|September 20th, 2011|
I used to believe that while defining masculinity in terms of consumption was silly, there were ways of defining it in terms of actions that were not. Being a real man would mean qualifying for the adjectives 'loyal', 'brave', 'strong'. Leading when appropriate. Supporting and protecting the people around you. Producing more than you consume.
But I don't think putting these in with the idea of being male works. They are good qualities, and I think we should encourage them. But these being male attributes only makes sense if they are not also female attributes. Otherwise they are just human attributes. I don't see a reason to encourage these things in men at the cost of indicating that they are not also the province of women.
If we remove from the concept of being a real man silly ideas like "eats lots of meat", "doesn't cook except on a grill", "can't dance", and "drives fearlessly and rapidly", and also remove ideas like "does what needs to be done" and "supports their family", what is left? I think there might not be anything.