Are You Man Enough?

Pusillanimous (adj.) – lacking courage and resolution: marked by contemptible timidity; lack of manliness.

By now, I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed a startling trend of men operating as if they have an extra X in their chromosome, instead of an Y. Please note, this is not a diss to women, but rather the start of the devolution of men.

Not to be confused with real n*ggas, but “real men” seem so hard to find that you would probably have an easier time finding a hot sixteen from Wiz Kalifa. I am aware that women have been saying for years that there are no more good men; that they either live in Atlanta, or are in jail. Truth be told, I would always take offense to this. Some women’s definition of a real man is subjective, and varies from woman to woman, no Denise LaSalle. Some want to be pampered like in the Fairytales, while some just want to be loved. I would be a liar if I said I was the perfect man. While some women from my past might have their thoughts, I think that I’ve grown into a good man, with room left for more growing.

Having said that, I do agree partly with the women who say that real men are hard to find; but, I won’t go so far as to co-sign their extinction. You see, it seems cool and acceptable for a man to be effeminate. Now, I don’t mean in a sexuality kind of way, but in a way that makes it hard to tell the boys from the men and unfortunately, men from the boys.

So many men in my age group (35-40) are living in a Peter Pan state, where they are trying to re-live their childhoods. Instead of acting their age and not their shoe size, or taking on the role of a self sufficient man and a role model to the younger generation, some of my generation’s men are content to “turn up in the club,” and do the same things as somebody almost half their age.

In decades past, manliness defined how we thought of a man. A few characteristics associated with manliness included building things, tinkering with a car for hours in the garage, walking around with his head held high and chest puffed out, and being held in high esteem by not just women, but by his fellow man as well.

Now days, it seems like it’s a race to “out-soft” each other. Everything from men’s fashion, music, to collegiate activities has all seemed to embrace today’s softer man. For better or for worse, baggy t-shirts and jeans have been replaced by women’s slim cut jeans, and shirts so tight they snap in between the legs. Some of the biggest names in Hip Hop are softer than wet naps, and some are openly wearing even women’s clothing like it’s natural. Add to that, a group of men in Texas called MIAKA (Men In AKA sorority) threatened the AKA’s with a discrimination lawsuit for not allowing them to join.

Even though it would be easy for me to shake my head at these and other examples of today’s man, I’ve decided instead to look at the man in the mirror and ask myself where did I go wrong? How did I fail the younger generation? Did I not punch the little homies enough in the chest to toughen them up growing up? Did I not encourage them enough to go outside to play football and basketball instead of sitting in the house all day playing video games? Or, did I not take one under my arm in an attempt to show him the ropes? All of these questions rack my brain when trying to figure out… just how the younger generation of men turned out the way that they did.

Even though I am an only child, I come from a two parent household with both parents coming of age in the Jim Crow era in the South. My father was/is a true southern gentleman who believes in God first, family, and then everything else. My father’s motto was/is TCB (take care of business) first, then relax or play. Holding on to that knowledge and other jewels that my father has passed on to me, (let me get my not- so -humble -brag- on for a moment), I could be a beacon for some younger males who are looking to learn.

Well this is just my take on some of today’s men. While I’m not pointing the finger or judging, I can say that some of what’s being displayed has me scratching my head and asking what could I have done?

What is your take on the state of men these days?

Onyx Contributor:  Breazy Taylor

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