We're living at the beginning of a new century. Arbitrary as it is to expect radical innovation as a result, there's still a nice ring to the phrase, "In the 21st century". One of the developments I know I'd like to see in our culture is a general re-evaluation of gender roles. Speaking as a young male in this oh-so-swingin' century of ours, I believe there are certain qualities and responsibilities my gender ought to uphold in ourselves. Without a doubt, there is still such a thing as a "Real Man", it's just that the definition has changed as values have evolved. So, whether you're someone trying to be a man or someone looking for a man to be with, here are a few clear indicators of Real Man-ness.
Self-Sufficience is Manly
A male is no man if he can't do everything our culture used to relegate to women-only jobs. Being able to cook, for example, isn't an un-manly thing, it's a skill that significantly improves one's quality of life. A real man knows his way around the kitchen for more than scrambled eggs and hamburgers. A deft culinary hand is the sign of a thoughtful, careful individual capable of learning new things. There's also no reason a modern man shouldn't know how to properly wash his clothes and clean his home. If you come across a male who can't iron a shirt, you've got yourself an overgrown adolescent.
There's simply no excuse for being an adult who doesn't know how to dress himself. I can't even begin to describe how offensive it is, on multiple levels no less, to have appearance-conscious men referred to as "metrosexual". Wearing clothes that match, fit and are setting-appropriate isn't a sign of vanity or latent femininity, it's a requirement for a respectable grown-up. A sloppy appearance is nothing but an outward manifestation of apathy or immaturity. A Real Man is kempt, clean and put-together.
Chivalry < Courtesy
It's only kind to open a door for someone. It's only annoying to open every single door over the course of a single encounter with the same individual. The fact about classic chivalry is that it disguises infantalization with acts of seeming kindness. A Real Man knows and acknowledges that a woman can and should stand on her own two feet, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't show deference and cordiality to her. The point of courtesy is to show others thoughtfulness and care, no more and no less.
Your Partner Is Not A Masturbation Aid
Our species came to dominate this planet in part because of our mating adaptations. Among those innovations of biology are a year-round mating season, a diverse nerve system going throughout the entire body, and the female orgasm. As far as our current demographics go, 100% of all Real Men ought to become very familiar with the first two and 90% should be well acquainted with all three. Being a good sexual partner means treating your lover like what they are, a unique individual with particular needs and desires. A Real Man takes the time to get to know what his partner likes and then he endeavors to use those new skills for his partner's benefit.
The lesson we ought to learn from all of the above concepts is that a Real Man is not all that different from a Real Woman, and not coincidentally. The qualities possessed by a responsible adult are gender-neutral. It only seems that we have to educate people about these things thanks to a long history of unnecessary gender division. If you are a male you owe it to yourself to become a Real Man. In doing so, you will command respect and enjoy a lifetime of success in any endeavor to which you apply your skills.