Men today have come to a place where evolution is necessary in order to resurrect the essential role that we play in our species. Men have learned over the years that only two extremes exist:

1) the animalistic, agressive male, or

2) the passive, indecisive, disempowered male

The emergence of character types such as the "metrosexual" vs. the "player", not only confirms the quandry that the male gender faces, but also urges us to break out of this "black or white" construct and develop strong, positive and respectful traits which men can aspire to obtain.

The "Marlboro Man" provided an icon in the 1950's and 1960's, symbolizing personality characteristics which men could attempt to incorporate into their own self identity. This icon provided a role model for men of the time providing emotional, behavior and moralistic standards which men could compare themselves to.

Today, the icons presented by the media emphasize physical presentation more than personality or moralistic representation. If personality is represented, it is embodied by one of the two characteristics presented earlier in this article. In addition, these two character types are presented as complete personas that a man must take on, not as separate or individual traits that a man may choose to incorporate into their self definition or not. For example, if a man chooses to be a "player", in order to be emotionally sensitive he would have to contradict the complete picture of this persona.

It appears that the concept that both personas struggle to define and which men today are confused about, is the concept of "strength" and "empowerment". The misconception is that if a man is "strong", he must force another into a "disempowered" position. The falacy is that if one person is "strong" or "empowered", another must be the opposite. This misconception is not surprising considering traits such as competition, winning, aggressiveness and success all contain elements of this dualistic polarity.

The fact is that if men are to evolve in today's society, we are to embrace concepts which are not part of this continuum between the disempowered male and the aggressive male. The challenge is for males to create a role model which rises above the limitations that the media presents us with and seek a greater understanding of the importance of our gender. This cannot be obtained by relying on the female gender to define it for us. We must step up as a gender and assume an equal and empowered position in our society. When the male gender can embody traits such as strength, empowerment, assertiveness, conviction, determination, dedication, self-respect, humility, the ability to set appropriate and firm boundaries, the desire to be honorable, and the courage to be emotionally vulnerable, the evolution of man will be complete.

Author's Bio: 

Ray Kadkhodaian is the President & CEO of The Lighthouse, an emotional wellness and natural healing center located in Arlington Heights, IL. He works with his wife helping couples reinvent their marriages, and specifically works with men assisting them in empowering their lives and helping them make a positive impact in our world.