One of the questions that I periodically hear, especially from female clients, is, “What’s good about men?” During 2010 , Florida State social psychologist Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., who wrote the foreword to our men’s anthology Ordinary Men, Extraordinary Lives: Defining Moments, published a book entitled Is There Anything Good About Men? The Good Men Project, www.goodmenproject.com, is currently calling for submissions about “what is good about masculinity?” I plan to submit most of the material from this blog.
Disclaimer: I refuse to fall into the trap of over-generalizing about the masculine virtues or traits that I’m about to list. With well over three billion men on the planet, there are obviously considerable individual differences among men with respect to variables such as age, culture, subculture, ethnic group, religion, etc. What I’m offering are qualities or characteristics that I have commonly observed in men, without implying that most women lack these capacities. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list.
- at least a moderate level of physical strength
- capacity for close camaraderie
- loyalty in friendship (not so much in business, anymore)
- rational, logical thinking
- ambition/drive and productivity (often ethnic-based slurs about laziness are unfounded)
- resourcefulness and solution-focus
- leadership skills
- a good sense of humor
- spiritual proclivity
- generosity, especially when perceiving great need
Those ten general items provide a “good start.” I’d be very curious to receive your feedback about my list and to receive your suggested substitutes or additions.