From the social and cultural expectations for a man and the manner and degree to which he acknowledges and lives up to them we derive the concept of masculinity; those applicable to a woman, together with her compliance with them, we think of as femininity. While masculinity and femininity are often assumed to be natural results of being male or female, there is no necessary connection between the morphology of sex (male or female) and the combination of behaviour and attitude that is defined as gender (masculinity or femininity). Masculinity and femininity are thus cultural products, though society ensures through a number of measures that its members believe in and subscribe to a natural connection between sex and gender in order to stabilize the binary system. The consequence is a naturalization of these expectations for typical masculine and feminine behaviour; they appear to us as natural and universally true, even though, as I have already pointed out, this is not the
Throughout history, people have portrayed men and women differently often requiring of the former masculinity and of the latter femininity. Society often tries to assign specific traits for men and specific traits for women. The value of a women is different than a man’s value. This leaves society with the question, “What does it mean for a man to be masculine and a woman to be feminine?” Are these phrases established to help us identify genders? In society, it is intimated that men have to possess the masculinity gender and women have to possess the femininity gender.
Connell asserted towards a new sociology of masculinity; the theoretical concern is that in the gender order as a whole, masculinity was one piece of the jigsaw. She tried to make social science relevant to social justice. The traditional definition of ‘hegemonic masculinity’ includes words like breadwinner, strong, rational, tough, aggressive, non feminine, don't cry, get girls, break the rules and so on. Developing the concept of masculinities has obvious implications of re-fixing of the role of gender balance in a society. By creating a mindset that results in reduction of violence, thereby creating gender equality.
Masculinity is seen as a cultural construction throughout history, by which males are assigned certain social roles of their gender. Traditionally, the image of men is clear. Men have to be hard working person, strong father, and disciplined. Historically, the role of man was to provide his wife and family with sustenance. Therefore, masculinity has certain characteristics assigned by our culture.
The Masculine Man must man up The fragility of masculinity as a concept is worrisome. It breeds on creating fear in the other. Yet, what the in-breeder of masculinity seeks in the other is a concept far from it. That concept is femininity. Strangely, in popular queer literature, masculinity is defined as anything that is divorced from the idea of femininity.
Gender Identity and Role Gender role identity is considered individuals’ essential recognition of masculinity or femininity (Cook, 1985). Masculinity and femininity were originally considered alternative explanations of sex differences, seen as two ends of a bipolar dimension within a measurable, unidimensional concept that can be inversely correlated (Bem, 1974; Constantinople, 1973). However, this implication refers to a concept that regards masculinity and femininity as simply personal traits. It does not take into account the different environmental influences (e.g., cultural or social norms) and internal distinctions and preferences. Gender Role and
Throughout this sociological investigation, the notion of ’’masculinity’’ will be explored, examined and dissected as well as the concept and the idea of what it means to be a man in the eyes of an individual themselves as well as society as a whole. One may note that this investigation will intertwine and relate to the woks of Lorber (1996), Connell (1995) as well as various other pieces of academic literature and research. It is evident to note that further research has been done in the form of a one-on-one live interaction with a Mr Andrew James. This interview will explore the paradigms of what it means to be a man and what is considered to be masculine from the view point of a heterosexual male and thus illustrating the stereotypical thoughts that are associated with what a man ‘’should be.’’ Before one starts to explore to notion of masculinity and what is meant be the term man, one first needs to differentiate and find a distinction between the notion of sex and gender. One may note that in the 1900s sex had been defined
Gender consists of men as well as women. In various attempts to understand gender, the concept of sex roles was introduced; and sometimes men and women were treated as simple categories. The most suitable approach is to treat gender as a system of social relations (Connell). According to Raewyn Connell “[m]asculinities are the patterns of social practice associated with the position of men in any society’s set of gender relations”. Moreover, differences in bodily forms is not a firm determining factor of gender patterns; one could rather see it as a reference point in gender practices.
Even with the negative effects of such social expectations, the ideas of masculinity are still widely praised and exploited throughout American culture. In much of women’s romance literature, the male protagonist are usually well-muscled, domineering, violent in protecting the heroine, and emotionally hardened. Literature such as this is telling women that this is what desirable men look like and telling men this is the kind of men that women want, but when faced with real people who are more complex than fictional characters men are condemned as testosterone-fueled monsters without proper control of their sexual desires. However, consistently this is the framework for the more traditional ideas of masculinity with a heavy focus on power, also with a strong fear of femininity, which has become the basis for gender role conflict theory where men “adhere to rigid, restrictive, and sexist male roles in ways which lead to personal and relational dysfunction”(). Then when this restrictive sense of self is jeopardized or threatened some men can
Societal perception of the “macho man” towards which men should strive brings in focus the overwhelming influence society exerts on the formation of the “masculine identity”. To assert their position, men in acting out the “macho man”, “affirms their allegiance to prevailing standards of masculinity while publicly attesting to what is being rejected: child-like, feminising, gay and castrating “failed” masculinities”, (Plummer, Mclean, and Simpson, 2008, p. 8). Boys who transgress those expectations risk being ridiculed and labelled a ”sissy” a term referring to effeminate men by both boys and girls (Bailey, Branche and Henry-Lee 2002, as cited in Plummer. et al 2008, p. 9). Unable to 'become a man' by mainstream, socially acceptable means, many men are led to redefine manhood in penile terms argues, (Espeut, 2005) resulting in a promiscuous lifestyle.