A few years back a close friend of mine who had recently been married said something that disturbs me to this day. He said, “I can still look at the menu, just as long as I eat at home.” I’ll give you 50-1 that he wasn’t talking about the hottest new restaurant in town.
In an attempt to justify the statement, shore up the weak theology, and then get my stamp of approval, he followed up with “I’m a guy. That’s what guys do, right?”
Allow me to elucidate.
Even from it’s humblest beginnings in the 19th century, the term “guy” had negative connotations that associated it with badly dressed people and Guy Fawkes (think V for Vendetta). These days it’s a bland, sexless epithet with little actual depth or meaning. It’s a word we use when we want to be obscure or general. But too often, it’s heaved onto the sexual battlefield in defense of some repulsive and ostensibly unavoidable act.
I’ve heard it in movies and on T.V. I’ve read it in books and magazine articles. It creeps its way into the minds of all those of the male persuasion through any and every open channel it can find. And then, before you know it, the seed is planted and away we go. But I have long been on my guard against the idea that because of my sex, I have this great cosmic weakness for bad behavior. I can’t subscribe to the idea that my DNA is hard coded with a kink in it that gives me the right to say “That’s what guys do.” I prefer to think and act like I have a choice.
And what is this choice I speak of? The choice is to fight against a lustful, treacherous nature. To rally together as men, as real men, and revere the truly manly things like honor, trust, strength, honesty, and godliness. To band together as brothers in arms against the onslaught of sexual sin and pornography that presses in on every screen and pours in on every wire in our homes. The choice is to put away childish things and become men.
A little dramatic, maybe? Sounds a little bit like a battle cry? Oh yeah!
So, maybe that is what guys do. Maybe guys look at the menu, cat call, and objectify women. Maybe being one of the guys isn’t as desirable or manly as the salesmen have made it sound.
And so, I hereby submit to you that I no longer want to be a “guy.” Never will I hide behind an excuse that removes my ability to choose the high road. Never will I scope out “the menu,” or be unfaithful, or succumb to lustful desire because to do so is to be a guy. But to want to, and choose not to, that is to be a man. Count me among the men.