What Makes a Man

Male Role in Society Being Redefined

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What Makes a Man

Autumn Biggerstaff, Staff Writer

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Mr. Kilmer, art teacher, works with students in one of his classes. Mr. Kilmer teaches in one area of the teaching profession that has been traditionally female over the years. “You have to embrace who you are,” he said. 

A boy cries in 5th period English class. Everyone else laughs and says he should be more grown that he needs to be a man; men don’t cry.

    This is about real-life situations that happen to men. They might put on this persona of looking tough on the outside, but on the inside, it’s a whole other story. 

          The main aspect is how you choose to show your masculinity. If you aren’t in sports or do something that shows your worthy of being a man, you may as well forget about hanging with the other guys.

“Well I think it changes over time,” said Mr. Ahlersmeyer. “I don’t think we need to go back to cavemen but, you know it’s to provide food and protection and back then they took what they want.”

Mr. Ahlersmeyer went on by saying today in society, gentlemen take it as they’re more masculine if they have enough strength.

Mr. Kilmer had a bit of a different perspective. His idea is that strength should not deal with being a man.

“I would say embracing the traditional roles of how a man should carry himself and conduct his life,” said Mr. Kilmer. “Taking into consideration having a spouse and having a family.”

The perspective of students sheds a little bit of a different light on this topic. Due to them being not as experienced, or not having been in the real world to experience.

“Things that make you feel more masculine,” said Calvin Baker. “Anything gender-roled or seen as boyish, like getting messy, playing in mud and sports.”

So from his point of view, you can see the focus on more of how things make you feel. Instead of the roles they play at home with their wife and or kids.

Men don’t need to bench 175 pounds to show that they are tough. They just need to be the best that they can be.

       “Masculinity is the main thing men strive to have and they try to show for other men and other women,” said Grace Grabner.

It wasn’t over just quite yet. We discussed what  proper role a man should take on and how they should treat other people. That they shouldn’t be womanizers, this means they shouldn’t pursue many women and have short relationships with them.

“I think men should be able to control themselves and I don’t think a women’s freedom should be dictated by how a man can control their views or urges,” said Ahlersmeyer. “That’s like blaming a rape victim for, well, she shouldn’t have dressed that way.”

Mr. Ahlersmeyer proves his point about womanizers, but then he adds a little bit of a twist to let it be more of a conversational question.

He turned the table by saying, if we were talking about femininity what would the women’s purpose be.

He discusses what he believes should be evaluated. Then he adds, how women and men should act towards one another.

“They need to be mature about their own decisions and men need to be mature about their thoughts and decisions,” said Ahlersmeyer.

This shows that, they need to be grown and not be so childish. Society should not have to deal with other people’s decisions that they have made.

“I don’t think one should necessarily change for the other,” said Ahlersmeyer. “I think one if change is warranted, they should change for their own beliefs as opposed to how other people are going to react.”

We further looked into how men should conduct themselves towards women and not being able to use them for what they want.

“No, I don’t think a man should have a goal of being a womanizer,” said Kilmer. “I think any relationship has to be an equal partnership, so both parties have to understand what the goals are of each person.”

We discussed if whether women should have to dress to accommodate for men. This means should we have to cover up our shoulders, so men will be less distracted or should they not view women as objects.

“Definitely more of a male issue,” said Baker. “You could choose not to look if that really distracts you.”

Should it be appropriate for men to make insulting gestures at women? Of course not. Within life, you see the roles men partake in with women have barely changed. Not all of them care if they show you what your worth. As long as they know in their minds, they succeeded with their conquest.

“Yea. I don’t think they should be able to be womanizers,” said Grabner. “It should be equal.”

This shows that men and women should be treated as intellectual equals.

   “If there’s a hole in a guy’s jeans and there is a hole in a girl’s jeans, they both need to change [their clothes] not just one,” said Grabner.

Expressing the fact of, you can’t favor one over the other. Just because, it shows to much of the girl’s leg and it might serve as a distraction to a guy. That doesn’t mean a guy should get away with the same act just because, girls aren’t as focused on those types of things.

Then there was the fact of whether a guy should be able to express how they feel through violence all the time. That they let all kinds of anger build up and never let it out. So as a result, they end up beating someone else up for no apparent reason.

“It’s not good anytime,” said Ahlersmeyer. “If they have these urges of violence, finding constructive and safe outlets for them is fine.”

Then he steers closer to the way, men use violence towards family and coworkers.

“Not in any other situation is that okay,” says Ahlersmeyer. “Not at work, not with your kids and not with your wife.”

We talked about how men should communicate their emotions. Should they have to use forceful measures to show their strength?

“No. Never. Period,” said Kilmer.

In society, most men deal with all their anger by pushing it off onto someone else. They should be able to conceal their anger, just like women conceal theirs.

“No. I don’t think violence is a good answer for anything,” said Baker. “That’s like another huge stereotype, that people see men has very violent people.”

There are all sorts of ways people show their emotions. Not all men show their emotions through violence, so we should make sure we get to know that person first.

“That’s a bad stereotype to put on people cause that’s not something you want to promote,” said Baker. “It’s not healthy, to express emotions through aggressive violence acts.”

A male’s anger needs to be dealt with properly like on a football field, playing hockey or wrestling. They can take this aspect to far and strike that person by using aggression. Is that a solution to the problem?

“No, I don’t think it is at all,” said Grabner. “It just makes the decision more toxic for whoever is involved.”

It could have been handled with a simple conversation but, in the end it started something way worse that could have been prevented.

Then there was the fact of whether or not athletic ability deals with masculinity. If your seen playing sports, does that make a man any more masculine. Then say a man who doesn’t involve themselves in any sports.

 “The stereotype of theater people is that they are not necessarily masculine men,” said Ahlersmeyer. “You know I’ve done theater since high school and I’ve always considered myself masculine.”

When the crowd is cheering for the football team, it makes the players work harder and makes them proud to be a part of a team. In all reality, couldn’t a man show his masculine traits without being part of a league/team.

“No, that is an old-fashioned stereotype,” said Kilmer. “It has nothing to do with whether you can catch a ball or run fast, it has nothing to do with being a man.”

Men could be in theater arts and/or choir. That doesn’t make them any less masculine then someone that’s in the major leagues.

“Definitely society sees people as being more masculine as in playing sports,” said Baker. “You could definitely show masculinity in many different ways.”

In life, others learn that everyone has their own style. Not everyone is fit for athletics. It’s just not how society is made.

“There’s a lot of people that play video games and that is seen as a very masculine thing to do,” said Baker. “That has no exercise to it because, it’s all in a game.”

The way you show your strength doesn’t and or shouldn’t depend on, how fast you can sprint a mile. It should depend on how you use your strength to help others. Does it involve a sense of achievement for more than just yourself?

  “No, I believe you could be athletic but also be feminine,” said Grabner. “Expressing yourself in a feminine way or masculine way doesn’t affect how you play on the football field at all.”

That a man could be very feminine but, be better than someone who puts on the act of being very masculine. It just depends on how much effort you put into it.

The more effort you have, shows the coach that you’re a good person to depend on. Even if, you’re not put into the jock stereotype. This could mean that you are not very built and don’t strive to the full 110 percent.

An example of having to change how you talk and act would be, having a group of manly men and there is just one person who is excluded due to their voice. Also because, they don’t exert themselves to the rest of the world.

“A lot of is, do you have to change in order for other people?,” said Ahlersmeyer. “Should I change my views on you because, you have uncapped shoulders.”

All in all, he wrapped his opinions up with how you have been taught and or brought up by your parents.

“A lot of it is with how you are raised, you are not born racist,” said Ahlersmeyer.” “It would be a personal choice about how bad you want to belong to that group.

To sum up everything, we had elaborated on the fact of whether, a man should have to change his personality or make his actions convey the stereotype of masculinity.

“You have to embrace who you are,” said Kilmer. “One of the reasons you’re interviewing me is because, my career is in the arts. That traditionally hasn’t been looked at as being a very masculine profession.”

Personality is what makes a person unique in their own way. No one acts completely the same or believes in all the same things. It’s how you treat others that shows a person who you are from the inside out.

“I don’t think you have to change anyway of being more masculine,” said Baker. “You don’t have to be very masculine to be a guy, there are definitely many feminine guys out there and that’s ok too.”

Calvin conveys his thoughts by expressing that, there are many feminine guys in the world.They shouldn’t feel any less worth it because, they aren’t considered a manly man.

As the reader you are reaching the end of the story, with only one person left to share their insights with you. Who do you agree with the most? How has their insights affected the way you view men?

To put everything to a close, a guy’s wardrobe and or actions shouldn’t reflect on other people. Who cares about what you wear. As long as you’re happy, while wearing it.

“[Men] should be able to express themselves the same way women do,” said Grabner.

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