Manliness--what is it?

We done had a spell around heah chillen'. Aunty had a bumper crop o' tomatoes and herbs so some neighbor ladies came over ter share the wealth. On the kitchen table was mah current book, MANLINESS by Harvey Mansfield. Well now--whoo-whee! them wimmin' had somepin' ter say on what constitutes "manliness."

I'se dumbfounded! Ain't no two ladies thinkin' the same wif' one exception--a man ought ter be a fella who's easy in his skin, comfortable wif' hisself. After that, why near 'bout anything served as an adjective for "manilness". Did note the sassy young gals cared more fer romantic calibre menfolk. But June Mabry from three houses down set 'em straight: "romance wif'out responsibility ain't attactive a'tall."

June's sister-in-law, is only hitched now fer six years and she said a "manly" man knew how "ter git the ball down the field" but I thought she was alludin' ter the private side o'thangs. Naw, she went on ter note: "Why have a fella iffin' he cain't make thangs happen, git stuff done that wimmin' caint do so good. Like set the tax collector straight, git the tires rotated and tell the man next door to shut his hound dawg up."

Here's the thang, though. In the book, ain't none of these ideas mentioned. IT's all college talk like. Virile is from Latin "virtus" meaning virtue. So I showed
them ladies that an' they's real quiet fer a minute. Then Sally Freeman picked up her basket of tomatoes and turned to go, "Robbie would die tryin' ter keep a rabid dog--human or canine-offa me. Thas' all I need in a man."

So this heah is mah question, from 1-3 what are the top characteristics of "manliness"?


Bird said...

AB - hahahah - a post sure to get the "wimmin" folk talkin'!

i love that phrasing - romance without responsibility ain't attractive... yeah!

so here's my take - the top 3 xteristics of "manliness:"

1. romance and responsibilty - if a man's got both - he's a man. boys can be romantic, or responsible, but never both.

2. willingness to tell and face the truth - if you can't do those things, there's no way you can be both romantic and responsible. boys can often tell the truth, but they can never face it. men face it.

3. the ability to try a little tenderness (you gotta, you gotta, try, try, a little tenderness when a woman gets weary). boys only recognize when tenderness is needed; they cannot provide the tenderness - though they might want to. Men recognize and provide the tenderness.

i'm curious how men define maniliness - and i wonder too what folks would say are the top xteristics of "womanliness." maybe another post ab?

Aunty Belle said...

Mornin' Bird Beauty.

Yeah--a curious topic, mebbe, cause new dynamics of culture seem ter have split up wimmin's idea of what a man should be--according to the book, MANLINESS.

But I does hope some of "our" menfolk here in blogworld will tell us how they view they own attributes.

Example: Uncle Aloyisus thainks that unless a fella is a "man's man" he cain't possibly be romantic. He says
"Note well, Missy Belle, that ro-man-tic has a man in the middle o' the word." (chuckle--that Missy stuff is left over from our courtin' days)

Uncle doan mean a fella has to be a Atlas, but other menfolk need to respect him in at least some of the manly pursuits (huntin', mergers, teaching a kid ter throw a football, soldiers, tobacca spittin'--sompin')

butterflygirl said...

1. humility
2. honesty
3. romance

Mayden' s Voyage said...

Conviction tempered with good sense.

Passion tempered with gentleness and a bit of purity.

Strength- eonugh to kill a man who'd harm his family- tempered with tenderness enough to cradle his baby girl.

I think I'm in love...Now where is he?
LOL :)

On My Watch said...

what's manly?

someone with integrity, with a sense of pride and duty.

someone who is comfortable with himself, and is courteous to everyone whether at a formal function or at a trailer trash bbq.

someone who will take the initiative and isn't afraid to get their hands dirty when a job needs to be done, no matter what kind of task.

I think it may have been easier to say what is NOT manly. :)

..................... said...

ummmmmm......still thinking.......

Anonymous said...

to be the ultimate man you must behold the ultimate man..........................yhea you guessed it JESUS.true manliness is just knowing who and whose you are and walk in the nature of GOD.MY husband gives himself up for me daily,any man that will deny himself 4 his family and fellow human, is being true to who he really is.(im not talking about being a doormat) Out of all that, will flow rivers of living waters.Greater love has he that lays his life down for the bretheren. and to be the ultimate HUMAN you must be GODLY like GOD........ love suzi sword

sparringK9 said...

/bark bark bark

1. buys steak and serves it to the dog
2. dosent talk too much
3. no matter what...he will git r done!


Bird said...

hahahaha - the dog weighs in.

any other men out there?

ab - do we need to go out trolling?


Aunty Belle said...

Hey ladies--why, these here is good answers--very fine composite fella we's buidling. TAkes initiative, but knows when humility is called fer...doan worry about gittin' hand dirty--yep. Uncle thinks ever' fella oughta be able to change a tire without getting his cuffs smudged...
we's lookin' fer that fella who knows when ter be strong but who wants ter be gentle, the guy who is honest and true..wow!

But Bird, youse right--we need ter tgroll an' see aht the fellas think is manly--let's all ask them boys to stop by the porch and enlighten us a bit!

Yeah Dawg--Manly-man feeds steak to the pup--real funny!!

Bird said...

you know ab, i am dead sure more men have looked at this post - and it seems k9's been the only one "manly" enough to post a comment.

tsk. tsk. tsk.

so, there must be very few men in the world - that's the conclusion i arrive at.

Anonymous said...

aunt b - I might have guessed that stuff about being comfortable in his own skin would be first on the list... that's code for "confidence," by the way, and many women have made it clear they value that above anything else in a man... that can have a few unfortunate effects - a confident man can attract many women and keep them around even if he happens to treat then like crap... go ahead and disagree, but I see it over and over again... the other unfortunate effect is that, for men who aren't so confident, knowing that confidence (the thing they don't have) is #1 on the list can make them feel even worse about themselves... the world tells men - no love or passion for you if you're not confident... and that sucks because there are some great guys out there who get overlooked...

well, I went ahead and wrote a blog there I was saving for my site!!!

as for "manliness," I would say these things:

1) a good heart... good to loved ones as well as strangers and other living things... wants a better world...

2) honest to the point where he can be tough when needed and tender when needed...

3) open-minded and adaptable...

Gnomeself Be True said...

I'm right here Mayden! :-)

A man does what has to be done and damn the price to himself.
A man works every day to be the person his 6 year old thinks he is.
A man sees in black and white, because he knows there are two types of things in this world...those that are good for the ones he loves, and those that are not.
A man only needs one prayer,
"Dear God, please give me the strength to be the husband and father they need me to be."

Aunty Belle said...

Bawgs, honey, youse perceptive, I thaink....I doan mean an over-confident show-off sorta guy at all. Ter me easy in his skin is a man at peace wif' hisself--what ever he is, including a tad unconfident in some respects--shure doan want no feller wif' a streak o' mistrastin' ladies, since that is a trait of the worse pretenders to confidence.

An' I seen what ya seen too--girls that mistake that swaggery confidence as competence--'taint the same at all!
Yore three characteristics is right-on...and yep, many many ladies pass up the really fine fellas on account of not seeing past the exterior show.

Aunty Belle said...

why welcome to the Front Porch!! Reall pleased to read yore thoughts--we wimmen folks need ter hear from the menfolk on these matters. Youse got a fine view of it--be the man yore six-year old thinks you is..uh huh. And protect that family, honey--youse the best thang they have between them and the world that would grind em' up iffin' it could.

..................... said...

...okay, done thinking...
3 little words...but mighty big...


Aunty Belle said...

I like them words, Schaumi! They IS big.

Now--does yore fella have all these?

Aunty Belle said...

Folks...gues who came ter dinner? That dawg--K9. Does ya believe this?? Well, s'true. Came round heah in a rush and huffy puffy, but nevermind--I'll wite a whole new post...so check back soon. We had a time!!

Infinitesimal said...

A man

is honest.

have not met a real one yet.

('ceptin' my two brothers)

..................... said...

he's got humor and honesty which to me includes faithfulness in a family man...great dad, hard worker.....
patience......ummmmmm, not his strongest suit..

Aunty Belle said...

Why hey COntessa Infinitessima!! Boy honey, I shure have missed ya!

Yore brothers huh? ya' know, I do not know iffin' there is a finer thang that a good and true brother--lesses it is a good and true sister.

Schaumi, chil;e' two outa three is not too bad pumpkin--ain't no perfect models, the trick is to pick a model that is strong on what is most important to yer own make-up.... Aunty B knows a heap o' ladies that thought a fella wif a good sense of humor and some handy skills like changin oil or fixin the plumbin' was enough--then they discover that none of that buys the kid's braces iffin' he doan lay off the sauce and keep a job. Or a handome sauve, erudite and knowin' which wines to order with caviar (them nasty fish eggs!), a fine arm ornament to make yore gals envy ya...but he is cheerless, self-absorbed and demanding of constant praise and attention
....wears ya down ya see? So figure out what we could live with and what would drive ya nuts...

One thang the dawg did say on the porch during the visit--doan be trying to make a man into yore girl friend. Amen

sparringK9 said...

/bark bark bark

aunty! what a fine fine time it was. jus' a real treat to meetcha in the real. i am about ta sink ma teeth into that book of yores!

i made a photo essay on our trip to the farmers market at thanky so much aunty fer evra thang and tell uncle ise gonna post his haids.