Is there a war on masculinity?
I saw this question being discussed on Instagram after the recent rise of the „ME TOO“ movement and the discussions surrounding it. I wanted to voice my own opinion on this topic that is so personal to me, especially now, that I too have a daughter.
So, „is there a war on masculinity?“ - I would not call it that, I would call it challenging the traditional idea of what masculinity is, which really is, if you take a closer look, rather toxic and oppressive to women. It feeds the socialisation of men being emotionally numb, their „fuck it attitude“ and coolness mixed with their physical strenghts and superior complex of „having on the pants in the relationship“ and „being the man of the household“ while handling women as their possesions and commodities is securing the dominance of their manhood.
These „type of men“ rate women on their beauty and on their ability to serve a man, that is why I hate the term „wifey-material“.
I know this does not represent all men and I do not overlook a man´s room and opportunity to grow, but often that growth gets carried out as well on women´s backs.
Some men may feel attacked in the time of „Me-Too“ and you hear statements of „wow, so now I have to be careful of anything that I say to a female, cause she gonna take it the wrong way and run with it, then I will be portrait as the preditor.“ - Because maybe you are, sir.
„When you are priviledged, equality comes off as oppression“. Women live in a system of patriarchy, created by men, that objectifies them daily starting from when they were little girls. This discussion is not about turning the tables but about leveling the playing field. And this, in my opinion HAS TO happen, it is vital for us women and frankly I do not care how uncomfortable it makes men feel. It has been overdue for women to speak up and speak out.
I do not want to only point my finger at men though, because women have also inherrited some false gender definitions and I believe to achieve a healther environment for all to live in, we must both divorce some of our distorted beliefs and assumptions of what a man or a woman SHOULD be.
Feminity and masculinity are both energies that we all carry inside of us.
Any boychild will cry or one may pick up a doll to play with, it happens naturally, but then someone of his own family might step in to call him out like „boys don´t cry“ or „dolls are for girls“.
Just like we will call a little girl who enjoys playing football or does not like to dress like a barbie doll a „tomboy“.
My point is, that we infiltrate our children at a very young age with these toxic gender definitions and raise them to supress their feminine (for boys) and masculine (for girls) energies. I don´t even want to start with describing some parents disappointment or straight disapproval when their child comes out as gay, especially men often struggle with then being cast out to be a „lesser than“ man.
And again we cannot leave out the race aspect in this because white supremacy is also the defining factor here on how we as people of color view masculinity and feminity. I´ve watched a panel discussion and one guy explained that we were conditioned to know what is „white masculinity“ and also let them define what is „black masculinity“ which is often tied to jail culture, animalistic almost beast like exotification and sexualisation of physical strenght and at the same time being in a lot of aspects being emasculated and therefore overcompensating by being „extra hard“. And overcompensation is toxic, it is not being your authentic self. I found his argument made a lot of sense and it is true, there is a difference between being assertive and being aggressive.
I think all this is an opportunity for men to take a step back and try to listen and acknowledge womens thoughts and feelings, to some this may be their first time ever.
I demand for men to be „the good guy“ who calls out and corrects the bunch, „when you see something, say something“, to not just stand there and watch injustice happen and then brush it off by saying that you weren´t involved.
I think it is a beautiful thing to now see us slowly waking up to whats been going since forever and questioning our behaviours and antiquated views. I applaud those who stand up against their elders who passed us down these problematic views and mark the days where these generational curses will be broken.