"Toxic masculinity, the idea that there is only one way to “be a man”—strong, tough, unfeeling and aggressive—is a double-edged sword. " - taken from an online article on toxic masculinity
While reading a thread on GAG today, something one user mentioned caught my eye: it was a male user (won't mention his username) who was advocating for men that women's expectations are unrealistic now, and not just women's but society's too. This is nothing new. However, the next thing this user said really shocked me, and I thought Wow, I wish all men were like that! This guy is a REAL MAN!
The user simply said, "I don't care what anyone expects of me. I'm a man and I will stay a man, whether that means adapting with society when I need to or leading a revolt. Regardless of what women think, I am a man and that's not going to change."
So to start this off, I want to say that this male user was RIGHT, and this guy leads the example of what men should be and what makes a man a real man. He's basically considering the fact that women as a whole gender have various preferences when it comes to partners, but he's going to remain a man true to himself regardless. I will say that THAT'S what I want in a man!
This guy had an Alpha mindset.
Mindset is the core of everything. Mindset determines your actions as well as your emotions and how they tie together. The first thing a real man has is the mindset that he likes who he is and that he can adapt to anything when necessary - or snap a bone when he needs to. He knows that either way, he's a leader and doesn't run the same way with the rest of the pack, which means that if a woman tells him to rollover and let her kick him like a dog he won't do it! Women have a lot of different demands of men nowadays, and sadly many men are giving in to these crazy demands just to get on the woman's "good side." That does NOT make you a man; it makes you a follower and a loser. But confidence and an optimistic self-respect for himself is the first thing that makes a man a real man.
This is NOT to be confused with conceit and arrogance, which is demonstrated below:
Nobody is perfect, so don't try to fake it.
Part of a confident mindset is acknowledging that you're not perfect but knowing that you are improvable and being thankful for the imperfections you do have as a man. (Again, this is a difference between confidence and arrogance.) Faking something is one of the most laughable things you can try - especially if you're trying to fake perfection because you'll never ever succeed, so good luck with that. Look at your flaws and smile at your image in the mirror. :)
Real men are strong in pursuit of what they want.
Real men don't plan on blending into society and staying in the crowd all their lives. Instead, they make something of themselves. This doesn't mean the guy has to become some five-star celebrity, but it DOES mean that he has to put in the work ethic. A real man can be a man sitting at home watching t.v. right now, who consistently goes to his job every day without fail and makes his own living. Even deeper, a real man can be a man who hasn't even moved out yet and still lives with his parents - maybe he even has mental issues, let's throw that in there - but he's WORKING HARD FOR SOMETHING. Perfect example of this: Bill Gates became a billionaire, starting off by staying in his little computer room and working toward a dream. He even dropped out of college. Now look: he's one of the richest guys on the entire planet.
This also applies to wanting a certain woman. If there's one particular female you feel like you just have to have, then consider this: if you don't try then you can't succeed. If the woman rejects you and you still have feelings, don't be afraid to make sure she still knows you want her. This doesn't make you less of a man; it shows your humility and self-respect. If you lose those feelings and move on, that also shows self-respect. The point in this is... Go after what you want. The worst thing you can do is to still have those feelings in the end and never have gotten what you wanted.
Real men show their emotions because they have peace within themselves.
A man who feels the freedom to express his true emotions is a rarity. Men are human just as women are. The difference in emotional expressions between men and women is that men are not as emotional as we are, but that doesn't and shouldn't mean that when they are feeling emotional they can't express it. Honestly, I find that demand to be inhumane. A real man will be himself, which includes how he prefers to express his emotions, regardless of what the critics of society say. They can't stop him from being human, and everybody needs that freedom. A real man feels free.
A real man is respectful.
As a woman, I can say that we are absolutely not perfect either. However, we all need to respect what should be respected. That goes both ways. For example, a real man does hold the door for a woman, but he DOES NOT sleep with a woman who's well-known to be promiscuous. This is out of respect - both for himself and also for the women. And trust me, in turn we women respect him greatly and mightily for it.
Plus, I don't just mean this telling you to respect women in general. This applies to when a man has a female partner - whether it's his wife, girlfriend, fiance, etc. A real man won't treat her the same way he treats other women. He singles her out and makes her feel significant. This doesn't require giving her the world or doing expensive things. It simply means showing her that she's more important than any other woman in his life, even through the smallest ways possible.
Real men are dominant and don't surrender their dominion. Real men have no problem taking the dominant side of a relationship. They have no issue asking a woman out (considering that they're ready for a relationship) or making suggestions. They don't expect women to lead them; instead, they lead the women. Real men have this assertive dominant quality that is just so fine <3
Real men take responsibility.
This is in reference to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Real men actually hold themselves accountable for their own actions, and that makes it fairly easier for them to take the consequences that come with them. Again, nobody is perfect. Everybody's gonna mess up sometimes. Take responsibility for everything you do, and take it with pride, because a man who has no sense of self-respect and responsibility is not well-liked among women for it.
Conclusion: I greatly admire that one GAG user for his words. I have never seen another male user on here stand up for himself that way; instead, all I've seen are the males trying to conform and please everybody else - especially the women. And for the other guys... You don't have to be an Alpha to be a real man, but you DO have to put in the effort and try.
Even given the definition of toxic masculinity and the degrading factors that a lot of women place on men these days, that does NOT mean that you can't be desirable among women - regardless of who you are. When you chase and try to please, you won't be able to please everybody, and you'll end up getting a reputation you never intended to have. Stay true to yourself, be the man YOU want to be, and the rest will fall into place.