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black man thinking

I read a series of columns lately about the various things that we do as men that bothers women. And it downright pissed me off. It seems male-bashing has become the rule, not the exception. Everything from a man’s emotional dishonesty to his supposed fear of feminist, progressive, and overachieving women, have been brought into question.

These columns even went so far as to say that there are no societal or cultural structures of accountability that require a man to acknowledge his inability to communicate, commit, be honest about his feelings or fix his flaws.

The women who write these columns are either downright stupid, or better yet, bitter. It amazes me whenever a woman tries to get into the head of a man, particularly a Black man. No book, television or radio show will ever give you what you need when it comes to figuring us out. If you want honest answers, please talk to your father, brother or good male friend, because we – men and women – are more alike than we are different.

The minute women start to realize this, the better off we’ll be. The mythology surrounding what makes “a man” still looms large – so much so that it is assumed that even men often experience this hidden battle with masculinity.

Should I let my girlfriend or wife know how much something is bothering me? Will it come across as soft? Do I speak my mind at work or do I run the risk being seen as too emotional? If I take a stand on a principle that challenges the thoughts of other men, will I lose status?

Women can be strong advocates for change by encouraging men to evolve and expand beyond the stereotypes. I have come up with what I feel are some of the biggest falsehoods about men that, when exposed, can lead you to understand the true nature of masculinity.

Men Are Emotional: This may come as surprise to some, but men are more emotional than women. Have you ever seen a guy with his friends or watched him play a sport? Where femininity is about being outwardly emotional, masculinity just doesn’t work that way. If you give a man time, you will see the wall start to drop. Eventually, he will probably tell you more than you want to know about him. A man’s actions are always your best indicators. If you tell a man you love him and he doesn’t tell you back…unfortunately, he doesn’t love you. It’s just that simple.

Sex Is Not The Most Important Thing to Us: Sex is very, very important to a man. But it’s not what makes us fall in love with a woman. It’s very easy for a man to sleep with a woman, it’s not so easy for him to fall in love with her. And it shouldn’t be. When you call a man he says: “I’m alone”…we are actually alone. I know a plethora of successful men, who say they’re tired of being by themselves and wish they could find the right women to settle down with. It’s finding the right woman, who is patient, kind and willing to support his dreams. We too want unconditional love.

A Man’s Occupation Does Not Defines Who He Is: For men, working is what we do, not who we are. Society has deemed that we be providers, so if it overwhelms us…chalk it up to the way we were raised. Besides, I know women who are just as ambitious as men. Trust me, we would much rather be at home playing Play Station, at the gym or hanging out with the fellas. Culturally, men are more defined by their professions, which can keep their passions—what really identifies them—invisible. Get beyond the talk of work and find out what really makes us tick – I’m almost sure it will be not be what you imagined.

Men Are Not Limited Creatures: Men do not like to read. Men do not like the arts. Men do not like to shop. Men do not like to clean. All of these are totally ridiculous notions. If a man is on the fence about enjoying these things with you…he’s probably got something else planned. Think about it…when a man is trying to get a date with you, he will go above and beyond: flowers, plays, movies, concerts, book readings, etc.

Men Do Commit: Men love intimacy, therefore, they actually like commitment. Once a man realizes that you have his back, he will start to show you his true feelings. It may take us a little while, but it will come. Just like a woman, loyalty is everything to us. If a man is not committing to you after a certain amount of time…I suggest you move on.

The Myths of Manhood was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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