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How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
#1

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
I read this article with the preconceived notion that I was going to disagree with it and dismiss it, thinking that it would be a transparent attempt at justifying how traditional men behave.

But as I read it I could see my father and brothers as clear as day, maybe even me, not sure about that yet. I could cite many personal examples of the Western concept of what a man is supposed to be from my family and in my own life and how it has shaped who I am and how I act. 

I’m wondering what you all think from both the male and the female perspective. As men have you tried to live up to a stereotype thrust on you? Were you even aware of it? As a female do you support the stereotype Western concept of what a man should be? Do you vacillate between liking the strong, silent type and the nurturing, in-touch-with-his-feelings type? 

“Traditional masculinity” itself — the term refers to a Western concept of manliness that relies — and sometimes over-relies — on stoicism, dominance, aggression and competitiveness.

“We found incredible evidence that the extent to which men strongly endorse those beliefs, it’s strongly associated with negative outcomes.” The more men cling to rigid views of masculinity, the more likely they are to be depressed, or disdainful, or lonely.

Currently my 84 year old father has been in the hospital, he is in very poor health and his heart is very weak. My brothers and I would have liked to have had meaningful father-son talks about life, hopes, dreams before we lose him - a final data dump before it’s too late. Yet he clings to his stoicism and the view that men don’t show emotion and don’t complain. I will never get from him what I had hoped, even on his death bed. He cannot, does not know how, to show emotion; trapped in a self-imposed emotional prison created by the culture he grew up in. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are most of us men really this emotionally stunted? If we are, how can it be changed?

So many questions. Just wanted to hear your perspectives. 
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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#2

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
You could probably label me as "traditional masculinity lite". Head of house, bread winner, assigned all the traditional male tasks (because my wife seems to want it that way), and only some what aggressive and/or dominant. I am competitive, but only when/where I want to be. 

If your talking about males and western culture you should probably also look at the influence of work ethics. I seemed to get a major dose in my youth. It's now fading.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#3

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
I’ve always found this whole thing confusing since I don’t think of myself as masculine or feminine, neither do I to aspire to either, nor do I care what anyone may conclude about me. I appreciate this is highly abnormal, so I’m trying to understand what it’s like from other people's perspective.

It’s for the same reason I’ve struggled to understand what "gender fluid" is supposed to mean.
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#4

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
I was hurt by traditionnal masculine norms. I didn't realised it until I my love life started to suffer severely because of it. I didn't realise how stoic I was and how much it built resentment in me. To me, feminism was my first step toward intellectualising these issues and detecting them in society, but for me to actually notice their impact on my life and the scope of changes I needed to do to restore my happyness and health.
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#5

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
I’ve never been affected by the male stereotype of being expected to bottle emotions up, because I’m quite happy to cry openly and talk about my feelings. I think these are both healthy things to do, and that people hurt themselves if they try and contain it. I certainly think this stereotype has hurt a lot of men, and even led to higher suicide rates. People who expect this of men, and criticise them for being open should take pause, in my opinion.
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#6

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
My dad - the strong, quiet type. Work, work, work. Only very occasionally did he show emotion, and then you had to read it in his face, not hear it in his voice. Like when mom was in the hospital. Or when the dog died. I'll never forget the softening expression in his face.  There are some pics from when I was 3 and sitting on his knees and he had that soft expression. I can count the number of times I saw it on one hand. The emotion that would get the better of him a few times was anger. Then his face would tighten up and soon after he'd explode into yelling at someone.

Both my husbands - unconventional and very different. My first could get quite emotional. My second was older, the upbringing of a different generation, and it seemed like he tried to be the strong, quiet type, but was relieved when his emotions were welcomed and he could be extremely soft, loving and show appreciation. The strong, quiet thing pretty much disappeared in him over time, don't know if it was age or the nature of our relationship. Probably both.

Yep, even though I am not particularly emotional myself or fit the female stereotype, I definitely see the difference in males. Even with my first, for whom emotions were always some kind of breakthrough, connected to some sort of feeling of relief.

I could also clearly see the generational difference - dad totally caught in it, my second partially caught up, and my first with traces.

I also think that, as society evolved, the gender lines and definitions have changed and changed again in the 1900ds, and today we have young people recognizing all sorts of traits in themselves instead of being pressed into a mold. 

That's also why I think women's lib, or gender equality to phrase it with less preconceived connotations, has benefitted men a lot. Freedom of expression is just as important as freedom of speech IMO.
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#7

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
My husband and I have had many conversations about our common feeling that each of us somehow "missed" the instruction manual for our gender... My husband is strong, but not so strong he can't ask for help, emotionally open, and not stuck on whether any task or function is or ought to be male or female.  Always willing to split the check when we were dating, one of the first things that made me think he might be a keeper.  Over the years, we have moved from feeling resentful about missing out to feeling grateful that we used our time developing other skills.  

I love and like men.  Over my lifetime, more of my close friends/friends have been male than female, and some of them have been the "strong, silent' type.  However, I grew up in a fundamentalist setting where males were all supposed to be training as absolute heads of household, for women to submit themselves to, and I've been wary about getting into relationships with men who show those traits (with or without a religious background) because of my bad experiences growing up.
god, ugh
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#8

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
My father had no problem expressing his emotions. In fact, he could have done with less anger.

However, he did think men should dominate their families, which was a problem since my mother was often smarter and more perceptive than he was. He also found it quite difficult to talk to others on equal terms, which I think went with his authoritarian outlook. The latter problem was what ultimately estranged me from him, for the rest of his life. That was too bad.
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#9

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-14-2019, 05:31 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: My father had no problem expressing his emotions.  In fact, he could have done with less anger.

Most of the time, the one emotion men are traditionally allowed to express and use is anger. I find it rather sick that expressing anger is perceived as more ''normal'' than expressing tenderness or kindness.
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#10

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-14-2019, 02:06 PM)Full Circle Wrote: I read this article with the preconceived notion that I was going to disagree with it and dismiss it, thinking that it would be a transparent attempt at justifying how traditional men behave.

But as I read it I could see my father and brothers as clear as day, maybe even me, not sure about that yet. I could cite many personal examples of the Western concept of what a man is supposed to be from my family and in my own life and how it has shaped who I am and how I act. 

I’m wondering what you all think from both the male and the female perspective. As men have you tried to live up to a stereotype thrust on you? Were you even aware of it? As a female do you support the stereotype Western concept of what a man should be? Do you vacillate between liking the strong, silent type and the nurturing, in-touch-with-his-feelings type? 

“Traditional masculinity” itself — the term refers to a Western concept of manliness that relies — and sometimes over-relies — on stoicism, dominance, aggression and competitiveness.

“We found incredible evidence that the extent to which men strongly endorse those beliefs, it’s strongly associated with negative outcomes.” The more men cling to rigid views of masculinity, the more likely they are to be depressed, or disdainful, or lonely.

Currently my 84 year old father has been in the hospital, he is in very poor health and his heart is very weak. My brothers and I would have liked to have had meaningful father-son talks about life, hopes, dreams before we lose him - a final data dump before it’s too late. Yet he clings to his stoicism and the view that men don’t show emotion and don’t complain. I will never get from him what I had hoped, even on his death bed. He cannot, does not know how, to show emotion; trapped in a self-imposed emotional prison created by the culture he grew up in. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are most of us men really this emotionally stunted? If we are, how can it be changed?

So many questions. Just wanted to hear your perspectives. 

Awww, man, I must have been reading the WaPo a lot this month (often I don't pay heed to the newspaper whose link I jumped onto). Anyhow, I'll at least try to address the OP for now, if it pleases the court.

I'm a cisgender, heterosexual man, fwiw. I was born to two progressive individuals, and they never pushed any manliness on me. My biological father did like Budweiser, and had his drinkin' buddy, who did roadwork for CalTrans (my father was a mall santa and law student). 

My father suffered a massive stroke in 1982, which was related to Agent Orange, a defoliant used in Vietnam, where he served in the Navy. Between that and my major disability, spina bifida, my mother had her hands full, and I no longer had a male influence, really (he was made a hemiplegic and had cognitive damage). My mother is a very emotional, very (at times a bit too much for me) affectionate person. The emotion definitely rubbed off on me, but the affection? Maybe, maybe not (I am deemed a very "nice guy", but I get frustrated and burned out with people very easily). I tear up more than your stereotypical "manly man", and when I try to defend myself, I can sometimes yell, but there really won't be serious weight behind it (whereas whenever someone is mad at me, it doesn't take a loud voice. Just a voice manipulated in anger, to kind of scare me). 

My mother remarried after my father died. This man adopted me, which was a good idea. He definitely has a sense of masculinity, but not in a fistbumping, American-sports-obsessed way. It's more just in his style. He doesn't even follow sports. And he doen't force any masculinity on me (though he will point out if I'm not neat, which happens a fair amount with y hard to clothesfit spina bifida body)

As for me, nowadays, I still get a lump in my throat at times, and tear up over certain matters, but I am oddly aware of the idea that men shouldn't (apparently) do that. However, as much as I like sports and sports culture, I'm not obsessed with stats and trades and all that stuff, and only passively watch the American "Big 4" sports. I am more into soccer, and it may as well be women's soccer.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
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#11

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-14-2019, 03:07 PM)robvalue Wrote: I’ve always found this whole thing confusing since I don’t think of myself as masculine or feminine, neither do I to aspire to either, nor do I care what anyone may conclude about me. I appreciate this is highly abnormal, so I’m trying to understand what it’s like from other people's perspective.

It’s for the same reason I’ve struggled to understand what "gender fluid" is supposed to mean.

@robvalue, this is something me and you 100% have in common and I'm not just saying that ... Seriously, I already made a whole thread about it in the Personal Issues and Support Section a while back. Here: http://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/show...p?tid=2172
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#12

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
I comment as an older bloke.

I grew up in a very paternalistic family with one brother.  Mum was invariably overwhelmed with the presence and
opinions, and daily activities of three males in the house.  Dad very quietly, subtly but firmly "laid down the law" in
our household, even to the extent of doling out mum's spending money every pay day; in the '40s and '50s not
many mums worked in Australia, so had virtually no money of their own.  Dad was always very stoic and pragmatic,
right up to his death at 95 years.  I never once saw him cry, and I never once saw him in a fit of anger (although I
had seem mum in tears several times, in frustration with dad's decisions).  And I respected him 1000% every day
of his life.

He was manly, but not particularly "blokey" like some of his male friends who hit the booze and the racetrack or
smoked a pack a day, or flirted with anybody wearing a skirt.  Straight as a die was my dad.

Anyway, me?  Manly and blokey (still), hit the piss too much as a youngster and smoked a carton a week, and drove
old bombs like a man possessed.  Rooted around.  I never played sport of any kind, and now have no interest in watching
cricket or footy—like a "typical" Aussie bloke is supposed to LOL. I don't drink or smoke any more—my body just said a
firm NO at one stage in my life.

I have no problems with "projecting" my malehood in public, but have been known to cry openly at all sorts of things,
particularly cruelty to children or animals.  I easily see myself as a man, and always have, with no reservations at all.  

One positive trait I inherited from my father was his lack of anger, certainly of the physical or verbal kind.  I prefer the
calm, reasoned and considerate approach to any disagreements.

But unlike my dad, I consider and respect the opinions of women with no reserves.  In fact, I believe that we, society,
need a lot more woman in politics and management scenarios.  Women (from my experiences) are more intuitive than
men, and think before doing.  Men on the other hand all too often act and then think.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#13

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
I'm so manly I bleed 40W70 motor oil!
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#14

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
What intrigues me is the idea that men — or at least some men in any given society — should *not* be anything but "traditionally" masculine. In other words, a certain number (a pretty high number, I suppose) who take on the task of defending the nation or society, i.e. the military, would be much less effective if they were raised to be more sensitive, empathetic and so on.
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#15

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-14-2019, 04:06 PM)julep Wrote: I love and like men.  Over my lifetime, more of my close friends/friends have been male than female, 


I can relate to that and my wife fits your profile on that score.  I've always been more comfortable in the company of women.  More of my friends by far have been women.  I'm sure the fact that I could talk with my mother while I had no relationship with my father helps to explain my experience.  In addition to being physically absent for long stretches, my father was largely incapable of normal human interaction.  He had a hard time talking at all and very little clue socially about what a conversation was about.

Nonetheless I recognize that I've absorbed the cultural norm for men in the way I express emotion, awkwardly.  I have no intellectual problem with crying and sometimes do.  But boy if a conversation becomes emotional for me, as it can in therapy, I literally find it hard to speak at all.  I'm in awe of people who can feel what they're feeling and still speak. I wish it were otherwise but c'est la vie.  Compared to my father I'm an emotional genius but compared to plenty of women I've known, I'm a toad.

I've never bought into the body type stereotype, darn it.  I never lifted weights until a year or two ago.  Would have been better to have started sooner.  Turns out it is good for you in a number of ways.  I did grow up going to schools where boys related to each other according to the code of the west.  It was pretty traumatic but I did learn to stand up for myself.  But I never liked the feeling of punching another person in the face even provoked.  It feels dehumanizing.

I can also relate to those who regard the feminine and the masculine with puzzlement.  It seems to me that whatever difference might be at the bottom of it physiologically is so plastered over culturally as to be insignificant by comparison.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
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#16

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
My issue is I'm torn between what I want and what I'm attracted to.

I -want- a guy that can cry in front of me, can cuddle a kitten, will let me make decisions or make them with me.

What I'm -attracted- to: Aggression, show of strength, cliché manly stuff, guys all sweaty from manual labor.

I know it isn't all black and white though cause my husband is both of those. I have a picture of him cuddling a kitten in our living room and he will break down when drunk about the kids he has lost (he is a paramedic and the pediatric deaths always hit him the hardest) But he also was a bouncer (which is so fucking hot to me), grills perfect steaks, and the other day he fixed something TWO local mechanics couldn't. I walked out of that building strutting my stuff like hell yeah that's MY husband!

Side note; I do think the over masculine thing does hurt those that are like that in -some- guys. I think it scares them so much to been seen any other way that they become homophobic. That just hurts everyone. I think if we could lessen how important it is for men to "be men" there would be less people against looking like a "sissy"
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#17

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-14-2019, 07:17 PM)Claywise Wrote: What intrigues me is the idea that men — or at least some men in any given society — should *not* be anything but "traditionally" masculine. In other words, a certain number (a pretty high number, I suppose) who take on the task of defending the nation or society, i.e. the military, would be much less effective if they were raised to be more sensitive, empathetic and so on.

I disagree on that point. The indoctrination and training method of our current military would be much less effective if they were to be applied on people who highly value empathy and sensitivity, but that's just a problem of a specific military culture. You can side-step this issue by changing the indoctrination and training method and still produce a similar result. If there are many roads to love so are they toward hatred.
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#18

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
Can't really say that behaving otherwise would change their quality of life or happiness or anything actually for sure. I am of the opinion to let people behave as they see fit.
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#19

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
There was an amazing documentary on Netflix. It looks like it’s not on there anymore, but I highly suggest watching, it’s $3.99 most places.

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#20

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
The problem I have with articles like these, and the whole anti-masculinity movement as a whole, is that they seem to forget that any personality trait can be harmful when taken to extremes and this includes traditionally feminine traits as well. Take "stoicism" as an example, I think many would agree that between a person, man or woman, who has enough stoicism to take on hard or difficult tasks without complaining  is an objectively better worker to be around then the person who whines and complains about how hard every task they have been given is. The person rocked uncontrollably by every wave of life's vicissitudes does not a good Captian make.

I think one of the reasons society is taking a more harsh eye to more traditionally masculine traits is because we don't have to do much of anything to survive anymore. We have to punch in at the old 9-5 but at the end of the day food, shelter, and clothing is not something the majority of people have to give any real thought to the idea of suddenly being thrust into a situation where those are not freely and widely available. Watch any of the more survival based reality shows and you see the same thing again and again and that is that those who don't have a smattering of those traits get absolutely decimated in productivity by those that do have those traits.
With the services the internet can provide it's entirely feasible for me to survive while never leaving my house. At no point in human history has this ever been true, and now that it is many of those traits that helped us, of both genders, survive and even thrive are viewed as harmful or "problematic". 

That said you need balance, being so stoic as to being unable to talk to anyone about problems is harmful, but as is being compassionate to the point you lose your ability to effectively enforce discipline or to be nurturing to the point of smothering, or any one of the other personality traits not typically connected to traditional masculinity.

Who do you trust more to help you through a dangerous situation, someone like Bear Gyrlls or someone like Owen Jones?
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#21

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-14-2019, 11:27 PM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote: The problem I have with articles like these, and the whole anti-masculinity movement as a whole, is that they seem to forget that any personality trait can be harmful when taken to extremes and this includes traditionally feminine traits as well.

Take "stoicism" as an example, I think many would agree that between a person, man or woman, who has enough stoicism to take on hard or difficult tasks without complaining  is an objectively better worker to be around then the person who whines and complains about how hard every task they have been given is. The person rocked uncontrollably by every wave of life's vicissitudes does not a good Captian make.

I think one of the reasons society is taking a more harsh eye to more traditionally masculine traits is because we don't have to do much of anything to survive anymore. We have to punch in at the old 9-5 but at the end of the day food, shelter, and clothing is not something the majority of people have to give any real thought to the idea of suddenly being thrust into a situation where those are not freely and widely available. Watch any of the more survival based reality shows and you see the same thing again and again and that is that those who don't have a smattering of those traits get absolutely decimated in productivity by those that do have those traits.
With the services the internet can provide it's entirely feasible for me to survive while never leaving my house. At no point in human history has this ever been true, and now that it is many of those traits that helped us, of both genders, survive and even thrive are viewed as harmful or "problematic". 

That said you need balance, being so stoic as to being unable to talk to anyone about problems is harmful, but as is being compassionate to the point you lose your ability to effectively enforce discipline or to be nurturing to the point of smothering, or any one of the other personality traits not typically connected to traditional masculinity.

Who do you trust more to help you through a dangerous situation, someone like Bear Gyrlls or someone like Owen Jones?

That's true that right now, critique of traditional masculinity is in the limelight, but traditional feminity was similarly and harshly criticised by feminist movements in decades past. These debates mostly occured from the 50's to the 80's when women of the middle and upper class were carving themselves a place as a fixture of the employment market. The idea that women needed, to smile, be passive and loving, that their greatest achievement was her children and her marriage, etc. Today these ideals are mostly the trademark of religious fundamentalist, but during those years, they were the norm. In my opinion, if masculinity is more heavily criticised, it's mostly because traditional feminity has seen itself being transformed and challenged heavily earlier during our social development. The ideal is of course to strike a balance between the two to be healthy, adaptable human beings.
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#22

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-14-2019, 11:56 PM)epronovost Wrote: That's true that right now, critique of traditional masculinity is in the limelight, but traditional feminity was similarly and harshly criticised by feminist movements in decades past.
Oh, I agree, and I have many of the same criticisms about those critiques as well.

(01-14-2019, 11:56 PM)epronovost Wrote: The idea that women needed, to smile, be passive and loving, that their greatest achievement was her children and her marriage, etc.
I don't think there is a "right" way to be a man or a woman, and I think trying to decide what "men" or "women" need to be like is a fools game because when it all shakes out it's individuals in the end. The problem I have with it is when we go from we need to move past the marker to the point we start ridiculing or demonizing people cause they do have specific traits or values.
Take your example of the greatest achievement of a woman is her children or marriage. From my point of view, knowing what I know about myself, if I had children I can not imagine myself being able to accomplish anything that would bring me more pride. So it makes sense to me that there is probably no small number of women that feel the same way. The problem is when other people try to tell women or men what they should personally take pride in or value most. I find it utterly reprehensible when I see some feminists tell a woman that she is being "anti-feminist" or "anti-woman" for not wanting a career or for finding her highest joy in being a wife or mother. I think it's unreasonable to shame people for these things.

(01-14-2019, 11:56 PM)epronovost Wrote: In my opinion, if masculinity is more heavily criticised, it's mostly because traditional feminity has seen itself being transformed and challenged heavily earlier during our social development.
I think there is some truth to that aye. I think one could make the argument that feminity has had it's, let's call it, Reformation. I think one of the key differences is in language being employed between the two, where one sought to lift women up and emancipate them and the other seems branded and packaged to rip the masculine, and by extension men, down.


(01-14-2019, 11:56 PM)epronovost Wrote: The ideal is of course to strike a balance between the two to be healthy, adaptable human beings.
Agreed, I think that's ultimately the goal we should be aiming for I'm just not convinced that the people leading the conversation on the topic of "toxic-masculinity" want that at all. I could be wrong, and I wouldn't impune anyone by pretending to know other peoples thoughts it's just my own opinion. I too regularly see attacks on "toxic" masculinity devolve into attacks on men, and I don't like that any more than seeing women attacked for their traits, traditional or otherwise.
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#23

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-15-2019, 12:27 AM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  I think one of the key differences is in language being employed between the two, where one sought to lift women up and emancipate them and the other seems branded and packaged to rip the masculine, and by extension men, down.

When you look at the negative reactions to these criticism, they are strickingly simillar. Many people (and some still do) use to tell that feminism was out ot destroy women and transform all women in pseudo-men. Now, we are the same kind of people tell that feminism is out to destroy men and transform all men in pseudo-women. It's the same language and the same critique. Personnaly, I found the idea that men shouldn't strive to be exclusively dominant, competitive, agressive, stern and strong to be liberating and encouraging. It lift men from a condition of "man-machine" to that of "man-human". It can literally help you reconnect with a side of your humanity that could have been repressed. Seeing this call for the acceptence and embrace of more "feminine virtues" amongst men as "taking men down" seems to me express a certain form of "internalised misogyny" for lack of better terms about the nature of power and freedom as if freedom and power expressed themselves mostly through more traditional "masculine virtues".
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How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
(01-14-2019, 07:17 PM)Claywise Wrote: What intrigues me is the idea that men — or at least some men in any given society — should *not* be anything but "traditionally" masculine. In other words, a certain number (a pretty high number, I suppose) who take on the task of defending the nation or society, i.e. the military, would be much less effective if they were raised to be more sensitive, empathetic and so on.

I'd have to disagree with the thrust of these claims. I comment as a mature-aged male with a past career
in the military, but also as a lifelong pacifist (which may seem strange at first, but can make perfect sense
nonetheless).

Your notion that if a certain male population base wasn't "traditionally" masculine, our military would somehow
be less effective doesn't make any sense at all.  There is no correlation between empathy, sensitivity and any
lack of fighting abilities.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#25

How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most
I read the same article and almost posted a thread on it. Great minds think alike, I guess. Wink
The older I get, the more I realize there are quite a few people, both men and women, who are absolutely devoted to masculine stereotypes and will get angry if you try to suggest that men have feelings and might want to behave in ways that are outside the masculine stereotypical norms - and it's not just the hippies who have feelings. Oddly, in my own experience, it's often women who yell the loudest about protecting masculine stereotypes.
Enforcing and policing masculine behavior usually means feminine behavior gets policed too. Women get told we're hormonal and hysterical. But hormones drive stereotypically masculine behavior too, like aggression and skirt-chasing. Yet stereotypically masculine behaviors are often accepted instead of dismissed or questioned.
It's too bad that families teach sons that only a very narrow range of behaviors are ok; I agree it results in negative outcomes and the inability to form close bonds and relationships with others.

-Teresa
There is in the universe only one true divide, one real binary, life and death. Either you are living or you are not. Everything else is molten, malleable.

-Susan Faludi, In the Darkroom
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