30 Days to a Better Man Day 3: Find a Mentor

Today is Day 3 of this ridiculous 30 Days to a Better Man shindig Aaron convinced me to join him on. Today’s task? Find a mentor.

Figuring out what it means to be a man can be tough. And it’s arguably tougher for men today, who are often more socially isolated, don’t have as many friends, and don’t have strong relationships with their fathers and other male relatives. It’s therefore more important than ever for every man to seek out mentors to help him navigate the complicated waters of manliness and life.
I’m not sure what the Art of Manliness thinks it “means to be a man” - but, for me, it means being happy, healthy, and comfortable being who I am; an individual who is accepted and valued by society for being himself. Or hizself. Or zerself. Or.or.or.

In a nutshell, the steps of today’s task are to:
  • Pick an area in your where you think a mentor can help you and draw up a list of three potential mentors.
  • Describe why you think they’d be good.
  • By the end of the 24 hours, contact this mentor.
An area where I think a mentor can help me…. oh! Here we go: Freedom to choose gender expression. While I have no doubt that the teachings of the Art of Manliness are well-intentioned, they are also painfully myopic. We live in a country where it’s still culturally acceptable to assume that (cisgender hetero) men shouldn’t be nurses or stay-at-home parents. So, for my be a better man benefit, my three mentors do not conform to that kind of binary gobbledygook. And thus, I have chosen:

Even while gender expectations for men are fiercer than ever nowadays, Ralph is an openly feminine heterosexual and cisgender man who is prone to experiencing homophobic harassment. Despite this, he sticks to his gender-present-as-he-is guns and lives life as his authentic self. He proudly displays his pink princess wallet, pink fixed gear peddles - and quite literally pink trim bags the super babes because of it:

Mentor to the max.

I also chose Aaron and Jude for being super brave authentic transgender individuals.

I chose well.

Step three? Contact them and ask, “Wanna be my be my better man mentor?”.

p.s. Earlier this week I took a practice GRE (placement test for graduate school). The unanticipated-but-should-have-anticipated lesson I learned? BRING EARPLUGS. I could not, for the life of me, focus on anything but the sound of one individual who either had a keyboard soaked in sticky soda pop or hits the keys with as much force as he can muster. The sheer irritating horror of it threw me into a fantasy roid rage where it took everything I could to abstain from slamming my fist on my keyboard and yelling, “IS THIS DISTRACTING? IS THIS DISTRACTING?”. So yes… ear plugs.


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