The Challenge of Being a Modern Man – Can You Cope?

“The modern man is in serious trouble and the impact on our society is enormous.”

modern man

So says GoodSirs in ‘5 Hard Facts You Ought To Know About The Modern Man‘. It goes on to say,

“If you know a man being there for his family, pursuing a life worth living, and handling his business, give him a pat on the back. Why? Because according to statistics, guys like that are becoming more and more uncommon in our culture.”

I’m sure the statistics are true, as far as any statistics can be true, I am not writing here to challenge them. What I disgaree with is that they describe the modern man. I think that we, as men, are richer than that and that there is more hope than the article allows for. But it is hope that I am writing about not the facts. It is the future that I look to. It is the possibilities in men than give me a vision for the future.

Perhaps it’s the fact that men recognise the challenges and are working to change the future that gives me hope.

This is a unique and powerful book. It is a record of a series of conversations with Christopher Howard on masculinity, sex, addiction and relationships. In them both Chris and myself opened ourselves up in a very personal and revealing way. We held nothing back and explored what it is to be men.

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The article gives 5 issues that men should be concerned about. I’ll look at them in sequence starting with a short quote from the article.

1. Crumbling Marriages

“Roughly a third of currently married men are cheating on their spouse.”

That means that roughly two thirds are NOT. That is a great statistic when you take into account that it’s supposed to be ‘natural’ for men to cheat!

What I want to know though is what is happening in committed relationships outside marriage. Marriage is going out of fashion perhaps because couples don’t want to be committed for life. The greatest issue with unfaithfulness and divorce is the effect on young children, these statistics say nothing about that.

There is nothing wrong with separation, divorce or affairs, per se. It depends on the circumstances surrounding them.

2. Fatherlessness

“1 in 3 children live without their father around.”

This is terrible statistic, it’s the one that most disturbs me. Children, particularly boys, need a father as a role model. The hope lies in the amount of attention this is getting from men. Men are increasingly challenged to take their role as fathers more seriously. I believe this situation is slowly changing. We need to support those men who are working to change this.

3. Domestic Violence

“Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is a victim of domestic violence.”

Bad as this statistic seems to be there is no relation to how deeply embedded in men this is. It also does not address how often this happens the other way round. There is no analysis of how much this is a male crime as opposed to a crime. Most men are not involved in this and can do nothing about it. Perhaps is we didn’t insist on marriages being sacred this might be reduced. Perhaps if we focused on the true basis of this crime, that of control, we might address it better.

To tar all men with this brush does not create a situation where it can be reduced.

4. Prolonged Adolescence

“1 in 3 guys, aged 18-34, still live at home with their parents.

It’s surely obvious that this is mainly a result of the pressure from increased population and from the desperate economic situation we are in. In is simply more difficult for men to live away from their parents.

To assume that this means they are not growing as men is not acceptable. The statistics do not show this at all. The fact that men are marrying later only shows that they are taking marriage more seriously and that marriage is less accepted now. Perhaps men are learning more from their parents and growing in maturity?

5. Wasted Lives

“The average gamer is 35 years old, overweight and dpressed.”

I don’t believe in wasted lives and I don’t believe in writing people off just because of how they spend their time. No one’s life can be written off at age 35, it’s only around half through. People often take time to find their passion.

Let’s help them not condemn them.

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There has never been such a focus on men and manhood as today. People are seeing that men need help and providing that help. Condemning men only creates greater confusion for them, while give them help can show them a way into the future. I support the modern man.

—Photo‌ malyousif/Flickr

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