Masculinity has historically been all about the three P’s: protector, provider, procreation. The more you protect, the more you provide, the more you fuck, the more of a man you are.
And the fact that this form of masculinity came at a cost — both to the men in terms of their own health and mortality, and to society in terms of violence and patriarchal dominance — was discounted. Who cares if men die, suffer, and lose their minds at startling rates? It’s simply the price we pay for protection and prosperity (and babies).
But this version of masculinity evolved for a particularly socially-beneficial reason — to protect us from invaders and protect the town and kill bears and stuff. We needed men to fuck a lot because something like half of your kids didn’t survive into puberty. We needed them to provide because you never knew when the next horrible winter was around the corner. And the fact that this form of masculinity came at a cost — both to the men in terms of their own health and mortality, and to society in terms of violence and patriarchal dominance — was discounted. Who cares if men die, suffer, and lose their minds at startling rates? It’s simply the price we pay for protection and prosperity (and babies).
Traditional masculinity is no longer necessary for a healthy and functioning society. We’re not living under constant threat of invasion. Nor are we being attacked by wild animals on the regular. Babies survive and, in fact, it’s more important these days to consciously plan one’s family than to just go sticking it everywhere you can. And much of the work that’s necessary for today’s economy is just as easily done by women as it is by men. The costs of traditional masculinity, both on men and on society itself, are likely not worth the benefits anymore.
Again, for most of civilization, young men were the ones responsible for protecting society. By the time they were adults, they needed to be battle-hardened and physically strong — the survival of the community often depended on it. As a result, brutal, physical violence among men (through organized sport) was celebrated (and still is today, although this is beginning to change). And men who weren’t able to make the cut were shamed for their physical weakness, for their emotional displays and vulnerable demands for affection. Men were meant to be ruthlessly competitive, and emotionlessly self-contained.
Well, this may not surprise you, but repressing emotions fucks people up. And shaming people for weakness and vulnerability can result in all sorts of mental health problems, not to mention encourage them to lash out in anti-social ways (i.e., shoot up a school, or ram a car into a crowd of people, sign up to be a militant in some crazy religious organization — sound familiar?)
Men take on more dangerous jobs and are less likely to report any injury suffered at work. Men work far longer hours, take fewer vacations and sick days, and suffer worse symptoms of chronic stress and fatigue. Men even die on the job at a startling rate. In short, most men treat themselves as nothing more than a walking paycheck.
Men are so emotionally incompetent without women, getting married is literally the healthiest thing a man can do in his life. One research summary of emotional suppression went as far to say: “emotional restrictiveness is the leading cause to why men die earlier [than women.]”
Married men live longer and score higher on pretty much every quality-of-life metric there is, including happiness and life expectancy. Marriage is apparently so important for men’s emotional stability that some sociologists go as far as to state that simply being married can raise a man’s life expectancy by almost a decade.
Let me state that more clearly: Not dealing with your emotional baggage can literally kill you or make you go crazy.
We unfairly objectify women in society for their beauty and sex appeal. Similarly, we unfairly objectify men for their professional success and aggression.
Is this really the cause of your generation? Safe spaces and trigger warnings and microaggressions? That’s the trench you’re willing to die in?” Previous generations of feminists were willing to die in the trenches of getting women the right to vote, to go to college, to have an equal education, for protection from domestic violence, and workplace discrimination, and equal pay, and fair divorce laws.
Previous generations of feminists were the change they desired. They got out and protested and voted. They went to the schools and got the degrees and took the jobs. Yet, today, tribal feminists are more interested in enforcing thoughts and perceptions about women, rather than actually becoming the women they wish others to see.
The way you destroy stereotypes is by being the contradiction of the stereotype. The way you change minds is you demonstrate how people are wrong through your actions. Women now make up almost 60% of college graduates, yet they still only constitute 20% of STEM professions (which make much more money, it so happens). You want more women in math and science? Be a woman who pursues math and science. You want more women as CEOs and winning at business? Start a business. You want more women in politics? Run for office. These are the real activists. This is where real progress happens.
Yes, women still face stereotypes and poor treatments in these industries. But this is the trench today’s feminists should be fighting in. This is where they should be making their push — and not by talking about it online, but by actually being there.
Thus, today feminism has a measurement problem. It’s easy to measure whether boys and girls are receiving the same funding in schools. It’s easy to see whether a man and woman are being paid appropriately for the same work. You just pull out your calculator and go to work. But how do you measure social justice?