Real masculinity: What it takes to be a man worth his salt

Both boys and girls use the way their father lives his life as a role model on which they base their entry into the adult world.

One way or another, being a man can bring out both the best and the worst in humanity. I mean, it’s men who commit nearly all of the crimes in society, especially violent crimes like homicides. They also drink too much, join gangs, fight, cause a lot of very bad car accidents, and mistreat women.

But it’s also mostly men who create exciting new technologies, make new scientific discoveries, build fortunes, climb mountains, design aeroplanes, paint pictures and compose music.

And somehow, despite all their good points, it’s become fashionable to argue that men make no worthwhile contribution to family life.

But that’s completely wrong. Men make important contributions to both family life and to society as a whole.

And one of the consequences of devaluing their contribution is the large number of young people who struggle to get started in life and to form successful relationships.

So what does a man do that’s so important?

Well, for a start he needs to show that he’s one of the best in his generation, and has put his upbringing and education to good use. And that he’s healthy, intelligent and social skilled. Because that’s what women look for when choosing a husband. Which is why men compete so aggressively in every sport there is. And sing, dance, write poetry, tell jokes and strive to become rich. Because those are all ways to demonstrate that they’re one of the winners.

And that’s what women and society really value in a man. The confidence, emotional security, strength and independence that make him a winner who is respected by everyone.

Nowadays, men also need to fit in with the changing role of women in society, and to play their part in creating a successful modern relationship. For example, by understanding what an educated and ambitious woman wants from her husband. Commitment, resilience, physical and emotional intimacy of course. But also openness in key issues like managing their careers and finances.

Human males are also unusual in that they actively help their partners to rear their children. Hardly any other males in the animal kingdom do that, but men do. Of course, there are a few men who don’t. They follow a kind of ‘hit and run’ mating strategy and avoid parental responsibilities. But that’s a bad choice, since fathers who stick around have more successful children, and ultimately, that’s all that matters in life.

A successful man who’s being a good parent also shows his children what being a man is all about. And that matters, because both boys and girls use the way their father lives his life as a role model on which they base their entry into the adult world.

So, children need to see their father competing hard, succeeding among men, loving his wife and being a firm but affectionate father. A man who does all that will have a good life, and a good marriage. And so in their turn will his children.