My views on masculinity

I first followed the channels relating to masculinity because they were helpful to me. They taught me how to have a better attitude with life. The importance of perseverance and working hard. How to appreciate the people around me and myself. Furthermore, it is a place for men to bond, just like with sports. Usually the YouTube channels I am subscribed to talk about subjects their followers sent them to review or talk about. This way the subscribers can interact with the channels and share their life story or about some conflicting source they found on the Internet. Outside of these channels, a lot of men do not have a way to share or learn about the experiences they face because men’s issues are disregarded by most platforms. Even talking about the issues faced by men are ridiculed. A civil rights movement: father’s rights movement is seen as a joke because women are traditionally the caregivers and they think men obviously could not have a strong bond towards their own children. The law and society undermine the value of fathers, even fathers themselves underrate their own value they bring to their children. (York, 2020)

I watch these channels frequently. Almost all of their videos if they are talking about a topic that is new to me. They help me understand how society views men, as well as how men and women think. I have seen people ridiculing these “garbage men” for trying to voice their opinions online. The public shaming comes from both women and men so this is where I garner that it is a normal phenomenon to think men should not voice their opinions because of the “privileges” they have. It makes us believe that only men have privileges, which is far from the truth . Any problems men have should be ignored because surely, we are living our best lives with no worries at all? Chivalry has existed from a long time and it is hammered down to every boy ever since they could first process their thoughts that they had to protect the fairer sex.

There is also a popular saying online you see from time to time: “All men are trash”. I’m sure you have heard it somewhere before. I do not know who hurt those women ;D but I hope they are doing alright now. The impression we get from this saying is that “men are trash/toxic”, that they treat women poorly. But even if they were just saying it as a joke, this shows that it is okay to complain to the whole world about the filth that are men. However, if it was a man complaining about the toxic women in their lives, suddenly he would be branded a loser and less of a man.

There is a recent scandal consisting of Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard. The situation is so suspicious on Heard’s part that everything she has been saying is being disproved. A phone recording has come out suggesting that Amber Heard was in fact unstable and the one enacting  the violence. As well as reports and pictures of Depp’s finger being cut by Heard(like someone would cut his own finger), Heard wearing makeup to show evidence of domestic violence to strengthen her case of receiving spousal support after their divorce. Even with all this evidence, the Sun(a tabloid from the UK where the trials are taking place) are strongly in favour of Heard because “they have always fought for justice against women in domestic violence.” Even though there is no clear evidence backing it. Moreover, it all seems like they are just doing it for their image and to blindly stand on the side of women. Depp has since been asked to let go of his role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 to protect their image of being linked with a supposed “wife beater.” Heard on the other hand, has not received any backlash with her acting roles like Aquaman 2, even with her instability and violence against her ex-husband being revealed on the Internet. I now know clearly which two movies I will be boycotting. The link to this case will be provided in the reference list down below. You can also check out multiple videos on YouTube tackling this subject if you are interested.

Men are vilified more than women when they commit the same mistakes. Even when there is no evidence backing up claims, men still get the short end of the stick. The current social dynamic is one where we support women no matter what. It is more acceptable and encouraged by others, so we turn a blind eye to the voices of men. This is what our “progressive society” is developing into.

Now, my goal is not to vilify women and become the one thing I swore not to be. Obviously this is the way society thinks(both women AND men). It is right that we should have equal opportunities, however, this should also be true when we are judging them(especially in lawful affairs). Society is too in favour of women to the point that some women are using it to benefit themselves unlawfully. They can get away with most things, so they will continue to exploit that system.

I have always considered myself to be a feminist and will continue to fight for the equality of women. But in a lot of places in the world, women are equal to men. I believe people who really care about this subject should go to the places with visible inequality between men and women and actually do something about it rather than complain about facing it in a society that does not have those problems. The gender wage gap is non-existent between men and women in the same position. You only see it if you look at the whole picture because there are more men working in stem fields compared to women. You cannot blame a gender solely because they choose to study and work in certain professions more than the other. Higher education is also seeing a trend of more women than men in all fields besides STEM. The level of education of women is by far surpassing that of men in developed countries. I feel for women who are actually suffering from unfair treatment, the ones that do not have access to education, the ones who are targeted by cartels to become prostitutes for them, the ones who are forced into marriage at a young age. Instead of the 119th tweet about someone claiming she is being oppressed by the patriarchy for stubbing her toe on her desk. I will let go of my identity as a feminist because I believe it is just a label now. It has lost its meaning. I will always believe in the equal opportunity of both genders, feminism now just does not seem to be working like that.

Like feminism, I have stopped giving myself labels and am taking a more holistic approach on life. Why can’t I be interested in more than one thing? Why must I follow a political party blindly instead of looking at their values and what they have done for the group I am represented by? There are more sides to the coin than what appears to be the case. Masculinity is not bad, we should appreciate the good sides of masculinity instead of downplaying it and ignoring the problems men face to support the women’s issues. We should be fair to both sexes if we truly want gender equality.

Reference:

Godwin, R. (2018). Men after #MeToo: ‘There’s a narrative that masculinity is fundamentally toxic’’.’ [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/09/men-after-metoo-masculinity-fundamentally-toxic.

Sarkisian, J. (n.d.). A complete timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s tumultuous relationship. [online] Insider. Available at: https://www.insider.com/johnny-depp-amber-heard-relationship-timeline-2020-7.

TEDx Talks (2020). What Representing Men in Divorce Taught Me About Fatherhood | Marilyn York | TEDxUniversityofNevada. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlSwsE22nX0 [Accessed 16 Jun. 2020].

Thompson, R. (n.d.). How to talk to the men in your life about toxic masculinity. [online] Mashable. Available at: https://mashable.com/article/liz-plank-toxic-masculinity-conversation/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2020].

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