I live in Korea. In some ways, it's more advanced than any other country on the planet (technology). In others, it's...well, not as developed (sexism, rampant superstition).

But as the society changes, the perception of men is changing. Nowadays, there's a shift in public perception as to what the ideal man is. Today, he's a non-threatening, androgynous, "yes, dear" shopping companion--as designed by an unrestrained female imagination (this unrealistic objectification is not unlike how the "ideal woman" is perceived in many western countries).

The following link goes to an informative blog post describing this "new man." The counterpoint offered by a more old-school gentleman is priceless:


I'm not a Korean man, so I'm not expertly positioned to talk about the Korean concept of manliness. But perhaps you can speak from a first person perspective about manliness around the world? Do you identify with a foreign culture? What does MANLINESS mean to you and your kinsmen?

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That's an interesting article. It sounds like the Toymen have some good qualities that real could learn from and incorporate into their manly lifestyles, such as listening to their wives. Overall, however, they sound pretty girly.
I lived in Mexico for a couple of years. Like most Latin American countries, machismo is prevalent in Mexico, especially in the lower class. I guess it's how poor men in Mexico assert their masculinity.

An example of machismo rearing it's ugly head is the way women are treated in Mexico. I met lots of men in Mexico who were married but had a mistress on the side and they didn't think nothing of it. However, if their wife was getting some action on the side, watch out!

Also, being a man often meant heavy drinking and watching cock fights.

But there were lots of men in Mexico who epitomized manly virtue. I met a lot of classy dudes down there, especially older men, who looked and acted like the stepped out of a 1940's Pedro Infante movie. The were good to their wives and good to their families.
Yeah, Mr. McKay pretty much hit the nail on the head about Mexico. My family is from Mexico and I go there often, and I get to see the difference between males in Latin America and U.S.A.

Manliness to my kinsmen would mean dominance, sometimes to the point of beatings (wife, kids, etc.), but I have only heard of extreme cases when substance abuse was involved. Pride is another big one. If one is shamed it is sometimes hard to be integrated back into the community. Hard work is another characteristic of manliness to my people. Lazy young men are bad-mouthed in the community.

There is always the good and bad in a culture, and in Mexico there are men that are humble and embrace manly values, and then there are those that think that screaming and hitting is being a man.
Great topic! I spent two years in Armenia as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and gleaned some important insights about foreign concepts of manliness.

First, you had better be able to hold your liquor. This may have been something the Armenians learned while under the yoke of the Soviet empire, but drinking serial shots of homemade vodka without screwing up your face or losing your cool is one test of your masculinity. Much business and many social engagements are conducted over vodka and serving as a toastmaster at a celebratory dinner is a tremendous honor and responsibility.

Second, you must be the master of an automobile. The roads in Armenia are serpentine and the penalty for error could mean careening yourself and passengers off of a mountain cliff to a fiery death. Men know how to handle their vehicles, and are often fastidious about making repairs. Resources are scarce in that country, so you have to be able to sort of a battlefield surgeon with your car. A man's prowess with his vehicle is often a point of personal pride.

Third, you can barbecue. The kitchen and household may be the woman's domain in Armenian society, but the shish and fire pit are man's turf. Skewers of pork, tomato, and potato. Men brag about their meat and this is the centerpiece of the meal outdoors or during special celebrations. If you screw this up, your family will look at you in shame. Men gather around the fireplace and take tender care of their skewers of meat. Of course, a shot of vodka marks the end of the cooking before meat is transported from fire to table.

Fourth, you are married. You may hate it and spend hours complaining to your male friends about the hardships associated with domesticity, but you all wear your marital status like a badge of honor. Well, more of a rite of passage.

Speaking of rites of passage, you also likely served in the Army, which is not necessarily a positive experience in a young Armenian man's life. There, you also learned to smoke, which you do to this day. You also probably are clean shaven (beards are associated with Islam), dress in black, and wear slacks, a belt and a nice dress shirt with sport coat with square-toed black shoes. Armenians like to be dressy, men do not wear shorts, even in 100-plus weather.

There are other elements, but these are the highlights. Enjoy!
Being from Philadelphia with a grandfather who was a numbers runner and construction worker who moved his family into the suburbs my idea of manliness comes mainly from his times period (50's).

The main 4

1.Support: You have to be able to support the family, even though my grandmother owned a shoe store, pop brought home the bacon, meaning doing whatever you had to do to bring home the meal, my mom would tell me of the numerous times pop would come home after working for a month or so down south and would come home with a bag full of toys for the kids and a couple rolls of hundreds.

2.Dress: You better be able to dress sharp, Sunday's best is never limited to Sunday. You better know how to shave with a straight razor and how to shine your shoes.

3.Maintenance: As a man who basically built his own house you better know how to fix EVERYTHING, many times he would laugh and call you a "dummy" if you couldn't fix a sink pipe.

4.Hierarchy: Pop would put himself half in the grave to prove he was the man of the house, me or my uncle could never beat him in anything and defeat was never admitted. He got the largest plate of food, even up to date and if a dispute ever broke out he was the last say. Period.
Here's a timely article from CNN.com on the changing male in Japanese culture... quite similar to the Korean "toyman" described in the first article I posted:


Some of the negative traits listed in the replies to my first post may be more indicative of "machismo" more than Manliness. If I were to describe the difference, I would say that machismo is more of a show of dominance, and a a way for a man to assert his position among his male peers. Manliness is management, not domination, and a show of positive values to all (regardless of age or sex). You act manly because it's right, not because it gains you social status.

There's machismo in all countries- I've lived in Israel, the UAE, Russia, Korea, and the US. Machismo in all countries tends to share the less-than-noble trait of woman-conquering. For example, having mistresses or hiring prostitutes has little social stigma in Israel, Russia, and Korea. In the UAE, taking on multiple wives is perfectly legal. In the US, bragging about one's exploits over multiple sex partners is often (like it or not) a way to gain the respect of your peers.

Manliness is something better. Take military service as an example. Korea, Russia, the UAE, and famously Israel all conscript their young men into the military for a period of mandatory service. Weasel your way out of it (at least in Korea and Israel for sure), and you'll face serious difficulties in your career later on. Men expect other men to serve their country. I like that. I think the US could use a heck of a lot more of that.

What do men expect from other men in your culture?


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