Masculinity is a set of attributes, behaviors and roles associated with boys and men. Masculinity defines “what men are supposed to be”, explaining and defining such things as body characteristics, behaviors and ways of thinking that are expected from a man. Masculinity also defines the place of men in the society and the roles that they have to complete. Masculinity defines men as the superior to the women and they are expected to be more successful then women in general. It also makes the perfect man appear as a strong, tough and brutal, but also as someone who doesn’t show emotions.
A great point that MICHAELS.KIMMEL expressed in the article “Masculinity as Homophobia” is the fact that homophobia is in fact something more complex and deeper then just the fear or homosexual people and relationships. It goes beyond that. She says, “Homophobia is the fear that another men will unmask us, emasculate us, reveal to us and the world that we do not measure up, that we are not real men.”. Personally, being a man, I couldn’t agree more with that statement, it would be terrifying for a man to get exposed for not being a “real men” in front of his family or friends. Also, I think that a lot of men don’t relate to these fixed standards of a a real man. The cancellation of these stereotypes and the change of what is masculinity would actually benefit men, because the present definition of masculinity is toxic and bad for men and for women.
Another very important point made by the author was the fact that this toxic masculinity and homophobia is not healthy for men. And she also points out that the homophobia should be treated and shouldn’t be present at all. I think that she’s very right about that. The disappearance of homophobia will also change the way we see masculinity and the criteria of being a “real men” will change with it. This part is very important, because toxic masculinity is not only bad for men, but for women, racial minorities and homosexuals too. In fact, classic masculinity teaches young white men that they should be superior to women and other minorities and dominate them in every aspect, which is completely wrong.
Finally, how can a change be made? Men can redefine masculinity by not being homophobic and by simply not living and not believing following these principles. Men should be allowed to show their emotions and shouldn’t be ashamed if they are not tall, muscular and manly. If all men agreed to be honest and simply be themselves, everybody will be happy, even themselves. This will impact all our lives and will probably make all of us happier and will make our society more healthy.