Last week in a conversation with a friend I was told (in jest) that I was not “male” enough. Of course this friend was a woman. A person of the darker sex would have used the word “man” instead of “male”.
Of course several adjectives and phrases have been attached to me over the years – “the bullshit detector”, “not having artistic angst”, “boring” and “boyish” (not in looks but behaviour). Each one describes some aspect of a personality that someone zeroed in. I would go through the usual cycle with each – surprise, horror, anger and then ignoring it.
In the last two decades there has been much criticism about the "male" attitude and this rightfully had resulted in some men turning the mirror inwards. That time in most of our discourses in college canteens and personal relationships when it was pointed out that you are behaving like a “typical man” it meant “caveman” behaviour.
And most of us believed that and tried to change. Believe me. It was tough to erase the collective memories of being on top of the pile. It was like being part of a sci fi novel where they erase your memory so that you can start afresh. But it never happens. There are some remnants of your earlier life that come back. In a fight, for example. ☺
This conversation comes at an interesting point where I thought I had resolved my maleness and found my comfort zone with a help of dozens magazine articles and surveys on the New Male, metrosexual, technosexual – or other words that are used to make us feel comfortable as we try to reinvent ourselves.
So what does it mean to be not “male” enough in today’s world? I had been pretty secure in the thought that this was a thing of the past. But apparently there are some aspects of “maleness” that are OK women.
What are they? Can anyone help me here?
Cartoon by Lucien