We need men to be men in order to advance our communities. However, one of the biggest problems facing adolescent men is trying to come up with, and live out, a proper definition of manhood. Without a true understanding of what it means to be a man, it’s easy for young adolescents to fall victim to media misrepresentations.
One of the most pervasive misrepresentations of manhood is how hip-hop culture portrays the relationship between men and women. We are seen treating women as replaceable commodities to be collected and discarded as if they hold no true value. This, of course, is the farthest from the truth.
Most real men would agree that the most important responsibility of a man is to protect and advance his community. There is no community without family and there is no family without positive relationships between men and women. It’s that simple. To simplify it even more, here are 4 “Codes Of Conduct” when interacting with women.
- Acknowledge the Value Of Women
The mother is the child’s first teacher. The wife is the glue that holds the family together. Not to say that a man can’t be these things as well, but women have historically mastered these vital roles in our communities. As men, we must acknowledge that women can be our greatest allies if we cultivate healthy relationships.
- Be a Team Player
In 2014-2015, this can mean many different things. Traditionally, this would mean that the man’s primary role would be provider and protector and the woman’s primary role would be nurturer and household manager. Today, in some relationships those roles are still intact. In other relationships those roles have merged. And in some relationships those relationships are completely reversed. Regardless of the role you play, men and women must work together, support each other and appreciate what the other brings to the table. In doing so, the union is strong and the community gets stronger.
- Show Respect or Show Nothing
No one is perfect. Many times we fall short of the men and women we are supposed to be. As a man, if you come into contact with a woman who consistently misses the mark by your standards, this does not give you license to disrespect her. Who you are, as a person, is partly determined by whom you associate with. As men, we shouldn’t disrespect women because we feel as though one particular woman doesn’t live up to our standards. Instead, we should choose to distance ourselves from that person.
- Show Love
It’s one thing to acknowledge and appreciate a woman in our minds, but we need to show it. As a man, if we are to take on the traditional role of protector, that also means protecting women from feelings of inadequacy. We have to show our women love. And that can be done in many ways, both small and large. And by doing so, we solidify our bonds and create a better community.