Masculinity in the 21st Century
I was curious to see what ‘masculinity’ had been defined as;
‘handsome’, ‘muscled’ and ‘driven’
These were the terms delivered to me.
When I think of masculinity I practically picture the same words, perhaps even being tough and not to show emotions. This is what’s created the crisis of masculinity in the 21st century.
The Guardian suggests social change has lead to historical patriarchal constructions being abandoned and I agree. The evolution in generations has seen more and more women becoming breadwinners of families which simply demoralises men, but that’s not to discourage women. In fact some have said to have felt a ‘low sense of masculinity’. It’s not thatI don’t applaud the change in views of women, I completely do, but we are not accounting for the changes in men and this is worrying.
Statistics show suicide is the biggest killer for men under 50 in the UK. This is shocking. Other statistics say the only activity keeping men partially ‘masculine’ is football.
Football breeds all sorts of connotations; loyalty, patriarchy, love, dedication, strength, laddish behaviour, strength etc and these are the attributes that keep them feeling their masculinity.
I however believe it’s the lack of regard we give men. Women becoming more successful may tarnish their masculinity, however I feel it’s the big, made up wives tale that men have no feelings. Yes, they may seem better at controlling it but they’re only human aren’t they? Ultimately I think more help needs to be given to men who are partaking in this crisis and we can start with the Men’s voices Project.
Discourse is making men and women gain awareness of a masculinity crisis. It’s making them think even about their own lives and whether their husbands or sons may be going through the same struggle. The fact this is even a discussion will subconsciously make reader’s think closely to their lives because fear is actually quite motivating in terms of actions; we want to protect the ones we love. This is supported by peoples ideologies being breached. For many generations, men have always been valued as better, or stronger. There is an idea they are more emotionally stable and the belief that they are the more important sex what with being the main breadwinner in the past. This piece is implying men potentially aren’t those qualities anymore and in fact they need help to feel their masculinity. Although this is evident in real life with the change in women’s roles, it actually being highlighted implies an issue; if someone picks up on it then it is actually happening, again initiating the fear, which media is a tool for. This will surprise men and women because it goes against the norm of what we have believed, which will enhance the discourse and allow power to be given to it by making people want to do something about it; creating more awareness. Interpellation is being addressed here as it’s making men look at themselves and accept it’s okay not to be okay. They may deep down have been struggling the same way as it suggests some men have in the post. It’s making society realise the extent of the crisis and put different forms of help in place to address the issue.