chauvinistic, emotionless rocks. We struggle with vanity, image, the need to belong, have close friends, talk and let emotions out (yes, we do have tear ducts). I can't tell you how many times I, as a rather confident male who is constantly given affection and affirmation, looks in the mirror and wish I had the structure of a football player or could actually tan or that my hairline would stop running away from my forehead. Things I can't change, things that no one else would think I need to change, but there they are, in my head. Why? It's the same reason a 16-year-old girl resorts to bulimia to be that much skinnier. What we think we want isn't always what we have. I say this to show that men and women aren't polar opposites; we have so much common ground where we can stand together.
Both men and women are under pressure to be the prime example of what their sex is supposed to be. Who really embodies manhood? A tall, dark, handsome guy with manly scruff, bulging, well-defined muscles and a deep voice that gives testament to the fact that his body is filled to the brim with testosterone? Or is it the short, skinny, pale guy with mousy brown hair and glasses that can barely grow chin hair? The answer is both. Who is to say that both of these men aren’t men and can’t uphold the dignity of a woman the way they are?
Now to be honest, I don’t fit the exact mold for a what a man is “supposed” to be. I could get more muscle, play more contact sports, work on cars, or any number of things to make me more “manly.” But as I am, I can stand up for the equality and empowerment of women all while confidently saying I am still very much a man.Images courtesy of Freecoreldraw.net, Danielfranklingomez.com