Are You A Real Man?

So many definitions and descriptions of the nature of a real man abound and most do not take into cognizance the words ‘real’ and ‘good’. In these definitions, the ego of the man is over bloated and weaknesses and other insufficiencies are treated with contempt. He is called feeble by fellow men for showing the natural trait of emotion. When he fails to always impose his will, he is also called weak by women who have the orientation that only weak men fail to impose their wills. In today’s Africa, it is not considered intelligent behaviour to be rational when strength could get the deal done. The young man has been oriented with an erroneous idea of masculinity. Masculinity has been described as toughness and a moderate show of humaneness.

So many men have been caught up in the web of trying to satisfy these descriptions and standard set by the society. They act not because it is what they feel or know is right, but because it is the acceptable standard set by the ‘normal’ society they find themselves in. As its quality, this standard postulates that a man who refused to do drugs if he can, to save his life and family, is a weakling and should not be in the company of other real men who do it. Another quality stipulates that a man who doesn’t take weed, alcohol or any substance that could get the human being ‘high’ is weak and could be easily threatened and defeated by other ‘stronger’ men whose masculinity were raised by involving in these acts.


Who Is A Real Man?

How do you know who is a real man and who isn’t? Is he that man that will show, through force, he is the head of the family? Is he that man that have an overblown opinion of himself, his sex and a poor opinion of the female sex? Is he the man who will do anything, no matter how self, human or natural destructive it is, to survive? Is he that man that shows troublesome neighbours what it means to be a troublesome neighbour? Is he that man who lavishes money on women because it is what the society wired him to accept as norm? Is it enough to say a real man is any man who doesn’t engage in illicit activity? Is that enough? What if he doesn’t engage in any of those activities and engages in no other activity at all? What is it that makes any man a real man?

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To be real in the context of human attitude and behaviour is to be genuine, to be sincere, to be honest, to be original, to be truthful. A real man is that man who is genuine in his behaviour and attitude. He is not a fake human being or a fake friend. His behavior is not faked or designed to use his friend or fellow human being for selfish gains. He is pro self because he is pro humanity. He is not pro humanity because because he is pro self. He doesn’t take any drug because he wants to feel like a real man. He doesn’t lie to fellow men or women to use them. He tells you in your face when he is angry with you. He tells you what you are doing that is wrong. He respects his family, his wife and his children and he uses the words ‘I’m Sorry. A real man is simply a good man.

Players And Women Batterers Are Not Real Men

These days, their are men whose idea of being real is to play with the emotions of women. They have a laid down code men ought to follow and any man who chooses to do otherwise is a sissy. Some of their practises includes but not limited to lying to their numerous girlfriends, lying about imaginary properties they only own in dreams, lying about what they previously lied about. They are built and act with the notion that women love bad boys. That good boys always end up last. They cite the efficacy of the way women treat men as reference point. They batter their wives or girlfriend emotionally, physically and mentally and still strongly believe that these crimes make them real men. Some have gone as far as saying that their women love to be beaten and they are simply playing the role of a helper.

A man who batters women either emotionally or physically is the weak man and not the man who treats them with the respect they deserve. The inability to control the self is what leads to a man keeping multiple partners. It is simply because he is too weak to control his hormones. He is too weak to train his mind and body to stick to agreements made. Marriages, relationships, etc., are agreements and anyone who disrespects them cannot in any sane state call himself the ‘stronger’ person. You don’t agree to execute a project with a company and hailed by any sane person for going against the agreement you originally made. If he was strong enough, he wouldn’t be caught up in that type of weakness. He is a weakling. And for the women who promote the brutish behavior of men, you are not different from these men either.

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Doing Drugs, Alcohol Or Smoking Doesn’t Make You Real

Dear young boys, and old men too, taking drugs, smoking or drinking alcohol does not make you more manly or real than the men who don’t do drugs, smoke or drink alcohol. Refusing to smoke is refusing to increase your chance of getting a heart problem. Written boldly on the body of most cigarettes are the words ‘smokers are liable to die young’. This is not written in some strange unrecognizable language but in the country’s lingual franca. Anyone can read it but the persons who take this still go ahead to gulp in some of those deadly tobacco. Something that degrades the human body faster, something that brings a man closer to his death hour cannot be the same thing that makes him a real man. Come on, let’s be logical here.

The real man is not a perfect man. He is not without sin or bad habits. He has so many human weaknesses but the ability to recognize those weaknesses and work towards eliminating them is why he is real. He is like a religious person, let’s say, Christian, who sins. The sin is not enough to unchristian him. His remorse and penance for such addictive sin is contrite and will save him. The thing is, men who don’t smoke are the real MVPs. They are the real deal and know that smoking is not a healthy habit. It is not something that adds to a man. It takes from him. It ruins him. The tobacco companies recognize this as fact. On that level, the one who refuses to smoke cannot be the fake man while the one who smokes the real deal.

The one whose body is intact cannot be less man than the one who deteriorates self. Not smoking is also not enough to be a real man. There are murderers and demonic men walking around the face of this earth who don’t smoke. A smoker is not a demon either. You will see some of the nicest people to walk the face of the earth smoking. The point here IS not smoking is not enough reason to call any person a weak man. The point is NOT that those who smoke are not real men, that those who smoke are evil and should be discarded from our society or that those who don’t smoke qualify to be called real men. The point again is, no man is weak because he refuses to smoke. This shouldn’t be misunderstood.

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The same thing applies to the use of drugs and the taking of alcohol. There are men who find the taste of alcohol poor for their tongue. They can’t swallow it because, to them, it tastes bitter. These men often pretend in the company of other men and forcefully gulp down a bottle to be seen as a real man. They go back home and mess up the place. That is, if they are lucky. If Lady Luck chooses to disappoint them, they start messing up themselves right from the point where the ‘strong’ drink was taken. Dear young men, don’t be shy to demand for that Malt when they try to mess you up. Alcohol makes no one a Big Boy. Instead of pretending and messing yourself up on the grander scale afterwards, hold your ground and drink your Malt happily.

Fighting Is For Boys Not Men

It is also surprising to see grown men fighting in this century and trying to prove a point. No one person fights alone, so the idea that ‘he started fighting me’ does not hold water. To some men, this is an avenue to show who is the real man and the winner(as kids we had a way of knowing the winner but for adults how is this even decided?) is the stronger man. A show of strength and not civility. A show of shame among men who have been provided enough experience to act differently. If that is the case, the realest men to walk the face of the earth are those powerful men who involve in The Strongest Man show. This is the way of the tout. This is the thought of the tout. Being a real man is not the same thing as being a tout. A real man tries his best to resolve issues not start up a fight. Thugs are weaklings.

When men were boys, we fought because we thought it was a way to show strength. It was our way of identifying the strongest or realest boy in the hood. It was our way of telling other boys who is the boss. The strongest boy was given an unanimous respect and silent hatred among his age-grade and no one dares him for his legacy. His legacy: the many little boys who ate sand in his name, the many little boys who cried when he pounced on them, the many little boys who bled after they choose the wrong hand of that young referee who asked the two ‘men’ to chose either ‘fight or play’. This is exactly what adults who fight seek to achieve. It takes a great level of human and masculine weakness to fight your fellow man. It is not an attribute of a real man. Admit it! You fight because intellectually, you are weak.

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Stealing Doesn’t Make You Real

Calling people who refuse to enrich themselves in evil ways weak is another attribute of weak men not real men. You are not strong because you saw an opportunity, even though, evil, and took it. You are not a strong or real man because you are corrupt and tarnish the lives of people and generations to come. A real man is not a man who goes about hurting children, men and women and calling himself smart. There is a difference between been smart and been true or real. Smartness has no morality and could be found in the menu of serial killers and world changers. The one who sees an opportunity to immorally enrich himself, but refuses to do so is good and should be what we look for when we talk about real men. The leaders who destroyed and stole Africa blind are weaklings.

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Hiding Your Emotions Is Not A Necessity For Realness

Today, it is strange to see a man crying or showing too much emotion and care. To some men, it is strange to have a man say he is sorry and that saying sorry is the lexicon of weaklings and men who have become what, in Nigeria, we call ‘woman wrapper’. If he feels bad, he should pretend he is feeling good or remain emotionless. If he feels good, he shouldn’t show it too much by doing those things that make men ‘feminine’. Don’t cry when you are too happy because real men don’t cry when they are too happy. Don’t cry when they tell you something bad happened to a friend because men don’t cry no matter the circumstance. Always be difficult to read because you are a man.

Listen, fellow men, doing something because you are a man shouldn’t be an option. Don’t refrain from doing anything because the notion is that real men don’t do it. Do something because it is not harmful to you or the people around you. Cry when you are hurt. Show emotions when you are happy. It doesn’t make you less manly. In fact, showing emotions like crying, laughter and happiness when you are hurt and happy is therapeutic. It should be encouraged. It doesn’t make you less a man but heals and makes you a better human. Any time you refuse to show emotion, ‘because men don’t show emotion’ shouldn’t be your reason. Let it be for a better reason and something that will yield the greater good.

Unacceptable behaviors is not what you will find in a real man’s workshop. He is not selfish but selfless. His actions are based on what is true and right. He is not in that prison today’s society built for men. He doesn’t exalt those actions that reduces him or the people around him. He is smart but not the smartness of a street tout or a thug. He shows his emotions when necessary and when he refuses to show them it is not because he is a man. He doesn’t go about hurting his wife, girlfriend, cheating people, etc., and call it smartness or realness. He doesn’t misbehave against any sex or group because few persons in that sex or group misbehaved. A real man is a man who is true to himself and humanity. He is not a tout, a woman batterer, a player, a thief, a street fighter or a hard man. He is a man with sense.

About Poet 148 Articles
I am Rey Alaetuo, a conscious Poet and health care professional living in Owerri, Nigeria. I am an exponent of humanism and a vigilant Poet. I am deeply interested in the propagation of positive human values and behaviour.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Reyginus,

    I can’t agree with you less about your assertions of what make someone a real man. It is so unfortunate that so many folks has been indoctrinated to think otherwise.

    I came across your blog via Nairaland some weeks ago. I have gone true a couple of your work, and bookmarked your URL for easy access to your blog. I must say that there is one thing that is unique about your write-ups, and that is OBJECTIVITY.

    I see you as one of the great young thinkers of our generation. You are doing a great job. Keep it up.

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