Over the past several decades, the image of man had suffered some drastic changes, and more and more of today‘s psychologists and anthropologists are talking about the „Crisis of Manhood“, or the feminization of men in Western society.
Although the image of a rugged, powerful and strong man macho are still mentioned in popular culture, the percentage of such men in society has been diminishing steadily over the years, as the ideas of feminism and emancipation grew steadily on the other hand.
Moreover, men‘s loss of power had allegedly forced them to lose part of their masculine base, namely the image of a powerful, self-sufficient man who accumulates a lot more wealth than a woman and is the single exclusive financial supporter of his family.
So what are the reasons behind this slow-but-steady decline of the 20th century conventional male model and the rise of a nearly sexless and feminine man-in-a-bikini? Actually, it all started with the emergence of feminism in the 19th century, when women philosophers, feminists and their ideas of „The War of Sexes“ were on the rise, and the conventional gender roles began to transform into something different.
Thanks to feminists such as Betty Friedan, the image of woman as a traditional housewife, a nurse or a school teacher has been ejected by a successful, educated, independent and strong businesswoman, who pursues her career with zeal and does it even better than a man. That’s where the crisis of manhood steps in.
Not surprisingly, this change of a woman‘s image had affected men, but nobody thought that the impact would be so strong. And now, the masculine ideals of rugged toughness, stubborn self-reliance and absolute emotional silence have been shaken by a new emphasis on men's emotions, need for advice, and the problems of gender identity, which is one of the most concerning aspects of today‘s society.
Modern men tend to be softer, more emotional, more conscious of their looks, more insecure and so on – in short, clearly more feminine. And the percentage of such men continues to increase as the concept of gender roles transforms into something different.
Of course, many think that gender roles are quite a bit too constraining, while others crave for the return of the patriarchal ages gone by, with groups of modern thinkers between them, debating the impact of modern feminism and the crisis of manhood on our culture.
However, in the age of globalization and post-modernism, it is falls on every person to decide for itself on how it perceives its own gender identity. And in modern Western society, nobody has the right to impose their views upon you.
By: Ed Vasques