When you think of a “manly” movie it’s a pretty safe bet that Titanic doesn’t make the top 50. It’s universally thought of as a “chick flick” with almost no redeeming “manly” qualities about it. Yet when I think of it, I see it as not only a great love story, but Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack exemplifies a lot of what a man truly is.
Titanic starts out with Jack taking hold of his future by winning a card game. The rest of the movie he seeks to prove he’s more than his station in life. Yes, his life ends tragically by freezing to death in the ocean but for a few days he grabs the golden ring.
Oh..and while, yes, there was room on the door for both, odds are the wood wasn’t buoyant enough for the weight of two people.
I love that movie. In fact, I still own the two cassette VHS version. At one point I even had the framed movie poster hanging in my apartment.
Did that make me ‘less of a man’?
It sure was a hell of a conversation piece, though.
A Titanic Declaration
The problem with the modern definition of masculinity is it is far too narrow. If something doesn’t fit into the tiny box, it’s considered ‘girly’. Too many men reject things that they like and enjoy because they don’t fit in the box.
Quite honestly, that’s a shame. We’re allowing some artificial definition to determine the content and quality of our lives.
Growing up I was always labeled the ‘sensitive one’. For years I buried my sensitivity to avoid the backhanded compliments about it. Doing so meant I was never comfortable in my own skin. It wasn’t until I embraced that label that I really started coming into my own.
Embrace All Of You
There’s a line in “The Mask You Wear” that sums up what it means to be a 21st Century Man. Talking about doing things with your kids whatever you do is, by default, masculine. Whether it’s hunting and fishing, going on a nature walks, or cooking in the kitchen.
Masculinity isn’t a black/white, either/or definition.
So hang that Titanic poster in your house.
If you love it, embrace that and be proud of it.