I'm Tired of Society and Women's Preconceived Notions of What Masculinity is

I want to start off by saying that the goal of this article is to make women question their preconceived notions regarding their opinions on male behavior when it pertains to relationships and stereotypes.

In my mind, the relationship between me and my ex-girlfriend was like this.

I'm Tired of Society and Women's Preconceived Notions of What Masculinity is

This GIF is how I will always imagine my relationship with her.

I grew up in a hyper masculine culture where men weren't suppose to show emotions. It has been very hard for me to express my emotions because of that culture. My last serious relationship ended two years ago. I dated my ex girlfriend for five years and I never took the time to reflect on how that relationship made me feel until now, after my turbulent emotions subsided.

I used to think that women were overly emotional and I guess I thought that because I myself didn't show emotion at all really until now. After I broke up with my ex girlfriend, I entered a period in my life where I was very angry ALL OF THE TIME.

I remember driving in my car in regular morning traffic which was lighter than usual and feeling so angry that my heart started pounding out of my chest for no reason and I remember asking myself, ''why am I so angry?'' I never truly realized that it was because I missed my girlfriend and that I was angry at how the relationship ended. What made me even angrier was that I couldn't tell my male friends because they found the topic awkward to discuss since they don't talk about their emotions either.

My female friends were willing to talk to me about it but they judged me as a guy that was weak because men are expected to be strong and move on. I felt like I was in a prison cell. Eventually, everything bottled up to the point where the littlest thing would set me off. If someone interrupted me I would curse them out and call them a fucking stupid son of a bitch.

I'm Tired of Society and Women's Preconceived Notions of What Masculinity is

The relationship with my last girlfriend got to the point where her and I could talk about anything, her periods, her dreams, her secrets, her sexual preferences, etc. Our relationship got to the point where I could read her body language and tell that she was angry, happy, or sad. I could read all of her emotions effortlessly.

Her emotions became my emotions because of mutuality. She began to subconsciously mimic my mannerisms. Just as equally, as I began to subconsciously mimic her mannerisms. Both her and I were responsive to each other's needs. We saw each other five times per week and spent hours talking and texting and neither of us thought that the other was being clingy. It became normal to spend time and talk to each other so much because we were both responsive to each other's needs.

I'm Tired of Society and Women's Preconceived Notions of What Masculinity is

When she would cry, I would sit there with her and hold her for no reason and say nothing because I knew that sometimes she would cry for no reason. When she would want to talk about how she felt about work or anything in general, I wouldn't give her advice. I would listen to her and ask questions because I was genuinely interested in what she wanted to say.

Our sex life wasn't treated as a goal to be achieved. It was treated as a relational thing. There would be times when I didn't orgasm and there would be times when she didn't orgasm. Then there would be times when we both orgasmed. Sex wasn't treated seriously. It was treated as if it was something extra, something fun we could do together.

So when that relationship ended, I felt like I lost a piece of myself because our relationship had mutuality, responsiveness, trust, and knowledge (because of how well we knew each other). I truly felt like she was my other half.

What I'm so tired of is society attempting to tell met that I should only want sex and women telling men, and by extension myself, that men only want sex and don't want a relationship because of their biases and assumptions. Many women are told by society that men only want sex and are predatorial and as a result, whenever I attempt to talk to a woman about my true deeply held feelings about my past relationships those women think I am lying or less masculine because guys shouldn't discuss their emotions. I refuse to live my life in a mental prison.

I had to get this out somehow so I wrote this on GAG in hopes that my story will bring ease to another man out there having trouble dealing with his relationship ending and society attempting to influence him using stereotypes of what he should behave like.

I am so tired of women attempting to tell me who I am. I hope this article broadens your perspective regarding your perceptions of what men want and your preconceived notions regarding what masculinity is.


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Most Helpful Girls

  • Never knew something like this could be real. Thank you for the mytake. I feel maybe you might be a rare breed because I think most guys put all priority into sex when there is more to life than that. I don't think they realize that lol

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    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment. I think another issue is that many guys feel like they can't express their emotions because many women won't believe them. In the back of my head I know most women aren't going to believe me because of their past experiences with men and societal standards, so I just tend to keep my mouth shut.

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    • Dude. I know you didn't go on the internet thinking to yourself "oh how can I piss off some random guy," but you know what? This angered me. You genuinely never knew that "something like this could be real?" You never knew that men could care more about love than they care about sex? I think that if you really bought into that load of crap, you were lying to yourself. It implies that you never, ever thought you could have a relationship with a guy just because he loves you for who you are. You always thought men just wanted you for sex? Then you didn't believe in mutual love, let alone true love. You're not even taking your own heart seriously. No, the man who asked this question is not a "rare breed." He's not. His heart is typical, like mine. I'm proud to be a man. So I'm not gonna sit here and let anyone call this guy is a "rare breed" when he's the most common man in the world. The man whose heart craves romance.

    • @thecelloplayer I look for a serious relationship. I'm not someone who does friends with benefits or hook ups. The majority of guys I came across just wanted sex. Plain as that. You are saying from the very beginning of dating a lot of dudes want somethig serious? Because how I see it, a lot of single guys try to play the field as much as they can before they feel like they need to settle down. Those majority dudes are rude, douche bags and play with women. Unless you are a little bit older. But when you are young you might not be thinking about wanting love from the beginning.

  • What you've experienced is called toxic masculinity. And it's not fuelled mostly by women. It's propagated by other men even moreso.

    Look it up. Toxic masculinity starts very young, with little baby boys, where they're treated like they're tougher and played with more roughly, and litle boys are more likely to be told not to cry for whatever reason and that "crying is for girls/boys don't cry". That's wrong. Showing emotion isn't feminine; it's human.

    That's why men are more likely to have explosive violence, and why all the mass shooters in the USA are men described as "lone wolf". It's when men have a higher suicide rate than women.

    Seriously, look up toxic masculinity, learn what it means and how to fight it, and break the cycle.

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    • Unfortunately you're making perfectly good sense on a site that honors ignorance.

Most Helpful Guys

  • No, you're wrong. The burden of performance is on the man. Women loathe weak men. And they surely don't want you breaking down in tears every time they do - they want you to be their emotional rock. NEVER, EVER, show weakness to a woman - they will instantly lose respect for you.

    Women want strong men, and you need much better game. Go here and read: www.therationalmale.com

    And never forget, YOU ARE THE PRIZE! So act like it. Women will come and go, but a REAL man is a prize to behold.

    You have some learning to do about what a real man is and is for. Don't be wishing to be like a woman. You're just not.

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    • You are part of the reason why I wrote this article. You missed the point completely.

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    • Aren't you the idiot that believes in that alpha/beta shit? It only makes sense that you would post more BS on this topic. 61 years on earth haven't taught you much!

    • @villageidiot - Sure far ahead of your punk ass, eh? LOL GTFO

  • i think what you are experiencing is obviously legitimate but i think it's rather unfair to put the onus entirely on women. Society at large creates perceptions and notions of what masculinity and femininity are. what you discuss is a great example of toxic masculinity which are preconceived notions men and women have and thus unfair expectations of men in terms of what a "real man" is.

    it is important that we all (men and women alike) erase a lot of the preconceived gender constructs which were built on sexist notions and do better to treat people as individuals rather than templates with predetermined existences

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What Girls Said 12

  • I have no definition of masculinity whatsoever. To me, that brings up out-dated ways of thinking. A man is who he is and shouldn't let anyone else shape him.

    I do agree that everyone should stop telling others who they are because 1) they are not that individual and 2) it's none of their business.

    Great common sense Take.

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  • I like this take :3 and personally I try to be open minded and trusting when people express themselves to me (sometimes though I start to doubt that stereotypes aren’t true). I’m sure you’ll be able to find a fulfilling relationship again, just don’t try to hide emotions, it only becomes messier that way.💕

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  • Hmm, this is interesting. This explains a lot of things about the men I had in my life. I always thought that men are able to repress negative emotions as these emotions just naturally fade and die.

    I suppose when it comes to dealing emotions and support systems, women have it better. I could ask for a shrink session and my girlfriends will give it to me in an instant.

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    • You described exactly what I was thinking. I have always said that women have better support systems. What makes me feel like I am in a mental prison is that many women don't realize that they have better support systems and as a result of men having bad support systems and societal standards, women think men don't need that support which contributes to women thinking men should be emotionless.

    • OP: you just have shitty friends. Because I'm very open to listening and talking with my male friends about anything. I dont see them expressing their feelings as weak and I hate society for allowing the stigma to be placed on y'all. I encourage men to open up because its mad unhealthy to boz shit in. My female friends are the same. So there ARE women out here who encourage it. Don't count us all out.

  • You should be tired of people in general trying to tell you who you are. Not just women. Because you said you couldn't go to your male friends either. Society sucks and I'm sorry you felt like you couldn't truly express yourself and your feelings.

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  • Masculine is usually clear

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    • That is exactly what I am talking about. I will get some women like you that view me as weak.

    • I don't think your weak I don't know you

  • You just need to find the right person to express yourself to :)

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  • Turn gay.

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  • Nice take..

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  • I like it 😊

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  • That gif was cute

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What Guys Said 28

  • I'm very interested in this subject of overcoming mental weakness, as I had to do it myself as one prone to anger issues, though I prefer to not make it a gendered issue or refer to it as "masculinity" so much as "maturity". I was the type to punch walls in anger, try to start a fight, and sometimes even shed some tears if no one was willing to fight me and found myself alone with no one to blame but myself.

    I was weak mentally but I didn't acknowledge it because I thought I was "man enough" being willing to fight, lacking fear of physical danger, etc. And while I felt kind of weak any time I shed a tear, I thought I couldn't help it, that this is just me and the way I am, and that it's not a problem if I can kick anyone's ass who teases me in that moment. I thought the people who said to "man up" in such contexts had no idea what I was going through, and I didn't even understand what "man up" meant exactly. I thought it was to simply try to force myself to act more like some stereotypical man, and I couldn't force myself.

    Fast forward to overcoming those issues after studying Stoicism, and I now realize it is possible to become mentally stronger in ways that help you overcome negative emotions like anger, sadness, and despair, but the way to do that is not to force yourself to try to be poker face. It's not to repress emotions. It's to challenge the way you think.

    If you think very negatively like, "life is shit","this whole situation is bullshit", etc, then naturally you feed emotions like anger and despair. If you think more positively and productively like, "I can recover from this. The sun still rises, I'm still alive, the future can be bright", then you feed more positive emotions.

    As a blatant example take a coward in a corner when a building catches on fire thinking and shouting, "We're all going to die!" hysterically. The reason they're so cowardly is because they think so negatively to the extent of being unrealistic. If they think more realistically and positively like, "There's a chance we can make it through this alive if we work together and find an exit", then that feeds more positive emotions like courage.

    It's how you think that affects how you feel, and in my opinion mental strength comes from challenging how you think when you're thinking in a very negative way. That actually came as a revelation to me; I was doing it wrong for a good portion of my life. And I think mental strength is useful for both men and women.

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    • And that to me is the hallmark of mental weakness: negative thinking patterns. It's not the emotions that come out of that like anger, fear, jealousy, hatred, sadness, despair, anxiety, etc. Those are symptoms, not the root problem. The root problem is the thinking patterns feeding those negative emotions, and the main cure to me is to challenge the thinking patterns.

      Unfortunately so many people seem to interpret that as repressing emotions. I used to think so as well, possibly in part because I was raised mostly by my mother. I never had a proper father figure around to teach me this sort of way of thinking very productively, especially in the face of conflict, adversity, and failure.

      But I found such teachings through Stoicism, with wisdom like this:
      i.pinimg.com/.../...-quotes-western-philosophy.jpg

      Or even this:
      i.pinimg.com/.../...9287249a18877f63d4fc6609cb.jpg

    • And the end result is not some unemotional poker face person, but rather a very cheerful person who can remain productive even in very difficult situations because they're realistic and productive in their thinking patterns.

      They're not unrealistic cynics and not unrealistic optimists. They're positive realists, seeing things as they are but still finding a silver lining, still finding some chance to make things better.
      pics.me.me/...-the-optimist-expects-it-7285575.png

      ... this sort of thing. And I no longer think this should be considered "masculine" so much as just useful for any person who wants to be able to face difficulties in life and not be torn to pieces by it, to be the type of person who can get back on their feet and make things better for themselves and others instead of making things worse and worse.

    • But I do think we need to carefully understand this and also be delicate in our approach. These days if I find a boy or even a girl sobbing hysterically over something (they might have been bullied, perhaps), I do still believe in encouraging them to wipe away their tears and be strong, but I want to teach them to think more productively about the situation. I think the right kind of approach is to help them to their feet, not shame them (otherwise we're probably just feeding their negativity), and instead feed their strength and positivity and courage. If we want to make people stronger we have to have a reasonable approach in teaching them to be stronger instead of simply shaming them for being weak, and I think it's very important to understand that the weakness is coming from the negativity of the thinking, not from whatever emotions come out of that as symptoms of such negativity.

  • "What I'm so tired of is society attempting to tell met that I should only want sex and women telling men, and by extension myself, that men only want sex and don't want a relationship because of their biases and assumptions. "

    - I hear you man. But practically speaking. The women that prescribe to this thought process. Are you even interested in them? Because there are millions of women who don't think this way. So if some women do what is the value in focusing on them? What's stopping you from going after the girls who don't prescribe to that line of thinking?

    "Many women are told by society that men only want sex and are predatorial and as a result, whenever I attempt to talk to a woman about my true deeply held feelings about my past relationships those women think I am lying or less masculine because guys shouldn't discuss their emotions."

    - I don't dispute what you say about girls being told that about guys in society. But I do question if the girls felt like you were lying because of the dichotomy of what society tells them vs what you were doing. OR if it's because you weren't consistent with them. Like in my personal experience. I've never been with a girl who felt like I wasn't being real with them when I expressed my emotions. But I was 100% consistent with that. I wouldn't put on a mask in different situations. If I liked a girl, she would know it. If i'm with my friends, I'm still going to hug/kiss her and give her attention. If I didn't like someone they would know it and I wouldn't pretend to like them at any point in time. Not going out of my way to be an asshole, but if they tried to be buddy buddy with me I would put my foot down with them and back away from that type of interaction. So my girl always knew where I stood with her and others. She knew when I spoke about how I felt it was legit. So I have to question if something about how you express yourself doesn't line up and that's where the distrust comes from. Because everyone has "society" telling them something. But ultimately when your'e faced with reality you are always going to believe the reality you experience over third hand experience from others. That's true for all people. If a girl hears men only want sex, but she has a relationship with a guy who clearly is the real deal and wants a relationship. That is just so visceral that she's going to accept that reality over societies message. She may believe most guys fall into that category, but not him.

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  • Blame Robert Levant and the erroneous conclusions in his Book "The Psychology of Men and Masculinity", primarily the error that male failure to verbalize = male failure to be cognizant of the emotion spectrum. Because of this and his feminist bent, his leadership of the American Psychological Association indoctrinated an entire generation of psychologists into propagating gynocentric therapeutic methods and insisting that male patients conform to those standards.

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    • So you are saying the failure to express emotion perpetuates these stereotypes?

    • No. Perhaps a better way too say it is that Levant concluded that male failure to verbalize is the same as the failure to express, which is not true at all. When faced with heavy emotional trauma, men might exercise or hang out with friends or dozens of things besides verbalize. Because Levant expected men to verbally deal with emotions the same way women do, he concluded that men do not even recognize the emotions. Because Levant was President of APA, his incorrect conclusion led to societal indoctrination, which led to the wide definition of "toxic masculinity" with which all non-feminized men are now painted.

  • Men exist solely to be sacrificed for the sake of the rich. In return, such men are entitled to pussy. The better suited they are to the demands of being disposable fodder to industry and/or a military, the more they are entitled to pussy. That is the basis of Western industrial and post-industrial masculinity.

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  • The most manly thing a guy can do is stop complaining about life being unfair.
    Being manly is the opposite of being feminine and women love to complain about every little problem. So if you want to be a man: stop complaining.

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  • Sick of the whole judgy thing everyone has going on.. Most of the people who are too busy judging everyone are so confused with delusions of grandeur that they cannot see they are absolute trash to begin with...

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  • This is something that the individual has to define for himself, but, yeah, we all have preconceived notions About it. Your female Friends should bave been more supportive of you.

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  • Great post but I don't think women are too supportive when it comes to the needs of the man. It is and always has been all about them and the guy has to fit himself into that situation.

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  • Masculinity is what makes men want to be respectful, not staged.

    If a man seems to have to follow a social list to be masculine, then he has the wrong masculinity.

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  • Women have weaponised what it means to be a man for their own benefits. Women shouldn't be telling us what it mean to be a man.

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