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Saturday, 23 December 2017

The Crisis of Masculinity

I'm a film fanatic - clearly, if you see my post from yesterday and various others. One of the great things about Fight Club is it highlights the problem of masculinity in the modern age.

As the feminist movement has taken place, what of the men? What does it mean to be a man? I love men. I feel sorry for people that don't grow up close to their father. I don't want to live in a world where men are viewed as 'evil' or 'useless'. I don't want to live in a world where women rule everything because I don't think men OR women should rule everything. I believe in egalitarianism; not matriarchy, not patriarchy.

Feminism has been a movement about women's rights. As the role of women has shifted, where do men now fit in the world? I think it's wonderful that women are outspoken and have careers and are doing great things in the world. Women can succeed just as well as men can, no doubt about that. But the power dynamic has shifted. Women shouldn't be little shrinking violets seen as brainless submissive doormats that do everything their husband commands. No one thinks that should happen (apart from Saudi Arabians and US Republicans). But balance is needed.

The natural role of the man has always been to be the provider and the protector. If a woman is emasculating him and making him feel useless (or saying he has a small dick), his 'manhood' has been crushed. Biologically, men are more logical and physically stronger, and women are more nurturing and empathetic. THIS DOES NOT MEAN that women can't be logical and men can't be strong. It's just our brain wiring, like saying an addict is wired up to be hyper-sensitive and exaggerate everything, but can learn to become calmer and more relaxed.

Gender roles are getting more relaxed in Britain (maybe too relaxed; apparently Taylor Swift wants her kids to pick their own gender). No longer are men expected to be 'strong, silent types who don't show emotion.' It's actually very unhealthy to hold emotions in and not show them. The suicide rate for men is higher, and women outlive men. Teaching boys that they shouldn't cry or show their feelings is crippling and detrimental to their mental health. Men may be less emotionally-inclined than women, but they're not rocks. As the 1950s saw the rise of consumerism, having a white collar job, dressing in suits and driving fancy cars became the epitome of manhood, getting rid of the traditional 'blue collar, tough and gruff' man.
The Ideal Man?
Yeah, gender is very confusing stuff and the viewpoints on it all change depending on who you talk to. Post-modernists and some feminists claim it's all a social construct; others say it's all down to evolution, others like myself say it's a bit of both and hard to tell if men are naturally less 'emotional' but have also been socially conditioned to be that way.

I think people need to look past gender stereotypes - not to the point where we stop saying we're men and women; that IS biological - but how important behaving 'feminine' or 'masculine' is. We should just be ourselves. If you're a guy who is arty and sensitive and dislikes sports, it doesn't mean you're not a 'real man.' That's what you enjoy, and there's nothing wrong with that. Not all girls love make-up and shopping and shoes.

But again, here is the other side, and we're going back to Fight Club. Has society become too 'feminized'? The basis of Fight Club is that the protagonist feels trapped in his consumerist life. He collects pretty furniture and glass plates and lives in a perfect condominium. He walks past posters of sexy men modelling Calvin Klein underwear. He longs to go back to his 'hunter-gatherer' roots, of letting out testosterone and being in his raw state. Turns out a lot of other men feel the same. Does the modern man feel that by living in a capitalist system, caring about materialism and how good he looks in certain shorts, he is losing his innate masculine needs? What does it really mean to 'be a man'?

Men, please let me know down under.

Additional articles:
Big Recommend.
(shows stats of male suicide and depression rates in the UK)


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