Being a Man Today
What does it mean to be man today? Where do you even begin answering that question?
- Childhood: Many of us learned what it means to be a guy from our parents. My parents stressed that boys wear blue and hold in their negative feelings.
- Culture: Marvel superhero movies and fitness magazines present a version of what true masculinity looks like. I look at myself in the mirror and don’t see Thor’s rippling muscles. Am I really a man?
- Spirituality: Different spiritual traditions have specific teachings on the man’s role in the family and society. Christianity teaches that men are the “head” of the household (more on that in later posts).
Why I Started This Blog on Modern Masculinity
My name is Quique Autrey (pronounced “Key + Kay”). I am a man. I am also a therapist. This means I spend a lot of time with other men talking about the challenges and joys of being men in our modern world. As a therapist, I have special training that helps me understand some of the factors that shape modern masculinity: early childhood experiences, cultural expectations and interpersonal dynamics.
As a man, I’ve always wondered how well I fit into the stereotypes of masculinity. Although I’m tall and generally attractive, I’ve never had the muscular physique of the men I see on TV or magazines. I’ve always been smart and rational, but also very emotional and intuitive. I enjoy rock music and buffalo wings, but don’t have much interest in sports. I’m comfortable being a guy but also not very sure what that even means.
I started this blog to explore the various different masculinities out there.
I chose the word explore for an important reason. I hope this blog will be characterized by the traits of an explorer: openness, curiosity and courage. I don’t pretend to be an expert on all things masculine. I don’t intend to offer the definitive statement on what it means to be a man. Like all of you, I’m in the process of figuring these things out.
I picked the word masculinities (in the plural) to underscore the truth there is no universal definition of what a man is. There are multiple ways to be a man. How we understand masculinity is influenced by many factors including: biology, culture and spirituality.
Questions, Disagreements and Dialogue
This is a blog for anyone interested in exploring what it means to be a man in our modern world. I welcome questions, disagreements and open dialogue. If you’re interested in learning more about me and my therapeutic work with men, I encourage you to reach out and tell me more about yourself.