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On Masculinity

via TheOdysseyOnline

Let me start by saying: I am not a man. I have not experienced societal pressure to be as masculine as possible; rather, I have only studied this phenomenon and the following is my take on that.

You have to be muscular. You have to be dominant. You have to dress like a man. Act like a man. You can’t wear pink, it’s a girly color. Don’t you dare cry. Don’t show any emotion. Be the breadwinner for your family. Sound familiar? While I am extremely vocal about societal expectations of femininity and how we must crush those expectations, I am also vocal about the rules of masculinity that men are forced to live by, and how deeply isolating and unfair they are. These rules box men in to a rigid structure that they are not allowed to escape from, lest they be seen as gay (hence, this is where a lot of homophobia begins).

It is so revolutionary now to say: hey, men can cry. Men don’t have to be super muscular, or dominant, or refrain from wearing pink. Example: My father’s favorite color is pink: pink ties, pink hats, he even has an entirely pink business suit. This does not diminish his masculinity in the slightest, and doing the same thing will not diminish yours, either. Rules were meant to be broken, especially really lame rules about how you’re “supposed” to represent your gender. (Hint: there’s no right way to do that)

And hey, maybe wearing pink isn’t your style. Maybe you are naturally a dominant person, or you dig sports more than, say, musicals. Totally fine. But it is also totally fine for a guy to have different preferences than you, and that does not make him gay, or any less of a man. There is really no “right” way to go about expressing yourself. Don’t ever forget that.

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