What does it take to be a real man?

AJ Olvera, Echo reporter

I am but a teenage boy. I have no experience in the work field and no idea of how to work in the world around me. But I have been told that I am more of a man than most men in the world. But what does that truly mean? 

How am I more of a man than some experienced males? The truth: I am me. I don’t pretend to be some muscular monster who preys on those smaller than me with my scary demeanor. I cry, I laugh, and I even do the craziest stuff just to fall in love. I am the last of a breed of hopeless romanticism. 

A man isn’t determined by age or physique. It is determined by the personality and wisdom of the male. It is the ability to feel emotions. To know that not every girl (or boy) wants you. 

I have met others that are just as much a man as the greatest one on Earth, whoever that may be. But they are stuck in the shadows behind their fathers, and their father’s influence. We grew up with them pouring slurs and toxic masculinity into our ears. These “fathers” are simply just misogynistic jerks who want to keep the line of impurity and how to make a woman uncomfortable. 

I am a man for not following in the fathers of yesterday’s footsteps and believing in the fact that men can cry and pout and feel the same emotions as women. We aren’t locked to some sort of code on how to act. But one piece of code I would love to keep intact through the generations of tomorrow is to be you! To hell with society! You deserve to be yourself no matter what anyone says or thinks. 

So, when you are considered a real man, it means you are wise beyond your years and you aren’t afraid to be yourself. Your true self, not the one made for you. When you feel like society won’t accept you, think of that one person that will look and say, “You are a true human.”