The continuing weird discussion about masculinity. . .

Years ago, when I first joined GaG, I wanted to talk about relationships. I had hopes this was a place where I could find meaningful discussions on the issues men and women have with forming meaningful bonds. I was and am old, I kind of felt I could help some younger dudes find success. And in the exchange find ways to improve my own relationship.

But that was not what I found.

Of course there were nonsensical racist conversations.

There were these strangely political conversations that included feminism. As though feminism was the reason why some men were single or having issues getting a date.

But among the most troubling were these weird conversations about masculinity.

And they seemed to revolve around these same themes.

1. Having a penis makes you a man. Which I guess is supposed to be a knock against transgenders. But only male to female. No one cares about the reverse.

2. There is no such thing as versions of masculinity that are harmful. The weird thing about this point is that the same people making this claim contradict themselves sometimes within the same thread, if not the same post.

3. "White" males are alone because of feminism, reverse racism, and the democrats.

4. There is no such thing as masculine traits, even as masculinity exists etc. The traits we associate with being masculine are universal. . .even as the notion is contradictory to widely held beliefs here at GaG.

5. Masculinity is divorced from responsibility to family, community, and society/nation.

So I just wanted to create a take that takes apart each point. And hopefully spark a rational, logical discussion about masculinity and its place in American society.

1a. This is a viewpoint that has been expressed many times in this forum. That by being a biological male, you have accomplished all the tasks necessary to become a man. Of course, this notion is ridiculous. And I don't understand males who want this to be true. I don't understand males who would want to include other males who are transgender. Kick them out, keep them out. They want nothing to do with what it takes to be a man in this society. They want none of the hard work. They want none of the sacrifice. The dedication. So why include them in this special category? Being a man, ain't for everyone. Even some males who have penises. As for whether or not a female can become a man. That for me is a different question. I just don't believe it at this point. I am not saying I can't evolve on this issue. But since the question has an obvious cultural context, that answer would not be universal anyway.

But then it gets even weirder. Men have crossdressed, worn dresses, etc. for centuries. From Rudy Giulania, to Howard Stern, from Patrick Swayze to Jamie Foxx. It is a joke, a fad, or fashion choice. But here we are in this strange age where we are not able to tell transgenders from dudes who cross dress or do drag or whatever. . .

The continuing weird discussion about masculinity. . .

2a. This was the latest weirdness in the forum. That there are no forms of masculinity that are harmful or destructive. I am not even sure why this is a debate. Of course there are. But the thing that is weird is the very folks making this argument have made so many arguments to the contrary. It is just that they make this charge of specific cultures. They can point out harmful behaviors of "Black" males. . .or "Muslim Cultures" or how Asian males aren't masculine enough. . . or some other nonsense. And here again, I come back to the disingenuous arguments so many folks make here. Why state a premise in bad faith? Obviously, they know there are forms of masculinity that are harmful. They just don't believe males of their specific race or culture have behaviors or beliefs that could be considered harmful.

This argument often gets construed or contorted into some nonsense about preventing men from being men. Absurd. Men decide what is or is not masculine. If we want to run into each other at 35 miles per hour. . .and the best among us are the most masculine, that is an objective rational standard. If we decide masculinity is defined in mastering engineering and the physical sciences, and those who are the smartest in those fields are the most masculine, that is our business.

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And the thing is, no matter how toxic, harmful, or backwards masculinity gets, women no matter how independent or feminist will always be attracted to it. Men know this. Males do not and simply whine about it.

Looking at this issue from the standpoint of rational thinking, logic, and reason (you know the stuff men are supposedly good at), one has to conclude there are at least some sanctioned masculine behaviors men can participate in that are detrimental to family, community and the society.

Look at my own culture, African-American. . .I have no issues understanding how that is true. And the funny thing is crazy racists have no problems jumping in and certifying all kind of "toxic Black" male behaviors. But they are not about defining the real problems. They are define things based upon stupid racist stereotypes.

In truth, we have these issues of being highly individualistic and self-reliant, which forces many of us to pretend everything is fine at all times. We pretend we are never under stress and we can never seek help or counseling. Then there is the obvious issues with violence or capacity for violence. Along with being oversexed. Twitch is just another one of those brothers who could not reach out. He felt he had to show that his game was always together. I have felt that same stress. Because asking for help is showing weakness.

3a. This is a common recurring theme among racist trolls. But it is often echoed in other discussions around the forum. As so many love to pretend that there is some unusual number of interracial relationships between "Black" males and "White" women. When in fact, African-Americans over all date out less than most other groupings. In, fact "Black" men date out less than than all other non-"White" groupings except, Asian males and "Black" women. That's it. Then there is the constant weirdness that somehow there is some overarching conspiracy to rob "White" males of their masculinity. Even as this has been "White" supremacy's goal with respect other cultures from day one. Going all the way back to Dr. Phillippe Rushton's ridiculous claims about penis size. That somehow "Black" male penises were so humongous that "White" women would be ripped in twain. And if they happened to become attracted to Asian males, well even if Asian males were smarter, their penises were too small. But "White" American males??? Their penises were the exact right size. Then the added benefit of not being too nerdy or too masculine/violent.

4a. Long ago, I created this monumental take on "what are masculine traits". I thought this would be an easy layup for most here. A bunch of females chimed in and if they started talking crazy I just totally ignored their posts. But arguing with males here left me frustrated. WTF!?!?!

I actually argued with males who claimed that traits were universal. That there was no such thing as a masculine or feminine trait. And the take was about what people here considered to be masculine. So instead of listing their opinion, they attacked what I defined as masculine, even as they understood such things to be decided culturally or at a societal level. This is about what your group or groups considered to be masculine. What your father told you or what your friends expected of you growing up.

That conversation was baffling.

What Are Masculine Traits?

5a. This all leads back to why does masculinity exist in the first place. What are men in almost every society or culture? They are defenders, protectors, creators of stability and providers for the family, community and nation. That role may vary a little from culture to culture. There may be traits in one culture that are absent in another. But that central role of community building and maintenance is always there. It cannot be women handling this alone. We need women, but there is no way a culture or nation can survive without its men. And without a definition of masculinity that supports and ensures its existence. Too many men in American society think masculinity exists for masculinity's sake. There is no responsibility to anyone. . .other than their ego. Masculinity has to go far beyond creating babies if it is to be some positive force in a given society. It has to be the foundation for how a community is defined. But if that definition is only destruction, then there is no way that community can exist for long.

I have talked about Jordan Peterson before at this site. The dude gets many things wrong when he strays away from talking about masculinity. But when he does talk about masculinity devoid of the whining, he is brilliant.

In one such instance, he lectured a young dude about why he needed to keep his environment clean. And it is based upon him placing the importance of "control". That men have to show the ability to control themselves, their environment, and their surroundings. A dude who has a sloppy room, house or apartment is showing everyone that he cannot control himself or his desires. I agree with some of of that. But more importantly, I agree with the concept that men need to talk with other men about how masculinity is defined. This harkens back to the goofy conversations we have about race and masculinity, where there is no acknowledgement about the cultural aspects that come into play when defining masculine traits. And how racist stereotypes warp perceptions and the reality about these different cultural approaches.

But only men can define these traits. And maybe cleaning your room is masculine. Or maybe it isn't. But if you can have clean rational conversations about what can or should be masculine, I think it comes much clearer what the goal of masculinity should be with respect to a given community or nation.

The continuing weird discussion about masculinity. . .
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