Whilst researching a certain individual that I’d rather not name, mostly due to the nature of the idiom, all press is good press; I came across a phrase I had not heard before – Neomasculinaty.
Said individual has coined the term, purporting it to a set of ideas that base men as the victims in this recent rise of fourth wave Feminism. He states on his website that the idea is to “aid men living in Westernized nations that lack qualities such as classical virtue, masculinity in males, femininity in females, and objectivity.” Now as a young male in my late twenties, I can see how many men that don’t have a clear understanding of what feminism means lap up this idea in their droves, and much of it has to do with media portrayal of sexuality.
I am not a scientist or an incredibly intellectual person, but I know that there is something genetically different about being a man, mostly from my own experiences. The majority of the positive role models in my life have been women but their input can only change my mentality, not the make up of my gender.
This is the basis for many excuses by the patriarchy, the Neomasculines if you will. The ‘we are bred this way and therefore we shall act accordingly’, school of thought.
Though I do not deny that there are certain attributes that men have over women, the same applies to the opposite sex. We are different. Where this becomes sticky, is the idea that we are programmed the same way, as we were thousands of years ago.
Through evolution many of us have neglected the burdens of our hunter gatherer instincts to spend more time trying to locate the nearest wifi hotspot or negotiate six lane motorways. Maybe if you can track an animal without shoes on through rough terrain then kill it with a spear, cook it on a fire you made by hand and then skin it for a coat are you allowed to grab a woman and objectify her in any way you please. Then again, the likelihood of women being treated better in ancient times is probably higher than now, due to the fact that families and tribes were smaller and all depended on each others varying skills. So that argument is boorish and invalid.
Our genetic make up and needs have changed to suit our environment and so should our expectations of society. Even today there are still tribes that hold a matriarch as head; though few in number, the idea of equality is not an impossibility.
I cannot deny that there is a crisis of masculinity. I have felt it and it troubled me through my late teens and into my early twenties. Occasionally something will still bother me and pose troublesome questions, but because I have the privilege of my family unit, I know that it is not the fault of women. Sure there are some feminists that deserve to be thrown into the pit of Sarlacc, but along with them I’d throw just about any hardline nut there is; from vegans and home ED parents to politicians and pop stars. Extremism gives every group a bad name including feminism; it’s a waste of tar to throw on a good ideology that has been hijacked by the shit covered few.
We as men or boys are constantly bombarded with a million different ideals to stick to, many of which contradict each other. And though this kind of advertising has been pulsating towards women for a lot longer, it does not null the point that young men are being affected in incredibly negative ways via visual and aural stimulus at this current moment in time.
The rise of these extreme new ideas such as Neomasculinaty show that many men are feeling confused, dejected and very angry at the media attention to women’s rights. Men need and deserve rights just as women do, a basic tenant of feminism and equality, but to make it seem like men are being trodden down and abused in the same way is utter nonsense.
Rape and domestic abuse happens to people of all sexes and religions, yet the fact is clear that women have and still do suffer more than men in those crimes the world over. The simple statistic of two women murdered each week comparable to thirty men a year should be enough to highlight the difference.
Rather than pay credence to this publicity seeking neolith, we should spend more of our time learning and educating each other about what it means to be who we are. Women are allowed to be strong and independent and men are allowed to talk about their emotions and have down days. These are both massive generalizations towards the opposite sex, but the most commonly talked about attributes that are not allowed to cross to the opposite playing field.
The problem is, within each sex, there are hundreds of other sub categories that add to the complexity of the individual situation. Not every man wants or needs to be more in touch with his feminine side, and some women like the roles that they play within a historical patriarchal ideal. That does not mean people are being oppressed because they don’t sit in this new world of strength and individualism, they are happy in the life that they lead. The danger that emits to segregation and misunderstanding of ideas is assuming that everyone wants your own freedoms. We should all be in agreement that we need gender equality and we need it now, but within that equality each person should not feel afraid of being him or herself, providing no harm, mentally or physically is committed to another person.
Those men that follow this imbecile around believing his hate filled rhetoric are merely confused little boys that were neglected of an important education in the prime of their lives.
Because of the negligence by parents and the state education system, we create these vacuums of confusion, and when people are confused many turn their attentions towards fear and hatred, purely because it’s easier than treading the complex path of understanding. You can apply this idea to the current refugee crisis for an anchor if need be.
To use violent intimidation tactics in order to shut this kind of thought down exacerbates the situation, giving in to the ideas of these men that any thought of themselves and their own well being is met with hostility; something I found growing up as a white heterosexual male. Unfounded, but it was once in my psyche and the reasons were valid, it was how I chose to deal with them that made the difference.
I once believed that human beings are inherently evil. We all have the capacity to be malevolent dictators deep down, but through many years of constant conversation and self questioning, I realize now that education is the key to changing the most hard line of extremists into respectful citizens, and we must all play the tutors.