If you’ve read article before, I recommend reading it again. I update this regularly to match my current thinking on the subject of how to be a more masculine father. I also believe that I’m a reasonably smart guy and I needed a lot of recurrence on this topic before I could event get close to clear on what it means to be masculine and feminine and how that is different from being male and female.
Bottom line, I’m a prior Navy SEAL, successful business leader and very masculine man who had go on a journey to figure out how to be masculine in a way that would honor my true nature. These articles are dedicated to all those fathers that like me are struggling with their inner strong masculine energy and feelings in a world that seems to be totally bent against all things masculine. And to all mothers that want to support fathers in cultivating masculine skills so that they can relax and not feel like they have to do it all.
And most importantly, to all children who deserve great fathers and uncles in their lives. For me, Calen and Bryce love me so much and see me as awesome even when I don’t feel that way. They are my motivation and my best teachers.
Is being male also being masculine?
You probably know intuitively that the answer is no. Masculinity is the set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with boyhood and manhood. Masculinity in the role of fathering is both social and biological. This makes masculinity distinct from the definition of being male or a man (just as being feminine and being a woman are distinct). Both men and women can exhibit masculine traits and behaviors. That means that biological fathers and mothers can display both masculine and feminine parenting behaviors.
That last bit is probably the most important concept to grasp. Men can be very feminine, very masculine, or balanced. Men can switch from one to the other sometimes very quickly based on the environment and their upbringing. For the purpose of my writing I’m going with the 80/20 rule that seems to work when it comes to anything related to human psychology. I’m going to assume that most men, and therefore most fathers, relate to being masculine and that being/acting in ways that are masculine feel comfortable and natural to them.
The norm today is to suppressing masculine feelings and to not know acceptable ways of act skillfully masculine in today’s overly sensitive and politically correct environment.
What happens to suppressed feelings and awkwardness in social situations? It typically becomes passive aggressive behavior and sometime violent and or even deadly. This applies equally to the many permutations of gender identity. I work with closely with three lesbians and one homosexual man on a day to day basis. They are my close friends and colleagues and have the same desire to honor their true masculine and feminine natures. No one is off the hook. Not even out children.
For children it is especially important to provide an environment to honor their true nature. Their undeveloped brains do not have the skills to do anything but be their true selves. The symptoms that we are doing a lousy job at letting boys be boys are epidemic.
A simple test is if you are attracted to the feminine women that you encounter in your day to day life. If that is the case, then chances are you have a strong masculine nature. And since I’m here to support men and especially fathers I’m going to assume that you are a masculine man father or a mother that wants to know how to support the fathers in their life.
What characterizes masculine behaviors?
A strong masculine essence will have you feel a certain way about life and situations you find yourself in. The way you act on those emotions are the behaviors that are associated with your masculine nature. Both the feelings and the associated behaviors are a product of your biology, what you learned from your environment and the people in it, and especially the models of masculine emotions and behaviors you encountered throughout your life. On a really simple and basic level, masculinity are those behaviors that move you aggressively into the world. Here are a few archetypes that provide us imagery on what is masculine.
The king, hunter, warrior, shepherd, magician, and farmer.
These archetypes have many common attributes. They are protectors, providers and risk takers. They take the lives of other beings (human, animal, or plant) for the sake of their comrades, families, and communities. They are often alone in stoic environments for long periods of time in arduous work. They change and form their world to meet there needs and to provide for those they love. They live in their purpose fully and in that moment their purpose is more important than anything else in their lives. They are often willing to die for their purpose.
The male biology and nuero-biology confirms this archetypical masculine nature. Consider the analogy that springs forth from sex. The man thrusts aggressively into his mate during intercourse just as he moves aggressively into the world.
So why masculine skills for Fathers?
In a previous article I wrote about how fathers don’t appear to be seeking out or take parenting classes on the scale that mothers do. I think that is because most of what is being taught out there does not appeal to the masculine nature of fathers. Most of the mainstream advice is focused on the first 2 years of childhood. Baby’s need a lot of nurturing. Nurturing is deeply rooted in the feminine nature of women. Fathers can nurture well and the quality of it is different.
And fathers can only approximate the most nurturing and connecting of all mothering skills-
To feed a baby from her own breast.
This series of articles was written to distinguish what is a strong masculine archetype for the masculine fathering and to develop a framework of masculine nature skills for fathers to develop.