Last night, I went to wine night for a little birthday celebration with my sister and my long-time friend (we're going on 9 years in September). Anyways, these guys sat next to us and at first I though, okay whatever, then I saw their real personalities and was super annoyed.
I am not an expert in Hyper-masculinity, but I do understand it and these boys who were sitting next to us have created a need for me to express my irritation.
So what is Hyper-masculinity? According to the Collins online dictionary Hypermasculine means "psychology characterized by an exaggeration of traditionally masculine traits or behaviour".
So, what are traditional masculine traits and behaviours? This is difficult to pin point because there are so many, so the better question is how do men assert masculinity?
Before I continue, I have to point out that men and women can both assert masculinity and femininity, but because of gender norms and the way we are brought up, we only associate masculinity with men and femininity with women. There's another piece of the problem too. Being feminine is seen as being the lesser person and is often associated with dependent thinkers, meaning women have been considered as a dependent thinker, not able to make up her/his own mind. While masculinity has been associated with independent thinkers, meaning men are the only ones who can think independently. Now, I didn't come up with this theory, it's been researched time and time again by people who study women and gender roles. This is just what most of us have been raised to think.
So let's go back to my question about how men assert masculinity: Men have been taught that if they don't "man up" or "act like a man" that they are not manly. Meaning they are not independent thinkers, meaning they should over compensate in asserting their male bravado as to not seem weak and a dependent thinker. Hence my issue with hyper-masculinity. Again, I can't make this up, because it's been seen time and time again in history and has been studied and researched by experts in the field of Gender and Women's studies. If you're feeling a sense of rage, trust me, I've felt it since I became aware and I now understand why women have been fighting for our rights, because until we are considered independent thinkers by all, we have not reached equality.
Men assert manliness many ways, but the most popular are : being successful in the areas of politics, money, and sexual encounters. Let me just clear something out here: YOU'RE NOT ANY LESS OF A MAN IF YOU'RE NOT SUCCESSFUL IN THOSE AREA'S OR ANY AREA YOU DEEM MANLY. Okay, so glad we cleared that up. Because if I have to read about one more man assaulting a woman or man because he was rejected by her or him, I'm going to write more about this and I want to get this out once. If you want to learn more, Netflix currently has three of my favourite documentaries that develop gender issues. The first is "Missrepresentation", the second is "The Mask You Live In", and the third is "The Hunting Ground".
We need to stop teaching our children that masculinity is asserted in "manning up" and we need to teach them to just be decent people because gaining all man status is ridiculous and it's damaging to society. Dehumanizing a person because they are, god forbid, acting in a masculine way because they can, is deplorable. Dehumanizing a person because they are acting in a feminine way is also deplorable. They can act however they want. It's not their fault if you can't grasp that concept and they shouldn't have to deal with your ignorant lifestyle choices.
I have been masculine and feminine in moments of life, like in student leadership and I've been completely shut down for doing so (sorry for yelling in a time of pure frustration with the situation, but if I were a man, this would have been a whole different story.) Those people who cannot comprehend that you can be both masculine and feminine are those who need to learn and are those who need to realize that they are not any less of a person because they show femininity over masculinity and vice versa.
So dear men at the bar last night, you didn't need to dehumanize that waitress by making her dance three times in a row because she was doing her job and being friendly. That was disgusting to watch and honestly I can't believe I had to witness your misogynistic moment. I'm sure you are very understanding when you want to be, but your actions just demonstrate someone who doesn't truly understand the reason for equality.
I know this isn't what I usually write about, but this problem is important to me and I needed to write about it.
Thanks for reading,