Throughout the century we have witnessed the rise of women and feminism. While a woman’s position in society has been improving in the last hundred years or so, it seems that some men have become confused.
Some even admit that they don’t know what it means to “be a real man,” nor what the real masculinity definition is.
This is completely understandable since we can’t apply the traditional beliefs about masculinity in the urban society anymore.
John Gray, the author of the famous Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, is calling all men to join the revolution of masculinity and learn how to become the best kind of man – a conscious man.
So, here is everything you need to know about masculinity and the new definition of being a real man.
Traditional Masculinity Definition
The first step in realizing what true masculinity is, is to become aware of the various traditional social rules that define a man. In almost every culture, being masculine means the following:
- Being fearless
- Protecting your loved ones
- Being a firm character
- Being able, capable, and skillful
- Being sexually active and desirable
- Being prone to risk-taking and violence
- Suppressing emotions
However, these rules should not be applied in the urban society.
According to scientists, men who adhere to traditional masculine norms are more prone to experiencing depression, stress, and substance abuse.
A patriarchal society actually does more harm than good to men by denying them having ‘unmasculine’ traits and rewarding violence and destructive habits.
What used to be the definition of masculinity, has now become toxic masculinity.
What is Toxic Masculinity?
Toxic masculinity is a social science term used to describe traditional norms of behavior among men that actually turn out to have negative social and psychological effects.
Promoting these norms of masculine behavior can not only turn out to be harmful to men but also to women and the society as a whole.
The concept of toxic masculinity is not to criticize men or male attributes. Instead, it is supposed to emphasize the harmful effects of conformity to traditional masculine behaviors.
It is quite common to hear a father telling his son to “man up” when the son is crying over his hurt knee or hurt feelings.
Young boys are taught to stay away from feminine hobbies such as cooking, dancing, or singing too. If they do have a more feminine hobby, boys will often be met with the laughter of family and friends.
Boys grow up learning that they shouldn’t be emotional, they shouldn’t ask for help, and should always put up a tough exterior.
By dictating that men must be strong and have no feelings, typical masculinity definitions encourage men to miss out on aspects of life that all people should experience, such as emotional connection and nurture.
The worst influence of toxic masculinity is encouraging violence.
In order to prevent this, John Gray calls everyone to start reshaping these traditional beliefs and join the revolution of masculinity.
John Gray Breaks Traditional Masculinity Definition
John Gray wrote an entire book about becoming a real man called Conscious Men (alongside co-author Arjuna Ardagh).
By constantly using the science of brain chemistry, he points out what a man needs to do to become a conscious man. He also managed to break the traditional masculinity definition by pointing out one simple scientific fact.
As we’ve already established, the traditional masculine norms encourage men to be strong, dominant, and even aggressive. However, John Gray points out one common misconception about testosterone, the primary male hormone.
We usually connect testosterone to aggressiveness. In reality, testosterone is the zen hormone; estrogen, the primary female hormone, is the one responsible for aggressiveness.
So, when a man is acting out, he is not full of the manly testosterone; rather, he has too much estrogen.
If this doesn’t make you want to rethink the meaning of masculinity, then what will?
If you’re worried that you have more estrogen than testosterone after reading this, these tips will help you boost testosterone.
John Gray advises men to hold back their impulses, listen to others, and focus on being present. It is these things that require courage; acting out and being violent is cowardly. By being present, a man will not only become a better version of himself, but he will also help to ground women.
How To Become A Conscious Man
1. Be Present
According to John Gray, the presence of a man has a great power. Being present refers to experiencing and paying attention to the moment we are in. A man who is present and who lives in the moment is a man who can be trusted. Not only will practicing “being present” make you a better man, but it will also improve your relationship with women.
Presence in men grounds a woman, makes her feel understood, and produces oxytocin, a hormone known as the “love hormone.”
2. Be fearless
Being fearless does not refer to that traditional belief of having absolutely no fears. Being fearless actually means being able to admit your fears and then conquer them. A real man won’t be in denial of his fears and pretend to be invulnerable. Instead, he will gather the courage to do the things that frighten him.
3. Don’t hide your emotions
There is nothing wrong with having emotions. A conscious man won’t hide his true feelings and intentions. He will always be in touch with his emotions and be ready to express them. A man will be valued more if he has the courage to express himself and the ability to listen compassionately.
Don’t think that showing your emotions will make you a coward. Toxic masculinity will teach you that being emotional is cowardly and weak. Keep in mind that cowards always try to hide their weaknesses. If you open up and talk about your vulnerability you will actually be practicing courage. Don’t let the toxic masculinity fool you into thinking that the only emotion a man should express is anger.
And, when it comes to anger…
4. Own your anger
A real man will own his anger and not allow himself to become a slave to his anger. If he does, then he may also hurt those around him. When you decide to own your negative emotions, you will gain control of your life.
To own your anger, all you need to do is to recognize that you are angry. Once you do, you will be able to start thinking about your feelings and automatically give the anger an opportunity to leave.
To calm yourself down, think about the situation that made you angry from different perspectives. Imagine all the different responses to that situation and try to choose the right one; the one which doesn’t involve irrational acting out. If you have problems with controlling your anger, make sure to check out these 7 simple steps to gaining self control.
5. Be resilient
Being resilient is one of the greatest traits a man can own. A man should be flexible and reliable at the same time. No matter what happens to him, a man should be able to pick himself up and start all over again.
Keep in mind that a conscious man will not be resilient in the traditional, toxic masculine way. Instead, he will give himself time to grieve. A real man will accept his fate and grief, but he will not become a victim of them.
6. Develop your mind and body
A real man should be devoted to developing his mind and his body. Taking care of the body will make a man fit, strong, and healthy. Taking care of the mind will make a man wiser and more compassionate. By combining these two, you will have more to offer and also reflect the image of a real man.
To enhance your brain power, you don’t have to only read books. Check out this simple mind-hack that will increase your brain power.
In this short video, John Gray presents the importance of alone time for men. Having enough alone time can be a complete game-changer when it comes to being present and conscious as a man.
To be a real man, you don’t have to have a strong body, be violent, and self-sufficient. In the 21st century, masculinity definition has completely changed. Now it involves the idea of being present, aware of people around you, and mindful. If you are ready to become a real man, embrace the idea of being a conscious man promoted by John Gray and join the Revolution of Masculinity.
What do you think about these traditional definitions of masculinity?
Should we continue to adhere to them? Or, should we try to redefine masculinity according to John Gray’s ideas?
Share your opinion in the comments below!