"As a geek, I've often felt like less of a man because I'm not a brash, cocky, man of action."
I tend to not get a long with guys my age. Whether it is not being super into sports, not being very big, or tending to be a bit more soft spoken, I'm not what most people would think of as "masculine". Nevertheless, I think what it means to be a man today is far more complex and nuanced than what most people make it out to be. I've been reading a lot of the amazing articles on The Good Men Project, watching the informative videos from Real Men Real Style, as well as becoming versed in the social justice education granted to me by being engaged in the student affairs realm. All of this amounts to this humble geek having a better understanding of what it means to be a man today, and here are some general tips on how to get there.
So, a piece of what I mentioned before about being a man has to do with how you present yourself in terms of your dress and your style. I see a lot of young men who don't have any sense of style, which I define as the timeless rules of men's clothing. They wear gym shorts and old sneakers most of the time. Real Men Real Style has a plethora of advice on this topic, with videos on everything from ties and scarves to shoes and socks. I'll let them detail the specifics, but there is nothing to be ashamed of with men dressing well. If you want to be successful and taken seriously, you need to know how to present yourself. I've come a long way here myself and I really feel that my impression on people is always positive since I dress well and make sure to do my best in this regard no matter the occasion. It is a big step for being a mature man to move past the clothes and style you've had since you were a teenager.
Being a humble, insecure geek, I've struggled with some bouts of depressive feelings since I felt like I wasn't connecting with people in the ways I wanted to. I felt left out, lonely, and unwanted. I also didn't take care of myself by eating well or working out. In the past several years, I've started to take care of my body and my mind by being conscious of what I eat, drink, sleeping more, being as active as I can, and most importantly, being an advocate for my own mental wellness. Most men would probably just try to grit their teeth and suppress their emotions. I've had an emotional awakening as I work to explore my feelings and embrace them rather than ignore them. Men need to accept this human part of themselves. They need to be well mentally and physically to be the best parents, partners, and people they can be. They need to be emotionally available, stable, and considerate. In this way, they'll be able to act in a more empathetic way towards other people.
My partner has been showing me a fair share of feminist literature. I'm intrigued to explore more, but on this point, it is important (especially for me as a cisgendered, heterosexual, white male) for men to acknowledge their privilege, when they have it, and use it to be a powerful ally to those in need. Men need to change their entitled, privileged attitudes and be a part of the solution, not the problem. Men need to be intellectually curious, open-minded, and patient. As a geek, I've often felt like less of a man because I'm not a brash, cocky, man of action. I'm a humble, considerate, man of thought. While I'm not trying to make those who are unlike me out to be bad, I do think that we need more of a balance in the world, where we all don't feel like we have to be something we're not. There should be fair opportunity for everyone to be whoever they want to be. This could mean how they dress, where they work, where they live (and who they live with), and who they love.
The picture above is of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor (my personal favorite Doctor). He is a fine role model for men I'd say. He balances the different parts of himself well. He's emotional, decisive, kind, considerate, and abhors violence. He solves problems in a thoughtful way that doesn't hurt anyone. However, if someone hurts people he cares about, is acting selfishly, or simply behaving in an evil, senseless fashion, he responds with a just anger (and rocks a fine suit the whole time). Most men could learn a few things from this Time Lord.