The war on masculinity and the demonisation of men must stop

By William Hallowell | Editor 

Do not preach about the importance of men’s mental health whilst simultaneously using us as society’s scapegoats and endorsing the sexist concept of ‘toxic masculinity’.

 

The last few decades have seen a decline in the preservation of traditional ideas of what makes a man manly. In 2021, it is acceptable for men to wear dresses and put on make-up regardless of sexuality (though these are ordinarily seen as traits of ‘camp’ men) – each to their own. People can choose for themselves what to wear and how to present themselves, but that doesn’t mean I don’t disapprove.

 

Recently, we saw Harry Styles wear a dress for the front cover of a magazine, which sparked two most contrary reactions. The reaction from the majority was outrage as this was seen as very controversial and challenging towards traditional (and let’s be clear, better) views on masculinity. The second was one of praise for ‘standing up’ against the ‘toxicity’ of masculinity and these traditional concepts. Personally, I wouldn’t wear a dress and nor do I see why a man would want to, but Styles did not deserve the criticism he was given. Who cares that much? Let people do what they please without the fear of being ostracised by society.

 

Styles wearing a dress is not as particularly offensive to me personally as it was for others. What is concerning however, is that it seems rather ironic and somewhat convenient that the majority of those who praised the actor were women. It is women who seem to have the loudest opinion on how men should behave and what they should wear; it is also seems to be who women who determine the standards of men society – this was no more apparent in the wake of Sarah Everard’s horrific death. Yet, if men were to preach the ‘toxicity’ of femininity or be so patronising as to determine the standards of women, or what being a woman is and means, they would be labelled sexist, misogynistic and accused of upholding patriarchal standards.

 

It is not the place of men to lecture women on the standards and expectations of femininity, but when the roles are reversed, there seems to be – as in many areas of society – a double standard against men. Yet, these same people will preach the ‘privilege’ of being a man in 2020. Perhaps before female suffrage in the UK, this was the case, but it is ludicrous for women to say that all men have inherent privilege now. It is a medieval concept.

 

Globally, the majority of suicides are committed by men. Men receive longer sentences than women for the same crimes. Women are given the benefit of the doubt in child custody and divorce cases. Women are given the benefit of the doubt in rape accusations. We proudly uphold values of a ‘free’ nation and therefore have the shared principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ within the law. Yet, when it comes to rape accusations there are the misandrists who are not interested in equality, but the persecution of men, who say: ‘believe all women’ – regardless of evidence (or even, lack of). Is the burden of proof not relevant? Should emotions have higher value than that of a potentially innocent man's entire life? You have women who say that the yet-to-be-proven-guilty should be named and shamed nationally – and if the man is proven innocent, it doesn’t matter. His reputation, his career and the way his friends and family see him will be ruined forever. To reference the Everard case again, this was entirely demonstrated by the trial-by-media of the alleged murderer. This demonisation of all men is nothing short of sexism – and for some, it’s actually seen as pay-back for centuries of patriarchal governance.

 

The relentless attack on men and masculinity does nothing progressive for the ‘liberals’ who preach it. This sexist concept teaches men to hate being a man and to stop being manly because that somehow ‘oppresses’ women – and these ignorant man-haters then have the audacity to preach about men’s mental health and the importance in breaking the stigmas around male silence. Enough. This is nothing but utter hypocrisy.


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