#MasculinitysoFragile

Recent controversial Twitter hashtag sparks online debate.

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About a two weeks ago, the hashtag “#MasculinitysoFragile” was born on Twitter and began trending worldwide.

The idea behind this trend was to get people talking about how some standards for masculinity are toxic to men and boys, and was used to target the standards of masculinity that are unhealthy, not men themselves.

Of course, many people completely missed the point of #MasculinitysoFragile. Several Twitter users took personal offense to the hashtag and went on Twitter to say how they felt about the trend.

Other Twitter users felt so passionately against #MasculinitysoFragile that they offered to physically fight anyone in support of the trend. Some users used the hashtag to mock women and any others in support of #MasculinitysoFragile.

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Ironically, the wave of aggressively defensive tweets that flooded Twitter prove #MasculinitysoFragile right. Some exhibited a tendency to act overly defensive and “show everyone you’re a man” by acting aggressive if one feels his masculinity being threatened. Many Twitter users clearly felt targeted by the hashtag, demonstrated in their tweets.

“Meninism” is another example of how some men tend to act when masculinity  is questioned. This new “movement” was created in response to feminism and appears to be used for the one and only purpose of belittling women, similar to how several twitter users utilized #MasculinitysoFragile.

Within these angry and indignant tweets however, seemed to be a real fear of being emasculated.

Being female and not a male, these statements are based largely on my observations not experience, but it seems that our society had decided to place boys in a very narrow box at a young age. These fears are also somewhat responsible for hypermasculinity, or behaving overly and unnecessarily masculine and aggressive.

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This fear lies so deeply in today’s world, that companies will sell the same version of a product but stick a fancy label that says “for men” on the front. Axe, a popular men’s grooming company, went as far as selling a loofah sold under the name of a detailer shower tool, because a loofah apparently sounded too much like something a female would use.

Axe is a great company but having to change the name of a product to something akin to a toilet cleaning utensil for some men to buy the product speaks volumes.  The problem is that boys are often told they have to act a certain way and like certain things.

Boys are taught to suppress gestures considered feminine. Boys are told to suppress their emotions at a young age and to not to like romance movies because romance movies are for girls. Boys are supposed to know about cars and football. Boys like trucks and sports, because dance and drawing are for girls. Almost everyone has been told or overheard the phrases “man up” or “be a man.”

These phrases are often directed to crying boys and when saying a phrase similar to these, you are enforcing the oppressive nature of some masculinity standards.

The topic of masculinity is a sensitive one but based on the the reactions to #MasculinitysoFragile, our world needs to be having conversations similar this one.