What is Masculinism – and Why Don’t Men Want to be Macho Anymore?

As women were fighting for equality – including the right to vote, equal pay, and the right to work wherever they wanted – no one stopped to think about how men were doing. It turns out that by giving women what they wanted, it feels like something was taken away from men. They lost some of their own opportunities and, in a sense, their rights.

The result is that we now live in a world where some men are embracing the idea of “masculinism”; effectively the opposite of feminism. It aims to spread the word of shortcomings that affect men and what can be done about it. So, what is masculism? What’s it all about? Why should we even care?

Societal rules suggest that men aren’t supposed to feel that there’s something wrong with feminism. To be “against” feminism in any kind of way is to be misogynist and hate women. The idea of masculinism first appeared in the 1960s with men aiming to tackle the one-sided nature of feminism. It’s about fighting for actual equal rights. Masculinists also claim that boys and men alike are humiliated due to stereotypes around men.

They aren’t, as some believe, people who are against women. They aren’t against women’s rights and they don’t aim to confront feminists. They just feel that society is now reaching a point where unrealistic expectations are being placed on men, just like they were on women. Here are some of the problems that masculinists feel exist for men in society.

Lookism as Applied to Men 

 
Lookism is the psychological attitude towards how a person looks. “Average” men suffer from stereotypes because there are advantages for attractive, handsome, courageous men. These claims have actually been verified by scientists, just like it’s been shown that attractive women can have it easier.

•    The average woman will always choose a man over six foot tall, even though the average male height is nowhere near that high. The average height for men is actually around 5.7 feet tall.
•    Men with brown hair do better than bald men and redheaded men because women dream about getting with a man with brown hair and eyes. This is because men with that hair color present a stronger impression as well as a feeling of better self-confidence and energy.
•    Beards are always a bonus for men. Men that have facial hair are considered to be brave, strong, and decisive. Men with beards also have an easier time landing a job.
•    Women prefer men with broad shoulders.

If you were to watch television you’d see that adverts and entertainment has created this ideal image of a man that is definitely a stretch from what the average man looks like. Even so, manufacturers constantly use this image and women are more likely to purchase products that are advertised by cool and macho guys. Sex sells for women as much as it does for men.

However, male lookism comes with some serious consequences, including dysmorphophobia. Modern men begin to feel ashamed of the body they have because they think it isn’t brawny or tan enough. Dysmorphophobia can lead to steroid abuse and depression because men aren’t able to achieve their desired ultimate look.

Men are Victims of Domestic Violence Too

Domestic violence is almost always considered to be something that primarily affects women. Every depiction of domestic violence involves a female victim and male abuser. The reality is that men are also the victims of domestic violence.

•    30% of domestic abuse victims are men who have been abused by women (such as their girlfriend, wife, or mother). Unfortunately there’s nowhere for these men to get the help they need and deserve. There are very few specialist centers for men going through domestic abuse.
•    Women are more creative and inventive in their abuse. There are still women who simply injure and beat men, but they primarily stick to non-physical abuse. This includes things like stalking, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial blackmail.
•    Men feel ashamed to come forward and ask for help with abuse because society doesn’t treat the issue of male domestic violence seriously. “Real men” don’t complain about being hurt by women and they can’t even be hurt by women anyway, according to society.

The good news for men is that the times they are a-changing. The UK now sends women – and men – to prison for coercive behavior. A prime example is Valerie Sanders, who was sent to jail and sued for incessantly nagging her husband.

Fathers Have Less Rights Than Mothers

Mothers almost always get the custody of children in divorce cases. It doesn’t matter how good a father is, or if he’s a better or more suited parent for the child, they have to fight – and fight hard – for the right to raise their children.

•    Men have absolutely zero rights with reproduction. The right to have children, when to have children, and who will father the children, is almost always up to the mother.
•    Fathers are generally depicted in modern entertainment and literature as being “zany” and terrible parents. They don’t know what to feed kids, they dress them wrong, and they have no tolerance at all for diapers. That’s not an accurate representation at all.

Terry Crews was once shamed on Twitter for comments he made about fatherhood. He said that the role of the father is incredibly important and that children from single-parent households often suffer from the lack of a male influence. Critics said that Crews was “preaching traditional values of the patriarchal society”. Rather than even listening to his arguments, they shut him down completely and told him his opinions are outdated and don’t matter.

Men Have the Most Dangerous Jobs

There are some jobs that are primarily performed by men, to the point that women rarely do them, if at all. These dangerous jobs include things like fishermen, loggers, and miners. Work, in general, is more dangerous for women on average;
•    Men are 10 times more likely to get injured or killed at work
•    Statistics suggest that it takes men longer to commute than women because they have to work further away

The reason for this is that men are considered the “significant earner” of a household. They have to give up their health, wellbeing, and time for a decent wage. This is another gender stereotype that masculinists fight against.

Men Have a Lower Life Expectancy than Women

Women live much longer on average than men across the world. There is a around a 4-5 year difference between male and female life expectancy for developed countries, with the gap widening for poorer countries;

•    Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women
•    35,000 men die of prostate cancer each year while 43,000 women die a year from breast cancer in the United States. With that said, the country spends around six times more money fighting and researching breast cancer and they offer more information and better services for women.
•    Men are more likely than women to die from cardiovascular disease. This situation appears to be changing however, with scientists forecasting that men will have the longer life span by 2050. Some countries have started to develop means to tackle common male diseases.

There are Taboos Around Men Enjoying “Female” Activities Due to Strict Gender Stereotypes

One of the biggest problems that masculinists have is the gender stereotypes and ideas of what “real men” can’t and can’t enjoy. For example, they believe that the expression “crying like a girl” is as harmful to men as it is to women. Society tells us that men should always be stern, confident, cool, collected, and act like a pinnacle of manhood such as Clint Eastwood. These stereotypes are often instilled in men and women alike from birth;

•    Even though feminism has been around for over a hundred years now, women are considered to be the weaker sex. Societal norms tell us that men need to give up their seats for women and carry heavy objects for them even though they may be tired and worn out from work or they may have health issues. Whenever a husband earns less than his wife or he takes paternity leave to take care of his children he is ridiculed and considered less of a man.
•    Scientists conducted experiments that showed people in an emergency situation would be more willing to sacrifice men over women. For example, if a man and a woman were drowning at the same time and there was just one life jacket left, it would most likely be thrown to a woman.
•    Parents feel embarrassed if their sons engage in generally female activities such as embroidery or playing with dolls. Those same parents are more tolerant of tomboys (girls who engage in “male” activities)
•    Female criminals have things easier than male ones. Women are less likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment in jail, for example.

Where Does The Masculinist Fight Take Us?

Things can sometimes get a little strange with the fight for equality. Japan recently started up a group called “Sosohuku Danshi”, which translates to “Herbivore Men”. Men in this group avoid getting into a relationship with women and they don’t have any plans to start a family at all. They aren’t a part of a sexual minority, they just feel that it is much too burdensome to have to be the male earner.

Asia has also started the new trend of “soft masculinity”. The trend follows men who take care of their face and body and use cosmetics to look their best. The traditional burly man isn’t as trendy as he used to be. Things are all about boys with great hair and a great sense of fashion.

Masculinism will always feel smaller than feminism because the fight for women’s rights has been going on for longer and people are more empathic to the plight of women. Feminism has also become commercialized. There are plenty of movies about feminism and many consumer products promoting the strong and independent female ideal. Men aren’t so lucky in that regard because their problems are considered by society to be a weakness.

Masculinists have some good ideas and they raise a lot of good points, but society has to change before we can even think about making life easier for men. Society already believes all men are living their best life.

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