Is simply being a man a bad thing? It seems some people think so. Especially one “male” on Twitter who stirred up a bit of discussion with his tweet indicating he doesn’t have a clue what it means to be a man:
I am not a “man”. I am male.
“Man” is a term of emotional & intellectual slavery. It limits who you are & what you become.
— Youssef Sarhan (@YS) October 20, 2017
This is the kind of thing that could only happen in 2017, and no, I don’t mean that as a compliment. Over at RedState, writer KJ Adan notes:
The thrust of the sentiment, though, repeated in his follow ups, is that under the banner of “man”, manliness has contributed naught but pain and suffering to humankind. Perhaps a world run by women would have less war and more cold silences, but the world run by men AND women has produced some fairly amazing advances in science and art.
Sarhan might remember that being labeled a man also puts one in the company of Siddhartha, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Mahler, Einstein, Frankl, and King. There was also a man who taught that “ … these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Technically Jesus was God incarnate, but if you’re a secular humanist, you still recognize that Jesus was a man whose life and teachings changed the world.
It is my hope that this is an ongoing self examination for Sarhan, and not reactionary virtue signaling. To some of us women, this kind of tweet or Facebook post reads like those dudes who try to hit on you by claiming to identify with your “struggle” — while they themselves struggle to get into your Hello Dolly. Too many predators disguise themselves as women’s advocates.
That’s true, but there is also a whole generation of “males” who eschew the idea of being men because they don’t understand what it means. They hear feminists rail against so-called “toxic masculinity,” and never bother to note that most of what they’re complaining about isn’t acceptable masculine behavior.
To be a man is to accept responsibility for your life, to be willing to accept responsibility for others, and to accept the roles men are expected to perform. While Sarhan may be considering these roles as slavery of some sort, they’re not. It’s a wonderful thing to be a husband and a father, the only thing that straightened my once screwed-up life out. It’s a wonderful thing to teach your children how to do things, especially that moment when they prove they’ve got it. There’s nothing in the world like it.
Protecting your family isn’t slavery, but a sacred obligation that anyone worth being called a man not only willingly accepts, but embraces with the full fiber of their being.
Perhaps Sarhan is right. He’s not a man. To be a man is something that should be earned by the males of a given society. Sarhan, who likens the obligations of being a man to slavery, is undeserving of the honor of being a man.
Everything that is encompassed in being a man, in being a real man, is something taken on freely because that sacrifice is to the betterment of society. Anyone who can argue it’s slavery is someone who clearly doesn’t comprehend it.