About this Blog

The title of this blog, "I'm About to do My Thing," was inspired by Jill Scott's introduction to her poem "The Thickness" from her live album Experience: Jill Scott 826+. In this intro, she warns that the content to follow is "real" and proceeds to deliver a beautiful message about self-esteem in young black girls, what can influence and damage that self-esteem, and the entire village's responsibility--"it takes a village"--to elevate its children.

In a similar way, I want this blog to be a space for fun, spirited and light-hearted discussion on issues regarding black females, our bodies, our hair, our men, and our images. But I also want it to be a forum for intelligent and respectful dialogue as well. Like Jill's poem, this blog will tackle some real topics, and they won't always be light-hearted. They will, however, be about lifting each other up. I welcome such discussion, but if you have nothing positive to contribute, please don't participate. Otherwise, join in!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Definition of a Man

Just in time for Father's Day, I'm happy to share a new guest blog post by my oldest friend and dear sister, Darlita. As the mother of a son, she probably didn't have to stretch her mind very far to apply the themes of a romantic comedy to her growing boy. While the film she contemplates isn't about fathers instructing sons on manhood per se, it does tackle a common definition of manhood--one that needs challenging. Check it out!

~Moka B.

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What is the definition of manhood? What does it mean to be a man? I pondered these questions recently while watching the movie Crazy, Stupid, LoveThere is a scene in the film where Jake (Ryan Gosling) is talking to Cal (Steve Carrell) about his sad lot in life, specifically the demise of his marriage. Jake assures Cal, "I'm going to help you re-discover your manhood." After this declaration, their interactions revolve around Cal meeting lots of women and building up his confidence so he can sleep with them. Is this what manhood means?

Growing up in a single-parent home with my father, manhood, to me, meant taking care of your family: paying the bills, keeping food on the table, making sure homework and chores were done, keeping your family safe. It had nothing to do with sleeping with multitudes of women. I know there is a culture (and double standard) in our society where a man is expected to be a "real man" and thus, a "ladies' man." I pray, however, that our young boys are reared to be more than that. I pray they are reared to be responsible, productive members of society, men who respect all women to the utmost.

~Darlita

What does manhood mean to you?

3 comments:

  1. Great question! I don't have a son, but this is a conversation that my husband and I frequent. I believe men are to be priests over their homes, leading spiritually, and yes providing. However I don't believe providing financially is the only criteria for manhood. Sadly, it hurts to hear that young boys are being taught that they should be a "ladies man" as a symbol of manhood. We have to do better.

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  2. I definitely agree that sleeping with a lot of women doesn't factor into whether or not you are a man. I feel like as long as you are taking care of your responsibilities and you keep your word, you're a man. That's definitely an oversimplification, but it really does boil down to that in my eyes.

    But I think that some of those attributes that you named - like paying the bills, keeping food on the table - are problematic and potentially dangerous. That's akin to saying that womanhood consists of cooking, cleaning and child-rearing.

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  3. From Darlita (who's having trouble commenting on the road): You guys, as a child growing up with a single dad, those few attributes I named (not all of them were financially-based or all-encompassing of manhood) were some of the elements that made a man a man -- to me. There are certainly many more we could name. But the message of my post doesn't change...

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