I'm not going to delve into the subject of how Manliness died, but I do want to spread the word on how it was dying and is now reviving. Fellow men, and young men in the journey to become men, I need some help finding sources for a speech I'm going to present.
I was largely influenced by Brett's performance at Ignite Tulsa, and I wanted to emulate that somehow. Today, I was given the privilege by my professor to present a speech on "Cultural Awareness" that is due within two weeks. He wouldn't mind if I delved into subcultures, so I wanted to do something different and difficult. I want to tell how Manliness isn't necessarily wrong. Before I discovered AoM, I believed manliness to be only what I found in media and magazines. These were buff, burly men who acted like jerks and had sex everywhere they went, gathering the women as a farmer does with wheat. I wasn't a jerk, but I believed there was a change in the way men were. Now, I know there is an alternative to this a. I have pledged to being counter-cultural, and help spread how to be a better person through becoming a real man. A man of strength, virtue, and intelligence.
Of course a man must help himself before asking others for help, so I have already found some sources myself:
And what has been a real great help, was studying speeches of other men. I had Brett's Manvotionals with me a few months ago, but I lost it. But the words of MLK and William Ernest Henley have stayed with me, even now. Pericles' funeral speech was a big booster of support for me. If anyone else has a problem with making speeches, look to other men who made great speeches.
However, there are many variables that prevent me from actually doing this:
1.) There are a lot of girls in this class. In my Speech class, there is a 2:3 ratio of young, bright young women to men who dream of a future for themselves. How bad would it be if I came into class with my ideas of reviving "manliness" in their faces? Of course I attempt to be polite daily to both genders, but the results seem unpredictable right now as I sort through what could happen. Maybe they'll raise their standards for the men they date, hopefully.
2.) I am a giant square. I try to be chaste, I never try to use coarse language, and I read books all the time. Now I will be a bigger square by presenting this speech. I shouldn't care about what others think, but someone has to think about their standing with the other students and professors.
3.) I'm very guilty of being both the metrosexual and man-boy that Brett presents in the video. I enjoy buying fashionable clothing, and I do play video games. In fact, I am soon to buy a custom computer on which that I can make mods for PC games. But I know my limits, and I never try to spend what I cannot afford by being frugal nor do I frequently play video games from dusk-til-dawn inside my room. I also try to believe there is a manly way to game but that's an entirely different discussion for another day if I manage to get there.
So please, could you help a young student? Are there any other articles, or books from the library that I can read to cite as a source? Are there any other speeches that can I study? Thank you for reading.
tl;dr version: I have a speech due in two weeks about the decline of manliness. Could you help me find sources, please?
Turns out you should get credible sources before you use the story as a pillar in your argument.
But I love these stories because usually a group of people is so eager to believe it because it instantly validates their worldview. And so they jump on the bandwagon and get that zesty feeling of self-righteous indignation. But really everyone should process the facts and exercise due diligence. Not as sexy, doesn't give you that warm and fuzzy feeling that you are right and all your opponents were wrong. It's even a little nerdy and unemotional to investigate thoroughly and get the facts straight. But it's rational and smart.
And then there is:
So one false story negates the argument? NOT. That would be like saying all priests are peodophiles simply because some are. This is not the first nor will it be the last time school administrators of grade schools go quite a bit overboard in their zealousness. Kids play, kids play cops and robbers, super hero's, and Cowboys and Indians (ok Native Americans).
One false story does not negate the argument but the argument is based around evidence, and the evidence in this case was clearly false. You can't build an argument on fake evidence... I hope we can at least agree on that.
This is just a stab in the dark with me not putting too much thought into the subject.
Manliness can be difficult to define or outline. One thing you can say for sure is that it is different and separate from womanliness. When men or our time start taking on female traits and looking more and more like women you can definitely say that manliness is diminishing. The metrosexual trend with the makeup, hair removal and primping definitely makes a male more like a female.
I think we have more grown boys today that may never become men. The population has become larger and some of the men who are old enough to be manly are acting like boys. In terms of percentage there are probably less percent of men who we would call manly than in the past.
Again, what makes something male or female? In some cultures, men wearing make up is considered the masculine thing to do. Wearing heels was masculine at certain places and times. Which just shows you that masculinity is a pliable term with different meanings in different places and times.
Manliness has nothing to do with externals such as attire or appearance, though oft used as a measuring rods for manliness in first impressions. Manliness is all about one's character, not appearances.
But what characteristics? Again these are going to be different across time & space, and the result of different factors such as social, economic & political.
I'm not sure they'd be as different as you think. Regardless of gender there are a few character traits that are viewed "good" across time and distance; strong work ethic, honesty, dependability, driven, self sacrificing and so forth. Now to agree with your stance that it'd be difficult to pin these down gender wise, because certainly women are just as beautiful of character, it is dashed difficult to say what makes them manly in one gender and lady-like in another. Perhaps there is no difference beyond the genitalia of the possessor, though I doubt that. It doesn't feel right somehow (and my position keeps getting weaker!). At the moment all I can offer is the old, cop-out statement, "I can't tell you what manliness is, but I know it when I see it."
Obviously I need give it more thought!
So according to your cop-out statement... manliness is a lot like pornography? Hah!
Typically I tend to ascribe to the notion that manliness is on the decline. Over the past few weeks I have been mulling that one over. My reason is that while I, just as others have noticed and commented, have seen my fair share of immature and unmanly men, I also am acquainted with quite many who are outstanding examples of firm and manly character. With this in mind I have been asking myself is it manliness that is really on the decline or is the stage upon which it is enacted shrinking. To be sure, it is no longer a man's world. And that is a good thing, generally speaking! I just wonder if we as gender-driven-character-bearers are weeping for the want of worlds to conquer.
Jack-- too much nesting, starting anew.
There's no way you actually believe the definition of masculinity is "a variety of ideals that come from various sectors for various reasons."
That's not my definition of masculinity. But it is something that masculinity is. It has no meaning for you because I didn't pin it to any specific time or place. All I'm saying is that ideas about masculinity need context. Masculinity is a product of time & place, not some fixed, defined thing that will always be the same. It is a fluid concept, and once you recognize that fact, you can track down how and why it changes.
Again, I'm not trying to answer the question "what is masculinity" or "why is it declining" but rather formulating a general view of concepts like masculinity in order to begin investigating them. Of course, I have no real personal interest in such an investigation, but that's my own personal tick and that's not to stop others from doing so.
Again, I'm not trying to answer the question "what is masculinity" or "why is it declining" but rather formulating a general view of concepts like masculinity in order to begin investigating them.
That's what I said. You're not trying to answer anything ... you're trying to filibuster with intentionally meaningless nonsense. Your "general view" is too general to be useful for anything, and you don't have any specifics at all (or even an interest in them, apparently) ... so I can't figure what you're even talking about.
As expected. No specifics. A predictably null response.
Manliness may be difficult to define, but it isn't meaningless. Masculinity is displaying the qualities traditionally associated with, or appropriate to, a man. Or, in the case of something inanimate, having qualities befitting a man.
Those definitions apply in a specific time and place and timelessly ... "appropriate" changes some with time and culture, "traditionally associated with" doesn't change as much. Some specifics may be time/place/culture dependent -- whether skirts are manly is different here than in Ireland. But, the definition itself is not time/place specific, and some immutable masculine qualities aren't either.
For instance, physical qualities typically brought about by male testosterone levels are manly regardless of when or where you're talking about ... beards, physical strength, deep voice, etc. Capabilities associated with those qualities are also immutably manly, regardless of time or place ... fathering children, athletic capability, fighting prowess, ambition, self-sufficiency, etc.
There are specifics that can be applied timelessly. There are plenty more specifics that can be applied here and now, and as far back as any of us can remember.