What is Masculinity Anyway?

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    Sep 28, 2010 2:29 AM GMT
    What is masculinity anyway?

    The topic of masculinity is a favorite one here on RJ, but what does it mean to be masculine anyway? Does it mean you have big muscles and a rockin' bod? Does it mean every other word for your mouth is 'dude' or 'bro'? Does it mean you shun any event, or establishment bannered with a rainbow flag? Does it mean that all you watch is ESPN and Spike TV? Does it mean that your just 'a regular guy' that happens to be into other guys?

    Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe masculinity is more a state of mind. For every stereotype there's an exception. I would argue that every guy, gay, straight, or bi has some masculine AND feminine qualities.

    When I think masculinity I think of what defines being a real man for me.

    -Strength of character: the ability to discern right from wrong and to stand up for their beliefs.
    -Honesty: both with themselves and others, in public and in private
    -Courage: to be who they are regardless of what others think, and to defend others right to be who they are.
    -Assertiveness: to fearlessly communicate their needs and desires without judgment and to give others the freedom to do the same.

    Whether a guy likes Lady Ga Ga or Korn, drinking beer or cosmos, dresses like a GQ model or a slacker, decorates with Pottery Barn or Walmart, watches NFL or Project Runway, IS IMMATERIAL! For me masculinity encompasses so much more than ones likes or dislikes. IMO to be a real man means facing the world as a man, being responsible for ones self and protecting those in their life.

    What do you guys think?
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    Sep 28, 2010 2:41 AM GMT
    It's culturally defined; The attributes, most commonly the physical appearance, tropes of social interaction, manner of moving, speaking, behaving, associated with the males in a society. Outdated Broad examples include things as basic as men wear pants, women wear skirts, or more specifically, men DON'T wear skirts. Naturally occurring, physically associated things such as facial and corporal hair have also been classically masculine traits. Like I said, they are culturally defined and ingrained. Some men unfortunately get them ingrained by their fathers or their society to the point that they believe if they stray from these essential masculine traits they will be perceived as weak or worthless. Considering the broad association of gay men with "feminine" attributes, it is very important for some gay men to assert classical and often chauvinistic traits in order to feel not weak or feel a sense of acceptance from society.
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    Sep 28, 2010 3:28 AM GMT
    How do YOU define masculinity?
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    Sep 28, 2010 3:30 AM GMT
    RudeMech saidHow do YOU define masculinity?


    Are you kidding?!? I learned about this in elementary school..

    It is based on how many times you can take a kick to the balls.
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    Sep 28, 2010 3:32 AM GMT
    RudeMech saidHow do YOU define masculinity?


    ..I just did?
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    Sep 28, 2010 3:40 AM GMT
    My father is the most masculine guy I know.
    if he showed any type of affection or intimacy he would burst into flames.
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    Sep 28, 2010 3:46 AM GMT
    dustin_K_tx saidMy father is the most masculine guy I know.
    if he showed any type of affection or intimacy he would burst into flames.

    I find this really interesting as my father is also very "typically" masculine (ie outdoorsy, loves to work with his hands, etc), but he is also very affectionate. He's not afraid to hug and say 'I love you'. I never knew my grandfather, but I got the impression he was much more stoic and describe similarly to your father. Perhaps my dad made the decision to father me in a different way.
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    Sep 28, 2010 3:48 AM GMT
    The epitome of butch:
    1a.jpg

    Masculinity and femininity are constructs arbitrarily defined. Today we all might be manly men. In 30 years we will be laughed at as dandy fops.

    In short, it is all bullshit.
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    Sep 28, 2010 3:56 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidThe epitome of butch:
    1a.jpg

    Masculinity and femininity are constructs arbitrarily defined. Today we all might be manly men. In 30 years we will be laughed at as dandy fops.

    In short, it is all bullshit.


    Red-soled high heels were the shit as far as men's footwear in French Baroque society circa Louis Quatorze.
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    Sep 28, 2010 4:04 AM GMT
    RudeMech saidHow do YOU define masculinity?


    It's a social construct. If you gainsay what America calls masculine, that's fine. But don't act like you're a maverick about it.
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    Sep 28, 2010 4:05 AM GMT
    I wrote about this topic a while ago. Here is what I had to say.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/890509
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    Sep 28, 2010 4:09 AM GMT
    RudeMech said
    dustin_K_tx saidMy father is the most masculine guy I know.
    if he showed any type of affection or intimacy he would burst into flames.

    I find this really interesting as my father is also very "typically" masculine (ie outdoorsy, loves to work with his hands, etc), but he is also very affectionate. He's not afraid to hug and say 'I love you'. I never knew my grandfather, but I got the impression he was much more stoic and describe similarly to your father. Perhaps my dad made the decision to father me in a different way.

    Oh please; all that hugging and saying I love you: my dad would so kick your dad’s ass.
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    Sep 28, 2010 6:35 AM GMT
    dustin_K_tx said
    RudeMech said
    dustin_K_tx saidMy father is the most masculine guy I know.
    if he showed any type of affection or intimacy he would burst into flames.

    I find this really interesting as my father is also very "typically" masculine (ie outdoorsy, loves to work with his hands, etc), but he is also very affectionate. He's not afraid to hug and say 'I love you'. I never knew my grandfather, but I got the impression he was much more stoic and describe similarly to your father. Perhaps my dad made the decision to father me in a different way.

    Oh please; all that hugging and saying I love you: my dad would so kick your dad’s ass.

    Lol! Maybe so! icon_biggrin.gif I hope you didn't really take my reply as a challenge. I do think it highlights the different perceptions of what makes one masculine. Contrary to popular believe I think men are much more emotional than women. I think they feel very deeply but expression of those feelings is considered by many to a weakness. Maybe it's regional and generational.
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    Sep 28, 2010 6:40 AM GMT
    its simple. it means you behave like a male and not a female. Yin and Yang.

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    Sep 28, 2010 6:42 AM GMT
    PE_Teacher saidI wrote about this topic a while ago. Here is what I had to say.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/890509

    Great post! I really admire you for stepping up and being a role model for your students/athletes. It's folks like you that pave the way for the future so many of us want. Thanks for walking the walk! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 28, 2010 6:51 AM GMT
    its a set of guide lines created by society to try and force me into a box about how i should think, feel and behave.... Personally I think its a load of bullshit and I'm gonna go do what i want.
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    Sep 28, 2010 6:53 AM GMT
    Its that thing when little people with high waists wear fire hydrant costumes.
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    Sep 28, 2010 8:19 AM GMT
    In the stream.-- Mighty waters draw much stone and rubble along with them; mighty spirits many stupid and bewildered heads.

    from Nietzsche's Human, all too Human, s.541, R.J. Hollingdale transl.
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    Sep 28, 2010 8:31 AM GMT
    Duh



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  • handsoffire

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    Sep 28, 2010 9:23 AM GMT
    I think that most men would define masculine acts as those of a dominate or Alpha persona. I find this ideal to be limited and outdated.

    Personally I just want to be a good human and I find that the list provided earlier did just that.

    Integrity, honesty, strength of self, and both the ability and the willingness to be the agent of the changes that you wish/need to see in your world. Emotional awareness of yourself and others and acts that demonstrate that awareness in ways that are in line with your world view.
  • handsoffire

    Posts: 178

    Sep 28, 2010 9:35 AM GMT
    Opps, to answer the OP. I don't really deal in this concept any more and I don't have a good answer for you.
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    Sep 28, 2010 4:29 PM GMT
    i'm not black and white about it, but we all have things we're looking for (straights included) and if you're the complete opposite of that then i don't think that i'm a bad person for not being interested. it's not like i wouldn't date a guy with a lisp, or someone that turned into a total queen over one or two things, and i like trying new things, but at some point i have to draw the line. i would never write in a personal 'masculine only' though.

    masculine to me is dominating, not just in bed but in your body language. like it's submissive to look away when someone's looking at you or to smile, and i do that all the time XP im not feminine, i dont have the lisp and i act very masculine, but there are a lot of ppl that can pick up on the fact that i'm gay by having a conversation with me and they see that i look away or submit in those subtle ways. so i think masculinity is a subconscious thing where you know it when you see it but it's pretty hard to describe. it is not so simple that you can say 'he is masculine, he is not.' one guy might be more masculine than another, but both of them are masculine. or one guy might be more feminine than another while neither of them are feminine.

    theres even a guy i have the hots for that is fairly feminine.. he's straight but he makes gay jokes where he pretends to come on to me and when he does well... he's suddenly /VERY/ masculine. so i never completely write off fem guys.
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    Sep 28, 2010 4:35 PM GMT
    Masculinity in American Culture:

    -MEAT NOM NOM NOM NOM
    -BEEEERRRRRR
    -Banging pussy
    -Being badass
    -Inability to control ones temper
    -Punching anyone who challenges your manliness
    -FOOTBALL
    -UFC!!!!!!!
    -Vegetables (fried)
    -Voting republican
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Sep 28, 2010 5:02 PM GMT
    RudeMech saidHow do YOU define masculinity?




    Easy, it is quite the opposite of Fem/limp-wristed, & capitulating.

    Anyone, besides me, collect guns?? (check out "_brian." I'd Love to shoot his gun!)
  • Iluros

    Posts: 559

    Sep 29, 2010 12:43 AM GMT
    RudeMech said
    -Strength of character: the ability to discern right from wrong and to stand up for their beliefs.
    -Honesty: both with themselves and others, in public and in private
    -Courage: to be who they are regardless of what others think, and to defend others right to be who they are.
    -Assertiveness: to fearlessly communicate their needs and desires without judgment and to give others the freedom to do the same.


    I think these are more qualities you would expect of someone with maturity and character. An adult, whether a man or a woman. And I think women might dislike the implication that they're not "real women" if they have these qualities.

    I would say the culturally relative conceptions of masculinity and femininity have a common stem of biological trends from sexual dimorphism. That's mostly going to manifest itself in physical characteristics, though there are some psychological ones as well. But when you put it like that it kind of sucks the value judgments out of what it means to be masculine, and then all of a sudden the topic is less interesting (or rather, less sensational). So we stick to our idealizations.