Is The “New Macho” A Good Model For Healthy Masculinity?

new machoIs The “New Macho” A Good Model For Healthy Masculinity?

As I’ve said in previous posts (Mankind Project, Men’s Work), I’m a big fan of the Mankind Project (MKP).  MKP has shared a great piece offering a great working definition of the “New Macho” as a model for the “New Masculinity”.

It is a wonderful launching point for discussions about what makes for healthy masculinity and what qualities we want to embody and express.  I’m presenting it to you below and hope that it will inspire you and that you will share it with your friends, family and tribe.

The New Macho

He cleans up after himself.
He cleans up the planet.
He is a role model for young men.
He is rigorously honest and fiercely optimistic.

He holds himself accountable.
He knows what he feels.
He knows how to cry and he lets it go.
He knows how to rage without hurting others.
He knows how to fear and how to keep moving.
He seeks self-mastery.

He’s let go of childish shame.
He feels guilty when he’s done something wrong.
He is kind to men, kind to women, kind to children.
He teaches others how to be kind.
He says he’s sorry.

He stopped blaming women or his parents or men for his pain years ago.
He stopped letting his defenses ruin his relationships.
He stopped letting his penis run his life.
He has enough self respect to tell the truth.
He creates intimacy and trust with his actions.
He has men that he trusts and that he turns to for support.
He knows how to roll with it.
He knows how to make it happen.
He is disciplined when he needs to be.
He is flexible when he needs to be.
He knows how to listen from the core of his being.

He’s not afraid to get dirty.
He’s ready to confront his own limitations.
He has high expectations for himself and for those he connects with.
He looks for ways to serve others.
He knows he is an individual.
He knows that we are all one.
He knows he is an animal and a part of nature.
He knows his spirit and his connection to something greater.

He knows that the future generations are watching his actions.
He builds communities where people are respected and valued.
He takes responsibility for himself and is also willing to be his brother’s keeper.

He knows his higher purpose.
He loves with fierceness.
He laughs with abandon, because he gets the joke.

This is the Mature Masculine – it is the redefinition of masculinity for the 21st century. By no means is this list complete. You are welcome to come and add your gifts to this community.

©2010 Boysen Hodgson. All rights reserved.

What are YOUR thoughts?  What are some of the qualities that call out to you?  What qualities are the most challenging for you to embody?

For the women that are part of the Men After Fifty Community (and who are deeply appreciated), which qualities are most important to you in your partner?  Which are most challenging to YOU to accept?

AND, what would you add to this list for the new macho or the new masculinity?

Let’s get this party started!

Adam Sheck


  1. This is Crap!!

    Society has been judging Fathers by how good of mothers they are. This is exactly the same thing. Girlimen trying to justify their fear of masculinity. Plus, this is warmed over 60’s sensitivity….Its not even new crap, its old crap!.

    Men need to get back to holding the line for the safety and well-being of children and women.

    Men need to be ‘other sufficient’, meaning, self-sufficient plus the ability to possess resources enough for others, especially family.

    He needs to be keenly aware of all dangers to the community and his family, especially danger from the usurpation of the primacy of the role of parents, both Father and mother, in rearing and training the children to become good citizens.

    He is the provider, financially and spiritually.

    He understands he is the expendable sex, and embraces his duty(ies) that arise from that knowledge

    He provides vision and leadership for society, community and family. He invites and allows the women to create family around him for which he takes full responsibility to ensure its safety and health.

    He brings certainty and boundaries to all relationships, especially children and particularly to boys.

    He holds himself and other accountable for their actions.

    He is the spiritual leader of his family and community. And knows when men are absent spiritually, the spirituality that is left in that vacuum is desperate and insecure.

    He understands his is to sacrifice for others. He passes this knowledge on to his son’s and other younger males.

    He brings commitment to women in order for her to be fully actualized, and he fully utilized.

    This is only 5 minutes of thought on the subject, but none of it is politically correct or airy fairy bullshit that in no way helps men find their real meaning and purpose.

    “He cleans himself, he cleans the planet”. Holy cow! Only a woman could come up with that, and an old hippie woman to boot..

    • Mike,

      So glad you’re NOT pulling your punches! I created the “Men After Fifty” to create community and to dialogue. I prefer my “airy-fairy” grounded and in small doses to be honest.

      Appreciate your “off the cuff” thoughts, have two responses:

      1. In many religions/spiritual practices/societies, the woman/mother is the spiritual center and heart of the family. What makes you feel that the man should be the spiritual leader?

      2. I’m kind of sick of this notion of men as “expendable”. Every war has decimated our youth and hurt our society. As long as everyone buys into this “expendability”, then we will continue to “expend” our greatest resources. To me THIS is the biggest bullshit of all.

      Thanks so much for sharing,

      • Doc,

        Men are dying under the feminine these days. There are no men more lively than those serving in the armed forces. They attach to the male need to accomodate duty, sacrafice and heroism. It is a vigorous life. But even that bastilion is being attacked and eaten by the girliman who through victim politics has gained control and are feminizing it. The emaculation will be completed soon.

        And the ‘sickness’ you speak of has everything to do with your sense of masculine uselessness. And that is affecting all of us men. We show our sense of uselessness in our slack jawed and vacant looks, and our turn to pleasure as our escape, mostly sexual, most of that self-centered, and mostly fantancy. So the product is the Metrosexual male, who act bored, whose interests are self absorbed and girly, even to the point of texting constanly like the chatty Cathy’s we’ve become. And the vacant stares increase.

        We never become the men I described above…we stay children. And as such we become fodder for the real masculine. Women will accept us as their child, until they get their real children at which point you either man up, (which we don’t know how to do) of get kicked out, because she does not need another child. And as soon as a real man shows up, well…..

        There is always conflict, and men not at war for a higher ideals, become fodder for the men who are.

        I doubt there are any cultures of significance where women are ‘the leader’. Womens influence are limited to the family, which of course is the most important of social construct for us, it produces the next generation of good citizens for all cultures, but it is fully in support of and dependant on, the masculine. This is particularly true in spirituality, because, although women feel for many things, the few things a man feels for go deep. And its in that depth that guenuine spirituality reside. And woman tap into that because of the natural spirituality of the femine.

        So, if this is all true (in a general sense), and I believe it is, How do you design a workshop that imparts all that.

        Best wishes…and Man up!


  2. Much of what I get from this list is a suggested way to be a good person, male or female. That aspect I like. I tend to bristle at things labeled “masculine” or “manly”, avoiding them most of the time. I would summarize this list as: “the way to be a good man is to be a good human being and not to give a crap about whether doing so is manly.”

    • Brian,
      I would agree with you that these are great qualities for ANY human being. Since I’m writing for “Men After Fifty”, it did seem like a good place to include it. And, there ARE differences between men and women, so I imagine some qualities might not translate over as easily as others.
      Thanks for sharing,

  3. The first phares that received a verbal “umm hmm” from me were the letting go of the childish blame and the no longer blaming ones, forgive the poor paraphrasing. It is reassuring to know that those changes are held in high esteem.

    As I reread it the thought occurred to me that perhaps (minus the penis control) much of what was listed are strong qualities for both men and women. I do not
    however want to diminish the masculinity of it. A lot of what was written could be tied back to the blog regarding what women find sexy in a man. Good stuff thanks for sharing it.

    • Julie,
      Glad you’re appreciating it and that it makes some sense. Yes, as Brian commented as well, many of these qualities are simply qualities for being a good “person” regardless of gender.
      Thanks for sharing,

  4. This is again warmed over stuff from the nineties. Let’s move on to the issues (?) that are specifically about MEN over Fifty. Slogans and subjective notions of a ‘GOOD’ man are not helpful. Adam, you are a man of depth and nuance. Let’s drill down to core issues; who am I? What is my mission? What is aging for me? How to I maintain a wife/ girlfriend and still attend to my inner ‘sensitivities?’ Let’s do it. Get down to the core, at least rummage around there as the mentor of the men’s ‘movement’, Rob’t Bly would say.

    • Ran,

      Dude, you’re definitely keeping me on my toes. I’m writing a new post for Elephant Journal, “Who The F*#k Am I To Be A Healer” which you ought to appreciate. Will do my best to get down and dirty for you.

      SOMETIMES though, my brother, people enjoy what you consider “warmed over stuff” though I feel ya.

      Looking forward to seeing you in the flesh soon,

  5. This sound like it was written over a bowl of tofu stir fry at the Boulder Whole Foods. I am beginning to detest the tired language of warmed over 60’s BS. its 2013, stop trying to show women what a sensitive little snowflake of cosmic oneness you are. Its why I quit reading Elephant Journal. It sounds like one long apology for everything male. Quit contributing to it.

    • Robert,
      What I post are points to bring up discussion and this one certainly is doing that. Regarding Elephant Journal, I agree, they are getting a bit too politically correct for my tastes and had big issues with my latest submission to them, as perhaps being too insensitive for their latest editors. So, what exactly is YOUR take on this, I’ve only heard your complaints, not your suggestions.

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