Time to say goodbye to "Dudes."

Hank Mattimore
November 9, 2017
Reproduced with Permission

Males of almost any age are referred to as "dudes" these days.

I don't much like the word. It smacks of an unnaturally extended adolescence. What comes to my mind when I hear the term is a shallow parody of a grown up man. The guy who smirks at women, tells dirty jokes, smacks another guy's bare ass with a wet towel in the locker room. He is the boisterous male always striving to be popular with the boys(whatever their age and maturity). He jokes about the teenage boys whose brain is locked on to vaginas and boobs and "has only one thing in mind."

But men, yes and teenage boys are much deeper than the clueless clowns we are sometimes taken for and have come to believe about ourselves. If the truth were known, most of us yearn to be free of the role we are expected to play.

We are not "dudes." We are poets as well as warriors. Dreamers and lovers. We are defenders and protectors of the weak and vulnerable. We are heroes giving our lives for our country and our families.

We are leaders, willing to stand up for what is right and just. We are not too macho to be counted among those who weep for lost children and lost lives. We acknowledge the gifts of our wives and daughters and strong women everywhere. They are our soul we are proud to be with them, equal partners on the journey of life.

Our feelings run deeper than our sexual urge. God, nature, the universe has implanted in us the desire to reproduce our species. But we should never accept that tag of being just the sperm donors. We love our wives and our children. We hurt when they hurt. We cry inside even as we fight back the tears that well up in us when we can't protect them from harm. We are made to enter into relationships with women, the whole woman ,we love and respect and together with them bring children into the world.

I ask myself, why do we buy into the dude image? What are we afraid of? Do we really need to march to a song we don't even like to sing, this, caricature of masculinity.? Are we ok with being seen as perpetual adolescents in a grown up world?

Nah! C'mon guys. We are better, stronger, capable of both compassion and strength and commitment. The day is behind us when we were little boys showing off for our girlfriends. The girls are grown up women now expecting us, yearning for us to be grown up men.

Let's put the word dudes to bed with the little children.