Monday, October 12, 2009

The Manly Man(ifesto) by Billy Coffey

I usually don't introduce Billy Coffey's posts here, because let's face it -- no one comes here on Monday to read what I have to say. But hey -- this is my blog after all, and I couldn't be prouder to present Billy's first ranting post. Not incessantly ranting, but still...


My daughter is perched on my lap in front of the television. Her blond hair pokes me in the eyes and tickles my lips, but she’s almost asleep and I dare not move. Besides, I like her here. Every little girl belongs on her father’s lap.

The show we’ve been watching goes to a commercial, where I see three boys prancing around a stage surrounded by thousands of screaming prepubescent girls. The noise is enough to stir the little blondie on my knee.

“Yuck,” she says.

“What’s yuck?”


“I thought all girls loved them,” I say.

“I don’t,” she answers. “I love you.”

She rests her head back onto my shoulder and I smile. There are a lot of things I’m still not doing right when it comes to raising a daughter to be a woman, but I’m doing okay with this one.

From what I understand, the three boys on our TV are the types of males women seem attracted to nowadays. The guys who know more about hand cream than their mothers. The ones who exfoliate, wear pink shirts, and like to talk about their feelings.

This is what most women call men nowadays. My father has another word for them—pansies.

The Oprahfication of our society is such that we’ve been told the male of old is outdated and barbaric. That we’re mean and nasty and dirty. There’s no place for Neanderthals in the modern age. We must evolve into kinder, more nurturing people.

Somehow along the way kindness was remade into softness and “nurture” was turned into “neuter.”

I still blame men for this. Yes, my own kind is at fault here. More than anyone, guys are to blame for allowing themselves to buckle under the whims of convention.

I’ve heard faint grumblings lately that men are making a comeback. Manly men. And for that I am exceedingly grateful. If there was ever a time when the world needed more real men, it’s now.

The problem is we’ve gone so long since the manly man was common that no one knows how to spot the real ones from the fakes. Wearing flannel shirts, lifting weights, and cussing a lot doesn’t make you a manly man. There’s a little more to it.

So for the uninitiated and the confused, I offer this little primer on what it means to be a manly man.

A manly man does not draw attention to himself. He blends in rather than stands out, does much more than he says, and his eyes will say much more than his words ever could.

He knows the realities of this world, that despair and conflict are the norm rather than the exception. But even as he sees the way things are, he will work toward what should be.

A manly man knows the unimportant moments are just as meaningful as the important ones. No matter how alone he is, Someone is always watching.

He is eager to open his hand to help the helpless, and willing to close it to defend the defenseless.

A manly man is at ease regardless of his surroundings. He is a man of the world and yet untouched by it.

A manly man is by nature kind and compassionate, but those traits have their limits. He is not a doormat and will refuse to be stepped on.

He knows it is better to die with courage than to live without a spine.

A manly man knows that there is no equality of the sexes. Women are a step above men and should always be treated as such. To make a woman a man’s equal is to make her less than she is.

A manly man knows that this world is not his home and keeps his end in mind. He is ready to die, whether it be on a battlefield ten thousand miles away or a bed in the next room. And he knows that it isn’t the manner of death that defines him, but how that death is faced.

And maybe most of all, a manly man knows he will not always act like one. He knows that he is fallible and fallen, beaten and scarred. His mistakes and faults are many, and yet he owns them. He sees the darkness in his heart and yet chooses daily to stand in the light.

That is a manly man. Someone worthy of one day taking the hand of the blondie snoozing on my knee. I hope she finds him. And I hope that once she does she hangs on to him tight.

Because there are far too many kittens out there and far too few lions.


To read more from Billy Coffey, visit him at What I Learned Today and follow him on the twitter at @billycoffey.


Denise said...

Such a manly post, my manly friend.

Sande said...

"His mistakes and faults are many, and yet he owns them"

Now that right there; that moves me and screams strength and courage.

Andrea said...

As I said on Billy's blog: I am thankful to be married to a manly man. My friends often say, "you got the only good one left." Of course, they are teasing, but when I look around I must admit they are pretty close to being correct.

Blessings, andrea

S. Etole said...

Great definition ... extremely wise little daughter ...

Annie K said...

So, I'm guessing that you don't wax your eyebrows. Because in a small Redneck town like yours that could get folks to talkin'.

KM Wilsher said...

Bring on the Lions :)

~*Michelle*~ said...


Helen said...

God made us differently for a reason.

Janet Oberholtzer said...

Nice - I don't like barbaric men, but manly, that's a good and needed quality.

Really like this - finally someone gets it right ;)
"A manly man knows that there is no equality of the sexes. Women are a step above men and should always be treated as such. To make a woman a man’s equal is to make her less than she is."

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

I love this! My manly man doesn't wear flannel or cowboy hats. And he's a much better cook than I. But he fits pretty much your entire list.

And I think dads have a huge influence on little girls and who they pick. My bio dad wasn't much of a manly man. But I was raised mostly by my stepdad, and even though he was a man of few words, I always knew he would cherish and honor and protect all three of his girls.

Your girlie is one of the lucky ones. She'll know exactly what kind of guy to pick.

Valerie said...

I'm glad to know there are still men out there who will "man up". Just yesterday I experienced a situation at Wal-Mart that shocked me. I blogged it, but basically a man was hitting a woman right there in the middle of the store. This angered me and I took action. During the altercation a fairly large man walked by, witnessed what was happening and opted to continue walking on. If my mind wasn't already busy on getting my children out of harm's way and wanting to help the girl, I would have liked to let that man know he is a coward. I hope more men will step back into thier boots and be men. Thank you for the post.

Heather Sunseri said...

Billy, hold on to that little girl! As I'm sure you know, a father's influence is so important to her long-term choices of manly men! I can't talk about this though. My 10-yr old baby girl is starting to talk about boys, and it freaks me out!

Billy Coffey said...

That's a perfect picture, katdish!

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Don't forget whitey tighties. Manly men wear them, right?

Love your heart, Billy.

Sarah Salter said...

When I was 18, I was in an abusive relationship with a guy that I just adored. I thought I'd been hiding the abuse pretty well, but what I didn't know was that the bruises were so large and dark that they could be seen through some of my clothes. One Sunday night after church, my best friend's boyfriend (now her husband) confronted me about the bruises. Inititally, I was humiliated. But in that moment that Tim confronted me, I saw the sharp contrast between a real man and a cheap counterfeit. It helped give me the courage to walk away from someone I thought I loved and back into the arms of The One Who loves me best and most (Jesus).

Terra said...

Hurray for manly men, our country and our families need you.
This is a great post.

Wendy said...

You forgot to add the "knows his way around a grill" part. A very important quality, indeed.

jasonS said...

Have to say, even though I know you, I was a little concerned when I first started reading, but this is a very good list. I think David makes an excellent example with the perfection coming in Jesus: Tenderhearted warriors who knew what a situation required and did it.

Jesus made no mistakes, but David sure did and he was still called a man after God's own heart. He knew how to worship and knew how to get the job done. That's a good template.

Peter P said...

I'm with Jason!

TUC said...

What a romantic post. I am going to go run and hug my manly man.

Joanne Sher said...

I LOVE this post. It is such a shame that men like this are becoming less and less common. We need more of them.

Anonymous said...

Loved it!
My daughter is in agreement with yours on those three 'guys'...LOL

Chris Sullivan said...

Love this Billy. Just sent it to some friends who are reading through Wild at Heart.

Tina Dee Books said...

Amen! Amen! Amen!

Your man-card has moved to beyond platinum lifetime membership!

This is worthy of framing, but if I could just etch it into my children's hearts instead... not just my sons' so they have a role model reminder, but also for any daughter so she knows what to look for before giving her heart over to someone she thinks is worthy of her love.

No doubt those are God-inspired words. Your kids have such a neat daddy. I bet you warm your wife's heart over time and time again.

Lord bless you!

Missy said...

I love this post. I think men have gotten lost in the world of women trying to find equality.

Anonymous said...

Love it. We have lost true manhood and true womanhood in this weird struggle for (pseudo)equality.

Ken Jackson said...


Many thanks for this post. I agree with you and love the word "oprahfication". I am not sure if there is a cure for it, but I think a couple fingers of bourbon and a cigar just might be a good start.


Corinne said...

Oh I love this. You mostly described my husband. I'm so thankful for the hopeful return of the Manly Man you painted.

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Mmmm, hmmm. I got me one of those manly men -- a hunk of a farmer on a John Deere tractor.

That rocked, Billy.

(But I still think that a manly man can wear pink and cry during a chick flick. Mine does.)