We want the good. Give us your glimpse into modern-day masculinity and the way it functions in positive ways within our society.
Let’s face it – the word “masculinity” tends to get a bad rap these days. When I searched it in my Macbook’s dictionary here’s what appeared:
“Possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men.” Okay….
Then, BOOM, the word used in a sentence: “A need for men to prove their masculinity through domination over women.”
Other definitions I found used words linked with aggression – which basically paired masculinity with a word more often than not paired with violence. Masculinity constantly defined in these ways seems destined to carry negativity’s weight, right?
When I ask people “What is masculinity?” they often speak about the size and physical strength of a man.
“But what if we’re not big and strong? Can we still be masculine?”
Silence. When I press on I’m told it’s more of a “traditional” trait.
“Okay, so of these ‘traditional’ qualities, which are the best?” I usually bring in Bruce Lee at this point, how he wouldn’t practice a martial art simply out of tradition. It had to be functional; it had to work in positive ways. “So, what works about masculinity?”
One person went with this idea and told me that so long as masculinity is “authentic” and “respectful” then it’s functional. Okay, we’re getting somewhere. “What’s an example?”
“Like…a dude helping another dude push his car out of a ditch.”
Interesting! “So masculinity need not be an idea or an action directed towards a woman?”
“Can a woman be ‘masculine’ and can that be a good thing?”
“Yes, and yes.”
“Why does masculinity so often need to be paired with the word ‘health,’ as in ‘healthy masculinity?’ Is this because masculinity by itself is typically negative?”
At this point, the conversation usually circles back to brave attempts to answer the originally question: What is masculinity?
We’re not asking you to define masculinity. And we’re not asking you to continue linking it to words with negative connotations. We’re asking you to tell us what you think is good about masculinity.
We want the good. This can be a story about you or your father or father’s father or your mother. This can be an event you saw or heard. This can be a scene in a book that to perfectly embodies the greatest aspect of masculinity.
Give us your glimpse into modern-day masculinity and the way it functions in positive ways within our society.
Help us take this conversation to the next level.
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