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  • Shakina Cooley

He Ain’t A “Real” Man

I’ve had a few discussions about it and still have no definitive answer, but it’s an interesting concept this preconceived notion of what it means to be a man in the Black community. It’s almost comical the lengths some men will go in order to preserve their “manhood”. Aren’t MEN supposed to be secure in who they are? Aren’t MEN supposed to stand up for what they believe in and LEAD households? Since when did MEN become more afraid of being judged by their peers than being who they TRULY are? The fear of being deemed “too feminine” has become so widespread and intimidating that men are resorting to hiding who they are (think DL brothers) just so that their able to say they are “real” men. Who came up with the idea that hypermasculinity equals “real” man? Where did this all steam from? Who decided that a man is not a man if he dresses a certain way or uses certain words or even listens to certain music? It’s mind boggling that beginning very early in childhood, young men are told they are to only do “manly” things and they’re shunned and ridiculed if they do ANYTHING “feminine”. When will it end? When will we teach our boys that it’s okay to just be who they are? When will we stop punishing them for being “different”? Who says that there is only ONE way to be a man? I think people are people and God made us all different intentionally. Just because a guy doesn’t fit YOUR definition of what a man “should” be, it doesn’t make him any less of a man. His sexual orientation doesn’t change that. The way he talks doesn’t change that. The way he chooses to dress doesn’t change that. A man is a man simply because he is.

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