Poll

Do you have a positive or negative impression of "Maculinity"? (Check all that apply)

Positive
Negative
This is something I look for and encourage in others
This is something in others I discourage
This is something I encourage in myself
This is something I discourage in myself

Author Topic: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?  (Read 907 times)

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Offline Varg the wanderer

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Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« on: May 25, 2016, 03:38:39 pm »
Note: I am referring to masculinity as a personality trait, not a gender. Both lady and gentlefurs are encouraged to vote.


Perhaps to clarify what I am asking:  This poll was inspired by reading this artical (http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-we-need-alpha-males) posted by Intellectual Takeout. It reads as follows:


"Why We Need Alpha Males

Somebody has to fight the wolves.

My colleague, Annie Holmquist, discovered some statistics about the decline in masculinity that have troubled me since the moment I looked over them. Here’s the key part of her piece:

“In recent years, a mildly trending topic of discussion has been the question, ‘Where have all the men gone?’ While there are a number of theories as to the answer, a British survey just released by YouGov may shed some light on the issue.

Among other things, the survey asked participants about their impressions of the word “masculinity” and found a surprising generational gap:

‘Both young men and young women have a lower opinion of 'masculinity' than older people, but young men are harsher critics of the concept than young women. In contrast, the majority of young men (58%) have a positive impression of 'femininity', as do the majority of young women (55%). Overall 'femininity' has a net positivity score of +56 compared to +44 for 'masculinity'.’”

And the chart:

For those who believe the patriarchy is the root of much evil in the world, these numbers are probably cause for celebration. But perhaps not. While young men are giving up on their manhood, women still seem to want it.

As Annie asked, “Where have all the good men gone?” Well, they’ve been beaten down. Many of them lack a strong father at home, having been raised by a single mother. The education system does little to nothing to help boys grow into good men. On TV, in movies, and in commercials, when do they see a strong, virtuous male? Only two come close to the traditional portrayals of strong, men. One is Captain America. And even he is a super hero, not a real man. Yet we can see just how much things have changed by how his mannerisms and language stand out compared to a Tony Stark or any other male character. He is both refreshing and an anachronism. Chris Kyle of American Sniper is another. But he, too, strikes the modern senses as a relic of a different age.

Even fashion is doing everything it can to make young men effeminate with skinny jeans and clothing that purposefully minimizes the male physique. We’ve come to live in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."

While it may be clichéd, there’s a lot of truth in the opening monologue of the father in American Sniper. There is evil, there are wolves, and a society needs strong, virtuous men – masculine men – to keep order and protect the weak. And it, too, seems to be an affront to today's culture.

Video Clip Mentioned:
https://youtu.be/Ar1WygVl_Vg

 While we like to pretend things are different in the 21st century and we’ve progressed, the truth is that we have not. Human nature is still human nature. World War II won’t be the last world war. Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, Mao, ISIS, and the rest won’t be the last bad guys. Just like in the past, as we see in the Middle East and Africa today, the wolves are often quite powerful, raping and pillaging, enslaving and conquering.

But even when we’re not confronted with these great battles of the ages, we are challenged by the wolves in our daily life. There are, of course, the temptations of the heart, but there are also those will always prey upon the weaker. If the good are not stronger than the wolves, what will stop them?

Democracy on its own certainly won’t. If we’re honest, democracy – like all societies – requires alpha males to keep order and to enforce the values of the society against those who would act on their own “wills to power”. Vote all you want, but if no one follows up the laws with force, they are meaningless.

Of course, it’s also important to note that when we talk of needing masculinity and strong men, we not only recognize biological reality, but that we also call for virtuous behavior. We need strong men who hold to their duties to their families, to support and protect their wives and children, who act with honor to those around them, who pursue truth, beauty, and goodness.

Alas, to have such men, we must get back to thinking about and celebrating such things. Save for a few examples, don’t look to Hollywood, the media, or the education system to do so. If we want strong men, then virtuous men and women will have to take it upon themselves to do the job."
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 08:52:29 pm by Varg the wanderer »
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 08:27:19 pm »
Not sure I understand. Can you elaborate more?
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Offline some_random_wusky

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 07:10:48 pm »
it depends.
honestly thinks we need another mass extinction

Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 08:30:12 am »
Negative if used for control of others, and I have found it generally is used that way.

It's likely a cultural thing for boys/men to be masculine.  And of course the male animal
tends to be the defender or aggressor in a physical confrontation.

Women have been taught to  be weak and submissive to feed the male ego. At least they
were in the past. To survive many women needed to marry as there was little work outside
the home for them.. Now they have many more oppertunities, and don't have to depend on
the male to survive.

All that said males no longer need to act like brutes to be a man. Being responsible and treaing
others with respect is the true way to be an adult. There isn't anything wrong with defending
ones self or family, and being physically strong, but it's usually better to use your head rather than
force or violence.

Some think being a man is winning a football game or big game hunting. Perhaps it was a
rite of passage in the past to be strong and act brave, but there is more to it than muscles
and a thick skull.. Great leaders were those that people looked up to. Not for their size or
gender,  but their fairness, and caring for others.

Of course there were/are those who rule by threat, and punishment, but they rarely last.
Unfortuantly some last too long..
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 08:46:11 am by Old Rabbit »
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Offline cause the rat

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2016, 02:05:12 pm »
I don't understand the question. I don't know how to be any other way. Not sure how I would encourage myself to act like myself. I guess it's like any other trait. I know a few guys who take masculinity to an extreme. Gets on everyone's nerves.
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Offline Taivana

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2016, 09:11:10 am »
I think that in general gender roles should be diminished. The idea that everyone has to act 'masculine' or 'feminine' because of the type of body they are born with suits some people, but not everyone. For example, men who do something considered feminine - such as wearing a skirt - are often ridiculed, which is unfair. I think that when a man is considered masculine, that's normally a good thing, but when a woman (or just someone who is biologically female) is considered masculine, that's usually seen as a bad thing or strange at the very least. If gender roles were diminished, people would be much less afraid to express themselves as they would not have to conform to these roles and we'd have a much more open society.
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2016, 12:00:27 pm »
What I generally don't like about masculinity is the guys who take things to the extreme and think that they've got something to prove or show.  >:( Guys who will do and say whatever to impress their friends, family, and especially girlfriends/women. Usually, this can be looking/acting tough, macho, suave, sophisticated, fancy clothes or other material wealth, etc.  :P

People will respect you a lot more if you just be yourself and stop pretending to be something you're not.
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Offline Mariah

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2016, 07:37:55 pm »
Neutral. It can go either way; it depends on how extensive it is and how it is expressed.

Offline Fleeyock

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2016, 01:36:08 am »
People tend to confuse masculinity with aggression, and femininity with submissiveness. That's just when they are a little too in touch with their masculinity / femininity, and it does them more harm then good. Nowadays, those are just traits of people who can't handle themselves.

I just see masculinity as exerting behavior that is innately male. Like, doing things that feel natural as a male, like what the male body and mind are supposed to do in a productive way. Things like assertiveness, competitiveness, taking the lead, hammering in nails, lifting weights, working intensely at an individual level, etc.

Being masculine at the right moment is going to be very huge confidence boost. Many of the feminine kind swoon over masculinity, perhaps in a similar way that many of the masculine kind drool over femininity, and it generates a mutual win-win for the most part. Not everything natural is good though, so that's when our consciousness kicks and tell us not to act like a fool of ourselves while we are being masculine and take it too far (which one can come off as stubborn, insensitive, vulgar, mornonic and worse case scenario, violent). That's what separates us from animals for the most part (well, you know, animal animals).




Offline Yip

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2016, 05:16:55 am »
As long as people are allowed to be themselves and they are respectful of others, then I think it's generally neutral.

Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2016, 09:43:30 am »
It shouldn't matter what the body is. It's the brain that controls it.

Kids growing up in a family taught they need to be tough and domineering, will
likely be that way.

Kids growing up in a family who believes in caring for others will likely follow that
way of thinking.

Fortuantly most families are more balances as to not be at either extreme.

Unfortuantly once our brain has been wired to think one way or the other to the
extreme it's hard to change it. It would be nice if all children had a family more
balanced in how others should be treated. Perhaps there would be less trouble in
the world. Of course some feel it would be a dull world without strife.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 09:49:28 am by Old Rabbit »
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Offline Subzerus

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2016, 12:32:43 pm »
I guess it all depends... Most excesses are bad, right?
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Offline Fleeyock

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2016, 02:08:52 pm »
A dull world without strife means finding excitement in the challenge of bettering ourselves and what we are capable of. I would gladly take it.

Offline Takanuva

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2016, 08:53:38 pm »
I believe so, especially among us as men and boys. There are undeniable different physical and psychological traits between men and women, and unfortunately our own differences and masculinity tends to be treated negatively and ignored for femininity. When we try to ignore these differences, traits necessary to being a healthy male due to our separate requirements and needs from women, that's what causes pain, aggression, depression, violence, and all those things blamed on masculinity itself.

Being told we can't show affection for friends, family, and pets, strict physical standards that we can't escape, etc. All of these things only rot us from the inside and don't let us show masculinity and assertiveness, important traits of the male identity. So yes. Masculinity is important, and trying to destroy it in the guise of "toxic masculinity" or the "patriarchy" only hurts us as men and the male identity.

Offline Samurai Kai

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2016, 09:26:30 pm »
Masculinity is pretty good in my book. When people act more feminine, regardless of gender it has just always annoyed me.
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Offline Hashira

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2016, 09:44:20 pm »
As an AMAB, trans-feminine person, I've thought a lot about masculinity in today's culture. We all define masculinity and femininity differently, same as being a man or a woman or neither, like myself. Society as a whole defines a standard idea for both masculinity and femininity, so as society changes, so does our perception of the two.

The study the OP provided shows younger children having lower opinions of masculinity than their older generations. Why is this? This is what I think: modern youth culture notices the issues that have been rooted in misogyny, which I assume they confuse with being hand in hand with masculinity, as more masculine traits were valued above feminine traits during times of systematic misogyny, such as today. The youth would think that to be masculine is to downcast the feminine, which is simply not true. Masculinity and femininity compliment each other, and androgyny shows how we cannot define everything. Misogyny is damaging, masculinity is not. Many males in my life have tried to "out macho" me by comparing the sports we play, our exercise schedules, and even how much hair is on our chests. Needless to say, these males were more masculine than me, which they saw as a victory, it fed their ego, they made fun of me because of my apparent femininity. Their masculinity was fragile. Masculinity didn't cause them to do this, it was misogyny. People who read this and assume masculinity is the problem are thinking like misandrists, who are as bad as misogynists.

Masculinity, femininity, and androgyny all come together in each and every one of us and help define who we are. Gender expression is a thing of beauty and we should celebrate diversity instead of criticizing others for their masculinity, femininity, and androgyny.
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Offline Robert_Silvermyst

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Re: Do You See Masculinity as a Positive or Negative Thing?
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2016, 11:25:25 pm »
There are varying degrees of masculinity.  As with anything, you have extremes which should be avoided, and moderate traits that should be embraced. Society tends to push things as being masculine or feminine, even when such things can be done equally by either side. Extremes of either side should be avoided. No one side should try and demoralize the other. No one gender is more right than another, or more innocent for that matter.