What it means to be a man


  1. I think in older societies, or so-called primitive societies, they had a very ritualized form of a rite of passage where a boy would go through some ordeal…go into the woods or the forest and survive or climb a mountain….
    We don’t have that in modern society. It’s much more vague for men. How do we go from being boys to men? I don’t think it’s overnight.
    For me, becoming a man, paradoxically, is about the nature of how you relate to women. I think you’re really a man when you treat women well.
    When you integrate the elements of your psyche that were bequeathed to you by your mother—compassion, care, intuition, creativity—then you’re a man.
    You’ve got a lot of other ways [to be a man]…you can buy a gun, build your muscles up, join the army, wear a uniform—[it] doesn’t mean much.
    But to treat women well—in the way society treats women well—will tell us whether we are a grown-up society or not. Any society that doesn’t treat women well will never grow up. So for me to become a man is to treat women as they should be treated—as equals.” Sting
  2. “In order for a man to treat women well he needs to be confident with who he is, what he has to offer and his value to both women and the world. Until these things are part of his identity, he fears both women and world.
    Treating women well does not mean ‘pandering’ to women. A man who tries to please women in the hopes of being accepted by them is not treating women well, he’s begging. Being the kind of man who treats women well begins with learning to love and be confident in one’s own skin rather than chasing after a partner in hopes of filling a void.
    Even chasing after purpose isn’t the answer. Living in the act of purpose, that’s where genuine confidence is born.” Graham R White
  3. “To have done no man a wrong to walk and live, unseduced, within arm’s length of what is not your own, with nothing between your desire and its gratification but the invisible law of rectitude this is to be a man.” Orison Swett Marden
  4. “You have to be a man before you can be a gentleman.” John Wayne
  5. “No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  6. “There is nothing noble being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” Winston Churchill
  7. “It takes a great man to be a good listener.” Calvin Coolidge
  8. “A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.” John Kennedy
  9. “It is not titles that make men illustrious, but men who make titles illustrious.” Machiavelli
  10. “If a man’s mind becomes pure, his surroundings will also become pure.” Buddha
  11. “A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” Oscar Wilde
  12. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.” Albert Einstein
  13. “A strong man doesn’t have to be dominant toward a woman. He doesn’t match his strength against a woman weak with love for him. He matches it against the world.” Marilyn Monroe
  14. “A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing compromise when compromise is wrong. But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman’s resentment like tenderness.” Elisabeth Elliot
  15. “Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relived and grateful when men are willing to be men.” Elisabeth Elliot
  16. “A man knows his limits, but a real man can overcome them.” Travis Martin
  17. “The value of a man is no measured by what he does for himself to make his life easier, but, measured by what he does for others to make their lives easier.” Eric E. Thomas
  18. “Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.” George Bernard Shaw
  19. “Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.” Marcus Aurelius
  20. “The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.” Henry Ward Beecher
  21. “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” Thomas Paine
  22. “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” Thomas Paine
  23. “Real men stay faithful. They don’t have time to look for another woman, because they’re too busy looking for new ways to love their own.” Anurag Prakash Ray
  24. “The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.” Elbert Hubbard
  25. “A real man can’t stand seeing his woman hurt. He’s careful with his decisions and actions, so he never has to be responsible for her pain.” Anonymous
  26. “A good man will want you to shine. He wants you to be your amazing self. A good man loves to show off his happy, intelligent, amazing, powerful woman.” Anastasia Netri
  27. “A gentleman will open doors, pull out chairs, and carry things. Not because she’s helpless or unable, but because he wants to show her that she is valuable and worthy of respect.” Charles J. Orlando
  28. “The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.” Brandon Sanderson
  29. “A man is at his youngest when he thinks he is a man, not yet realizing that his actions must show it.” Mary Renault, The King Must Die
  30. “In man thought and will prevail, and a desire for liberty and honor. He must act and work, toil and labor, and can preserve his dignity and standing in the world only by acting from principles and clear comprehensions.” Frederick A. Rauch, “Of Man,” Psychology; or, A View of the Human Soul: Including Anthropology, Being the Substance of a Course of Lectures, Delivered to the Junior Class Marshall College, Penn., 1840
  31. “You keep asking what it means to be a man, and the truth is, there’s not just one way. Every morning you get up there’s a thousand chances to do the right thing, be a good man. Hopefully you get most of them right; you’re not gonna get all of them right.” The Middle, “The Man Hunt” [S7, E16, 2016], written by Roy Brown, spoken by the character Mike Heck to Brick Heck

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