There’s this tribe somewhere in the South Pacific that requires a male to go through a ritual of having sharpened bamboo scar their skin to resemble the skin of a crocodile. It’s like a rite of passage to becoming a man. What’s the equivalent in the western world? When does a boy become a man? What is a man suppose to do?
The way it’s suppose to work is that the men in your family teach you how to become a man. What ever their idea of a man is to them is what they are going to pass along to you. You’re suppose to be inspired by the males in your family. I think it’s the lack of inspiration that keep men from ever finding their way but also the ever-changing world we live in.
It’s easy in tribal communities. You get some paint thrown on your face, a stick through your nose and you’re a man. What’s the equivalent in the present western society? Graduating high school? Acquiring your career? Getting a mortgage? Leaving the parents nest? Being financially independent? Lifting a truck tire over your head? Taking out the garbage? If those aspects of life define a man then women have caught up to being just as manly. Except being able to lift stuff.
The differences between men and women are narrowing. Males in my generation can’t fix shit. We’re almost useless in this department. We’re as good at fixing stuff as women in this generation are at cooking. Also, the income level is not that vastly different if at all.
If you were to ask my uncles what a man is suppose to be, they would probably tell you a man is suppose to always be bringing in money and taking care of family. Maybe they’re right but they inspired me to stay a boy. The traditional values of family have never found its way in my life.
Perhaps the term ‘becoming a man’ has lost its significance. Anything a man is suppose to do a woman is expected to do as well now. Sticking up for yourself, doing the right thing, work, etc. Perhaps all that men have left to be men is dying earlier, chauffeuring and not crying during movies.