Part 1: It’s a Trick Question
What does it mean to be a man? It’s kind of a trick question.
It’s a trick question because the idea of “manhood” or “masculinity” means two different things, often at the same time. When a person says “manhood is…” they are either saying “most men are…” or “if you are a man, you should be…” Often, they mean both of these at once.
The trick here is that there’s actually no logical relationship between saying that most men are a certain way and saying that you should be that way too just because you’re a man.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “if everybody else jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” We all know that just because other people do something, that doesn’t mean it will be good for us.
It’s a trick question, but it’s a trick question that we’re expected to answer every day in how we act, how we treat other men, how we treat women, how we speak, what we say and don’t say, what we wear and don’t wear.