“But why would he brag about that?” I asked.
My boyfriend had just finished educating me on a man’s tendency to boast on his sexual acts with multiple women in order to prove his manliness.
I must admit that I am often baffled by the ways of men- how they think and what they value. In learning about men’s culture, my most-used response is “Really?!”. My wise and straight-forward boyfriend informed me that many men see the ability to ‘get’ any girl as the ultimate mark of being a man. Therefore, sex, or any physical action, is sometimes used as a measure.
I immediately felt used by men of my (regretful) past. Were they trying to prove something to others by pressuring me? Was I the pawn- all while thinking I was the love-interest? Who knows? I don’t care to know, but what I DO want to know is how using women started to be seen as manly.
I tried googling it. I read a few different articles and I came up with some conclusions.
I think ‘getting’ lots of girls became ‘manly’ for a few reasons. For men- If you are interested in a girl and she likes another man instead, this man becomes someone you envy in a way. If a man is liked by 100 women, he also gains the envy of around 100 men.
Just as the school rich kid is seen as cool for the things he has, the school player is seen as cool for the girls he can ‘get.’ The envy turns him into an role model of sorts. The people around crowd him, because associating with him could mean getting more attention from girls for themselves.
Logically, it makes sense, BUT it has turned our society into an ugly distrustful mess. Because of this praise that many girl’s affection garners, men seem less focused on being attractive to the women they like, and more focused on being attractive to all.
Girls are not innocent in this. Taking direction from our own insecurities and lack of confidence, women have started to pursue men based on the quantity of other women who like them. When 50 girls all like the same boy, a girl will start to see him as more attractive. They become excited to show him off, knowing that other women wanted him too and their judgment will not be questioned. Therefore, men are sadly not delusional to think that getting attention from all will help them in gaining attention from the one they want.
With all things considered, being attractive to most women seems to be the way to be ‘cool’ and the way to get a girlfriend. In addition, it is logical for men to believe that physical acts will prove their desirability, because physical acts often do show desire.
Being a player is cheap and unworthy of your greatness. Also, it is undesirable to women in the long run. Biologically speaking, it benefits women most to know that her husband will stay by her, and will be able to be a one-woman man through parenthood and through tough times of provision. While having a multitude of women’s affections may be a turn-on at first, being a one-woman man has more staying power in attractiveness and trustworthiness.
Men- though getting ‘action’ may label you as cool, you are God’s sons. You do not need to be desirable to all women. The woman you want is attracted to the most authentic you, not the most popular you. While some women may be fooled by popularity, you can be confident in your desirability, even if 100 women are not there to encourage you.
In fact, as a Christian women, I see very different qualities as most manly. I see the ability to be true to your word, to be a man of conviction, and to be dedicated to your beliefs to be most manly. I see confidence as manly, but not confidence in your ability to gain attention. The confidence that is truly mature is confidence in yourself despite no ‘proof’ of your worth.
While getting attention from women, becoming enviable and cool, and being a player may seem to prove your worth as a man, those are fleeting. They will (and should) fade when you enter marriage. Therefore, they are based in people’s perception and are temporary.
The good news is that your worth does not need to be so fickle. As a Christian, you can trust in your unwavering worthiness. Believing you are excellent is an act of faith. We demonstrate faith when we hold firm to God’s words. After all, faith in Him includes faith in His words, and His words tell us that we are wonderfully made.
So, from my perspective, we are all at fault for this societal nonsense. We have all sought worth from fleeting things. There is a system in place where men hook up with women and document the experience in order to prove manliness. But for us, if we want to better care for each other and treat each other with love and respect, we can recognize that we do not need to buy into this idea of manliness.
So, men, despite the temporary (and sadly legitimate) gains of being a player or treating hookups with disregard, I believe those things are not manly enough for you. You are rather destined to defy the cultural standards/systems and be dedicated to acting honorably. And while you miss out on the title of “manly,” at times from your high school buddies, you will, in fact, be demonstrating the full picture of manliness because of your perseverance, confidence, and chivalry.
So, from a Christian woman, thank you. And don’t be fooled. You are manly.