The traditional male is an endangered species.

Why We Need to Reimagine Masculinity (Newsweek):

To survive in a hostile world, guys need to embrace girly jobs and dirty diapers. Why it’s time to reimagine masculinity at work and at home.

[…]

[S]uggesting that men should stick to some musty script of masculinity only perpetuates the problem. For starters, it encourages them to confront new challenges the same way they dealt with earlier upheavals: by blaming women, retreating into the woods, or burying their anxieties beneath machismo. And it does nothing to help them succeed in school, secure sustainable jobs, or be better fathers in an economy that’s rapidly outgrowing Marlboro Manliness.

I wish mainstream men’s rights activism looked more like this.

I suspect that most men don’t want to embrace girly jobs and dirty diapers, because they are associated with women, and therefore low-status.

Link: Why We Need to Reimagine Masculinity

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15 Responses to “The traditional male is an endangered species.”

  1. Flaw In The System Says:

    “Why We Need to Reimagine Masculinity”
    The title seems flawed, the article, as far as I understand it, seems to suggest the removal of Masculinity entirely, suggesting men and (suggested somewhat indirectly) women, work towards a gender neutral image.

  2. Cessen Says:

    I suspect that most men don’t want to embrace girly jobs and dirty diapers, because they are associated with women, and therefore low-status.

    Yes, agreed.

    But also because they would be ridiculed for it. Often by both men and women (as someone who isn’t fond of gender norms, and violates them in some ways, I can attest to this from personal experience). And in practice, I think it’s the latter reason that maintains the problem. The reason boys grow up to be phobic of “girly” things/behaviors is because they’re shamed by others when they engage in them, or they see other boys shamed for it.

    So yeah, I totally agree that this needs to change. But everyone, not just men, need to be accountable for doing their part. It’s not something that most guys can just flip a switch and suddenly they’re comfortable doing these things. Some guys can. And some women don’t shave their pits and legs. But that can’t be extrapolated to everyone.

  3. Restructure! Says:

    Good point. I wouldn’t shave my pits and legs (in the summer) if it were not for the social consequences.

  4. fred Says:

    If someone is capable of doing a job and wants to work in a field then they should go for it regardless of which gender normally performs it. They may think they’ll be heckled or discriminated against. And there may be some of that. But in the long run other factors will be more important to their success. Don’t let fear of harrasment discourage you from doing what you want to do.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EK6Y1X_xa4

  5. Cessen Says:

    @fred:
    Of course, absolutely. Good advice. But for many people it’s not easy advice to follow in practice. Not everyone can so easily forge through such heckling and discrimination, or even just the fear of it. And I think being supportive–rather than shaming–is the best strategy.

    Shaming men for being afraid of girly things is (to re-use my analogy) a bit like shaming women for being afraid to grow their body hair out. It just puts them smack between a rock and a hard place.

  6. joseph Says:

    The title of the article appears ambivalent, as it appears to conflict with the positive image of a White male in an active nurturing role. Why the preposterous tag “Endangered species”? Exactly what are males endangered of loosing…?

    If the content – discourse of the text means that men of all races are rejecting patriarchy, re-thinking their male privilege/dominance, taking more responsibility for their actions in their relationships with women (spouses, mothers, daughters, and sisters) and family then I concur.

    I will seek out this article.

    I agree with Restructure, that in the 21st century we cannot afford to have a revival of sexist socialization and re-entrenchment of patriarchal values and thinking.

    Underlying these discussions are the ways in which both men and women construct gender and LABOUR…with outdated notions of “men’s work” and “women’s work” still prevailing.

    As a full-time caregiver to a terminally ill parent with Alzheimer’s Disease, I have to reject the social script of my (relative) privilege as a Black male and notions of “women’s work”, the pervasive ideology that men cannot and should not be nurturers.

    It means I have had to roll up my sleeves alongside my Black sisters/part-time caregivers who give my only parent dignity in feeding, grooming and yes—changing incontinent diapers. In my case, it is also unpaid labour.

    Resistance to the pressures of patriarchal thinking has been a challenge. It means challenging both men and women who unconsciously subscribe to patriarchy, gender roles and “feminized” notions of work and care.

    It has meant rejecting condemnation / patronizing attitudes in not let anything interfere with your commitment to those you love and whose life you value.

    Similar to discussions on race/white privilege, we have to look at the intersectionality of gender in how we construct labour and socialize males.

  7. joseph Says:

    What endangered species really means:

    It means that men would have to give up some of their freedom and mobility. It means males couldn’t come and go as they please; it means men might be tied more to the home and the “burdens” domestic work. Likewise, they would have to find new ways in managing the economic resources, how they spend money. For instance, you can’t spend money wastefully on personal desires and new toys but you would have be accountable for the family’s material and emotional needs…

  8. fred Says:

    False
    Expectations
    Aren’t
    Real

  9. Restructure! Says:

    The traditional male is an endangered species, but I never cared much for traditional males.

  10. Manuela Says:

    I wish I could believe it’s endangered. It certainly puts up a vicious fight… check this out (do take a deep breath first):

    http://www.thestar.com/article/867815–it-s-time-for-men-to-man-up-and-take-charge

  11. Eclectic Says:

    One thing that that stupid Star article does get right is the damage TV comedies are doing, though he misses why they’re damaging. I would be thrilled, THRILLED to see a portrayal of a man taking care of the domestic sphere competently and confidently. And where his role in that sphere isn’t used as comedic leverage. Perhaps then men would more readily acknowledge their responsibilities at home and women would be willing to trust men not to set the house on fire when left to their own devices.

    And why the hell is decision making in a relationship portrayed as a zero-sum game where either You do it or I do it. Sit down, discuss, chart a course together. Or, discuss who should be responsible for what based on who is good at it.

    Blargh.

  12. Denis P Says:

    I have no problem with this opinion, men should have more choices in life.

    Men need to be liberated from traditionalist expectations and free to choose their own path in life. Men’s rights are the new equal rights movement.

  13. Restructure! Says:

    Performing masculinity encourages violence against women.

  14. Lilith Says:

    Ahahahahaaaaaa I’m gonna post this on mabtw.com ;D

  15. Alberto Says:

    This is a joke. Why should white males even bother to reproduce unless you can get away without child support? As a white male my life’s mission is to impregnate non white women and leave the mixed bastards to be cared for by the state. This way I can do my part to crash the system with my little mixed bastards. Then we will see how many rights women have after society is totally gutted and taken over by warlords. Dumb ass women.


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