Thesaurus.com synonyms for the word “manly”; audacious, beefcake, bold, brave, colt, confident, daring, dauntless, dignified, fearless, firm, gallant, hardy, he-man, heroic, hunk, intrepid, jock, jockstrap, lion-hearted, macho, male, manful, manlike, masculine, muscular, noble, powerful, red-blooded, resolute, robust, self-reliant, stately, staunch, stout-hearted, strapping, strong, stud, tiger, two-fisted, undaunted, valiant, valorous, vigorous, virile, well-built
Okay. Where is he…? Long gone are the days of 300. I’ll admit I had the biggest crush on the character, Leonidas. OMG, his body was PERfection! Everything about him was the epitome of masculinity and power combined. His wife’s strength never underestimated, yet exalted and respected by her husband. A Spartan woman was beast! The sex scene between Leonidas and his wife was HIGHLY suggestive, aggressive , extremely sensual, and truly exhibited a beautiful example of erotic love between a husband and his wife.
Where or where is Leonidas? To be honest, I think the world today is filled with ‘Spartan’ women. We’d have to be, to survive in such a male dominated society. Male dominance doesn’t necessarily mean “manly”. Which brings up another question. What is manhood? Is there a standard? Does the standard include sexual preference? Quantity of offspring? Other ideals considered may include sexual prowess, physical strength, money, or anything opposite of femininity.
A better question to ask is why so many men struggle with defining manhood; especially if a man is of an ethnic minority, he struggles even more so. He is often doubted, underestimated, unfairly ridiculed, and stereotyped. Expectations vary across cultures, so as a heterosexual single woman I will offer my ideal of my future long-term mate. Yes, I just made it personal. Don’t get used to it.
Of course like Leonidas, I want my man to be fine as hell! A man who will respect and protect my honor. He will not be intimidated by my intellect, but he will embrace it, he will subscribe to it. He is a man willing to take risks, but will not compromise the safety and wellbeing of his family. He will be honest, considerate, and loyal. He will listen, not for me to be quiet, because he values what I speak. He does not back down from a challenge, he runs towards victory. He exercises self-control. If feeling powerless he will not hide, he will not use his insecurity to manipulate. He will enable my strength; he will not exploit my weaknesses. He is confident, and seldom doubts his own ability. He is observant, and appreciates the value of balance, reciprocity, and communion. He will care less about my past, because he will fall in love with who I am today, so he looks forward to a future together. He is a leader of the people, a follower of the most high. He is spiritually connected, undoubtedly capable, and courageously self-aware. Together we will be invaluable.
My ideal may not describe all the details of what I feel a man should be (in this post), but it’s pretty damn close.