PLEASE LOOK FOR THE “This Catholic Life” PODCAST ON ITUNES, STITCHER OR BREADBOX MEDIA, DROPPING THIS WEEKEND, FOR COMMENTARY FROM THE CATHOLIC MAN SHOW HOSTS.
Many years ago people still knew what authentic masculinity meant. Men were men, and they weren’t accused of “toxic masculinity”. They grew up, they were accountable, they didn’t continue to live in their mom’s basements drinking mountain dew and gaming all night. Men had families and didn’t worry that children would cut into their ability to buy the latest, ironic, hipster, flannel shirt that makes them look like a lumberjack, despite the fact that they never go outdoors.
If you are unsure if what I say is true, the pictures will say all that needs to be said. We can see a desirable man from times past, and we can see the “new” desirable man, who looks like he may require more time to get ready for a date than I do.
I have decided, like every good blogger, to air my grievances on the interwebs, so without further ado, the signs of authentic masculinity:
The authentically masculine man doesn’t choose to continue to live with his parents and game until all hours of the night! He isn’t relying on his parents to allow him to continue to live like an overgrown child. He is industrious and seeks to make something of himself. This is not meant to shame those who have fallen on hard times, or those who are working toward independence. I mean to call out those who are quite happy being an adult child. If you’re actively working toward making something of yourself, that is manly, no matter where you are living!
The authentically masculine man doesn’t use your make-up and hair products. He grooms his hair and showers regularly. His clothes are not wrinkly and ill-fitting, because he has likely attracted a lovely woman who advises him. He knows how to dress-up for an event, especially mass, and that doesn’t include ironic sneakers with his dress pants. He is not vain, and embraces aging as something that makes him appear distinguished. Ask any woman. Salt and pepper hair is sexy! It says, a man has some wisdom, and the woman doesn’t have to worry about him stealing her hair dye.
The authentically masculine man would never put a woman’s reputation or soul at risk. He cares for her current and eternal well-being. This man can wait for marriage, or he has become convinced of its value later in life. He knows the value of patience and the message it sends to a woman, when he doesn’t try to use her.
The authentically masculine man does not order a “sex on the beach” with extra sugar on the rim and tiny umbrella garnish. He orders a scotch, neat. Ask Ron Swanson. Just Kidding. This is more about moderation. Real men know when they need to stop, and they know how to responsibly enjoy this gift from God.
God intended man to work the land, and for those of us who are not farmers, we can find many ways to commune with nature: yard work, fishing, hunting, sports, hiking, or, even, the romantic picnic date.
Children and Fertility:
The authentically masculine man does not want to completely avoid children, and he does not sterilize himself so that he can render the manliest part of himself, broken. He sees the gifts of life and the beauty of the fully open act of love between a husband and wife. He doesn’t want to use his wife for self gratification. He doesn’t think about the gaming systems or cars that he will have to sacrifice, or the time he may have to devote to his children. He is selfless enough to see what good children bring into the world and to welcome them with loving, fatherly arms. He is selfless enough to embrace his wife’s body, as it is, and not as he wants to poison it to be.
The authentically masculine man believes in God and respects and loves Him. He does not seek to live a nihilistic and hedonistic life, as he pleases. He leads prayer in his family, and displays good examples of living the faith to his friends, co-workers, and family. If he marries, he especially, leads his wife and children to God. He knows that his actions teach his children much more than his words, many times.
A monk once said that whining is immodest for a man because it displays less than they are, making them fall short of what God intended for man. Whining is self-emasculating and makes it appear as if a man feels he deserves less suffering in life. No one is above the master, and Jesus had quite a bit he could have whined about to his apostles, but can you imagine him griping to Peter about how ungrateful everyone is?
As I woman, I’ll be the first to say that we can whine at men a little, but it’s only because we love you. Married men live the longest out of any subset of men. Say thank you. Now, tell me I’m pretty. You’re welcome.
Somewhere along the line, a few men got the idea that being jerks or misogynists, was authentically masculine. This is not. It is a counterfeit, and not a good one. It’s like trying to pass of Monopoly money to a cashier. You don’t fool me. Authentically masculine men treat everyone with the dignity and respect due to another human being; they have manners. They don’t allow themselves to be walked all over because they have self-respect, but they aren’t out there saying demeaning things about other groups such as women or the poor. They are too good for that.
The authentically masculine man knows that others may depend on him and need him in their lives, especially if he is a father. He takes reasonable care of his body. He doesn’t go so far as to worship his appearance, but he maintains himself in a way that says he understands that he matters. He knows his children need a father. My own husband never exercised until we had children. Suddenly, someone depended on him, and he saw that he had to make sure he was going to be there. It’s responsible, it’s moral, and it’s masculine.
I hope this list rings true to you, but maybe it just ticked you off, royally. I apologize. It’s just my opinion. Close your computer, and pretend you didn’t read it. It’s a silly blog, written by some little woman with a superiority complex. 😃