Man is obsessed with manhood. The idea of the supermacho, be it Rambo, GI Joe or its android equivalent of Terminator is a source of fascination for the testosterone-driven, fast and furious macho-macho man. And this idea has somehow managed to skip and hop across borders and cultures making us wonder if it is a case of really well-executed marketing or -- God forbid -- a DNA defect on the Y-chromosome.
Unfortunately, the Judeo-Christian tradition has also given the “benefit of the doubt” to women, both sexualizing, i.e. demonizing woman, while at the same time making her an eternal symbol of impossible purity, the case of virginity even beyond childbirth. This comes from a tradition that sees adultery as a man-given privilege, one of the first recorded instances of a double standard. A man could have intercourse with any unmarried woman but he was not allowed to have sex with another man's wife, which was considered a sin. On the other hand, a woman was not allowed to have sex with any man, married or not, save her husband.
All this I claim has pumped up the macho ego. By being allowed to act out his fantasies and by being encouraged by peers and society to state and assert his manhood, man has come to not only strive toward an unhealthy image of himself, but also project what he is not. Any type of weakness -- and feeling has been labeled so in that twisted mind -- is to be strangled to protect the false image of manhood.
This may explain highly damaging behavior like shaking hands of sons instead of hugging or kissing them goodnight, a concept that the psychologist Watson once proposed to ensure a “manly” upbringing. Men are not supposed to cry and must always suck it up, while anything else is considered effeminate and gay. By stifling each other emotionally, man has created his own version of hell and suffering.
Yet that image of the macho is of course only intended for men. If women adopt that kind of attitude, such as a “boyish” (out)look or aggressive behavior, then these women are shunned since they are perceived as a threat and as an unwelcome rival to masculinity. Indeed the Victorian era tried its best to instill women with a fake sense of honour and sets of so-called lady-like behavior and occupation. As such, men are supposed to wear the pants and when they do not do so, they become the laughing stock of their peers.
But I am not meaning to point the finger nor lay blame on something that has gone wrong over various centuries. In fact, I am going to show us -- of the male persuasion -- how we would benefit much more from accepting our feminine side and to reiterate what women have been reproaching us for eons.
In fact, those gun-swinging, steak-slinging cowboys at heart are full of insecurity. They are limited not only in their perspective (and sometimes alas intelligence), but they are constantly afraid and feel always threatened by any one who does not fall into the same trap. If a man decides to stay home and take care of the kids with his wife bringing home the proverbial bacon, then the macho man sees it as a personal threat to his macho prison.
Likewise, this explains why gay men so much terrify them because they embody the feminine aspects that the macho would like to embrace but dares not to do so. Not to mention that this life-long steroid ambition has made him infatuated with all things masculine and has inadvertently created a homosexual -- but deeply frowned upon -- fascination for other men.
Yet the “sensitive” man who is in tune with his female nature, who embodies both yin and yang within is more at peace with himself and in fact more confident in his wide range of talents. He can fully accept and develop any talents that are considered feminine to begin with, anything creative, educational or health-oriented. Yes, that includes male nursing.
This sense of freedom creates more opportunities and diminishes fear and paranoia. The man who is not insecure in his personality can also have homosexual friends without the fear of being accidentally converted or subverted, as some claim.
The sensitive man has no need to prove his manhood by taking on or watching aggressive sports, nor by getting into fights or pushing wives and girlfriends around. The sensitive man can also cry whenever it suits him and show compassion and empathy toward others, not because he is weak, but he is much stronger than any macho man can dream of.