What Makes a Man a Man?

Someone wrote…

I’m bigender, and recently I’ve figured out an excellent way to describe what one of my genders is and what kind of style is associated with it. Since it’s a gender that is not at all male or female, it feels great to be able to concretely define it. It has given me amazing confidence that this gender is in fact just as real as either binary gender.

However, this makes me want to define my other gender in a similar way. A gender which I’ve supposed is male for over a year now. Male is such a widely recognized gender that it doesn’t need to be defined as specifically, but… it would help give me more confidence that I have this gender, too. I wasn’t assigned male at birth, so I don’t have the privilege of being able to claim it without justification. And sometimes I fear that “I feel happier as male” or “looking in the mirror and seeing a non-binary man feels right” isn’t justification enough.

What makes a man a man? How do I know that what I’m simultaneously feeling is male and not some other gender?

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on February 22nd, 2016 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice One comment »

One Response to “What Makes a Man a Man?”

  1. Anonymous

    Towards your question I’ve always wondered…and I was assigned male and forcibly required to conform to it; all the while my heart sang tunes forever discordant with that moving bar of “being a man.” I desperately wanted to figure it out so I wouldn’t be threatened with violence for straying outside of it.

    What I ended up seeing it finally as; was a suppression of emotion, a denial of vulnerability and a willingness to threaten, degrade and violate boundaries. It was enough for me to walk away from it. I don’t know if that’s helpful, but “being a man” was something I was always told I wasn’t doing well enough (always in the least polite manner possible) and it just seemed to be utilized to suppress compassion, sympathy and non-violent approaches to life.


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