Monday, January 16, 2012

50 Days of Self Reflection: Day 8

What are three characteristics you consider ideal, masculine characteristics, and why? (meaning primarily masculine characteristics, not necessarily exclusively masculine).

I discussed this one with my husband before responding, and we came up with a list together:

1. Physical Strength. Not that women can't be strong, but I would say, in the ideal, men are strong, and able to use their strength for the good. 

2. Leadership. We came at this one from the good men in the Old Testament. The ability to inspire others to follow, to look up to him, is especially well represented among the fore-runners of Christ in the Old Testament. 

3. Sacrifice. As someone who watches her husband get up before dawn each day to drive an hour, and work outdoors in the cold or heat so that we can live as we choose, I can't help but idealize the sacrificial aspect in men..especially on the snowy days I love to send with books and tea in bed!

What do you all think? 


  1. Had to think about this one for a couple of days. :)

    Totally in agreement with you one the first two of yours, and to some extent the third; I think women sacrifice, too, just differently. But I loved your image of the husband going out "to watch the night in storms, the day in cold/ While thou liest warm at home, secure, and safe" (some of my favorite Shakespeare...) That predominantly male form of sacrifice is very beautiful.

    I'll add the urge to engage in physical contest. Yes, you'll find girls who wrestle and play rugby, but the clear majority of combat sport is oriented toward men. And while it's possible that societal pressures on women to be "ladylike" have played a role in that, I suspect the bigger role is that men generally just like/want/need the rough-and-tumble more.

    Also, it intrigues me that men seem to want to hold--as opposed to women, who want to be held. I haven't run a survey on this; it's just casual observation, so it could be wrong. :)

    Then there's the protect-and-provide impulse. Yes, we girls want to protect our men--and there's no doubting the force of the mother bear instinct. But it's different for women somehow. I don't know why exactly; I might hypothesize that for women it's a response to danger or need, while for men it's a constancy, more of a response to having (or wanting) someone to protect and provide for. But again, I'm writing thoughts and guesses, not fact.

  2. I think women sacrifice too, but definitely in a different way, and I love your Shakespeare!

    I agree with you additions, especially the protective aspect, which is lived out so differently in me and Seth.