Strength & Weakness: His

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Yesterday, we looked at strength and weakness in women. Do we have the same definitions when they apply to men?

Strong Men

We all conjure an image when someone says “strong man”.

Is the first image which comes to mind a body builder or one like this?

Or do you see the strong man sitting at the head of a boardroom table?

Or is he silver-headed or bald?

Or is he wearing a uniform?

Is he a heavy lifter or does he delegate?

Or does he embrace danger?

What does it take to be a strong man?

Weak Men

As with weak women, when someone says “weak man” a specific image pops directly to mind:

The Weak Man by Nguyen Van Phuc

Or were you thinking of a silent, sensitive type? Or maybe the man who comes quickly to tears and terror in the face of danger? Or the man who shows no sexual interest?

Will

The strong man does not conceive of I can’t. He routinely initiates activity in the interest of others as well as himself.  The weak-willed man follows orders, occasionally meeting muster.

Beliefs

His politics, religion and social status echo his strength. He opines unapologetically and logically. The weak man shifts in his beliefs and opinions like wind-drifted desert sands.

Character

Strong men exhibit bravery, steadfastness and compassion. Weak men are impatient, selfish and fearful of and for themselves and others.

Honor

A blend of character and belief, honor in a strong man is the carriage of his tenet system which he wields with tenacity and grace. Weak men neither seek nor exhibit honor in their cowardice or maleficence.

Prudence

A strong man looks at all the possibilities before he commits his resources, strength and name to any venture. He is cognizant of the consequences to those in his charge. A weak man does what suits his desire or base needs without regard to others or consequences.

Stir It Up

Where women can be, and often are, a blend of both strong and weak, men are not. In fact they are discouraged from displaying any sort of weakness whatsoever, as it is considered effeminate and undesirable in a leader, mate or a member of society.

That and More

Strong men are not always musclebound. They have many more assets than those listed here. For the sake of tomorrow’s discussion, we will consider these top five.

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If you have not seen Strength & Weakness: Hers, take a moment to read it. Tomorrow, we shall compare and contrast how society views the two.

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What qualities not listed here to you ascribe to the strong man?

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(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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31 Comments

  1. Red, a few special comments are necessary here. First and most importantly, a strong man, above all else, does NOT abuse women, children, pets, and animals. ONLY spineless COWARDS and weak, mindless men abuse, debase, or bully others–typically to aggrandize themselves to display how ‘powerful’ they are.
    A strong man does NOT need to ‘flaunt’ his power in a pathetic attempt to control others at all times, diminish others and make himself look ‘superior’. Interestingly, the ‘control freak ‘ mentality merely displays how weak, insecure, scared and pathetic he is in doing so.
    A strong man remains ethical , defends other less able, defends those he loves with his life if necessary. He has convictions and beliefs, but does not abuse others that carry alternative convictions and beliefs. A strong man is generous to a fault, kind, gentle and forgiving. A strong man apologizes when he is wrong and does not rule his family, workplace, or social circles by fear or self- entitlement.
    A strong man learns from others, is not afraid to admit when someone has a better plan, and teaches and shares what he knows.
    Red, the fact is, a strong man is a giant with a strong mind and great, kind heart even if only 4’ tall, skinny as a rail, and has no muscles.

    Reply
    • Excellent rendition, Ray. I am interested to see what others have to say on the matter. So many varying views on men were presented whilst I studied this one. Would it surprise you to know your view is not widely recognized? Red.

      Reply
      • Q: “Would it surprise you to know your view is not widely recognized?”
        A: ……Not at all, Red, and if there’s one thing I seriously wish to leave as a deep, indelible boot track in this life–IS that viewpoint. It seems there is a very steep learning curve ahead–but the status quo has to be changed–it is unacceptable as it is. I don’t know about absolute Canadian or American statistics, but the number of women and children that have been abused physically is outrageous –that has to change, and that change depends on a serious change of attitude and definition of what a strong man is. I agree with Bear, weak-mindedness, the abuser mentality, the aggressive “man” with low self-esteem that has to be a control freak — looks a lot like a mental disorder. Only a pathetic weak-minded individual will use his upbringing and background as an excuse for brutal, abusive behaviour. The vicious ‘cycle’ touted by ‘feel-good’ political correctness is simply a poor excuse to do nothing to improve the situation.
        That attitude can be changed in society if enough people make it so. Being strong enough to practice yielding to a better idea, a better way, a kinder, gentler society and a more positive attitude is NOT a weakness, but in fact, the definition of strength and nobility –as Phil kindly pointed out to us. Thanks Red!

        Reply
        • Perhaps by raising better children with the instilled morals not to be abusive?

          Somehow, I cannot see a majority adopting the resolution without the absolute necessity of supplanting it in the youth. I think youth are the target audience, with young parents being the immediate second. Change the view at the dawn of a generation rather than combat the steadfast ineptitude of aging malcontents.

          Methinks a topic for another day…Red.

          Reply
    • Excellent thoughts, well said.

      Reply
  2. A strong man can motivate and inspire incredible feats of cooperation among people on the strength of his vision and ideals. A weak man must rely on fear and force. The former is often revered, while the latter is often reviled.

    Along the continuum of emotional development, the weakest of men are totally dependent, incapable of doing anything meaningful for themselves, relying on others; the moderate are somewhere in the independent range, capable of sustaining themselves and rarely relying on others; the strongest are capable of and comfortable with interdependence on other strong, interdependent people in true spirit of teamwork, as a result, capable of accomplishing far more than the others.

    A strong man may willingly yield and submit to another from a position of strength because he has an actual choice – that is an act of nobility. A weak man submits to another does not really have a choice and is essentially a doormat – that is an act of cowardice. I am a bit intrigued however by this because our society has conditioned us to believe any submissive act by a man is considered a weakness. This is maybe like a spice – use sparingly for best effect.

    Great topic to get the mind thinking, Red. I can’t wait to see how you synthesize all this into Red’s philosophy of men, women, strength and weakness.

    Reply
    • As is often the case, what was initially to be a three part series, I am compelled to add a fourth (for Sunday lunch). Tomorrow’s discussion on this will be revealing. The compare was easy, the contrast was dramatic. When coupled with the comments on His & Hers, it left no doubt lacking the last segment would be unfair.

      And you will find, I like to stretch the brain. But I also love to laugh. You will enjoy Friday Follies & the Saturday Evening Post. Red.

      Reply
  3. Bear

     /  December 16, 2011

    I agree with Raymond it takes a weak-minded person to whine and cry about another person or to try and bully someone. I have seen abuse as a Police officer. It comes in many forms. It’s my opinion that these people have a mental disorder. And/or have never grown up and gotten out of mommy’s shadow. They themselves were possibly picked on and/or bullied. It seems they want to say look at me! But can’t take rejection and find a way to take it to the next level with a friend, lovers, mate etc. These folks need serious help.

    On the other hand, strong man takes form in a multitude of ways all mentioned in today’s comments. Which are you? If you see yourself in the first description, try to make a change for the better. Seek help. If you are the second, you will probably help the first type. Good writing, Red.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Bear. I have to wonder if the weak-minded who were abused got the weak mind as a result of the abuse or it is the reason they were abused. More food for thought. Red.

      Reply
  4. I think the men have said most of it, but this from a woman.

    A strong man isn’t afraid of women who are strong of mind and show independence of spirit. In fact a strong man will seek these women out and celebrate their successes with them.

    A strong man will contribute to his community, his home and his family first with his labor and then through his example. How he treats his neighbors and his family members even when nobody is watching is a true indication of his strength of character, showing patience and kindness even in the face of the most trying circumstance is true strength.

    A strong man will guide his sons and his daughters with compassion and a firm hand. Treating them both equally and encouraging them both to achieve greatness. He will fight for them when they are treated unequally in school or elsewhere in society and he will teach them the power of compassion and empathy.

    A strong man will know equally the power of forgiveness when it is merited and “I am sorry” when it is necessary.

    A strong man will know that somethings aren’t worth fighting over and it isn’t a sign of weakness to walk away. Just as sometimes it simply is time for a beat-down and time to take out the Louisville Slugger and take care of the mess.

    A strong man knows sometimes hugging is all that is necessary.

    Reply
  5. I am late to comment on this one Red as I wasn’t online last evening and late on tonight so I will just concur with what has been said already, I think that both Raymond and Bear have made some really good points here, and any man that beats up on a woman, child or pet is seriously deranged and contrary to what those individuals believe, that is not being strong in any way, shape or form, indeed it takes a very weak minded character to see any kind of strength in those actions.

    The really strong kind of men never speak out, never need any recognition for anything that they do, such as the incredibly brave men in our armed forces that act upon impulse whenever they are called upon, and strong in mind and body is second to none.

    Strength in a man or woman is shown in many ways, and neither man or woman is the stronger in my opinion, both sexes are equals these days, though after saying that I will contradict myself as I figure that women are just ahead of us males in the strength department, okay I am waffling now but I will be calling back to see your next posting Red 🙂

    In the meantime have a delightful rest of evening and a wicked weekend too 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    Reply
    • Interesting you think women are the stronger. *Perks suspicious ear for more*

      And the weekend promises delight! Red.

      Reply
      • I like the sound of your weekend Red
        as delighting at the weekends is always
        a very nice idea 🙂 Hey delighting on all
        the days and nights of the week is much
        better though 🙂 lol

        Androgoth XXx

        Reply
    • I am sorry about my second paragraph, as that should read (such as the incredibly brave men and women in our armed forces that act upon impulse), I must be more tired than I thought to add that in such a poor way…

      Have a lovely weekend Red 🙂

      Androgoth XXx

      Reply
  6. I saw an amazingly strong man today, as he prepared to lay his wife to rest he did not attempt to hide his tears and it was obvious he had every intention of keeping his promise to make her proud of him and being as strong as he could for her four children. She loved everybody and he openly, freely admitted that she taught him what it really means to have true love and be willing to die for somebody. I have seen this man that is covered in tattoos, spending his life on his motorcycle trying to convince you he is tough, take my Autistic angel in his arms and make it a point that to ensure that everyone understood that she is a good baby that just needs a little extra understanding and a gentle touch because of the Autism. (he also manages to inform and explain my angel’s condition without being offensive, that is rare). That is the strong man, taking everything as it comes and letting his feelings be known.

    Reply
  7. Hmm… I agree with most of what was said, there was a phrase I have to ask for clarification because I don’t agree with:

    “The really strong kind of men never speak out.”

    I ask for clarification because there are instances of speaking out is the strongest thing a man can do. I don’t necessarily think not speaking out is a positive trait–just as much as talking too much. But if one doesn’t speak that means there’s more of an incentive to channel things inward… and that’s dangerous to ones psyche and body as well. Or. worse, it can explode outward… even more so.

    Take it from somebody who knows first hand about the internal.

    But a strong man is more of one of integrity, and honor. Who can recognize a woman’s accomplishments without feeling intimidated.*

    Unfortunately you don’t see a lot of that character trait in modern media.

    *Finally have something to respond with Strong woman one…

    Reply
    • Perhaps the lack of character in the media fuels the culture of blog, where the facades are pulled down, the arses bared for the world to like, hate or peruse with curiosity…

      Reply
  8. Ted

     /  December 17, 2011

    I have little to nothing to add to the above comments. I do believe a man can be strong in one part of his life and show some weakness in another part of his life. I have a very good friend that will give the shirt off his back for anyone. He volunteers in the community, he works hard, he donates services and products to many community fundraising activities. He is a good man overall. His weakness is his relationships with women. He only stays in a relationship for 3 or 4 years and then moves on. I do have to say that also may be changing with him and age. He has been with the lady he is with now for at least 7 years.

    To me a strong man demonstrates Integrity, honor and loyalty.

    Reply
    • Commitment, eh? Interesting addition. Thank you, Ted. Red.

      Reply
    • bear

       /  December 17, 2011

      Interesting, I also know of someone like that, but in this gentleman’s case it isn’t him but the women he attracts. The women in his life have always been looking for something that they in fact lack. Money, status. Power is the best one I can think of, once they are married to him they realized that the power or whatever doesn’t make them a better woman and things go wrong from that point on. I’m not degrading the women in his life. But from an outsider looking in, it isn’t him. Bear

      Reply
  9. People must remember that a strong man is not necessarily a man that is physically strong. A man like Mark Zuckerberg, weak in moral fiber, becomes one of the world’s richest men, much like Bill Gates. Would you be scared if either attacked you? You would if their layers did. A man that hurts others, whether through his strength or his words, is not a man but a mouse. Trying to define what a strong man is could warrant a more lengthy response, somewhere along the length of War and Peace, and 3/4 of it would be trying to detract what a strong man doesn’t do, or rather shouldn’t do.

    Reply
  10. Funny that you had more men comment than women on this post.

    A strong man is one who is loyal to and takes care of his family. I tried to teach my daughter that a man who gets up every day and goes to work, comes back home to her is more to be valued than that ‘hunk’ that’s probably a cheater or the lazy guy who let’s her pay for everything.

    A strong man is kind and knows when to be gentle with his strength.

    A strong man has firm beliefs and sticks to them.

    A strong man doesn’t need to put others down (abuse) to make himself feel ‘strong’.

    A strong man is not afraid to be himself, no matter what society says about it. He is confident in his manhood and doesn’t need to ‘prove’ it.

    And for me personally, a strong man loves God first and seeks to follow Him, making him a better husband, father, …..

    Off to read your strong woman post 🙂

    Reply
    • See, I found no irony in the men commenting more. In fact, I think it is more important for the men to comment on this one. This post is not like the tabloid version…this is not a list of woman wants. Instead, this is an exploration. Since I did not approach this as a “what’s wrong with men” post, I am very pleased the men chose to fill in the blanks. I am ecstatic they had such good answers as well.

      For me, all the male responses let me know there still are parents out there who are teaching their little boys to grow up to be men. How many times have you seen this quote? Growing old: Mandatory Growing up: Optional There is great comfort in knowing the men who frequent here can identify good men when they see them.

      Red.

      Reply

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