Big trucks and Capri pants don’t make you a man

October 31, 2007

by JJ Marshall

What makes a man?

Do we all have to attain an “Alpha Male” status to earn our man card?

Are we not men if we have no interest in receiving such a card?

I was talking to my teammates yesterday, and I was trying to tell them that as a group of guys trying to grow together as a unit, we need to talk to each other like “men” instead of bitching and moaning at each other.

After looking back at what I said, I wish I would have said, “Let’s talk to each other like adults.”

My choice of using the word “men” instead of “adults” kind of disproves my point as I was trying to make it.

Men talk to each other sometimes in exactly the way I was trying to get us not to.
Men have a hard time accepting fault, but for some reason, pride is a form of machismo.

I’ve grown tired of the macho, big truck, deep voice stereotype that supposedly makes us “men.”

Not that there is anything wrong with big trucks. I wish I had one.

With big pipes, or whatever you call them.
It’s just that at many points in my life I’ve felt inferior because I’m not interested in beating my chest and expressing my manliness.

Being an athlete has not helped ease my feelings of inferiority.

The problem with my problem is that I don’t have an exact answer for what makes a man.
I know a guy who wears Capri pants often and has never been in a fist fight, but I consider him one of the strongest “men” I know.

It’s because he is interested in being a strong and balanced human being, and he cares about the well-being of those around him.

He is constantly picking people up.
He is always stating his opinion, without enforcing it on people or screaming it.
He’s got a big truck, but he doesn’t use it to make noise.

It’s for helping others move furniture, or to help his friends without cars get around.

He thinks women should have the same opportunities as men, so does that make him any less of a man?

Is he a sissy?

I don’t think so.

He wouldn’t be my first choice of people to defend me against a mob, but, to me, that has nothing to do with his status.

He is, on the other hand, one of the first people I call when I need a pick-me-up.
He’s the first person I call when I start losing faith in myself or in others.
He’s not perfect, but he possesses the qualities I wish I had.

Those are the qualities that make us men, women, people, etc.

It’s possible that I’m just scared of getting my hands dirty and really stepping up to the man-plate.

But, in all honesty, I’d much rather adopt some Capri pants and try to be more like the strong and balanced people I admire than beat my chest and do push-ups all the time.