Sometimes I think I’d be better off purging myself of emotion, like Mr. Spock from Star Trek. Become a creature of pure logic. That philosophy is quite attractive to me, to be honest, but it does have its limitations.
I enjoy feeling love, happiness and joy. At times I enjoy feeling depressed, sad, and even fear (under controlled conditions, such as a movie). I love movies that make me emotionally invested in the characters. These are few and far between. The closest one in recent memory was Love Actually. This movie inspires me every time I watch it. In some fashion, I can relate to almost every character in the film. This is a rare thing.
Of course, The Devil Wears Prada is also a good one for getting emotionally invested in the characters. Yes, I like romantic comedies and so-called “chick flicks.” What of it? I make no apologies for my interests. Nor should I.
“Chick flicks.” I’ve always disliked that term. Just because a film, or book, is targeted to women, doesn’t automatically mean that men can’t enjoy them, too. For that matter, I’ve always disliked the appellation “man” as it applied to me. I’m not even sure what makes a man a man. A penis? An outlook? A set of ideals and opinions? A mode of thought? Or a combination of these things? Looking at that list, I only qualify for the first one, I have a penis.
If the sole criterion of Man is a penis, I think that sells men short. I think being a “Man” is a set of thoughts, or thought patterns, and behaviors. We see this very clearly when shopping
Most men I know dislike shopping for shoes or shopping with their wives/girlfriends. I enjoy shopping for shoes and doing so with my wife. If this is a criterion for manhood, then I am not a man.
Most men know what they want from a store. They walk in, find the item(s), pay for them, and leave. I enjoy looking around and considering other items. If this is a criterion for manhood, then I am not a man.
If liking sports, particularly football, is indicative of manhood, I am not a man. Women like sports, too.
If objectifying women as sex objects is and indicator of manhood, I am not a man.
If not showing emotion, except anger, in public and not talking about emotions is an indicator of manhood, then I am not a man.
So, if the penis is not the only indicator of manhood, and all these other criterion are needed, well, I guess I’m not a man.
So, will I become more like Mr. Spock? No. I enjoy my emotions, and while I’m reserved in public, I don’t mind showing emotions other than anger. I enjoy shopping, particularly with my wife. And I enjoy romantic comedies and female targeted movies. I love a good tearjerker.
If this makes me less of a man by societies standards, then I’m less of a man and I will gladly accept the role. I’d rather be myself and hated, or disregarded, than live as something I am not.