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?
I would definitely agree with you Rebekah. Celebrations or rites of passage are window dressing that has nothing to do with the inner character of the person. Birthdays are celebrations of time passage but have nothing to do with the maturity of the birthday person.
I will say however if a guy is 18 and working on the job he'd better act in a certain manner, if not then I'll let him know he's being a, shall we say, pussy. At some point you have to realize that you are a grown man and you need to start acting like one. The problem comes in when no one holds you accountable for not acting like a man and lets (ok, enables) you to act otherwise. We do ourselves and our children a huge disservice when we allow them to abrogate their responsibilities and 'help' them out of certain situations.
About the timeless or universal or subjective masculinity:
At a pop culture convention, I saw that they spoke instead of "masculinities," plural, to suggest that it's subjective and particular.
But David Gilmore in his book Manhood in the Making found mostly the same qualities touted as manly worldwide. 2 strong exceptions (French Polynesia; a small tribe in Malaysia called "Semai"), and a few variations (Americans don't think having sons is manly, and are less likely than some to identify having money as manly). Survey suggests a lot of commonalities. A few outliers doesn't prove there's not a strong general trend -- for example, if you find one teen in a thousand likes Masterpiece Theater, it doesn't establish that that's the hot teen show. But a few outliers does prove that the trend is not inherent and innate, which is interesting.
Variations in fashion don't obviate these either. For example, if covering your fingers with rings means authority and wealth, they're manly; if they mean Liberace-style showmanship or laziness, they're not. You have to look to what's symbolized. Like the thing about Romans and beards: I hadn't heard they thought they were effete, but I did know that for Romans, a shaved face associated with military service, which is manly. For modern Americans, it's associated with either being too tame (not manly) or being serious about business (manly). & so on.
But that last one does point to some real variation. Which is manlier: wildness, or stability? Both have up sides and down sides.
What is one trait that you believe is a core value or part of the very foundation of being manly?
I'll start with SELF-CONFIDENCE.
I'd take self-sufficiency before self-confidence. The former breeds the latter, anyway. And, the lack of the former ought to interrupt the latter ... though, I've met several overconfident do-nothing ass-clowns that live like kept zoo animals.
Good point JB, as a matter of fact after I wrote that I got to thinking that I've known quite a few 'confident' boys who play the ladies for all their worth. Although it may be that they just act confident and aren't really. A question I would put to the women who post to this site is what character traits do they find attractive in a male?
These questions make me a little nervous, but let's see what I can do.
Attractive character traits would be:
Reasonable, or level-headedness
Kind, you could call it emotional intelligence, too, I suppose
Being protective, esp. important when kids come into the picture
Being willing and able to accept responsibility when things go wrong. I pretty much hate finger-pointing. That one alone says a lot about a person.
In what way do you mean reasonable or level headedness? I could interpret it as being able to remain calm in high-stress situations. Alternatively I could intrpret it to mean able to see other's viewpoints.
Your alternative interpretation isn't level-headedness ... it's open-mindedness.
Your first interpretation was right. The thinking/problem-solving on your feet is what I meant.
I'm not saying it's the most important quality in life. But it is the quality most identified with manliness, worldwide.
I was going to write a philosopical reply, but then I reread the last of the OP.
Aside from the somewhat common AoM, "I've got a school project, HELP!" request,
the OP appears to lack the basics of doing research on a topic.
R.J., you need to get a bit more wide ranging in your source material searches. Of your four cited references, two go back to the same "seat of his pants" eugenicist. I'd also try to find something a bit more authorative than a newspaper's semi-op ed article.
You want the brick and mortar library. Old fashioned, yes, but one cannot rely entirely upon secondary online sources to support a classroom speech project.