Peggy Noonans October 12th column in the Wall Street Journal on the re-emergence of manly men after the September 11th attacks resonates with me.
Id like to extend the discussion to consider a few more items.
A burly, masculine man is a great archetype and women have fantasies about men like this. We have these fantasies because, at a certain level, we want the man to be in charge. Id like to consider what else makes a real man that is also sexy.
A masculine man creates a principled life for himself and lives by it; he has the courage of his convictions and does not sell out his principles, cut corners, cheat or lie to serve an immediate goal. He gets an education before he chooses a mate and is a lifelong learner. A masculine man never makes babies that he does not intend to parent. A masculine man is one who appreciates the differences between men and women and makes it clear to the woman who is the man and who is the woman in the relationship. He brooks no ballbusting by any woman. He is confident in his masculinity. He does not engage in casual sex. Its a man who, having consciously chosen to have a family, comes home every night to his family and is active in that family. He shepherds his son and other teenage boys into manhood. He mentors younger men at work. A masculine man is one who gives his best to his work and risks his life sometimes for that work and for his family. A masculine man has one lover, his wife. He never tells a joke at his wifes expense. A masculine man has interests of his own that please him. He is not self destructive in his habits. A masculine man takes pride in his appearance and takes care of himself. And a masculine man chooses a feminine woman.
A feminine woman understands the difference between the man and the woman and does not act like a man. She is not confused. A feminine woman creates a principled life for herself and lives by it; she has the courage of her convictions and does not sell out her principles, cut corners, cheat or lie to serve an immediate goal. She gets an education before she chooses a mate and is a lifelong learner. She does not engage in casual sex. A feminine woman is charming and has social grace even when its just her and her man. She also takes pride in her appearance and takes care of herself, but is natural about it and not obsessed with wrinkles, gray hair, weight, the latest fashion. A great woman is not petty. She has interesting things to say and asks after her man regularly. She knows how to set the stage for a lovely evening at home or for a serious conversation or for frolicking fun. A feminine woman has a life of her own and interests of her own and does not wait around for the man to make her life complete. She also understands that when (if) the children come, they are her primary responsibility. She shepherds her daughter and other teenage girls into womanhood. She mentors younger women in her work. She appreciates that her man goes out there every day and maybe has to risk his life for the family. She appreciates, (and tells her husband that she appreciates) what he does for the family. A feminine woman is a hot lover in the privacy of her home, but does not sell it on the street by the way she dresses, talks or behaves. She is discreet in all things and never tells the marriage secrets to anyone. She takes her marriage vows seriously and models that for all other women, especially those raised in or after the 1970s or those influenced by the gender feminist propaganda that came out of that era.
Most of us would look at these lists and say, "that's what I want", but do we actually embody these heroic qualities ourselves and further, do we hold ourselves in high enough regard to expect these qualities in a mate?
Emotions are responses to one's values and for many Americans, it may be time to go back to the personal drawing board and fearlessly examine just what one holds as the highest values. It occurs to me that the hero lives within each one of us and now may be the perfect time for the emergence of the heroic life lived and celebrated every day.
To read Peggy Noonan's article, click here.