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Who run it?

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Manhood is a word that has served in the role of the human existence to denote a series of values, tenets, and a coming of age from being biologically and socially an adolescent boy. The ability to demonstrate “manhood” is one of many motivators of the behavior of males of all ages. However, what tend to cause chaos in the world are the different operational definitions of Manhood and cultural ignorance of that individual’s definition is what can be perceived as disrespect.

In an effort to dispel some myths about Manhood I want to approach this topic by dissecting what Manhood is not. Then I would want to discuss some cultural common attributes of Manhood that are pervasive across cultural boundaries. Finally, I will spell out what I believe to be indicators of someone demonstrating Manhood. This I believe will be a lengthy but needed process that will span over several entries in this blog site. In this excerpt we are taking on the myth of what makes the head of the household.

Myth: If a man splits the bills 50/50, he really isn't the “head of the house”!

This is a contemporary issue in that the household has two working adults creating expenses monthly, and the assertion to be seen as the head of the home the man must carry the burden of the family wholly. This is a complex issue in that the only attribute to being seen as a man is based solely on your earning potential versus, literally, what the spouse/significant other is earning. The other layer of complication is that there are biblical and government supports on what defines “head of the house” that pundits on this topic throw back and forth to no avail.

The pastoral view on this topic is shortsighted, by design I believe, in that the era in which the bible was written there is nothing that spoke to employment rates and market demands to assess head of household based on income. Women were not even “allowed” to hold wage earning positions and remained with their birth families until married at which time she was in charge of the rearing of children and home related work. But to be fair to those that follow “the word”, the government’s tax credit does not care if the bread winner is a man or woman, further muddying the water in defining families biblically. I caution that it is incredibly myopic to define a man on his income and not the “man’s” efforts; thus it is not appropriate to define the “head” of the house being solely about tax returns.

Manhood, in nature indicates a man of vision and that implies strategy, not tactics. To be a visionary man, one must be an educated man. I do NOT mean educated only in the formal halls of a nations preparatory schools and universities. I mean educated in the world around him, how it works, who the players are, and self-awareness of how the world affects him.

In this day in age, it is wise to live within one’s means and if you are lucky enough to marry a working spouse I recommend using one income for bills, and the other income for savings (emergency fund, retirement, direct investments). However, not everyone can be found in that position, so it makes good fiscal sense to proportionately pay the bills. Suze Orman, financial guru and author, postulated the same concept in her books on the topic. In other words, if one partner brings in 70% of the total household income the portion they pay of the total household bills should be 70%. The higher earner typically comes into the relationship with higher expenses (higher end car, home). A couple splitting bills 50/50 in the same scenario would literally break the partner bringing in the remaining 30% of household income.

While I do NOT fashion myself to be a financial counselor, I have looked into the topic for the fact that a large percentage of divorces were noted to be about financial disillusionment. Emotionally mature forward thinking couples recognize the need to NOT create undue duress in a relationship by creating a hostile environment based on outdated schemas. Money does NOT make the man, nor does it make the woman a man if she earns more. Money is a tool ONLY!

My goal was to NOT unhook any spiritual beliefs, but more importantly, ask that you consider contemporary factors and apply your beliefs accordingly. We need to reverse the emasculation of men that is happening in society because of old beliefs conflicting with unemployment or low wage employment rates of men. Being a man encompasses elements of protection, selflessness, source of inspiration, and being a visionary. When a good life is the goal, you must ask yourself, if your worldview on this topic is consistent with how the world operates? And does your worldview create more situations where you are just surviving quietly in shame, versus creating opportunities to live out loud. Self-awareness is the only map needed to successfully navigate life’s snares and obstacles.

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