Leadership, power, amazing career, and aggressiveness are the parameters on which the “Masculine Man” weighs his importance.
The fragility of masculinity as a concept is worrisome. It breeds on creating fear in the other. Yet, what the in-breeder of masculinity seeks in the other is a concept far from it. That concept is femininity.
Strangely, in popular queer literature, masculinity is defined as anything that is divorced from the idea of femininity. Hence, masculinity by its very nature excludes. It excludes all things sweet. All things pink. All giggles, all whispers, all tiny hands, all small sizes.
Masculinity as we understand in today’s age, demands bigness. And by big, you may be pondering upon the extravagant phallic surge to prove one’s worth in a cruel world of fellow masculinity owners.
Masculinity these days is like an ornament, people can choose to buy it. George buys a huge car. He hangs the poster of a new hero in his room. He is called the “Masculine Man.” As an owner of these things and this title he has to save people, save others. Leadership, power, amazing career, and aggressiveness are the parameters on which the Masculine Man weighs his importance.
So, how do you fare on this list of “Masculine Man” requirements?
- Power—He must possess power over the other. Introspection may not exactly be one of the virtues that Masculine Man ponders upon.
- Leadership—Pulling out life from the dirt of nothingness is a necessity. If one wants to pursue softer careers like being a nurse, that’s not a decision that the Masculine Man will support. ‘Softness you weak’ is what he murmurs in his sleep.
- No Tears—Of course, men don’t cry. So, Masculine Man must not cry. And just to make it clear, one must not break this decision and shed tears watching cute cat videos.
- Legit Madness—While for women, pre-menstrual syndrome, post-partum depression, and mood swings can be considered a woman’s thing, being mad and being a woman can be a thing. But, when men go mad, they must do so through aggression, that’s the only route allowed on the third page in the rule book of Masculine Manity.
- Saving Lives—Once every week, he must save a puppy from an accident. Saving a human life will give him more chest inflating points. Indeed, a Masculine Man can bring back to life the damsel in distress.
- Decisions—No one but the Masculine Man must make important decisions in his life. In fact, he must make all decisions in his life. He is his own Google. He needs no suggestions.
The Masculine Man can be bought at market. People buy him in phones. People buy him with cars. People buy him with food choices. People buy him with clothing choices. People also buy him with career choices. Now isn’t that a concern?
It’s not only the woman’s body that sells all things edible and inedible as well, but what concerns us as a society is this rigid construction of how we define masculinity. The thousands of rule books on how to be a good man, how to be a good boyfriend, how to be a good father, how to be a good keeper of the phallic organ one is born with are interesting yet we need to be cautious about these rule book’s contents. This doesn’t mean that we forbid anything that complies with the society’s demands of gender, but we must be pondering upon what we are doing as we create these gender binaries.
What is our obsession with fitting in clear cut gender roles? What is our obsession with these ‘how to be’ sections in popular media? What really is this construct of the “Masculine Man?”
Masculine and man are concepts as fictional as Spiderman, Superman and Batman. Let us allow ourselves to wander freely with the so called differences from our self imposed utopian standards of being.
The asymmetries in our characters point towards realness. They point towards struggles and a life which is less than perfect. After all, if we could buy perfection, all rich people would be saints and savants. There would be no sadness, no blue walls of guarded personalities. We clearly know that this is not the case.
What is true however is the reality. And reality is quite distant from the conception and creation of gender binaries. We could choose to introspect and not cringe every time our being doesn’t align with the picturesque image of a gendered idol. That’s okay if we aspire to be a fictional form. Yet, beware of the aspirations of this kind; they may lead to unapologetic madness roaring out of our soul.
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