What is ‘Masculine’?

Yesterday, I discussed the concept of “toxic masculinity” and how it serves feminists by allowing them to dismiss traditional masculine values.  However, that begs the question of what is “masculine”?

Feminists decry so-called “toxic masculinity” because, they c

Photo by Policedriver2
Photo by Policedriver2

laim, it actually hurts men as well as women.  Even if you remove any components that call for a return to traditional family units that require women to return to the homes and to childrearing as their primary activities, they argue, toxic masculinity will still be evil because of the impact it has on men.


The argument is that some men are unable to attain the title of “man”.

As such, feminists and FIMs argue, masculinity’s definition should be expanded not just to include men who may have disabilities or physical deficiencies that prevent them from attaining the masculine ideal from ages past, but also to permit men to indulge in as much femininity as they so choose and still be called men.

The problem is that if words can mean anything, then they actually mean nothing.

Take the term “literally” for example.

Once upon a time, the term “literally” was only used when it meant something was exactly as described.  The word had meaning because if someone said they saw a unicorn, literally, you knew that they meant they saw a horse with a horn on its forehead and not something else.

In the last few years, the term “literally” has been corrupted.  Even the dictionaries have adopted the alternate definition of the term meaning “figuratively.”

If the word means “exactly as described” and “figuratively”, then the word is now essentially meaningless.  It conveys exactly zero useful information.

The same is true of the term “masculinity” as the feminists envision it.

If you were to define men alternately as males who meet certain criteria, while alternately arguing men as males who don’t meet certain criteria, then the term is meaningless.

Misandrists count this as a feature, not a bug.

However, masculinity — the state of being a man — can’t just be a checklist.  No one is perfectly anything, much less perfectly masculine.  Some men do like spending time on their hair.  Some men do like “girly” drinks.  Some men, like me, get a kick out of cute animal videos.

The issue arises when someone partakes in too many activities that are considered feminine.  At some point, he stops being masculine and is instead feminine.

Feminism would have you believe that no such point exists, that anyone who wants to embrace the title of Man should be allowed.  This is completely and totally false.  If any debate truly exists, it’s in just where that line actually lies.

However, that debate isn’t for the feminists to engage in.  Just as men have little to offer the debate on what is femininity other than an outsiders perspective, feminists have little to offer us on the debate of where masculinity lies.

Not that they won’t try.

They’ll label any discussion of masculinity that doesn’t include them as misogynistic, their favorite word for “anyone who doesn’t do exactly what we want,” while trying to dictate the entire debate.

Do they have opinions?  Yes.  Most women do.

Should we listen?  You can, if you’re so inclined, but understand that it’s entirely likely that feminists won’t return the favor.  They’re simply not interesting when what men have to say about being men.

Now, should we listen to women’s opinions in general?  The non-feminists have some insights that might be interesting and worth considering.  They see men, and many lament the loss of real men.  Their perceptions may be illuminating.

However, this is ultimately on us.  It’s on us as men to determine our own destiny.  It’s on us to define masculinity and what it means to really be men.

And doing it not by setting up superficial requirements like shaving a certain way, or dressing a certain way.  That may have a place in discussion regarding being the best man one can, though I doubt it, but it doesn’t define a man.  It merely chisels the away the rough edges at best.


Masculinity needs nothing more than a slight updating for today, not a complete 180-degree turn from what man has known for eons.  Most men will reject it outright because it’s so alien to their very nature.

What kind of updates?

I’ve got have to save something for later, now don’t I?

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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