Advanced Essay #3: [Changing Masculinity?]


I wanted to explore what masculinity was and how we could change it because of how it is affecting the lives of men today. 

Advanced Essay

Why are there many cases where men are seen as villains? The answer to this question is masculinity. I say this because according to a site called Sat Puruha said that masculinity can be defined as “Masculinity varies for each man dependent on personality, family, and culture. The common thread is a set of characteristics that allow men to feel masculine.” Males were raised in the past to be tough, unemotional, and above all else dominant. While the definition of femininity is constantly changing according to Michael Ian Black from The New York Times “The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms, and expressions.” This makes me wonder why masculinity isn’t being changed even though it is making males into rapists, sex offenders, and etc. Why can’t masculinity change along with femininity?

  Masculinity can make men feel like they don’t have someone to prove their dominance too. So they then to take that frustration other out on the people around them. From a source that I found about “Toxic Masculinity” is that "People who conform to masculinity have poor mental health.". Masculinity is breaking down the psyche of the men today. It is said that in order for someone to be a man they must take specific character traits like  “The wince-inducing "male" traits are as follows: winning, emotional control, risk-taking, violence, dominance, playboy, self-reliance, the primacy of work, power over women, and disdain for homosexuals.” These traits are all seen in supposedly in masculine men. Men use these traits to hide moments when they feel weak. So that they don’t attract help. From Dr. Joel Wong’s study proved that “Sexual promiscuity, self-reliance, and power over women were most categorically linked to frail mental health.” With men walking around with weak mental health trying to prove themselves every day only makes matters worse and make them easier to break.   

Masculinity was normal back when men were always seen as dominant and had no ramifications for his actions when it came to abusing woman or children because they were always at the top of the food chain. But now in a society where genders are equal and balanced, these type of actions are no longer acceptable. “They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.” The thing about masculinity is that it doesn’t allow or give men a way to talk about how he feels without feeling vulnerable or emasculated. Masculinity is stopping men from growing up with compassion and learning how to accept help when it is provided instead of bottling up the pain until it is too much, some men even take their lives because of stress that could have been easily avoided if they just reached out to someone. All of these things could almost be simply solved but, this reality of masculinity makes it almost impossible.    

“A man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self-has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do.” Men take out their rage in other ways like forcibly dominating someone else and a common sight of that today are school shootings.  Men that feel weak or threatened will always strike back. That is why school shooters do these horrible acts of violence to somehow prove to others that they are masculine. Hundreds of years ago people gained respect and honor from the number of people that they have killed but, that was in a “dog eat dog world” we now have more civilized ways of solving things without the need of bloodshed but, how can we move on if we don’t change the barbaric ways of our past.

Masculinity is a system that we don’t need anymore. It was used to justify the horrible acts that occurred in the past like destruction of villages, the raping of women, and the cruel monarchies that once stood. We as humans have evolved and learned so many more things but masculinity hasn’t. Femininity has changed so much for the better and has improved the lives of many women, while men are still suffering from a rule made hundreds of years ago. Why does no make an effort to change it? That is because masculinity is something hard to let go and men are afraid of how life will be for them after the change. With nothing too dominate or oppress, men will feel hopeless but if we don’t allow us the opportunity to change then how will we even know if it was for the better.  

Works Cited:

“Toxic Masculinity May Be Quadrupling the Suicide Rate for Canadian Men | CBC Life.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada,

Black, Michael Ian. “The Boys Are Not All Right.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Feb. 2018,