Increasingly, the males of 2016 find themselves in a confused, bewildered state. Changed gender relations have improved much, but there have been plenty of negative consequences also. “I Feel Sorry For Real Men In The Millennial Generation”, Right Wing News, October 13, 2015: Men have it rougher in America than most people realize. In part, that’s […]
Is masculinity really on the wane? The best way to answer that is to consider what being masculine actually means, as well as exploring its meaning in the context of this article.
To be masculine means… what? What is it to be ‘manly’? I explored this a little on my personal website, and it’s time to come back to this idea now. We are all aware of the stereotypical image of big, burly men, downing pints, being gruff and remaining strong, impassive even, in the face of even the greatest adversity. Men should be strong, concealing their emotions, not showing weakness!
Now, a man can be brawny, or gruff, and can be guarded about his emotions, and there is in fact nothing intrinsically wrong with this. As long as he hurts no one through his actions and deeds, and shows respect for others, he can be whatever he wants. I will however, emphasise that one more time – As long as he hurts no one through his actions and deeds, and shows respect for others.
This is where the message gets lost. This is where masculinity is confused with dominance. With that in mind, lets start looking at this article:
Increasingly, the males of 2016 find themselves in a confused, bewildered state. Changed gender relations have improved much, but there have been plenty of negative consequences also.
“I Feel Sorry For Real Men In The Millennial Generation”, Right Wing News, October 13, 2015:
Men have it rougher in America than most people realize. In part, that’s because they’re one of the few groups (along with white people, conservatives and Christians) it’s cool to crap on at every opportunity. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a non-stop assault on masculinity in America. Just to give you an idea of what I mean by that, here are articles written that show up on the first three pages of Google when you do a search for “masculinity.”
Mass Killings in the U.S.: Masculinity, Masculinity, Masculinity
Die Like a Man: The Toxic Masculinity of Breaking Bad
Why We Need to Reimagine Masculinity
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma …
Journeys Through Trans Masculinity – BuzzFeed
Toxic masculinity – Geek Feminism Wiki
Masculinity U | Rethink Masculinity.
How Feminists Can Do More to Fight Toxic Masculinity ..
Right away we have this false dilemma – the idea of a ‘real’ man. This is meaningless. A man is whoever he wants to be, and he no less of a man if he decides to be a stay-at-home parent, work as a hairdresser, or use moisturiser. Who gives a damn, save for those whose own sense of masculinity is fragile enough to be threatened by men who do these (and other so-called unmanly) things?
The article’s author lists a series of Google searches that serve as part of his argument that masculinity is under threat. Whose version of masculinity? The version that tells us to respect women? Or the version that tells us problems are settled with fists, like ‘real men’? Toxic masculinity is not the same thing as masculinity – toxic masculinity is any instance that teaches men should be dominant over women, that women need to be put in their place, and that any display of ‘feminine’ behaviour is unmanly and to be derided. This type of idea – that men and women have set, defined roles in society, and should keep to those roles, lest they be criticised – is poisonous. It traps men and women in boxes, and anyone who dares think ‘outside the box’ comes in for a lashing. This is frankly stupid.
In my view, true masculinity means behaving in the manner that bests suits your own skin. As long as you hurt no one, are kind to people, and respect other people, that’s fine. Men should not settle arguments with fists or displays of bravado, but with words and logic. If you’re a man and you cry, so what? That doesn’t define whether you are a real man. Nor does not crying. It’s all one great big falsehood.
Masculinity isn’t toxic, doesn’t cause mass killings and it doesn’t need to be reimagined or rethought. Furthermore, this “masculinity is bad” mentality is driven by failed “men” and more importantly, liberal feminists. These women want men to be easily-controlled, neutered lapdogs and then they wonder why they keep getting bored with beta eunuchs who are supposedly everything they want.
Meanwhile, good women who haven’t turned into bitter, hyper-sensitive, man-hating witches end up wondering where all the “real” men have gone and why they’re stuck trying to sort through guys who have no ambition, play videogames eight hours a day or don’t seem to care about anything other than getting in their pants.
If your definition of masculinity is in the set, defined role that means a man goes out and works and a woman stays at home, then it’s toxic. If a man cannot show emotion without fear of ridicule because of your definition of masculinity, it’s toxic.
This is what drives the emphasised text. What is a ‘failed man’? By whose definition are we playing? I play video games. I also go to work every day. These two things can exist without contradiction. Why the judgemental attitude?
I get emotional watching Disney movies. I am a sci-fi geek. I guess I better hand over my man card… or alternatively, give the finger to labels that seek to squeeze us into narrow-minded definitions.
The sad truth is that men, like all people, tend to do what they’re rewarded for doing and avoid situations that punish them. The cultural changes over the last fifty years have hit “real” men particularly hard.
There was a time when a man without a college education could work hard and make enough money to take care of himself, a wife and a couple of kids. He might not have had much, but his wife treated him like a king and he could take pride in the fact that he was taking care of his family.
Fast forward to 2015 and because of computers, automation, shipping containers and the lowered cost of world transport, those men can barely take care of themselves, much less a wife and kids. Furthermore, because we dole out so much money in welfare, in many cases a woman and her kids may be better off without a man in the house.
What does this have to do with masculinity? Shifts in technology have affected us all in some way shape or form, in some cases for the worse, in other cases for the better. A man can still take care of a family despite these things, so it seems the author of this article is attempting to apportion blame for imaginary problems, rather than facing what the problems actually are.
Then what happens to those young men who are struggling to grow up without a male role model in the house? How many punks are there in street gangs today who will spend their whole life in and out of jail? Now, how many of them would have grown up to be good and decent men if they had a “dad” who cared in the house? It’s hard to say, but you have to think more than half of them would have turned out to be productive citizens if they had a strong male role model watching over them.
Why the assumption that single parents (especially mothers) can’t raise boys? Or that they can’t teach boys the right values? There are many reasons why women end up having to raise children alone, and they do the best job they can. The presence (or absence) of a male role model is no determination of a boy’s likelihood of succeeding in life, and that also depends on what grounds that success is measured.
Getting beyond that, what women want out of a man has changed. It used to be that they wanted a “good” man who’d take care of them financially and treat them well.
Now, more women are going to college. More women have careers. More women don’t need a man to take care of them. Those are all good things, but they also undercut a woman’s need to get married and more importantly, stay married.
Suddenly, a man may find that a woman he once would have married, won’t talk to him because she’s more educated. She also doesn’t need him to take care of her. She’s making her own money and even if she loses her job, the government will take care of her. Even if they do make it past that and get in a relationship, he finds he’s not the king of the castle; he’s in a partnership. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but even as someone who loves strong, successful, intelligent women, I have to admit it’s a step down from what most men used to have. Not every man will admit it, but with all other things being equal, the overwhelming majority of men would vastly prefer to be with a humble waitress who thinks he’s the best thing walking than an accomplished female CEO who just sees him as an acceptable man to have as a partner in marriage.
The funny thing about that first sentence is that I have read many an MGTOW post that decries women for being ‘gold diggers’. This isn’t the point this author is stressing, but I find it ironic that MRAs and MGTOWs can argue women are only interested in being supported financially, only to find articles that suggest this is what a good man should do.
Talk about mixed messages from that camp.
The over-arching point, despite the lip-service paid to the idea of equality for women, is namely that women being seen as partners in a relationship is bad. In suggesting that women see men differently when they hold different roles, the author unwittingly exposes his perspective of a person’s worth – namely, that the job defines the status of a person.
Additionally, there’s no longer a big stigma against divorce and the courts are slanted against men.
So imagine dating a woman who’s making as much money as you, who just decides she doesn’t want to be married anymore, takes your kids away from you and then to add insult to injury, you have to pay this woman who broke your heart and took your kids, your hard earned money every month while she sleeps with some other guy in a house that the two of you used to share. Almost every man reading this knows other men in this situation and because it’s so common, it makes the potential cost of entering into a marriage considerably higher for a man than it used to be.
Even if you navigate that minefield, which a lot of men do, we now live in an overly feminized society. At any time, some pathetic losers who spend their time obsessing over “microaggressions” and “trigger” words can ruin you if they hear a joke they don’t like. Imagine that: a whole lifetime of blood, sweat and tears ruined by one joke, one comment, one Facebook share that a bunch of miserable failures don’t like.
Not much thought goes into the reasons for divorce. Apparently it’s a whimsical decision on the part of the woman, and designed to inflict emotional and financial injury upon the man. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, the reason that underpins most divorces is a lack of communication. This is as much a man’s responsibility as the woman’s, so fellas, talk to your significant other.
Dismissal of problems and issues that people face behind ‘triggering’ is just wrong. There has historically been a stigma about mental illness and it’s been all too easy for someone to say ‘just get over it’ when they say something that is hurtful. This has been used to dismiss racist, sexist and bigoted behaviour too. Unfortunately for the people that condone this sort of behaviour, the world is getting wiser to it.
Meanwhile, you and a woman both do a little drinking and have consensual sex; then, Uh-oh, you “raped her” because both of you were drunk, but you’re the “rapist” because you’re male and she changed her mind about whether having sex with you was a good idea.
If you buy a gun legally and learn how to use it because you want to be ready to protect yourself and your family, then you’re a dangerous bad guy responsible for the actions of criminals and mental cases because liberal w*ssies wet their pants every time they look at a gun.
Want to hunt? Then you’ll be chastised for killing an animal by a bunch of idiots who’ll probably go eat a hamburger right after they’re done.
Is it me or is this article starting to get angry?
Example 1 is just plain misleading. The issue is not consensual sex. The issue is non-consensual sex. If a woman is drunk, and says no, and you press ahead anyway, that’s rape. For that matter, if a woman changes her mind and says no after having first said yes, that is her prerogative, and if you don’t respect that, you are a rapist.
The rest is unsupported B.S.
Are you a poor man? Then politicians treat you like an idiot who needs to be led around by the hand because you’re too stupid to take care of yourself. Are you a successful man? Then you’re one of those greedy, evil people who are supposedly ruining America.
Turn on the TV? Then you’ll find most dads presented as hapless bumblers who are led around by their wives or saved by their kids.
Are you a man who thinks you should get paid more than a woman who doesn’t work as hard as you, doesn’t work as long as you, or doesn’t produce as much as you? Well, then, you’re a sexist pig who’s trying to keep women down.
Do you think real courage that deserves to be admired is watered down by lauding every chubby model, every man who wants to pretend he’s a woman and every celebrity who kicks an addiction as courageous? Then not only are you sexist; you’re insensitive!
The descent continues. More B.S, and I have never heard anyone say that anyone should get paid the same as others for less work.
And yes, if you are someone who goes around fat-shaming, you are insensitive. If you are anti-trans you are a bigot. And what’s wrong with lauding someone who kicks an addiction to the curb? Does their celebrity status somehow diminish this achievement?
Do you think a woman should have to meet the same standards as a man to do the same dangerous job? Again, sexist pig! What if you think that even if women meet the same standards as a male policeman or soldier, they shouldn’t be put in the line of fire because there are going to be very few of them who can do it, they’re more likely to be injured and other men will take suicidal risks to rescue them because it’s a man job to protect and shield women? Well, that’s even worse! You’re really sexist if you go there.
The final paragraph that’s worth addressing. Women are not men, there are physical differences between the sexes that have an impact on certain job roles. However, if your thinking is that women are fragile and need a man to protect them whilst working as a police officer or soldier, because this is a man’s defined role (protector) and a woman’s defined role (vulnerable flower) then yes, you are sexist.
That’s all for now folks!