In today’s society marketing has plagued the world with intense trigger words to grab our attention. Since I have spent a decent amount of time focusing on what it means to be a man, I have grown distaste towards one common phrase that I continue to see weaved into numerous articles: “Real Man”. I want to take a moment and parallel this to the “Organic Food” movement. Have you ever thought about how pathetic it is that something has to be marketed as “Organic” or “All Natural”? Shouldn’t the food we eat be assumed to be all natural and good for us? Likewise, I am left contemplating the subject of masculinity and this hot, new terminology. The very idea of “Real Men” implicates that we live in a modern day epidemic where masculinity is so out of touch with its origins that we have to clarify whether something is authentic or not. This is staggering.
What would society be like if we started using this same trigger terminology with other things? I went to a REAL college to get an education. I have a REAL wife to go home to at the end of the day. I work a REAL job. I have a REAL family. Even as I write this I find myself thinking about conversations I have had with people where statements like these have already been used. We have become so far detached from what we perceive should be authentic and normal. In turn, we feel the need to clarify to the people around us when we have ascertained an original source of goodness.
I want to be part of a society where no longer do I have to acknowledge and encourage the rarity of a real man. Rather, I would prefer to acknowledge and discourage the opposite. What if we lived in an era where men who were not commendable had the term “Fake Man”? If this was to occur, I would feel a slight sense of encouragement since I would then know the tables had started to shift in our culture! I know it seems odd but the idea of this makes me wonder if it is possible.
Will there be a day and age where that which is authentic and organic is not what needs clarification rather the false and imposture are what will be pointed out? So, before the next time you choose to use the term "Real Man" think about how constricting and sad of a term it is, and what it implicates towards all other people who do not fall under the umbrella of your terminology.
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