17 May 2017

MASCULINITY



Masculinity - Qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men. ‘handsome, muscled, and driven, he's a prime example of masculinity.' Nonsense. I thought I'd have a go at a serious post for once and talk about masculinity and the problems that come with such a normalised word. 

One of the main reasons this subject comes to mind is the aftermath of the Blogosphere Magazine Blog Awards nominations announcement. As is tradition, a lot of entitled male bloggers got butthurt after finding out they weren't nominated but tried masking their saltiness by saying 'The lack of male bloggers is why I'm angry.' If I had a penny for every time I've seen this, I'd be able to buy every single male blogger their own award three times.
But it got me thinking: What is being a man? And why is 'masculinity' so fucking fragile? 

Firstly, masculinity is nothing more than a social construct. It's only a thing because we've been taught to believe that there's such a thing as a 'real man' and we've been conditioned into behaving and living our lives in a certain manner. 

Coming from a working class, council estate background I was pretty much the only male I knew who was into fashion, who didn't really enjoy underage drinking and who wasn't having sex at the age of 15. Being in that environment I was often asked if I was gay and I even remember my neighbours mum calling me a weirdo (hahaha.) Luckily for me I was able to educate myself and not fall into the trap of being consumed by the masculinity facade. But a lot of men will be sucked in and start to veer away from being themselves and instead, creating a false persona to be accepted as 'a real man.' The consequences of this can obviously be horrendous, with it affecting their health, relationships and general wellbeing. So how can we stop men slipping into the fragile whirlpool of masculinity? 



One of the most damaging factors has to be masculine consumerism. There are hundreds of male grooming brands out there that market their products to 'manly men.' Not only is this a ridiculous marketing technique because they're excluding a huge potential customer base but it also proves how fragile masculinity really is. Want to wear eyeliner? Have guy liner instead. Need to use soap? Have a man sized bar! I recently read instructions on using beard oil which read "Once you have washed your man beard, rub it dry with a manly towel (not a pink one.)" What the fuck is a manly towel? 


Along with man soap and guy liner you can also get man sized tissues, cotton buds called 'Men's Ultimate Multi-Tool' and a MAN LOOFAH called 'Detailer Shower Tool' because a loofah is perceived to be a feminine item. WTF?

So now that we're able to use manly soaps, what does it take to be a man? I don't have the golden answer, but what I can say is there is nothing more humane than just being yourself. Even if you fall into the stereotypical masculine type, as long as you're being yourself then that's the best thing you can do. In the grand scheme of things we're on this earth for a very short time, so I can only encourage people to live their best life. Want to wear skinny jeans? Wear skinny jeans! Want to have sex with people of the same sex? Do it! (With consent obviously!) Just be yourself and don't be a dick, that's the best thing you can do as a man! Peace out.


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4 comments

  1. This is one of the best posts I've read in a while! I've never been masculine (according to the stereotypical image of a man) and I've questioned my sexuality so many times because of that, until I just decided that I was going to do whatever I wanted. And that's what I do now and it has brought me so much happiness. Btw I will never understand what a manly towel is 😂 Great content mate!

    Zoel Hernández | zoelhernandez.com

    Ps. Sorry for the long comment, I kind of used it to speak my mind out 😅

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Zoel mate! Hahaha you know you can use my blog as some sort of confession booth!

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  2. Loved this post Ryan, it's so so true!

    Gianni
    www.thegedituk.com

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