man enough

PENNED BY :- PRIYANK SHAH

Man enough ?

I’ve been pretending to be a man that I’m not my entire life. I’ve been pretending to be strong when I felt weak, confident when I felt insecure and tough when really I was hurting. I think for the most part I’ve just been kind of putting on a show, but I’m tired of performing. And I can tell you right now that it is exhausting trying to be man enough for everyone all the time.

Now, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been told the kind of man that I should grow up to be. As a boy, all I wanted was to be accepted and liked by the other boys, but that acceptance meant I had to acquire this almost disgusted view of the femineity, and since we were told that feminine is the opposite of masculine, I either had to reject embodying any of these qualities or face rejection myself. This is the script that we’ve been given. Right? Girls are weak, and boys are strong. This is what’s being subconsciously communicated to hundreds of millions of young boys and girls all over the world, just like it was with me.

As a man that this is wrong, this is toxic, and it has to end.

We likely all know how we got here, OK? But I’m just a guy that woke up after 20 years and realized that I was living in a state of conflict, conflict with who I feel I am in my core and   conflict with who the world tells me as a man I should be. But I don’t have a desire to fit into the current broken definition of masculinity, because I don’t just want to be a good man. I want to be a good human. And I believe the only way that can happen is if men learn to not only embrace the qualities that we were told are feminine in ourselves but to be willing to stand up, to champion and learn from the women who embody them.

Growing up, we tend to challenge each other. We’ve got to be the toughest, the strongest, the bravest men that we can be. And for many of us, myself included, our identities are wrapped up in whether or not at the end of the day we feel like we’re man enough.

I’ve got a challenge for all the guys, because men love challenges.

I challenge you to see if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper into yourself. Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Can we redefine what those mean and use them to explore our hearts? Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? To reach out to another man when you need help? To dive headfirst into your shame? Are you strong enough to be sensitive, to cry whether you are hurting or you’re happy, even if it makes you look weak? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life? To hear their ideas and their solutions? To hold their anguish and actually believe them, even if what they’re saying is against you? And will you be man enough to stand up to other men when you hear “locker room talk,” when you hear stories of sexual harassment? When you hear your boys talking about grabbing ass or getting her drunk, will you actually stand up and do something so that one day we don’t have to live in a world where a woman has to risk everything and come forward to say the words “me too?”

12 thoughts on “Man Enough ?”

  1. Its so truee and so amazing….. Loved it and the way the writer synchronized each word with the reality is just fabulous….. ✨💯 Keep going.

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