Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+ 

What is masculinity actually meant to be though? I think we have done some good work (which must continue!,) to gain understanding of what it should NOT be... but what SHOULD it be? Any opinions? (preferably from men/masc people, non-men welcome too). Asking *As A Men*.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+ 

@restioson

The problem is that everything is so steeped in power relationships that it's hard to say anything positive about masculinity without sounding sexist. Like, because of binary oppositions, it sounds like anything good masculinity IS is something that femininity ISN'T.

Thus I don't know how to answer this question at all.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+ 

@celesteh definitely. There's also the thing of like, if we want to abolish gender roles then what else do we leave in gender?

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+ 

@restioson
People like having genders, so gender roles will always exist. Our goal shouldn't be abolishment, but making them less restrictive and less binary

I also think it's an (completely understandable) error to view gender entirely in terms of power relationships. People don't transition in order to shift their positions within a power hierarchy. Some gender dysphoria is related more to social signalling than embodiment

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+ 

@restioson

So given that trans people exist, which demonstrates the existence and importance of gender outside of positions of relative power, how do we talk up masculinity without denigrating femininity?

I think the first step is to stop seeing them as polar opposites, like points along a one dimensional spectrum, but maybe more as perpendicular, as a two dimensional graph. They're certainly related, but they're different.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+ 

@restioson if masculinity is not three absence of femininity and it's not a power relationship, what is it?

The expression of masculinity is very much culturally encoded and contested. Sometimes it's seen as essentially authentic, unadorned and related to labor. Sometimes, it's seen as the exact opposite, as in portraits of French kings in tights and frills.

Masculinity discourse, question to mostly men, boosts+ 

@restioson
Masculinity also cannot be encoded within the body, or it would not be accessible to trans and gender non conforming people. On the other hand, there is some relationship to embodiment. Gender is a human universal (not the specific expressions of it, but there's no societies that don't have gender) and it's heavily influenced by cis people and cis bodies. So masculinity is not cock and balls, but is related to them

Masculinity discourse, cishet lewd 

@restioson

With penetrative sex, a person with a penis enters triumphant, but exits deflated. A certain amount of identity seems to surround one's cock, but one has almost no control over it.

Cis hetero masculinity is a struggle towards inevitable defeat.

Masculinity discourse 

@restioson

I think that within my culture, a defining factor in masculinity is struggle. Against oneself. Against society. Against each other in terms of social ranking. The last one is toxic, but the others need not be.

Defeat is inevitable, as one is never entirely in control of one's self or anything else. Where masculinity is good or toxic, I think may lie in how it copes with defeat or victory.

Follow

Masculinity discourse 

@restioson

One can have grace and humility, or one can have terrified bravado. A lot of toxic masculinity seems to stem from fear of being unworthy or attempts to establish one's worth based on unearned systemic power relationships. As masculinity itself can socially function as such a relationship, it makes the whole topic somewhat fraught.

¡ ¡ Tusky ¡ 1 ¡ 0 ¡ 5

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@restioson

I don't know. I'm not cis. Maybe activity masculinity had been a struggle /for me/ and I'm trying to universalise it?

I did an art installation about militarism and masculinity which used a joystick as a penis. Men seemed to understand the work was about over compensation. Women tended to think it was about the power of a cock. It was strange to get such divergent readings....

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@celesteh wow, that is a lot of stuff to unpack. Personally I don't understand all of it right now but I will be going to talk through it with my friends. Thanks so much!

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@restioson

I wrote a blog post. celesteh.com/blog/2019/09/03/m

It quotes your question. I hope that's ok.

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@celesteh that is okay! I am excited to read!!

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@celesteh was a very good read, and I think I understand better now. Thanks!

Regarding the stance that gender is always present and we therefore can't abolish it, isn't that an appeal to nature?

Secondly, was the gender nihilist manifesto not written by a trans woman (I thought so but can't find out exactly)? It specifically mentions that it was almost *made for the liberation of gender oppressed people*. Do you think that it fails in that?

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@restioson

1. I am not making any appeals to nature, but just saying there are no examples anywhere of gender being abolished and that doing so would take away something that most people seem to like. I may be universalising here, but I know I'd be upset if somebody tried to take away my gender.

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@restioson

2. I don't know anything about that manifesto and I don't mean to misrepresent anybody's good intentions. British TERFs really really are on board with the idea of abolishing gender. Alas, they want to start with trans people. They say there's a love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin line between abolishing (trans) genders and trans people, but it's hard to say. They've really adopted this slogan and made it their own.

(2/n)

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@restioson

I want to be sure I'm not speaking out of my bum, so I've searched DuckDuckGo from the UK, but with no location filters for the terms abolish gender and am looking at the first page of results. I expected to see a lot of TERFism but the only instances of it seem to be on the tumblr, tag.

I'm extremely glad to see this idea has some positive stuff around it. I kins of still don't want my gender abolished, but maybe I'm being selfish

Masculinity discourse lewd 

@celesteh huh I will read that

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