Fear is a universal condition of the human experience. But what are fears that are unique just to men?
A few that come to mind:
The fear of not being able to perform sexually.
The fear of not being able to provide for their family.
The fear of being called a "sissy."
The fear of being rejected by women.
Again, I just came up with those off the top of my head. I'd love to see what others you all can come up with.
What I'm more interested in is how you all think these fears get in the way of a man's emotional/spiritual/intellectual progress. Taking it a step further, how can we conquer these unique fears and move on in our progress as men?
I think many fears inherent to men stem from one basic fear: the fear of failure. Failing to provide for your family, failing to live up to others expectations, etc. I think to an extent the fear of failure exists within every man.
For me personally, with no family to provide for as of yet, the fear of failure exists as a fear of having regrets. The only thing that I truly consider myself to be afraid of is having regrets in the form of missed opportunities or a failure to act. For me, conquering this fear comes in the form of seizing opportunities as they present themself and following them to an end. Carpe Diem and all that.
Wife and I looking this over, and she made an excellent point. As a former single mother, the fear of not being able to provide for the family is not just a man-thing. It was a very real fear for herself, as well.
Point taken. I like what John said that perhaps there aren't fears that are unique just to men, but maybe there are ones that men experience more often or to a greater extent.
While single mothers definitely have the fear of not being able to provide for their children, I still think men experience this to a greater extent because we've been told and conditioned our entire lives that it's the man's job to be the provider. We're supposed to bring home the bacon, earn the bread, by the sweat of our brow... and so on and so forth.
I don't think that any of those fears are unique to men. I think that men experience them more often or to a greater extent than women. Or if you want to be picky, there are female equivalents to all of these.
That being said, I think that fear of rejection isn't only limited to being rejected by women. I think everyone is afraid of being rejected. I think we are Homophobic because we don't want to be rejected by our friends if we are seen as gay. I think being called a sissy is a form of rejection. If we don't perform sexually, we will be rejected by our lover.
Just thinking about the ones you listed, most of them stem from a fear of rejection in a broad sense. This goes hand in hand with our need to live in community.
One fear I've been mulling around in my head: Fear of not being respected. I've heard there was a survey that asked what you would rather be more: loved or respected. Men predominantly said respect. What do you think?
When I said fears being unique to men, I didn't mean fears that are universal among men. So, yes I agree, homophobia is not universal among men, but I still think it's a fear that men (generally) tend to suffer to a greater extent than women. I think my wife makes an excellent point on why men tend to be homophobic as opposed to women.
Yeah I didn't mean to caricaturize anyone special, sorry if I offended anybody, I just meant to reply on Stephen's comment:
"The knee jerk anti-gay reaction I see from many men is truly frightening as well. It kind of reminds me of KKK or Nazi SS style racism." and verified that Nazis were against gays as well as disabled.
I think most men that are homophobia or against gays, are just afraid of them being involved in their interactions or stuff like that.
(I had to delete this reply, then fix a huge typo, and now I've re-submitted it. Brett, I wish we could edit our replies like the old forum...)
IMHO, I think the fears unique to men are:
#1 . Fear of Failure (which is the BIGGY), and then a number of others which are closely related to fear of failure:
#2 . Fear of rejection
#3 . Feelings of inadequacy
#4 . Fear of losing control
#5 . Fear of being perceived as less than a manly man.
I was just poking fun since nobody posted up. It is a peculiarity of this place that we don't really follow sports in the forums though. Probably because there are better dedicated sites for that."
Hi all,I didn't expect this to happen, but there is something on which I am desperate to get other male teachers' opinions.Short backstory: After a career in finance I have returned to university to study teaching (I'm 32). After completing a 4 year Bachelor of Arts, I am in my final year, studying a Graduate Diploma in order to get my teaching qualifications.Sitting in a room of 90+ students, with only 4 others being male, the lecturer asked us to form groups to discuss what we would consider…See More
Virtual staff room for visionary teachers of every discipline. This is a good place for educators to discuss their collective role in society--particularly in regards to their duty as role models for young men. What does it mean to be a male role model for young boys in the classroom? How can we serve them best? See More
"Men poke at each other. I often dont like it either, but it doesnt mean they hate you. It just means they're having some fun. And you'll notice nobody said anything bad abt you or your momma.
They did some inside jokes, which wasn't…"