Since starting The Art of Manliness nearly five years ago, I’ve [Brett McKay] interacted with thousands of men from all over the world. One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that many grown men out there simply don’t feel like men. I’m not talking about “feeling like a man” in the cartoonish, hyper-masculine sense. Rather, I’m talking about “feeling like a man” in the sense of that quiet confidence that comes from moving from boyhood into mature masculinity.
Many of the guys I’ve talked to (particularly the ones in their 20s and 30s) have confessed to me that they still feel like a teenage boy walking around in a grown man’s body. Because they don’t feel like mature men, many of these young men are putting off adult responsibilities like careers, families, and civic involvement until they can look at themselves in the mirror and say: “I’m a man.” In the meantime, these young men drift insecurely through life, wondering when they’ll finally start feeling like grown men.
We’ve talked a lot on the site about why young men today are struggling with the transition from boyhood to mature masculinity–lack of a rite of passage and positive male mentors, a faultydefinition of manhood, and sociological and economical shifts are just a few of the reasons we’ve discussed.
While all those things have certainly contributed to the enervated state of modern masculinity, I think an underlying problem is that young men today are simply following modern, conventional wisdom on how a person “becomes” who they want to be. (cont … Art of Manliness)