Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Making Feminists Cringe. Oh Well. -2-

Men, Men, Men, Men, Part 2


Remember this tagline? Er, for those of you who live in Hardees states, otherwise they might be known as Carl Jr.'s. The TV commercial featuring this tagline shows a man in a grocery store staring up a wall of bread, paralyzed by the choices and unable to pick a loaf to avoid starvation. Thank goodness for Hardees, the commercial flaunts. Although amusing, this commercial betrays something about men that we find typical in American life, that men are often inept to care for themselves or anyone else in a basic area such as food, unless food is prepackaged and ready to eat and served to one's face. Women fear that children, left to the care of men, will eat nothing but fries, chips, and ice cream forever. We also fear for our men's own health. Although this might seem an exaggeration, experienced wives like myself know that this is indeed a reality. The wiser among us will also know that this state of being has serious repercussions for society.

So now I continue my previous discussion on feminism, beginning with the things men need to face. Wanted or not, here are my suggestions for men:

1. Get yourself under control before anything else. If you have unhealthy, immoral obsessions and habits that you are making excuses for, no woman in her right mind would want to put up with you; you will always end up ruining any relationship as long as you're out of control. This also goes for men who want to remain single. If you are a Christian, you can't expect to be an effective in church or in life if your sin is producing a double life for you.

2. Get some ed. Formally or informally, men should know about life, the home, women, and kids.
Life - many men only do two things: work and recreate; seek to do more than gaming, sports, hobbies or work (for some men, their work is hobby). Pay attention to your views of life and faith--are you even conscious of them? Socrates said "The unexamined life is not worth living." How much of your own life do you examine? More importantly, what are the ramifications of your own thoughts and actions, for your future, for others?

The home - Find out how to live like a family man, even if you're single (most men have their own families, right?). Many men will keep their sports equipment or cars lovin' fresh to the neglect of everything else. Pick up some life skills: learn how a mortgage works, keep a bathroom clean, pick up a couple plumbing know-hows. Can you cook anything, or do you only reheat?

Women - Learn how to treat the opposite sex properly. Ask a woman to help you--she'll probably tell you more than you wanted to know! Hang around mature married couples and find out what husbands have learned about how to relate to their wives. For men who want to be married one day, you need this.

Kids - It's not enough to know how to make 'em. Men suffer a huge social disconnect when they don't know how to relate to children, and it's usually the kids to do the suffering for it. The number of kids who do not have the benefit of a good father figure has been high for decades and is still rising. Even if you don't have kids of your own, learn how to be a father figure to someone who needs one.

3. Find a dad. If your own dad isn't a good choice for whatever reason, then find a dad--a mentor. Most guys need the voice of wisdom, yet actively seek to avoid it, choosing the comfort of ignorance . More importantly, most guys need male accountability. Yo mama simply won't do.

4. Be honest with yourself and with others. Most people in general think of themselves more highly than they deserve. Women know that most men parade themselves about with exaggerated opinions of their own abilities as well as display false humility to maintain their flimsy but idolized egos. We can see through that. We really can.

5. Be a leader. I don't mean running for prez. I mean seek responsibility instead of avoiding it altogether. A leader considers how his actions will affect himself and others later on and takes steps to steer away from foolish decisions. If men took more of a stand for longer-range thinking and stood by wiser actions, they might well pull a whole community to live wiser as well, and some people might even have respect for them. How about that?

6. Find a vision for yourself. Where do you see yourself, and what are you doing in five years? In 10? More importantly, what will your attitudes and understanding of yourself be then? I have male friends who have no vision. They are in their 30's and still live with their parents playing video games like perpetual teenagers. Such men are squandering away their youth on trivial pursuits, simply getting older and never having accomplished anything respectable.

In other words, grow up. A couple of years ago, I heard that sociologists are lamenting the ever lengthening period of adolescence in young men, lasting into the mid twenties (and perhaps beyond). If you are at least 20 years old, our communities and families need men, not boys.

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