Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Over the last couple of days Jim Toomey has started to develop a fresh theme on "manlyness" I find that many people have different ideas of what constitutes being a man. We often get our idea of what a man is from our fathers, I was very fortunate in my father, he wasn't just a man he was a gentle man. Sure he shared the faults of many men of his generation, he was casually sexist and racist, yet he was always polite, and considerate. He was a provider, and competitive sportsman who knew that winning was only worthwhile if it was done fairly and with respect for your opponent. He taught us through his example that bullying, drunkenness, yobishness were not manly, rather they were signs of weakness
I want my daughter to understand what a man is, so it is largely up to me to show her, this is of course rather difficult for me now I understand myself to be a woman. That having been said I have had a lot of practise, so I continue to try to show her that being a real man is not about farting and belching, it's about being considerate and polite; it's not about getting into fights, but stopping them happening; it's not about self promotion but consideration of others. I am aware that I have often failed to sufficiently display these qualities.
My daughter still needs her father, and the times I spend with my daughter are often the highlights of my week. I have started to think of these times as "Daughter Dates" and I hope she thinks of them as "Dad Dates" it is a shame that it is only through the breakdown of our marriage that we were forced into this situation, but I find that I am getting to know my daughter better, understanding what she wants, what she likes, her ambitions and fears through these times. I hope she is getting to know and understand me better as well. We were forced into this situation, but I would recommend "Daughter Dates" to all my friends who are fathers, don't leave it till it's too late, take your daughter out (without your wife!) show her what it means to be a man, then she will grow up a better woman, and be able to judge the boys she meets against a better measure.
Twice I have been in serious relationships with women, one I wanted to marry the other I did, on both occasions when the relationship broke down it became clear that my partners idea of what sort of a man I was were totally different to my own self image. Could it be that by becoming a woman, I may also be becoming a better man?