An Ode to Men

hu-man

I love men. I love the way you smell, the way you walk. I love hairy men, strong-bodied men, skinny men, short men, tall men, dark-haired men, light-haired men. I love calloused hands, I love hairy butts and arm pits. I love penis lines, linty belly buttons, a freshly-shaven face, a strong jawline. I love the way you touch me, hold me, grab me. I love the way you look at me – “steak eyes” is what Stella calls this, the way a man looks before he’s about to eat a really good steak – I love the way you dress, the way you talk, how you move in a kitchen, how you order your food, how you interact.

I just love men.

Men who wear purple. Men who wear lavender perfume. Men who are graceful. Men who iron their pants. Men who spend a Saturday night baking cookies. Men who play video games and then take a bubble bath. Men who do dishes. Men who wear lip chap. Men who speak eloquently and make eye contact. Men who listen to classical music in the morning. Men who drink tea. Men who look at themselves in the mirror. Men who hold doors for other men. Men who say ‘Please’. Men who nurture. Men who are kind. Men who love puppies. Men who keep secrets. Men who get tongue-tied. Men who respect privacy. Men who are gentle-handed. Men who are calm and stable-minded. Men who dance like no one’s watching. Men who cry at movies. Men who giggle.

As women are bombarded with what it means to be a ‘proper’ woman, men are equally bombarded with voices from all sides ‘what it means to be a man’. At the same time we women are deconstructing traditional gender roles enforced onto females, we need to recognize they are equally being imposed on men:

“No one man created this system, and perhaps none of us, if given a choice, would choose it. But we live our lives in that system, and it deforms men, narrowing our emotional range and depth. It keeps us from the rich connections with others – not just with women and children, but other men – that make life meaningful but require vulnerability.”

“We men can settle for being men, or we can strive to be human beings.”

– Robert Jenson, “The High Cost of Manliness

it's true.

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