In October, one of the most controversial movies hit theaters. Moonlight, a three-part narrative about a male coming into his manhood and sexuality was the talk of the town. When this came out, many Americans were outraged claiming that it was promoting homosexuality in the Black neighborhood. After watching it, I did not know exactly how I felt about it. After analyzing the entire movie, I felt that many people missed the whole point. The film made me ask myself, “What is masculinity?”Most would answer that masculinity means that you are fit, play sports, and do manly things. Who defines what manly things are?
I started to think about my life, and the characteristics that makes me an individual. Growing up, I was not interested in sports. I had a love for the arts (books, artwork, music, plays) I never had muscles, and I did not have a lot of male friends. To many, I could use a touch of masculinity. This actually caused me to grow dark in the inside. I would not like myself, because I was not accepted by the standards of my peers. I began to feel invisible as I did not have a place to fit in. Why could I not be that it guy? Was I not masculine because I had different interests?
In a society where masculinity is already defined for you, it is hard to be an individual. It is hard to be that guy who just has a love for culture. Many males go through this same issue, but very few will actually talk about it. If you do not feel you can trelate with that, I can go even further to talk about the viral video that is centered on Cranes in the Sky by Solange. I heard this guy on the radio today saying men should not like R&B music talking about emotions. Why is it considered not masculine for a guy to relate to a song talking about doing anything to distract them from depression. Is it because as men we are not supposed to feel?
Masculinity should not be defined by society, but more so of your standards. I am a man because I am brave enough to say that I have emotions, and that I love doing things that may not seem masculine to everyone. I am not afraid to say sometimes I may not be able to relate to female artists because it is from a woman perspective, but I can still like a song that is amazing artistically.
Do not let anyone control your masculinity. Take control of what masculinity means from your point of view, because you have to live for yourself. Many people die everyday being something that they are not. It is okay to tell your male family members and friends that you love them. Love does not have to be associated with sex. The most masculine thing you can do is be brave enough to accept yourself.
Women (especially Black women) stop emasculating men. Just because he may not be a thug (ride or die type) does not mean he cannot love, provide, and please you (sexually and mentally). A woman’s job is to be that backbone for the man. We need you all to support and nurture us. We are constantly beat up by society everyday. The last thing we need to feel is that women do not have our back either. As parents, love your child no matter if they do not meet your standards of how you define masculinity. If a child is rejected at home, they are sure to be rejected by society.
I am a man! If my masculinity offends you, I do not apologize.