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Masculinity; What is it? Is it bad?


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I'm reading a book about John Wayne and John Ford:

 

9aa06bc7d.jpg

 

It's not really what I was expecting when I bought it. It does recount how their friendship began and what came of it. Much of it I already knew. John Ford was a real a-----e to everyone, especially Wayne despite the latter's career long admiration of him. And it was pretty much commonly known the real John Wayne was nothing like any of his movie roles. Rumors have persisted he was secretly homosexual. Now? No one cares. Back then it was a big deal. I seriously doubt it was true but it would not change anything about him or his legacy if it were.

 

Anyway, I'm getting off track here. The gist of the book is actually a criticism of what their relationship created. John Ford wanted to create an icon. An enduring example of American machismo for men to aspire to and of course pay money to watch their movies. He was creating the ideal American male. And he used Wayne to do it. Based on my father's attitude towards Wayne I'd say for that generation they were successful.

 

Now of course we are told masculinity it toxic. It's hurting us. Stuff like that. The Atlantic Magazine wrote a review of this book that was particularly spiteful (well it is the Atlantic after all) saying: "From the bulk of the evidence here, masculinity (like the Western) is a by-product of nostalgia, a maudlin elegy for something that never existed—or worse, a masquerade that allows no man, not even John Wayne, to be comfortable in his own skin."

 

I'm curious. What do you folks think is the "ideal" male. What should a man aspire to be? What traits should a man have? And is masculinity really toxic?

 

 

 

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Get off my lawn!

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For my part the key words for what a man should be is self sufficient. I don't mean in the frontier kind of way. A man should earn his own living, care for and provide for his family, and keep his commitments. If I look you in the eye and tell you I'll do something it's very important to me that I follow through on that. To me that is not to say those are not admirable traits in women as well. Certainly they are. But in my own opinion for a male, that is the price of admission That is the minimum bar you have to meet. You don't need to be the strongest, best fighter, best shot, run faster, farther, longer etc. Just pull your weight and take care of your own.

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Get off my lawn!

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Now of course we are told masculinity it toxic. It's hurting us. Stuff like that.

Who is espousing that its toxic? Is this some sort of indoctrination in the (everybody wins for showing up) school system?

 

For my part the key words for what a man should be is self sufficient. I don't mean in the frontier kind of way. A man should earn his own living, care for and provide for his family, and keep his commitments. If I look you in the eye and tell you I'll do something it's very important to me that I follow through on that. To me that is not to say those are not admirable traits in women as well. Certainly they are. But in my own opinion for a male, that is the price of admission That is the minimum bar you have to meet. You don't need to be the strongest, best fighter, best shot, run faster, farther, longer etc. Just pull your weight and take care of your own.

 

I fully agree; though I don't see much of it very often where I live. [uS]

 

Things have gone wrong (as they always do), out with the old, and in with the —eew. 

 

 

 

spCgQ.jpg

 

 

 

At this point, it's become the other answer; the one before that one. Edited by Gizmo
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Yeah, society (or at least social media) spends a lot of its energy these days validating women. Not to be bitter, but it does make one wonder if men have any value anymore.

 

I basically agree with the traits you mentioned in your 2nd post Guard Dog. Not every man can be an action hero, but we can: 1) stand on our own two feet, 2) be a pillar of stability for our family, and 3) honor our word. I guess the beauty of masculinity is a sort of "stoicism"; taking what life dishes you without getting too worked up or emotional.

 

As for the Japan pic (and I know you're joking), their actors and idols may be pretty boys, but the backbone of Japanese society is still the underappreciated, relatively unattractive salaryman, who trudges to work everyday to bring home the bacon. 

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Gizmo a five minute search on google will turn up more articles on how masculinity is bad, a negative influence on boys, men, society, etc than you can read in a day.

Edited by Guard Dog

Get off my lawn!

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Gizmo a five minute search on google will turn up more articles on how masculinity is bad, a negative influence on boys, men, society, etc.

No doubt...

 

(But do you believe them?)

 

___________

 

John Wayne (Marion Morrison) was given the script for Blazing Saddles; and loved it, but declined to accept the offered part because of his public image...

his opinion, it was just too dirty a script for —John Wayne.

Edited by Gizmo
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Wayne thought The Green Berets was a good idea, his opinion counts for little :p

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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A man should be anything but “a man”.

 

Masculinity, and femininity for that matter, are a certain set of character attributes associated with gender. Thereby, these character attributes are inherently deterministic and therefore limit those identifying with them in their thought and thereby their will to action.

These categories, masculine and feminine, have the same sort of appeal to anyone uncertain about himself as any deterministic philosophy does: It gives certainty in exchange for obedience. And while many may realise the inherent absurdity of attaching such extremely specific character attributes as “takes care of the family in financial matters” or “takes care of the family in educational matters” to a persons genitals, the comfort these categories offer can be difficult to lay off. Regardless however, the degree of obedience they require, especially if followed through, in exchange for that comfort is too great to allow us to consider those who take on these categories as free individuals by any means.

 

Therefore, any man should not and never resort to identifying himself as “a man”, for this would mean that he has, albeit (perhaps) willingly, sacrificed an essential human trait: The free thought.

The same does of course applies to women in regards to femininity.

Edited by Ben No.3

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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I have to wonder why you're even wasting your time pondering this question. Just do your thing. Is it manly? Is it womanly? Who cares. From what little I know about you, you're -wisely- well past the point where you give two ****s about attracting women in this fashion, so it's a completely useless spook from which you should free yourself. You hit the nail on the head: it's about conforming to an ideal, in this case, exploited to sell you on John Wayne's (& co.) stuff.

 

Traditionally, masculinity has been strongly associated with aggression, physical or otherwise. It is what it is. In this day and age, anything even remotely referencing aggression is deemed "toxic", and by association, so is old skool masculinity. No doubt masculinity will be soon redefined, into something every man who prizes himself must learn to conform to.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Masculinity is gaming on a PC.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I have to wonder why you're even wasting your time pondering this question. Just do your thing. Is it manly? Is it womanly? Who cares. From what little I know about you, you're -wisely- well past the point where you give two ****s about attracting women in this fashion, so it's a completely useless spook from which you should free yourself. You hit the nail on the head: it's about conforming to an ideal, in this case, exploited to sell you on John Wayne's (& co.) stuff.

 

Traditionally, masculinity has been strongly associated with aggression, physical or otherwise. It is what it is. In this day and age, anything even remotely referencing aggression is deemed "toxic", and by association, so is old skool masculinity. No doubt masculinity will be soon redefined, into something every man who prizes himself must learn to conform to.

I’m genuinely sorry, but I’m confused... is this directed towards me?

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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I have to wonder why you're even wasting your time pondering this question. Just do your thing. Is it manly? Is it womanly? Who cares. From what little I know about you, you're -wisely- well past the point where you give two ****s about attracting women in this fashion, so it's a completely useless spook from which you should free yourself. You hit the nail on the head: it's about conforming to an ideal, in this case, exploited to sell you on John Wayne's (& co.) stuff.

 

Traditionally, masculinity has been strongly associated with aggression, physical or otherwise. It is what it is. In this day and age, anything even remotely referencing aggression is deemed "toxic", and by association, so is old skool masculinity. No doubt masculinity will be soon redefined, into something every man who prizes himself must learn to conform to.

:lol: Trust me, I'm very comfortable in my own skin. Let me put it this way. When I want steak for dinner I go the the grocery store. When i want to fix my fence I go the hardware store. When I want a sip of Kentucky's finest I go the liquor store. When I want and entertaining conversation and a little debate with a wide range of different opinions i come here. But you have to bring something to the table. Today I brought a take on a book I'm reading.

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Get off my lawn!

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Hmm, I wonder what this red button does...*pushes button*

 

Imo, societal masculinity has an inverse relationship with technology.

You know I think you're wrong here. I hear a lot of men discussing their computers, smart phones, tablets, apps, etc in much the same tones you or I might have discussed our cars in back in the '80s!

Get off my lawn!

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Right. Sorry if that came across as patronizing. It's just that I can't help but smirk when this topic is discussed. I honestly cannot ascribe any values to men that should be regarded as more valuable than they would be for women, in a context where women are fully capable of earning their own keep... or at least as capable as men.

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- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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What is the idea of masculinity?

I'd say a attempt to steer male risk-taking behavior onto something socially beneficial.

 

Is is toxic?

If society has no use for any such behavior then I suppose it is.

Today in developed world may very well qualify.

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In a kind of similar vein, I always find it odd when I'm at the store with my kids, old people will come up to us and be like "Dad's in charge today!" They say it like it is some sort of rare occurrence, like I am filling in for my wife for a day. It's so bizarre. The reality is the opposite, I probably have them on my own more often due to my wife's schedule, and I'm damn good at it. 

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In a kind of similar vein, I always find it odd when I'm at the store with my kids, old people will come up to us and be like "Dad's in charge today!" They say it like it is some sort of rare occurrence, like I am filling in for my wife for a day. It's so bizarre. The reality is the opposite, I probably have them on my own more often due to my wife's schedule, and I'm damn good at it.

a studied teacher being good with children?

Marvellous

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Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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Share on other sites

In a kind of similar vein, I always find it odd when I'm at the store with my kids, old people will come up to us and be like "Dad's in charge today!" They say it like it is some sort of rare occurrence, like I am filling in for my wife for a day. It's so bizarre. The reality is the opposite, I probably have them on my own more often due to my wife's schedule, and I'm damn good at it. 

 

That exactly illustrates the societal changes from yesteryear. In their day, dads worked and moms raised children. Now the norm is two working parents. Times and technology will further change that when "mens jobs" (typically labor) are replaced by automation.  

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