Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to have your say on this topicNew here? Join for free to post

Do you agree with the idea that masculinity is subjective?

Announcements Posted on
    • 23 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    Society defined every single word in our language. If you look at "masculinity" as "being a man" then all it takes to be musculine is to have a Y chromosome.
    Well... A few points

    (1) Being 'a man' isn't dependent on having a Y chromosome. Having a Y chromosome makes one, in most cases, of the male sex. 'Man' has to do with gender role.

    (2) If you defined 'masculinity' as being 'the male sex', then it wouldn't be part of a gender role.

    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    The levels of testosterone you produce in that case wouldn't matter. If you look at it behaviour-wise, as in "how men typically act", then you are right it is subjective and a social construct.
    True.

    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    If you decide to define it as "strong" and "alpha", then it would be false to associate it with being of only one particular gender.
    That's the interesting thing about gender roles - masculinity is often associated with 'strong' and 'alpha' and these are often considered to be manly traits. But, we know that other genders display these qualities as well. It's one of the interesting parts of gender that certain qualities are found across genders (in some cases), yet are still associated with a particular gender.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    There was a good quote on masculinity...

    The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men, as if being a man means looking the way a sculptor or an art director says. ~Chuck Palahniuk (Author of Fight Club)
    • 9 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by NYU2012)
    Well... A few points

    (1) Being 'a man' isn't dependent on having a Y chromosome. Having a Y chromosome makes one, in most cases, of the male sex. 'Man' has to do with gender role.

    (2) If you defined 'masculinity' as being 'the male sex', then it wouldn't be part of a gender role.



    True.
    Again, definitions. I think we agree.


    That's the interesting thing about gender roles - masculinity is often associated with 'strong' and 'alpha' and these are often considered to be manly traits. But, we know that other genders display these qualities as well. It's one of the interesting parts of gender that certain qualities are found across genders (in some cases), yet are still associated with a particular gender.
    Men do tend to be much stronger than women physiologically. Society has just gone wrong is assigning superiority and leadership stereotypes to such primitive traits (I insist on using the word trait and not "quality").

    Regradless, I would still object to associating "masculinity" (strength/size) with males because, although it is more common in males, it isn't exclusive to them.
    • 23 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    Men do tend to be much stronger than women physiologically. Society has just gone wrong is assigning superiority and leadership stereotypes to such primitive traits (I insist on using the word trait and not "quality").
    I use 'quality' from having done years of philosophy. Either way, it doesn't make a difference. And of course, I agree that superiority and leadership is in no way dictated or predicted by one's physical strength.

    (Original post by Dragonfly07)
    Regradless, I would still object to associating "masculinity" (strength/size) with males because, although it is more common in males, it isn't exclusive to them.
    This part is a more complex. Are you saying that the strength and/or size of males is more common in males, but isn't exclusive to them?

    The physiological aspects of masculinity, if you include strength/size, creates a somewhat blurred line as to where sex traits stop and gender traits begin.
    • 9 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by NYU2012)
    I use 'quality' from having done years of philosophy. Either way, it doesn't make a difference. And of course, I agree that superiority and leadership is in no way dictated or predicted by one's physical strength.



    This part is a more complex. Are you saying that the strength and/or size of males is more common in males, but isn't exclusive to them?

    The physiological aspects of masculinity, if you include strength/size, creates a somewhat blurred line as to where sex traits stop and gender traits begin.
    As a biologist I couldn't pretend that there isn't a genetic difference in the potential for strength between males and females. If a human female is stronger than a male it would be either because of superior training or because of a rare/mutated gene, which in itself of course is natural seeing as we arrived at our current state mostly with the help of mutations.

    I see our evolution as a species moving towards lesser physical strength for all of us, though.
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    There are some traits that occur more often in XY people than XX people. However, much of what 'society' considers masculine (and feminine) is either a highly embellished take on stereotypical genetic elements or a social construct. Many of the traits considered masculine vary from culture to culture. There is also a lot of social reinforcement of gender - men are expected to conform to a certain set of traits and women are expected to conform to a different set, albeit with some overlap. Those that don't conform are considered odd, to a greater or lesser extent, and may be ridiculed or persecuted. This increases the sense that 'real men' should present and behave in a certain way and increases pressure on people to be 'normal' for their gender. The whole thing has become very artificial.

    So yes, masculinity is subjective. It should also be noted that not conforming to your society's version of masculinity doesn't make someone less of a man. The concept is increasingly meaningless and sadly prescriptive.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    To some extent it is real, to some extent it's made up.

    Men have not yet been emancipated from traditional gender roles unfortunately, so we don't have the choice.
    • 11 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    It can be objective sometimes, for example guys naturally have more muscle mass than women. And I don't see any society that doesn't define muscle as masculine.

    But the behavourial traits certain societies deem masculine is obviously subjective.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Isn't that just said to preclude sexism?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ilovedesifems)
    To be PC, we often say that being a man is not about being strong or tough.

    But I was thinking something the other day. Many women still believe that despite our modern PC ramblings, men should lead in relationships. Some may say this is social conditioning, but IMO it's something deeper than that.

    Is masculinity subjective?
    it's not that we want you to led it's that we want you to know what we want with out us telling you. - by the way if women want men to led what does that men when i date a women i want her to led or that i'm leading?

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: April 3, 2012
New on TSR

GCSE mocks revision

Talk study tips this weekend

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.