All your life you are told by others what it means to be a real man. And you are told how worthless you are if you don't measure up.
Just know this. Anyone, man or woman, sending you this message is trying to shame you into their service. They are manipulating you to carry their load, to take on their hardships; even to bleed and die for their cause...or their profit.
Don't buy the lie. No one but you can define you as a human being or measure your worth. Never trust anyone who puts an adjective in front of the word MAN.
The bit of this which is significantly true is that men shouldn't respond blindly to calls on their masculinity. That would, indeed, make men vulnerable to manipulation by vested interests. It would be a weakness rather than a strength.
But Elam's formulation is not a good one. It is revealing, for instance, that Elam writes "no one can define you as a human being" rather than "no one can define you as a man". He is suggesting that we define ourselves in abstracted terms as human beings rather than as men - an interesting position for someone claiming to lead a men's movement.
It's not surprising that Elam puts things this way. He seems to believe that concepts of masculinity have no real basis to them but are just made up so that some people can manipulate others. It's a similar position to that of radical feminists who claim that femininity is just an invention of the patriarchy designed to subordinate women to men.
It is not "empowering" to tell someone that the only possibility is to self-define. If masculinity (or personhood) has no meaning except that which I give to it, then it means that it is just made up and it loses greatly in significance.
The traditionalist position is that masculinity does exist as a kind of life principle; that this principle is expressed in the character of men; that it is possible for a community to recognise and to encourage ideal forms of masculinity; that men feel a positive sense of fulfilment the more they live through these ideals; and that masculinity creates a positive connection between identity, social role and higher values.
It is often in men's interests to be challenged to live up to ideals of masculinity. The difficulties that men have to meet in adult life aren't going away, so the strength of character that has traditionally been cultivated in men still needs to exist. Why deprive a younger generation of men of the culture of masculinity that will allow them to succeed in their adult lives?