Notions of masculinity are constantly evolving, and it is fascinating to explore how men perceive themselves and the different ways they define manhood. A user asked the forum, “Men, what do you think it means to be a man in 2023?”


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“To be a man, you must be swift as the coursing river, some might say, with all the force of a great typhoon.

I believe you’ve gotta have the strength of a raging fire, and it’s good to be as mysterious as the dark side of the moon.”


Image Credit: Ollyy, Shutterstock.

“We’re victims of trad gender roles too. How many of us got married or had long-term partners and then were disappointed that our partners treated us like a means to an end?

In 2023, there is less pressure on me as a man to be any one thing that society has chosen for me. Good. It means more of us than ever can be who we are.”


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“By not overthinking it, as your post does. By realizing I am me, a person, not a gender, and not limited to just one aspect of my being.’


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“I can only speak for myself, but I put almost no thought into gender or gender expectations. I don’t try to live up to a specific definition. I just focus on what feels right for me, and if that upsets anyone, then that is their problem.”


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“Be emotionally mature, be informed on and be critical of things before you speak, know how to do every basic repair on your house and car, be fit and in shape, be patient and kind, and do what you like to do and love who you want to love.

Oh, also be good at interpersonal communication.

I got most of these down. Still working on the emotionally mature and being informed and critical before you speak.”


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“I would venture to say that my general idea of manhood could be/is easily used as a broad set of principles by anyone. My idea of being a man may be “traditional”; having discipline, strength, living simply, etc. But those sound more like general good guidelines for anyone to follow.

I guess in the end, if I think about who I am as a man, I’m rather hard-nosed and simplistic. I look at the world in a rather black-and-white way; you either do good or you don’t, and you pay for the consequences of both.

I dunno if that really answers it, though.”


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“Learning to love yourself the way you would an ideal partner. Whenever I feel like I’m not enough, I try to remember.

I’m only in competition with the man I was yesterday. If I’m better than him, today was a success. If I’m not, I must find the lesson in today to be better tomorrow.”


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“To be your true self. None of the noise about changing who you are to fit into a premeditated observation of what you or anyone else should be.”


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“Doing what is best for your family not just as a provider but emotionally too. Working a ton of hours to provide and missing out on your family is so unhealthy for everyone involved and creates a lot of resentment in a relationship.

So many of us are messed up because our family’s generation didn’t promote mental/emotional health. We no longer need to be the only source of income but need to help create an emotionally stable household for our children to grow up in. Be a good example for the future generation.”


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“I think healthy “peacetime” masculinity is pretty much what it’s always been. Raise people up instead of putting them down. Be playful and protective with your loved ones.

Take care of yourself so you can be there to take of others when they need you. Be humble and kind without being a doormat. Integrity and dignity are just as important for you as for anyone else.

The main thing is most of us are just a lot less likely to have to go to war these days. The warrior culture aspect of masculinity is still there, but it’s a lot more subdued. Still, it better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”


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“Having genuine respect for other human beings (at least until they prove unworthy of it), a love of animals, and generally not being a jerk. Too much importance is placed on gender roles and not enough placed on just being a decent person.”


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“2023 or not, you can be whatever you want to be, and you’ll still be a man. Just look at your objective and how to reach it without harming anyone as much as possible. Don’t try to put yourself in some sort of ideology; this is how people lose themselves.”

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