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The Macho Man: A Wrong Turn on the Path to Masculinity

So many men confuse the path to becoming a strong, well-meaning, and virtuous gentleman with the affectation of being stubborn, ultra-durable, and dominant. This is not surprising. A quick Internet search will reveal hundreds of websites toting these “paths towards true masculinity.” These are usually followed by vitamin supplement ads and whey products. At best, they can be a decent read. At worst, they extoll the worst traits baked into supposed male-ness: Machoism.

While we do not believe that the male gender is essentially toxic (a horrible phrase), there are aspects of masculinity where the road to mental, physical, and spiritual health has many off ramps. Machoism and masculinity do overlap with one another. Self-confidence, a strong belief in what is right and wrong, and the power to provide are all worthy destinations. But Machoism distorts masculinity and tells men to assert their strength in front of others and prove where they fit in society, and, most insidiously, to focus primarily on themselves. Machoism is not compatible with selflessness, and true acts of selflessness are the mountaintop for a strong and healthy connection to those around us. 

We must shelve the constant “be better” attitude for external gratification and look to the God-given cornerstone within. Having a great six-pack is one thing, but without humility to the forces greater than oneself and a dedication to protecting the vulnerable with your masculine strength, that same ‘perfect’ external façade will blow away at the first sign of a strong wind.