What's Up Wednesdays: Be a Real Man

What does it mean to be a real man? What does it mean, really? If we were to follow the stereotypical tradition, perhaps he’s like the bearded fellow above. He does physical labor and is the sole breadwinner for his family. He’s also emotionally unavailable and a strict disciplinarian.

But this notion of a real man is changing, isn’t it? David Willans is certainly challenging the “traditional” definition, particularly in terms of what it means to provide for your family. As we work toward greater gender equality and more dual-income families, shouldn’t both parents have equal opportunity for equal responsibility?

There’s also this prevailing assumption that all men must be sexual predators and they must be stopped. Of course, this could not be further from the truth. Buzz Bishop recounts his story of being a man alone at the park, surrounded by children he doesn’t know. It can feel incredibly awkward, even for confident dads hanging out with their own kids. Little ones should be aware of “stranger danger,” but this paranoia has gone too far.

Switching gears to something a little more fun, John Chow was recently back in town and he took the opportunity to enjoy Slide The City in North Vancouver. The giant, gravity-powered waterslide took over a major street and allowed participants to slide all the way down several blocks under the beautiful sunshine. It was part of the Car Free Day festivities and it looks like everyone had a tremendous time.

We never evaluate ourselves on an absolute scale; we do it on a relative scale by looking at those around us. Dave Cornell reminds us that comparing ourselves to others can be incredibly detrimental to our health and happiness, because there will always be someone who is “better” than you or is doing “better” than you. At the end of day, you have to be comfortable in your own skin, doing your own thing. Just be yourself and don’t worry about what other people are doing.

To close out this week’s speedlink, we turn to a much more sombre and serious note with Creed Anthony. He recently traveled with his family to visit the actual location where his ancestors were slaves. I can’t even begin to imagine just how powerful and moving the experience was as he stood “as a free man and proud citizen, on the same land in Maysville, Kentucky that, over 140 plus years ago, my mother’s great great grandfather (and several other ancestors) worked and toiled.”