Man" -- Defined The Word Term Paper

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Being able to express one's sexuality and desire in an open, healthy fashion and not feel in danger of persecution, in Estes' view, is a critical, but often unacknowledged part of being a man. Closely guarding the rights to claim the status of man is not particular to America's racial history. "The early modern Spaniards...also assumed that manhood was revealed, in large part, through a person's behavior," through what today might be called "machismo" (Behrend-Martinez, 2005). To be a man in Spain, included "keeping one's word, supporting one's family, heading a patriarchal household, demonstrating sexual prowess, sobriety, maintaining one's independence of thought and action, and defending family and personal honor" (Behrend-Martinez, 2005). Stressing the ability to keep one's household made manhood an aristocratic institution, as maintaining a certain lifestyle was synonymous with manhood. A parallel might be found today, in a man's demonstration of his ability to support his children, a wife, or even the ability to drive a certain type of car.

Scholar Edward Behrend-Martinez writes that more so than what a person possessed or did not possess physically, manhood in Spanish society depended on how a person acted and that this can be seen, even today in modern Spain (and North America), when "a woman behaves courageously enough, acts like a 'man,' she can be said to be cojonuda, she has 'balls' (Behrend-Martinez, 2005). Conversely, in modern Anglo society, when a man seems unduly preoccupied with female...

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But being honorable, taking responsibility for one's actions, and showing responsibility does seem to be more in keeping with what one is urged to do, when one is told to be a man. Perhaps the truest definition of being a man is to be an adult emotionally as well as physically. The problem with sexism only arises when being a man means being not like a woman, and thus a woman is unjustly defined as someone who is irresponsible. Thus, a man is someone of the male gender who possesses all of the emotional traits and responsibilities of a mature, rather than a childlike human being, just as a woman is someone of the female gender who possesses all of the emotional traits and responsibilities of a mature, rather than a childlike human being.
Works Cited

Estes, Steve. "Introduction." From I am a Man: Race, Manhood, and the Civil Rights

Movement. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2005. [22 Feb 2007] Excerpted at http://uncpress.unc.edu/chapters/estes_i.html

Behrend-Martinez, Edward. "Manhood and the neutered body in early modern Spain."

Journal of Social History. 22 Jun 2005. [22 Feb 2007] http://www.encyclopedia.com/printable.aspx?id=1G1:133934746

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Estes, Steve. "Introduction." From I am a Man: Race, Manhood, and the Civil Rights

Movement. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2005. [22 Feb 2007] Excerpted at http://uncpress.unc.edu/chapters/estes_i.html

Behrend-Martinez, Edward. "Manhood and the neutered body in early modern Spain."

Journal of Social History. 22 Jun 2005. [22 Feb 2007] http://www.encyclopedia.com/printable.aspx?id=1G1:133934746


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