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nichtsowichtig ,

I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “good masculinity” in the same way there isn’t any “good femininity”. Gender roles don’t need to be redefined, they should be overcome.

nichtsowichtig ,

you left out the “positive” in your analogy:

trans, non-binary people only need to have a satisfying, meaningful life without a vision of positive masculinity, femininity, or gender Identity

Of course it makes sense to have a concept of these things, but the point is that it is not helpful to define these things with positive or negative values, but rather to look consider these things independent from one another.

nichtsowichtig ,

I feel like the point is rather that instead of redefining masculinity into something more positive, we should rather deconstruct gender norms in general. Because regardless of masculinity being something “positive” or “negative”, it is still an expectation for people to live up to. And eventually people will fail to live up to them. That’s why I would say it is preferable to deconstuct gender as a whole, rather than redefining it.

nichtsowichtig ,

first of all, I really apreciate your comment is thematically consistent with your username. checks out!

it’s ok to be a man if it’s ok to be a woman.

I never said otherwise! gender and identity is fine, and people should live and express themselves however they feel the happiest with.

all you talk about is about dicks and vaginas

I am specifically not doing that. gender is not tied to sex. I think you really miss my point here. I think that men should be free of any gender expectation. People should be able to identify themselves without having to meet any expectations imposed by society.

as if one’s “gender” is ALL one’s personality

I quite literally advocate for the opposite - gender does not (intrinsically) mean anything for one’s personality.

nichtsowichtig ,

of course it shouldn’t! but the problems arise when it becomes some sort of pressure to conform to. A man likes working out, look jacked and have a well combed beard? If he’s happy in his body, that is awesome! doesn’t mean we should make a role model out of him and encourage others to be like that to. Because a man who wears dresses, knits and is a huge nerd about make-up is equally worthy of feeling happy about himself. If we make any kind of masculinity more ‘positive’ than the other, we run into problems

nichtsowichtig ,

no matter how positively you define a gender role, it will negatively impact those who struggle with conforming to said roles. So I say it is preferable to define masculinity (or gender in general) without any value judgement.

nichtsowichtig ,

While it would be interesting to live in a world without gender, it’s a very radical change.

I don’t think that is necessary. What we should do is to detach gender from any form of judgement or expectation. There is this feminist, liberal idea of how a modern man should be like, act like, feel like - but at the end of the day it is still maintaining the concept that men have some sort of role to fulfill. That it is what bothers me about gender expectations: you are supposed to be in a certain way just because of the sex you were born with/the gender you appear to be. And no matter how you want to (re)define it, you’re always going to have people who won’t feel comfortable in these categories.

There’s also a bit of a colonial attitude issue, can we say tell other cultures (ex. Indigenous) to stop their traditions around gender such as coming of age ceremonies?

What exactly is the colonial attitude supposed to be? This discussion seems to focus on western ideas around gender?

nichtsowichtig ,

This is illustrated by calling Margaret Thatcher an honorary man instead of a masculine woman.

The author is quoting here, he didn’t say that himself:

Josh Hawley, who thinks the left is waging a war on our Masculine Virtues, defines those virtues as “courage, independence, and assertiveness,” presumably qualities that women aren’t meant to have—or if they do possess them, it simply means they’re Manly women (just as Thatcher becomes an honorary man in Mansfield’s formulation)

Society has gone far in expanding women’s possibilities, but the traditional roles for men have not really been changed, so they don’t fit into this new environment. This leads to a lot of confusion, to where we have cis men struggling to perform their gender and looking for help.

I don’t think anybody should ever “perform” a gender! As soon as it becomes a performance, it is unauthentic to the person they truly are, and needs to be deconstructed. The don’t need instructions on how to ‘perform’ a gender, they need instructions on how to free themselves from these expectations.

In this case I would argue that the Author would approach a trans man, who is asking how to be a man

There is nothing a trans man has to do in order to be a man. They are a man. There is nothing that could possibly make them less of a man. No instructions needed. Just be authentic to yourself.

nichtsowichtig ,

Gender performance isn’t something you fake, like in a theater, it’s more something you do like performing in a sport.

I really like the analogy because it implies something that also happens in reality: it is competitive. You’re seen as inferior if you aren’t good at it. Which is a huge, huge problem

But you need some “starting direction” because yourself is usually still a kid.

I think it is a fair point. But masculinity (however you define it) should not be a default, and it should not be specifically encouraged for boys to aspire to. Like, I understand the need for role models, but why is masculinity relevant here?

But the goal of most trans people is being recognized as their identified gender, without stating it, also called passing.

I think the desire of a lot of men (trans or not) to conform to gender norms is not because we genuinely enjoy being masculine, it is rather because we enjoy more respect when we conform to these gender roles. Being “less of a man” sucks because people treat you as inferior. So we are inclined to conform. I am not trans but I can imagine that some feel a higher need to “prove” their masculinity because they are constantly invalidated.

nichtsowichtig ,

This performance is a huge burden for me, and also for so many other people. I do very poorly, and because of that, I am not as well respected. My life would be way better if this sort of pressure didn’t exist. It makes no sense to me that I have to fulfill a specific societal role because of the gender I was born into. So I’d say yes, it very much means that performing a gender is inauthentic for a lot of people.

nichtsowichtig ,

Only if you broadcast your list of gender “check boxes”, and come down on others to follow them.

I think this is precisely what gender roles are supposed to do.

Do young men really pursue masculinity because it truly matches with the people they are or do they do that because of the benefits of being ‘masculine’? You’ll enjoy respect, authority, a certain sex-appeal, confidence… And if you challenge gender norms you’ll experience the opposite. You’re gonna be treated more like a women. And that’s the reason why masculinity is appealing to young men. And I feel like this is fundamentally problematic. I don’t think the individual traits are bad (as you said, responsibility, physical fitness etc), it is the expectations and privileges attached to masculinity.

nichtsowichtig ,

So why do men look for guidance on how to be masculine? Why is it even appealing to be masculine? I believe it has little to do with the characteristics themselves (which keep changing and are hard to specify), I believe boys and young men aspire to be masculine because of the benefits you receive when you conform to these ideals. The more masculine you are, the more respect society pays you, you’ll have more authority, people will find you more sexually attractive. All of these things are universally desirable, so young men will certainly want all of these things. So any kind of ‘guidance’ on masculinity, even if it is positive and affirmative, isn’t a means for people to find out who they are, and instead it maintains a system in which men (also women, if we speak more broadly about patriarchy) are made to conform to gender norms.

nichtsowichtig ,

There is an extreme pressure for boys and men to be masculine. It is like a radio so strong it interferes with any other radio station. There is so much discrimination you face as a ‘feminine’ man. In this context it feels odd to say ‘mind your own business’

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