Masculinity Crisis

by leetsoul on October 16, 2014 - 8:23pm

Since long ago, men have had a strict guideline to follow so that they are considered “real men”. Critical analysis of men and their gender role created men movements during the 1970’s. These movements established the notion that men are oppressed by their gender and that this oppression is a result of psychological pressure and constraint put on men by the society that we live in. it’s basically gender defined roles and expectations of men to the public eye. what exactly the crisis in masculinity is and how this crisis has affected the performance of masculinity by men. What exactly is the crisis in masculinity and how has this crisis has affected the performance of masculinity by men?

This constant pressure put on men by our society is actually an important matter, due to numerous cases of boys trying to act tough or trying to live up to expectations by committing acts of violence or being influenced by their other male friends to do things that you wouldn’t have done on your own. A large majority of murder cases committed by boys who ran up in their schools with guns and started shooting their classmates were young boys trying to prove that their weren’t some weak men and that they also were able to gain power over other men through violence. This isn’t the only problem that we have, it is only one of them but I think that not many of us look at it this way.


I find your example of shootings in school as a way to prove strength through violence a very true point. The fact is that men indeed do get a lot of pressure to have a mask on and always act tough and strong, even if they really aren't or do not want to be this way. It is unfortunately a sad reality that will never change unless society, and men especially, stop putting this pressure on one another to perform this masculinity at all times and hide their true selves from one another. In my world views class we learned about the "Man Box" which is a set of characteristics which a man must have in order to be considered a real man or masculine by society and other men. If a man doesn't have one specific characteristic they can compensate with the other as long as they have a good amount of the characteristics down and do not fall outside. Hegemonic Masculinity is another important term to know when discussing masculinity and goes hand-in-hand with this idea of the "Man Box', it basically signifies a type of masculinity that promotes male dominance, much like that of a patriarchal society would demand. A lot of characteristics of masculinity from the man box really fall into this idea that sociologists have coined hegemonic masculinity and it is the type of man that as you describe in your post, is the one society really imposes on men to be. If you are interested by this make sure to check out this Wikipedia page that really explains more in depth the idea of hegemonic masculinity and the "Man Box".