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What is a Real Man?

What is it to be a man in the 21st century? In this time of social media and "woke" liberal thinking, we men find ourselves confronted with terms like "toxic masculinity" as they are, somehow, to be a man is evil. Radical feminism has emasculated men in our society to the point where we are now trying our level best to be as effeminate as possible. Whatever happened to the concept of men being strong, protective, and, for want of a better word, manly? Society now applauds the man who comes across as "sensitive" but is, in fact, timid. I, for one, refuse to embrace this idea of the "girly man".

I was raised to believe that men had a role, a function to perform within society. We were meant to protect our wives and create safe spaces for them to do what they were designed to do, that is to say, be women. But we have let women down. They now believe that their greatest threat is from those who are supposed to protect and cherish them. In South Africa, about 40000 rape cases are reported every year. Bearing in mind that rape is a crime of power, not of sex, can we blame women who are distrusting of men?

We live in a time where gender roles are muddy at best. Often, women find themselves leading households and being the main breadwinner. African culture, in particular, is historically very patriarchal and men have great difficulty in accepting woman filling roles that they would have in the past. This is not to say that their behaviour is in any way acceptable. Rather, I believe it is a direct result of women believing that they are on their own in this world and have to make their own way.

Most women that I have asked have told me that they would love nothing more than to be mothers, caring for their children, secure in the thought that their husbands provide for them and protect them. Of course, this is not a popular view if ventilated in society but, as I said, it is what I have been told by the women I have asked. They go on to say that they don't believe that this is a realistic expectation in modern times, and that, at the very least, households these days require two incomes if they are to survive. This may be a question of economics rather than gender roles, but the desire is no less valid regardless of its practicality.