I Am a Man

I am currently in a class about access and equity in higher education, combined with listening to songs such as Hard to Love by Lee Brice, and reflecting on @KatieSchmalzel’s post from last year has led me to think about how I am a man – and what that means. As I was pursuing The Good Men Project I came across these two articles Man vs. Oppression and The Bad Man Hype which led me to think about how I live out my own gender. “Why is it not okay for me to be cute?” or “What does being a man mean to me, my relationships, and society?” are hands down the first few questions that come to mind when I spend time reflecting on this subject.

Since I consider myself a humanist, sometimes these questions are difficult for me to grasp or even truthfully answer for myself (without changing my mind or thinking of a different angel to consider). I think it is absolutely important to become aware of the privilege you possess but I believe it is equally essential to then think about the responsibility that comes with that privilege. Below are the reflections of my responsibility, as a human, and a man.

I am a man.
I am sensitive, not heartless
Caring, not aggressive.
I can cry because I know, like Love and Theft sings, and tears are part of life.

I am a man.
I am determined, not a jerk
Hopeful, not destructive.
I want to help others, because I’m grateful for those who’ve helped me.

I am a man.
I can be cute, and rugged
Smart, and handsome.
I am confident, because my single mother raised me that way.

I am a man.
I want to make a difference
I seek to empower others,
and I believe we all have a unique contribution.

I am a man
and that’s perfectly okay.

Ryan Bye

Student Affairs - the First Years

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