The condition of being a man. Also a euphemism for a man's willy, John Thomas, or one-eyed trouser snake.

Ten Ways You Can Fake It If You Fear Your Manhood Act Is Shaky

  1. Believe in a very butch god.
  2. Start a war.
  3. Rape someone.
  4. Lynch or gas someone.
  5. Force someone to have a baby.
  6. Whack off to a picture of someone being hurt.
  7. Whack off inside someone you're hurting.
  8. Hit or have sex with a child.
  9. Leave a mess.
  10. Laugh at a guy's joke.

Ten Things to Remember If You Know Your Manhood Act is Shaky but You Suspect That's OK—Because You'd Really Rather Act Out of Your Selfhood Instead

  1. Other men have only as much power to judge you as you give them. If you don't give them the power to judge who you are, they don't have it.
  2. All men grow up learning to fear other men's judgement of their manhood act.
  3. All men grow up learning to mistake their manhood act for themselves.
  4. Some men learn to figure out the difference. You can be one of them. That means life as a man of conscience.
  5. Some men will never learn the difference between their manhood act and themselves—even though their lives and the lives of other people depend on it. You can try to reach and teach such men if you want. But some of them are really tough cases. Shouldering their problem with manhood may become too much your problem with manhood. For whatever reason, they are intractably committed to their manhood act and to doing things to fake it that hurt other human beings terribly. So you may have to give up on them. There's only so much you can do, and life is short.
  6. Your consciousness of your human-beingness does not depend on any common denominator of consciousness among all the other men out there who are also living behind the mask of manhood. Your freedom to let down your own mask does not depend on how many other men have already done so or how many other men will.
  7. One of the main reasons the manhood mask stays stuck is because you think you're the only one who sometimes longs to take it off. You're not at all. But you might be led to think that a roomful of masks nodding their approval will give you the permission you need before you really can. You don't need their permission. Their seeming permission to take off your manhood mask is also their power to judge you. You don't need either. To let down your own manhood act, all you need is the courage of your own human-beingness, and the conviction of your own selfhood.
  8. You may think that if you decide to live as a man of conscience you'll be alone. But you can't be a man of conscience alone, all by yourself, in isolation, outside of relation. The other people in your life—all the people of all their various races, ages, sizes, genders, and cultures, all of their unique and precious human-beingnesses, in all of their various connections to you—they will all be with you because for a change you will be with them.
  9. Still, it isn't always easy to be a man of conscience.
  10. The core of one's being must love justice more than manhood.

    quotations from: John Stoltenberg, The End of Manhood (pp. 7-9)

John Stoltenberg lives with Andrea Dworkin. Make of that what you will.

Personally, I think that he's quite the babe but, also, he's sexier in person than in his dust jacket photos. YMMV, of course.

Anyway, this may give some context to the widespread notion that Andrea Dworkin believes that sex equals rape or all sex is rape or that all men are rapists.

I realize that this node will not be popular among some of the denizens of E2. I only ask that you read it completely. Note that I am not a warmonger by any stretch, and I avoid fights and violent confrontations whenever possible. Note also, that I am no pacifist, nor do I regard pacifism as a workable philosophy for civilizations. I believe there are times when violence is the best solution to a problem (see violence never solved anything for a few details on why I feel this way). nonviolence is often effective, and I highly suggest attempting it if one is not under the immediate threat of death. There are times, however, when this tactic is not practicable.

Manhood is all about responsibility, ultimately. A man takes responsibility for himself as well as those in his charge. Depending on the society one is in, his charge may be a wife (or wives), children, and/or other men. A sorely lacking trait nowadays, unfortunately. One of the unfortunate problems with the high numbers of out of wedlock births among black people is that manhood is not transferred to the new generation. A father abandons his child, displaying a serious lack of the aforementioned manhood, leaving a single mother to rear a child, which, if the child is male, will likely have little understanding of how to be a responsible man.

Manhood is rough. Boys fight and play rough because those skills are good for men to know. A man is a protector. Due to the fact that men generally are physically stronger than women, along with the manner is which men are typically socialized this is a natural role. I think an unfortunate side effect of the gun violence of the inner city is the crippling of the rough manhood rituals traditionally undergone by boys. A critical part of learning to be a man is knowing how to receive, and administer, an ass kicking. A man should know what it is to be beaten (not always physically, this can be any of a variety of ways of taking a loss), and how to come back, without bitterness, from this temporary humiliation, with renewed resolve, learning from the defeat. A man should also be prepared to kick some ass should it ever be required of him. If your brother-in-law strikes your sister in front of you, what do you do? Rationally speak to him about the senselessness of violence, or beat his ass like he stole something? I say the latter. One of the reasons for the death of modern manhood is the lack of low level violence. We seem to only deal with two levels of violence nowadays: none and lethal. There is little appreciation for rough play, nor the fist fight. Even spanking children is taboo in some circles. Believe it or not, this sort of low grade violence has more benefit than harm for young boys growing into manhood. Men have to know about violence. It is of paramount import that they understand when to use and when not to use violence. Violence can be necessary or unecessary, justifiable or senseless, and avoiding it completely means that those who will later be charged with its dispensation will not be equipped to recognize the critical differences among these conditions.

In short, I believe that the most important aspect of manhood which differentiates it from womanhood or adulthood in general is the fact that, generally, men are given the responsibility to use violence in a society, and manhood is the ability to handle that terrible responsibility effectively. Misuse of it leads to oppression, either of others, in the event of overexuberance in the use of violence, or self, in the event one fails to stand up to oppression when faced with it, with violence if necessary.

Man"hood, n. [Man- + -hood.]


The state of being man as a human being, or man as distinguished from a child or a woman.


Manly quality; courage; bravery; resolution.

I am ashamed That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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