It bugs me. Every time I hear phrases like, “Why are all men such pussies?” or “Don’t act like a girl!” First, what are the measurements to define what makes a man a man? Second, those phrases are pumped with double standards. Every person who throws those phrases automatically setting women as weak. People, who are insecure or do not get things done will be marked as girls. Mostly, I hear those phrases coming from girls themselves. In addition, they fight for gender equality but on the opposite, acting “girly” is not been seen as a strong trait?
But let us answer today, what makes a man a man?
Stereotype: The man!
In the first place, men are presumed strong. Not all men are stronger than women, but on average they are. They are built slightly bigger and stronger. The typical role model for man reaches back to the 1950s. Where man is the protector and provider of the whole family. Furthermore, he is the one who sets the rules. If he says something everyone has to follow, including his wife and his children. He has to be determined, have a huge sense of responsibility, have a good career, and overall he must have strength.
These conditions for the 1950s men were forged because women had a low social status than men. I believe women do not even have the right to vote or work. Women earning more than men? Unacceptable at that time! Women are forced to the role of mother and wife aka cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children.
But I am glad that we are now in the 21st century. The stereotype roles are fading. There are more women in business there are more Bachelorettes than bachelors. Women are playing a more active role than being a mother and a wife.
What remains from the 1950s is the stereotype of the man and how he should be. A strong independent guy with a good career, a protector, and a provider. Besides the characteristics traits, people build an image of a man. Tall, muscled, a beard like a lumberjack, deep voice, and hairs everywhere which leads us to the gender stereotype.
The Difference between Sex and Gender
“Did you presume my gender?” I think you heard of this. A heated discussion of what is a man and what a woman is. What can a man be? Can he use make-up, is it tolerable for him if he wears dresses? Can he cry? All those questions are proposed by Gen Z, there is a specific group that fights against gender stereotypes. But I forgot.
Likewise, some counter-movements fight against it. Their image of gender is still classical and conservative. “No, a man should do this…”, “No, a woman is supposed to …!”. They also have logical argumentation and also sexist ones.
Let me reveal a little light into this.
There was a movement three years ago. A small group that fights under the hashtag: #mencanbleedtoo. After reading some Facebook comments and research about this topic, I think this is bullshit and ridiculous. People forgot about the difference between sexes and gender. Under the definition of sexes, it is clear what a man is.
Sexes as a biological definition
Sex is the definition of man and woman regarding their anatomical and overall biological traits. This means if you have x-y chromosomes, you can produce sperm, you are a man. If a baby plops out of your body and you bleed monthly you are a woman. There is no discussion in it. It is fact and science. I am sorry, but when you transform your vagina into a penis it does not make you a biological man. You still cannot produce sperm. You are just a girl who got a dick. That’s it.
Furthermore, I saw a transgender man, who was a guy, competing now in the female category and winning in terms of strength. I do not need to mention the unfairness of the whole competition. Even though if you are a woman on your ID Card, winning in that competition as a transgender is just wrong. Do you need applause for getting gold because you decide to cut off your dick?!? Please! It sounds harsh, but new times need new rules now!
Summarized, you are still a man or a woman when your body has biological conditions, and no kind of operations can change that. And you cannot define against science. Man does have specific biological traits, also a woman.
What is gender? What does gender differ from sex? Instead of sex which definition is based on science, gender does not have a definition based on science. Instead, the definition is based on the social constructs aka society, and the belief systems. And when we based everything on the society we know society is the least trustable source. Fighting gender stereotypes come from one simple question. Why must the boy’s rooms have to be blue and the girls’ room has to be pink? They do not have to be. So, Gen Zs are fighting against it. Like, typical clothing, acting and behaving. That is why I understand the “Did you presume my gender?”-movement.
When the definition of a man or a woman is defined after gender, it is also defined after the rules of the specific society. This means, in this country, this makes a man, in that country, this makes a woman, and so on. This Movement is fighting against those stereotypes which I support. As long they do not overextend fighting science and questioned the definition of sexes.
But, where do we draw the line? Is it acceptable for a guy to cry? Possibly. Is it acceptable for a guy to use make-up daily? It depends on who you ask. Is it acceptable for a guy to stay home with the kids? Maybe?
The role of a man is questioned a lot these days. We need to be careful about how far we define a man. Too conservative and we tend to be old-fashioned, too modern and the role of a man will be blurred.
BTS – an example of shifting the stereotype gender of a man
If you never heard of them, shame on you. And no I am not a fan. BTS is the most popular and most successful Korean boy group so far. They have millions of fans across the world, won several prizes and awards, their songs are even played on radios in Germany, and once give a speech about something. Their success is undoubted.
When there is a fan there is also a hater. BTS was mocked when they won an international music award. Their appearance was questioned and they are marked as girls. Generally speaking, the success of BTS shifts the image of the man. When people still see men should have a beard and muscles, BTS is not fitting in at all. But, they are still idolized by girls over the world.
Even without the typically western standards of men, many fans see them as men. Because a man solely relying on brute strength is not up to date anymore. Men are now acceptable to show warmth in the form of social skills, showing emotions, and caring for each other.
Summary – What makes a man, a man?
So, what makes a man, a man? When we exclude appearance there is only one thing we need to discuss, strength. Men are assumed to show strength. But how far can men show strength?
The role model of men in the 1950s is still present and admirable today. Showing a lot of strength as a protector or a provider is likable to be seen as a potential partner. No girl dumps a guy who does know what he wants and how he gets it. Showing dominance is also still likely to be seen to a certain degree. Also, showing strength in the form of lead and also anger is a positive trait for men.
In addition, also showing warmth is a positive effect now. Men are seen to be stronger and less warm but not cold. This means, that showing warmth like crying for someone is acceptable. In some cultures, having good social skills and ambition, a trait of warmth, are admirable for men. Instead, women have it more difficult to show warmth and strength together. When it comes to the balance of strength and warmth, men have it just easier.
Summarized, what makes a man, a man?
In terms of strength:
- getting things done
- has goals and knows the way to achieve it
- confident and somewhat dominant
- provider and protector in any kind
In terms of warmth:
- strong socials skills
- cares about his offspring and partner
All desirable traits in men regard his career or as a partner are the foundation of these traits above. Even though, women can fulfill these traits, too. Desirable men are presumed to have many of these traits as possible.
Maybe I forgot something or any kind of these traits are wrong. Prove me with your argument below.
I hoped you learned something,