To social justice warriors ‘fragile masculinity’ means: ”The idea that men must constantly prove their masculinity via aggression, violence or sexual domination [rape culture]. Masculinity is threatened by femininity.”
Most of this definition is hyperbole. However, the statement that masculinity is threatened by femininity is correct.
Over the past 30 years women have disowned the title of ‘the weaker sex’ – desperately trying to pass the title over to their male counterparts in the name of third wave feminism. The gender bias towards women is slowly becoming clearer in the western world.
Women are now, statistically speaking more educated than men. More women attend university and are given more scholarship opportunities and help via charities. And from a sociological perspective, studies find that girls are more likely to be motivated by teachers to achieve. Overall, the education system is more suited to the female learning style and is ignoring the male learning style differences.
Another interesting fact is that each new group of young women entering the work force over the past 30 years has started out with a higher average hourly wage relative to men.
So how does this harm men and their masculinity?
The root of the issue, which is the feminization of men starts when entering education. In the UK over 80% of nursery workers (pre-kindergarten), primary school workers and after school care workers (school clubs, babysitters) are female (per group).
Young children are more influenced than when they are older, so it is important that they are exposed to both genders and their [positive and negative] differences. Because of the large female to male worker ratio in education and care paired with the rise of single mothers in the country and absent fathers. The amount of time that young boys are spending with male role models is decreasing, and is having dramatic effects.
This is evident in the sociological findings of the ‘crisis of masculinity‘. Which describes the struggle of men in the 21st century who are finding it difficult to adapt to the ‘new man’ identity that has been prompted by beauty companies and society pushing the idea that men should look as young, smooth and plastic as women. Some examples of this include common expectations of the modern man’s regime such as dying graying hair, plucking their eyebrows and getting manicures.
Does this affect women?
Yes. How? The lack of male role models does not only affect boys, it also affects girls and their development. While having positive female role models who show achievement is not necessarily a negative thing, having little access to positive male role models is.
The fashionable problem of ‘daddy issues’ has been picked up by the mainstream media and it’s [mostly female] consumers. However, social issues surrounding a severe lack of masculinity are becoming more and more prominent for young girls.
An example of this is younger women searching for older, ‘scruffier’ and ‘manly’ men instead looking to their peers for companionship because they did not have a father figure growing up or because their father does not display ‘traditional’ masculine traits and in affect did not serve as a good role model.
In closing, my question is to the men and women who want to preserve the well being of our society; how can we refute that the modern man is the ‘toxic masculinity’ in our society instead of the traditional masculinity that social justice has demonized?