Masculinity is a socially constructed identity which supports many ideas of what “a real man” should be like. The concept of masculinity has been around for many decades that it became a norm in today’s society that men are supposed to be superior over woman, not show their feelings, or always act tough in front of people, to name a few examples. This however does harm men, wether society realizes it or not.
Hooks gives her opinion on patriarchy right from the start of her article. She states how the system “insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females” (Hooks, 1). This shows that she believes she lives in a very patriarchal society where men are more superior compared to woman. Hooks mentioned that the American Perception to be a man is to constantly be in control. Hooks is convinced that in order to end male pain, there must be a stop to patriarchy.
In the article by Kimmel he begins by pointing out that masculinity is mostly about men not wanting to be perceived as gay from other people, so they therefore put up a front to show that they are not. This consequently damages the way men act and think since they try to act more masculine, “Constantly… checking the fences we have constructed on the perimeter, making sure that nothing even remotely feminine might show through. The probabilities of being unmasked are everywhere… even the most seemingly insignificant thing can pose a threat or activate that haunting terror” (Kimmel, 2).
In order for men to feel more comfortable in todays society, there are multiple possibilities. One of them being changing the way people view what characteristics are essential for a man to have. As an example, men should be tall, strong and muscular in order to be seen as masculine in society. There are also many other reasons such as stereotypes. Kimmel suggests that by removing the fear of homophobia, men should be able to act as they wish without having the terror of being called gay. He believes that men do whatever they can in order to be viewed as the most masculine person they can be.
If men redefine the meaning of masculinity, they can wear what they would like to without having a constant fear of making sure society isn’t perceiving them as gay, uncool, or not tough. This could also help in men playing whatever sport they like, being interested in different hobbies, pursue a various of careers and more. Men would be able to play sports such as dance or cheer that is usually seen as a girl sport. They would be able to not be ashamed at enjoying baking or making clothes as a favourite past time, men could not be afraid of wanting to become a nurse or a teacher since it is seen as being a women’s job and not a mans. With the change of how people see masculinity, it can boost the confidence of multiple men and change the way society expects men to act.