Meandering Monday about Missing Manliness

It is very hard to be a man. It is not something that you are born with, although being born the right gender is pretty much a prerequisite. Being a MAN is something you have to grow into. Some people arrive their naturally – it’s just in their genes, and they just directly and purposefully toward their destiny, walking down the street to meet whatever challenges face them like John Wayne.

You can see signs early in life. When my son was three, he was playing with his Duplos (those are big Legos), and he built a gun.

“Oh look, you’ve built a hammer,” said the well-meaning, politically correct among us.

“No, a gun!” he said proudly, and he could not be dissuaded from this (for those of you who might be concerned about this behavior, he has yet to shoot anyone.)

Most of us have to be taught – we have to learn to be men. The best way to learn is by example, but we have had decades of manhood under siege that have made it harder to act like a man out in public, and so it’s become more difficult to find good role models.

How have men been under siege? Well, simple things like being chastised for holding a door for a woman can have you ostracized from “polite” society (even if you hold the door for everyone.) Simple flirting is being turned into a sex crime. Th every act of CHOOSING to identify yourself as a MAN can cause all sorts of fill-in-the-blank-phobic accusations and mandatory sensitivity training because you didn’t choose one of the 50+ other gender identities.

Relief valves that men used to be able to count on are under fire. How often did a man faced with a need to cool down say “I’m going out for cigarettes”? (and yes, I know that’s also the start of many stories where men disappear never to return – I said it’s a relief valve.) Where is he supposed to go now that smoking has been blacklisted? And when the woman in his life asks one of those inevitable trap questions (like “Does this dress make me look fat?”), there isn’t a Twix to be found in the house, because all that sugar is bad for you, too.

There are books designed to help make and keep men – like The Dangerous Book for Boys that try to lead boys from eight to eighty down the proper path of manhood. There’s Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus, which lets us know that there really are differences between MEN and WOMEN, and how to navigate those dangerous waters. Books that tell us that the longing we feel deep in our souls to act like a GUY isn’t a bad thing. It’s perfectly okay to be a man.

Or a woman, for that matter.

Just saying…


My next ePub release will be “Out of Place”; I still need to create the cover…


SleepWithTheSnowmenCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his latest ePublication “Sleep with the Snowmen” – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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