25 Ways to Be a Real Man

In its Men's Style section, The New York Times recently published a somewhat ridiculous, liberalism-infused article entitled "27 Ways to Be a Modern Man."  While a few of the 27 ways made some sense, many of them were so soft-handed and weak that one wonders if the article was meant as a joke.  Sadly, it appears that the writer was serious:

  1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.
  1. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?
  1. The modern man cries. He cries often.

Well, if a modern man is supposed to be a mushy, fashion-conscious crybaby with a melon-baller, then I want no part of it.  It's far better to be a real man.  So what are the traits of a real man?  There are many, and this list isn't comprehensive, but it should be a good start.

A real man:

  1. Has integrity.  If he gives you his word on something – or shakes on it – then you can put it in the bank.  A real man does what he says he's going to do.
  2. Treats people with dignity and respect.  He adheres to the Golden Rule: treat others as you would have them treat you.  All people get the same treatment, whether he needs something from them or not.
  3. Respects women.  For a real man, chivalry is not dead.  He will open a door for a woman, give up his seat for a woman, and never, ever abuse a woman.
  4. Has principles and a moral compass.  The real man knows that there are objective truths.  He makes decisions based on them, conducts himself according to them, judges the character of others based on them, and won't compromise them.
  5. Is not afraid to take a stand.  He is not a "yes man" at work or anywhere else, nor is he difficult just for the sake of being difficult.  However, he's not afraid to express his opinion.
  6. Loves and supports his family.  A real man understands that he can't abandon his responsibility to provide for his family.  He doesn't have to do it alone…but he needs to be in the game.
  7. Is willing to fight.  The real man should be slow to anger, but he understands that sometimes, he has to fight, whether it's figuratively in a courtroom, boardroom, or some other setting, or physically on the street.  He will protect his family from harm or die trying.
  8. Has some martial arts training.  Maybe he wrestled in high school, learned to box in a local gym, or competed in karate, judo, or some other art.  It all counts.
  9. Understands the gun.  He respects the pistol and rifle, and he knows how to use them safely and effectively.
  10. Reads.  The real man doesn't have to be a top-flight intellectual, but he isn't afraid to read a book every once in a while, and he knows what's going on in the world.
  11. Doesn't keep a diary.  Unless he's an important political or military figure, a great scientist, a modern-day explorer, leading businessman, or some other figure of historical significance, the real man knows that most of his day-to-day life isn't worth writing down.  If he wants to write out a diary to "explore his feelings," then he might not qualify as a real man.
  12. Isn't afraid of his emotions, but knows how to control them.  The real man is not a crybaby.  He can cry over something major, like the death of a close friend or family member.  Aside from that, there aren't many reasons to pull a John Boehner.
  13. Has some mechanical ability.  The real man can do things like change the oil and filters in his car (or better yet, his truck), use – and repair – a lawnmower, change a flat tire, hang a ceiling fan, and do some basic plumbing work or similar things.
  14. Knows how to use tools.  Related to number 12 above, the real man knows how to turn a wrench, drive a nail, and cut wood.  He doesn't need to be a master carpenter, but he should have some basic skills.
  15. Knows how to back a trailer.
  16. Isn't afraid of manual labor.  A real man can be in a white-collar or blue-collar profession.  For those in white-collar jobs, it's important to have done – and continue to do – some work with their hands and their backs.
  17. Has self-discipline and self-control.  Whether it's his job, diet, exercise routine, personal finances, or other elements within his personal control, a real man knows how to stay on track.  He's not a prude, but he does know when to conduct himself in a more dignified manner…and when it's okay to loosen up.
  18.  Loves a good steak.
  19. Isn't afraid of a good cigar and a glass of whiskey.
  20. Knows how to hunt or fish.  He also knows how to clean and prepare the game or fish he takes.
  21. Is not a narcissist.  He is not overly introspective, and he understands that there are things larger than himself.
  22. Knows what the term "inalienable rights" means, and what those rights are for every individual.
  23. Takes his work seriously, and strives to be the best he can be.
  24. Understands that the world owes him nothing.  After reaching adulthood, the real man understands that he is entitled only to what he can earn.  Anything else is a gift, for which he should be appreciative.
  25. Doesn't pretend he's something he's not.

While this nation's future might rest with the modern man, its greatness most certainly rests upon the shoulders of the real man.  We need more of the latter.