• Kawasaki, Kanagawa

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Regarding the May 10 Timeout articles “Blurring the boundaries”: It is sad that a society that calls itself “modern” still lives the old stereotypes and gender roles as described. Most societies all over the globe miss answering the most crucial question for men: What is our purpose in life?

Women do not have to face this question as they are the giver of life — with the exception of the growing number of women not willing to face motherhood and, sadly, including women not able to give birth. These women as well as men face the critical question of the purpose of their existence.

But instead of facing this crucial question, my generation as well as the younger one has occupied themselves with acts of substitution — busying ourselves with consumption, making ourselves “comfortable” — for now leaving the question about our spirit and purpose out of sight. But we feel the burning doubt lingering in our mind. Is being an obligated worker and good consumer all there is to life?

We should teach the new generations of men what it really means to be a man: It is not being an aggressor or war hero and it never was supposed to be. A real man is about being confident, independent, mentally settled — someone able to give freely from a position of inner strength. The “good fight” men fight is about creating a better self and a better society.

I would love to ask the men described in these articles, what is the one thing that makes their life worth living? The answer certainly cannot be having “beautiful fingernails.” This question also goes to women as old as 45, when there will be thousands of more “cute” girls on the market. It is then that competence — not beauty — will be the defining factor.

dieter metzger

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