The New Masculine
I recently posted on The Good Men Project a piece about parallels between what has been happening in Ukraine and the struggle for masculinity. I received a fascinating reply from a woman who said...
The world is becoming more 'feminine' in its workings and men hate the idea of claiming femininity so they take all these characteristics that are deemed 'feminine' and call them the 'new masculinity' so that they can get credit for this new 'more moral and honourable way of living' without giving credit to the example that they are following—the feminine.
This immediately set me on edge and pissed me off. Why?
Dominance and Responsibility
The piece was about the face off between a masculine paradigm of dominance and a masculine paradigm of responsibility. In promoting it I received a great deal of criticism, and even hate, from men who hate the GMP site and see any discussion of 'new masculinity' as a feminist sell-out.
What is the concept behind the "good men project" anyways? Some idea that what defines a 'good man' means that they're extremely thin on the ground and that men in general have to be 'transformed' into 'good men'?
Then a woman weighs in from the other side! This is what happens when you are getting somewhere in talking about men and masculinity – you piss off the extremes.
So, once I settled down and accepted that I was on to something I started to think about what the woman said. At least she didn't resort to vitriol, unlike the so-called 'men'.
Although I think she has got it wrong, there a point to what she is saying, and that's what really upsets the men, that's why they hate the GMP so much. The world is changing, the masculine paradigm is changing and men feel they are losing out.
Learning from Each Other
The 'new masculine' is a more responsible, compassionate way of dealing with the world. There is a sense in which the qualities could be said to be more feminine, but the difference is that they are not feminine at all. The world is integrating, the differences between the sexes is narrowing, men and women are both becoming more powerful, but not becoming the same.
This is not a zero-sum game it's one where we help and support each other. No-one loses out because we simply learn from each other and grow through that.