Femenism is for Everybody

Ever since I am a little girl, I have been socialized to expect men to act a certain way. Men are the fairy tale’s prince charmings, who came to the rescue the vulnerable princess. They were brave, they fought dragons and rode a mighty horse, while the helpless princess waited for him to save her. They were the great adventurers who were afraid of nothing. In the school yard, they were those who were expected to be the fastest runners, or the best kickers. They are the ones who are expected to be brave enough to tell women how they feel about them and they should be able to provide for the woman they love. So many expectations; it must be scary to be expected to become the head of the family, to be expected to act like a man. What I find crazy is that, it seems like men put the burden of being a man, act like a man and think like a man on themselves! Through history, it seems to me like they were the ones to put unwritten rules on their behaviours. Hooks and Kimmel explain to use just how much these expectations society has toward them can affect their personal life and their way of expressing themselves.

In his article Masculinity as Homophobia, Kimmel said “The fear of being seen as a sissy dominates the cultural definitions of manhood” (1994, 147). Which is totally true! I had never realised how much men are limited in the way they can express themselves until I read Kimmel and Hooks’ works! It happens in front of me everyday; Almost every time a guy says something slightly effeminate or even emotional, people are quick to say ” Man, you are acting gay, what’s up with you!?” And often the guy reacts and laughs about what he just did or said and adds ” It was a joke”. And that is such a painful thing to watch because, nothing is wrong with a man being effeminate, or talking about his feelings, or being scared or being sensitive! But men insist in acting as if it was wrong, which is difficult for me to understand because they are blocking themselves from expressing their true self! Also, according to Hooks, the big problem is patriarchy. The concepts that men are in control. Many men that agree with this ideology stress that “men cannot be men, only eunuchs, if they are not in control” (n.d., 4). This idea is not only harmful for women, who are seen as inferior by men, it also has a big impact on men who feel threatened by other men’s quest for power.

I sincerely think that, if men are no longer afraid of being themselves, no longer afraid of being seen as “sissy”, human relations would be greatly benefited. I think if men are free to say what they really think, without fear of judgement, it would be a big step forward towards gender equality because men wouldn’t express themselves with intimidating agressive manliness, but with respect and openness to other ideas. I also think that the gradual abandonment of the patriarcal ideology would bring a great boost to our society’s quest for gender equality. neither men nor women would be in power over one another, but working in partnership to achieve common goals, it would be amazing!

That being said, we do not live in an ideal world. In order to build a wonderful and equal world, I think an important thing to do is to talk about the issue of patriarchy, and educate people about the issues it brings to our society. It is also important to educate men and woman about the importance of acceptance. We must accept people for who they are and we must respect how a person expresses their personality, the same way we want to be respected. I think many men would be more than glad to learn that it is patriarchy that is behind all the expectations society has for them. Since we cannot control what a person think or says, I am convinced discussion is the way to change people’s perspective on the role of the mal in society. Educate to elevate.

Hooks, B. (n.d.) Understanding Patriarchy. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/noe-a/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/hooks_UnderstandingPatriarchy%20(1).pdf

Kimmel, M. (1994) Masculinity as Homophobia. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/noe-a/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/10_Kimmel_MasculinityasHomophobia%20(1).pdf

Blog 5: Feminism is for Everybody

Masculinity is something that most men don’t know about or that are not aware of. However, they commit acts and behavior that increases the idea of masculinity. Kimmel’s definition of masculinity “is about the drive for domination, the drive for power, for conquest” (Kimmel 149). Many men around the world have the concept to be powerful and dominate the weak. For example, in a household, the father is the one that takes the final decisions and has the veto to overrule anything that he deems not in his favor.   

Kimmel talked about how masculinity increases homophobia in men. For him, homophobia is far more than just being afraid of gay men. Is “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” (Kimmel 147). Masculinity increases homophobia because of that “fear” of how other men might judge them to be more masculine and less “sissy”. Furthermore, Kimmel says that men often don’t agree when feminist women say that men are powerful because men say things like “what do you mean… my wife bosses me around”. He that it is part of our psychology and society that has engraved into our heads that men are supposed to be powerful and dominant. It is not their fault is only what they learned in their childhoods that has brought this feeling and the expectation of being powerful.   

In hooks’ article, she talked about patriarchy which is very similar to masculinity. For hook, patriarchy “is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence” (hook para 3). Like Kimmel, hook believes that masculinity is something that has been socially constructed. In hook personal life, the church was present and she learned that God had said that “created man to rule the world and everything in it and that it was the work of women to help men perform these tasks, to obey, and to always assume a subordinate role in relation to a powerful man”. The social and religious institution has a big role in defining was is masculinity. Furthermore, most people blindly follow the patriarchy system because they keep it in silence and deny that it exists. It should be said out loud that it is not good for nobody because it adds a burden on man to have more stereotypically masculine traits and that brings homophobia in that mind of men. In addition, it increases violence in the world and especially in the household. A lot can be learned by hook’s father. Her father believed in the idea of patriarchy and men should men dominate. Her father beat her with a bat because she was going against his system of dominance.   

If men must redefine the definition of masculinity, they would be no social pressure. For instance, men would not follow the stereotypical behaviors that society imposed them to follow. In addition, they would have a better household. Their family would better function because there would be a proper understanding between them and their partners. Decisions would be made together instead of one person deciding on everything. Furthermore, men could express their emotions more openly. Instead of keeping their feelings in they could let it out and feel more relief. Men often keep their soft emotions like crying privately by redefining the definition they could get their stress or anxiety decrease.