Masculinity: “Qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men”

It’s clear that men have always had a stereotype associated to them. The man is always supposed to be “tough” and show no feelings. For some reason, men who show feelings, are considered “unmanly”. The term “unmanly, is the most ridiculous concept to me. Men and women are both humans, and both have feelings, as they should! So why is it considered unacceptable for a man to show them? How does being a man and having feelings make you any less of a man? This concept never made sense to me. Men also have the fear of being portrayed as homosexual if they act in this way. “Homophobia is the fear that other men will unmask us, emasculate us, reveal to us and the world that we do. not measure up, that we are not real men. We are afraid to let other men see that fear” (Kimmel 147).

Bell hooks and Kimmel have similar points on how men are viewed. “Patriarchy is the single most life-threatening social disease assaulting the male body and spirit in our nation.” (Hooks).  Hooks explains a story about her childhood, and a game she liked to play with her brother. Her father however made it understood that this was a game for girls only. When she stood up for her brother and contradicted him, she was made sure to never do that again. And that’s everything wrong with how these social norms.

In Michael S. Kimmel’s, Masculinity as Homophobia, he targets more the way men are pressured to act tough and follow the stereotype if they don’t want to be portrayed as homosexual. If a fight breaks out, no man wants to go through the embarrassment of not fighting back. This is to avoid the feeling of being “unmanly”. They have to follow these “norms” that shouldn’t even be norms, because in reality they make no sense.  

The only way to diminish these views for men, is being open and okay with the fact that they are equal to women. As young adults, we are the ones that should be promoting this idea, because our children should grow up with the mentality that men and women are both allowed to speak, act, dress, and do what they want without being judged. We are all human beings, and more importantly all unique, different, and special human beings. A man’s tears have no correlation with their sexuality.

I will say that slowly this stereotype will be less common. I’ve already been noticing within the passed year or two, that men are more comfortable with their sexuality in the sense where they are not afraid to be that “icebreaker”. Once men loose that fear of being perceived as not powerful, homosexual, or “unmanly”, that is when this ideology will change completely. And I think that’s super important because the more men ACCEPT other men and don’t judge them for acting the way they do, the easily this will be on them. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done and I understand that!

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