Blog 5: Masculinity

Masculinity has always been around. Men have constantly been pressured to act a type of way. Masculinity also called “manhood” has always remained set with the characteristics of being strong and unemotional, but mostly superior to women.  Masculinity also defines the place of men in society, the one’s who are known to get judged if they don’t behave the way society expects them to be; though. Since forever, both genders have roles and expectations. For example, the boy is the one who   is not supposed to show any feelings and the girl can show as much as she wants because she’s the girl. This had brought a lot of inequality to both genders.

In “Masculinity as Homophobia “by Michael Kimmel, the author explains how homophobia is the basis of our social definition of “manhood”. He states that men are so scared to act “sissy” in public because if they do , they are a “ faggot” .They are scared to dress , act and talk a certain way, in fear that someone is going to think  that they are gay . I find that absurd that a man can’t act unmanly without being judged. This is a problem that occurs for most men that leads them to think they aren’t masculine enough. They are forced to hide a part of themselves to please the world. Kimmel mentions “our efforts to maintain a manly front cover for everything we do. What we wear. How we talk. How we walk. What we eat. Every mannerism, every movement contains a coded gender language.” Reading this, I never realized how men have so much expectations just like women and they are never talked about . Every gender should act the way they want, dress the way they want and what someone eats should not define their gender. It’s ridiculous!!!!The author really declares that the definition of masculinity should change and I think the same because so many guys hide the way they feel because of how society is going to react .

In the reading “Understanding Patriarchy “by Bell Hooks, the author talks about the definition of patriarchy. Firstly, patriarchy is a word that some people still don’t even know its real definition.  Hooks defines it as a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything, especially females. Throughout the text, she gives many examples of situations that she lived through because of the concept of patriarchy. What struck me the most is when she was explaining that she wanted to play a game with her brother where marbles where involved. Her brother told her that it was a boy’s game, but she still insisted. This brought her to get beaten up by her father because she’s “just a little girl”. The fact that a young girl can’t play a game, as if it’s made only for one gender is something that shouldn’t even be intervened.  This was a traumatic event for her, but it also opened her eyes to see that violence and authority is how patriarchy was thought and still is.

The definition of masculinity should change as it brings social issues like racism, homophobia and sexism. Yes, we have always lived with these kinds of matters, but it is mostly because men don’t stand up and they yet ,hide how they feel. It’s okay to be emotional, it’s okay to be gay or to wear a pink shirt.  All of these things are okay and doesn’t define “manhood”. Unfortunately, we are in a “male dominating” society in which both genders have many expectations. If more men would have an open-minded mind, we would be in world with less sexism and maybe no homophobia!

Alexia Ighekpe

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