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Non-Americans, how is “manliness” traditionally defined in your country/religion, etc? Do you find yourself pressured in any way to act in a way that feels uncomfortable? And how has this created issues in your life and relationships?

I’m just interested on how this shifts from a cultural perspective. I’ve heard American women say things related to “culture” when it comes to their non-American boyfriends being unable to be vulnerable with their feelings, etc. That they don’t talk out loud about feelings and remain stoic because that’s what they’ve been taught. Maybe they never say “I love you.” Or they bristle at even the idea of touching another man affectionately (not ohhhually). I know American men can feel this way as well, just wondering what y’all have internalized that has affected you in different ways (positive or negative).

Is there a greater pressure on you to submit to “masculine” ideals that your country dictates? What does “being a man” even mean where you come from?

Which country you’re from would be a helpful metric, too.

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17 Comments

  1. I´m what americans call “latino”

    To me I personally have never had an Issue being who I am, it’s true I have actually absorved my parent’s teachings in a rather conservatve manner, so there hasn’t been much justification for conflict anyway, but, they were not like the standard “macho” stereotype, meaning, I’ve seen my father cry (more than my mother, whom i have avtually never seen cry) , we were always encouraged to be respectful towards both men and women and to not go after women like crazy. I guess that has a lot to do to the fact I was raised an evangelical christian household, that, in many ways, is pretty distant from your standard catholic guy.

    In many ways I’d say my dad was actually the one fulfilling the tasks that would tipically be assumed by the woman. He cooked, he cleaned, he was the one to be more like a “househusband”, and although he was still very tough and very traditional in his education methods (castigo con chancla), to me it always seemed normal that my mom was the one who worked and my dad was the one who picked us up from school.

    I don’t think I have ever felt like I had to act uncomfortably because I align a lot with how I was taught to embrace my manhood, which I take more as a code of honor towards others. And sometimes I wish I was actually less soft in my treatment with people and more “firm”, I guess.

    Oh the man touching thing is pretty taboo here when they are not family. I do hug and kiss my brother and father, but others, no. I kinda always liked the Italian thing of showing affection in that way though with hugs, and kisses, but certainly I would feel very uncomfortable doing so and most likely wouldn’t do it

  2. Where I’m from it’s very traditional. We’re expected to be very masculine. Masculinity is the next most important thing to marrying a virgin.

    Touching another man is fine, we do a lot of hugging, and sometimes even greet with a cheek kiss. But touching another man sexually is not, I would say that’s on the list of the worst things you could do where I’m from.

    Also, our marriages have to be approved by our fathers, he doesn’t pick the candidates though. There is a thing where women would run away with whoever they want to marry, either having sex or pretending that they had sex. So that their parents would “force” them to marry. Lastly, I’m from the south of Italy.

  3. Work, Provide for your wife, don’t be a deadbeat. die leaving money to your children.

    ​

    societies expectation of me.

    ​

    my response. remove testicles. travel the world as a femboy. survive on income from perverts on the internet and only fans. actually be happy instead of pretending to be happy with societal expectations

  4. From the UK, yes, I’d say it’s generally considered an expectation to ‘keep a stiff upper lip’ and not talk about your feelings, at least in public, however I would say that is the case also for women, but less so. Stupid example but one of the ways Meghan Markle did not endear herself to the public here was being very ’emotional’ in an American way, talking about how she’s struggling and ‘not ok’ when she’s supposed to be getting on with her job, hugging random strangers, ‘gushing’ over tiny things, it actually sounds/looks fake in our culture.

    I’d say working class men in particular have an expectation to bottle everything up and to shoulder the burden of being the provider. Men tend not to talk about their feelings among friends, whereas I find women do to an extent. However, for both genders there is 100% the expectation that you should in the end just power through things during the bad days and be modest and self-effacing during about your success during the good days.

  5. I was raised in South Asia, which is extremely conservative. 5 years ago, I moved to the NYC to study and work.

    Having seen both cultures, I definitely prefer the former.

    Being a man is hard, society expects a lot. But it made me stronger. I can handle any situation calmly. I can work continuously if required. I take accountability of my own actions. I take pride in being the provider for my future family. My father set the standard high for me as a man. I don’t see it as toxic, I see it as a challenge.

  6. Brazil’s not that different than America in this regard. The only difference I see is that we are a lot “warmer” as people, so our interactions are a lot more physical. Our major religion is Christianity, Catholic and Protestant, so most of our population is conservative, specially the older population.

    I’ve grown on a relatively healthy household that was extremely conservative, but also lacking in lots of aspects, mainly on exposing me to the real world. I grew up without knowing a lot of stuff and failed many times to have a job and earn my income. I’ve never been good with women so I’m a virgin at 25 years of age, in a warmer (aka promiscuous) culture where the age of consent starts at 14 years. Such aspects of my life wouldn’t be a problem if I was from a rich family and still attending a church or something (living in a bubble, basically), but I left church and my family’s just resourceful. I feel that my upbringing along with religious education did put some standards in my head that I thought were accepted by society, but then society’s demands are all over the place, and I don’t feel like I can be good enough for them, even if some of them are wrong.

  7. Context: I grew up in a rural part of a 3th world country, I’m glad my father is a great man and a example of healthy masculinity, cause the “normal” for men there is something else

    Here men are expected to be horny all the time and willing to bang any women they meet. To only drink very strong alchool, water and low alchool drinks are for gays. We are supposed to be reckless and put uorselves in danger for dumb macho reasons. We all should be extremelly strong, know how to fight, use a gun and are not allowed to complain or show emotions.
    Also, taking care of your hygiene, studying, not taking advantage of others and being polite are negative traits.

  8. As man, your manliness is defined only by what you can provide. So as long as you’re able to let your loved ones live comfortably you’d be pretty manly.

    All that other nonsense of being tough, have to hold your own in fights is just noise.

  9. In Australia, if you live and socialize in working class circles, it’s almost expected that you should regularly be drinking yourself into the floor to be considered “tough” or “manly”. We have a real nasty drinking culture in this country. I enjoy having some beers or spirits every now and then as much as the next person, but I absolutely cannot let alcohol control my life like it does most other people, including in my own circles. I’ve seen booze destroy more than one family unit and I cannot for the life of me understand how more people cannot see it happening.

  10. I dont think its much different. Allthough i see a lot less people being called out for being unmanly nowadays. I think the most notable differences is that being blunt (or upfront depending how used you are to people being it) is seen as a good thing and that being “scared” of the rain makes you a wuss, the difference with that one is that youre told your not made of sugar intead of being told to man up.

  11. I live in Canada and where I live if you don’t know about snowmobiles and car engines you kind of get that label of not being a true man. Hunting also is a big thing here.

  12. Ive never really felt the need to be masculine and don’t think a lot of others have felt this way either, but can’t exactly know what they feel of course. I live in the Netherlands.

  13. Thailand.

    “I’m manly. I play soccer.” is a common joke for gay men that try to cover their identity.

    So I think it’s soccer.

    I like soccer. I play it a lot. Because it’s fun. And because I get to be so close to sweaty, panting men. And sometimes one of the teams take their shirts off.

    I guess I’m manly.

  14. You know the wacky cowboy persona most texans have? That was government propaganda to get the public consciousness to forget the fact that texas betrayed the united states to protect the institution of slavery. All the yeehaw, megachurch, and fake ass belt buckle bullshit is because some guys in suits didn’t want to be associated with their granddaddies sins, and the public was stupid enough to buy it.

    It’s all bullshit.

    Here’s what my dad taught me. You give your word, you keep it. Never commit more than one crime at a time. You treat your mother with respect and kindness because she almost died bringing you here and you’ll never have another person like her in your life. Someone wants to fight, let them start it, then fuck em up so bad that no one will ever look sideways at you again. And if it’s a fight you can’t win, let it slide, face it down, make pals, then kill the bastard when his guard is down. Your word and your trust are all that you can really call yours. Don’t give either one lightly. Family ain’t worth fighting with.

    That about covers what he taught me about being a man, at least in word and deed. It’s the short of it, But that’s what comes off the dome.

    Pride isn’t about objects, it’s not about your body, or what you can do. It’s about who you are. Do you keep your word, do you take care of your business, do you love your friends, do they love you? That’s the measure of a man.

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