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Man Enough.

The status quo for appropriate male behaviour is increasingly worrying. Crass behaviour has not only become the norm, but it is also expected. It is the standard by which masculinity is judged by both genders. What is sad is that many women, consciously or not, have also lowered their standards and have come to accept poor quality in men.

It started sometime ago with speech. Poor speech, rather than being an exception, or being restricted to the uneducated, is now generally acceptable. To be clear, this is not a critique of language and culture. What is irritating is that any boy child who expresses himself properly, clearly, and in perfect english is likely to be teased for sounding like a girl. It's seems that only girls are capable of enunciation! What is more disturbing is that even grown women continue to stereotype men who sound 'proper', and speak well.

Then there is the issue of grooming. Since when did neatness and a clean appearance require a label? Whoever invented the term 'metrosexual' obviously felt a need to reassure themselves of their masculinity. Why was this necessary? Because apparently only gay men pay attention to their appearances. So the exceptional men who aren't sloven, and detest sloppiness, desperate to avoid being mistaken as gay, hurry to create a new category for themselves. If society's standards for men hadn't sunk into a quagmire, this would have been completely unnecessary.

Finally there is the matter of how men are allowed to treat women. I won't lay the blame squarely at the feet of women, but some are to blame. If a man isn't cruff, doesn't objectify women, and is generally a nice guy, then he will either be considered a pushover, or will have his sexual orientation questioned. Many women keep gay male friends because they make them comfortable, they understand them, and they don't try to get into their skirts. Should a woman happen upon a guy who is all of the above, except gay, she becomes aghast and disbelieving.

In a society where good qualities in men are mistaken for femininity or raises eyebrows about his sexuality, it is little wonder that so many men would rather behave as expected. This leaves few real men as bulwarks against the erosion of the male gender role.
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