I’ve decided that it’s about time I started a personal blog, not necessarily as a matter of ego-stroking and self-congratulations. See, I’ve had this idea for a long time now to start something between friends and I called A Matter of Metal and Masculinity. I’m a big fan of the comedic writing of T.C. Luoma, who occasionally writes articles for the bodybuilding e-zine T-Nation. He always has some hilarious but poignant things to say about what masculinity and manhood mean today, how the definition is changing, why men are losing touch with who we’re supposed to be.
See, manhood seems to be split down the middle these days: hyper-masculine, aggressive, dumb brutes or overly emotional sissy boys combing over-waxed hair and wearing ball-suffocating skinny jeans. And this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. TC made some great points in his most recent article, namely that rage and aggression need to be tempered with compassion. The things that make a strong man are the same that make a strong woman.
I believe wholeheartedly in the feminist movement. We live in a day and age where women are fast becoming more educated than men, but are still getting paid less. That’s absurd, plain and simple. But the feminist movement is growing. It keeps moving forward, which is beautiful. The problem is that masculinity shouldn’t be repressed as a result. You know what happens next? We end up with a culture that produces a million man-children running around with no clue how to direct their aggression or desires. We end up with men who’re emotionally unavailable, who lack introspection, who lack the ability to progress the way women currently are.
But this blog, right here, isn’t supposed to be about masculinity. I wanted a personal blog to discuss living the writer’s life. I wanted to discuss me: a writer, characteristically sensitive and emotional, and a testosterone-fueled athlete, characteristically angry. I don’t believe manhood excludes femininity. A strong man and a strong woman share all the same traits.
It became clear to me that the theme of this blog is identity: what it means to be a writer (rejections by the hundreds), what it means to be a man, what it means to be a person. And so my title came: The blog is a matter of Self.
So far, it’s pretty bare-bones. But I hope you enjoy the musings as they come along.
Sounds like an interesting concept for a blog! I think masculinity today, that is the balance between the types you just mentioned, is the image of a classy, street-smart, aware gentleman. That is, a person who is able to get in touch with his emotional side while being secure of his identity, both in regards to gender and himself.
But is that actually masculinity today, or is it our current idealization? Look at the media and see how “men’ are actually depicted. The closest media portrayal to the current masculine ideal is Mad Men, a fictionalization of 1950s masculinity. Isn’t that evident of some sense of cultural masculine nostalgia / unrest with the current heteronormative climate?