What makes a male human being manly?
I am glad that I am a female. I enjoy everything about being female, from the softness of my skin, to the lushness of my body, even the insanity that plagues me when the red flag is raised. I am hugely appreciative that I can enjoy and express my emotions and no one will call me on it and scream, "BE A MAN!" I don't have to pretend to not have fear, to not have insecurities, and I don't need to hide what is percolating in my head (to a certain extend, otherwise they'll put you in a mental institution).
However, I get to do all that because I am a female. But men can't do this; especially those conditioned in a machismo culture. Unfortunately, machismo is not helping men become manlier. It cripples men from exploring God's gift of emotions and to be honest with the most basic parts of themselves. When I read about the Prophet Muhammad: about his kindness, his unabashed affection for his wife(ves) and children and grandchildren, his gentle ways, his openness of his tears; all things that are contrary to the rough and ready Arab culture of those days, I am amazed. This was a *real* man who stood for what he felt was right, enjoined righteousness and did not fear society's anger or reprisal.
My fear is that machismo is often a slippery slope that leads to arrogance, misplaced pride and violence. Quite often the violence is directed towards the weaker ones, be it women, children, and even other men.
Let's kill the machismo that is strangling men. Because they deserve better.