The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024
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A closer look at masculinity

What does it mean to be a man? This burning question has become a hot topic on our campus and as such I feel that it needs to be addressed in a way both within and without religious ideology.

Manhood and masculinity are complex subjects; therefore, varied viewpoints naturally exist even within the same religion or culture. Some chose to pursue it through actions, such as exercise, while others try to establish themselves as men through relations. This is often seen in competitions or, what is more likely to be seen within a Christian worldview, marriage.

When manhood is tied to an outside force, whether it is an action or a relation, then being a man becomes something that may be granted or taken away — the very view of masculinity that leads to so much tragic reliance on the approval of others. For example, marriage, in the biblical sense, unifies a man and a woman before God. It is a relationship that exists for the glorification of God — not for men to seek out their identity.

If we assume a biblical worldview, then masculinity and manhood are not to be found in marriage, but before marriage. To search for these ideals in a relationship would corrode any hopes of the open, flourishing relationship marriage was designed to be.

As illustration, I bring to the forefront the very man of Jesus Christ. Canonically it is accepted that he never wedded, and yet he is the very ideal of manhood for many of the Christian faith for both his righteous fervor when faced against the Pharisees and his kind mercy seen in his countless miracles. Clearly manhood, even within Christian doctrine, means something very different than a simple act.

Manhood cannot be tritely defined within the confines of an article; it is a question that men have long sought to answer and it still eludes us.

Though for some the answer is intertwined with a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, many students that attend this fine university do not subscribe to the Christian worldview. No matter our culture or religion, there are ideals of manhood that I believe can be accepted by all people.

For instance, I assert that, at least in part, manhood is maturity. Across the nation we see an issue of delayed maturation in which many males enjoy the freedom granted by college without assuming the responsibility that normally accompanies it.

Therefore, I agree with the recent trend that the subject of manhood deserves consideration and implore us to continue to explore this idea as we go through our time here at SMU. As has been discussed oftentimes in meetings of the club I head, Men for Equality, manhood and masculinity, though linked, are not interchangeable.

Manhood is far more focused upon responsibility and maturity while masculinity deals with self-perception in relation to cultural values. Being a man means more than checking a box ­— it is a pursuit that never truly ends.

I invite anyone that is interested in wrestling with the idea of what it means to be a man and how that looks as a student on SMU’s campus to join us at 4 p.m. in Hughes-Trigg Atrium AB every Friday.

Swartz is a sophomore majoring in biochemistry.

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