I will conclude this series, let’s be honest it could go on forever it’s such a big topic, with 3 traits of the good man. Traits that men should strive to embody if they want to earn the moniker of “good man”.
I worked with a man of Greek descent. He always spoke fondly of his father. One day he told me of the days when his father would take him and his brother to the market on a Sunday morning. His father would stock up on fresh vegetables and bread and before they left for home he would take the boys to a restaurant, buy them both a seafood dinner and then go for a walk as they ate. He told me that it took him years to realize that his father left because he didn’t have enough money to buy himself a meal. This was a powerful memory for him.
I’ve been there in my dealings with my own children and those around me. If I feel that something will mean more to someone else than to me I will buy or donate it in a heartbeat. Selflessness is the antithesis of selfish and what we do for others is our legacy. A good man will always help others even if sacrificing something for himself.
In short, be reliable. Be consistent. Be dependable. If you say you will do something or will be somewhere then make sure you do it. To a real man, nothing is more important than your word and a man knows that there is never a second chance to make a first impression.
Finally, let’s get down to the origin of this series. The term “toxic masculinity” has its origins in women being fed up with how men treat them on the streets, in the workplace, in the marriage and in general. I stated earlier that in the process of eradicating bad male behavior all masculine traits fell under fire and I addressed it. Let’s discuss those that needed to go and why.
Respect for women.
I will say it flatly and firmly. A good man respects women. A good man does not have separate standards for a woman in wages, responsibilities and accomplishment in the work place. He does not objectify women as sexual objects to be leered and grabbed at. He does not expect “the little woman” to stay home with the kids barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen while he goes out every night. A good man recognizes equality in every way without Gloria Steinem and Whoopi Goldberg telling him so. With the exception of urinating while standing, women have amply shown that they are capable of almost everything that men are.
So what are some old traits that men do that they should continue despite the societal onslaught?
Protect your lady. Not because she can’t but because it is a primal instinct to use the only advantage men have (in most cases), our physical size and strength to protect a woman in need.
Opening doors. Yes ladies, we know you can open your own doors. Please don’t be offended if a man does it for you. Some of us were raised that way and we like to do it. It is the mark of a Gentleman.
Be complimentary. Some of us know how hard it is to be a working mom. Let’s face it, being a mom is hard work. Never mind having a job in addition. So if we tell you that you look nice, it’s not objectifying. It’s respect and admiration for your ability to have enough energy to do the hair and makeup. Men have it infinitely easier in that department. “You look nice today” is a compliment fellas, “Nice rack” is not. Know the difference.
I believe that most women fancy a old-fashioned Gentleman. I believe that a smart woman knows the difference between a player and a Gentleman. I believe that a woman likes having the door opened, likes the man picking up the check, complimenting their appearance. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t?
Some things are timeless and some need to change. I hope we are able to make the distinction before all of the good is erased in the attempt to eradicate the bad. Not everything is misogynistic and toxic. Again, know the difference.
It’s quite simple guys. Treat women like you would your mother. Treat your neighbor and the stranger on the street as you would like to be treated. Do for your children what your father did for you or what you wish your father had done. Be kind, be humble, be proud and respectful. Be an example to your children that they will emulate later in life.
Be a good man.