Blog 5: Masculinity is not always right.

After reading both of the articles, a lot came clearer to me. Masculinity is not exactly what I thought it was, in fact it is more, it has deeper meaning and is different from the one I knew. As a girl, masculinity meant for me, men having power and being in control.  But I realized it’s more of a mind manipulating, men have several rules they have to go by, otherwise they could be called “sissy”, “faggot”, etc. In the articles, Bell Hooks and Micheal Kimmel give us the real definition of what masculinity means. By their own experience and what they have lived, we can see that there is always another side of the story. Bell Hooks tells us about her childhood and how her father used to treat her. Micheal Kimmel on the other hand explains that it’s not easy to be a man in a world that expects a lot from men.

What if we have abolished this patriarchal mindset decades, if not centuries ago? What would be the difference when it comes to how men act in this modern society? It is becoming less and less obvious but in the past, the male characters, such as the father and brothers, are the dominant rulers of the family. According to Hooks: “my brother was taught that it was his role to be served; to provide; to be strong; to think, strategize, and plan”, while the women in the house are in charge of taking care of them and serving them. That was the mindset that ruled families for years. However it is wrong, patriarchy made young boys believe that they have to be hard, violent and fearless and to always hide feelings or emotions as it is a girly manner, while young women are taught to be soft, gentle and never use violence in any circumstances. However, if this mindset wasn’t around today, or if fathers wouldn’t force such ideas into their sons minds, men wouldn’t feel pressured about who’s the most dominant and manly out of everyone. Also, more and more men might even support the fact that showing emotions, feelings and your true skin isn’t such a feminine aspect when it is in fact for everybody.

Micheal S. Kimmel tells us about certain problems men face while growing. He explains how they are surrounded by difficult rules. And power is not something they choose but they have to apply it so they can be following masculinity in the right way, he says: “our imperfect analysis of our own situations leads us to believe that we need more power, rather than leading us to support feminists’ efforts to rearrange power relationships along more equitable lines”. Men have to be careful with everything they do so they don’t be called “sissy”, for example, the way they talk, the way they walk, even with the simpler thing like checking their fingernails, everything has to be perfect. As Kimmel says:“making sure that nothing even remotely feminine might show through”. Homophobia doesn’t mean they don’t like gays but more afraid of being called gay. And fear for them makes them ashamed, because of how they are not supposed to show any feelings, so fear is proving that they are not manly as they have to.

 In the end, I think I was mistaken in thinking that all men do is spread their control over everyone. They are actually hiding behind those masculinity rules they have been taught. And the chances for them to show the real them, are very little. Because to them, they prefer hiding than being judged. 

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