It is not only toxic masculinity that is often associated with men, another issue that antagonises them is the presumed death of “chivalry.” You might have heard the phrase “chivalry is dead,” but what does the word really mean?
According to Oxford English dictionary, chivalry is the “courteous behaviour, especially that of MAN towards women.” It also means that a man should posses “the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, namely courage, honour, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.”
This is the definition whom actor Alexander Diaz agrees with. In an exclusive interview during the launch of Axe Recommends where he was named as one of Axe Men’s newest member, he shared his thoughts on manhood, masculinity, and chivalry.
For 24-year-old Diaz, being a man means recognizing one’s uniqueness regardless of personality, sexual preference, skin color—all while celebrating it.
“Being a man means challenging the norms; breaking the society’s stereotyping of how a man should be,” Diaz explained. He added that it is through respect, commitment, and accountability that men can break away from other people’s assumption of them.
Chivalry: “It’s all about manners”
Diaz also believes that being chivalrous has nothing to do with gender, but has a lot to do with manners. “You can be a chivalrous to a man if you’re a man. You can be chivalrous to woman if you’re a woman.”
When it comes to masculinity, the recording artist acknowledges the role of society that paints a negative portrayal of men in media. Upbringing, he added, also contributes to general reputation of men.
“We’ve been sort of bound by these toxic forms of masculinity that have been fed to us in music videos where a man is surrounded by many women, depicting polygamous relationships. Or our friends telling us to to cry, or dad’s telling us to tough it up,” he said.
For Diaz, real masculinity is accepting your weaknesses as a man and treating everyone with utmost respect. “Masculinity is being comfortable enough to respect a woman and only have one partner at a time. Not to treat any person different than you treat your mom, or your sister.”
“It is knowing that it’s okay to cry because keeping your feelings is dangerous to your mental health and can result of hurting others,” he continued. “Masculinity is always remembering that at the end of the day, anything that you say can never be taken back. That means that you have to watch your words and you have to be kind.”
With all these, the new Axe Man also has an important and meaningful message to the youth. “To all the young men, disrupt and inspire. You can dress colourful clothes and be a guy. Or you can be a gay and dress like a man. Or you can be straight. Be exactly who you are, celebrate it, and never apologise for it.”
Diaz is currently working on a series show for an international company he couldn’t disclose the name yet. “We’re shooting a series. It’s an international company. It will be all over the internet cause it’s an online platform. I recently left Star Magic to sort of venture into other places. I’m dropping three new singles, and expect more travel blogs,” he ended.
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