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Negative masculine traits

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As I don't need to be sexually or romantically attractive to anyone or to follow the established binary gender roles, I'd like to refine my appearance and behavior to make them 'even better than masculine and than feminine', even though I don't feel much discomfort about presenting as cis-male (as the associated clothes are comfortable and grooming is not very important).

 

Which features of the Western standard of masculinity do you find annoying or do you think most people find annoying?

 

I'd say that drinking strong alcohol, smoking and swearing are rather masculine habits, though they're present in both genders. But I'm free of them already. I'm not that impudent nor possessive and, obviously, I'm not promiscuous. And I don't take too many risks either (should take a bit more). What I still have is neglect for my own health, but this can be fixed relatively easily.

 

Are there any other significant traits that I haven't considered? (There must be but my brain isn't functioning.) Thanks!

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I hate that men have this idea that the more sexual partners you have, the more of a "man" you are. This gives men the idea that if you're a virgin, you're just a loser who can't get laid.

 

One that particularly affects me is the idea that real men don't cry. If you are male, and you cry, other men will belittle you as if they are somehow magically better than you.

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Men are supposed to be assertive and dominant. They aren't allowed to ask for directions either. :)

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There seems to be two factions when it comes to males in my school: lads and not-lads and the two groups are incompatible (which explains why I hated every computing lesson, too many obnoxious lads) and all the lads are straight and drink alcohol and like football and all the non-lads sit around in mix-gender groups and go to the beach in the summer and maybe play an instrument (I know this is oddly specific). I'm going to a top sixth form in September so the demographics will probably shift with everyone being clever and that and the split may not be lads and not-lads, maybe science-maths, art-literature and history-geography! I do hate some of the 'required trates' and if I didn't have a free pass card (Asperger's) I don't know how I'd try to present myself. Can I just take the not caring about fashion and leave the lack of emotion (even if I find it suprisingly hard to be stressed and thus motivated)? I find any gender roles complete artefacts that should be put behind glass in the British Museum!

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I don't like that "real men" are loud sex machines, in the sense that the more sexual partners you have, the "bigger man" you are.

 

On the first, I would consider the quieter men in my life as "bigger men" (and I've yet to see people say that Atticus Finch, the quietest dad ever, isn't a "real man"). For example, he didn't make a big deal when Bob Ewell spat in his face, or when he raised his kids on his own; he just did it.

 

On the second, that "real men" are sex machines... just no. I'm asexual, so does that mean I'm not a man?

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I hate the idea that men aren't supposed to show any sadness or weakness. That's stupid.

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1 hour ago, Dodgypotato said:

I hate the idea that men aren't supposed to show any sadness or weakness. That's stupid.

I had to go to a psychologist when I was 8 because of this. Let me just let that sink in for you. 8. Fucking eight.

 

To be fair, if I didn't go then, I would have continued being bullied through primary school and probably on through middle school and senior school. But still. It shouldn't have been necessary.

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Thanks for reminding me about the 'men don't cry' thing. I wouldn't say that emotional stability (in any gender!) is a negative trait. I mean, when one suffers a big trauma, it's better to cry than to get the PTSD, but the society 'forgives' for crying in such cases anyway. But as far as minor everyday annoyances, learning not to take them too seriously really helps focus on important tasks.

 

I have to agree, though, that excessive stubbornness (incl. the willingness to do things on one's own, without asking for help) is an undesirable trait.

 

Regarding the association of the 'degree of masculinity' with number of sexual partners, there's a whole dedicated AVEN thread.

 

Btw, congrats to @Pufflehugs04 on his first post! :icecream::softserve::aropride:

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54 minutes ago, aroMa(n)tisse said:

emotional stability

Emotional stability is not "don't cry" specially not to someone who's 8 years old or younger no matter their genitals. There is also a lot of nuances between PTSD and minor annoyances. People who actually can cry for their own sake are emotional stable in every possible definition of the term. (On a side note: crying does not necessarily counter PTSD at all).

I should know, I stopped crying at the age of 5, because it'd strengthen the impression of me being "female", because having (and showing) said emotions is "female". I hit myself to fight the emotions, and as a result, I was unable to cry for 18 years of my life, which, as a result made me lose a valuable emotional outlet... So, out of personal experience (and backed up by scientific evidence, that supports crying as healthy and stabilizing), it's neither strong nor stable to withhold tears. It's damaging. 


On that same note, I'm actually unsure if I get you right, but there is no way of building yourself a "non-binary" personality, by rejecting traits that are "classified as male" under the common culture. Again, it didn't make me feel any more non-binary then I already was, I just denied myself something healthy because of societies expectations for my bio-gender. The easiest way to be neither female nor male is to stop worrying about societies harmful problem with gender stereotypes and just be a person. 

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14 hours ago, aroMa(n)tisse said:

Are there any other significant traits that I haven't considered? (There must be but my brain isn't functioning.) Thanks!

There's the idea that men should be obsessed with team sports such as football. I remember being bemused as a child by questions like "what football team do you support?"  Then trying to work out which one was nearest to me so as to be able to give some sort of answer.

13 hours ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

Men are supposed to be assertive and dominant. They aren't allowed to ask for directions either. :)

There's also that men are expected to be the initiator and asker when it comes to relationships and sex.
Even where the role they wish to play within that relationship is far from "dominant".

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One of the things that bothers me about the kind of guy who wants to be seen as ultra-macho is that they tend to be very loud, and their 'humour' attempts to shock or offend.  If someone calls them on it, they get angry and confrontational.  They don't care who they offend, and seem to see offending others as some sort of game they're winning the more people get offended.  They're incapable of being courteous and will not back down, especially when they know they're wrong.  

 

I've had a few dealings with this type, especially when I accept security postings in places that serve alcohol (which I now refuse to do - I hate dealing with drunks).  This sort is also usually sexually aggressive and has no respect for the concept of consent.  A few times, I've had to get physically between one of these creeps and the (usually much younger) girl he's been creeping on so she could effect an escape from his groping and gross comments, and to allow her to get out to her ride without him following.  Twice, the girls returned to the venue the next day or called the venue to talk to me about what happened the night before, and they had serious reason to be scared.  Some of the things they told me he said were horribly scary, like rape threats and promises of him finding out where she lived and showing up late at night.

 

Thankfully, these twits are a minority.  But they're so loud, obnoxious, and attention-seeking that they seem more numerous than they really are.  I wish this personality type would vanish.

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8 hours ago, Kojote said:

I should know, I stopped crying at the age of 5, because it'd strengthen the impression of me being "female", because having (and showing) said emotions is "female". I hit myself to fight the emotions, and as a result, I was unable to cry for 18 years of my life, which, as a result made me lose a valuable emotional outlet... So, out of personal experience (and backed up by scientific evidence, that supports crying as healthy and stabilizing), it's neither strong nor stable to withhold tears. It's damaging.

Except in your case, you had a choice. I, and other men like me, didn't. If you look at the suicide rates of cis men and women, you'll see that men are far more likely to commit suicide than women. These men who commit suicide have two options:

 

1) bottle up their emotions --> commit suicide

2)don't bottle up their emotions --> get abused and told to toughen up --> bottle up their emotions --> commit suicide

 

And this fucking needs to stop. Whenever a man tries to fix a problem that men face as a whole, they get compared to those men who think that anyone who isn't male is a lesser being. It's common for men who actually want to make men's lives better to get ridiculed both by the media and on social media. And all of this is because society doesn't think that men have any problems that need fixing. The whole reason this is, is because men are told to push their problems to the side and to toughen up; so men's issues become invisible, even to other men. If a man is a victim of domestic violence, they get laughed at. If a man is a victim of rape, they get ridiculed. It's this whole attitude of, "I haven't seen nor experienced this, therefore it doesn't exist" and I'm fucking sick of it.

 

EDIT: That first sentence wasn't meant to be an attack on you kojote. So if you see like that at all, sorry in advance.

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The fact that sportive men are considered more "masculine" than those who are more intellectual bugs me as hell. OH, and the idea that a man should love cars and big engines... where does that even come from? Most of my friends don't even know a damn thing about cars!

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21 minutes ago, Zemaddog said:

EDIT: That first sentence wasn't meant to be an attack on you kojote. So if you see like that at all, sorry in advance.

No, I think you are right. If I didn't make that clear in my previous post I'm sorry. I wholeheartedly agree with you. 

I did have a choice, and I, dumb as I was, chose to put myself in the situation a cis-male shouldn't even have to be in in the first place to prove myself as "not a girl". I was dumb. It's a toxic thing and it needs to stop, just like you said. 

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8 hours ago, Kojote said:

Emotional stability is not "don't cry" specially not to someone who's 8 years old or younger no matter their genitals. There is also a lot of nuances between PTSD and minor annoyances. People who actually can cry for their own sake are emotional stable in every possible definition of the term. (On a side note: crying does not necessarily counter PTSD at all).

 

I agree that if despair happens, one should be allowed to cry it out regardless of the gender.

 

However, in my understanding, the phrase 'men don't cry' has a broader meaning than literal, namely, that masculinity requires being unemotional in general, equanimous to the point of cynicism. It's a good quality in the military and any other highly stressful occupation (surgery, fire fighting, seafaring, piloting and so on). That's why such professions are considered 'mainly men's jobs', though there are some women there too.

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I could write books on toxic masculinity, but a few awful beliefs I find especially harmful (tw:)

Spoiler

 

  • personal hygiene, grooming, dressing nice, wearing any sort of jewellery is automatically considered a feminine trait. Knowing how to fit menswear is feminine? What do you mean you don't want to impress anybody just feel good about yourself?
  • apparently its not masculine to like food? Especially sweet stuff? Being a vegetarian is not macho? Eat bacon on a bloody slice of steak topped with lard. Now that is macho.
  • negative body image in males and masculine people is dismissed because "anorexia is a girly thing", "its not ED because he is slurping a protein shake and goes to the gym", "what do you mean we need plus size male models? like not beefcake big, but fat plus size big? meh.", "transmasculine people have to be slim with defined muscles  otherwise they don't look trans", "female plus size models have to be this high femme, glamour pin up standard, otherwise its trashy"
  • men being sexually assaulted? especially by women? gay men assaulted by other gay men? butch women raped by their femme girlfriends? Never heard of it.
  • aggressively gendering and gatekeeping all sorts of hobbies.

 

 

 

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The 'female privilege' that I'm most jealous of is the 'moral right' to wear long nails... though I wouldn't call it an advantage because short ones are more practical.

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Some general stuff to maybe introduce some gray area information (might be off topic, feel free to ignore it):
 

Spoiler

 

Yes, there are gender differences and differences in brain functions on average between male and female, but they are not as big or as many as the general public would have one believe. And they account for way less, as far as your abilities to be whatever you want to be goes. So while it's true that, for example, females score higher on traits like openness and Males are more prone to aggression, that's not the end of the story

A lot of concepts/traits such as logic (mathematics f.exp.), intelligence and being "unemotional" aren't that black and white. As are your qualifications to be a fire fighter, jet pilot, a soldier, a nurse, a counselor or a kindergartner or a bridge troll. Being "too aggressive" is just as emotional as being "to sensitive". It's all about how the person handles said emotions. Females have no biological inclination to be "less stable" then men are. Females are just allowed and expected to let it out (so much so that a women being emotional counts as hysteric and is not taken seriously) while males are not. There's even some EEG evidence that men are actually more emotional then women and just hide it better, because that's what they are taught to do. That's not a biological difference. That's a cultural one. And it does more harm than good.

 

Anecdotal: I have three uncles in the military/marine. If they are unemotional, I sure as hell need to revise my personal definition of that term xD 

 

Trigger warning on suicide, (these are just statistics):

Spoiler

Suicide, too, is not so black and white. Yes, more men commit suicide, but more females suffer from depression. Twice as much, actually. And the reason why men are more "successful" in killing themselves is, because they usually use hard methods (bullet to the head, jumping from a building), while females more often apply soft methods (pills and poisons). Aka not more males attempt suicide, more males chose methods that'll get the job done instead of focusing on a "painless" exit, that they might very well survive....

 

Now there are different speculations on why that's the way it is, many, again, involve culture. I don't want to dive into any of them. I just wanted to show nuance.

 

All of these are remnants of my 3 years in psychology, were I focused on clinical, forensic and medical studies. I cited this from memory, but if needed, I could probably look up some sources. Might not be able to read them though, as I don't have access to the psych studies electronic database anymore and most well researched and credible studies are not public .__. 

 

We life in a society were gender stereotypes are held up as true and you either have to be for or against them, instead of just recognizing personality traits as the diverse bundle of gray areas they are. So, to answer your first question. I find the fact that there even is a " Western standard of masculinity" annoying and downright harmful.

I'd rather see traits as being unisex undesirable and everything else, no matter if it's coded male or female, should be just fine, no matter your bio sex or your gender identity. Granted, that's idealistic, but if I had to chose, I'd rather not contribute to coding stuff as "undesirably male", cause I'd hate them just as much in females. I think the coding in itself is harmful, (as well as plain wrong most of time) and a benefit in being NB I see is, that you don't have to pretend and play this highly toxic gender game at all.

 

EDIT: Non of this is meant to de-validate the points you all made about harmful male stereotypes. I agree with all of you and I'd personally fight for anyone, who was harmed by them.

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This sounds ridiculous on an aro website from an unapologetically aro person, but it's my pet peeve when men dissmiss romance for the wrong reasons and treat their partners like shit. Yes, I'm frustrated with romance being seen as mandatory and I'm sick of it being force fed to everyone but that does not mean I hate the whole thing. Respect your partners romantic or platonic... You know those cake toppers where the groom has a ball chained to him or he is dragged by the bride? Men who call their girlfriends 'hoe'? The whole emotional constipation and not showing any sort of affection because it's unmanly? Fuck that. If you choose to be with someone, you better respect and appreciate  them. 

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31 minutes ago, Kojote said:

Trigger warning on suicide, (these are just statistics):

  Reveal hidden contents

Suicide, too, is not so black and white. Yes, more men commit suicide, but more females suffer from depression. Twice as much, actually. And the reason why men are more "successful" in killing themselves is, because they usually use hard methods (bullet to the head, jumping from a building), while females more often apply soft methods (pills and poisons). Aka not more males attempt suicide, more males chose methods that'll get the job done instead of focusing on a "painless" exit, that they might very well survive....

 

Now there are different speculations on why that's the way it is, many, again, involve culture. I don't want to dive into any of them. I just wanted to show nuance.

 

 

My accout of considering suicide

Spoiler

So I did consider suicide five years ago but I'm fine now please don't worry. I always imagined jumping off something and would consider it when looking out of a high window and I guess I didn't think it was worth staying alive when everyday was painful. I guess learning about famous suicides in history didn't help. I guess I thought I'd want to do it quickly and effectively if it ever happened but I got through it somehow even if it has fucked me up ever since. But that is an interesting statistic and I wonder why there is that split. 

 

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45 minutes ago, Louis Hypo said:
Spoiler

So I did consider suicide five years ago but I'm fine now please don't worry. I always imagined jumping off something and would consider it when looking out of a high window and I guess I didn't think it was worth staying alive when everyday was painful. I guess learning about famous suicides in history didn't help. I guess I thought I'd want to do it quickly and effectively if it ever happened but I got through it somehow even if it has fucked me up ever since. But that is an interesting statistic and I wonder why there is that split. 

 

 

Trigger Warning: Suicide reasonings

Spoiler

Here are some of the reasoning's I remember. I however, don't remember which ones where more likely to be the case on average. I focused an becoming a forensic therapist at the time, so I mainly focused on the use of said statistic to help an individual patient/spot suicidal tendencies (which is something that's taken very seriously), rather than on the scientific question of "why this happens on average".

 

- Men have less of a safety net, when it comes to depression. While females tend to have more close friendships on average, that they can talk to about their feelings, men are (on average) a bit more closet and tend to use their significant other as their sole emotional outlet. As such, when it comes to suicidal tendencies, men have nowhere to turn to and might as well just end it "efficiently". While, for females, this might drag out for a long time and their wish might manifest more in a "let it end peacefully" way.

 

- (On the same note, hard suicide methods do correlate with stronger denial of a need for support)

 

- Females are prone to "worrying" more than men. As depression has a lot to do with perpetuating rumination, females just might be, biologically speaking, more likely to develop mayor depression, which would result in higher numbers of attempted suicide (which are greater for females, than males). 

 

- Depression in males is diagnosed less often. This alone could be due to oh so many reasons

 

- Depression in men can (but mustn't) manifest itself in a higher output in testosterone to "fight the threat", aka aggression and anger. This might lead to the consideration of more finalizing/violent suicide methods

 

- People who chose "hard methods" are also less likely to seek help. This could have a lot to do with the way that men are expected to be "strong" and solve everything on their own, as well as the tendency to be more aggressive, which might push helpers away, that'd otherwise pick up on that

 

- It's a culture thing. f.exp. In our western society, the most common type of suicide is hanging, followed by firearms (for men) and drugs (for females). While in China, most of the people jump from buildings or in front of trains. The gender gap in general is highest in western cultures. 

 

 

Again. I don't remember which reasoning's had higher scientific support, so take everything with a grain of salt.

 

 

Sorry for going off topic...

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On June 21, 2016 at 11:02 AM, aroMa(n)tisse said:

The 'female privilege' that I'm most jealous of is the 'moral right' to wear long nails... though I wouldn't call it an advantage because short ones are more practical.

 

Well, if you don't mind only having long nails on one hand, just start playing classical guitar! The nails they use for finger-plucking get ridiculously long and thick after a while, and I mostly know men whose nails look like that. (I guess I just know more classically trained male guitarists.) 

 

On another note, I used to think that I was basically immune to body image issues because I had zero desire to fit the feminine ideal. Growing up in a very body-positive environment, I assumed that meant that I was just content with my body as it was, but now I know that I've been dealing with internalized masculine social pressures this entire time. Nobody ever gave me shit for being emotional, physically weak, passive, or even disinterested in sex, but the dismissal was even more damning to me. I'm 8 weeks on T at the moment, but I don't pass because I'm 5'3" and have hair to my knees, but I know that once I start passing, I'm going to potentially have to deal with the external forms of those pressures. My asexuality has been pretty invisible so far because I don't really talk about it, but I wonder how that's going to affect my conversations as I start passing. (I dread the "does your genitals work" line of questioning, especially if I ever consider going stealth.)

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16 minutes ago, Mezzo Forte said:

Well, if you don't mind only having long nails on one hand, just start playing classical guitar! The nails they use for finger-plucking get ridiculously long and thick after a while, and I mostly know men whose nails look like that. (I guess I just know more classically trained male guitarists.) 

 

I'd heard about this phenomenon, but if I ever play the guitar, it will be an electric one anyway :D

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On 2016. 06. 21. at 4:02 PM, aroMa(n)tisse said:

The 'female privilege' that I'm most jealous of is the 'moral right' to wear long nails... though I wouldn't call it an advantage because short ones are more practical.

*straight female "privilege" ^_^ I'd rather not.

 

6 hours ago, Mezzo Forte said:

 I'm 8 weeks on T at the moment

Congrats :D:clapping:

 

Being ace and trans sounds like an eldritch horror of a social nightmare.

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34 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

 

TMI-ish

Spoiler

Long-tongued wlw enjoy this privilege too :P (Thanks to Cassiopeia for reminding about the term.)

 

34 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

Being ace and trans sounds like an eldritch horror of a social nightmare.

 

Being an aro ace has benefits too. An aro ace isn't hard-pressed to present as a binary gender or to date risking sexual rejection.

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